Start Now

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When I met with Jason Deshayes, he gave me a lot of great advice, but one theme really stood out: don’t wait.

He mentioned joining non-profit boards early in his career–not waiting until he was a senior or partner (which, a decade later, he is).

And he suggested that if you are a senior staff member and you are wanting to move up to being a manager, don’t wait.  Start doing whatever manager-type duties you can right away–take the initiative and the responsibility even before you have the title.

He said that something he has learned over the past decade is that even though you do have to let all the conditions come together on some things, you should never believe that “it’s not your time.”  Don’t wait for someone else’s idea of “your time”–write your own course!

Being an AICPA Legacy Scholar has motivated me to start making professional connections, and to try and set myself up to become a future leader in the field–even before I have earned all the credits to sit for the CPA exam.  For instance, I’m really interested in the sorts of conversations going on among current CPAs (especially young CPAs), so I follow people on twitter, follow firms and organizations on LinkedIn, and read blogs like the one at Thriveal.com.

The hashtag #aicpagc13 started showing up in my twitter feed this past weekend, along with some really great quotes and insights from speakers and panels at the meeting.  So I tweeted about how great that was, and I was quoted in CPA Tom Hood’s Storify the next day.  Pretty cool!

I’ve also started looking into CPA exam prep materials and test info; even though I can’t sit for the exam until next summer, I sure can get a head start on studying for it.

So my advice for today is: if you have an ambition to do something–start now.  In whatever way you can.  It all adds up.

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The Power of Why

My mom emailed me this morning about this great TED Talk by Simon Sinek on How Great Leaders Inspire Action.  I’ve actually already seen it (and read his book!), but it’s an inspiring watch if you haven’t.

In his book, Start with Why, Sinek explains that companies with a clear sense of “why” (a purpose, cause, or belief) have a greater power to influence and inspire than those built on merely “what” they do or “how” they do it.  In the TED Talk he applies this reasoning to the development of powerful leaders.