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IAM1753 – CEO Relieves Millennial Business Owners of Their Financial and Tax Planning Burdens

Podcast interview with Cortlon Cofield

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In episode IAM188 of the I AM CEO podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Cortlon Cofield, the founder and CEO of Cofield Advisors, a company that helps millennial business owners by taking the burden of financial and tax planning off their shoulders. Cortlon discusses his journey as an entrepreneur and the importance of financial planning for businesses.

He talks about his unique approach to financial consulting, which involves personalized service and expertise to help clients save money on taxes and improve their bottom line. Cortlon also shares his CEO hacks and nuggets, which include reading the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and following a morning routine.
Additionally, he defines what being a CEO means to him, which involves taking ownership of what's important to you and giving it to the world.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into financial planning for businesses and the importance of personalized service in consulting.

Check out one of our favorite CEO Hack’s CEO Web Shop. Get your free audiobook and check out more of our favorite CEO Hacks HERE.

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Cortlon Cofield Teaser 00:00

I strive to just be a one-stop shop for everything. So my clients, we do their bookkeeping, we do their tax planning, their tax preparation. We also, are their investment advisor and their financial planner, all in one shop because as you can imagine, trying to play quarterback with those three or four different people could be a lot of time in a period of time, time consuming in itself.

But having all those people in the same house, doing the coordination themselves, just save you time and gives you comfortability.

Intro 00:28

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs, without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:53

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Or what I like to call the CB Nation architects, those that are looking to level up their organizations.

In this month, we are focusing on knowing thy numbers. I could hear the phrases from Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank. If you understand or don't understand exactly what numbers is, think finance, economics, accounting, capital, investment funding, bootstrapping, anything that's around numbers. We have to understand how important it is to know your numbers and how important that is for you to forecast, make decisions, and to be able to truly strategize around your business and do that successfully.

So things are gonna be a little bit different obviously, this month. So look for CEO hacks and CEO nuggets and interviews that focus around this. But more than everything else, make sure that you know your numbers because they're extremely important to the life of your business.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Cortlon Cofield of Cofield Advisors. Cofield is awesome to have you on the show.

Cortlon Cofield 02:18

Thanks, Gresh. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure.

Gresham Harkless 02:20

No problem. Super excited to have you on. What I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Cofield so you can hear a little bit more about him.

Cofield is the founder and CEO of Cofield Advisors. At Cofield Advisors, they help millennial business owners by taking the financial and tax planning burden off of their shoulders so that they could focus on growing their businesses.

Cofield, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Cortlon Cofield 02:41


[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:42

Awesome. Let's do it. So first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Cortlon Cofield 02:49

Oh yeah, great question. So, probably can start back from college. I went to the University of Illinois, had an undergraduate and master's degree there. Went straight into working in public accounting, then moved over to finance. What I noticed in both my public accounting career and my finance career is that my employee and supervisor kind of looked to me for personal finance advice and it really showed me the difference between business finances and personal finance knowledge, they do not correlate at all.

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I was the go-to person for all personal finance issues and topics at my places of employment. So that led me to look around and see was there anybody else that was serving, the clients, or my coworkers, which were millennials? I looked around the financial advising, the financial planning space, and I didn't see anyone serving millennials versus, older, wealthy people.

So I saw a key spot in the market that nobody was taking advantage of in June of 2017, I decided to leave my last employer and start my own financial planning firm, where I focus mostly on millennials.

Gresham Harkless 03:47

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Yeah, it is definitely forward thinking because millennials can be, I'm a millennial, so sometimes that could be like a curse word around some people, but we are starting to come of age and we're starting to be able to have purchasing power and be able to influence the world in a lot greater way.

But it's great to see that you were ahead of the curve, it sounds like because you saw an opportunity where it didn't sound like anybody else was fulfilling that gap.

Cortlon Cofield 04:06

Yeah, and I think the biggest misconception is that the oldest millennial was actually 38 years old. So it's not like we're just, these young, 20-year-old whipper snappers, always millennial are close to 40 and they have purchasing power, and more importantly, they have a lot of things going on in their life at one time, which can make their finances complicated.

Gresham Harkless 04:23

Yeah, absolutely. They probably need to lean on a professional like yourself to get that squared and cleared away. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about what you're doing to help serve these millennial clients. What types of things are you doing and what are some of your products and services?

Cortlon Cofield 04:35

Great question. So, At the beginning of 20 18, I reviewed my business and noticed that the majority of my clients were business owners. Cause as you can imagine, millennials are pushing the status quo of working for 40 years before retiring. So I actually niche my firm in only working with millennial business owners cause that is what I felt could provide the most value, and that's actually my favorite client.

To answer your question, I'm a CPA and a financial specialist with a tax planning and financial planning background. So we help our clients with everything from their personal finances. So budgeting, saving, and not a debt student loan repayment, mortgage, people buying their first home, plans for their kids, their 401k at their job, or if they had a previous employer. So that's what we do from a personal standpoint, but there's, from a business standpoint,

We also do business ratio reviews. Reviewing the income statement, helping them with tax planning, helping them set up their solo or self-employed retirement accounts. So as you can imagine, handling personal finances is tough. Imagine how to do that and handle business finances at the same time. So, we kind of help take the burden off our client's shoulders so they can focus on their businesses.

Gresham Harkless 05:38

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I love that aspect, especially because you're juggling so many things as a business owner and especially a millennial business owner at that, you want to be able to it sounds like help and find the help from an expert in somebody that's actually able to help you figure out all of those things and have you focus on what you do best.

Cortlon Cofield 05:54

Yeah, you said that perfectly because I think it gives them more time to focus on what they do best. As you may know, most small businesses fail within the first five years. I did some extensive research and a huge reason for that is due to the business owner not understanding their financial metrics, not understanding if their business is surviving or not understanding where they're spending too much money or whether they're not allocating enough money.

So, my goal was to help them succeed as well as give them the time to focus on what actually brings in revenue, right? You don't need to be a business owner that sells a product, but also be your own accountant. It's not that many hours in a day. So that's what we try to relieve the pressure from.

Gresham Harkless 06:31

Yeah, that makes sense. A lot of times I watch Shark Tank all the time and there are so many people that come up there and the biggest thing that they don't know is their numbers.

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And they always say, make sure that you know your numbers. So it's great to say, Hey, even if you're not as well as being an accountant for your business, in addition to what it is that you're doing, you can be somebody that they can call on

Cortlon Cofield 06:48

One hundred percent.

Gresham Harkless 06:49

Awesome, awesome, awesome. You might have touched on this, but I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. This is like your differentiator, what you feel sets you apart.

Cortlon Cofield 06:56

Yes. Yeah. So, I said we call it our unique selling proposition, any value proposition, and it's being a one-stop shop, right? Traditionally you have to go to a bookkeeper to help you with your bookkeeper. You have to go to your accountant to help you with your tax preparation, tax plan, then you have to go to your financial advisor to handle any of your investments and investment accounts like that.

So what I strive to do is just be a one-stop shop for everything. So my clients, we do their bookkeeping, we do their tax planning, their tax preparation. We also are their investment advisor and their financial planner, all in one shop because as you can imagine, trying to play quarterback with those three or four different people could be a lot of time consuming in itself. But having all those people in the same house do the coordination themselves to just save time and give you comfortability.

Gresham Harkless 07:42

Yeah, absolutely. As you mentioned especially when you're following your taxes, you need so many different pieces and they have to call on five different people to get all this information. You definitely have one roof or one person or one point person that you can contact in one organization.

So that definitely helps out. And as we mentioned, time is very valuable for everybody.

Cortlon Cofield 07:57

Yeah. It's the only thing you can't purchase.

Gresham Harkless 07:58

There you go. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Cortlon Cofield 08:09

Ooh. Okay. Let's start with the book. Just because without this book, I probably wouldn't have started my firm. So, of course, you've heard of it, but Rich Dad, poor Dad was just just a huge transformation book in my life by Robert Kiyosaki. What it did, having the college background that I had, again, I went to college for five years, and got two degrees. College teaches you to be employees, nothing wrong with that, the world needs employees.

Getting out of that state of mind is one of the hardest things to do. That book made it not so hard and really gave me the courage to take the leap of faith and take a chance on myself because if you think about it Gresham, I don't know if everybody thinks of it this way, but if you start a business and it fails, like the worst case scenario is you go back to work, which you're already doing. So it's pretty easy to see, but like at that moment it felt really nerve-wracking to leave and start my own business.

Gresham Harkless 09:01

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Yeah, I love that book. Rich Dad, poor Dad. Also the thing that I remember that he cemented home in the book is that it's not just, when you're in college, it's been ingrained in you since you were in elementary school and probably even before that on how to be a good employee.

Again, nothing wrong with that, but just understanding that there is another opportunity because a lot of times you don't see or hear that perspective.

Cortlon Cofield 09:23

Oh yeah. 100%. That just really was so profound. So anybody I meet, any kid I mentor, I just say read that book and we'll then let's talk about it  because if you change your mindset early enough, then starting your own business or just taking a chance on yourself won't be that tough.

Gresham Harkless 09:37

Yeah, absolutely. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or piece of advice or if you can hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Cortlon Cofield 09:47

Yeah, so this is probably one of the most profound things I've learned since being an entrepreneur, and that is winning, starting a morning routine, right? So there is a saying that goes, if you win the first hour of the day, you win the day. That simply means having a morning routine every single morning that gets you in the right mental, physical, and emotional mindset to take on the day in the best way possible.

And it's a research on this. Once I started doing this, like my life just completely shifted for the better. I became more productive. I got more things done. I always had a positive attitude every single day. So just coming up with a morning routine first hour of every single day is probably the most profound advice I've gotten as a business owner.

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Gresham Harkless 10:29

Yeah, and I absolutely love that advice. Because a lot of times, if you don't start and have a kind of focus on getting your day started the right way, it can quickly get away from you. You can start checking emails, getting on social media, and all of a sudden it's 12 o'clock, and half the day's already gone.

So making it a point to make sure to take care of that first hour, as you mentioned, I think is phenomenal advice.

Cortlon Cofield 10:49

Yeah. And the first thing that most people do is check their phone. That is literally the worst thing that you can do. When you start your morning, then you're dealing with everybody else's wants and everybody else pulling you from one direction and another direction, checking your email, checking your text message, checking Instagram.

So you can pull in so many directions. I said taking that first hour to me, I meditate for a bit, I pray, I listen to one or two motivational videos and I off the physical. So I stretch, and then by the time I open my email, and check my phone, I'm in such a good mindset and nothing knocked me off my group.

Gresham Harkless 11:18

Absolutely. I always say, if I try to vibrate higher at the very beginning of the day, then that helps out increasing the probability that I'll have a really great day. So I definitely, echo that.

Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, the definition of being a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote, CEOs on this show. So, Cofield,  what does being a CEO mean to you?

Cortlon Cofield 11:36

Being a CEO to me means taking ownership of what is important to you and giving it to the world. Most people start their businesses because they're passionate about something, right? And, that's great. But the ultimate thing that they're usually doing is providing, is trying to make the world a better place, whether it's your product or your service or whatever. I really think that being a CEO means that you took what's important to you and made it real.

The goal of that was to make the world a better place and that's my goal as an entrepreneur, CEO. I hope that everybody's goal is to find what you can do every day that you love to do and try to make the world a better place by doing that service or giving that product. So yeah.

Gresham Harkless 12:19

Absolutely. I love that definition largely because it also brings home the truth that no matter what place in the business or in the organization you are, you can do something to impact the world on a higher level.

So if you have that mentality, have that perspective, then you can really make a tremendous influence upon the world.

Cortlon Cofield 12:35

Yeah. Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 12:37

Awesome. Cofield, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and our listeners know, and then how best of course, they can get a hold of you.

Cortlon Cofield 12:47

Yeah. So actually just developed a course coming out tomorrow January 1st. So they can find that at It's completely free. It's just a way for me to give back to the community cause I had so many questions and I answered the same question so many times. I decided to make a course.

So, it's about just, personal finance of course, and to give away for free so that I could answer those questions and provide value to people who aren't necessarily my client, my title, or my specific niche client. That's the additional advice I love to give to the listeners.

Gresham Harkless 13:19

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And what we'll do is we'll have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow up with you. But obviously, I appreciate you for doing that and obviously creating content to help out people that want to know more and want to empower themselves as well too.

And of course, I appreciate the time that you took today and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Cortlon Cofield 13:36

All right, Gresh. Thanks for having me.

Outro 13:38

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at 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 iTunes, Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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