Give Them a Reason

When my daughter Margaret turned seven, we gave her an orange-haired kitten for her birthday. (I still have a picture of her holding the little guy for the first time, in a frame in my bedroom, because I’m sentimental that way.) She named him Chester, and fell in love with him.

Fast forward to today. Margaret turns 16 in two weeks. She’s already driving a stick shift, looking forward to getting her license and discovering the joys of the open road.

And Chester? Well, you know what they say about kittens… they grow up into cats. Chester weighs 19 pounds now, and it seems like all of that is fur. So much fur, in fact, that I take him to the groomer to shave him every year. He gets a “lion cut,” which leaves just his mane, a floof of fuzz at his tail, and a what looks like a set of Uggs on his feet. It’s become a reliable marker of spring at chez Lyon, shaving him and seeing the expression on his face when he realizes how silly he looks. Read more…

Healthier Fees

Let me tell you a little story about pricing professional services — there’s a lesson here for all of us.

I had more fun than you did this morning. That’s because I spent it sitting in my dentist’s chair, getting a temporary crown for my back molar where I had a root canal done a couple of years ago. (Those of you who are squeamish about the dentist, feel free to skip ahead to the fourth paragraph.) He started out by taking a wax impression of my tooth. Then he pulled out a drill that looked like something Laurence Olivier would have used in Marathon Man (“Is it safe?”), literally shaved the edges off my tooth, fashioned the temporary crown out of some nasty glop that kept sticking to my tongue, and cemented it in place until I come back for the permanent crown on September 13. Read more…

Campaign Tax Comparison

They say the presidential campaign doesn’t really start until Labor Day – but for most of us, it seems like this long, ugly race has been going on since kindergarten. (Don’t laugh… Ted Cruz is already circling his wagons to run in 2020!)

For previous elections, we’ve created complete campaign-themed marketing kits, including customizable flyers and a PowerPoint presentation comparing the candidates’ tax proposals.

This year, things feel different. It’s an uglier election than usual, with both candidates setting records for unpopularity. The tone is different… it seems like most people are voting against whichever candidate they like the least, instead of for someone they can enthusiastically support. Read more…