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 2
Portrait by Charles Gupton
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
American Track Athlete
(1951 – 1975)
In This Issue
Daddy, I’m Not Sleeping Yet
Last night I was sleeping and at about 1:00 am, I heard my oldest daughter Norah crying. I went into her bedroom and asked her what was wrong. It took a while for her to get out the words because the crying had overtaken her. Finally she said, “I need my bunny slipper.” I touched both of her feet and noticed that one had a bunny slipper and one did not.
At that hour of the night the last thing I was going to do was start a search for a bunny slipper. I did the next best thing. I picked her up and carried her to my bed. My thought was that if I held her she would calm down and fall asleep. Normally this works pretty well. After about 15 minutes, she would be fast asleep and I could go back to sleep.
About half an hour goes by and I figure she is sound asleep. I get half way around the bed and out come the precious words, “Daddy, I’m not sleeping yet.” We go back to my bed and lie down.
Another half hour goes by and I do the arm test. The arm test is the test where I lift up her arm to see if it is asleep. Invariably, if the arm is asleep, then the child is asleep. Arm goes up and it is completely limp. I smile and start to take her back to her bed. I get half way around the bed and again out come the precious words, “Daddy, I’m not sleeping yet.” Back to my bed we go.
About another half hour goes by and I hear a wonderful sound. Norah is snoring. Finally, she is asleep. I get half way around the bed. Out come the precious words, “Daddy, I want to stay with you.” Back to my bed we go.
I gave up. Three strikes and I am out. I realized that she would not be finishing her sleep in her bed. In its own way that moment was special to me. It reminded me of some other special moments I’ve had with her when she was younger.
Damon’s Big Lesson
The beginning of this year has been especially humbling for me. A lot of wonderful things have happened. I’ve gotten a lot of new customers and I’m putting in a lot of hours to make sure that I deliver the best service I can.
I recently got a message on Facebook from a friend that I met in Amsterdam 15 years ago. I was working there at the time and had just experienced a personal tragedy. It was Christmas time and I was far from home and family.
I met Andre in November 1995. At that time, I was able to help him with a number of things. It was a very rewarding experience for me to help him. One of my motivators is that I like to help other people. It could be something small or something big. I just like to be helpful.
Hearing from Andre was a bit emotional for me. It brought back a lot of good memories. One of the things that Andre wrote to me was, “I’m still thankful for what you did for me.”
Also this month, I have had a number of people hire me that I had met early last year. I did a number of workshops last year and that is where I met them.
The big thing that occurred to me was that my lot in life now is the result of all of my previous efforts and actions. What and who I am now is built on the foundation of what I did daily many months in the past.
Each day I have 24 hours to build the foundation for tomorrow. My tomorrow is built on the actions of my past. I’m thankful to my mother for teaching me to live the good life and to build my life by serving others.
This month’s book is Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. This was the last book written by Dr. Seuss before his death.
As a child I was a big fan of books written by Dr. Seuss. Now as a parent, I’ve enjoyed reading the same books that I loved as a child to my daughters.
I first read the book when my sister Heidi gave it to me as a gift for my 22nd birthday. By this time I had already had a pretty eventful life. I’d traveled abroad, learned another language and was very excited about life. This was a special book for the message Dr. Seuss left in its pages.
In my opinion, this was Dr. Seuss’s parting words to all of his readers. Life is an adventure. There will be ups and downs. You never know what tomorrow holds. Life is a gift. Here is a passage from his book.
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go…
… Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV…
… You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) Kid, you’ll move mountains! So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”
Thank You Dr. Seuss.
The Marketer’s Mind
Each business has at least one aspect that limits its growth. Let say at most I could work 40 hours a week on my business. That is as much work as I could do. How do I spend that time. I can spend 40 hours doing billable work. This is great in the short term, but it not the way to have a sustainable business.
Every week there absolutely must be some time devoted to marketing. This is the investment that is made in the growth of the business. It is much like saving money for the future. People that live hand to mouth will never get out of the cycle until they start saving money.
The natural reaction at first is, I don’t have enough money to save. The truth is if I don’t have enough money now, what makes me think tomorrow I will suddenly have more money. Life doesn’t change until I change.
Now when I started saving for the first time, it didn’t seem like five dollars a week really mattered. But when a year goes by and there is $260 dollars in my savings account, it becomes apparent that saving five dollars a week did mattered. Not only that but at 5% interest, I earn additional $13 a year. Having that stash of savings really starts to become substantial.
Saving money in one’s personal life is akin to marketing in business. By saving money today, I am setting aside funds to live on tomorrow. With marketing, I am devoting time today to acquire customers tomorrow. These customers will provide my business with money tomorrow so that the business can live tomorrow.
I’ll give you an example. Last May, I provided two hours of training on understanding financial statements to a group of young business owners. Last month one of the participants from the program came to me and asked me to help him with his taxes. This ended up turning into more than $1,000 worth of work for me. Not too shabby for two hours of presentation plus three hours of prep time.
As I’ve become good at marketing, then comes a new challenge. How do I perform all the work that is coming my way? I’ve thought on a number of occasions, I am too busy to market. The response that I gave myself was, I have momentum now, I need to continue to build the momentum so that business continues to come. I’m smart enough to know how much work it takes to create momentum. I don’t want to lose my momentum.
The job of the small business owner is to get and retain clients. As the business owner becomes successful at getting new customers, life becomes challenging. This is when life gets interesting. Time starts to become scarce. In some respects this can be a very scary time. Too many hats too little time.
Over the last two months I have been referring to this state of being as “The Dance”. I don’t know why or how I came to this phrase but for me it sums up what my life feels like. It seems like I’m in constant flux. I have to constantly adjust. I am continually deciding how to prioritize my time and where I devote my attention. Inevitably I have to choose the best action. The question is what is the best action? The best action is the action that will have the most impact on my business.
The Humor of Life
Nobody wants to serve on jury duty. I heard it once said that those that serve on jury duty are the ones that weren’t smart enough to come up with a good enough excuse to get off of jury duty.
I’m not suggesting that anyone skirt their duty as an American citizen. Rather, I suggest that you perform jury duty when called upon.
This month I read a sworn affidavit for a request to be excused from jury duty. It was by far the funniest moment of the month for me. Here are the words from that affidavit:
(Request for Excuse from Jury Service for Case at Issue)
State of Montana
I, John Sullivan, being first duly sworn upon oath, depose and say that jury service would entail undue hardship on me and that I request to be excused from jury service fro the following reason:
Apparently you morons didn’t understand me the first time. I CANNOT take time from work. I’m not putting my family’s well being at stake to participate in this crap. I don’t believe in our “justice” system and I don’t want to have a thing to do with it. Jury duty is a complete waste of time. I would rather count the wrinkles on my dog’s back than sit on a jury. Get it through your thick skulls.
Leave me alone.
Signed John Sullivan
100 Days to Abundance in March
In partnership with the Team Nimbus, I will starting the a new session of 100 Days to Abundance on March 12, 2010 at 8:00 am at the Team Nimbus Center at 3801 Computer Drive, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27609.
To learn more and sign up please go to http://ab1007.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.