Entrepreneur and tax pro Nina Luke has 15 years in her field. She’s undoubtedly talented at making numbers work for her client base of burgeoning businesses and entrepreneurs. But, the FST Investments founder also realized that, over the years, she’d become an inspiring and no-nonsense mentor, offering her Long Beach, Ca. tax clients business insight that has helped them turn their side hustles into their full-time dream jobs.
Now, she is and making her own informal side hustle into her main gig. She has begun formally coaching those trying to become their own employers. This service is in high demand as workers have been laid off due to the pandemic. She noted that many became more motivated to shift careers after seeing how the world economy became unstable.
She said that, among her coaching clients, many are now making more money than they ever thought they would. Her coaching centers on how to structure your business to save yourself money, decrease your tax burden, apply for business financing, get business credit, continuing education, self-employment, and corporate taxes, entity formation, and more
She also specializes in assisting 1099 independent contractors who are ready to grow their own business, register it in their state, and all the related issues that go along with that process.
Even among her clients that are established business owners, many are shocked at how much they have been overpaying in taxes and how they can rebalance their businesses to save money.
Luke began her career in the tax field as an employee at a Liberty Tax Service franchise. Within four years, she had become a franchisee herself after taking a leap of faith and betting on her talents and drive to become a success.
She had no money to put down on her business loan, so the interest rate was astronomically high, which kept her unprofitable for the first few years. At the same time, her personal credit was so bad that she couldn’t get another loan. Even with enough money coming in to pay the rent and the staff, she knew she was just treading water.
The business eventually failed because – while she was a tax law superstar – she had no idea how to run a business. In hindsight, she shakes her head at all the fine print her younger self was unaware of.
She said that she felt ashamed of her failure and that she had let her family down. She recalled feeling deeply traumatized by the experience and wanting to leave the field altogether. But, the tax world kept calling her, which is when she tried again and founded FST Investments.
This time, she’d have a clean slate and no debt and see if she could make it a success. Long story short, she did.
Now, she’s taken every tip, lesson, and hack she learned the hard way and put them together in a holistic package to revamp her client’s business finances. The comprehensive package contains everything that she needed to guide her as she grew – and that she can now use to help other business owners.
Mom Life Comes First
Another aspect of her first business failure was that she was on such a tight budget. A young widow and mom to a son and daughter, it was a single-income family, so it was devastating when her Liberty franchise failed.
Luke recalls waiting anxiously for her own tax refund every year and becoming curious as to why the amount fluctuated despite her steady income. As a mom that could barely afford daycare, any situation related to money set her on edge. But it was a deep curiosity about the inner workings of taxes that led her through the door of the Liberty franchise that she would later own, and on her own journey as a tax professional.
“It worked because tax season was from January to April, and then I could be off for the rest of the year,” said Luke. “That very first year, I made enough to take off for the whole summer to be with my kids, which cemented my love for the field.”
She still gets emotional when she talks about being able to be in her kids’ lives for many more hours of the day than most working moms. She was – and is – very grateful for that. She credits her children – now 14 and 21 – with her success since they have always been what motivated her. As she tells her clients, “This isn’t easy, it’s hard! But you can do it.”
About Nina Luke
FST Investments is a small business consulting company that helps sole proprietors become successful business owners. The Founder, Nina Luke, is a veteran in the credit and tax industry and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs save thousands on taxes and build their businesses with a firm foundation. Click here to schedule a free consultation: https://www.fstinvestments.com/