Servant Leadership with Tami Patterson

This week on IAW’s podcast Unlimited HERizons our host and president, Megan Bozzuto, chatted with a member, Tami Patterson, about servant leadership and finding fulfillment. When Tami left her real estate position, she wanted to commit to a job that would put others first. Now a successful tax consultant, she serves her community and those who work for her. 

Tami’s journey is inspiring and motivating for anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Here are some pieces of wisdom she shared:

You Can’t Lead If You Don’t Serve

This phrase was said to Tami by her father, and at first, it was confusing. As an entrepreneur, she now understands the benefits of helping those who work for you. “When you serve others, they want to serve you back. It’s a symbiotic relationship. You both have to want to help each other because if they don’t succeed, I don’t succeed,” Tami explained. 

It Takes Time, Patients, and Little Miracles 

Starting a business with no backup plan or a safety net is scary. When Tami’s business ran out of money in the second year, she felt backed into a corner. She needed $5,000 quickly, and her brother lived too far for the wire transfer to happen on time. “No one would give me a loan because I was a woman with no experience with a new business,” said Tami. “They said, ‘oh, there are minority loans out there.’ No, there’s not. You have to have the backing of somebody with a lot of experience and money, or you’re not the right kind of minority because you don’t have money. So, starting out is really hard for women.” 

A little miracle happened for Tami. One of her receptionists brought a check written out by her grandfather. Tami never met the receptionist’s grandfather, but he knew she took care of his granddaughter and would be able to pay him back when tax season started. It was because of his generosity that she was able to pull her business out of the red. 

If We Don’t Laugh, We’ll Cry

Tami’s clients love coming to her because she makes the tax experience easy and fun. She often hears how people have never laughed so much doing their taxes before. “If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry,” says Tami. In her first year open, a client came to her because their truck was taken by the Franchise Tax Court. They brought her all their files, and together she organized and filled everything out so they could go to court. The client was able to take their truck home because of Tami’s help. Through laughter and positivity, she was able to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. 

Want to listen to Tami’s full story and get more advice? Listen to Unlimited HERizons updated weekly with different amazing professional women telling their stories. All IAW members can connect with Tami Patterson in the IAW Community!

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