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 4, Issue 7
Portrait by Charles Gupton
In This Issue
My First Decision
I took a non-traditional path to completing college. I started my college experience right on schedule right after high school. I had always been attracted by my math and science courses and everyone told me that I should become a doctor. I embraced that idea and started my pre-med studies.
After the third week of my organic chemistry class I realized that medicine was not going to be my career. Given that I didn’t know what I wanted to continue studying, I decided to put college on hold until I figured out what degree I was going to invest in. In my apartment complex, I made a friend who had just finished a four year enlistment with the US Marine Corp.
I had a lot of respect for him because he served in the Marine Corp. I grew up in a military family. My father was an Army officer. As a youngster, I swore to myself that I would never join the military.
A couple of weeks after becoming friends with this Marine, I found myself sitting across from an Army Recruiter to see what the Army had to offer me. Then it was off to Fort Jackson, SC for Basic Training to begin my three year enlistment in the Army.
This was the first decision I truly made for myself. Like most mothers, mine wanted a better life for me. Her father was a retired Air Force Pilot. My father’s father is a World War II veteran who served in the Pacific Theater. While she enjoyed growing up in the military, she wanted me to have a civilian profession.
I have very fond memories of my military service. There were times when I probably wasn’t the best soldier. My brother and sister both joined the Navy. My sister served two tours in Iraq. I’m very proud of the strong military tradition in my family.
Joining the Army was one of the best decisions of my life. It helped me build a solid foundation for the rest of my life.
Five Lessons I Learned from Uncle Sam
1. Don’t let your buddy down. After I was issued my uniforms, I was issued a Buddy. A Buddy is half of a Buddy Team. It was my responsibility to look out for him and make sure he was safe. It was his responsibility to look out for me and keep me safe. We all had to work together.
2. I don’t care what color you are, we all wear green. Decades before the civil rights movement of the 60s, the military was the first organization to end segregation. Everyone is judged on the merits of their work.
3. Assess risk, have a contingency plan. Military operations are inherently dangerous. Before every operation, a plan is created for how the operation will proceed. Part of the operations plan is to assess the risks associated with the operation. Once the risks are listed, the next step is to list action items that will mitigate those risks and make the operation safer.
4. Be part of something greater than yourself. One of the things I miss most about military life is the camaraderie I had with my fellow soldiers. Every time I meet a fellow veteran, there is a sense of respect between us because we have that shared experience, even though we didn’t know each other while in the military. You have to work in a team.
5. Make things Idiot-proof. One of the things that still amazes me is the effectiveness and efficiency with which the Army transforms individuals into soldiers. The Army is the best teaching organization. No other organization is able to teach vital skills that people have to remember and execute under extremely stressful conditions. One of the best examples of making something idiot-proof is the training I received on how to deploy a Claymore land mine. On one side of the mine in printed in large print the words “Point Towards Enemy”. A vital piece of info.
Recipe for Success
I’ve heard on a number of occasions that success leaves clues. I’ve always been intrigued by that comment. I’ve always considered success a worthy aspiration and I’ve always wanted to be successful. Consequently, I’ve always sought to learn from those who have accomplished what I desire to accomplish. I’ve always figured that it’s better to learn from those who have walked down the path before me so I could know the following:
- What to expect
- What is needed to achieve the accomplishment
- What pitfalls to avoid
- Advice on what people learned from their experience
A good example of this was last year, when I made the decision to run a marathon. I read everything I could get my hands on about marathons. I subscribed to Runner’s World Magazine, the premier running magazine. Every time I met someone who had run a marathon, I asked them to tell me about their experience and I listened. I told them what I was doing. When I ran into some challenges, I told them about what I was going through and asked for their advice.
I’ve also heard it said that experience is the best teacher. The problem with experience is it comes at such a great price. Better to learn from the experience of someone else.
There are very few things in life that have not been accomplished by someone else. There is no need to reinvent the wheel on anything. I would much rather build upon someone else’s foundation than start from scratch.
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.