Whenever Penny asks me what color she should paint a room, I answer rainbow stripes. When we moved into our new

house, she finally let me pick the color of the walls for the library. Yep, I chose rainbow stripes! At least, that was the original plan. I designed stripes for the two opposing walls that contained the window and two of the doors. I incorporated the windows and doors into the design. The big problem was taping a straight line over the openings. Then, we were watching a show on HGTV, and the designer painted a pattern with small chevrons with differing colors. I thought that was cool. The new problemwas the amount of taping that would be involved. And Penny was leaving that up tome. Finally, I created a diagonal pattern across the top of one wall with alternating colors. Below that, I created a block pattern with random block sizes and random starting points for the rainbows. The next wall will have to wait until after tax season...

Navigating the Road to Entrepreneurial Success ARE YOU READY TOTAKE A RISK?

Many aspiring entrepreneurs say they can’t wait to go into business for themselves because of the freedom they’ll have. They dream about starting their own business, but they dream even bigger about the two-week vacations they’ll take. The hard truth is that those rewards come at the very end — not the beginning. If you want to start a business and build it up so you do have that freedom, then you need to be realistic about the sacrifices you’re going to have to make. Free Time When you’re an entrepreneur, there’s no such thing as free time. If you have time to run off and do things that have nothing to do with your business, then you’re not putting 100% of your effort into your dream. When you’re

starting a brand-new business, you need to be plugged in every single day and every waking hour. If you’re not ready to devote all your time, then you’re not ready to start a business. Building something that’s going to be around for many years to come means committing all your time from the beginning. That’s the only way your venture will grow and survive. Rewards If being an entrepreneur guaranteed a life of luxury, then everyone would be one. But taking the risk of starting your own business doesn’t always mean you’ll become wealthy. That’s why it’s a risk. Plenty of other jobs can make you a lot more money. In many cases, entrepreneurs struggle for years to find success. In many more cases, they never

-Bob Norton

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find it. When you start your own business, you’re the one responsible for keeping it alive, meaning anything you make has to right go back into it, leaving little left for you. You need to be willing to sacrifice your rewards. Fear of Failure This might seem easy to sacrifice. No one likes feeling fearful. Yet fear of failure is the biggest crutch that business owners and entrepreneurs use to stay safe and complacent. “If you never try, then you never fail” is a mentality that kills your ideas before they can blossom into reality. But if you want to become a real entrepreneur, the kind who puts everything into building something they’re passionate about, then you must sacrifice the comfort of fear. Failure is going to happen in some form or another. It’s inevitable. The sooner you realize that, the easier it is to fight it. Friends and Family This is the hardest sacrifice of them all. Dedicating so much time to the work you do means that holding onto friends becomes a

challenge. Some friends will be detrimental to your mission, and you’ll have to let them go. But family is a different story. Family is essential because they’ll be there for you through everything. It’s about finding balance. At the end of a long day, go home and spend time with your family — you’re going to need their support. However, be ready to stay up until the early morning hours to make up for that time. Occasionally, you’ll have to choose your work

over spending time with your family. Are you prepared to make that sacrifice?

The price of great success is higher than most people can afford. But if your dreams are waiting for you on the other side of that success, then don’t hesitate about the risks it takes to get there. For those who’ve done it, the risk of never having the life they wanted far outweighed everything else.


Spring is here, which means beautiful flowers are finally showing themselves after a long winter. Here are some of the best places in the U.S. to see flower blossoms and welcome the season. Great Smoky Mountains The Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches across North Caroli- na and Tennessee, and while its scenery is beautiful year-round, the park is especially alluring to nature enthusiasts during the spring. Through this season, miles of lady’s-slipper orchids, irises, cardinal flowers, and lilies dot its lush green landscape. It’s dubbed “Wildflower National Park” throughout this time of year, and you can experience it by car or on foot. The park also offers expert-led tours that weave through the flowers during their peak bloom. Crested Butte Crested Butte, Colorado, is best known for its winter sports and summer hikes. But recently it has drawn the attention of flower enthusiasts for its unique pink, orange, and gold alpine wildflowers that appear in the spring. This natural phenomenon even inspired the creation of the annual Wildflower Festival in midsummer, which features nature walks, art, photography, culinary experiences, and more. For a truly unique experience, you can even ascend the town’s titular Crested Butte to spot some rare alpine sunflowers next to the picturesque West Elk Mountains.

Antelope Valley The California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is a 1,780-acre park that features sloping hills covered with fields of vibrant orange, yellow, and red poppies in the spring. Warm temperatures and heavy rainfall across Southern California during this time of year create a brief period of thick blooms as far as the eye can see. And while the poppies can be enjoyed from the comfort of your car, the best way to experience them is to walk the leisurely Antelope LoopTrail for a breathtaking, up-close adventure. Spring flora is gorgeous and naturally attracts large crowds of people every year. If you plan to visit any of these destinations, just remember that their ecosystems are delicate. Respect park signs, stay on designated trails, and do your part to make sure these flowers return year after year for future generations to enjoy.

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‘START WITHWHY’ And Better Business Will Follow

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: You can manipulate it, or you can inspire it.” –Simon Sinek

trust. This trust leads to loyalty, and loyalty means that person comes back to do business with you and also refers your business to others. This is how businesses grow!

It can often be hard to clearly articulate what you do for a living. That means it can be difficult to explain your vision to potential clients and customers, which then makes it harder to convince them to purchase your product or services. In “Start With Why,” author Simon Sinek illustrates the importance of explaining to others why you do the business you do rather than explaining what you do or how you do it.

Figuring out your “why” is a process of discovery, not invention. In order to discover it, you can turn to three key strategies.

• Look backward at the original motivation for starting your business. What specific problem were you trying to solve, and why was it important to you to solve it? • Look outward by asking those around you why they spend time with you or why a customer buys from you. You can learn why people are drawn to you and your business this way.

Sinek argues that when people start figuring out the “why” in what they do, it inspires action from others in a way that discussing the “what” can’t. Talking about the “why” engages emotions; analyzing the “what” is purely logical. When you try to sell something to people based on “what,” you rely on specific manipulations like price and product details. But if you help people understand why you do what you do by revealing the real purpose and intention behind your reasons, you build a sense of

• Look inward by identifying a bigger vision that you wish to contribute to. What do you believe in? What really matters to you?

“Start With Why” teaches readers how to go about discovering their “why,” then instructs them on how to effectively use that information to help their business. It also helps them unleash their business’s vast potential that has remained untapped until now.

Take a Break!

Inspired by

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad



1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 3 tbsp shallots, thinly sliced


Heat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, shallots, and honey. Gradually whisk olive oil into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, toss the beets in dressing until they are coated. Place coated beets on baking sheet and roast them for 12 minutes. Set the beets aside and allow them to cool. In a large bowl, toss arugula, walnuts, and berries with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Top salad with beets, avocado, and goat cheese.


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1 tbsp honey


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


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Salt and pepper to taste 6 beets, peeled and quartered 6 cups fresh arugula 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries 1/2 avocado, cubed


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2 oz crumbled goat cheese

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Norton Accounting Services, LLC


THE REAL ESTATE TAX PRO ™ 985-640-6072

1527 Gause Blvd. Ste. 132 Slidell, LA 70458

INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Bob PAGE 1 The Realities of Becoming an Entrepreneur PAGE 1 The Best Locations for Spring Blooms PAGE 2 The Most Important Question You Can Ask PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad PAGE 3 What Fantasy Brings to Reality PAGE 4

HELP YOUR COMPANY SLAY THE DRAGONS With Business Lessons From Fantasy Novels

‘TheWitcher’: Toss a Coin to Your Marketer In Andrzej Sapkowski’s popular novels, Geralt of Rivia has a PR problem. Mistrusted for his supernatural abilities, he can rarely find work, despite being an expert in a niche industry: monster hunting. Those willing to hire him often misunderstand his services and think he’s an assassin, all due to a classic case of bad branding. Fortunately, our hero’s prospects change when he befriends an eccentric bard named Jaskier, who decides to write songs and poems about his adventures with Geralt. Soon, people across the continent know of Geralt and his talent for driving off things that go bump in the night, which goes to show that sometimes, good marketing makes all the difference.

The bookshelf of your average business owner is usually chock-full of hard-hitting nonfiction. And why not? Books like “The Obstacle Is the Way,” or “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” are great sources of inspiration for entrepreneurs in any industry. But did you know that the world of fiction has lessons to offer too? ‘The Hobbit’: A Poorly Planned Venture J.R.R. Tolkien’s first fantasy novel chronicles a quest for treasure, led by the upstart dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield. There’s just one problem: A dragon guards the gold and jewels. Thorin has no plan to defeat this threat, and his party unwittingly releases it upon a town. The angry residents then hold the dwarf king liable for destruction of property.

than work to protect himself from risk (and liability), he failed to prepare for the worst outcome. Wishful thinking never helps leaders — even in fantasy stories.

‘Harry Potter’: Hogwarts Built to Sell In the final book of

the megahit series, it becomes clear that Dumbledore’s real wizardry was in his

ability to execute an exit strategy. Over the course of the novel, Harry and his

friends uncover the tools Dumbledore left behind to defeat Voldemort. The instructions he left were cryptic at best, but thankfully, Harry and friends eventually sort things out. Dumbledore’s key to success was putting the right people in the right positions.

The dragon attack was a known risk in Thorin’s venture, and he failed to account for it. Rather

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