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Deeper Weekend 2014

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Cliff Jumpers

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bryanI hear the term “lifestyle business” a lot these days.  It’s not uncommon for this to be, or become, the goal of many fellow Thrivealists. The name itself has a specific allure for those who could never achieve that mythical state of corporate nirvana: the fabled work-life balance.

Since the term has become so common, I wanted to explore what this looks like and how it compares to a previous lifestyle goal.

First, let’s define the term: “A lifestyle business is a business set up and run by its founders primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more; or to provide a foundation from which to enjoy a particular lifestyle.” (Wikipedia) Read more

Category:
Cliff Jumpers, CPA firm, Personal Growth
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bryanLife can be stressful for the small business owner; it comes with the territory.  So anything that can reduce that stress is more than welcome in my life.  Anyone who knows me well knows that one of my favorite things (in business) is annuity payments on seasonal work.

Seasonal businesses make most of their money during their peak season, and they can take on many forms: ski resorts, beach motels, landscaping, and yes, tax preparation. Read more

Category:
Cliff Jumpers, CPA firm
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0

bryanOne of the great things about owning your own business is getting to make every decision exactly how you want.  You are in charge of every aspect – how you work, when you work, what you work on.  You can even stock your favorite pens.  As some of my fellow Thrivealists like to say, “You are ridiculously in charge.”

At first glance, this sounds like every disenfranchised employee’s dream, but making decisions is the easy part.  Having to live with consequences of these decisions is completely different.  That’s when things get real.

Whether it’s the impact of hiring your first employee or choosing to work in a narrowly defined niche, you are no longer running the same business you were before that decision. You may even be losing sleep over these effects.  Once you hire someone, you’re in charge of making sure they get paid every single time. Once you narrow your focus, you’re going to see a lot less business come in. Read more

Category:
Cliff Jumpers, CPA firm
Comments:
1

bryanAs some of you may know, my Twitter handle is @openitemlist. This can elicit a knowing grin from people who have worked for, or with, CPA firms. (I believe there’s actually an episode of the Soul of Enterprise podcast where Ed Kless comments on the appropriateness of the name).

The name is both a specific reference, but also a metaphor.

At CPA firms across the country, the “open item list” is a to-do list of unfinished tasks for a specific client file. Every file will have one at some point; the universe tends not to hand you things tied up with a bow.

Thus at any given time a person working on multiple clients may have several open item lists going.  Sometimes it may feel like just about every client you’d like to get wrapped up has something outstanding. And as soon as you wrap one up, the next client comes along with an issue that requires research or a phone call.  We start to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day –trapped in an unending open item list. Read more

Category:
Cliff Jumpers, CPA firm
Comments:
2

bryanIt’s easy to get caught up in the adrenaline rush of running your own business. I’ve felt it coursing through my veins since my first post in January. It was even titled “Just Jump Already” – a call to action for those perched on the cliff in need of a push.

There are many benefits to owning your own business: control of your schedule, a sense of empowerment, and of course the excitement of building something from the ground up. In the podcast I co-host, I’ve even mentioned my newfound ability to enjoy daytime movie matinees. You really can’t beat having a theater to yourself; being able to drop everything and go do that is exciting. Read more

Category:
Cliff Jumpers
Comments:
3

bryanA couple years ago, I came across an article about the Japanese art of growing apples and it struck a chord with me. Shortly after reading it, I was driving down the highway and it hit me: there was a parallel between this process and what is necessary in running a business.

When you hear the term “pruning,” you might picture a sunny garden and a person gingerly tending to plants, but pruning is also something that every business must do – especially ones with repeat business. Read more

Category:
Cliff Jumpers, CPA firm
Comments:
3