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Banking on KC – Marquita Miller-Joshua

Banking on KC – Marquita Miller-Joshua

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Kelly Scanlon:

Welcome to Banking on KC. I'm your host, Kelly Scanlon. Thank you for joining us. With us on this episode is Marquita Miller-Joshua, the founder of Five Star Tax and Business Solutions. Marquita is here today to talk about Moving Forward On Purpose And With Integrity. She'll discuss her own journey from entrepreneur to book author, to motivational speaker. Welcome, Marquita.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Thank you so very much, Kelly. I am excited to be here.

Kelly Scanlon:

Here we are, more than a year into this pandemic. We're all experiencing it together, but we're doing so differently. For our listeners who are feeling unsettled, who are dealing with feelings about purpose that they perhaps never thought they'd be addressing or for those who are just tired at this point, what would your overall message be?

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

That feeling and the things that you described is so right on point of how I really came up with the Moving Forward On Purpose With A Purpose. I would say that you really do not want to resist the change. Oftentimes, where we get that frustration from and we get fear and just all those things that work against us is because we start resisting what's happening versus accepting.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

I can speak all too well about that. I was married for 23 years, my late husband unexpectedly passed away. Although being in this pandemic is very challenging, I will say that kind of set me up for weathering this, because that was something that was so very unexpected number one, it's something that's not desired of course, number two, which I can relate to the things that's happened when you can parallel those a little bit. As long as I kept fighting it and kept regretting that what happened, of course I didn't want it to happen, the longer that I stayed there, the harder it was to ever move forward. At some point, I just had to begin to accept this is where I'm at and how do I operate in this new journey, this new season.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

I would certainly say it's kind of like, if you think about it, walking against the wind versus allowing the wind to push you. Yeah, it's much easier if we will just go with the wind, in fact you may even get a little help and a little nudge to get where you're going, so walking against it is really a lot of resistance that brings a lot of stress and fear. At some point you just have to make the conscious decision, this is where I'm at and I'm moving forward.

Kelly Scanlon:

It's acceptance. How do you do that with purpose though? That's a little bit different.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Oh, yes. It's so fitting because with purpose, purpose is going to really allow you to say, "What have I learned? What lessons did I learn from that last season that I was in? What of those lessons that I learned, how can I use that knowledge? Because the lessons that we've learned is really knowledge. How could I use that knowledge to move forward in where I find myself at today currently? And what are the things that motivate me or move me or compel me or maybe sometimes there's the secrets to your purpose of what causes you to be anger with what you currently see, which will allow you to reveal the next level of your purpose. What is it? What can I bring to this current moment? Sure we're in a pandemic, but there's so many business owners.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

So many individuals that have found themselves starting new service lines, new products, because once they got into the, after the acceptance and then they said, what can I do? I have this knowledge from years of business or years of life, how can I use that and what is currently needed? What propels me? What speaks to me? What can I do? Let's just take example the people who are making face masks now. There're a lot of fashion folks and they've probably saw the first face mask and everyone was running scared to get face masks and they thought I can make this. So they took what was happening and saying, what can I do? They have a knowledge of that and then they took that same knowledge and that same purpose and cultivated it for what people need now from that standpoint. So I think we can all apply that kind of principle in our own walk and our own journey.

Kelly Scanlon:

I think it's interesting that you bring that up because I've talked to so many business owners throughout this pandemic and initially some of the actions that they took and they did it initially as a matter of survival.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Yes.

Kelly Scanlon:

But then as the pandemic has settled in and it's going on and on, not in every case, but in many cases, these entrepreneurs, these business owners are discovering why wasn't I doing this earlier?

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

You're so right. I've seen so many business owners create new systems and delivery methods in our own firm and the reason I hesitate, because I know that there are a lot of people who've passed away and that's very tragic and I don't want to make light of that. I know there are business owners that lost their business and so I know those are very serious matters and it is very sad to think about it, even writing for the city to see some of the buildings and the big restaurants that are no longer existing from that. So I want to acknowledge that, but certainly there are new businesses and there are business owners that figured out how to pivot and there's individuals that figured out how to become much more lean and to really analyze what really truly matters and you're so right on.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

I think a lot of things that we saw go into place from process, delivery methods, procedures that I will say are probably not going to go away. I don't necessarily even think we're going back to what we call the old world, because when you're exposed to something, you never can go completely back because you have a new set of knowledge, insight, direction too, that comes with you, and it causes you to be in a new place. We are all in a new place as a result of what's happened.

Kelly Scanlon:

And it's not just the businesses that have adapted or gotten used to the new way, consumers have too.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Consumers are going to want some things to stay that they've been exposed to and that's the wonderful thing because that's where purpose comes in too, because you're able to say, what is it that I feel like I need to challenge myself to do? What is it that I don't want to go back to doing? What solutions do I bring to my world, to people around me, to my company, to my family that I didn't before? That's what purpose is all about, it's awakening who you are and what you're called to do and so this is not all been a bad time, there's been some solid time to allow people to have faith, to disrupt the noise in some cases, and to stop that little thing called busy-ness, to be able to transform and say okay, what really truly matters most right now and align our lives and such?

Kelly Scanlon:

One of the things that you do talk about, and you have a new book out called Faithpreneur. One of the things that you do talk about is finding your purpose with integrity. What do you mean by that?

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

We've all heard the same, what we do behind closed doors is really who we are. Well, finding your purpose with integrity really means, what is it that you would do without the demands of what the trends are, without the demands are what people say you should be doing? What is it that moves you? And we have seen a lot of this in this country during the time where people have been able to come face to face with their self and have had to come face to face with their self to say, where do I stand on this issue? Where do I stand in this matter? Where do I stand with this political agenda or whatever may be coming from that?

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

We've had to all ask ourselves that, but we do that externally, but we very frequently do it internally and so I say you have to be true to yourself first to be able to serve others and what is it that matters to you? So that is another thing that I've seen come to light during this time is that people are really redefining what matters. They weren't true enough to themselves to take the necessary step, to do it. They were connected to what was good and unwilling to examine and take the next step to see if they could reach great and so that's what I mean by that.

Kelly Scanlon:

You're in such a unique position because on the one hand you have this book called Faithpreneurs and you're a motivational speaker and so you see what some people might call the soft side of life, but it's anything, but and then you have this tax and business solutions services where you're seeing a hard business decisions playing out every day. So you are doing a great job, I think of marrying the two, because if the two aren't congruent, there's never going to be success.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

That's so true Kelly. A lot of times we try to separate our worlds, what I would call our weekend from our Monday through Friday, but really we're all the same person. If we're not making the decisions based upon those same factors, then really who's the real you? So that's what that is all about is bridging the two, from Faithpreneur, it really is taking your morals, the things you stand for, that you're committed to, the things that you're not in alignment, you don't accept. You use those same strategies and tools and bars, if you will, to make your day-to-day decisions. If the morals are, if you're telling your children to do what's right and make sure everybody's winning, it's a win-win, well that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to not be profitable in your business through Monday to Friday.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Certainly you're being profitable, but you certainly should not be doing business where people walk away and they feel like, Whoa, I don't feel good about doing this with you. So those same principles should align the way you conduct yourself in your business and should be really what I call your gate keeper or your roadblocks to kind of help guide you in what you do. Does that align with who your core values are? You will find that everyone won't like you, there's always going to be somebody who doesn't prefer your company or prefer something else because you won't win everybody but what you will win are people who value the core of who you are and that's what matters.

Kelly Scanlon:

Let's talk a little bit about actions that we can take specifically, because you've talked about a lot of the questions for us to ask ourselves. However, a lot of times people do have the awareness and they do know they need to make a change and they are asking themselves questions, but to put it into practice takes it to a whole nother level. So can you give us some pointers on how we can actually make the change start to happen once you're aware you need to change?

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Yeah. Once you become aware that you need to change, then you have to begin to put things in place to help safeguard you and sometimes in the business world, we'll say staff your weaknesses, set your day up to help you win in those areas. Let's say, for example, that you're working, this is a long hours and you're like, I need to be productive still, but I also need to have better time management, then guard yourself with your calendar. If you have personnel that helps you with scheduling, make sure you give yourself blocks at time where you have time to have off time. Also, when this is a big thing and I used to do this years ago, when I first started my business and this pandemic allowed me to realize how far I had gotten away from this very thing, what I would call was working in the business versus on the business.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

I used to every Friday blackout time for me to work on at the business versus in the business. Working on the businesses where you find the aha's that reveal new streams, the aha's that will help you attach new customers and so I think that the practices that we want to look at are things that really help you to staff your weakness and it's okay to say, we have weaknesses. Everyone can't be good at everything. So we have to begin to have practices of surrounding ourselves with people who are stronger than us in certain areas, realizing that we're stronger than them in certain areas, so it's a partnership. Before the pandemic networking face-to-face, people were passing cards and all that, there's still a lot of great networking opportunities that you can take, but I call it now it's really relationship building that's happening versus just the mechanics of here's my card, here's your card and no one ever follows up it's relationship building time.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

So some of those practices of surrounding yourself with people that can help strengthen you and you can strengthen them are staffing yourself with practices or processes that help you to keep yourself in better alignment is key and then also accountability. If there's something that you really need assistance in making sure that you don't do or need to do more of get accountability partners or get accountability systems and programs. We live in the world of technology, there is an app for almost everything.

Kelly Scanlon:

Bring all this full circle, I'm very curious about your own journey. As we've talked about very briefly, you're an entrepreneur, you founded five-star tax and business solutions, it was a part time gig for a while. Now you have many employees, you've grown it into a full service business over the years and yet you've had an evolution in your own purpose. You've published a book called Faithpreneurs and you're a motivational speaker as well. So tell us about the journey.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Twenty-one years ago, I was working full-time for another company in their accounting department and this was just something I did as a hobby in the beginning, then it became something I did this part-time and then it has grown. But I will say this, that everything has evolved with being what I would say, open to change, open to relationship development, really allowing... you have to give yourself permission to be the next version of you. I have a saying that often say sometimes why speaking that people want to keep you where they met you and what I mean by that is if you met someone and they were a school teacher, let's say your school teacher from back in third grade, when you connect with her now, and you're grown, you're like, Oh, I Miss Meyer and you think of her as the third grade school teacher.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

But the reality is that Ms. Meyer could have done many things and that's not who she is but if you don't open your eyes and your knowledge to receive her, then you only get that part of her. So case in point the same thing with each one of us we have to do, we have to give ourself permission to be who we are in this new season. Every person, all the things that happen in our life, the happy things, the unexpected things, the good surprises, they all reveal another version of us and we have to give ourselves permission to that person. Then another thing I always like to say is that I don't move on, I move forward and so when I was a widow, people would say, he's just time to move on and I say, no-no.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

I'm never moving on from 23 years of marriage, I'm going to move forward with the 23 years of marriage that I experienced and take all of that with me moving forward. So I would say, that's what it's been, from doing segments on TV and no one could have ever told me that I would be doing some of the things that I am doing today. I would have a laugh back then because it doesn't even kind of align, if you think about it with the accountancy and then speaking and TV, it doesn't really align. So here again, giving yourself permission to lean into where you are and giving yourself permission to not fit in a box because for too long, I'd look at people and I'd be like, I'm not supposed to be doing this, I'm supposed to just do the numbers but I knew doing the numbers I enjoyed, but I like to ask the questions behind the numbers, who's in the company and that kind of thing.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

So I think that this journey has just evolved because of life and the way that life is turned and being true to yourself. Another thing that I love to say is be true to thy own self. So in being that, faith [inaudible 00:16:06] came about, because people would ask me all the time, how did you start your business? and I had to have this purpose with integrity conversation with myself. I would tell them the practical ways that an accountant should tell them, but I hadn't been saying, wait a minute, you know what? That's not the whole story. There was a lot prayer. There was a lot of fasting.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

There is a lot of other things that declarations and conflict. There's a lot of other things that you're not telling and if someone is asking, how did you start your business? I give them the five ways, a part of my life, but not the 10, then I'm not telling them the real truth. So that's how faith renewer came about, because I was like, let me tell them the real truth about what I did. Yes, I did what the MBA program told me to do but there is some things that I did from my faith side of my world that I also did to a lot. So then I find that once I did that, that people start wanting to hear about it and once again, I thought in the accounting world, if you called me out to talk to your business group about starting a business, wonderful, that to me was a commercial that may give me clients.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Then I discovered someone said, you could get paid to do this and I'm like, really? Now I could have stayed right there and said really, and just kept doing it the way I was doing it or said, really tell me more. So from that, tell me more, came a whole nother world of national speakers association and I jumped head first in that and eventually became the president, if that's not funny enough, of the local Kansas City Chapter. I'm now involved with the national level and I help train other individuals who want to become professional speakers and so I can really say, it's from giving yourself permission to evolve and evolving and asking those questions. If you find an interest in something that didn't interest you 10 years ago, that's okay. It's okay we should not be the same exact person that we were 10 years ago. If we are, we're not really living life, we're just letting life happen.

Kelly Scanlon:

And it sounds to me like it's not necessarily a clear switch that flips. It can be a longer, almost creeping kind of evolution that you gradually become more and more aware of to the point where you just can't ignore it anymore and it almost sounds like that's what it was in your case.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Absolutely and what you'll find also, you'll get uncomfortable and every time I have these little, that I call it the little uncomfortable season where it's something like almost announcing to me, it's time for a shift, it's time for change, it's time for a pivot. I can't explain why I'm uncomfortable, I'm like, I'm happy in this little warm and comfortable area and here comes something trying to force me to do something different. So that happens and then the other thing is, I'll say your circle is so important, the people you have around you, they will start to tell you, people will start to say, have you considered this? Have you thought about that? You be really good at this and if you don't embrace those statements and examine them by at least saying tell me why you think that? Why are you saying that? And then listen to them, you may miss some opportunities.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Be open is what I would tell individuals. You don't have to do everything, but do the things you get settled in that you enjoy and those things that sometimes people will try to push you to do or sometimes it's the, what I'll call trends will say, Oh, everyone's doing this. No, don't do that.

Kelly Scanlon:

There are things that can be distractions that you shouldn't pursue, but I think you answered it when you said, do I enjoy this? Is this going to help advance what my overall goal is? You talked earlier about having those guideposts, if you're weighing them against those, if these opportunities against those kinds of things and it's yes, well then you're in alignment and the ones that don't advance any of that. Well, it's not in alignment and your answer could be no.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

You're so right about those distractions because certainly in the business world, you could probably get positioned and proposition with something almost like every weekend. If you started chasing all those things, you would never get anything done. So we call it the shiny object syndrome, where you just start chasing shiny objects and so one thing that I did you talk about practical things is that when people present me with something and it sounds wonderful, and I'll say let me sit with it a week. I know that's not comfortable for sometimes when people... if they need a decision right now, well then my answer's probably going to be no, because I already have built in a process for me to let me sit with it and let me see if it sounds as warm and sexy as it did when you told me a week later. Now I'll tell you Kelly, that has safeguarded me from chasing a lot of shiny objects that sounded excited, that really were just what I call rabbit holes.

Kelly Scanlon:

If you were to leave our listeners with just one piece of advice today, what would you recommend?

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Oh wow. I would say embrace your now.

Kelly Scanlon:

What does that mean?

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Embracing your now is really understanding that we have one life to live and how you live this life is the legacy, is what you leave with your family, is what you live in your business. So embrace the now, don't put off things for later that really matter and don't say yes to things that are going to take your time, that do not matter. So embrace the now, one of the life lessons that I learned after, losing a spouse and going through the widow process and journey and then getting remarried, it really allowed me to know how life is very precious and can fade so very quickly. So I am grateful when I wake up and I think that we all really should look at that from the standpoint of the pandemic.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

When you think about the number of people that are no longer here and the mere fact that we are privileged to be having this conversation and those that are listening are privileged to be hearing you. We have all have the same gift and that is the gift of time. Embrace your now, make what you do matter and do the things that matter and the things that don't matter... somebody may be saying, well what doesn't matter as this job that I got that I don't really like, but I need to do it to pay rent. I understand that but embrace, take some time that you have to figure out how do I get to the next level of what does matter to me?

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

How can I move from that? Don't just stay there. What steps do I have to finally do? I'm embracing the fact that I don't like that job and Sunday night I'm screaming because I don't want to do it on Monday, well embrace this time and make a decision to change that. I'm not saying overnight, quit your job. No, I'm not telling you to do that, I am saying, take the steps necessary to put yourself in a position where you want to be. That would be my word.

Kelly Scanlon:

A lot of things to think about as a result of talking with you today, thank you so much for sharing your time with us and helping all of us to hear this message. It's one, that's very important.

Marquita Miller-Joshua:

Well thank you so very much, Kelly. It has been great to share, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity.

Joe Close:

This is Joe Close president of Country Club Bank. Thank you, Marquita for being our guest on this episode of Banking On KC, the pandemic has certainly led many people to question what they do and how they do it. In some cases that kind of introspection and self-examination leads to fresh starts, new opportunities for renewed commitment to change. What will you take with you to the new normal? What will you leave behind? Certainly in our own Kansas City community, we have seen a number of individuals, agencies and businesses change direction in the past year. They have moved forward in order to better themselves, better serve our city or to better position their businesses to survive and grow. As you move forward with purpose, you don't have to take the walk alone, Country Club Bank is here to talk with you about the changes you are considering and assist you with your new journey. Thanks for tuning in this week. We're banking on you Kansas City. Country Club Bank, member FDIC.