Ram a needle in your eye?

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“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again; this time more intelligently.”
– Henry Ford

I’ll tell you, the VAST majority of days, I love my work. I get to work with an incredible (and caring) staff, my family has the flexibility to do what we feel we should, when we want to. We’ve created a situation where we can help hundreds ot tax & accounting professionals around the country–and it can be intensely rewarding.
But some days…man, I just want to drop it all and do something different. Don’t get me wrong–it ain’t happening any time soon. BuildaHerd Marketing (and our successful services) will be here for the long haul.
It’s just that running a business (even a thriving one) can be a lonely enterprise. My brother-in-law is in private equity in NYC, and sometimes I long for that “corporate life”. Let someone else worry out P/L’s, staff management and growth. Just draw me a paycheck, and give me some cool stuff to do.
Can you relate? From conversations I’ve had with some of you, I know most can. In fact, I received an email last night from one of you (I get emails like this multiple times each week). Jason, a CPA in Minnesota, reached out and shared some frustration. He wrote:
I had built my practice up to about $200,000 in gross billings and started in Nov. 2000 – and it has been in declining mode since 2004.  I know only gross about $57,000 – after losing all kinds of construction accounts due to the economic downturn.
Have you ever seen this before?  What do people do when they are at a crossroads like this? My heart is not in it and I would rather ram a needle in my eye than go out and try to get new business right now. But, I do not know what I am going to do to support my family (3 kids & wife).
I’m going to share something today which runs the risk of making me look bad, but I feel the need to connect with you on a deeper level today, and get above the normal “tips and techniques”.
A little over two years ago, I found myself in a serious cash crunch. I owned two businesses, was deeply involved with a third, and, frankly, *my* accountant at the time was in over his head. All kinds of cash had been flowing through the different entities, but it wasn’t being tracked properly, and long story short–I quite suddenly found myself in about $90K of debt. Talk about panic and fear. We were in the middle of an adoption process (which requires cash), and I’d never faced this kind of crunch before.
Obviously, I learned a bunch of painful lessons (and I fired my accountant). But what did I *do*?
Well, aside from scrambling for funding, first, I got serious about client relationships, and reached out to my list. What did they want?
And, in response to what they said, we started what is now the wildly-popular Email Marketing Revolution. I got away from what I *thought* the market wanted, and listened to what they were telling me they wanted (relational, direct-response email marketing). And I kept my eyes and ears open to new things.
That became the genesis of the Social Media Elevation program. Currently, that’s even more popular (especially because it includes a trial of the email marketing service with it, at no charge).
But what about the heart? Because that was, actually, the MAIN issue. What did I do with that fear and panic?
With the help of my wife, I learned to step back in gratitude for what God had given me. I got my eyes off my navel, and I remembered that while circumstances change–some deeper things don’t.
And I realized that NO MATTER the circumstances, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.
Because the thing we’re ALL after isn’t about about the “flow” of a good business, or your firm experiencing rapid growth. Sure, that helps. It helps a LOT. But we’re all after something more than money in the bank, or adding tons of new clients. Our lives are meant for deep connection, and deep significance.
In the fall, I’m going to be launching something for tax & accounting professionals which will be about getting you to that place of significance. Yeah, we’ll be working on adding new clients and exploding results for your firm…but there’s more to what we want than that. You’ll know what I mean when you see it.
No matter if you’re feeling like Jason did (or I did, years ago), or if your business is booming (like many of our clients), it’s time we all remember what we’re really working towards.
Talk again soon.

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Certified Public Accountants
Chula Vista, CA

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