Deeper Weekend 2014

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Do you ever consider risk versus reward assessments? That’s a strategy and a skill that firm owners have to adopt. They have to figure out if they’re growing a services based company, they have to do risk versus reward. And a lot of firm entrepreneurs actually operate their business on their gut. They just like make gut calls about things to do in the future. And that works for a little while, but when you get bigger and you have more people and you have more clients and there’s more things to care for, your growth has to become more methodical. It has to become more strategic and strategic just means intentional about the future. And so a risk versus reward is something you do when you’re considering something big. We were coaching with somebody not long ago about adding a partner and that’s a risk versus reward assessment you do. And you don’t just add a partner. You have to think a lot about the implications of that.

So let’s just define a risk real quick, and we’ve kind of talked a lot about risks on videos before. But a risk is basically committing some money or time or resources right now in the present for some hope of a future outcome. Typically, some return on the future and that return could be more time, more money, more growth, more clients, whatever it is you’re trying to make a current bet is what you’re doing. A risk is a bet on the future. And so you can’t make poor bets and keep failing and actually grow. It’s going to hurt you. So you have to become more methodical when your bets become bigger. And your bets, by definition become bigger, when you have more people that are relying on you, and there’s a lot more that can go wrong.

So what you have to do is go, all right, I used to make decisions and make risk calls just with my gut when I was a smaller firm. But now that I’m bigger, you don’t get to do that anymore. You don’t have the freedom to do it. So you have to prepare some data. That’s what you need. And then you go through a process of assessment from that data, which is a lot of sticky pad paper. It’s talking about the pros and cons. What happens if we do, do it? And assigning probability percentages to what if it doesn’t work? What’s the probability that this won’t work? 60%? 30%? 90%? Those things are part of it. And then you have to assess the third step. Do you want what that means? So what if it does work? Or what if it doesn’t work? Do you want what it means to either succeed or fail in that risk you’re trying to take? And then the fourth phase is to make a commitment. Do it. You have to expend resources, expend time, move forward.

And sometimes you can do this assessment, risk versus reward assessment. You can do it pretty quickly, but at first it takes time to learn this methodology. And it’s so intentional. We have a whole module that my partner and I teach in our Thriveal Incubator Series. It’s such an important thing to help you grow your firm and we just wanted to throw that out there. If you need help, hit us up at [email protected], and we’ll be glad to help you figure out if that assessment is right for you. Take care.

The Strategy of the Future from Thriveal CPA Network on Vimeo.


You know what, when you’re managing your entrepreneurial endeavors, you manage those in the future, not now. I think When a lot of people talk about time management, capacity management, I think they’re trying to manage their present. And the present is happening, it’s moving along with you, you’re rolling through the present. If you want to do any management, if you want to be strategic; what you want to do is look into the future, and manage your future. So that, when you’re walking towards your future, you’re actually going to walk into a planned, very strategic place.

As humans, we’re very chaotic, we’re very curious, we’re very creative; so, we always want to do a whole bunch of stuff. So, if we’re living in the now, you’ve heard people say that, stop living in the now, when you’re living in the now, you’re typically not being strategic. So, to live in the future is looking into the future, and planning it before it comes. So, you’re always going to be more strategic when you look into the future and plan it; and then, walk into a plan that you’ve already managed or controlled, you’re going to be a lot more successful.

And when you’re doing that, what you’re doing is becoming responsible. You’re becoming more responsible for the future that you’ve been entrusted to as a steward. And, responsible people are successful people. So, I just wanted to give a heads up on the future, and now. And now, it’s not the place to be strategic. Now is the thing you’re living through. Hopefully you’re now, is living through a planned future, that you had previously created. So, let me say that again. You want to look ahead, plan your future, and then walk into that plan; so that every now you’re living in, is some plan, you actually strategically put in place.
It’s going to make you more successful. Because, when you’re looking ahead and you’re planning things, you’re going to be creating all kinds of creative places, you’re going to make things that are better than you can just make on the fly, in the now. So, the strategy of the future is where you do great things; and then you just live through them, and just kill it, and become more responsible. So, I hope that’s clear on the now and the future, and where you can be successful, and more strategic. Thanks so much. We’ll see you.


We have this great member in our Thriveal community and he’s had such an amazing journey through his career. And he was celebrating in the community about making partnership with a strategic strong firm that he’s been at for a while. And we all celebrated together in our community, which is really cool, with him since we know him, and that it just made an important impact and point to me that what we need more than anything right now is community to celebrate with us and to go through our hardships together.

And so Thriveal is here as a community to let people know that we are here to help them go through their ups and downs. And we’re all going through ups and downs right now. So if you’re not part of a community, we want to welcome you to the Thriveal entrepreneurial community and let you know that we want to celebrate with you the wins that you’re having and the struggles that you’re going through. And we want to help ease those edges of those struggles, so we want to welcome you to a community. And we all need a community right now to be going through that. So just wanted to let you know, the Thriveal community is here for you to celebrate with you those ups and downs. We all need to be together, so you’re welcome here.

Just like everything in an entrepreneur’s life, there is a lot of strategy to the choices we make. In fact, this is a human proverb: your daily choices are the cause of your eternal successes. An entrepreneur’s life is not magic. It is hard work, and few put in the work to plan to make the right choices that lead to success.

This wisdom is equally true when you choose to do something as mundane as read a book.

I’ve always been troubled by the oft-purported claim: ‘CEOs read on average 4 – 5 books every month.’ This has always seemed like a distraction. It’s a distraction from the purpose of a book and why we choose to read books, or choose not to read books. Let’s be honest, there are few good books to read. So I did some research on this claim and found a great article on the claim that CEOs read 4 – 5 books every month. Turns out this claim is an urban myth, and Jeremey Donovan explains why.

Read more


Our firm just had a great team retreat. It was supposed to be in person, but COVID meant we had to pivot that to a virtual retreat and that’s fine. It turned out being pretty awesome. And one thing that was proven that we knew walking into was we prepared a whole agenda of some teaching from me and my partner, but some teaching from our team, and then collaborative practice where all these communities come together. All the people in the community come together through collaboration and the wisdom they produced together is amazing. So anytime you’re leading an event, anytime you’re bringing a community together, limit some of your teaching, push people together, push them in groups, push them in community. The things they will learn together is mind blowing because they’re just as smart and as wise as any speaker. They have history, they have abilities.

And when you push people together, that event becomes stronger, better, wiser. You get more information out of it. People are more bought in. It’s just a beautiful time together when the leaders of an event or a company step back and let their team lead because the team is also amazing. So that’s just a hint we knew going in, and it turned out even better than we thought. It’s just amazing what our team can do. Their brilliance, their thought, their care, their love for one another. And it just drove all of that even deeper. So virtual team retreats, push your team together in those. Do breakout rooms and zoom, or however you do that, and you’ll see some amazing things happen. So thanks so much. Take care.


We didn’t plan on the pandemic wrecking our team retreat. So we’ve been virtual for almost a decade. And this year, we were supposed to have all of our team fly in for a few days of a team retreat, where we serve each other, care for one another. And some people, we just haven’t met in person yet. And we miss our team. We’re with them every day and the pandemic blew that up. So what we’ve been doing is pivoting not only services and things that everybody else is doing, but we’re pivoting a team retreat. So we’re turning it into a virtual team retreat, but we’re trying to bring as many aspects of the intimate part of being in person to the virtual part of it as well. And just a couple of things we’ve done is we got our team involved. Our leadership team started leading their own teams to build out certain parts of it.

So our team is going to lead parts of the team retreat. It’s not just my partner and I. And then also, everybody’s leaving their homes. They’re still leaving. And those that can, and that it’s safe and feel comfortable, they’re going to some hotels, so they can virtually still feel like they’re away and it’s different. So these are some of the things we’re changing and it’s coming up soon. And we’re really excited to teach our team new things, to hear parts of our team teach things that none of our team know we do, like the marketing processes. We’re going to teach our team how all that happens. We’re so excited. But even though the pandemic blows things up, you can still pivot and make things special. It’s just going to be different. So there’s some sense of us embracing.

It’s not going to be what we thought it was, it’s going to be different. But in that can also come things we don’t anticipate. So our team has just stepped up and they’re leading their own teams to build such amazing things. And we’re so excited about how we can serve each other. And we’ll do some updates to let you know how our virtual team retreat is going as we’ve pivoted from a live team retreat. So those are just some things we’re working through and some thoughts on how we’re pivoting that. So let us know how you’re pivoting the things in your firm too, because this is a tough time for everybody. We’ll see you.

COVID-19, CPA firm, Leadership