September 27, 2022

Transformation Talks Podcast: Transform Your Life with a Leap of Faith

By: Center For Accounting Transformation / podcast

Ready to transform? Ask yourself three questions first.

Transformation Talks host Bill Penczak welcomes Paul Mueller, CPA, a national manager for the tax group at a large firm—a business professional at the top of his game—when he suddenly realized he wasn’t as happy as he should be.

“If you’re asking, ‘Is this all there is,’ that’s a cry for help because the answer is no. That’s not all there is. There’s more, and there’s better.”

Mueller and Penczak discuss not only the growing frustration of young professionals and the shift toward taking more risks professionally to see if they will pay off personally, but also addressed the growing frustration for seasoned professionals who are still too young to retire. They also talk about tools necessary to effect true transformation, either as a firm or as an individual, and why, even as trusted advisors for others, sometimes CPAs don’t always do a good job of advising themselves. Mueller said that he realized his need for change after asking himself questions inspired by a popular book.

  1. Do you really love what you do?
  2. Do you work with clients who love what you do for them?
  3. Do you love where you’re doing it?

Although he was in an enviable position in his career, Mueller said working in a large firm can sometimes feel like being in a gilded birdcage, and you don’t always have the authority to make the changes you feel are necessary.

Mueller advised weighing the pros and cons of any large decision, seeking guidance from mentors who know your values, and embracing self-questioning, joy, love and fulfillment.

More Key Takeaways from Paul Mueller, CPA

  • Understand the importance of evaluating the worst-case scenarios to understand the real risks and determine if you want to make the leap.
  • Accept total accountability for what you’re trying to do, regardless of firm size, internally and with clients.
  • Always offer quick feedback.
  • Newer generations must be prepared to accept advice from boomers.
  • It’s hard to make the journey alone. A professional coach can help by asking the right questions.
  • Feeling stuck? Make lists to help you address what you love and where your passion lies versus what you hate.
  • Courage is addressing the hate side. Many people feel powerless, but it’s what you need to address.
  • Partners need to have discussions and ask if they are on the same page and have common goals with the firm.
  •  A great firm is one where the firm will still grow and prosper even if you’re gone.
  • The pandemic emphasized the great reassessment, including exit and succession strategies.
  • Embrace self-questioning, joy, love, and fulfillment.


Read more about Paul Mueller’s Leap of Faith on CPA Trendlines.



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