I have hopes that this email (or the sentiments therein, at least) will go viral.

After all, isn’t that the currency these days? Virality?

Before I get there though, business owners (hopefully) aren’t using software to prepare their taxes! Of all of the taxpayer categories out there, ministers and business owners simply must have real expertise on their side.

Those software commercials sure can be seductive, of course, but as Seth Godin recently wrote: Proximity is not a stand-in for expertise. (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/03/never-eat-sushi-at-the-airport.html )

Just another log on that fire recently was Intuit’s failure to keep their software updated for Form 8960 — the new 3.8% net investment tax.

Just a sampling of some of the user frustration out there: https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2266554-why-is-form-8960-still-not-available

But that’s just one of the problems with trusting in a software for your taxes, and I’d rather not belabor the point further. Let’s move on to my main message.

Goodness gracious, I am afraid of sounding like a grump here, but this really does need to be said. I’ve seen so much of the opposite that I occasionally begin to despair.

So, this probably isn’t for *you* … but I do hope that it makes its way to the right recipient…

Valerie McLaughlin’s
“Real World” Business Strategy Note

Generation Y: How To Win In The Workplace
“Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.” -Vincent T Lombardi

You’re young and ambitious, a perfect representative of Generation Y. Your energy may take you far, but fair or not, you’ve got to prove yourself to your boss and your colleagues. Here’s how to earn their respect:

I know you value being “real”.
So, on your resume and in person, resist the urge to embellish your accomplishments or brag about your talent. Let your achievements speak for themselves.

Handle the stress.
Show that you can keep your cool when things don’t go according to plan. If you wilt under pressure, managers and co-workers won’t trust you with responsibility.

Cultivate the right relationships.
Don’t just kiss up to the boss (but don’t ignore him or her either). Identify people who can help you, and whom you can help, and establish long-term relationships with the potential to benefit both of you.

Learn to communicate!
Your email, reports, and notes should be grammatically correct and free of LOL, JK, etc., k? Read everything over carefully to be sure you’re making the point you intend, in appropriate language. Leave out the jokes, and concentrate on content that’s clear and easy to follow.

Don’t complain.
You may be disappointed or angered by a manager’s decision. Don’t take it to Twitter. Live with it. If you get a reputation for whining, you’ll have a much harder time convincing people that they should give you their attention and trust.

Show some humility.
You may have gotten straight A’s in college, and you may have the greatest idea for a new product EVAR. But if you insist on telling people how smart you are, you’ll alienate co-workers and managers who would otherwise be willing to help you. Show some maturity, and listen to the people around you with respect.


I would ask that you forward this article to a business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance–or simply send them our way. While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Valerie McLaughlin
(410) 224-2600