Our monthly newsletter, Link Newsletter, is full of tips, reminders, and timely advice to help you stay well informed when it comes to your business and personal finances. If you have questions about any of the articles, feel free to email Damon Yudichak at Damon@yudichakcpa.com.
Focused Information for the Small Business Owner
Volume 2, Issue 1
Portrait by Charles Gupton
Energy and persistence conquer all things.
US author, diplomat, inventor, physicist, politician, & printer
(1706 – 1790)
In This Issue
Shoe Laces & Broken Crackers
Last week, as I walked into my living room from the garage, I saw a common sight. Orange Cheese Nips Crackers strewn over my nice white carpet. Not only were they scattered across the carpet, but they were broken into many pieces.
Later that day, I was sitting on my couch and my daughter Norah with glee in her voice shouted, “Look, I’m breaking them!” as she repeatedly stepped on the Cheese Nips Crackers.
My first thought was “Great!!” But, I had to laugh. “Norah, don’t keep breaking the crackers,” was my reply. She continued until I got off the couch to get the vacuum cleaner. Then she ran to the couch and covered herself with pillows as I started to clean up the mess she so delightfully created. The funny thing is she is scared of the vacuum cleaner. I guess it’s too loud.
I then launched into a game where she would show her face when I turned off the vacuum and then hide her face when I turned the vacuum back on.
The next day, both my daughters went to my shoe rack and proceeded to pull the shoe laces out of all my shoes. I’m not quite sure why, but it seems like it always takes me a couple of weeks before I get all of the shoe laces back into the shoes. Yes, I know it only takes two minutes to put the laces back into the shoes. Somehow it just doesn’t get done until it really needs to get done. Luckily, I have two pairs of slip on shoes that never had laces. Otherwise I might not have shoes to wear.
There certainly have been times when such childish games annoy me. At some level I am still a bit annoyed. I like things to be nice and orderly. But sometimes, it seems, life just wouldn’t be life without broken crackers and a pile of shoe laces.
Damon’s Big Lesson
Focus can make the difference between getting a lot of things done in a day and getting nothing done. I’m sure I’m not alone in dealing with demands that pull me in many different directions.
One of the tools that I have been using lately is the tool of calendar blocking. Calendar blocking is where I set aside time each week/month for certain activities. I’ve gotten to the point now that I run my life based on what is in my calendar.
One of the most important aspects of running your life off of a calendar is that you should only use one calendar. Otherwise life gets hectic and items get put on one calendar and not on another. I use Microsoft Outlook to record all my appointments.
When starting to create my schedule, I think about the most important activities for my business and life. Then I create a recurring appointment for those activities.
On the personal side, the last Friday afternoon of each month, I take off to spend with family.
For my business, I make sure that I schedule in activities each week that will grow my business. The activities that work for growing my business are calling people and meeting with people. I know that if I have time set aside for these activities then my business will continue to grow. I make the time slots that I will have available for meetings standing appointments. For instance, I generally do all my appointments on Thursdays and Fridays. I have eight standing time slots a day on Thursday and Friday for appointments. That way when someone wants to meet with me, I know when I am available.
This month’s book is Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. In 1996 Jon Krakauer was on an assignment with Outside Magazine. This was his dream assignment. For many years he had dreamed of climbing Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, and now he was getting paid to write an article about the increased popularity of climbing to Mount Everest’s summit.
Jon was a member of Rob Hall’s expedition. Rob Hall was quite an accomplished mountaineer. By 1995 he had reached Mount Everest’s summit four times and he had also reached each of the highest peaks on the seven continents. 1995, Hall had helped 39 people climb to the roof of the world.
Rob Hall had an excellent safety record. Not one of the members of any of his expeditions had died. This was quite an accomplishment given that on average for every four people that attempt to climb Mount Everest, one dies. Rob Hall was considered by many as the best and safest climbing expedition leader. If one wanted to reach the summit of Mount Everest and come back alive, then Rob Hall was the person to hire.
Paying a guide to help one summit Mount Everest had become a very controversial topic in the climbing community. In fact, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to successfully summit Mount Everest, spoke out publicly against Rob Hall because Hillary felt that Hall was leading improperly prepared people to the summit as long as they were able to pay his $65,000 fee.
On May 10, 1996, disaster struck Mount Everest as a rouge storm engulfed the mountain and all of its climbers. Five of the eight members of Rob Hall’s Expedition lost their lives that day. Hall who had once been known as the safest expedition leader was now known as the leader of an expedition on the deadliest day on Mount Everest.
The Marketer’s Mind
Are you looking for a fun way to marketd your business? Consider hosting an event. I recently hosted my first event. As a member of the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce, one of the benefits members receive is the Wake Forest Chamber will do a Ribbon Cutting at your office.
There are two types of categories of events: Sales and Social. Both types of events serve their own purposes. At a sales event, the main purpose is to move prospects through the sales cycle. At these events you promote your business. These events can be effective tools, but what if you want to meet someone that could really make a difference in your business? Do you like to be sold to? What makes you think that your target contact wants to be sold to? Probably pretty low.
A social event has a very different purpose. At a social event there should be little to no sales. The whole purpose of a social event is to build relationships with people that would make a difference in your business.
The first rule of hosting a social event is that it must be fun. You should know by now that I place a lot of value on humor. People love to laugh and have fun. At the very least, someone should come away from the event having had fun.
The second rule to hosting a social event is to make it a cost effective event. This is where creativity comes into play. How do you know if it is a cost effective event? If you can afford to host the event every month and it will not have a negative effect on your cash flow, then the event makes sense from a cost standpoint.
The third rule to hosting a social event is, Don’t go it alone. Hosting an event is not for the faint of heart. It takes time and energy to organize the event, promote the event and set up for the event. When you are able to split the work and cost between two to three people, it makes it a lot easier to continue to do the event. The other benefit of working with someone else is you get to tap into their network.
How many people should you have at your event? I would recommend planning on a size of between 10 – 20 people at the most. This is a good number to start with. Limiting the size of the event helps you control the cost in time, energy and effort.
Once you have developed the event and decided what to do now comes the last rule. The magic of the social event all boils down to the invitation list. Invite interesting people that you want to do business with.
Get In Touch With Your Inner Comedian
I’m teaming up with my good friend Al Herr to present a workshop on how to be funny. Al has spent over ten years as a standup comic and has agreed to teach us what he knows about being funny. Al helped me with my stand up comedy routine last October.
I have been amazed at the reaction people have had when I tell them I perform standup comedy. Finally, people think I’m cool. I’m not just some boring accountant. My whole life has been improved dramatically because I can tell a joke.
Before I met Al, I was a dreadful bore. Al Herr coached me on simple techniques of comedy and now I am the life of the party. OK, I’m hamming it up a little bit. Here is what Al will teach you about comedy:
- What is makes a joke funny?
- Why do we need humor?
- The seven types of humor
- How do you make someone laugh?
- What are the skills of humor?
- How do you see the funny in everyday life?
Al is doing me a personal favor by offering to present the workshop at no cost to those that attend. Seating is limited to 12 people. You must register on line in order to get a seat. To register go to http://ic1001.eventbrite.com
When: Friday, February 26, 2010 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Where:My Office 7511 Mourning Dove Road, Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27614
Registration: is FREE
How To Create An Effective Newsletter
Alice Osborn is a prolific writer and guest columnist for the News and Observer. She will be presenting a four-part writing series for business professionals who want to use writing as a means to market their businesses. Alice has asked me to help with the first class How to create and effective online Newsletter.
Say What You Mean Say: The Professional Writing Series with Alice Osborn
Location: Team Nimbus, 3801 Computer Dr., Suite 101 Raleigh, NC
Dates: 4 Classes on Various Fridays: 2/19, 3/12, 4/9 and 4/23
Class 1 Feb. 19th – How to Create an Effective Online Newsletter
E-newsletters and e-marketing can build your business by nurturing your present and future customers in a cost-effective way. In this class, Alice Osborn and Damon Yudichak, CPA, will discuss how small businesses should consider e-newsletters as a vital part of their marketing plan to distinguish themselves from the competition and allow potential customers to get to know them over a long sales cycle. Alice will also show you tips, tricks and writing techniques and Damon will discuss how to create a newsletter that will make your customers and clients engage in your services and products.
Class 2 March 12th – Effective Email Etiquette and Reputation Handling On and Off of the Web
Class 3 April 9th – Crafting Clever Press Releases and Profiles Others Will Read
Class 4 April 23rd – Writing Articles and Writing Blog Posts To Drive Traffic to Your Website
Cost: $49 per class (Team Nimbus members, $37) or buy the 4-class package at $147 (and $111 for Team Nimbus members)
To hold your seat and register for the class go to http://pws1.eventbrite.com/
Home Buyer Tax Credit Info Session
Harrington Bank and Falls Town Realtos will be hosting an information session on taking advantage of the Home Buyer Tax Credit.
Eligible taxpayers must buy (or enter into a contract to buy) a principal residence on or before April 30 and close on the home by June 30.
Bring all your questions — a Harrington Bank mortgage broker, CPA (The very dashing Damon Yudichakc) and Falls Town REALTORS will be available to address mortgage rates, tax implications and questions about the buying/selling process.
Date: Saturday, February 6 Time: 9-11 AM Place: Harrington Bank, Falls River Town Center 1151 Falls River Avenue, Raleigh, NC
Seating is limited to 25 participants,
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Have you ever played Cashflow 101? Cashflow 101 is a game that was developed to help teach the principles of financial literacy. On Thursday February 25th at 7:00pm I will be hosting a Cashflow 101 club where you can come play. Even if you haven’t played before,
Steve Hand will be there to teach the fundamentals of the playing the game. You do not need to be an experience player to play.
This is a FREE event.
Date: February 25, 2010
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: My office 7511 Mourning Dove Road, Suite 104, Raleigh, NC 27615
Please RSVP if you want to attend. RSVP at http://cf1001.eventbrite.com/
A number of people had some problems viewing my standup comedy video on my website. Little did I know, but Internet Explorer does not allow people to watch embedded YouTube videos.
I’ve been using Mozilla Firefox for many years. I didn’t realize Microsoft was trying to keep Internet Explorer users from seeing YouTube videos. In other news Bill Gates just started using Twitter.
If you would still like to watch my stand up comedy video, you can view it on YouTube at
100 Days to Abundance in Wake Forest
In partnership with the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commmerce and Team Nimbus, we will be starting the second session of 100 Days to Abundance on February 2, 2010 at 10:00 am at the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce.
To learn more and sign up please go to http://ab1006.eventbrite.com/
My name is Damon Yudichak and I am a Certified Public Accountant. My father was an Army officer and we moved around a lot. We finally ended up in Fayetteville, NC. I’ve been a resident of Raleigh since 1999 when I moved here to go to North Carolina State University. I am fascinated with the moon and am still amazed that man has walked on the moon. I also am a big standup comedy fan.
The Orange Star Newsletter is prepared by Damon Yudichak. The Orange Star Newsletter carries no official authority, and its contents should not be acted upon without professional advice.
In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this newsletter is not to be considered a “covered opinion” or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for IRS audit, tax dispute, or any other purpose.