Hanukkah is behind us, and Christmas (with its associated slowdown) is just about a week away.
The world seems to quiet around that time, no matter your faith tradition, but here at Randall M. Hancock CPA, PC, these “holidays” are a bit of a misnomer. That’s because while we still seek very much to be present (if I can use that word) with our families, we can’t help but see the approaching freight train that we accountants call “busy season” barreling its merry way in our direction.
Even more to the point, “year end” is also hurtling at us with frightening speed, which is why I devoted last week’s note to some items you should consider before it is here (and past us). Just to sum up, I told you that you should perhaps…
1) Double-check withholding and estimated taxes.
2) Evaluate where you are with charity giving.
3) Be careful about mortgage moves.
4) Catch up on retirement savings.
5) Consider making large purchases before online sales tax fully kicks in.
6) Don’t forget to give tax-free gifts and use your FSA funds.
This is all “general” advice that you should consider. Every Birmingham person’s situation will be slightly different, and I don’t blame you if you want some guidance. In which case, give us a call: (205) 715-4488 (or send an email through the email button at the top of the page), and we can see if we have any open slots for some quick, year-end tax planning with you.
Oh, and one more “taxy” thing: The IRS JUST released mileage rates for 2019 (finally) and they can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-standard-mileage-rates-for-2019
Now, I have been pretty “tax heavy” of late, by necessity, but I wanted to change my pace here a little. Because I know that so many of my Birmingham clients are soon to be swept up in the New Year’s “change yourself / change your life” momentum that January inevitably brings.
And a significant way that you can bring “change” to your personal or business world is to seek out, learn from, and connect with someone of influence.
Which is what I write about today. Thoughts welcomed.
The Art of Connecting With Influencers by Randall Hancock
“Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness.” – John C. Maxwell
As leaders, parents, workers and friends, we are ALL in the business of moving our ideas forward.
Some do it well, others poorly. And, I think it’s fair to say that those who are good at it do very well in whatever field they choose.
And one of the best ways to act on those ideas — or to learn how — is by connecting with influencers who are already implementing your idea well, and approach them for help.
Now though, when you first approach another person with a request for his or her time, it is essential that you know what it is you want to accomplish before you begin. Once that is clear in your mind, then you should do some homework about that person. Find out about his or her work, if you need to. Pull all the facts together in your mind.
When you finally meet with the person face-to-face, it’s important that you start the meeting talking about that person’s work. If you study the person’s work, you will likely find many positive qualities about what they are doing with their life and talents. Bring that information out into your conversation.
All people like it when their work is appreciated — but here’s the catch — what you say must be sincere, or the person you are trying to make a connection with will feel like you are working a tactic. No bueno.
Once you have spent some time discussing your genuine appreciation for his or her work, then you will have accomplished what you wanted: you will have opened the door to that person’s mind. He or she will be willing to listen to you — and will think you have a great personality.
When you have established all of this, lay out quickly what it is that you have come for. Be self-assured and sincere. Even if the person you have come to cannot do the thing for you that you are requesting, chances are he or she will make every effort to help you and get you to the person who can actually assist you in accomplishing your ends.
Influencers appreciate sincerity and directness. But they are also “real” people, and should be approached as such.
Do it right, and your cause (or even merely your own growth) moves forward.
I’m grateful for your trust, and for your referrals.
Until next week,
Randall M. Hancock CPA, PC