Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

I Am Trying To……. Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend

I always try to make you feel better on the weekend… to make you smile or to provide something unusual, interesting or humorous.

This Saturday morning, I’m trying to lighten-up myself. I am traveling home from a great two days with a client at a beautiful location in Florida.

When I fly from Dayton to Florida, it often means I must go through Atlanta. Just saying that much probably helps you understand my state of mind!

Anyway, I try to look at the everyday hassles with air travel as amusing or often unbelievable. Here are some random thoughts, that I definitely do not verbalize! Maybe they will make you smile.

Many airlines offer you an expedited option for an additional fee. Pay $10 extra dollars for each flight and get priority seating via Zone 1. Ha! – - Nearly every passenger is in Zone 1 – it’s like a stampede.

Southwest has the best boarding procedure. Years ago when I experienced it I thought it was confusing. It is really very efficient and eliminates all the jockeying for position.  I love it now. Working with firm operations, efficiency is so important to me.

I prefer an aisle seat…… but it is dangerous. People boarding hit you with backpacks, large purses, hard briefcases. I am experienced so I know never to expose an elbow or shoulder when the flight attendants are quickly moving the carts down the aisle.

When you are seated on the aisle and a person takes a seat next to the window, leaving an empty seat in the middle, you just hope and pray that the huge guy coming down the aisle does not have that middle seat!

Well know fact, men take up more space than most women. They sit down, legs spread fairly far apart, unfold the newspaper with elbows sticking out both ways. The woman next to them is making herself as small as possible.

Then, there are the significantly over-weight individuals. Airlines are making seating space smaller so they can haul more passengers while the general population is getting larger and larger. What kind of sense does that make?  I assume they want to then sell the larger people 2 seats?

Okay…. I vented. What I really find out as I travel is that the majority of the people are kind and caring. I have met so many interesting and friendly people as I travel. If you watch TV you begin to think that everyone is a criminal or dangerous deranged individual. I am just thankful that the overwhelming majority of people in our wonderful USA are down-to-earth and nice (even if they do sometimes forget their manners).

All being said, I actually enjoy the flying – - I just don’t like airports.

  • The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.
  • J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Hashtag Mania

If you have been to a CPA conference in recent years, you have been asked to tweet about it using that particular conference’s hashtag. What I find is that most people attending CPA conferences do not tweet, so what’s the point!

Want to know more about hashtags? Visit the site.

For this weekend, lighten-up and enjoy Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake demonstrating what a Twitter conversation sounds like in real life.

  • Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.
  • Gary Vaynerchuck

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Falling Water

photoThe weekend is a perfect time to THINK. Think about your firm… your business and that important other side – your life.

Life is good. Remember the blog post I did back in 2011 with that title? Revisit it here.

Life was very good to me this week. My husband and I escaped for a few days (it was his birthday) to visit southeast Pennsylvania… in the Laurel Highlands south of Pittsburgh.

Why? It is fairly remote, with lots of curvy roads, beautiful forests and amazing vistas. We visited a National Battlefield – Fort Necessity – where George Washington surrendered at the age of 21 during the French and Indian War (the only time he ever surrendered).

But, yes, there was a much bigger reason for the visit…. something I have wanted to do for years and years…. tour Falling Water, the masterpiece by Frank Lloyd Wright. I had very high expectations and I was certainly not disappointed – It was simply amazing. The remoteness, the beauty and the simplicity are beyond words. Visit their website to see the beauty.

Oh, by the way, the gift shop was awesome. Today’s picture is of a vase I purchased there. It now has a place of prominence as you enter my front door.

Also, for the weekend don’t forget to do some reading. Yes, I know that I actually nag and nag you to read. Not just business books, expand your view of the world. Use Google – Google any thing that comes to mind, the amount of information available to us now will hopefully make us all a lot smarter!

Many people, when I mentioned I was going to Falling Water had no ideas what it was and some were clueless even about Frank Lloyd Wright. I was surprised and saddened.

But now, it’s the weekend and I have lightened-up – that’s what I wish for you.

  • Youth is not an age thing. It's a quality. Once you've had it, you never lose it.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend

On the weekend, think about different things and try new things. Put those Excel spreadsheets and tax projections out of your mind and look at the world from a new viewpoint.

Here’s a science experiment to try with your kids.

  • The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny...'
  • Isaac Asimov

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Coffee Artistry

IMG_1155On a trip to Costa Rica a couple of years ago I experienced my first cappuccino with “art” on top. I was thrilled. Isn’t it amazing, sometimes, how some little thing can make you smile and feel good (remember that inside your CPA firm).

Here’s a picture of my coffee from the cafe at the Humming Bird Sanctuary in Costa Rica.

Lighten-up this weekend and check out this post on Fast Company titled, “#FastFoam: Your Latte Art, By Request“.

Next week, invite one of your valuable team members to join you for a cup of coffee and have an informal chat. Don’t talk about work. This weekend – CPAs – relax enjoy life – have your favorite beverage and take time to THINK.


  • We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
  • Albert Einstein

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Lighten-up – Women In Accounting – Don’t Get Discouraged

For my weekend post, I like to feature various styles and types of music. I love music and almost all types of music. I have about 5,000 songs in my library. I find it fascinating how the music that accompanies TV shows and movies alerts us to what is going to be happy, sad, tragic or horrifying.

Read more about Why Does Music Make Us Feel, via Scientific American.

All that being said, while doing some research last weekend about a song titled, Pick Yourself Up, I thought about women in accounting and the challenges you face. I found this video of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers dancing to the tune and a famous quote came to mind. The quote is attributed to Robert Thaves, a cartoonist and often used by Ann Richards.  The quote refers to Fred Astaire:

“Sure he was great, but don’t forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, backwards… and in high heels.”

So, women in accounting…. keep dancing UP that hill that leads to success.

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Don’t Get Discouraged

It’s the weekend. Summer is dissolving away. As a CPA, growing your business and growing your career, you had so many things you wanted to accomplish by this point in 2014. Some things you have tried and some things failed. No matter.

Remember the phrase I often use (from Tom Peters) – Whoever Tries The Most Things Wins.

On the weekend, I often like to share posts that have a musical aspect. Check out my Lighten-up category and page down for some examples. This week, while listening to music, I heard a song that might describe where you are in your journey to success. It’s been recorded by some great artists (Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole) but this version by Diana Krall is definitely MY favorite. She is amazing (and beautiful). – - So… experiment with new ideas at your firm and if they don’t go so well, Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off and Start All Over Again.


  • Don't lose your confidence if you slip. Be grateful for a pleasant trip.
  • Lyrics, Pick Yourself Up

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – It’s Think Time


  • The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
  • Plutarch

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Are You Happy?

Often, working inside a busy accounting firm, unhappiness vibes abound.

CPAs and their team become stressed, tired, grouchy, impatient and so on.

Then, there are the happy firms. There are plenty of happy firms but not enough!

Sometimes, the people trying to keep people happy inside CPA firms are not happy themselves. Here’s some of their beefs….. We try this, we try that, partners won’t agree, we have to make an exception for old Joe, partners still give the young team member grunt work (and call it that), they don’t want to do social media, they think it is a waste of time, they say they are paperless but we still print a heck of a lot of stuff, females want to be partner but they won’t work for it, males want female partners but they don’t understand, we have too much turnover, we won’t invest in new technology, truthfully, we have fun when we are told to have fun….

Hey! I’m sick of all this…  It’s the weekend – start today and be happy about your success in the CPA profession. If you aren’t happy in your job – quit and do something else that makes you happy.

Please watch this entire video – It’s Pharrell Williams’ happy. Dance as if no one is watching.

More happiness needed? Watch the Despicable Me 2 version.  Wow, I am happy!


  • Bring me down, can't nothing bring me down, my level's too high.
  • Pharrell Williams

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – 20 Years Ago Something Amazing Happened

This past week an amazing anniversary was observed. Twenty years ago on July 16th, The Three Tenors gave a one-night only show at the Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium that was watched by a billion people worldwide. This concert permanently altered how a large amount of classical music is presented, packaged and sold.

The concert was timed to coincide with the Brazil-Italy World Cup final being held the next day at the Rose Bowl. Read about the concert via NPR.

Here’s a short video. I can watch it over and over.

It doesn’t matter that you don’t know what they are saying/singing – their voices, their presence, their joy in sharing their skills, the audience reaction… all make for a wonderful 5 minutes.

Bookmark this video. Then in the heart of your next busy season – watch this for 5 minutes when you are feeling stressed and over-whelmed. I know it makes me feel energized.

Well, if you are a Seinfeld fan, you know it is Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and the other guy.

  • I'm like the Phoenix rising out of Arizona.
  • Frank Costanza