We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiara Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was simple, “Am I really willing to dedicate 40+ hours to rich corporations but unwilling to put that same amount of time into developing my own business and creating generational wealth?” I come from a family of believers and hard workers. I owe it to myself and my family to take a chance on myself.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My name is Tiara Smith and I am a serial entrepreneur in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. I am a Tax Business Owner and Texas REALTOR®. I have been a business owner for about ten years in the tax industry where I have made it my mission to not only handle my clients’ tax and bookkeeping needs, but to also educate them on how to make better decisions financially. I joined my family’s tax business (Smith Tax & Insurance Agency) at the young age of 19, with the simple goal of producing more money to help me pay for my college education. In my first year, I may have earned $100 for the entire tax season. I could remember my mother pushing me to keep going, but also encouraging me to change my mindset. In any business you choose to pursue, you can’t do it for the money. You have to find purpose in your work and the money will follow. About 6 years in, I began to notice a drastic change in my clientele. People were not coming to me because I was a young college student or even because of my family’s name. They came to me because I applied myself and had become knowledgeable in the tax industry. My clients are left feeling like they have learned something from me. They felt better prepared for the next tax season whether they had dependents, small businesses, or were six figure earners. I love educating and empowering. This trust over time has even extended to financial coaching. Seeing my growth and determination , my mother decided to present co-ownership to me. 19- year old me would have never imagined I’d be a business owner under 30.
After years of working in this capacity, I felt like something was missing. I loved seeing the fruits of my labor grow within my tax business, but I knew I could be doing more. This time, I wanted to step outside of my family’s light and create my own avenue. I took months seeking something that would bring me fulfillment outside of Corporate America. I told myself “this next chapter in life is personal.” I had spent years working “jobs” that brought me little to no professional or personal growth. I was unhappy but terrified to leave the stability of a guaranteed income. After months of researching and networking with people within different industries, I developed an interest in Real Estate. I began to notice the lack of education surrounding Real Estate in minorities. Many people rent because they aren’t aware of the benefits, process, and resources available when purchasing. We lose “grandma’s home” in the family due to unpaid taxes or lack of knowledge. Generational wealth isn’t created early enough so at times we pass generational struggle instead. I have observed these things and I refuse to continue to just watch. In 6 short months, I obtained my Real Estate license. Before announcing myself as a Realtor, I spent another 3 months taking classes to further my education in the field. This was the birth of “Tiara Has The Key.” Real Estate is probably one of the hardest things I’ve pursued in life. The market is constantly changing, no two transactions are the same, you have to build your own clientele, and some months may not produce any income. In contrast, I absolutely love what I do. Seeing the look on a client’s face when a contract is executed or when I hand them their keys is priceless. To date, I have helped several families become homeowners, new professionals become renters, and families to relocate into the Dallas metroplex. I work with buyers, sellers, renters, and investors to accomplish all of their real estate goals.
If there is anything you should know about my brand and working with me, it’s that when you work with me, you become family. I am going to do all that I can to help you as your family should, but I am also going to hold you accountable to your goals. I’m going to make sure that I do all that I can to help you succeed. “Tiara Has The Key” refers to more than just your key to your new home. I have the key(s) to helping you achieving your goals through real estate and tax preparation. I have experienced so much professionally and personally that has molded me into the business woman I am today. I take none of these experiences lightly, and if my journey can help others, I am always happy to share.
I am most proud of my resilience in continuing to grow as an entrepreneur. Walking away from a guaranteed source of income, stable benefits, and paid time off was a major risk for me. I knew that there was a possibility that I could fail at any point. The bigger risk was doing all of this in the midst of a global pandemic. Throughout it all I remembered what I promised myself; “this next chapter in my life is personal.” Personal meaning I was going to take a chance on myself. I did just that. The reward has been so much greater than the risk. I’m meeting so many great people, I’ve earned more than I ever have working a W2 position, I no longer have to see a glass ceiling professionally, and the personal growth is unmeasured.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my bestfriend were visiting the city, I would absolutely have to take him to the Addison Improv for a few laughs. The celebrity line-up is always pretty good and the locals are very talented as well. From there, we would have to grab drinks at one of my favorite spots Sidecar Social or Yard House! I love supporting local black-owned businesses for lunch, brunch, and dinner, so we would have to visit Brunchaholics, Elaine’s, Da Munchies, or Crazy Brothers. A visit to Dallas is not truly a visit to Dallas without bar hopping in Deep Ellum. I love my live music from the locals and getting together for shots and good vibes with friends at places like Ebb & Flow or Bitter End.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am where I am in life strictly because of my immediate family and my faith. From a young age, I was always taught to go after whatever I wanted to pursue in life fearlessly. I watched my mother (LaTonya Smith) and late grandfather (Ray C. Smith) create a mark in the Pleasant Grove community through business ownership. I watched them break barriers in the insurance and tax industry. I can remember being so proud being able to represent my family’s businesses in the Martin Luther King parade each year. I have memories of working in the insurance office as a teen, hearing the meetings, seeing the interactions with the community, and working hard to keep my part time position there. My favorite memories would be the talks with my mother and grandfather. No matter where I was in life, I could always count on them to motivate me to strive for more. There is no greater feeling than to know that you have people who see potential and success in your future, even when you may not be able to see it for yourself yet.