Death & Taxes

By | Accounting, Finance, Follow-through, Systems | No Comments

Taxes“It’s income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.”


Dave Barry



It’s that time of year again. Ain’t it fun?!?


Don’t get  me wrong. I don’t mind paying my share for our military, roads, law enforcement and other systems we need in place to keep our society stable. There are just three things that bother me about paying taxes:

  1. The complexity
  2. The waste
  3. All of us become liars – some in order to pay less in taxes and some accidentally because of reason #1.

So what does that mean for your business?


Know what you are getting into. Find resources that help you make your business grow in spite of your tax burden. Use a group of professionals that can help you steer through it.


Make sure your professional is the right one. I just sat with a client this week that is very worried about how much he will owe in taxes. He has switched CPAs because he felt he had outgrown his previous CPA. Now it looks like he may have more tax liability than he planned because of poor advise and because he failed to do the next hint:


Prepare ahead of time. Make sure you are have a sales tax account if you are collecting sales tax. Make accommodations for your employee’s employment taxes and your own self-employment taxes. This is sacred cash and should never be disturbed until you have paid all taxes. It’s better to have a little too much in the account at the end that you can re-invest than to be stuck with a bill your business can’t bear.


Create a system and be organized. Unfortunately many of us have trouble keeping a mileage log, filing receipts, balancing our books regularly and keeping up with our tax commitments throughout the year: quarterly state taxes, estimated self-employment taxes, sales tax reports, unemployment and workers compensation. If you create a system to make them happen, it makes it easier to stay out of hot water.


Finally, get involved. Let your local, state and federal officials know how you feel. Become part of groups that influence how taxing decisions are made: professional organizations, business lobbyist organizations, and chambers of commerce allow you to amplify your voice.


At the end of it all: the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Be prepared for both.




Marketing Follow-Through

(January 30, 11:30 -1:00 – Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce)

Co-sponsored by the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce, this is a FREE Lunch and Learn series.

Most of the time our marketing becomes a flash in the pan because we fail to follow through. Get some Ideas on how to close the gap and keep leads, customers and clients from falling through the cracks.

Eventbrite - Marketing Follow-Through


Call 360.779.4848


Fear of Success – Fiction?

By | Accountability, Follow-through, life style | One Comment

Fear“If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”


Vince Lombardi (1930-1970)

One of football’s most winning-est coaches in the NFL:

Winning 73.8% (149-47-6) of all games


I had a very interesting conversation with someone this week. We were talking about the “fear of failure” and the term “fear of success” came up.

I’ve heard that term before but never really understood it. How can someone be afraid of success? This article suggests that Maslow (yeah, the guy with the Hierarchy of Needs and the pyramid) and his friend Frank Manuel coined the phrase. I don’t believe this fear is as pervasive as some suggest.


There are genuine fears of responsibility, not being accepted, or gaining prominence. Some of us use this “fear of success” as an easy excuse.


 Why Many of Us Sabotage Ourselves:

Sometimes we are so beat up, run-down or self depreciated that we don’t put our best effort forward. As I was discussing this with my friend, we came up with the term “Bad News Bears Syndrome”. Here is what happens:

You feel burned out or defeated after putting it all out there and not accomplishing what you thought you should have. Instead of analyzing what went wrong or learning from it, you emotionally decide not to do it again. You then stop putting it all on the line. Now you can tell yourself, “Well I didn’t put as much into it as I could have.” We accept our role in the world – just like the Bad News Bears. This becomes a habit. You may have some success and you feel like a genius or just lucky because “I didn’t do much” but you can still use your excuse if it falls short.


Have you accepted your place? Are you ready to break out?





The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce is now taking RSVPs for the Kitsap Business Forum. Our first forum is a panel of experts (facilitated by yours truly):


Kelle Kitchel-Cooper (Rockfish Group Marketing )

Dennis Bryan, CPA (Parker, Morris & Cena)

Jeff Reed (Farmer’s Insurance)

Lisa Jewett (Customer Service Specialist)

Wayne Sargent (Express Personell)

Dan Martin (SCORE)

Diane Russell (Attorney)


Bring your business and local economy questions for the panel to answer and debate!


RSVP at (360) 692-6800


Goodbye, Norman Schwarzkopf

By | Accountability, Follow-through, Leadership | No Comments

DesertStorm011“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in battle.”


Norman Schwarzkopf (AKA:”Stormin’ Norman”)
Commander, US Central Command
Commander, Coalition Forces – Desert Storm
Died Yesterday (12/27/2012)

I remember seeing “Stormin’ Norman” on TV during Desert Storm. He calmly explained how new technology in weaponry was allowing U.S. and allied forces to steer a missile directly through a window and into the target of choice. We saw how the camera on another missile destroyed a bridge just before an Iraqi military vehicle started to cross. I was 14 at the time and just beginning to take notice of the outside world.


It seemed like everyone liked Schwarzkopf. Why was that? 


Very simple reasons:

  • Integrity played an important role in everything he did. There have been many commanders of our US forces that have had their integrity questioned – some of them very recently. I believe it was his integrity that led him to decline a promotion to Chief of Staff of the US Army and to his retirement in August after the end of Desert Storm. In retirement, he didn’t abuse his notoriety for his own self aggrandizement, but to promote causes he believed in. 
  • He communicated well with everyone. He shared as much information as he could. Never did you get the feeling he was holding something back. He held many more press conferences regarding Desert Storm than was expected and provided ample information and access to those seeking reasonable information.
  • He expected the best from himself and everyone around him. In his autobiography “It Doesn’t Take a Hero”, Schwarzkopf relates how he risked his own life to save his soldiers in a minefield in Vietnam. Crawling through the minefield to an injured soldier after he himself had been injured, he pinned him down so the flailing man would not set off any more mines.

He later told his men regarding how strict he was: “When you get on that plane to go home, if the last thing you think about me is ‘I hate that son of a bitch’, then that is fine because you’re going home alive.”

I admired him. A leader in every sense of the word. We need more leaders like him in our government, our communities, our businesses and our homes.



Do You Have One Yet?


Accountability Groups are starting to form! These groups are more than a social club for business. Get a sounding board and a committed professional group to help you reach your potential in 2013.


Learn more at the Accountability Partners Website!


Thank You

Just Good Business

By | Follow-through, Leadership, Marketing | No Comments

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”


~H.U. Westermayer
It’s been beat to death the need to show gratitude to our clients, our staff, our family and our Maker.  So why do we still stuggle with it?


We already know that showing gratitude will:

  1. Increase return customers
  2. Develop more loyal employees
  3. Improve our family relationships
  4. Make us happier people.


I know I tend to not show gratitude when I:

  • am focused on a goal that I have not reached
  • don’t feel the result is as good as I had hoped
  • have too much on my plate to accomplish
  • feel that the result is owed to me.

So here is my suggestion: Before setting your goals or moving on to the next one – count your blessing. I will try this week too . . .





Step Into The Darkness

By | Follow-through | No Comments

“Stop complaining about what you’re not getting, and start creating what you want.”

Dr. Phil McGraw (1950 – )


Motion. Action. Momentum.

One of my Scout leaders always wanted us to have a plan. One problem: it seems that plan was all we ever did. When it came to our activity night, we had no activity, so we planned. No follow-through was ever decided on between activity nights. The next week we planned because no one ever did anything.

Does this sound like your business. Big, hairy, audacious goals. Annual plan. Flop at the end

Sometimes it’s not the goal that flops. We don’t know how to make it happen. There comes a moment when you have to step into the darkness, having faith there is solid ground beneath your feet.

What scares you? Do it anyway. Take that step today