Deeper Weekend 2014

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  • Adrian Simmons
    Adrian Simmons
  • Bryan Coleman
    Bryan Coleman
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    Greg Kyte
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  • Jason Blumer
    Jason Blumer
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    Jennifer Blumer
  • Scott Kregel
    Scott Kregel

bryanOnce you’ve leapt off the cliff, you have to adjust to the sensation of free fall. Like any good rollercoaster, the majority of the fear that you feel is in the moments leading up to that first huge plunge. After the drop, the feeling is exhilarating, but it’s all too easy to get lulled into a false sense of security.

I definitely felt a lot of excitement knowing that I was officially self-employed. All I wanted to do was go on the road show and share the news with everyone. I do think that this is a necessary first step. Part of any good marketing campaign is getting a buzz out there, but that’s not your only job. In fact, now you have EVERY job.

It can become very hard to keep your eye on the prize. Here are a few things that I learned in the first month of being on my own: Read more

Cliff Jumpers

REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBIt’s that time of year: time for Thriveal Laboratory’s list of 3 experiments to try in 2015.

Building on the idea that the phrase that will change your business’s future is, “I’d like to try an experiment. . .let’s see if this works,” we’d like to challenge you to identify one or two things you’ll try new this year.

And to jumpstart the process, we’ve put together 3 experiment suggestions for you. Choose ours, identify your own — whichever you do, the point is to identify an uncharted area you think has the greatest potential for your firm and to make a move. Read more


Greg Kyte 2On October 13, I wrote a blog post called “Without Risk, There is No Passion.” Melinda Guillemette left a very insightful comment that deserved its own post in response.


Greg – I’ve been thinking about this for a day or so. I know you’re right about the relationship between risk and passion, because I rappelled down an office building, scared the crap out of myself, and I would absolutely do it again.


Read more

Personal Growth

REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBThe first hypothesis tested by the Thriveal Laboratory is that “there will be multiple successful business models for accounting firms of the future.” This challenges the notion that all accounting firms are moving towards one new model.

To test this hypothesis, we gathered a team of six CPA firms, surveyed the current landscape, acquainted ourselves with a powerful business modeling tool, generated concept sparks in two ideation sessions, and prototyped six different accounting firm business models.

On December 17, the Lab released its results to the accounting profession in a live, 30-minute webinar and published them in its first Lab Report. You can watch the presentation in this video: Read more


Scott KregelSo, if any of you are like me, inspiration is a source of fuel and motivation. Leading a small firm is hard. Meeting the increasing needs of growing customers is challenging. Intentionally developing individual skills takes focus and precious time. And inspiring a group of smart people to work together toward a common goal is a lofty pursuit.


As we look to close another year and lean into the start of 2015, I found myself looking for an inspirational book to help shape my mind for the New Year ahead. I found Make Your Mark: The Creative’s Guide to Building a Business with Impact, published by Many of us have felt that tug in our hearts and minds that our businesses are more than a paycheck and a job. In fact, that kind of thinking alone is not even found in today’s creative businesses. We are driven by our commitment to our craftsmanship, beautiful service experiences, giving back and paying it forward. However, a commitment to all of those things can be lost without the attention to creating a sustainable business. A sustainable business is one that pays attention to execution, distribution, packaging, marketing, messaging, strategy, and leadership. A sustainable business is one that acts out its inspiration. Read more

Book Review
Jason BlumerThe firm of the future does not exist. Never has, never will. As my colleague Adrian Simmons says, there will be “firms of the futures.” Amen. There currently are, and will be in the future, many different types of firms doing many different things, led by many different leaders. There is no ‘right way’ when building an enterprise. Let’s stop searching for what does not exist. Building this elusive future firm keeps us focused on each other, a mistake that is beginning to become obvious to a new generation of accountants. We focus on ourselves by:

-surveying each other (the results are not changing us),
-benchmarking against one another’s business models (copying leads to mediocrity),
-moving to the cloud (the never-ending distraction),
-merging and acquiring each other (we’re still the same, just bigger), and
-eking out the never-ending efficiencies within our processes (but wealth creation is decidedly inefficient)

In my opinion, our profession is not headed towards changing our customers’ lives. We are only staying the same, just at a faster pace than before. Has our profession changed or created anything new in the past 25 years? We are a fearful bunch, and the state of my beloved profession is starting to worry me. We are even still teaching the accountants of the future the same way I was taught in the early 90s. I’m scared for us, and this has got to stop. We must become business strategists, enterprise builders, life changers, and lovers of people. We can become these things, but we must first learn what it means to build, run, and lead a real enterprise.

Read more

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