What’s Your Strategy?

What's Your Strategy Gladiator Image.jpgBusiness is no different than two gladiators fighting.

Business is not polite.

Like any sport or competition, there is a winner and a loser.

What separates the winners from the losers, is strategy and an edge.

Do you have an edge?

Do you have business strategy?

Most People Want to Fail (Or Don’t Know How to Succeed)

Most People want to Fail Blog post photo.jpgIt’s all in how we think. “Oh, I hate my job. I don’t like my boss. I would rather be doing something else.” You have heard it before, if not in your own head, from someone else.

The reason for this negative self-talk is because most people don’t have a plan to get to the place they want to be. We live in a country where we can obtain knowledge and change paths all in an afternoon.

Here are some things to do:

  • Become self-aware – accept your weaknesses and recognize your strengths.
  • Read – read something each day that helps you gain knowledge and get to where you want to be.
  • Build a plan –write down the steps you need to take in order to get to what you truly want to do.
  • Implement your plan – work your plan at night between the end of family time and 1 AM. If you want something, time is not a factor.

Quit wanting to fail and become the success you see in your soul.

Be Bold. Be Brash. Be Strong.

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BE BOLD. BE BRASH. BE STRONG…it’s what I tell myself each morning. It’s what I say to myself before I meet with you. It’s not to dominate you, but rather to be the best I can be for YOU. I’m a believer that whatever I tell myself, I will live. I’ll give you an example. I ran track from sixth grade until freshman year in college. I never told myself I was the one to beat. I never told myself that I would be the state champion. And in the end, I wasn’t. Instead, I told myself that I was the number three man. And I was. If I had just told myself that I was number one maybe I would have been.

I came to this conclusion after focusing on my self-awareness for the past seven years. It’s all in what you believe. Change your thinking, change your actions, and you can change your life.

Be Bold. Be Brash. Be Strong.

Believe in Yourself

we-live-who-we-believe-we-are-blog-photoThis is the best quote I’ve heard in a long time.

I have a friend that is really struggling with his position in life. I have watched him struggle with his fears and, unfortunately, he has become half the person he could be. The barrier isn’t other people. The barrier isn’t his job. He is not sick or physically impaired. Quite the opposite. It all comes down to what he believes.

Every morning he wakes with the idea that everyone is judging him. Yet the reality is that no one is judging him and if they are, so what. This person lives every day in fear and dismay because he has the wrong beliefs. If he could change what he believes, his life could change.

Your beliefs provide a map for your life. If you want to have different life, change what you believe about yourself. Build a plan and execute that plan.

“We live who we believe we are” – Tony Robbins

Believe in yourself.

One Year…365 Opportunities

one-year-of-opportunities-blog-postI woke up this morning with a sound mind and able body.

If I will just open my mind’s eye…I will see the opportunity.

Every day is filled with opportunities. It may be someone we meet who could take our position in life to another level. It could be pushing through a hard day or taking a chance on the unknown.

The opportunity is there.

We just need to reach out, grab it, and hold on.

 

The Worst Advice You Will Ever Get…Achievement Over Fulfillment

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I was ten years old when he debuted on evening TV. He was amazing. I fell in love with his ability to make me laugh. He went on to become one of the most famous actors/comedians of all time. He won an Oscar for a serious roll, not for comedy, which had made him famous. And then one day on the news they said he hung himself.

After listening to Tony Robbins talk about Robin Williams, I realized the worst advice I could give anyone, especially my kids, is that they need to achieve. That they need to strive for fame or money, or have a big house and drive a Mercedes-Benz. In the end, stuff means nothing. Tony went on to explain that “fulfillment” trumps “achievement.” It made so much sense.

Earlier in the day, a friend had reached out for help. After our talk, I was on cloud nine. I didn’t get any money for my help, but I was fulfilled. I was happy. Helping this person was all I needed.

Later in the day I took the first car I ever had out for a drive. I’m a car guy. The feeling of driving a sweet ride is like the butterflies you got when you saw your first love. I was gone for an hour. I hadn’t felt this way since I got the car in 1985. I was overwhelmed with excitement! I wanted more.

It wasn’t until I was listening to the podcast with Tim Farris and Tony Robbins that it all clicked. I will never be satisfied striving for material items, such as money or fame. I now understand why my priest is a priest and why a husband and wife will adopt ten children. It’s because they get butterflies. They are fulfilled.

It took me 47 years to figure it out. Life is about…butterflies.

You have a baby…now what?

baby

At some point within the first 30 days of having our first child, I asked the question “What the hell do we do now??” Being responsible for another human being can be a daunting task. When you have a tiny human that can’t feed itself or wipe it’s own bottom…that at times is overwhelming!

Recently I have had some friends who have and their first child and some who have had their third child. I got to thinking about what were the things that Ginger and I didn’t do back in our girls’ baby days that would have been helpful? I have found that all parents get caught up in the day-to-day of having children that we forget to take care of some very important items and find ourselves playing catch up later on when they are older.

The following are three action items for new parents or parents with small children. (For now, only three. If I give you the whole list, you will be Googling Smith and Wesson.):

  1. Put your child on your health insurance plan. Typically, you need to add your child on your health insurance plan within the first thirty days from your child’s birth. On some employer plans, you may have 60 days from the date of birth to add the child. Whichever the time period is, you don’t what to be figuring out what to do without health insurance for your baby when he/she does get sick.
  2. Update your wills and trust. Oftentimes this is something that is way overlooked. Making sure there is plan for your child, but also care of your family if you or your spouse were to prematurely pass away, is vital. A few things you will have to decide when drawing up a will and trust:
    1. If both you and your spouse were to pass at the same time, who would become the guardian or your child(ren)?
    2. Is there life insurance on the parents and who is the beneficiary of the life policy? Consider opening a trust at the passing of the second spouse’s death and fund the trust with life insurance. With a trust, you can set stipulations on how the children are to be cared for and how the money is to be spent or distributed if the children are over 18 years of age.
    3. You will have to elect an executor of the estate. This person needs to be organized and reliable. My sister-in-law is the executor of Ginger and I’s estate. She is extremely organized and I know she can take care of all of the details.
  3. Purchase life insurance on BOTH parents. The fact is, we all take a dirt bath at some point. Hopefully later than sooner. But in the case of an early passing of one of the parents, life insurance does come in handy. Having an adequate amount of life insurance is key. I use the basic rule of 5%. By taking each parents income and dividing it by 5% you will come up with a rough estimate of how much life insurance you’ll would need to replace each parent’s income. Example: If you make $50,000 year and divide it by .05, you will come to $1 million dollars. That is the amount of insurance needed for that person. If both parents make $50,000 per year, you would need $2 million in coverage.  Now that does not take in account inflation, but it is a good rule of thumb. ONE VERY IMPORTANT ITEM TO CONSIDER! Even if one of the parents does not work, you need to insure that parent’s life. Sadly, I have seen it in the past. The mother dies, she doesn’t work and now the father has to hire help. A good nanny is going to cost upwards of $50,000 a year with salary and expense. Wow! That’s a lot! Consider Term Insurance for the first 18 years of the child’s life and permanent for life time insurance.

That wasn’t so bad, right? Easy compared to nighttime feedings and dirty diapers.   These are items that once you have implemented them, you don’t have to come back to them but every three years or when you have major changes in your family dynamic. If you would like to have the full list of things to consider, email me at Trent@grinkmeyerleonard.com. A good financial advisor can assist you on a lot of these planning items. Everyone should have a financial advisor…even a financial advisor.

Happy parenting,

Trent

Donald Trump has our attention.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has our attention!

I recently spoke to a retired CPA friend of mine. I told him I was writing some blog posts pertaining to CPAs and expanding their practices. I wanted to know from him what some of the challenges he and other CPAs run into. His immediate first response was growing the business.

He then told me that the majority of his colleagues were floating in a safety boat in the abyss. I looked at him puzzled. “What the hell does that mean???, I asked. He explained by asking me, “When I say politics, who do you think of today?”  I said, “Trump…Donald Trump”. He went on to discuss why he thought that Trump’s variant, outlandish personality was the reason he is the front runner for the GOP.

Ever seen a black swan? They are rare. But when you see them, you don’t forget about them. To stand out in a sea of CPA’s, you have to be a black swan…a Donald Trump. (but with better hair)

5Three things that will get you noticed:

  1.   Be LOUD!!! Tell the world that you exist and what you do.
  2. Have a position and stand by it. Being everything to everyone achieves mediocrity. Have a purpose and be proud of it.
  3. Be yourself. Build your image on who you are, not who your industry is. You do not have to be clone of the others.

Define your purpose and be you!

-Trent

5 Tips for Building a Great Business Team {Anatomy of a Happy Office}

Team LI

We have all seen teams in college sports and professional sports that were unbeatable. They have an incredible synergy that makes them seem invincible. And then typically 12 months later they are the worst teams in the world. Building a high-performance business team is not the easiest thing to do. But when you get it right, you become unbeatable.

The following are five keys to an unbelievable team:

5) SPECIALIZE No one person is great at everything. When a team is exceptional, each individual team member typically has a specialty. One person’s weakness can then balanced by someone who is a specialist in that lacking area. You see this in college and professional sports. Peyton Manning doesn’t play running back nor does he play defense. He’s a specialist. He plays quarterback for a highly-tuned team. When he is put in a position to run, you can tell he’s really not good at. So rarely does he run.  Determine the positions on the team and then fill them with specialists. Everyone doesn’t have to be good at everything. But everything needs a person who is good at it.shutterstock_290401040

4) SELFLESSNESS All for one and one for all. We’ve all seen it in a sports game when somebody gets a big head and the team quits winning. Recently, a friend was telling me about a band he was in. They gained great success and even had Top 40 Hits. But as often happens, the lead singer got a huge ego and the band semi-dismantled. You haven’t really heard a hit from them since. If everybody on the team isn’t focused on the company’s end goal, then it just won’t happen.   Success for the stake of the team, not for the individual. Egos needs to be tossed aside. That goes for everyone. When everyone feels vested in the business’ success, people will rise to the occasion to ensure that success.

3) TRUST It is essential that each team member trusts one another. The need to believe that their teammates will put in 110% and can deliver on what is expected of them. I’ve often seen it on teams where they don’t trust their teammates and things just don’t happen. Knowing what can be delivered and trusting that that individual can perform and will give that effort can motivate others to do much more than they would have on their own.

2) COMMUNICATION Like any good marriage, if the spouses do not communicate their goals, aspirations, frustrations and other miscellaneous feelings, the relationship will not work. I’ve seen this within our team years ago when communication between team members broke down. It festered and turned into a 10,000 pound weight. Luckily, leadership stepped in to open the door for communication and set policy on how to communicate frustrations, desires and goals. In the end, we grew from it. Setting a standard for communication is key.

1) LEADERSHIP This is always the number one factor in whether a team will succeed. You see it in professional sports, collegiate sports, corporations, marriages. If there is no leader, there is no one to set the standard and to follow. The team will fail in the absence of a strong leader. . It is also imperative that the leader develops additional leaders within management. You would be surprised how leadership training can inspire the shy to become great leaders within the team. Often times, people just don’t know how to be a leader. Just like riding a bicycle, a few kids may hop on and ride without ever being taught but the wide majority need to be taught how to ride. And also like riding a bicycle, you never forget how to do it once you learn. You may get “rusty” at it but once you learn, you know. Training is necessary in lots of areas of management and leadership. It is not a 90 minute seminar and you know it all. If you find you are the leader at your company and there are weak areas in your leadership abilities, seek out training.   Learn so your team can do more.   You owe it to them and yourself.   Great companies typically have strong leaders.

I would like to hear your additions to my list of what creates a great team. Send me an email at trent@grinkmeyerleonard.com . Share what you think to make a great team.


anatomy smallAll through November, all of the advisors at our office are doing a series of articles, tips and tools and geared toward the “Anatomy of a Happy Office”.  Follow all of our blogs to read it all.
Northside of Average by Valerie Leonard
Motivated Monday by Caleb Bagwell
401kBizResource by Jamie Kertis