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Thankful for Doing What I Truly Love

I just returned home on Sunday night from four weeks on the road and it’s been an extremely busy week getting caught up at the office.  So it was nice today, to be able to get up late, and just be able to lounge around a bit and catch some Netflix before heading to my uncle’s house for Thanksgiving dinner with my family.

Identifying with “On My Way Home”

Pentatonix: On My Way Home (from IMDB)

After breakfast this morning, I wanted to watch something different from my usual shows. While skimming through the recommended shows, I came across the Pentatonix movie “On My Way Home”. I heard their music before, but hadn’t realized that they were an acapella group.  My interest was piqued—were they “Pitch Perfect” in real life???

The movie was a great story about a group of childhood friends who were told that they had something special.  They realized that their “something” was different than the rest of the pop stars of today.  But something that they had to take to the next level to be competitive in the music industry.  And they did it—earlier this year they won their first Grammy and then last month they made it to #1 on the Billboard 200 Chart.

Their story was heartwarming, and it was wonderful to see that they were just friends doing something that they love.  They didn’t have the usual pop star narcissism and showmanship, so prevalent in many of today’s artists.  But it was Avi Kaplan’s statement at the end of the movie that really stood out to me:

“And to think that us, like, who we are as people, we are just normal people. We are just blessed enough to be able to go on stage and have found each other and be able to do what we love.  What a beautiful feeling to… To just do something that you truly love, you put your heart and soul into and for people to love it back.  That is unbelievable.”

His statement made me realize what I was truly thankful for this year.  That me, a normal person, could be blessed enough to be able to put my heart and soul into what I love and for people to love it back.  It’s an unbelievable feeling.

Sleeter Members’ Choice Award

Last week I spoke at SleeterCon.  This is now my favorite conference because it provides a good mix of thought leadership, tactical guidance, and the opportunity to talk with many new and long-standing vendors in the accounting space.  At the conference, I was named to Sleeter Group’s Leadership Advisory Council and got to present awards to their Awesome App recipients on stage. All of this was wonderful, but the high of the conference happened on Wednesday evening at the Members Banquet.

At the Members Banquet, just for Sleeter Group members, the Maggie Awards are handed out.  These awards are given to people who are member nominated and awardee selection is also driven by member votes. Since I have been only partially participating in the group’s activities, I didn’t think I had a chance of winning any of these.  So I was just waiting to hear the winners so that I could clap to congratulate them and cheer for those winners that I knew personally.

Donny & Tamra at SleeterCon

Selfie with Tamra Groff, author of my Members Choice Award, at SleeterCon 2015

To my surprise, I heard my own name for the “Members’ Choice” award!  This award is a little different from the others.  It is an award where members are able to suggest a title for the award and describe what the award would be for, and then they can nominate a person who they think should win the award.  Then other members are allowed to vote to support this “custom” award.  I was so touched!

The following day, Tamra Groff, owner of a Sleeter member firm, came over and told me how happy she was that I received the award because she had written the description and nominated me. Oh gosh, I was just about ready to melt!  How touching to know that what little time I have to contribute to the Sleeter community is making a difference.

Later that day, I had another Sleeter Group member come up and congratulate me and tell me how happy she was that I got the award.  She reads many of the articles that I write and she really liked how I always take the time to reply to comments or questions on my articles, and that my responses were always very cordial and positive.  Gosh, I really was the members’ choice!

Thanks for affirming that I am making a difference

All of this was just for doing what I love to do: inspire other accountants to innovate and transform their practices, to better serve their clients.  Like in the Pentatonix movie, I had just finished my “tour” of conferences and client work: Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Jose, San Francisco (again), Houston, Orlando, Las Vegas (again), and Seattle—all in four weeks—and I had come back home to spend Thanksgiving with my family and friends. In a week I’ll be back on the road again.

Many people ask me how I do it; how do I do these “tours”?  My response is always the same: I love getting out there and leading change in the accounting profession.  I love educating accountants on how to help their clients succeed. So my thanks go out to all of the conference organizers and planning committees, the associations and their members, and the publishers and other thought leaders, who allow me to do what I love and support and guide me.

And while I may not have the screaming fans like Pentatonix, receiving the Members’ Choice award from the Sleeter Group reminded me that I do have fans. Fans that I love to talk with and hear their stories, and who love me back for doing what I love.  But more importantly, the award and their comments reminded me that I am making a difference—that I am helping to improve the world…one accountant at a time.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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