Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Mystery of Where Passion Drives You!

Passion is a powerful force.  We mostly think of it in terms of romance, art, and causes we are deeply interested in.

I would go farther.  Much farther!  I believe it is a requirement for success in anything we do.  Even our jobs.  Even our businesses.

I believe this enough that
I was asked to speak on it once about ten years ago to a group of tax preparers meeting in a two day seminar that was part tax law education and part business building tips.  I got the 8-10 am time slot on the second day, given two full hours to make the case that the way to be successful in the tax preparation business is to care about your clients, that it is not enough just to get their tax returns done quickly and without mistakes.

I agonized over that one for several days.  I didn't think people would be very excited about the topic, especially for two hours and with everything else they could do on a beautiful morning in San Diego besides sitting in a windowless hotel meeting room listening to me.

I decided to get their attention with what I thought would strike them as an oxymoron:  Be A Passionate Accountant!  I think the general perception of our profession is that most of us are competent, maybe too competent, leaving us lacking in communication skills, and the farthest thing from passionate imaginable.

I think I made a good case.  No one fell asleep.  I got a lively conversation going by giving case studies of how being passionate really makes a difference, and asking their input how they would handle the various situations.  People actually hung around to talk with me afterwards. 

There are several things that I believe are worth noting in looking back at Ellen Patton Photography and the R and R Company that we discussed in the past two days.  I continue to be excited to read what you have to say about both of them.  At the top of my list in learning from both of these companies is Passion!  They patiently and passionately honed their skills at what they do, then went to the marketplace.  Once there, they continue to improve, learning from their mistakes and from their audience, and applying those lessons.

It is a circular motion.  Some call it kaizen -- continuous improvement.  Plan, do, learn, modify the plan, do again, learn more ...

Here's where I'm headed with this.  I have this theory that you will have the most time and energy to actively participate with me here on the weekends.  So I will write three days a week  -- Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, generally in the afternoon or evening.  I will check every day, and promise to respond to your comments as quickly as possible.  I'm looking for a true conversation here, I'm as interested in learning from you as I hope you are in getting free advice from an experienced, caring, yes, passionate accountant!

I'll be writing next on why you need a business plan, how it is a key to convert your hobby into a true business, why that is important, how to write your plan, how to evaluate your progress using your plan, and when to modify your plan.  We'll include monetary benefits, including tax benefits.  I will also go back to my top 4 tax and money tips and talk about home ownership, being your bank, and how to best provide for your health care needs.  This will take awhile, and that's OK.  It really is the tortoise that wins, not the hare. 

Those are the topics I've got in mind.  I love comments and suggestions.  If you were in a room with me and I was speaking, I would direct my illustrations to your comments.  It will be more interesting and relevant here if we can do the same thing.


So where does passion drive you?  To true, lasting success, the kind you can't get any other way!  See you next time!

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