Posts Tagged ‘Finance Books’

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The Power of Stating your Intentions Out loud

May 11, 2011
Amgen Tour 2009© waynepowellphoto.com

Amgen Tour 2009© waynepowellphoto.com

Tomorrow I leave on a 330-mile, 4-day cycling adventure: the NorCal AIDS Cycle. I’m a little impressed with myself. “Athletic” is not a word frequently used to describe me. As a kid, I wasn’t picked last for team sports, but I was never picked first. And until three months ago, I had never cycled more than 10 miles at a stretch. My last training ride was an easy, fun, quick 30 miles. I have good reason to be self-impressed.

Do you have a big financial goal? Something that feels unattainable, that you can’t see yourself ever reaching? Would you like to be self-impressed?

Say it out loud.

When I first uttered that I was considering the ride, it wasn’t a fully formed thought. But I’d said it out loud, first to a friend that serves on the Ride’s Board of Directors, and then to my daughter, and then to a best friend. It snowballed from there. My daughter wanted to do the ride with me, and then her godmother, and then a best friend, and then a client.

Ask for support.

One of my life’s intentions is to be physically fit. That’s not my sole reason for doing this ride; a long-time passion of mine is raising desperately needed funds for HIV/AIDS. But the ride was a goal that I could speak out loud, ask for support from my family, friends and colleagues, and be lovingly held accountable to completing my goal. The first $100 donation I received sealed the deal; there was no going back. Someone gave money in support of me. I was accountable.

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15 Days til New Year’s Eve…The Time is Now

December 16, 2010

Countdown to New Year'sWhile everyone else is busy counting days until Christmas, accountants are busy counting days until New Year’s Eve. And here’s why:

Do you itemize your deductions? If yes, look at your spending plan for charitable contributions. You have 15 days to maximize your gifts. Plus your favorite nonprofits are busily trying to meet their year-end goals, so gifts that come in during December are hugely appreciated! Have you spent out your Health/Flexible Spending Accounts? Now is the time.

Are you a business owner? If yes (and you file cash basis) then every dollar you spend in the next 15 days saves you in the neighborhood of 25 to 40 cents. Our advice to clients at year end: Any equipment you plan to buy in the next six months, buy it now. Any bills scheduled to pay at the beginning of January? Pay them now. And on the income side, for every dollar you put in the bank, you’ll be sending 25 to 40 cents to the IRS on April 15th. This is the one time of year you ease up on your receivables calls, slow down your invoicing process, walk to the bank very slowly.

And for my nonprofit clients? You have 15 days to maximize contributions for the year. Call one key donor every day until the 31st. You can ask for support, or just wish them a happy holiday and thank them for their support. Craft one last personal email solicitation. People want to give this time of year, and it’s your job to remind them.

Happy New Year!

(The accountant’s disclaimer: this is clearly generalized advice. It’s something to be discussed with your trusted advisor. If you don’t have a trusted advisor, we know some great ones!)

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A successful small business

March 31, 2010

What is success in a small business? I’ve been reading Small Giants, a book focusing on great companies who aren’t focused on growth for growth’s sake, or giant revenues, for giant revenues sakes. Most of the business owners I work with have their eye on a million, or a few million. One of the points he poses is what’s better, to have a highly profitable 10 million dollar company, or a mega 100 million dollar company. I think a lot of people assume that a 100 million dollar company must be profitable, but I think that is not always true; in fact I think that is often not true. To reach 100 million in sales, you most certainly will have had to leverage a lot, both in money, time and soul. Is it worth it?

Some of the questions we like to ask clients are:

  • What’s your ultimate goal?
  • Why are you doing this business?
  • What makes you truly happy?

Knowing what your core beliefs in business are can help guide your growth. Rarely do I come across a business owner who is just in it for the money. Most got into it for a way of life, or a love of the game of business growth, or because they had a passion to share their gifts and talents with others.

Is that profitable? It definitely can be; but profitability takes work, analysis, focus and a willingness to keep your knees bent. One of the CEOs in Small Giants talks about the Groundhog Day syndrome; doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. As small business owners, we have to keep our knees bent and be willing to shift, adjust and sometimes even do some stuff we don’t want to do.

The end result? Well, the goal is a happy life, a happy business and of course, profitability.