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I went because of Walt Disney. I heard he was inspired to create Disneyland because he was grossed out when he took his kids to some nasty carnivals. So I thought about what would gross me out in the accounting profession, and decided to go to Liberty Tax Service – the carneys of the accounting profession – for inspiration.
I arrived at Liberty Tax at 11:00 a.m. on Presidents’ Day. The open-concept office was austere: two small fake trees, white walls, fluorescent lights. The “waiting room” area had some toys for kids to both play with and contract hepatitis from. I assumed it was a temporary office. I was later told that it’s year-round. Read more
There’s always the initial excitement, and the expansive vision of new possibilities. Then reality sets in.
The key is to recognize it’s part of the process: One does not reach the “plateau of productivity” without walking through the “trough of disillusionment.” The trough is where the idea is purified, distilled, crystallized — stripped of its misconceptions, to see what truly lays inside. Read more
“You get what you tolerate.” Dr. Henry Cloud, author of Boundaries. When we are bombarded by the burdens of others, it is hard to say ‘no’ to their needs. And when we tolerate the impositions of others in areas that are not our responsibilities, we become a slave to meeting the needs of other people. When we say ‘yes’ to someone or something that is not our responsibility, then we are saying ‘no’ to someone or something else. Many are controlled by the needs of others and fail to ever get a glimpse of what they have said ‘no’ to.
In a Fast Company article, Why Productive People Have Empty Schedules, Warren Buffett said “You’ve gotta keep control of your time, and you can’t unless you say no. You can’t let people set your agenda in life.” Warren Buffett understood boundaries – the lines where your responsibility begins and where my responsibility ends. Read more
- We talked about how firms are currently experimenting. Challen Edwards of Holland Solutions LLC shared about how she’s invited selected customers to join in the exploration process by volunteering to try new things with her. And Zach Krogdahl shared how his firm beta tested some payroll changes among a select group of customers first, intentionally providing them an added level of attention and support, with a plan to rollout the changes to their customer base as a whole in phase two. Chad Davis of LiveCA shared how he drew inspiration from a MailChimp blog post for how numbers and information could be presented in new and impactful ways.
As a business owner, you have a lot going on. And maybe you are trying to please a lot of people AND keep the lights on. That’s a lot of pressure. These rights are basic and maybe a little obvious, but a reminder never hurt. Maybe the reminder will help you remember to take care of yourself.
The right to say no – You don’t have to serve people whose numbers on caller ID make you cringe. You have the right to say no to a lunch appointment “just to catch up.” You have the right to say no to offering services you hate. You can say no with class, but sometimes you need to just say no.
The right to be paid for the value you provide – Your customers want access to you. Sometimes they really do have a quick questions. (And sometimes they say they have a quick question that is anything but quick.) I am not suggesting you send a bill for every phone call. I am suggesting you price in a way that makes you less frustrated when you get those kinds of calls. And that you stop working for free. Is your client paying for a tax return? Then why are you also cleaning up their accounting for the whole year? Get paid for the value you are providing. Read more