From Brain Pickings – an incredible website I subscribe to that sends out weekly emails of interest to me (the emails come in on Sundays)
It’s porch weather in Charleston, folks, time to be outside, conquering worlds!
Today is the easiest post ever – Happy Friday everyone! Hope you get to do whatever you’d like to do this evening/weekend! Cheers!
“For I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley: In Search of America
You may not always agree with (or admit) every sentiment Steinbeck would like to leave you with from this passage, but I don’t see how you can deny the fact that it literally blows your hair back and leaves you gasping for breath as your mind reels from the connections it makes.
He was such a hit from my intro video (all Automatticians create intro videos so we can ‘meet’ each other online since we’re a distributed company) that I figured he should make an early appearance to the Challenge. So without further adieu, I give the world Hollis Brown – my 30lb solid white beast of a cat.
When I first heard of this challenge my initial thought was what a great idea! As I’m sitting here thinking of what to actually post, though, I realize why this challenge exists in the first place. It’s not an easy thing to come up with new material and diligently post it every day. So to start with I think I am going to stick to the old adage KISS (keep it simple, stupid) and just say:
I pledge to stick to the challenge and welcome to my first post. Cheers!
Great post by the general counsel over at WordPress about the threat of censorship on the internet. Click through to read:
Alright, this blog is going to jump around for a bit, as I attempt to chronicle the different startups I’ve worked with as well as working on my own (The PLAN and others yet to be revealed). I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to organize it, and decided a mission statement of sorts would work. So, as I’ve already used the term threefold once, I’ll say it again: my reasons for this blog are threefold: to be an accounting resource for startups, to document the journey of my own startup lessons and heartaches, and hopefully find some other people who are trying to think outside the box and want to share/learn themselves.
Today I was thinking about a good buddy of mine who has his own startup that has taken off quite nicely. I was attempting to get in touch with him the other day to chat about books/music/life – all things he is well versed in and in which I wanted some of his wonderful insight. He tells me that his business has started to take off and he’s been super busy and says can we catch up that evening. My interest is immediately piqued. How much has it taken off? What made it take off? And then, as a CPA – what has he done about his accounting?! So I ask him the latter and he replies with some grunts, to which I tell him that we probably need to talk sooner than later. He agrees and we fix a time.
That’s when I realize that my friend has a very common startup problem: S hit the fan – before an accounting structure was in place. So as orders and requests are coming in, the phone is ringing off the hook, people are running around, hair on fire – and there’s hardly any sleep and no time to think – you’re accounting problem is just sitting there, festering and growing until you’re going to have to pay someone quite a bit to untangle the mess.
So we get on the phone and I’m amazed at what I hear. There is a separate bank account just for business expenses, but it’s not always used, sometimes in a crunch the personal one is used. There’s no LLC formation (State specific) and no FEIN (IRS Website). No chart of accounts, classifications of expenses or break even analysis. He’s so busy fulfilling orders and keeping up with things to move his top line, he’s forgetting that tracking/understanding expenses and leads to higher profits! I almost can’t take it! I tell myself to breathe and hear my yoga teacher’s voice in my head: relax your forehead, arms, eyebrows… (ps, whoever would have thought you needed to relax your eyebrows?)
Anyway, I give myself a few seconds to recover from the shock that one of the smartest people I’ve ever known and learned so much from had made such a huge oversight. Then the excitement set in – I was ready to help! And so excited that I could give back to an individual who’d taught me so much! ….I was giddy like I hadn’t been whilst discussing accounting, ever. And that’s when I realized that I’d found it. My own passion: helping others grow their passion. And as my Dad always says at the start of a journey: And we’re off…like a herd of turtles!
Almost one year ago, to the day, I created a website and started trying to get a new product/business off the ground. Then I ran into some indecision. Then I ran into some roadblocks. Then I………
Not sure what I did. I can look back over the last year and say I worked a lot at my 9-5, well, being a CPA it’s more like 9-whenever. I had a LOT of fun with my friends (cheers!) and then another aha! moment….
This aha moment led to a rant, which I will add at some point in the future, but isn’t ready to be public, not yet. It was actually written on 7/19, also more on that date later. That was the moment. That was when I decided I was going to not let it be another year. Not another year…. So here’s to at least getting started.
I happened to read a wonderful book around this moment – The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. This book inspired me in more ways than I can ever put down, but more importantly, MOST importantly, it outlined an actual P-L-A-N. Not just a bunch of browsing inc.com and entrepreneur.com and the various sub-reddits on startups (r/startups). No, this was a step by step how-to guide. And exactly what I needed to pull myself out of the indecision and roadblocks and get on my way.
Why a blog with my name? My answer is threefold: partly because my last name is never taken, partly because I couldn’t come up with a catchy business one, and partly because of what I learned from Mr. Ferriss’ book was that we should use what we know. I happen to be a CPA and I know about taxes and have helped my mom and friends get their start-ups off the ground, for free or for an after work pint. But not everyone gets to go to happy hour with a CPA friend, thus I’ve decided to pay homage to Mr. Ferris and do a real ACCOUNTING P-L-A-N for startups. No more reading endless ‘ideas’ on websites and feeling information overload.
So, here’s my plan. I’m setting out to write an easy to use Startup Accounting Plan (see, not creative on the naming stuff). Let me know what you think. Would you be interested in something like this? What kinds of questions would you have for a CPA that you’d want answered over a nice pint or fine wine? Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Stay tuned…