Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Type A vs. Type B

I often hear people describe their managing partner as a “Type A” personality. I also hear people describe another partner, a tax partner for example, as a “Type B”.

Hubspot’s blog post on this topic is helpful and amusing. I know inside accounting firms, there is a real mixture of personality types and they, hopefully, all work together as a well-oiled machine. If everyone were alike, nothing would get accomplished.

So, this weekend enjoy Hubspot’s explanation of A and B.

Here’s how the two break down:

  • Type As are the “go-getters.” They tend to be more ambitious, organized, time-oriented, impatient, and tend to stress themselves out by taking on more than they can handle.
  • Type Bs, by contrast, are more relaxed and low-stress. They tend to be more patient, steadier, more creative, enjoy achievement more, and don’t get wrapped up in details.

Thanks to Blog.HubSpot.com for this graphic.

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  • Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.
  • Washington Irving

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – I Hope The Force Is With You

IMG_1234You probably know I am a Star Wars Fan. Why else would I dress up like Princess Leia for the opening of the AICPA PractitionersTECH+ a few years ago?

I remember when we took our young son to see the first movie. I didn’t expect much…. but life in our family changed. Star Wars toys became a Christmas must and our grandson must have scores of Star Wars Lego sets. His dad sometimes still gets Star Wars gifts.

This week I watched some of the teasers and trailers for the new episode coming out in December – Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Here’s the official Teaser Trailer #2. Escape the “everyday” and become part of the Force. Today’s quote is one every leader in a CPA firm should embrace.

 

  • Do or do not. There is no try.
  • Yoda

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend! – Be Sure You Take Your Vacation!

So many CPAs do not take nearly all of the vacation that they officially have coming. Many tell me, “I’m too busy.”

If you are one of the many who tell me, “I’m too busy” as an excuse for almost every suggestion, don’t use it when it comes to “sharpening the saw,” per Stephen Covey. If you are not taking time to renew (and take vacation), you are missing out on an opportunity to broaden your horizons and experience things out of your usual daily routine. Guess what? Clients really won’t miss you for a week or even a month.

I like to see partners use their vacation as a time to really test the relationship skills of the up-and-comers and the experienced managers. It also reinforces the fact that your firm is much deeper and more skilled than just one person – you. It just might make YOU a more interesting person.

This weekend I’m just sharing some photos of my vacation. I hope it has made me more interesting and knowledgeable.

My husband and I drove from Ohio to Colorado Springs. We stopped in Abilene, Kansas to visit the Eisenhower Museum, Library and final resting place. I did learn a lot more than I knew about WWII and the cold war. I found it very interesting and it was a beautiful setting in the small town of Abilene. We also visited historic Fort Hayes on our journey and spent 3 days in Manitou Springs, Colorade. We took the cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak. On Wednesday we began “roughing” it at one of the Broadmoor’s “wilderness experiences” – the Ranch at Emerald Valley. We checked in at the Broadmoor and they transported us up the mountain (approx. 8,200 feet) – it took 40 minutes on gravel, curvy roads.

It was far from “roughing it”. There was fly fishing, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding and the constant attention of individual guides to help you do all of that The food that was out of this world. No TV or cell coverage (but they did have wifi). I had lots of time to read, write and think while enjoying one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.

When I was around four years old, I told everyone I wanted to be a cowgirl. I finally made it to a ranch.

Below: Mountain trail ride, Darrell fly fishing, Cowboy Coffee or City Slicker Coffee by the fire every morning.

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Saturday, July 11th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Public Accounting Can Be Stressful!

I usually share with people that I am a little weird. Good weird. I think differently than a lot of people working in public accounting and over many years I have connected with others… soul-mates who could possibly be classified as slightly weird. Those are MY people! I love them!

One way that I am weird is that I love to be very busy. When I was working inside a growing CPA firm I especially enjoyed tax season because everyone was hustling, focused, working-hard, no-nonsense and a lot of the daily pettiness disappeared for a few months. We also got to see and chat with our clients more during this busy time. I am pleased when there is no idle chit-chat, time wasted loitering over lunch in the break-room, etc.

Young workerBeing very busy with lots of priorities makes me happy, however, many of our employees in public accounting find it all very stressful, especially Millennials. You need to help them adjust and cope!

Here’s something that might help, it’s an App called DeStressify. It helps all ages of people but is especially important for Millennials. It offers Millennials 5 ways to cope with work-related stress:

Focus on the present – don’t worry about the past or future, stay in the present.

Reframe the story – If something happens, don’t over-analyze or over-react. Simply restate the facts and remove the speculation.

Learn to let go – Don’t let things build-up, learn to release emotions in a healthier way.

Set attainable goals – Perfectionism can cause a tremendous amount of stress. Strive for excellence instead of perfection.

Do what makes you happy – One of the best ways to decrease stress is to do something that makes you happy. Run, hike, listen to music, wind-down with friends, etc.

I am currently using an App called Headspace. It’s a meditation App. I like it… simple and easy. Be sure to explore other options and Apps that might be helpful – for yourself and for your team.

  • We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private... therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
  • C. S. Lewis

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Celebrate Our Nation’s Independence Day

Yesterday, on my local TV station during the noon-time news/talk show, the two hosts took part in a trivia game about Independence Day conducted by a local trivia expert. It was a LIVE show, they failed miserably, not even knowing the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed. So, because I have been amazed by the stories of so many Americans not knowing why we actually celebrate the 4th of July, here’s the scoop via Wikipedia:

Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.

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  • May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country.
  • Daniel Webster

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s A Holiday Weekend – Independence Day

IMG_5164 - Version 2“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freeedom in all just pursuits.” – – Thomas Jefferson

“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living? – – Mahatma Gandhi

“Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” – Dwight Eisenhower

“There, I guess King George will be able to read that.” – – John Hancock

“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” – – John Dickinson

 

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Lighten-Up and Lean… It’s The Weekend

4monitors Roger KramerI have blogged about the trend at CPA firms to use stand-up desks. I have seen more and more of them as I visit firms around the country.

A standing desk is nothing new. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill and Ben Franklin used stand-up desks?

The downside is…. yes, it’s tiring to stand-up for hours!

leanchairHere’s a new development that I read about via Fast Company (you should be reading/following Fast Company).

It is a “new chair-ish thing, you sort of get the benefit of standing at work, without fully standing”.

So… lighten-up and smile more this weekend and learn about leaning.

Here is a picture of Hemingway at his stand-up desk.

Here is a picture of Churchill at his stand-up desk.

 

  • I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
  • Ernest Hemingway

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend. Is That You With Rita?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reporting on various topics that were prominent at the AICPA Practitioners’ Symposium & TECH+ conference, the Association for Accounting Administration National Practice Management Conference and the Association for Accounting Marketing Annual Conference that were co-located in Orlando this year.

It was a wonderful opportunity for me to add to my special album on Flickr – Is That You With Rita? Some of the pictures go back to 2007 (yes, my hair has changed color!). You can see some of the pictures on the right side of this blog page. Here’s a link to the most recent additions.

I have such a good time with these pictures and often get requests from attendees for a picture (which thrills me). Here’s one of my favorites, thanks to the AICPA PCPS party. I have been waiting for a picture with Mickey for many years!

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  • You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
  • Walt Disney

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Organized, Professional, No Nonsense

Because I love CPAs – old, young, middle-aged – I am thrilled when I get a call to go into a firm and provide some common sense advice on many of the little things that helps build a career in public accounting. It amazes me at the stories I hear about professional CPAs who do not dress the part or know how to host a business lunch!

Yes, for young accountants, “professional and organized” is about building, for middle-aged accountants it’s about enhancing and for older CPAs with lots of experience, it’s about not being embarrassed.

If you are not organized in your personal life, it sure bleeds over into your professional life.

One comment I hear from accountants that are under 40 – especially females – is the fact that partners have stay-at-home wives who “take care of all the little things at home”.

Younger accountants, working very hard to build their careers almost always have a working spouse, who is working very hard to build their own career. These young couples also often have children and they manage home-life as a true 2-person team. Each person has to know how to do a variety of things. Then there are the young accountants, just out of college and living the single life, on their own away from Mom and Dad, and learning to maintain a home life as well as a business life.

Organized at home helps being organized at the office. That’s why this video makes me smile and may help you fold the laundry!

 

  • Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.
  • Barbara Hemphill

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend

The weekend is time for something off-topic, humorous or even weird.

This weekend, I direct my lighten-up post to all of the young accountants just entering the CPA profession. You have such an exciting, challenging and never-boring life ahead of you that, if you focus, work hard and keep your sense of humor, it will give you an enormous payback. Not only a monetary payback but also the satisfaction that you have served your clients and employees well.

You will age and so will your peers and clients. So – lighten-up – and watch this young couple age from their 20s to their 90s – – enjoy the ride because you will be at retirement age in what will seem like a blink of an eye!

  • Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt