The Golden Screw: Milikowsky Tax Law Storytelling
At Digital Storyteller, we believe storytelling is absolutely essential to the success of your business. But of course, you already knew that (we mean, the word ‘storyteller’ is in our name for goodness sake…)
But anyway, storytelling is key. Today, we’d like to share a story from our rockstar client, John Milikowsky, Founder of Milikowsky Tax Law.
It’s the origin story of his business, the inspiration for his logo (check it out here!), and how his skill set makes him a fantastic tax lawyer. Let’s dive in.
“I’d like to set the scene… Come back in time with me, if you will.
It’s 1987 and I’m 10 years old. I’m sitting in a windowless supply room in the back of my
parents’ lighting store on a stool and in front of me is an oil barrel filled with screws. Machine
screws, wood screws, drywall screws, Phillips screws, and… you get the idea… a lot of screws.
And my task, set out for me by my father is to sort these screws into containers.
So many questions fly through my mind… why am I in the back storeroom when my sister gets
to be out on the floor of the store, actually TALKING to people, doing something useful and fun?
Who is the Machiavellian monster who has indiscriminately put screws from every facet of
construction just WILLY NILLY in an oil barrel?! Why does this oil barrel live in the storeroom of
my parents’ lighting store…
In that entire summer, I never made more than an inch’s worth of progress in sorting those
But sometime in the middle of that summer, I realized I had a choice to make… I was at a
crossroads. I could be furious, resentful… victimized by the mundane monotonous task set in
front of me… or, I could do it well and fast. I could be the best at screw sorting…
It’s possible that hindsight has put that perspective on my young experience…
But certainly, as I navigated my first few years of audits with my Tax Law clients, as they handed
me THEIR metaphorical oil-barrels filled with numbers… profit and loss statements for 3, 4 5
years, receipts faded with time and transactions whose recipients had long gone out of
business, I came to appreciate that summer of sorting. That training in detail work, that
patience for sifting through the most minute details.
I discovered that my passion was for the detective work it took to uncover the one piece of
information that made all the rest of a company’s business narrative fall into place. I realized it
was like finding a needle in a haystack, a diamond in ice… a golden screw… And that through
that kind of attention to detail, I could help people in their moments of crisis, at their crossroads.
Through diligence, expertise, and attention to detail, I can help save people’s businesses,
their families, and often, their sense of humor.”