Deeper Weekend 2014

Posts Categorized:

CPA firm

Choose your favorite writer

  • Greg Kyte
    Greg Kyte
  • Jason Blumer
    Jason Blumer
  • Jon Lokhorst
    Jon Lokhorst
  • Melinda Guillemette
    Melinda Guillemette
  • Toni Cameron


We have been learning so much about conversations, how to construct those, how to have those. So this is a two-part series I want to do on conversations in service-based companies. If you need help with this, you can email us at [email protected] We have a lot of programs and coaching we do to help people understand these things.

But in this first part, I want to talk about a numbered alert system. Just knowing where you are in a conversation is really helpful, so what we’re building right now is a one, two, three, four, five-numbered alert system about our conversation. The conversations in service-based companies are so murky, and you don’t often know where the other person is or where you are, or you’re making assumptions all the time based upon our past or experience that you just don’t know where you stand.

We’re trying to come up with a system that allows somebody to go, “Hey, we’re at a level-three conversation,” and that means a certain thing. As a firm, we’re creating and publishing what this alert system is. What does one mean and two, three, four? What does five mean as far as the conversation alert system? Five would be the worst. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, we’re blowing up. It’s emotional and everybody’s off at each other.” If people go, “Hey, I’m walking into a conversation number five,” everybody can know what that means, and we can come and support that person. So just a numbered system. We’re trying to come up with better ways to make our conversations more defined, more understanding.

What it’s going to do is just help us all stay on the same page. When we do that, we’re more clear and we can do our work better to serve our clients and make more money efficiently. This is part one about a conversation alert system, just defining what would it mean if you could tell somebody you were at a level-three conversation or four or five. We’re using a range between one and five, and we want to teach this to our team to help them understand. They could call out a number. We can all agree what number we’re on.
It sounds like an odd thing to try to define what conversation number you’re on, but conversations get off the rails so often, or people misunderstand each other asynchronously or over email or Slack or speaking. We just want a way to define our conversation so we can move forward and be successful.
Let us know if you need help, [email protected] We’ll see you.

As professionals we are renowned for the things we know. In fact, that’s what we sell – our expertise and experience. Professionals get smarter over time, and they eventually get to claim expertise status! And the clients are better off for it too. They get the wealth of information from our brains, can ask us anything, and we’ll help them. We as professional entrepreneurs truly can help our clients. Read more


Did you know that Thriveal is a community? You probably knew that. Thriveal has been building community for over a decade. That’s a long time. And it was wild to see 2020, that was the year of community building. Now that’s something Julie and I watch. We watch communities that are being built. We’re interested in what people think about community. So our antenna are up about watching for community. And I don’t know if you knew it, but the year of 2020 was a lot of people joining a lot of communities. And we saw people joining free communities, centering just in small groups around various topics. All kinds of communities were being built in 2020.

Well, Thriveal’s been on that journey for over a decade. It doesn’t mean we’re the best community in the world, but we have an interest and some thoughts and opinions about community building. And one thing about our community is that it is not a free community. We are not free. And what that means is there is a barrier to get in, and we recognize the value of that barrier. In fact, when we put a price on a community, we’re saying, “Our community is of such value, you do need to pay to get in.” And that means we’re not right for everybody. Some people are like, “I don’t know that. I don’t believe you.” Or, “I don’t need to pay for a free community,” and that’s fine. But by putting a price on a community, we are really making a statement about what we believe our value is. And we believe the Thriveal community is very strong. Julie and I love to lead this community. Jon Lokhorst, our coach, loves to lead this community. Our team, Mariela, Amy, Lauren, all these people involved in seeing the mission and efforts of Thriveal move forward, we all care about this community, and we’re devoted to the value of these people and the education that they get.

And then of course, Julie and I are always in tune to building, writing, creating new educational programs for accounting firm entrepreneurs. So it’s a big deal. That’s why we put a price on it. Because we believe there’s so much internal. We’re even having some … We do classes on a quarterly basis for our members to teach them and engage them. So we really think there’s a lot of value, and a price is our statement to the world. Hey, if you want to come in here, we’re valuable. It doesn’t mean you’ll agree, it just means it’s what we believe is true. So that’s one thing about our community, it is valuable. That’s why it has a price. Which it doesn’t mean free communities don’t have value. That’s not what we’re saying. We’re just saying ours is so deeply defined with value, we have to price the community for people to join. So that’s a really differentiator for communities, and we’ve been doing that for years.

Another thing is that our community is centered around education. Thriveal is centered around really a language. If you come into Thriveal, you have to seep and soak in a lot of the community conversations, because you’ll learn a lot of people are speaking a certain language. And it’s not necessarily that we plan that, it’s that we teach certain things in Thriveal. We teach methodologies, we teach ways to operate and work and grow your firm. And so a lot of people come through our programs, the Incubator, the Future Firm Groups, Deeper Weekend, and then they come into this community having known really some of the beliefs we have about how do you run firms in effective and efficient and profitable ways. And so you’ll find this language.

So our community, when you’re invited into our community, it’s centered around a common sense of learning. There’s some kind of sense of we all understand the same things we’re talking about. And man, that drives such a tribal language and knowledge through the community. People really start to get embedded into how they can challenge each other better. It becomes more of an intimate community where they’re speaking to each other in a language that we all truly understand. And it’s all because we center the community around some education and learning. And so that’s a really important part of what our community is all about.

Now, if it’s centered around some community learning and education, it makes Julie and I are deeply embedded in teaching this community. We think about it, we read, we write, we research. Learning and teaching, we put graphs together. We build tests and assessments and curriculum, all these things. That’s what Julie and I do for a living is build these things to teach and help firm entrepreneurs grow. And so all of the community is centered around this learning.

So that’s just a couple of things around a community as we’re looking back at 2020, and we see all that this year brought, community was a huge part of this year. And so we wanted to give a little refresher as to why we’re different and why it’s valuable. So we put a price on it. In how this language is adopted in this community, centered around a lot of learning and methodologies and teaching. So we welcome you to think about coming into our community. A lot of people are coming in to be led and to grow and to understand that being with Thriveal members, just having them wash their thoughts and ideas over you, is what makes you a better firm owner. So we welcome you to our community in 2021 if we’re right for you, and if you believe some of these core principles of our community. We want to help you grow too, and we want to care for you, and we want to be with you in 2021, because we have a lot of care and learning and hope to give, and we hope you’ll come join us if you need those things.

So, thanks so much. Hope you had a good 2020. Here’s to a better 2021. Take care. We’ll see you.


Jason Blumer here, and I wanted to quickly talk about the benefits of writing. As we head into 2021, I just want to point out all the benefits I gained from writing. So I have a whole day set aside for writing and content creation. We do a lot of writing and webinar creation with our partners, our sponsor partners. We do a lot of writing and video creation for our firm.

And having to be forced into a place to produce content, what it really does for me, personally, is it really helps me think through a lot of the things I’m learning and growing in. And I’ve been doing it for years. And it’s something I never realized, but when I want to write something or create something like, if you’ve come to any of my webinars, I take time to research those thoughts in my head. And I have a notebook where I journal my ideas about new webinars and content I want to create.

There’s a process I go through. Things start coming up in my head. Then I get my notebook out and I journal these ideas down. And then I form them into a webinar. Well, what this does for me is it really solidifies my thinking and understanding about the things I’m writing about or creating webinars about. So if you read anything I’ve written, or if you see any webinars I’ve done, there was a process behind that, a pretty intensive process for me to understand those things. I had to learn them myself first.

And so when you produce content for yourself, you are going to grow and learn so much more than when you’re not outputting a lot of your thoughts and ideas. So as people, we’re not meant to be only consumers. So if we consume information, that’s good. We’re meant to output that information too. And it makes us better people. And it makes us smarter people because we learn more about the things we’re thinking about when we output them in an organized way. It forces us to organize them. And by doing that, we understand it better.

So the value of writing is just huge. And I wanted to say that out loud, how we do that and the value it’s been to me personally. I hope you can commit to some writing and creating videos in 2021. It’s going to make you a better professional. It’s going to make you smarter too, because already you have those smarts in your head. Just organizing those will allow you to speak about those in more concrete terms and really deliver education in a different way than most professionals can. Hope that helps. Happy 2021.


Pricing is simple. I’m going to explain what I mean. A lot of firm owners focus on pricing as something they’re always trying to learn, but pricing is a simple concept, yet it’s a hard competency, and there’s a difference between concept and competency. So a concept, conceptualizing something, is very simple. Pricing is simply giving somebody a price for the thing you agree to do for them before you start that work. That’s really all it is. It is a simple concept. And a concept is something you seek to understand. So it’s a simple concept to understand, yet it’s a hard competency. So what is a competency? It is something you learn over time. You get better at, that you’re not good at the first time you do it, and it continues to grow on you and you continue to learn how to play it out into your firm and things like that. So just keep that in mind.

I’m doing a lot of work and teaching on pricing right now. I just wanted to point that out, that people struggle with pricing so much. And I think one of the things that they need to stop struggling with is the concept of pricing. Walk into it and really start giving people a price for your services. Give them a price. Let it be wrong. You don’t have to do it well at first. The competency will come and the competency is more difficult. It is harder. That is the practice and the outworking of pricing over and over. So just keep in mind the conceptualizing idea of understanding something, pricing, can be simple, while the competency, the working out, the doing, the practicing, the getting better at, that can be more difficult. And that is true with pricing. It is a competency you do need to practice to get better out.

If you need help with any of that, we have programs, Incubator. We teach. We coach different things and different firms around pricing. Just reach out, [email protected], and we’ll be glad to help you. Thanks so much for watching. We’ll see you.


Your perception of reality is different than actual reality. And that’s what we do as humans. And you can think about something you went through in the past, a great experience or hard experience. And as you describe it now, and it happened in the past, some of the facts are going to change a little bit. When we get into a world like that, where we can’t see through and understand our reality and the perceptions, that’s when we have counselors and therapists and coaches. They help us cut through and look at reality because reality is when you’re going to make changes in your life when you actually know the truth. But as humans, our perception is always different. And we can often see this in how we do time sheets. That’s one example, it’s one really minute specific example.

If you do a time sheet for a week, you can look back on your week and you don’t remember. So you put down some reality into a time sheet software, and it’s probably not an accurate reflection of the reality. So your perception of it in that moment is not really real. So think about the future. So when you get to look into the future, knowing that the perception of reality is not always the reality, you get to be creative and first of all, try to scope out what you want that future to be. And you get to create the reality in advance, so to speak so that you don’t have to worry about your perceptions being wrong. You can roll into a reality you’ve already created. That’s really what owning your future is all about. But if you look backwards, you’re always seeing that they’re never matching up.

And that’s true. So when you pass through time, the past is always going to be different than you thought it was. But it’s really important to get to the reality of what your life is about. So the future, owning that future and designing and creating that future first, that reality that you can walk into is really going to give you a better perception of reality. And these are things that are just really important for entrepreneurs to understand that the perceptions of what you think happened in the past or how you think your week went, or how you think you worked this week. Did you work efficiently? Well, you probably didn’t work as efficiently as you thought you did, just because your perception of what happened in the past is really not a reflection of reality and it needs to be.

So one thing we do with our team and with people we consult with other firms is to help them kind of bring those realities and perceptions closer together, because the reality is where the transformation is going to take place. And if you need help or you’re wondering, or you’re confused, you’re living in chaos, you don’t understand what’s going on or how to make your way forward. It’s because you’re bumping in probably to some perceptions of reality not being accurate. So just want to say, if you need help with that, let us know. We’re here to coach you through that at [email protected] Thanks for watching. We’ll see you