It’s been a while since I last wrote for this blog. And it’s been very busy year, perhaps one of the busiest or me in a very long time. Demand for my services as a trusted IT advisor has multiplied exponentially—I now have a 4-month waiting period for new engagements. And the number of requests for speaking engagements has almost doubled, including getting paid for speaking at events. It has also been an amazing year for me personally, one in which I’ve gained the most clarity on what I want to do with my life—I feel like I’ve found myself again.
I won’t reveal my life plan to you (yet) but I will say that I’ve regained my passion for the accounting profession. “Regained” you may say implies that I lost it. And I must admit that for a while, I started to question, not my commitment to the profession, but rather my faith in the institutions of the profession, and their ability to change. There is a ton of inertia in the profession and unfortunately much more politics than I realized operating in the institutions. Some may probably think me naïve, and I must say in looking back that I probably was naïve in thinking that I could have a significant impact on the profession.
However, I realized that I was merely going through what Gartner calls a “Hype Cycle”. The AICPA Leadership Academy triggered the cycle and started me on the upward trend of excitement and passion. Through the academy, I learned how great the accounting profession is and also the great challenges that we face in keeping the profession relevant and engaging for the next generation. I was climbing up the Peak of Inflated Expectations.
The academy opened my eyes to all the opportunity that there was to make a difference, and many young CPAs have rallied to my side (and are still here today) in helping to start what Tom Hood calls “the movement”. I don’t think any of us knew what we were up against. Not with people actively fighting against us (although politics are causing some issues), but rather the passive resistance of the sheer inertia of how things were always done and the lack of motivation to change. What I had thought would be easy long strides, ended up being small steps—sometimes easy, but more often feeling like they required a lot more energy than the progress that was gained.
So from the Peak of Inflated Expectations, I began the descent into the Trough of Disillusionment. I started to question myself and whether “the movement” and I could really redirect this iceberg of a profession. Part of me wanted to start my own path and pull the others with me and do our own thing. But as I looked at the many small associations/networks within the profession, (many of which are more innovative and forward thinking), I saw that while we could do our own thing, it would not save the profession from irrelevance. I had to figure out a way to maneuver the iceberg and the deal with the mass of “other things” that are hidden below the waterline.
Thus began my climb out of the Through of Disillusionment, up the Slope of Enlightenment. And enlightening this year has been! My naming earlier this month to Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People list, confirmed for me that I have been making a difference and it is being noticed. When I posted it on Facebook, I was extremely touched to have 96 friends “like” my post. Twenty-five people took the time to comment, providing congratulations and many said “well deserved”. It made me feel like I really had earned this honor.
That was the last spark I needed to reignite my passion for the profession. I have since reworked my 5-year career plan and re-visualized the direction I want for my life. As this year comes to a close, I will be wrapping up loose ends with my previous plan, and putting things in motion for my new plan. It is amazing to feel like I have definite direction and purpose in life again.
Over this year, I’ve also met a lot of new people and many of you may not know my story. So in restarting this blog, I hope to share with you my story and my involvement in the accounting profession. I hope to reignite the passion that many of you (who are already CPAs) have for the profession, and to show the next generation of students how a career in accounting is the portal to a life that is fulfilling like no other. Yes, being a CPA is not just a job, but a lifestyle. Don’t believe me? Subscribe to this blog and see the story unfold… enjoy!