It Started With A Hoverboard: Our Journey Into Crowdfunding

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The Journal of Accountancy published an article on Crowdfunding this week, featuring The Green Abacus. That's pretty cool, but there's a lot more to be said about the movement. So we wanted to draw your attention to some other good information out there. The two most popular platforms (which act in the way of product presales) are Kickstarter and Indigogo. A couple notable customers and friends of ours that have run campaigns on these sites (and in some cases, where you can buy their products today): Waveborn - Shades That Give Sight (live product/store) Renuble - Transforming Food Waste To Affordable Nutrients (live product/store) Misfit Inc - The Life & Times Of A Remarkable Misfit Distil Union - Minimal Pull Tab Wallets (my ...

The Opposite Of Success Isn’t Failure

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The opposite of success isn't failure. It's tempting, when your why is "enabling the success of others", to try to find ways to reduce failure. Failure is painful. Failure is a punch in the face. And frustrating. And requires patient reassessment. Failure can lead to no cash, which could mean (if we let you fail) that you can't afford our help any more and you leave us. So most companies will promise success in the form of an absence of failure. But that's bad for you. Because the opposite of success isn't failure. Failure is a great teacher. Failure is blunt feedback. Failure tells you that the crowd doesn't want what you're selling (or that you're not reaching the right ...

When To Use An Expert, And When To DIY

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It's tempting today to think that nothing is below our capability, and with the proper instructions, we can tackle anything. The Web, our software, YouTube, Idiots Guides. Everything we need to know about everything is right there, for our instruction. The problem with what's called explicit, or written/communicated knowledge, is that it's very helpful to us only as long as our problem is already identified. Its opposite, tacit knowledge, is necessary when we don't know what problem we have. Consider this lengthy passage from the book, Shop Class As Soulcraft, which examines a passage from Robert Pirsig's classic Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, detailing a bad episode with a repair shop staffed by "idiots". "Why did they butcher ...

It’s Your Business: How To Deal With Advice Overload

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While running your business, you're going to be inundated with tons of business advice. Everyone you talk to is going to have their perfect vision for what your company needs and where it should go. But here's the thing... None of them will be putting in the work you put in as founder. None of them have your specific weaknesses, strengths, or desires. Even if they were to implement their idea in a perfect duplication of your business, it would turn out different. No other business exists in this exact context, and no one else is responsible for its success. Challen and I just returned from Startup Weekend DC, where we had the opportunity to join up with, test, and ...

It’s More Than Superheroes: Expressing Enjoyment Through Everything We Do

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Since the reveal of our logo in 2014, our company and culture has expressed a distinct superhero feel in everything we publish. Our site employs fonts and colors appropriate for a comic book. I've taken to wearing exclusively superhero themed t-shirts. Challen and I have attended Baltimore Comic Con and AwesomeCon DC. And we love to send our customers Fandango gift cards as gratitude for referrals, usually coinciding with whatever the Marvel Cinematic Universe is releasing this month. (It's a great time to be a geek!) But it's a mistake to think this means we only work with a certain breed of geek. Some have misinterpreted our intentions, and assumed this cultural expression means we're only looking to work with comic artists ...
Lettuce leaf and tomato on a plate

Have A Plan. Stop Getting Robbed Of Your Business Gainz.

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Are there empty calories in your spending? Are you eating enough to grow? Do you need to spend aggressively in marketing? Or are you bringing on staff and need to allocate money towards payroll? Don’t forget, just like with diet, it’s not enough to just say “We’re simply going to stop eating this month.” If you have growth goals, that diet won’t cut it. Accounting is the diet of your company's growth plans, and today we are going to examine five accounting guidelines that will keep you from getting robbed of your business #gainz. Start with the end goal in mind. The long term and short term goals you have for your business are going to determine what your accounting diet should like. ...
american dollars in the hands

3 Truths And A Lie About The Necessity Of Profit

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Well that's a dumb title! Who would ever argue that profit isn't necessary? And why would you bother with Profit as a core value? Isn't that assumed by being in business? Those are great questions. It's true that at The Green Abacus, Profit is a core value (Step 3 along our Path of Heroic Deeds). We believe that too often, Profit is assumed, and that's why we want to draw attention to it through our Core Values. Plus, we're accountants. It just makes sense that Profit is in our domain. In this post, I will share three truths and one lie about Profit that you must believe to give it its necessary place in your own business. The first truth ...
sailing ship

6 Practical Steps To Balance Short Term and Long Term

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Running a strong business is about finding harmony between working, that pays off in the short term, and developing, that won't pay off until the future. You cannot survive with either one without the other. If you focus on the short term work only, you will grow without a direction. If you focus on long term development only, you may never have a chance to see that future. If you focus on the short term work only, growth can come easily. If you're willing to shape your offer around whoever will pay you today, you'll never be short on people willing to pay. But if you only say "yes" to short term opportunities, without any view or purpose toward the future, ...

Stop Delaying. Write Your Origin Story.

Barrett Financial Roadmap

If the figures are right, several million dollars of scholarships go unclaimed each and every year. What a shame considering how many young folks never go to school for financial reasons. In the same way, countless startups muddle their way through months (or years) of unprofitability simply because they can’t afford access to expert financial advice. Yet, startups are most vulnerable and can least afford to mismanage their resources. The obvious challenge is that experts are expensive. For this reason, The Green Abacus is thrilled to announce the opening of our Origin Story scholarship program. It is a two-year program designed to give select startups the opportunity to work with our team at the most crucial stage of their business (and …


You Can’t Outtrain A Bad Diet

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Strength training in your business is called Marketing. It can be fun, sexy, draws attention, and is responsible for most of the growth you'll see over time. Process Design is the Cardio of your business. It's very methodical, with its fun found in its rhythm, and while it's not going to make you bigger, it will ensure your business endures for a long time. And lastly, Accounting is your Diet. You ever talked to a dietician? You probably rank it up there with talking to an Accountant (not us though, of course. We're awesome). They love their nutritional data and latest studies, and will tell you everything you never wanted to hear about how money... I mean, nutrition... works. Your ...