IT’S POSSIBLE

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Whatever it is you are going through. Know it is temporary. You need to go through this, in order to get to the next point in your life. To live and learn from it. In spite of everything, what YOU want is possible. Right now you have a secret with yourself. You know exactly how this situation is going to turn out. You faced difficult times before. You are stronger than you ever realized and you proved it day in day out. YOU made this happen. YOU will continue to make it happen. I implore you to NOT give up today. TODAY is the day you take that next step. Today is the day YOU give 121%. Today is the perfect day because it is your day. YOU know it and that is what is truly beautiful. If YOU dont know it, let this be the encouragement for you to push yourself. YOU are not alone, YOU need to know it is not impossible, YOU need to know it is not going to be easy. …


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The truth is all we really have is hope.

That is the fun (and chaotic) part of being a human. We try and calculate the best odds and methodically choose the best paths but nothing is guaranteed. We write our own stories day in and day out hoping for the best. We try to do what is “best” sometimes even subconsciously . There is a million things we haven’t done yet. BUT we will. I know this is true because we have HOPE.

Rest easy tonight because the sun will come out tomorrow…and with it lies the opportunity to continue to hope. Hope that your dreams will come true, hope that boy or girl you have a crush on will like you back, the hope that your children will be healthy, the hope that your grandparents will invite you over for Sunday dinner, the hope that work will realize your talents, the hope that you will win that lottery ticket, the hope that artist you love will have a new concert or show, the hope that you will be happy, the hope that you will get to see your parents see your success, however you measure it. I hope with you. I hope you know you are not alone in your hopes because although someone may not tell you daily, people care and are watching — hoping that you achieve your hopes. I spend this moment writing this hoping to talk to everyone reading this. …


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Pausing to Reflect vs Stopping to Dwell (the Other Side of the Bridge)

I wrote an article very meaningful to me last month. “One Bridge at a Time”. The premise was “crossing one bridge at a time” or how it was important for everyone to focus on one obstacle before another and not worry about unknowns.

I have had some serious health issues this year and with it my mind played out approximately 137 scenarios of how things could potentially go bad for me. The truth that I came to peace with was simple. I can only deal with the immediate “obstacle” in front of me. …


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Trading for Spider-Man: An Unexpected Business Lesson

At a young age I knew I wanted to be in business. I believed the business world symbolized an opportunity to find financial success (or at least not be poor). I valued the possibilities that it represented to me. Of course, most of my vision originated from my time playing the popular Parker Brother’s board game Monopoly. In third grade, my best friend Kris and I played the game at his house most Fridays after school. It was a very competitive experience and usually ended with one of us being mad at each other, but we loved the game. We always made up, usually over hamburgers and apple pies at McDonald’s, but took the business experience seriously. I loved the business themes present in the game — economics, real estate, finance, taxation, wealth management, and of course our custom rule of bartering. The experience of playing Monopoly over the weekend made me want to apply my new “business skills” each of the following weeks. Finally, one Monday morning, following a weekend game of Monopoly, I traded for Spider-Man and really set my business career into motion.
Third Grade at Holy Name School in Springfield, MA was an interesting time. I have always enjoyed learning and Mrs. Percy’s third grade classroom was no different. We used to have to do math flash cards and I would always be one of the first to finish. It was good times. We also had a daily snack period, which was absolutely incredible. As a husky seven-year-old I treasured my snack time. My mother usually packed me Bachman Pretzel Sticks, which were not as good as some of the other kids Dunkaroos, Fruit by the Foot, or Gushers, but my snacks usually came with a thoughtful note from my Mom. It was one random Monday morning that Timothy Florian came up to me and a trade was made. He had a Marvel Spider-Man action figure, however the hand suction cup feature was broken, and he didn’t want it anymore. I still thought the Spider-Man figure was awesome and didn’t have any of my own super hero action figures. I decided to offer him a trade just like in Monopoly. I would give up the only real asset I had, 5 days of my snacks for the Spider-Man action figure. The deal was probably too generous seeing he didn’t even want the action figure anymore, but I knew Spider-Man would be a great toy. Additionally, Timothy had an added stipulation for the deal. I would not receive the Spider-Man action figure until after the five snacks were paid, the following week. I agreed to the deal and for the next five days I gave him my Bachman Pretzel Sticks, Fruit Snacks, and Teddy Grahams. Every day that week I regretted that deal. I had given up something that was valuable to me and had nothing to show for it. It wasn’t until the following week when I received my “payment” that I realized not only did I make a great deal, but also learned a very valuable lesson. Success takes time.
The Spider-Man action figure that still sits on my desk is not just a representation of that deal in third grade, but also the actual fictional superhero. Spider-Man wasn’t always Spider-Man, it took time. Before he had superhuman strength, speed, and agility he was just Peter Parker. Even after he became Spider-Man he still had to develop his skills and his abilities until he transformed into the super hero we all know today. In life, sometimes you don’t see the immediate payoff for your efforts. I learned that you must make sacrifices in order to get the long term results that you want. After that week of giving up my snacks, the snacks were gone, however the action figure remained in my possession and still does almost 25 years later (as seen in this picture). In business you must develop your intelligence, intuition and instinct, call it your own “Spidey sense” and that takes time and discipline. Remember to have patience, dream big, and take the time to get those things you really want. The payoff is always worth it.
Thank you for reading this article, it means the world to me. …


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Julia B. Buxton Bridge in Agawam, MA

I was telling a long time friend about my current health situation. I mentioned that I was having surgery to remove a tumor on my pineal gland in my brain. I confidently said that I wasn’t worried that much about the surgery but more so the pathology results after the surgery. Understandably I don’t want the tumor to be cancerous, but the comment stopped me dead in my tracks. Before my friend had the chance to continue the conversation I wrote “one bridge at a time” .

In the very essence of my comment “one bridge at a time”, that moment delivered the first time in awhile I had clarity about my current health situation. Why was I worried about the unknown more so than the known. You can only cross one bridge at a time. The truth is anything can happen to any of us at any given time. We can only deal with one obstacle at a time. One step before the next. Despite my current pain, it is my next step to help others before the surgery and before I begin to worry about what is after surgery. My first step is to cross the first bridge. That first bridge is to inspire anyone who reads this. I am hopeful that my children will read it one day and take solace from the fact that they need not worry about unknowns. Life is absolutely hard enough without putting unnecessary pressures on ourselves. You are 100% in control of you but not necessarily the world around you. Put yourself in situations and surroundings that mirror your values and aspirations, and ultimately adjust those that do not. Identify what is directly in front of you and don’t worry about the next until you have to. …


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My Five-Year-Old Loves Snapchat and Five Reasons Why You Should Too

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Snap of my Snap Article :)

A little white ghost surrounded by a yellow square sits on the main screen of my phone. My daughter sees me open the app and immediately asks “Dad, can I draw on the picture?” or “Dad, what fun faces are out today?” She gets this app, and so should you.

In 2013 I heard a lot of chatter about a social media company attempting to buy something called Snapchat. I was a very small stockholder in that social media company, you may know it as Facebook, and the talk of the acquisition immediately made me lose my mind. How could any business pay $3 BILLION for a company that wasn’t even making money? After reviewing the product in a little more detail, I still didn’t get it. One of the best entrepreneurs of all time and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, had finally pushed the boundaries too far. The deal was rejected by Snapchat and I believed it was a good thing for Facebook and mistake for Snapchat. Why would anyone want to send pictures that disappear? Why would anyone want to hold their finger on a screen they are trying to view content on? How will this company ever monetize and add real value? …


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“She said, did you think you were dreaming? And I said, no I didn’t think that I was dreaming , I just wanted it to come true”
💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙❤💜

In 2004, I had discovered an album called August and Everything After by The Counting Crows. I don’t really remember the first time I heard it, but I remember one day in January of that year where I listened to that album over and over.

I had watched my mom collapse in front of me. The doctors had already told us that she was not going to make it without a transplant. She was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. We all spent that day by her side. …


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As the current year draws to a close, we begin to think about the upcoming year ahead and what that might demand for our businesses. A common consideration for businesses is the potential to hire an intern. An internship is typically a short term relationship between college students and an organization. The internship consists of an exchange of temporary services for experience between the intern and the organization. Internships can be a positive or negative experience, for the intern as well as the organization.

Let us consider the following four points in turn on how to maximize the benefit of an internship. …


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Why the Chipotle Brand is about more than Burritos

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is a company that I have been following for the last few years. I originally was fascinated with the founder, Steve Ells, and his story in creating the restaurant. He was a culinary expert who wanted to use his Chipotle concept as a stepping stone to later create a “fine dining restaurant”. However, he had so much success with the initial stores that he fell in love with what he had already created in the Chipotle brand. …


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Two years ago I went for a bike ride along the banks of the Connecticut river. It is amazing what the beautiful scenery does for your mind (or at least mine). I remember at this point I wanted to achieve more success. I was disappointed things were not happening fast enough. I wasn’t really sure what the definition of that success meant and I can honestly say I still don’t, but I wanted it. The lesson I learned since that bike ride was I needed more patience. I needed to focus on me and not on the “competition” that was surrounding me. I needed to improve on what I could control and let go of those things I couldn’t. Most importantly I needed to reflect on what I wanted and begin to define it. …

About

Tony Surrette

I am a #CPA, business owner, adviser, author and most importantly a father of two beautiful daughters.

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