Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

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

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Helicopter Parents – An Example

I love this short video from the folks at Robert Half.

As, I talk with CPAs around the country, most of them seem amazed that helicopter parents are actually calling “bosses” at CPA firms in inquire or complain about something on behalf of a young staff person. Larger firm are developing programs to deal with the parents who show up with their young person for the job interview!

Does your firm have a way to connect with parents? Remember, most young people entering your firm have had intense parental support. Build on that.

Because this depiction is extreme, it makes you smile – yes, lighten-up, it’s the weekend!


  • My heroes are and were my parents. I can't see having anyone else as my heroes.
  • Michael Jordan

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Be Happy

For this weekend, a quote to contemplate as you build your career or manage your firm in public accounting.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – - John Lennon

Friday, July 4th, 2014

A Good Way To Start Your Long July 4th Weekend

We have our ups and downs, but I am still so thankful that I am a citizen of the good old USA.

This march always cheers me up. Somehow it instills energy.  Learn some of the history about John Philip Sousa‘s Stars and Stripes Forever and listen… if it seems to long or you don’t have time today – skip to the 3:52 minute mark and get energized.

Happy 4th of July!

The Google Doodle today also salutes the Stars & Stripes Forever.

  • There, I guess King George will be able to read that.
  • John Hancock