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)!

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…

QBC1.jpg

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).

QBC2

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!

QBC3

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.

QBC4

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.

QBC5

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!

QBC6

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”.

QB13

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!

QBC14

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!

QBC15

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!

QBC18

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!

QBC19

Advertisements

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.

IMG_9897

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.

IMG_9894

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

Happy 3 years, Babe!

#PSILoveYou

IMG_9901

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

IMG_9864

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.

HoganXmas

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.

top100

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.

Fltknits

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

NYC

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)!

VFMSBlizzard

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.

VFMSBK1

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.

VFMSBK2

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).

VFMSRing

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.

VFMSWater

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.

VFMSWindmills

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

VFMSFamily

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

#PSILoveYou

Fueled By Passion…Fulfilled by Performance

It’s Friday night, about 8pm Mountaint time, & I’m sitting in the Denver Airport United Club waiting on what’s turned into about a 3 hour flight delay. I should (hopefully) be home by midnight, but it’s unlikely any sooner…

In the last 18 days for work, I’ve been in 16 cities, driven well over 20 hours (across 5 states & 3 tropical islands) in 7 different cars, slept in 8 different hotels (and 1 airplane), been on 8 flights (and I still have 1 more to get home), spanned 4 time zones…and met with 17 firms & hosted 6 QuickBooks Online training events attended by over 100 accountants.

Oh, and did I mention I was home for a whopping 67 hours last week between trips?

Needless to say, my life has been an absolute whirlwind the past few weeks. I’ve had to make decisions like “do I care more about getting in a training session or cardio or sleep” (knowing I may only be getting 3-4 hours of sleep regardless). I’ve been on hold at 1am more than once with the United Premier desk trying desperately to figure out how to make it to my destination or home before midnight and without driving hours as my glass slipper gradually becomes a pumpkin. I’ve far exceeded the recommended dosage of protein bars & tuna packets (in my car racing from one meeting to another). I’ve fallen asleep more than once with my face in my laptop somewhere between 1am & 3am local time. My earliest (but not only pre-dawn) call was at 4:30am local time. And, I’ve managed to pack in more first-time meetings with new partners than I typically do in a month (or more).

Am I exhausted? Drained? Sleep deprived? In major need of a few days at home (and manicure)? Heck yeah – but am I energized and inspired by all of the amazing conversations and “light-bulb moments” that I’ve experienced in the past 3 weeks? HECK YEAH! These past few weeks have been an amazing reminder to me of why I do what I do – and why I push myself so hard.

K&HEmail

There’s a sign at my gym that reads, in part: “I’m obsessed, a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated”. I read it constantly when I’m training, and use it to motivate myself to push harder, lift heavier, go faster…but recently I’ve been thinking of that even outside of the gym. It’s really become part of my core, part of my why.

After making the 90 minute drive from a firm in Northern Utah this afternoon, my last meeting of the trip, I arrived at the airport to this message from them in my email:

AJEmail

I had so many similar conversations with partners I’ve been meeting with that it’s impossible to even think of slowing down. Those conversations and their excitement has propelled me into my next non-stop day & I’m so excited to keep turning on the gas over the next few months.

I’m extremely fortunate to have a husband & family that enable me to put my career and my partners so high on my priority list. I honestly couldn’t do what I do on the road without my life-line back home. We’ve made a commitment to each other to support both of our careers, and have adopted a “work-life integration” motto (thanks for the term, Ed Kless). I never feel that I’m taking away from my home life by putting so much of myself into work – instead, I’ve got a built-in motivator cheering me on (and me him) each step of the way.

Throughout these daunting marathon days, as I’d drive from meeting to meeting, to hotel, to airport, I got to share the great news of another awesome visit. Each time I was reminded (as usual) that it’s moments like those that motivate me to keep going, and affirm why every flight, every mile, every early morning, and every tuna packet are just adding fuel to my fire.

#WishBig

This week, as is typical, was a blur – but sometimes those whirlwind weeks are pretty sweet, too. It’s always a great feeling when you can celebrate victories in both your personal and professional life at the same time…and that’s just what this week was for me.

Last Sunday started off with a rushed “turn & burn” trip to the OC, and a chance to spend a day walking down memory lane for Miss Kim. I’ve mentioned Mackenzi before on the blog, the oldest of the “Four M’s” that I used to nanny while in college (and beyond). With life passing by faster than ever, I don’t get to see the now nearly-grown kids as often as I’d like – but there are some moments that you just have to make happen. No. Matter. What.

Sunday was one of those days, as I sat in the audience with her three brothers and a handful of family members and watched my little smarty pants graduate high school (of course, at the top of her class).

I wish I could take more credit for that moment, but still, memories of kindergarten homework flooded back to me. I know that, if nothing else, there are little “Miss Kim” imprints on my Mackie from years ago that will be with her as she heads off to UCLA this fall. I fully believe she’ll achieve everything and anything her heart wishes, and I’m so excited to see what she accomplishes next.

MackKim

While I was cheering her on here in SoCal, I had to play proud partner from across the country as one of my great friends and managed account partners, Mark Stricker of Wipfli, headed to Orlando to celebrate being named to Insightful Accountant’s Top 100 ProAdvisors for 2017.

I’ve worked with Mark since arriving at Intuit and there’s no partnership I’ve fought harder for over the years. I’ve watched him go from QB Desktop Expert at a regional firm, who had no interest in moving online, to becoming the internal champion leading the charge and paving the way to shift a national accounting firm’s small business division over to QuickBooks Online.

There has been blood, sweat, tears (more than you may think), and if you ask Mark, lots of rain whenever I’m in Chicago. We’ve come so far and I’m so proud to have had a part in watching him soar. The day he called me to tell me he made the list, I couldn’t have been prouder of anyone for anything. As we virtually high-fived each other on the phone that day, I remember asking him “did you ever think anything like this would have happened when we first met 4 years ago?”…he agreed, it was pretty much beyond his wildest dreams.

Mark earned that recognition and I’m so thankful that I got to share that moment with him. I’ll look forward to watching him continue to succeed as he leads Wipfli forward and helps them become a #QBFirmoftheFuture.

MarkKimCindy

As I wrap up this week and prepare to leave Sunday for what is bound to be another action-packed week of traveling, It’s pretty sweet to take a few moments and recognize the victories in life – personal & professional (and let’s face it, the professional ones become personal too). They help remind me why I do what I do every day – because at the end of the day, week, month, the sky’s the limit when you set your mind to it…so make it count, and #WishBig!