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RValuations is My Vision

What’s Yours?

Valuation professionals are a conservative lot that resist change. The author of this article embarked in a change that has transformed him and his practice. Upon reflection, he shares the lesson he learned is that “feeling afraid is my next level of growth coming to get me”. In this article, he encourages readers to take a chance, change, and take control of their lives since life is too short.

I am the founder of Burkert Valuation Advisors.  I provide traditional business valuation services for manufacturing/distribution clients and practice development coaching for overwhelmed BVFLS professionals.

Two weeks ago, my wife and I and our two dogs completed the “Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip.”  To promote Amy’s business, GoPetFriendly.com, we traveled 15,000 miles over 10 months to visit the number one pet friendly attraction in all of the lower 48 states and the District of Columbia.

We are closing in on our eighth anniversary of full-time RV living.  Now, we are heading south with the possibility of spending our winter in the Baja Peninsula in front of us.  We have no plans to stop living this way.  How did all of this come about?

I realize that traveling in an RV is not everyone’s cup of tea.  And that’s ok.  But I know that everyone has their vision of their cup of tea.  I also know the cup is right in front of you…you just have to see it…and grab it.

My Number One Reason for Moving into the RV

So, what provoked my wife and I to move our lives and my valuation practice into an RV?

While there is a longer story behind this lifestyle redesign, I will spare you the details and share with you the one simple reason we did it: there was no reason not to.

Amy (a CPA, ABV, CFA) and I listed all of the things that could go wrong with our decision.  Then we listed the ways we could mitigate the damage.  When we did that we realized three truths:

(1) Not all of the things we imagined that could go wrong would actually happen,

(2) Not all of the things we imagined that could go wrong would be as bad as we imagined, and

(3) There wasn’t anything we imagined that could go wrong that we couldn’t recover from.

And of course, I was still afraid—I’m a CPA after all.  My biggest fear was in the imagining of everything I would have to sacrifice—in my life and my practice—if we moved into a RV.  And after almost eight years, I can tell you that on a net, net emotional and financial basis, I’ve come out ahead.  Way ahead.

And the lesson I’ve learned is this: feeling afraid is my next level of growth coming to get me.

Imagine You Won the Lottery

We all fantasize about winning the lottery.

Before the RV, Amy and I would only play when the jackpot was what we called “a job quitter”…which started at $10 million after we calculated what would be left if we took the cash payout and paid the taxes.

Then we began asking a serious question…like, what would we do if we really won the lottery.  We both agreed that traveling, with our two dogs, is how we would want to spend our time.  And then we decided we didn’t need to win the lottery to fulfill that dream.  We already had the means.

We just needed the nerve.

You Only Have About 1,000 Months

During our decision-making process, I read something amazing…and terrifying.  An average person’s life expectancy is generally less than 1,000 months.  Think about that!

We tend to think of 1,000 anythings as a fair amount, if not an abundance.  But months to live a life?  All of a sudden, 1,000 does not seem like a lot—and we’ve already used up a significant portion of that time just to get ourselves to this very moment.

What are You Waiting for?!

Someone once asked: Can I make enough money to retire, doing what I’m doing?  My response was: I’m living in an RV, seeing this country with my incredible wife and our two dogs.  What am I going to retire to?

If you strip away the hoopla—finding the work, pricing the work, doing the work—we all want our practices to provide a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and freedom.  If you had the ability to redesign your life and your practice today—and create your vision—what would it look like?  What are you waiting for?!

Your Reaction

What do you think?  E-mail me at rod@rodburkert.com and let me know.

Rod Burkert, CPA, ABV, CVA runs things over at Burkert Valuation Advisors, LLC. He’s reinvented his practice several times after going solo in July 2000. Today, Mr. Burkert’s practice offers coaching, training, and consulting to colleagues and clients in the BVFLS world. And since March 2010, he’s been traveling full-time throughout the United States and Canada in an RV with his wife and their two dogs.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

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