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 6
Portrait by Charles Gupton
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
US (German-born) physicist
(1879 – 1955)
In This Issue
What’s Opera Doc?
As a child, my favorite cartoon was a Bugs Bunny cartoon titled “What’s Opera Doc?”. Like the typical Bugs Bunny cartoon, Elmer Fudd hunts Bugs Bunny. In this cartoon with the help of his Spear and Magic Helmet, Elmer starts his journey to “Kill the Wabbit”. The cartoon then becomes a Wagnerian Operatic delight. To this day this is still my favorite cartoon.
Little did I know as a child that I would grow up to become a huge fan of the opera. Most people laugh when I tell them that I love the opera. Either that or they nod and say OK. What’s to like about the opera?
Really, why would any American enjoy the opera? After all, none of the good operas are performed in English. The good ones are all in Italian, French or German. You have to read subtitles in order to follow the story line.
For some reason about five years ago I started to listen to the Metropolitan Opera Radio. I’m not sure what it was exactly but I became instantly hooked on the beauty, majesty and passion that is opera.
Then two years ago, I got to watch my first live opera Verdi’s La Traviata. This was an experience that completed the circle of a new love for me, the opera.
This month in an effort to gain some balance in my life, I decided that I would go to see some operatic performances. During the summer, at select movie theaters, the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts High Definition recorded performances.
It was wonderful to watch the best opera singers in the world performing at Lincoln Center, the best stage in the world featuring the most beautiful operas in the world. It gave me time to escape the day to day. I’m really glad I got to get this break.
Damon’s Big Lesson
The last few months for me were ones where I faced a new challenge. The first quarter of this year, as could be expected, was very busy given that I was working during tax season. My expectation was that the second quarter of the year would be less work and I would be able to relax.
In the second quarter of this year I got a number of new monthly clients. This is a big goal of mine and I was very excited about the prospects. What ended up happening is my workload increased more than I realized it would. Consequently, I worked about as much as I did in the second quarter as I did during tax season.
At the beginning of May I made the assumption that if I just worked hard enough during May, by the end of May I would be caught up. Last week, I said to myself, if I just work hard enough I should be caught by September. That was when a light went on and I realized that I was now in a position where I have more business than I personally have the time to do the work.
I realized that I had to change my business. In order for me to provide the service to my customers that they deserve, I had to increase my capacity. I realized I was already working more hours than I really wanted to. The only way then to increase capacity was to hire an employee to help complete all the work.
Hiring employees has been a scary proposition for me. There are increased cost to the business and I am forced to let go of some of my responsibilities.
Einstein said the sanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This month I realized that if I was going to improve my work life balance, I needed to make changes. I dubbed July the “Correction Month.” In July, I made a number of changes to help improve both my busines and personal life. A new challenge awaits me as I am changing my business from from a solopreneur business to business with employees.
This month’s book is Resonant Leadership by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee. When one becomes a leader, they take on additional responsibilities and accountabilities. True leaders are able to resonate with those that they work with. They are able to manage their own emotions and the emotions of those around them. This is a quality that is known as emotional intelligence.
Leadership requires exercising influence or power. This creates its own stresses that if not dealt with leads to a unique challenge known as the Sacrifice Syndrome. In order to accomplish objectives, deliver products and services as promised, there are times when a leader must give more of himself than he originally planned. What ends up happening in these instances, is the leader becomes overextended. He move from a state of resonance to a state of dissonance.
In a state of dissonance, the leader is not able to read verbal and nonverbal cues from those he works with. Sometimes there are outbursts that are uncharacteristic of the leader. The leader’s emotional intelligence and ability to lead diminishes. The leader simply runs out of himself and has nothing left to give.
The important thing to recognize is that once someone takes on the role of leadership, the default state is dissonance. Left unchecked, a leader will move from resonance to dissonance. This is why some companies stress the importance of work/life balance.
What is it then that allows the leader to maintain a resonant state?
In order to remain resonant, one must engage in a continual process of renewal. There are many ways to engage in renewal. Some people exercise, seek solace through their religion, engage in volunteer activities, hobbies, creative activities, etc. The important thing is to be involved in an activity regularly that renews the soul.
A leader cannot continue to give of himself once he has run out of himself to give. The renewal process enables one to restore what is uniquely his and then the leader can continue to give of himself again.
The Marketer’s Mind
Over the past year I’ve developed a marketing engine that I call Community Marketing. Over the last year, I became deeply involved in three distinct communities, namely the Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce, Team Nimbus of North Carolina and Business Networking International. I became involved in these communities because I knew that my target customer, a small-business owner with less than 10 employees, would be involved in these communities.
Another reason why I’m involved in these communities is because they meet on a regular basis. I interact with these communities at least twice a month. In this way I am able to see the same people and interact with them regularly. The ability for me to develop a relationship with someone in one of my communities is enhanced because I see them a lot. It is very hard to develop a relationship with someone that you do not see or interact with on a regular basis.
There are two theories for marketing: the hunting approach or the farming approach. In the hunting approach, one spends a lot of time looking for the next sale. In the farming approach one develops relationships that grow into sales. Both approaches work, but I believe the farming approach is a much more effective use of time and resources.
A big reason why people do not use the farming approach is because it takes time to get results. When farming it could take 3 to 6 months before any sales are final. Why then would someone choose a farming approach? The answer is simple. Once I am able to develop a relationship with someone that is a good referrals resource, I can focus my marketing efforts to just that person.
For instance, one of my referral resources referred one client to me that is worth $9,200 of revenue a year. He continues to refer business to me on at least a monthly basis. Now my marketing efforts become more focused. I make sure that I interact with this person on a regular basis. We go out to lunch, we talk on the phone, I make funny posts to his Facebook account. My whole goal with him is just trying in the relationship to increase trust. I want to be at the top of his mind so that when someone says they need a CPA, I am the first person that gets recommended.
This has been my approach over the last year. I don’t talk much about my services, most people find accounting and taxes annoying and boring. When I meet with people, I simply want to get to know about them and their businesses. If I meet with someone, I really don’t care if they become a customer of mine. I simply want them to know that I’m a good person and that I am trustworthy. My main marketing message is that Damon is a good guy. Everything I do from a marketing standpoint is grounded in that philosophy.
At some point in the future, they may need my services or someone they know will need my services. By building those relationships now, hopefully they’ll remember me when my services are needed. How do you deal with an instance when your receive bad service? This is the important question to ask one’s self. The best source of new customers is current customers.
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 what’s 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://ic1002.eventbrite.com
When: Friday, August 13, 2010 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Where: My Office 7511 Mourning Dove Road, Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27614
Registration: is FREE
What’s With the Moon?
I’ve had a couple people ask, What’s with you and the moon? About two years ago, I became fascinated with the Apollo Program. I began to study the program and interview people who helped make the monumental task of landing on the moon a reality.
The moon is a symbol of possibility for me. It is a source of inspiration. I like to be inspired.
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.