Richard A. Lindsey, CPA

Lindsey & Waldo, LLC – Certified Public Accountants

  • Nov 11

    Steve Jobs was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple, Inc. This is the fifth anniversary of his death. These inspirational words are often referred to as his last.

    I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.

    In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.

    However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.

    At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.

    In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.

    Only now, do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.

    It should be something more important:

    For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.

    No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.

    God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.

    I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.

    This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.

    Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.

    What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.

    You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.

    Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.

    Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.

    Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…

    Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbors.

  • Sep 2

    I doubt few of us can forget where we were 15 years ago when the attacks began on the morning of September 11, 2001. That horrible, tragic day is forever etched in our memories.

    Patriot Day is observed in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives that day. On that day, two hijacked airplanes were deliberately crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. A third hijacked airplane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed into a Pennsylvania field before hitting its suspected target, the White House.

    Like the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor that brought us into World War II, the 9-11 attacks ushered us into a new war… the war on terrorism. It also touched and changed the lives of each and every American forever.

    In the days, weeks and months following 9-11, the U.S. was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, many of the flags have disappeared. Our patriotism has pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn’t take another attack to galvanize our solidarity. Together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.

  • Jun 24

    May 7, 2016 University of South Alabama baseball legend Steve Kittrell’s #3 was retired in an official ceremony. His was only the third number ever retired by the Jaguar baseball program, joining former head coach Eddie Stanky and All-American Luis Gonzalez.

    During his 29 seasons, Coach Kittrell amassed nearly 1,100 victories, a number that, to this day, keeps him in the top 50 of the all-time NCAA victory list and among the top 40 for Division 1.

     

    Sitting in the stands at Stanky Field, listening to all the accolades being bestowed on Steve Kittrell, I remembered an email I received at the middle of tax season and the beginning of college)baseball season. The email didn’t attribute an author, and I wasn’t familiar with the subject of the story so I checked it out before passing it on to you. As far as I can tell the original story was written by baseball consultant Chris Sperry for Baseball Life, but don’t let that keep you non-baseball fans from reading on. Baseball was simply the context, not the story.

    In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.

    During registration I heard more veteran coach’s conversations returning to the speaker lineup. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment – “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

    At the time, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which hung home plate – a full-sized, stark white home plate. Seriously I wondered, “who in the hell is this guy?”

    After speaking for 25 minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

    Then, finally… “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

    Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “You know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.

    “That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

    Another long pause.

    “Seventeen inches?” came a guess from another reluctant coach.

    “That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern begin to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

    “Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

    “You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

    “Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

    “Any minor league coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

    “Seventeen inches!”

    “Right! And in the major leagues, how wide is home plate in the major leagues?”

    “Seventeen inches!”

    “Seventeen inches!” He confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a big-league pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” He hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, “Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you can have a better chance of hitting it. You can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.”

    Pause. “Coaches…” Pause.

    “… What do we do if our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him, do we widen home plate?

    The chuckles gradually faded as 4,000 coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned to toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows.

    “This is the problem in our homes today, with our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there’s no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

    Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

    “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

    Silence. He replaced the flag with a cross.

    “And this is the problem in the church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

    I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I’ve learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

    “If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standards; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to…” With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark backside. “… Dark days ahead.”

     

    His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players – no matter how good they are – your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.

  • Mar 4

    Many years ago, Folgers® coffee scored big with a series of ads taking the viewer inside various gourmet restaurants while an announcer whispered “we’re here at such-and-such snooty restaurant, where we’ve secretly replaced the fine coffee they usually serve with Folgers® crystals. Let’s see if anyone can tell the difference.” And they interviewed diners, who expressed shock, and I’m sure no small amount of embarrassment, when they discovered how much they liked the cheap Folgers® Instant instead of the “gourmet” brand they expected. (This was way before Starbucks® elevated our palates and made us all coffee connoisseurs.)

    A few years ago, Walmart® shamelessly ripped off paid homage to Folgers® with their own ad promoting-believe it or not-Walmart® steaks. “We’re here at the famous Golden Ox Steakhouse in Kansas City, where we switched their steak, with Walmart’s choice premium steak…”

    Now, I can’t vouch for the quality of Walmart’s meats, but let me make two points about Walmart® steaks, with lessons for your own business.

    There is a placebo effect. Diners who gear up for a big night out at a fine steakhouse are primed for a great meal. They expect choice ingredients everywhere, and select service from a well-trained staff. And they’ll probably be pretty happy, even if the experience isn’t “objectively” all that great.

    This effect has been proven time and time again. Researchers at Stanford University used MRIs to study Caltech grad students’ brains as they swallowed five red wines priced at $5, $10, $35, $45, and $90 per bottle. They found that as the price of the wine rose, so did the activity in the subjects’ medial orbitofrontal cortices. (Apparently this is the part of the brain that experiences pleasure.) The “catch,” of course, is that the subjects didn’t drink five different wines-they drank three. The wine presented as costing $45 per bottle was really the one costing $5-and the wine presented as costing $90 per bottle really cost just $10.

    The placebo effect won’t work just anywhere. Diners have to really expect a great meal for it to work. Nobody who shows up at the squat-and-gobble all you can eat buffet expects a world-class steak. They are just happy they don’t see marks from where the jockey was hitting it.

    There is also a Walmart® effect. I understand Walmart® steaks are actually perfectly fine beef. They’re USDA “choice,” which is the same cut you find it mid-priced steakhouses like Outback® or Longhorn®. (The top 3% of beef, with the most marbling is graded “prime.” That’s the stuff you’ll find “dry-aged” at elite steakhouses, often drenched with butter, and sometimes served with a side of Lipitor®. The next 55%, with “slightly abundant marbling,” is graded “choice.” That’s the stuff you grill at home, and it’s really pretty good. Finally, there’s USDA “select,” which usually winds up ground into hamburgers.)

    The problem, of course, is that Walmart® has positioned itself as being the home of discount prices (cheap). And nobody associates “cheap” with “good.” Nobody expects good steaks at Walmart®. So how does Walmart® get around our prejudice?

    Well, here they resort to a classic “dramatic demonstration.” Showing happy diners enjoying Walmart® steaks is a lot like H&R Block® ads showing a stage full of happy clients stepping up to claim surprise refunds. It’s just like “Vince from ShamWow®” telling the camera guy to follow him as his miracle chamois soaks up a spill.

    The downside of this approach is that while Walmart® tells us their steaks are “surprisingly good,” at least some of us still focus on the “surprise” more than the “good.”

    To sum up: 1) the “placebo effect” actually lets us sell downscale stuff at an upscale price; however, 2) the “Walmart® effect” actually keeps us from selling upscale stuff in the downscale environment.

    Still skeptical? Ask yourself this-would you have nearly as hard a time believing steaks from Target® are good?

    The bottom line for your business is this: if you position yourself as a premium provider, clients may not even realize if you occasionally drop the ball. But, if you position yourself as a discounter-if you give yourself a reputation for being cheap-clients will have a hard time believing you’re good!

    You probably didn’t go into business to be the Walmart® of your profession. Let Walmart’s challenge in selling steaks remind you why you should position yourself as high up the food chain as you can!

  • Jan 8

    There are seven critical areas of marketing every business must have in place to be balanced. These seven spokes must be in place for the “wheel” of your business to run smoother, be less stressful, and less time consuming.

    Successful and wealthy business owners consistently have each of these seven critical marketing areas working at their maximum potential. These seven spokes on the marketing wheel are:

    1. A market that is hungry to consume your message… and able to pay for your product or service.
    2. A marketing message that grabs your prospects and draws them into your ad, sales letter, emails, or other marketing pieces.
    3. A system for increasing the lifetime customer value of each customer, client, or patient.
    4. A system for reaching more affluent customers who don’t make purchasing decisions based on price.
    5. A lead generation machine that works so smoothly you never have to wonder where your next customer is coming from.
    6. Strategies for getting your marketing message in front of your customers offline.
    7. Strategies for siphoning more leads to your business online.

    Take a minute to rate yourself on each spoke of your marketing wheel – with 1 being non-existent and 5 being outstanding. This will help you determine where you are the weakest and need the most improvement. It will also show you if you are balanced. As an example, if you rate yourself a 5 on offline strategies but a 1 on online strategies, it’s tough to have a thriving business.

    Make all of your spokes strong in each of these seven areas, and you will have a thriving business that provides you with the income that allows you the freedom from worry.

  • Dec 21

    I know what it’s like to think that the lifestyle I want is out of reach. Just a few years ago, I would lie on my bed in my tiny 400-square-foot studio apartment and flip through magazines, wishing I could have the luxurious lifestyles I read about.

    Despite that negative, nagging voice in my head that reminded me I could barely afford rent, I’m now living a beautiful life I created for myself from scratch. Instead of moping around an apartment I can barely afford, I now have the means to travel and to inspire others. Last year I took a solo retreat to Maui, and this year I vacationed at an exclusive beach resort in Cabo San Lucas.

    How do I do it? By deciding not to settle for being average and thinking BIG. Changing your mindset can be a challenge, but the rewards are well worth the cost. Here’s how you get started…

    1. Eliminate negativity. This includes negative self-talk, too. Why would the universe bring you a better life if you don’t appreciate what you already have? Show gratitude for everything in your life now. The seemingly bad days happen for a reason, so whenever you find yourself thinking, “I can’t do this” or “that’s impossible,” reframe it as the opposite. “I can do that, that is possible…” you owe it to yourself to give yourself the love and support you need to succeed.
    1. Document your dreams. Earlier this year I wanted to manifest a new house, so I listed all the qualities in my dream home: a 3-car garage, workout room, walk-in closets. (Don’t censor yourself! Anything is possible, even if it seems silly now.) I also bought some real estate magazines, cut out pictures of homes I love, and created a collage. I’m constantly updating my “dream board,” which is now proudly displayed in my new house!
    1. Surround yourself only with supportive people. I only shared my house dream with my friends and family I knew would support my decision. (NOT those prone to phrases like “Are you crazy? Who do you think you are? Ms. Trump?”) Your true friends and family will be happy to share in your dream. If you don’t have anyone else to support you, then it’s time to make new friends-join a networking group or a mastermind.
    1. Decide, believe, and watch for clues. It’s not enough to make a decision to work towards your dreams. You must also truly believe in them! Don’t worry about HOW your dreams will manifest themselves. Watch for clues, and HOW will find you, perhaps in the form of a new business partner or a new client. But remember that the dream comes before the HOW.
    1. ACT on opportunities when they appear. Action involves risk. You might have to hire more people to help with a new client. You need time to research that prospective business partner. Or figure out how to hire that amazing new mentor. But it’s up to YOU to take action when the path is revealed the universe is supporting you, and each step will bring you closer to your dreams.

    Named the “Entrepreneurial Guru for Women” by Business News Daily, Ali Brown provides business coaching and advice to over 250,000 followers via AliBrown.com, her social media channels, and her Glambition® radio show. If you’re ready to jumpstart your marketing, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your free tips now at www.AliBrown.com. Copyright © 2009 Alexandria Brown International, Inc.

  • Nov 13

    There is a success principle that applies to every one of us. No one is exempt and each of us should practice this fundamental way of thinking. No matter what your current level of success is; no matter how difficult your life is today. We should all apply this in our lives each and every day. The amazing thing is that it doesn’t cost us anything.

    “I’m grateful for the opportunity to live on this beautiful and astonishing planet Earth. In the morning, I wake up with a sense of gratitude.”

    -Earl Nightingale

    What is this critical success strategy? It’s an attitude of gratitude. Each of us has countless reasons to be grateful. We all have hundreds of reasons to be thankful. We live in a great and beautiful country with infinite possibilities. We have families, friends, community, clients, and customers. We have tremendous opportunities to learn and grow. We can start a new business with nothing more than a great idea.

    “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up with more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

    -Oprah Winfrey

    We are all very fortunate, and we all have a cornucopia of reasons for feeling and expressing our Thanksgiving on a daily basis. I know it’s easy to become consumed with everything around us, but an appreciation of what we have. It’s easy to pass through the daily grind and become swallowed up by “stuff.” The attitude with which we face these challenges is significant. A conscientious effort must be made to step back, take a deep breath, and look at our own personal reality in an appreciative manner.

    Developing and expressing an attitude of gratitude is one of the most important things that you can do to maintain a healthy balance in your life. One simple strategy to help maintain this balance is to develop a “gratitude list.” This is simply a list of the top 10, 20, or 30 things you are truly grateful for in your life. Some are easy to come up with – spouse, kids, health, friends, business, wealth, etc. Other things might take a little longer to think about to come up with. But you know that if you do not have them in your life, you would not be whole.

    “Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”

    -Henry Van Dyke

    Keep your gratitude list close at all times, and when you’re faced with challenges in situations that seem hard to handle, pull out your gratitude list and count your blessings. It’s important to realize that each of us is really just here for an instant and we need to be thankful for all that we have. Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving.