Vacation, Reflection, Artists and Drones! | AccountingWEB

Vacation, Reflection, Artists and Drones!

I apologize for not posting the last couple of weeks.  I was on vacation last week, and the week before that, I was really busy trying to get things done before vacation. 

With that said, while I was out, I conducted some reflection and read a couple of Seth Godin books (Linchpin and Poke the Box).  I have read most of his books and find them to be very motivational and easy reads. 

I took several key points and motivational thoughts from these books, such as:

  1. Be an Artist.  Not a drone.
  2. Solve interesting problems
  3. Lead
  4. Take initiative
  5. Be remarkable
  6. Question the status quo
  7. Don't accept mediocre obedience (failed attempt to be really good)
  8. Start something
  9. Do it now!

I really could go on and on. The point is, we should be remarkable or seek to live a life that is.  We should not accept what the "machine" provides, but create our own "machine." (My quote) 

Life can sometimes seem like a routine that never ends, and we "lead lives of quiet desperation."  This should not be the case (even for state tax professionals).Seth says in his book (Linchpin), "Art is anything that is creative, passionate and personal."  Seth also says, "an artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity and boldness to challenge the status quo.  An artist takes it personally. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient.  The medium doesn't matter.  The intent does."

My point is we should try to apply these concepts to our lives - personally and professionally. 

Can a state tax professional be an "artist"?  I think so.  A state tax professional should seek to provide innovative solutions to it's company's or client's facts and situations.  They should provide sound judgment and recommended courses of action.  They should provide practical advice to deeply technical issues, and strong advocacy when appropriate. 

Don't be a drone by just following what has always been done or by simply meeting the goals that are measured (how boring is that).  Be an Artist through your personal interactions and innovative solutions. 

Be creative. Have fun! Life is short, so you might as well.

P.S.  - Here are some notable state tax developments over the past couple of weeks (from my perspective):

  • Virginia amended the manufacturer single sales factor election legislation to lessen the employment requirements and eliminate the 10% penalty
  • Texas created an amnesty program to begin June 12, 2012
  • Ohio created an amnesty program to begin  May 1, 2012

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Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States.  He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State Tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect."  For more info, visit his website:

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Because state and local taxes are deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.

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