What’s your 3-by-5?

Card What if you summed up the most important things you need to work on and posted them on your bathroom mirror on a 3-by-5 card to look at every day when you wake up and before you go to sleep?

What impact would that have on your ability to stay focused, no matter what?

That was the way business visionary Seth Godin closed the re-Set Business Forum that I attended last month. He asked the distinguished panel to summarize their best thoughts about what matters in the "new normal" as if they were writing their own 3-by-5 index cards. Here is what they said:

So we borrowed that same technique during a panel presentation at our Business and Industry Conference at the Turf Valley Conference Center in Ellicott City.

The conference had a record attendance of almost 150 CPAs who are financial leaders (CFOs, controllers, etc.) in business, industry and government / not-for-profits all coming together to figure out this crazy environment in which we find ourselves. The panel featured several prominent CPA leaders and a BLI speaker talking about what is different in this "new normal" and how to navigate these turbulent times. The panel provided a wide range of expertise, from middle market, private companies to large public companies and a national CPA firm, along with an economist.

Here is how they summed up their advice for their 3-by-5s:

  • Don McDaniel, Sage Growth Partners: Keep adding more value every day.
  • Bob Tarola, Right Advisory: Understand your risk tolerance (profile) and focus on adding value.
  • Bill Riley, Reznick Group, LLC: Get your costs under control and then focus (and invest) in growth.
  • Tom Foard, PCF Corp.: Focus on your core competencies (in business and personally) and keep your wits about you.
  • Tom Hood, MACPA: Build on your strengths, find and seize opportunities, and create your future.

So what's your 3-by-5?