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Graduation & New Beginnings

Well, I can say goodbye to Undergrad. Now on to other challenges, like an MBA and the CPA Exam!

I’m hoping to find time soon to write more often, but until I get into a room I’ll be renting next month I don’t have a lot of internet access.

The main reason for this post is that I’ve just started a summer Tax internship with Grant Thornton LLP. I’m really excited about the opportunity and the challenge of working for one of the biggest CPA firms in the world. I’m going to learn a lot. There is, however, one issue that I need to address because of this new position: Anything I have posted or will post is not to be construed as being advice or commentary given by or on behalf of Grant Thornton LLP or its officers, etc. All of my content is represented solely as my own and that of any sources I use, where appropriate.

 

Thanks for reading,

-Taylor

Senior Paper

Now that I’m in my final semester of Undergrad, it’s time to face that beast that haunts every college student’s dreams: the Senior Paper. Actually, I’m rather excited about it.

ORU’s College of Business has a great system for Senior Paper: each student has their choice of four paths to take:

  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Consulting with a local company
  • Membership in our Enactus chapter, with weekly work minimums
  • Creating a business, getting funding, and making a profit in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship was originally my path of choice, until life’s circumstances pointed out that it wasn’t feasible. That was quite a disappointment, since I know I could have made a good profit with a one-man Income Tax business.

Instead, I’m taking the Business Plan route. For some, this is kind of the default path- the easiest way to just get the grade and move on. That’s not my focus at all. In fact, the grade’s just a necessary anecdote. This is about writing my business plan, for the business I intend to start someday. It’s about taking the first concrete step in what I fully know is a 5 to 10 year goal, and maybe longer. It’s about my dream. And it’s about facing the realities that I’ll need to confront and overcome to make that dream a reality.

That’s a tall order, to be sure. But I don’t feel like it’s too much to ask of myself. After all, I planned my college route four years ago. Some goals have changed over time, but I’ve never scaled back my plan. And in early May I’ll take a short walk and prove that I can plan for years ahead and end up exactly where I decide to be.

Happy MLK Day, everyone. It’s a good day to talk about dreams.

 

Thanks for reading,

-Taylor

Finals Week. You Gotta Love It.

Image from http://survivingwmuundergrad.wordpress.com/

My posting should hopefully pick back up now that Finals are over. These last several weeks have been a rather crazy time at school, I’m afraid. But now the semester’s done with and I’m just working and waiting on my grades. I’m crossing my fingers- this was probably the hardest semester I’ll have.

So keep an eye out and I should have a real post up soon. Also, take a look through the existing posts and check out my recent upgrades! I’m still learning how to handle all the features WordPress offers, so periodically (like today) I’ll go back through and do some upgrading and tweaking. In this case, keep an eye out for much neater links, the addition of Categories, and the addition of images to spruce things up a bit.

-Taylor

Getting Back Into It

Sorry for the month and a half absence. I’d really wanted to be a lot more consistent with my posting here, but school this semester has been truly crazy. The difference between three and a half and four hours of sleep has been persuasive, I’m afraid.

Anyway- we’re coming into the holiday season now, and families are starting to think about Christmas shopping lists. In honor of all that, I thought I’d post up a couple of lists: books I recommend and books I’d like to read soon myself.

My Recommendations:

  • Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey
  • Quitter by Jon Acuff
  • The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley & Dr. William D. Danko
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Little Bets by Peter Sims
  • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

My Future Reading:

  • Tribes by Seth Godin
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
  • Against All Odds: My Story by Chuck Norris
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
  • Accept No Mediocre Life by David Foster
  • Business by the Book by Larry Burkett
  • The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • Thou Shall Prosper by Rabi Daniel Lapin
  • The Legend of the Monk & the Merchant by Terry Felber
  • The Go-Getter by Peter B. Kyne
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

That’s looking like a pretty nice list- and an exciting one. I might just make it my New Year’s Resolution for 2013 to read one of those a month, if not more.

Thanks for reading,

-Taylor

Connect with the Community: Junior Achievement

Service to the community is an essential part of the business world, and should be an essential part of your personal financial world too. Why? It’s essential because if you know how to handle your finances and how to control your money so it doesn’t control you, you have a great opportunity to teach those who don’t. Indeed, in the case of school children, I’d say it’s more than an opportunity: it’s a social responsibility.

You see, no one’s teaching them. Their parents don’t know- I think the rather staggering credit card debt, bankruptcy, and foreclosure statistics of the last half decade prove that well enough. And the public schools most kids attend aren’t teaching it either. They weren’t a few years ago when I was still in high school, certainly, and I’ve no reason to think that has changed.

Junior Achievement (www.ja.org/) is an organization dedicated to this cause, and a personal favorite of mine. They’re a nation-wide non-profit organization that goes into schools from Kindergarten through 12th Grade and presents age-appropriate, fun learning experiences. The material ranges from learning how to write checks to the basics of how to work at and own a business to a simulated stock market challenge. It’s all volunteer based, and all JA asks for is your time and experience as a business professional. So if you or your company are looking for an opportunity to give back to the community, please check this out. The impact you have could last decades.

In the long term I think we, as businesspeople, also have a definite economic incentive for teaching personal finance to kids. Namely, business will benefit as they grow up to become more fiscally responsible, and therefore wealthier, than they otherwise might have been. Not to mention more reliable employees. Business benefits, the community benefits, and most importantly the kids get a better chance at future success- all for a few hours’ time. Seems like a good deal to me.

Thanks for reading,

-Taylor

About Me

Profile Pic  It makes sense for readers to know who they’re dealing with, am I right? So here’s a quick blurb about me. If you’re curious, read it and get to know me a bit. If you’d rather not- go right ahead to the next post. You won’t offend me a bit.

My name is Taylor Kothe. At the moment I’m in my senior year at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m looking forward to getting my BS in Accounting, MBA, and CPA’s license in the next two years or so. I’m passionate about financial literacy and see it as one of the greatest needs of my generation- we simply don’t know what to do with our money. We don’t control it, but are controlled by it instead.

So that’s what this blog is about. For a year or two now I’ve been itching to voice thoughts and tips on personal finance and business topics, and it’s my hope that this blog will give me a way to reach out and help educate people on how to handle their personal finances. Some of my content will be based on the Bible, and I’ll state up front that I’m a Christian and thankful to be so. However, the purpose of this blog isn’t evangelism. Money is one of the most common topics addressed in the Bible, and what it has to say about it is valuable to anyone regardless of their faith or background. It’s my hope that you’ll take those nuggets as they’re intended: as wisdom and common sense passed down through the centuries.

Now, just a bit more background and I’ll sign off for the night: I’ve had the good fortune to be relatively unaffected by the recession of the last five years or so, at least financially. My parents didn’t lose jobs or our home, which’s great. But I did watch and take notice as people around me, throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world, fell into serious financial trouble. I was already interested in personal finance, and knew enough to realize that most of these people unknowingly fell into just a couple of very common mistakes. If they’d avoided them, if they’d known better, their families would be much better off than they are. But that was just it- they didn’t know. No one taught them how to handle money: not the schools, not their parents. Everyone passed the buck and it only ever stopped when it landed on the floor.

I don’t want that for my generation. There’s nothing sadder that could be said of us a hundred years from now than, “They made the same mistakes their parents did.” I rebel against that with everything I have. So it’s my hope that through this blog and others like it, I and any others out there who share this passion can step in and teach our generation what no one else would: how to rule their money and not be ruled by it.

Thanks for reading,

-Taylor