I am CEO

CEO and Accountant Empowers Communities Through Financial Literacy

Full Episode from I AM CEO Podcast - IAM2011

Financial literacy plays a crucial role in empowering individuals and building a strong community. Being knowledgeable about money management and understanding the significance of taxes, savings, and investments can pave the way for a bright future.

In this episode, we have Folasade Ayegubusi, the CEO and founder of an accounting firm, who has dedicated her life to educating and assisting individuals and businesses in achieving financial success.


Folasade's inspiring journey demonstrates the power of financial literacy in transforming lives and communities. Through her dedication to teaching financial skills, Folasade has empowered individuals to take control of their financial futures.

Her unique blend of personal experiences and professional expertise sets her apart as a CEO. As we reflect on Folasade's story, let us remember that financial literacy is not limited to a select few.

It is a tool that can be wielded by all, leading to a brighter and more prosperous future for  ourselves and our communities.

Website: accountingwithfolasade.com

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Full Interview:


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Folasade Ayegubusi Teaser 00:00

What he started to do was expose the different avenues that I can utilize to really help our community. And the common thread was taxes. All of us, regardless if we hate the IRS, Uncle Sam, or whatever the case may be, we all have to file a tax return at some, sometime. And so I've started to realize with their tax return, I can teach them about money.

I can teach them how to save. I can teach them how to invest. I can teach them on how to manage their money.

Intro 00:28

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of.

This is the I Am CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:55

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. And we have a very special guest on the show today. I have Folasade Ayegubusi. Folasade, excited to have you on the show.

Folasade Ayegubusi 01:04

Thank you so much for having me.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:06

Yes. Excited to have you on and hear about all the awesome things you're doing.

We're obviously live here at Intelligent Office, so we get a really fun treat to actually meet in person and do this interview incredibly grateful for. So I guess to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about you and your CEO story. We'll let you get started with all the awesome work you're doing.

Folasade Ayegubusi 01:22

Thank you so much again for having me. Yes, finally. Good. Nice to meet you in person. I feel like my story's a bit. Typical. Now, when I talk about it is because I have that typical group in the hood, underserved type of background, but it actually really was that. So my dad's Nigerian, my mom's black American and my dad's an accountant.

So I'm second generation. And so he was servicing clients and I would intern with him. And just the conversations was just totally different. Me and my mom would go and. standing in line to file her taxes via HNR blog. And I was like, Oh yeah, I'm getting five grand bag. I'm getting 5, 000. I'm going to do this.

They didn't get a refund. What is going on? You expected it. This is a totally different conversation. And so I really started to notice that, Oh my goodness, we were talking about getting money back refunds and being taken advantage of, and their community was talking about saying black. Black people talking about rental properties.

Oh, I own, but it's okay. I got to pay taxes anyway. Investments and stocks. The conversations was just totally different. And during that time, me and my mom was going through a lot of. financial issues. She ended up having to leave her government job. So at home I was struggling in the hood poor, barely can even eat.

And then I can see these people getting refunds or own 20, 30, 000. So that intrigued me. And then I was like, okay, you know what? The only way that I think my mom could have prevented us from being in this financial state is her by her being more financially literate and being more open to invest.

And things like that and having more of a savings fund, a safe fund, and just more financially sound. And so at that point I was 16, I had to end up walking away from Duke Ellington because we couldn't afford to maintain a lifestyle that I had to go to school. Yeah. And then I just shifted everything to just focus on accounting.

And from that point forward, I ended up saying, you know what, everything I learned from them, I'm going to bring back to the community. And then from there, I just spent an account and I've been like, since I was 17, didn't have the credentials there, but I knew I would, that was what I was going to do at that point.

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So that's like my background ever since then, I went and got my bachelor's in accounting, my master's in accounting and then my role agents license to represent clients against the IRS and things like that. And it's just been an exciting unpredictable journey and be honest.

Gresham Harkless 03:53

Yeah, I absolutely love that.

So I want to drill down a little bit more here, a little bit more on how you're working with your clients. Can you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like? And then how you're serving the client you're working with.

Folasade Ayegubusi 04:02

That's an amazing question. So what it looked like for me is that one thing I noticed. When I start most, I can't even take credit when God started to really develop and hone into my purpose.

What he started to do was expose the different avenues that I can utilize to really help our community. And the common thread was taxes. All of us, regardless if we hate IRS, Uncle Sam, or whatever the case may be, we all have to file a tax return at some, sometime. And so I've started to realize with their tax return, I can teach them about money.

I can teach them how to save. I can teach them how to invest. I can teach them on how to manage their money, how to have proper record keeping and organizational skills. And then also show them the pros of them having all of those skills and how it would then impact their future generations.

And so what he did was to show me that day, just through their W2, I can help them invest into their retirement account. Oh my goodness. Now, if they were to go and start a business, in addition to them having a retirement account, I can now have them. Direct them to have health insurance do the business so they can get right off of their own health insurance and then teach them how to hire their child.

So then the child, so it just started to just develop over time and so I use my client's tax returns as the foundation to really help them become financially literate.

But in addition to that, to help them build, and I hate to say it in this time that we're in, because the generational wealth has been used to scam people today, but I really used to attack returns to help them build generational wealth.

Gresham Harkless 05:33

Yeah, that's so powerful. And I love that you found like that.

Folasade Ayegubusi 05:36

It's the financial discipline that builds wealth. It's not really about the amount of money we make.

It's about the discipline behind it. So it Takes a person that has a nine to five to just sock away $50 a week and don't look at

it again. And then once you get comfortable with the 50, now do a hundred . But I don't believe in depriving yourself either. But if you know that, and men can do this so much better than women.

I'm sorry, you guys can literally. Sacrifice everything. Oh, I got 50, 000. Then I go, okay, did you eat? No, I barely ate and it's okay. All


A woman like, okay, it was a birth together. She didn't lost a hundred pounds. But it's just, we, that's how wealth is built. We've been lied to.

Gresham Harkless 06:17

Yeah. Yeah. And it's so powerful to, to know, I think there's this quote I hear all the time and business, but I feel like it translates to everything is they say, secret to the overnight.

Successes, it takes 10 or 15 years, and you don't hear that. That, especially in the social media world. Where everything's quick and everything's fast and everything's instant. You're on. And it doesn't really happen like that for success. So I love that. Again, obviously what you do, but I love the reason why you do and how that, helps to move those things and that needle forward.

Do you feel like that's. Part of what I would call like your secret sauce. The thing you feel says you're part of me.

Folasade Ayegubusi 06:47

Don't tell nobody. Yes. And that was actually amazing. Is that my story? I have been through so much. I've used to be a real estate agent. I used to be an insurance broker. I'm a mom and wife.

I just. I have so much experience. So, and then a businesswoman at that. So I tie in my whole life, my whole experience from every client, from everything and pull it together. So even if they know my secret sauce, they don't have the experience. So yes, that is part of the secret sauce, but it also involves me putting my personal experience involved behind it.

Gresham Harkless 07:21

Yeah, I love that.

Folasade Ayegubusi 07:22

It is so funny. You say that before we even go to the next. questions because when I started to build my firm online and it was just like every other accountant influencer ended up getting pushed and got backed by other platforms. And it just seemed like they were just able to launch this and do this.

And I had to like really take a step back and say they're not a wife. They're not a mom. They don't have this. They don't have this. Your lane is different. You have to focus on what God gave you. You will never be able to work as much as they do. And do you really want that as your lifestyle? Like in the end?

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So I think what sets me apart is that I realized that what people call crutches, I use that to my advantage because they can never talk about how to juggle it all because they never had to. They only had to juggle a business. You cannot compare it with me trying to juggle being a wife, a mom. My business, my employees, build assistance processes, tax season, you can't compare.

So me guiding someone else when compared to them will be a totally different strategy background and everything. So I learned to use everything that I've experienced in life, everything from my children, from every experience. And that makes us really, when we are at home and make us actually the best in you can't compare yourself to other people, but it makes you the best in your lane.

Gresham Harkless 08:40

Yeah, absolutely. And it's always about getting 1 percent better being better than you were yesterday. And if you can have that focus, I think it's incredibly powerful. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack.

So this could be like an app, it could be a book, or it could be a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Folasade Ayegubusi 08:59

I would say a little bit structured. I say me being structured. And it's levels to being structured. When you are one man, bang, your structure may be having sound systems and working on one service every particular day.

So like for example, when I was building my firm, I offer payroll book, the same services. But I was a one-man, man, so on Tuesdays I will work on bookkeeping Wednesdays. I know I had to process payroll, so payroll was Wednesdays, Thursdays will be my days where I call IRS and I've represented clients.

So me being able to really structure my life, structure business be structured and enjoy that discipline that it comes with. I think what's really my CEO hack, because without discipline, you can be swayed anyway, just like a leaf. And so for example, when I was building myself and going to my attending university I was always, I was a party monster at that time.

I was always swayed and tempted to, Oh, let's party at that time. I showed my discipline and my structure at that time, because I wouldn't party. I will go and, do my assignment, do my studies. And then the next day later, I will go. But that's the beauty of being structured and disciplined because you're not missing out.

You don't have that fear of missing out because you know that based on my lifestyle, based on my goals, I have to maintain this set of structure and I've been willingly happy and enjoyed that process. And I think that's why a lot of businesses crack because during that time of structure that we need to be most disciplined and most organize and most, we tend to not.

Oh, our friends are partying. We want to be with them. No, no, no. You're stuck. You have to be structured. So for example, I want to party, I want to go hang out and dance a little bit. I like to dance, but you drink and you're like, I can't wake up drunk on Monday. I have structure.

Be energized and be ready for the week. So I think me being able to sit comfortably in that structure and what I, and the reason why I'm saying discipline and all that, because that surrounds the structure without discipline, you can't maintain structure without focus. You can't maintain structure.

So I think me at being able to sit comfortably in my structure and is what really makes one of my CEO.

Gresham Harkless 11:07

I love that. CEO hack, just because I often will say like the systems will set you free. And those processes, systems of discipline will set you free.

What would you consider to be what I call a CEO nugget? This is a little bit more order wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your younger business self if you were to hop into a time machine or potentially your favorite client.

Folasade Ayegubusi 11:27

I'm just going to always use the saying that my mom and my sister told me, everything that you do today reflects your tomorrow.

So if you say you're CEO and you have to act like the CEO today, if you say you want to make a million dollars tomorrow, then that means you have to make million-dollar steps today. If you say that you want to be able to sleep in and be financially free. Three, three in three years, what you do today predicts that.

So everything that you guys want to achieve in the future is determined on what you actually do right now, why you're listening to us. So I think that's what, it's one of those things that if it's now building up our habits, routines, like everything involves. today. And that's where they're saying of living a moment because in business, you actually have to be in the moment.

You're on a sales call. You have to be high. It's philosophy. Some Chris, how are you? You can't be distracted with the kids and you're fumbling. So I think just being able to really be in that moment and it's just, it just gives me that Yeah,

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Gresham Harkless 12:35

it's powerful because I was thinking of it as a quote that Muhammad Ali has.

As you said, he said that I was the greatest before I became the greatest and he continued to repeat this stuff. And it also speaks to me like how powerful words are the things that you if you want to be a millionaire, if you want to be a billionaire, you want to put away. A lot of times you make the intention of doing you say you're gonna do it and then you end up doing it.

But if you don't step into that, then it's hard to, create those habits, create that system, that processes to do that.

So what would you consider to be your answer to my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO?

Our goal is to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Folasade, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Folasade Ayegubusi 13:12

I'm gonna just use a few words, the chief executive officer, executor, sorry, the chief executor officer, the chief responsibility officer I think the CEO is the person that sit there. First of all, it depends if they're the founder, then there was a visionary. Okay. But if they're not the founder and they're just the CEO.

But let's look at the person that's the founder and the CEO like us, right? They're the visionary they are the head and this is where like, when it comes down to marriage, they have the head they are the bridge between what they dream and their outcomes and the buck stops and starts with you.

And so I think the CEO is just a person that's willing to take full responsibility for the output, the input, and the results of their organization. And so, with me, for example, even if my team make a mistake, I still take full responsibility because that means I overlooked something. That means that didn't have a process in place.

That means I didn't convey my message clearly. I didn't have the steps or the documents that walk you through. So that leads back to why I say chief responsibility. So you have to take full responsibility. Most firms or businesses never get to the level that they want because the CEO didn't take responsibility for marketing.

If you can't direct it, we still have an issue. So they're the ones that determines the input, the output and the outcome of the organization.

Gresham Harkless 14:36

Yeah that's so powerful. I love that. Truly appreciate that.

Obviously appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic. So to speak, I wanted to hear a little bit more on just general text information, depending on when people are listening to this what should they be thinking about throughout the month? But I also know that you have a book as well, too, that I think has come out.

So we'd love to hear about like how we can get ahold of you. Get a copy of the book and all the awesome things you're working on.

Folasade Ayegubusi 14:57

Yeah. So I'm just so excited because like I said, God's timing is, it's, we're not in control. So I started writing my book audit proof about maybe two to three years ago and I'm always ahead of the wave and God always plants everything about, Hey, two years, one year, eight months ahead.

And I'm like, why, why I can't go about when I said it to you, he has this plan. So I started writing audit-proof about two years ago when President Biden came into office, because he originally had a goal to revamp the tax system in terms of acquiring more people trails about all of our finances.

If you want to work with me and you do end up purchasing the book, we are given 10 percent across the board. So if anyone wants to work with me, you want you to have your book copy, you get 10 percent off your services.

So that's one way. But just follow me on Instagram guys. And if you go to my link tree on my Instagram, all of my links are there. And then I have a lot of free resources as well. So for example, the IRS just did the ERC withdrawal process. The link is here right there for them to withdraw their application.

We have free worksheets. So just go to my follow me on Instagram and go to my link tree. There's a lot of resourceful information there.

Gresham Harkless 16:11

Truly appreciate all the awesome work you're doing. Appreciate the work that you do. Thank you so much for doing this.

Folasade Ayegubusi 16:16

No, thank you so much for having me.

Outro 16:18

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO Podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I Am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. This has been the I Am CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


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