Mr. Julio P. Gonzalez founded the Gonzalez Family Office and is the CEO and Founder of Engineered Tax Services, Inc. (ETS). ETS is the country’s largest specialty tax engineering firm which specializes in the preservation of wealth and United States’ job creation through IRS engineering-based services to include research and development manufacturing tax credit and grant studies, energy tax incentives studies, cost segregation deprecation studies for buildings, Opportunity Zone studies, real estate state, and local income
Where did the idea for Engineered Tax Services, Inc. come from?
It came from simply always looking for better ways to drive down tax obligations for my clients, and always trying to locate and effectively utilize different tax laws that can help them. The U.S. has a million pages of tax codes, and the more you know, the more you can help your clients. I saw the opportunity to help, first for myself, and then gradually and increasingly, for small business clients all around the country.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I usually get up at 5 am, listen to my podcasts, and then I’m in the office by 5:30 and planning and reviewing throughout the different divisions of the company, doing tax research, and seeing what’s in the news. By 9:00 am, I’m getting to meetings with different departments. With COVID, every day is kind of like Groundhog Day; I usually work within the different departments until about 6 pm. Lately, I try to break up my day with walks and other things to help keep me productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I set aside the weekend, usually Saturday mornings, to meet with a group of entrepreneurs, either from my community or really from anywhere. We meet between 6:30 to 9:00, share things that are going on, what’s happening in our businesses. I also like to meet with a separate group once a week in the evenings. It’s a bunch of entrepreneurs that we keep in touch with weekly, where we come up with different things to brainstorm on and help each other’s businesses. Setting aside that time outside the business is crucial.
What’s one trend that excites you?
COVID has kind of created a general business trend of doing everything differently. We invested a lot this year in artificial intelligence, Zoom conferences, and doing more things with technology. I think the COVID-accelerated trend toward the heavy use of new technology has really benefitted us in the long run and will ultimately make us more productive in the future.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think my most effective habit is waking up early. It gives me a few hours before the world wakes up to be productive. Also, I always try to stay enthusiastic and positive in my personal and professional life.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could, I think I would tell myself to find like-minded people who are starting out as entrepreneurs, meet with them, generate ideas, and reach out to them for help and guidance. When you’re an entrepreneur, it can get lonely at the top, and you don’t usually have people surrounding you; you’re just in the business 24/7. I would remind myself to step back, spend more time outside the business, and learn from others.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Everyone says I should get myself a hobby. I’m not very good at having hobbies, because work is my hobby.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
For me, I think it’s always recruiting really talented people, simply surrounding our company with talented, energetic people.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
A lot of people in my industry think of marketing as an expense, and I always thought of it as an investment. We outgrew a lot of smaller companies on our way to where we are now, and I think a large part of it had to do with my early investments in marketing. A lot of companies don’t believe in the investment or understand how it could help their business. Even back when we started, we were doing telemarketing, dialing, mailers. We were always coming up with new ways to get people’s attention.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I think bad hiring has been a failure. But you certainly learn from it, learn how to hire better. That kind of thing just comes with the growing pains of being an entrepreneur and getting more people involved in your business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think 5G is the next big technology that’s really growing out there. That will be our new Web and Internet for the next five decades. That’s an area I would look at strongly.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Sometimes you just get really good service at a restaurant, and you know how hard people are working during the pandemic. I recently gave a tip of 100 dollars to someone; they work really hard, and so to help them in that small way is key.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
ABLE CRM. It is amazing! The program tracks the top 36 clients for each of our sales directors through a very creative tile dashboard which shows our team and their interaction with their top clients daily. It helps organize a very busy workload in an easy to use way.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Any Dale Carnegie book! My personal favorite is “How To Win Friends and Influence People.” It’s almost over a century-old read but has fantastic lessons. Good social skills never go away.
What is your favorite quote?
“Why do tomorrow what we can do today.” I’m all about urgency.
- I think 5G is the next big technology that’s really growing out there
- The U.S. has a million pages of tax codes, and the more you know, the more you can help your clients.
- A lot of people in my industry think of marketing as an expense, and I always thought of it as an investment. We outgrew a lot of smaller companies on our way to where we are now, and I think a large part of it had to do with my early investments in marketing.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.