Care to take a wild guess at what I’ve been doing today?
Sorting documents. Filing them away. Throwing out receipts no one with a 20/20 vision could possibly read. Putting all relevant and applicable information into spreadsheets.
It’s not glamorous. It’s not fun. And with the government consistently overpromising, underdelivering, and stumbling into disaster after disaster – like they were Greg Focker (Ben Stiller’s character in Meet the Parents) – you honestly wonder why you would even hand over a percentage of your hard-earned money to incompetent goons.
But this is not a political comment.
No, there are a couple of things I see about this “doing taxes” business.
There Are Opportunities in Numbers
I don’t think I would be going out on a limb to say most creatives are right-brained and either hate math, aren’t good at it, just tolerate it, or only got better at it as they exercised their creative muscle.
That’s how it was for me. I got slightly better at math in relation to my growth as a musician.
But what I see now is that there are opportunities in numbers.
Sometimes there are unauthorized charges on your credit cards – good idea to dig into those.
Sometimes there are expenses you can cut – subscriptions you’re still paying for that have no bearing on your creativity or business whatsoever.
And, although we don’t always think this way as creatives, there are times to increase your expenses too – such as when goods and services are available at a discount.
I get that staring at numbers probably isn’t your idea of a double cheeseburger picnic at the park on a sunny day.
But perhaps it would be worth checking in with those numbers more than once per year – maybe monthly, quarterly at minimum.
You’ll become present to more opportunities.
You’ve Got More Time Than You Realize
I don’t see the need to regurgitate all the points I covered in a previous blog post.
But what I’ve started seeing for myself is that time is available in abundance.
Despite being on multiple Zoom and phone calls today, I was still able to put together the most extensive of ledgers (income, expenses, auto), create a to-do list for the near term and immediate future, log worthy ideas into my freshly created master documents (might have to blog about this at some point), and even sort my documents and receipts.
Having more in your schedule forces you to triage – consider what matters most on your to-do list and prioritize. When you have less to do, the tendency might be to slack off or allow work to expand the time available (Parkinson’s law).
What I’m also starting to see is that some tasks just don’t matter that much. They might matter to the extent that I’ve insisted on being consistent with them over the long haul, but I would probably have better results in other channels if I approached them more experimentally. I was quick to jump into long-term commitments (as with my podcast, for example).
To take it a step further, I’m seeing that I’ve already reached my limits as a solopreneur in my specific niche(s). Taking it to the next level would mean letting others contribute to my projects.
All this from taxes?
Hell, even I was impressed.
A lot of my assumptions are being challenged in the leadership and management program I’m currently taking, and the lessons are showing up in my experience. It’s magical.
But I do need my rest. Good night, kids. See you tomorrow.
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