Monthly Archives: March 2014




I’m Mastering Twitter for my Kids!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This week my self-assigned project was to master Twitter, to become an expert tweeter as they say.  Before you jump to the conclusion that I had the urge to send the world a “selfie” or to start following the daily minutiae of my favorite Hollywood stars, let me set the record straight!  I’m working to master Twitter as another way to connect with my Millennial kids.

The “experts” tell me that Twitter is now the Millennial generation’s preferred means of communication between themselves and the world. Texting is so “yesterday”, so don’t try to email your kids and get a response this week.  Just as they fled Facebook as their parents and grandparents joined, once we figured out how to text, they felt it was time to move on.  All five of my children fall into the Generation Y or Millennial’s category, so if I want to know what’s happening in their lives outside of the holiday dinners, I decided I needed to dive in deep.

After much reading, internet searching and tweeting this week, I’m convinced they have found a way to keep us at bay.  The risk that we will master this medium and drive the kids out is very low. Several years ago, I created a Twitter account for business and now have a list of people and companies I follow and some who follow me. I have sent and received many tweets and re-tweets, but this week I thought I’d work to figure out how this generation uses Twitter to connect and communicate.  My research reminded me of an experience while in Germany after having taken four years of German class in high School.  I made my best effort to order a meal speaking German and the local waiter replied in English, “Thank you for trying, now what can I get you?” I understand the Twitter language, but I can’t speak it.

My impression of Twitter is that millions of people are standing in a room reciting 140 character tidbits of what interests them at that point in time, sometimes with links to photos, videos, articles and blogs referenced in that tweet.  “You Gotta see this”, “5 Ways to….”, “What’s with ….”,  or “My dog just….” seem to be popular.  I visualize a room full of people announcing their topic, looking up at the sky, making no eye contact, wondering who will hear.  It reminded me of when I cast a lure into the water with the  hope that a big Northern hears it, sees it, and takes a bite.  I know this works for fish if you have a good lure, but how does it work with communication?

I’m convinced I’m missing something, so I’ve extended my research deadline by a few more weeks. Ironically this blog will be tweeted in the hope that someone will hear my call for help and send me advice. I don’t plan on ending the project until I figure this out.  Why?  Because any way I can connect more with my children can’t be bad (until they realize I’m a Twitter master and move on the next medium).

Twitter Master 1

#AtThePark Playing?

When offering Generational Wealth Management services to clients, we focus on preparing their heirs to receive wealth because they need experience and skills so the wealth fosters their development and lifetime goals.  For your beneficiaries to catch their personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish, create more connections with them, even if you have to learn to tweet!  You will help them catch their dream fish and give them control over how they catch it, choosing the rivers and streams or oceans they fish in.

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We deliver proactive, objective advice, plans and solutions enabling our clients to reach their unique family goals “.

Don’t Jeopardize Entry Level Opportunities

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This week, President Obama directed the Labor Department to create rules aimed at increasing overtime pay for salaried employees.  As I read about his plan, I drifted back to 1984 after graduating from the University of Illinois, starting work in downtown Chicago, and leaping into the vast ocean they call a career.  I was suddenly left to create your own path.   I had worked many hourly-rate jobs (and a classic paper route) to that point, but now I was entering the “salaried, professional” world.

I focused all efforts during my final two years at U of I on an accounting degree, with a goal of becoming a CPA.  It sounds odd as I say it now, but prior to working as a CPA in an entry level position, I had never actually known or really talked to a CPA. Internships weren’t part of my recommended curriculum, and I worked various campus jobs to cover my tuition.  Finding mentors to help guide me thorough my career options in this mysterious sea of opportunities was a major goal of mine at that time.

As I look back, the most valuable lessons at my first job out of college occurred when I arrived early, went to lunch with co-workers and stayed late, beyond the traditional eight-hour work day.  I traveled often to the on-site audits and shared many meals, including dinners, with clients and co-workers.  Valuable time was spent talking to and networking with peers, managers and clients who shared their experiences and guided me through conversation, advice and great examples.  It was during a “working-dinner” conversation with my senior manager at Ernst & Whinney that I decided the CPA career path options were not for me.

Proponents of the new overtime rules will tell me that I was cheated by not getting paid for those extra hours beyond the forty per week and my “Millennial” kids will tell me that I was exploited by “The Man.”  Thirty years in business tells me otherwise.   Had my firm been required to pay me for those hours, they would have eliminated the early mornings, client meals and “working-dinners” that gave me the mentorship, networking opportunities and career knowledge I needed very much at that time.  I wouldn’t have met the three people who have been the greatest business mentors of my life and who taught me the value of entrepreneurship and hard work. My goal in 1984 was to work in an entry level position where I could learn, practice my skills, and find great mentors and role models who could help me advance my career, so I could support my family.  My goal in 1984 wasn’t to be a staff accountant for life

Career Networking

The Wealth Management processes for our client families use many of those “entry-level” lessons I learned back then.  Often, an entry level or even unpaid job is where children and grandchildren gain the confidence, mentorship, skilled networking opportunities and experience they need to ultimately receive wealth in a way that fosters their development and lifetime goals.  I advise my clients to mentor their loved ones and pass on their expertise; it is the greatest form of sharing wealth.

For the beneficiaries of your wealth to catch their personal, professional, financial or other trophy fish, create opportunities for them to find the mentors, experience and advice that will help them catch their dream fish. More importantly, they will have control over how they catch it, choosing the rivers and streams or oceans they fish in.

Tim Scannell, CPA, CFP TM provides Personal and Business Tax Planning, Estate Planning, Investment Management, and Generational Wealth management to his clients. “We deliver proactive, objective advice, plans and solutions enabling our clients to reach their unique family goals “.




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