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    An Accountant’s Guide to Goal Setting

    For those of you that missed our goal setting January 2012 Seminar, 'Make 2012 Your Best Year Ever', our speaker, Jim Dunn, talked about the process of goal setting and the need to set balanced goals – not in the sense of a 'balance scorecard', but rather in order to make 2012 your best year ever (or any year, for that matter), you have to have balance in your life, between family, work, etc.

    Which for me really resonates as our company is rolling into tax season, our busiest time of the year.

    While I can't say that I am an expert at setting balanced goals for anyone other than myself, I am pretty good at offering guidance at setting the company, or income goal.

    What I learned from Jim is to start with question "why" – and really this is two questions:

    1. Why do you do what you do?
    2. Why is your income goal your goal?

    I'd suggest starting with these two questions because if you can't answer the first question, it's tough to get passionate enough to accomplish the steps necessary to execute on the second question – or any other goal that involves your career for that matter.

    At our firm, the 'why we do what we do' is that we like helping people accomplish their financial goals – which ultimately leads them to accomplishing their life goals. We do this by structuring our service to help people become better disciplined and more financially savvy business owners and by working to improve cash flow by minimizing expense, mitigating risk, and deferring / minimizing / delaying tax liabilities – in other words we strive to pay for ourselves by delivering value.

    And hopefully we do actually get paid along the way.

    My own personal income goal is driven by the desire to provide a few vacations for my family, a good and stable retirement, and a good education for my kids, and the ability to give something back to the community. Pretty simple stuff.

    Donald Trump once said that money is a way to keep score. I would suggest that although some people are wired this way, most of our clients are not – they have goals similar to my own. So I'd suggest going back, if you haven't done so, and considering the two questions above while you're thinking about how you want to make 2012 your best year ever. Why do you do what you do and what is driving your income goal – other than keeping score?

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