About Kimtuitive

Business Development Manager for Intuit's National Accounts - dedicated to making the leap into the Cloud easier for accountants and their clients (and doing so in awesome shoes)!

Lockdown-Life Lessons

It’s been 7 weeks of #LockdownLife here in Palm Springs…life has become incredibly simple, yet complex at the same time. During one of my recent quarantine walks, I jotted down my thoughts on a few things I’m seeing and hearing through my social channels, so I decided I’d share my “Lockdown-Life Lessons” with you all!

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  1. Set (or reset) expectations – I see so many people (Instagram fitness influencers are most guilty) saying “oh just be ok that you’re not going to make gains right now” or “just stop looking in the mirror”. While I 100% agree we need to be kind to ourselves most of all, I don’t think we have to throw in the towel on reaching goals. Maybe you need to change your mindset? Set a new goal? My April commitment was to get 20,000 steps a day & I’m proud to say I did it. Even if it meant walking laps around the kitchen at 11:30pm, or walking for 2 hours in the rain, or bribing my husband to escort me around the pitchdark neighborhood with a flashlight when it finally cooled down below 100 degrees.
  2. Be kind – everyone is dealing with SOMETHING. Some more than others, but even if it’s small things like missing the gym or your morning coffee house ritual, it matters. Don’t have a short fuse – cut everyone a little extra slack.
  3. Unpopular opinion – if you don’t feel like dressing up, doing your hair & makeup, and setting up a proper “home office”, then don’t. Do what makes sense for you. If you’re working in a strange location (because you’re home, or perhaps, like me, are out of your typical away from home routine), it’s ok. You’re going to be just fine. Figure out what works for you & just do it one day at a time. Even if that means living in workout clothes with a headband on and your laptop at the kitchen counter.
  4. You can never have too many headbands!
  5. Find a way to give. My heart has been so filled during this time of disequilibrium by doing little things for people. It may seem like an insignificant gesture considering the grand scheme of what’s going on in the world, but I promise you it’ll be repaid by the joy you get by pouring into someone else right now.
  6. To the mamas & daddies out there: You’re. Doing. Great. Don’t be afraid to lock yourself in the bathroom with a box of Kleenex for a “parent-teacher conference”. I was homeschooled K-12 (as were my 3 brothers), so I know what you’re dealing with right now, even if I was on the other end of it back in the day. Your kids will bounce back just fine. If you keep them alive, you get an A+!
  7. I’ll never complain about going to Costco ever again…I miss Costco.
  8. Move – you’ll be amazed how good it feels to walk around your block. Don’t let this be an excuse to permanently assume the Netflix & chill position. If you want to watch 2 hours of TV, force yourself to move at least half that much.
  9. Be an encouraging voice – even when you might not think you are, your words, and actions, are being amplified during this time. The impact you make might surprise you.
  10. You get out what you put in – if you decide this is a time to sit back on cruise control, by all means, take advantage! But if you have a mission to come out the other side of this better than you came in, don’t let anything stop you. I promise you won’t regret it.

 

Help for the Co.

Ivy&Co

Meet Ivy, the name & face of Ivy & Co., a small boutique filled with unique handmade accessories & gifts located in a revamped warehouse space on Kauai. Ivy’s mom, Rebecca, and I go back to our college days in Orange County, when our paths crossed at Chapman University. After graduation, she moved overseas briefly, but then returned to her hometown of Maui. She eventually met & married her husband, Kit, and they’ve settled down & built their family on Kauai. 15 months ago, they expanded the Co. by adding Ivy’s little sister, baby Teak, to the team. Over the years, we’ve only seen each other a handful of times, but we’ve kept in touch in big part because of Ivy & Co., which is my go-to source for some of my own favorite accessories as well as adorable baby gifts. I’ll forever hold a special place in my heart for Rebecca as a friend who has been there for me when I needed it most. When this opportunity came up to do just a little something for a small business, I knew I had to pick Ivy & Co.

I’m beyond grateful to work for a company that’s made a tremendous commitment by launching our #SmallBizRelief initiative, in partnership with Yelp & GoFundMe. Intuit gave each and every employee the ability to sponsor a small business of our choice, which means up to 9,000 small businesses around the globe will be supported & highlighted during this uncertain time. It’s such a great commitment to our mission: Powering Prosperity around the World.

I’m typically a fixer, a doer, a problem solver. The impact of Covid19 on me personally is frankly quite minor: I don’t have small children, Brian & I already work from home, and as I have learned the past month of being in social quarantine, I’m apparently not very social in person anyway. Most of my relationships & interactions (by nature of my normal life traveling), wind up being online, via text/ FaceTime, etc. The hardest party of all this is missing my daily workouts at the gym (but I’ve gotten creative with that too, and I’ve settled into my new normal routine).

My heart aches though for everyone around me – here in our small town & around the world – who are struggling personally & professionally. We’ve seen the doors close, we know the owners who are scared that they won’t be able to reopen. We know those who have lost their jobs & are just hoping their employers make it out the other side & rehire them. I know moms who are desperately trying to keep up with their new roles as teacher on top of everything else they’re holding together. And I have friends with new babies, or sick babies, or who are sick themselves & carrying heavy loads with very little help.

While I know I can’t save the world, as my great grandmother always said, “if everyone does a little, nobody has to do a lot”. So even if it’s just a little, I’m thankful that it’s something. If everyone can make a little difference, then together, we’ll make a big difference – who knows, maybe we can even change the world?

GoFundMe – Ivy & Co. in COVID-19

 

2020 Vision

2019 has been a doozy. Filled with record setting milestones that make me cringe instead of celebrate (like the realization that I’ve spent over 1/3 of the year in hotels, & flown 20,000 more frequent flier miles than I did last year). My everything is exhausted. If I can feel it, it hurts. And mentally, I’m so beyond drained that I literally can’t see straight.

But somehow, somewhere in the midst of all the craziness (probably on the stair master, or 30,000 feet up), as the final few months, weeks, and now days of this decade approach, I started focusing on what the next decade will look like for the Austins. Those thoughts led to lots (and lots) of late night gym parking lot & phone chats with Brian (usually while I drive across numerous state lines en-route to my next firm visit). And in that, I’ve managed to come to the realization that 2019 didn’t defeat me, but instead brought me down to a place where All the fuzzy, blurry roads ahead suddenly are in perfect focus. So while part of me is just frankly willing myself across 12/31/19, the spark deep down inside of me is lit. My now perfect clarity seems to be shaping up for a new day, year, decade filled with 2020 vision. I know exactly what I need to do to achieve my goals.

As Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi declared on stage at QuickBooks Connect, “To own the future, you have to create it!”

Just like that, day all the stress & worry seems a small price to pay for this reality I can clearly see in front of me. Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you I’m no princess. I’m scrappy, resilient, determined. I’m not scared of hard work. And when I set my eyes on a prize, the only thing to worry about is anything standing in my way.

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. Just this morning I was reminded that in reality, tomorrow, January 1, 2020 is simply just another day. But as I milk a few precious moments of downtime with my husband (mind you, our version of “downtime” has nothing to do with down & never seems anywhere close to enough time), I’m going for it – here are my goals for this next lap around the big sun…

Positivity– Brian shared this lightbulb WSJ article with me this past week. Man, our minds are so powerful. Let’s be sure we’re using them for good.

Passion– over the past several years, my passion for fitness has brought me through some of the most trying times in my life. Exercise is my therapy. It’s the one thing I do for ME. I never “have the time”, I always “make the time”. And I’m never sorry I did. In 2020 I’m committing to finish my Personal Trainer Certification that I started this Fall.

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Priorities– I have had such an amazing opportunity to be led & mentored at work the past few years by such a strong woman, Sue Pratt. One of the goals we set for this Intuit fiscal year was for me to remember my priorities. While the goals was meant as a work metric, Sue & I know full well that this is a life goal for Kim. I may no longer roll up to her on the org chart, but I promise to strive to prioritize each task in & out of work this year!

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Play– when your world never slows, it’s so easy to brush off seemingly inconsequential happenings around you because you simply don’t have time. But in 2019, I’m proud to say I pushed pause just a few times to make sure that I didn’t miss some of life’s most important moments. Grandma turned 90, I saw my TX nephew & nieces more this year than in the rest of their lives combined, I took a trip to see the world with my soulmate, and was there on the other end of the phone when my big “kid” needed a “mom” to tell him he’s awesome. I can’t wait to have more moments with some of my favorite people in the coming year! Oh, and pancakes, there will be a lot more pancakes in 2020!

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Protect– above all, I promise in 2020 to fiercely protect everything we’re building together, Brian. The reason we’re willing to haul our computers on vacation, or move 4 times in as many months. The late-night gym trips & marathon meal-preps to ensure we’re staying on track. All the highs & lows of our so-called life, and all the adventures awaiting ahead of us – I know we can do it, I can see it. My vision is 2020.

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“I can see clearly now the rain is gone…I can see all the obstacles in my way”

Thanks to @IntuitBrad…

This post comes a bit belatedly. Technically, Brad Smith’s last day as Intuit’s CEO was December 31, 2018. But this past week we had a chance as an Intuit family to come together & celebrate Brad’s impact on each of us that wear Intuit blue. He may not be sitting atop a Silicon Valley org chart anymore, but his inspiration, influence, and imprints will remain in and on each of us forever.

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So, before it’s too late for me to have an excuse to do so, I wanted to say a quick “Thank You” for some of the lessons I’ve learned from our amazing leader these past 5 years…

Thanks to Intuit Brad, for teaching us to have empathy. There’s no question in my mind as to why Brad’s 2nd number in his SOI is a 5. He literally radiates empathy for everyone around him: his employees, his partners, his customers. This is quite possibly the attribute of his that I admire most, as I firmly believe if we don’t have empathy for those we serve, then our relationships can never truly flourish.

Thanks to Intuit Brad, for leading us by example each day. Since my earliest exposure to Brad, I was always impressed by his approach to serve with his team. I’ve seen him roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty, and walk through the mud with all of us in order to bring us out the other side stronger, together. When you hear “We Care & Give Back”, Brad doesn’t just mean that from an air-conditioned office in Mountain View, but from his hands & knees in a public park in lower Manhattan where he shoveled dirt, pulled weeds, and raked leaves with all of us.

Thanks to Intuit Brad, for reminding us to never forget where you come from. The photo that so many of us have seen of Brad on his mom’s front porch is about as authentically Brad as it gets. No matter who you become in life, you’re still just someone’s son or daughter & we need to always remember our way home.

Thanks to Intuit Brad, for prioritizing physical fitness. I’m someone who works hard each day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while also showing up as the best possible employee I can. It’s been such a huge inspiration to have a leader to look to who also makes time to take care of his physical health, and has cultivated a culture where I don’t have to feel bad for taking a lunchtime break at the gym. I know it’ll make me a better asset to Intuit in the long run.

Thanks to Intuit Brad, for refusing to get cocky. Years ago, during a Global BDM team summit, we had a Q&A with Brad. I remember asking his advice on how we could always stay hungry in the US even though we were the front-runner in our region (unlike several of our fellow country teams). His response to me was so humbling & I’ll never forget it. He said that we’re not #1. There are more businesses in the US using something else, or nothing at all, than there are using QBO. So, he said, never forget that we’re still chasing #1.

Thanks to Intuit Brad, for showing us to never treat your spouse like you’re married. I know I’m not the only one who adores the way Brad looks at his “girlfriend”, Alys. She’s absolutely his rock, and he never passes up a chance to say it. It’s such an important lesson that he’s shared with all of us to never stop pursuing your significant other.

Thanks to Intuit Brad, for instilling in us that life is a team sport. There’s no question that Brad was our quarterback, but Intuit was his team. He didn’t just sit on the sidelines calling plays, he was on the field, with us, leading us, each step of the way. But through it all, it was all about the team.

Thanks to Intuit Brad, for leaving us wanting more. I admit I’ve shed more than a few tears since the first email announcing his passing the torch (however, we’re so thrilled to be in amazing hands with Sasan!), but it’s Brad’s gentle reminder over & over these past few months that have brought me so much comfort: “Being Intuit’s CEO has been the job of a lifetime…but it’s not the job for a lifetime”.

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Brad – you’ve been the most amazing leader, and I count it such a privilege that I’ve been on your team. I can only hope that the wisdom I’ve picked up from you over the years will somehow continue to rub off on everyone around me. Thank you, thank you!

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My 12 Flights of Christmas

Just like that, another year of travel (and life) is in the books! I don’t dare say “where did the year go?” Because that makes me sound, well, old. 2018 has been a year filled with some turbulence, delays, diversions, and a few mechanical issues.

But as I write this on my first of four final flights this year (yes, the infamous “Mileage Run” is in full swing), I’m reflecting on some of the highs that 2018 brought Team Austin as well: we’ve had some upgrades, rewards, and gained some extra leg room.

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With all the craziness of this winter, I debated whether to even try and scramble to get my year-end post out. I figured rather than droning on about the past 12 months, instead, I’d share a little song about my final month of travels, so without further ado, I give you, My 12 Flights of Christmas (please sing along…you know the tune):

On my 1st flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

A tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 2nd flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 3rd flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 4th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 5th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

5 Protein Powder Pat-downs, 4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 6th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

6 flight delays, 5 Protein Powder Pat-downs, 4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 7th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

7 tuna packet dinners, 6 flight delays, 5 Protein Powder Pat-downs, 4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 8th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

8 state lines crossed, 7 tuna packet dinners, 6 flight delays, 5 Protein Powder Pat-downs, 4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 9th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

9 hotel stays, 8 state lines crossed, 7 tuna packet dinners, 6 flight delays, 5 Protein Powder Pat-downs, 4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 10th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

10 late night workouts, 9 hotel stays, 8 state lines crossed, 7 tuna packet dinners, 6 flight delays, 5 Protein Powder Pat-downs, 4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 11th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

11 onsite meetings with partners, 10 late night workouts, 9 hotel stays, 8 state lines crossed, 7 tuna packet dinners, 6 flight delays, 5 Protein Powder Pat-downs, 4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

On my 12th flight of Christmas, the friendly skies gave to me…

12 more months of United Premier status, 11 meetings with partners, 10 late night workouts, 9 hotel stays, 8 state lines crossed, 7 tuna packet dinners, 6 flight delays, 5 Protein Powder Pat-downs, 4 airport terminal sprints, 3 aromatic seat-mates, 2 nights stranded at SFO and a tantrumming toddler gate to gate

Wishing you a year ahead filled with smooth air, on-time departures and lots of those yummy waffle cookies!

Surviving #QBConnect

It’s hard to believe that this will be QuickBooks Connect #5! I’m excited to say that I’ve attended each & every one of them, and they have all been filled with moments of inspiration, entertainment, celebration, and memories that will last for many more years to come! As I pack my bags & head to The Bay (yes, I know the way to San Jose) this year, I thought I’d share just a few of my #ProTips on making the most of your time…

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Caffeinate/ Hydrate!

The week will be grueling! You’ll start early, end late, and be on the go nonstop. I make at least one, usually two trips to Philz Coffee each day, just to survive. You’ll also see me chugging water as fast and often as I can (for those who don’t like buying $5 waters at the hotels, there’s a Safeway within easy walking distance of the convention center).

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Bring your Dancing Shoes (and a lot of them)!

You’ll be on your feet ALL. DAY. LONG. I highly recommend bringing a few pairs of shoes to change into on different days, because if you’re like me, your boots were NOT made for walking!

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Be Yourself

Unless you can be a unicorn…then be a unicorn (and drink plenty of #UnicornLibations). QuickBooks Connect is such a great opportunity to meet with partners, small businesses, developers, and colleagues from around the globe. I’ve heard story after story over the years about new strategic relationships starting at QBC and blossoming into great partnerships. Don’t let this chance slip by. Make the most of it & make as many new connections as you can by being authentically you.

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Don’t get Star Struck

We’ve seen Oprah, Martha Stewart, Michael Phelps, and some amazingly inspirational celebrities & entrepreneurs at QB Connect over the years. I think the best lesson I’ve learned is not to go into the event assuming you know what the message will be – if you keep an open mind, you might find that it will be blown when you least expect it.

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And remember, at the end of the day, we’re all the A-List here at QB Connect – they’ve rolled out the QuickBooks green carpet for us all!

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Make time for Friends

Perhaps my very favorite thing about QB Connect is the guest list. It’s the biggest event I attend each year, and sometimes it’s the only chance to give real-life hugs to some of my favorite customers, partners, and friends. Don’t be so busy rushing from session to session that you forget to take a few minutes to enjoy being together. This community is amazing, and each of us play a part in making it better each day.

Get Your BeautyFunction Sleep

For me, I have to make choices. I can stay out late & pretend that I’m the life of the Avalara & TSheets Party, or I can get to bed, get up early for my cardio session, and actually be semi-functional each day. If you can manage both, more power to you, but for the rest of us, my advice: Take a few photos, then tweet them the next morning & nobody will know what time you snuck off to bed!

Soak it All In

I know I’m biased, but Intuit throws a greatparty! We’re here to work hard, learn hard, but play hard too. Keep that in mind as you go about your business this week. As my great-grandmother used to say, “The happiest people on earth are those who make play out of work”.

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One of my favorite memories of QB Connect was getting to lead a Power Panel session last year with an all-star line up. I had to pinch myself just a bit to make sure I was actually working & not dreaming!

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Learn from Smart People

People ask why QB Connect is always in San Jose. Well, with Intuit HQ just up the way in Mountain View, it allows us to send some amazing resources to the event to listen, learn, and interact with some of our most valued customers & partners. If I can help you get connected to anyone on your list – please let me know! My job this week is to make sure you get the absolute most out of your time with us!

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Be Scrappy

A note to my fellow Intuit Teammates: We’re the hosts here, so take the opportunity to roll up your sleeves & jump into the mix (especially if that means getting out of your comfort zone!). This week will be a success if we deliver awesome to our thousands of guests, and that may mean going the extra mile to do so. Let’s be sure we do whatever it takes to show QBC 2018 that Intuit cares (whether that means retrieving partners’ luggage, or settling for the way back seat in the jam-packed SUV – hey, just be sure you’re in good company back there!).

Don’t expect to be productive on Friday…

I suggest keeping your obligations (outside of nap taking) to a minimum when you get back from San Jose. Mark my words: You. Will. Be. Dead. Tired. Prescription for Post #QBConnect recovery: LOTS of R&R!

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Leave Them Wanting More

Finally, I couldn’t put this together without the reminder that this is Brad’s last QB Connect as Intuit’s beloved CEO. I have been privileged to serve at Intuit under this amazing leader for the past 5 years, and I consider that one of my top professional honors. As our fearless leader welcomes us all to his house this last time for QBC 2018, let’s all follow suit with his sentiment and remember to give it our all, and ensure that each & every person who walks through those convention center doors can’t wait to come back next year for more!

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Stronger

If you would have asked a younger me what I wanted to be when I grew up, you would have gotten a very different answer than what you see in me today. As a kid, I was an athlete, a tomboy, a bruiser. I was the last man standing on the soccer field, the first one around the track. Always determine to prove I was just as strong – or stronger than the next kid.

While I never had professional aspirations, I was fortunate enough to land an internship in college that set me up for what’s turned into a 14+ year career in the software world. I quickly discovered how rewarding it was to work hard, get recognized, move up, repeat. I was a workaholic within no time! The fact that I could write my own ticket was addictive. I realized very quickly how much I LOVED being a strong business woman, and I was willing to work as hard as I needed to in order to achieve the goals I began setting for myself. I started to become so proud of the fact that I was building a life for myself – it wasn’t the life I had expected, but I was learning that I was strong enough to go after anything I wanted, and to be confident in myself.

I watched my three brothers meet & marry their middle school, high school, and college sweethearts. I found myself plugging along, building the career I never dreamed I wanted, but had fallen in love with somewhere along the way (I was honestly OK with being the resident Old Maid of the family). I remember at one of their weddings my dear Grandma leaning over & whispering to me “Honey, one day I’ll be at your wedding too”…I quipped back to her “I hope you’re taking your vitamins, it may be a while” (BTW, 3 years ago today, she made good on that promise)!

As a teenager, I was given the great advice to learn how to be a strong Kim, before being anyone’s “other half”. This stuck with me throughout my teens & 20s as I bought my first brand new car, my first house, my nice watch, and continued to pursue professional success. I wasn’t looking for anything or anyone to complete me, I was strong, self-sufficient & fully furnished.

Perhaps that’s why things caught me by such surprise – because I wasn’t looking for it, and I didn’t think I needed it. I didn’t expect the gentleman of a work acquaintance, who always opened doors & offered to carry my bag, to start giving me rides to the airport (and then taking me to dinner after he picked me up). I didn’t see it coming when that friend turned into the first person I wanted to hear from when I signed into Skype each work morning, then the one I couldn’t wait to get a text from on Saturday. Or when my gym buddy & dinner date became my confidant, and my safe place to run when I needed anything. He even managed to catch me off guard when he asked me to be his wife, and we officially started building our dream future together.

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3 years ago was just the beginning. Life definitely hasn’t been the fairytale happily ever after. We don’t spend every day dressed up in fancy shoes twirling under chandeliers at The Parker. We’ve made mistakes, learned tough lessons, experienced loss. But we’ve also dug deep, conquered challenges, had each other’s back, and celebrated personal & professional achievements…together.

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I might have been strong on my own, but one thing is for sure, we’re definitely stronger…together.

Happy 3 years, Babe!

#PSILoveYou

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My Mama Always Said…

Like many mothers & daughters, we’ve certainly had our moments (ah, those Kim teenage years…ok, ready? Yes, you were right – mostly!). My Mom raised my 3 brothers and me. As a stay-at-home/ home-schooling Mom, she was with us literally 24/ 7 (except when she was driving in circles dropping us off & picking us up at all our activities). Mom hasn’t always had an easy ride, but she’s taught me some things that have helped me navigate life, and I don’t go a day without hearing her voice in my head.

On a day like today – her birthday – it’s a perfect chance to share just a few of the little gems she’s passed down over the years…

  1. Bird in hand

Technically the saying goes “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, but with Mom, it was always the shorthand “Bird in hand” quip whenever her ever-so-indecisive daughter would be painfully trying to decide on whether or not to purchase what was probably a sub-$10 item that may or may not be needed.

  1. If someone has a problem with it, we’ll get them a support group

“Growing up Hogan” required a lot of DIY-ing. I believe Mom & I catered at least 2 or three weddings (including my brother’s). I think I got my desire for perfectionism from her, but this has always been one of my favorite “Momisms” as a reminder that we’re probably the only one that will notice little imperfections (and if someone else does, that’s their problem).

  1. French Fries are really just a utensil for eating ketchup

Perhaps it’s why she’s in her glory when sharing a Happy Meal with her grands, but for as long as I can remember, Mom’s treat meal of choice (outside of chips & guac) is ketchup with a side of fries. I consider it a small caloric victory that she didn’t pass on to me her love of sweet tomato puree, so thankfully, fries are not on my list of forbidden-but-longed-for “not on the program” foods.

  1. Nearly every hard household object can substitute for a hammer in a pinch

True statement. Her victory chant “I am woman hear me roar” after successfully getting the knick knack perfectly placed is forever etched in my memory. Oh, and earthquake putty can hold a LOT more weight than its packaging claims!

  1. Marry someone who brings in the groceries for you when you come home from the store

Guess what, Mom? I did. He also washes the dishes after I cook.

  1. When you’re a parent, you’ll understand

I remember coming home from babysitting jobs at midnight (or sometimes later) to find my Mom, asleep with one eye open on our living room couch. She’d always greet me, kiss me goodnight with a half-asleep reminder “now all my chicks are accounted for…I can go to bed”.

  1. Never pay full price for anything

At the time it was out of necessity, but now it’s just who I am. While I certainly make a few concessions, for the most part, it still pains me to buy something that’s not on sale!

  1. Be the one person that everyone else knows they can count on

Whenever things really hit the fan, that’s when you wish you had MY Mom, who is always there for you (sometimes with a plunger in hand). The week I got the keys to my first house, I was coincidentally babysitting the 18-month-old I nannied for while his family was away. In a desperate multi-tasking attempt to get everything done before they got home, I remember my Mom coming down to my house and cleaning all day while I was at work, then painting with me until 3am, before tucking me in on my new living room floor with baby Madox in my arms.

So thanks, Mom…for everything! And yes, I was actually listening!

Happy Birthday…

Love,

Your Favorite Daughter

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Excellence Over Perfection

A few months ago, while doing my morning cardio, I heard a quote from an entrepreneurial YouTuber that has really stuck with me. She said “I’ve learned that sometimes done is better than perfect”. On the surface, this goes against every instinct in my body, but I’ve tried so hard lately to remind myself of this mantra & remember one little detail: I’m not perfect. But the good news is nobody else is either.

So here I sit, December 31, 2017 – and in typical Kim fashion, I’m going through my mental list of things that I didn’t get done this year (because they weren’t perfect)…like writing this holiday blog. To say I’m a perfectionist is just about the understatement of the year. Even when I hit new goals or milestones, I’m always pushing myself further, or picking apart what I could have done better. When I set a new PR in the gym – what’s my first reaction? “I need to work on my form”. When I hit 100%, that usually isn’t good enough – why wasn’t it 110%? I tend to dwell on the things that I didn’t make happen – like hanging my vintage Christmas wreath on our front gate this year, instead of the things I did conquer – like the fact that we got our roof redone this month in time for the upcoming rainy season in the desert, and I managed to put on 2 family Thanksgivings AND 2 Christmas dinners, plus traveled 13 days of December.

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I partially blame this on “Growing up Hogan”, where a level of excellence was not just expected, but demanded. I’ll always remember getting my first college Spanish exam back & going straight into my professor’s office after class asking her how I could bring up my grade. She looked at me, looked down at my test, & looked back asking “How exactly do you want to bring your grade up?”…it was the first time in my life that I received an A followed by a minus sign, and I knew, that was just not going to fly.

2017 has been one of (if not the) most challenging years of my life – filled with moments of uncertainty where I’ve been completely out of control of the situation (frankly, my biggest fear). I’ve had plenty of reminders that I’m not perfect. I’ve started far too many emails with “Sorry for the delay…”. I’ve beat myself up for leaving laundry lists of “to-do’s” undone. I’ve looked back on more than a few situations & wished that I had handled them differently. From this standpoint – I’m actually glad to see the year go, and I’m anxious to ring in a new fresh start in 2018!

When we train in the gym, we tear down our muscles so we can grow them bigger, stronger. Similarly, 2017 challenged me & stretched me in ways I probably really needed to grow. As I look back on the things that I did accomplish: over 500 visits to the gym; our first family vacation; found an incredible professional mentor (thank you, Simon); was privileged to speak at QuickBooks Connect; was honored professionally by several industry trade publications; and possibly something I’m most proud of, made sacrifices that put my family first, even when that meant accepting that I’m not a super hero, and wasn’t going to be able to do it all perfectly.

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While there’s still plenty of room between me and perfection (and there always will be), I think what I learned more than anything this year is that I’m harder on myself, and expect more of myself than anyone else, and, even I need to cut myself some slack. In the fitness world, you often hear the importance of setting realistic goals that are obtainable & reachable. By shifting my expectations from that unreachable perfect, to striving for excellence, I know I can tackle 2018 with all the enthusiasm I need to make it the best year yet.

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Happy Holidays to you & yours – and best wishes for an excellent New Year!

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My Trip to Austin

If I were to pick up my phone & ask Siri for directions to Austin, I’m fairly certain that an 8-hour round-trip drive in an “Ultimate Edition” through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas & back is not the preferred route…but speaking from experience, it the most scenic ride (and it comes with a Cappuccino Heath Blizzard)!

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It definitely took a while – so long that people were probably wondering if I’d ever make it after all – but I knew I’d get there exactly when I was supposed to, and that everything would turn out exactly as it should.

If you ask me, my trip to Austin started back on June 6, 2010 as a gracious industry colleague pulled up to my house and loaded a squeaky duffel into the trunk of his rental car & inquired “Do you think there’s a DQ between here & Vegas? I could really go for a Blizzard”…You could probably end the story there & say the rest is history.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized agreeing to drive across the desert with someone I barely knew, and had never spent any time with outside of business meetings, could have turned out VERY different…but after absolutely nailing our partner debut at AICPA Tech+ that week, our victory ride home turned into what we have always referred to as the 45 minute drive home from Vegas.

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Now some might have a different perspective – I know my Mom & Grandma would likely say my trip to Austin took about 32 years, seeing as they’d been praying for my journey since July 7, 1983.

Of course, you could also say that it started on January 23, 2010, at P.F. Chang’s Irvine Spectrum of all places, where a few industry professionals gathered one Saturday evening to network (& the only notable request was “nothing fried, please”).

As with any trip, there were milestones along the way – things that stand out and stay etched in my memory as I look back on how far I’ve come…I’ll never forget October 17, 2010 – when I got chauffeured to the airport in the wee-hours of that Sunday morning, and as an added bonus, a fresh medium iced coffee from Peet’s, my favorite.

There were also some fairly traumatic stretches, like November 12, 2010, when I had to return the favor of an airport drop-off (and a detour to Dallas).

Two days later, on November 14, 2010, I was back on track & heading straight for my destination picking up speed & never looking back. I can honestly say that’s the day that my life changed forever, and I realized I was meant for Austin.

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Fast forward four years – and a LOT of badgering from friends & colleagues – on December 13, 2014, my journey continued on foot. This time up the San Jacinto tramway out in the Coachella Valley, where I officially agreed to relocate (and picked up an amazing souvenir for doing so).

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8 months flew by, and on August 30, 2015, in Palm Springs, California, I finally pulled in at home. It had been an unconventional road to get there, filled with laughs, tears, struggles, and victories, but I wouldn’t trade a single moment for anything.

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I’m not quite sure how 2 years have gone by since I married my best friend, and became Mrs. Austin. It’s hands-down the greatest decision I’ve ever made. Not because life is perfect – goodness knows we’ve had our share of curveballs thrown at us – but because I know life’s highs couldn’t be half as great, and the lows might not be bearable without sharing the ride with Brian.

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As it turns out, a few things in life are actually more about the destination than the journey.

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Happy 2nd Anniversary, Babe – now, let’s get some carrot cake!

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