Decision Vision Episode 93: Should I Be Thankful?, with Mike Blake, Brady Ware & Company
It’s been a long, tough, pandemic-affected year, and host Mike Blake takes a moment to reflect on the question of “should I be thankful?” “Decision Vision” is presented by Brady Ware & Company.
Mike Blake, Brady Ware & Company
Michael Blake is the host of the “Decision Vision” podcast series and a Director of Brady Ware & Company. Mike specializes in the valuation of intellectual property-driven firms, such as software firms, aerospace firms, and professional services firms, most frequently in the capacity as a transaction advisor, helping clients obtain great outcomes from complex transaction opportunities. He is also a specialist in the appraisal of intellectual properties as stand-alone assets, such as software, trade secrets, and patents.
Mike has been a full-time business appraiser for 13 years with public accounting firms, boutique business appraisal firms, and an owner of his own firm. Prior to that, he spent 8 years in venture capital and investment banking, including transactions in the U.S., Israel, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Brady Ware & Company
Brady Ware & Company is a regional full-service accounting and advisory firm which helps businesses and entrepreneurs make visions a reality. Brady Ware services clients nationally from its offices in Alpharetta, GA; Columbus and Dayton, OH; and Richmond, IN. The firm is growth-minded, committed to the regions in which they operate, and most importantly, they make significant investments in their people and service offerings to meet the changing financial needs of those they are privileged to serve. The firm is dedicated to providing results that make a difference for its clients.
Decision Vision Podcast Series
“Decision Vision” is a podcast covering topics and issues facing small business owners and connecting them with solutions from leading experts. This series is presented by Brady Ware & Company. If you are a decision-maker for a small business, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to listen to every Thursday to the “Decision Vision” podcast.
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Intro: [00:00:01] Welcome to Decision Vision, a podcast series focusing on critical business decisions. Brought to you by Brady Ware & Company. Brady Ware is a regional full-service accounting and advisory firm that helps businesses and entrepreneurs make visions a reality.
Mike Blake: [00:00:21] And welcome back to Decision Vision, the podcast giving you, the listener, clear visions to make great decisions. I’m going to record a slightly different podcast today. We have a different format because the guest today is me. And the subject we’re covering today is, Should I be thankful? And I think this is a poignant question this year, because I think for many of us, we can’t see 2020 leave fast enough. You know, people ask me who I am -they definitely ask me who I am – but how I am. And, you know, I tell them tongue in cheek – but also hoping to get a laugh out of people because I think that’s important is to laugh as well – you know, if you put aside a global pandemic, massive social upheaval, a constitutional crisis, and murder hornets, I’m actually doing pretty well. But, unfortunately, a lot of us can’t put these things aside. Some of us are much more impacted than others. And I hope that most of us can find things to be thankful for.
Mike Blake: [00:01:35] We’re seeing, of course, present at the time that nobody listening to this podcast doesn’t know already. But I want to acknowledge everybody for their courage and their will in trying to combat this pandemic and everything else that’s going on. We’re now wrestling also with massive social questions that we have not wrestled with for 50 years. I’ve never wrestled with them. I’m only 50. I was born shortly after the heat of the civil rights movement. And, you know, you read a lot now about how to cope with stress because we can’t do the things that we used to do. We can’t just go out to eat, generally. Some people are doing that, and that’s fine. It’s not a choice I would make, but others are making that choice.
Mike Blake: [00:02:22] When we’re not in our state, we may not have that choice to make as, you know, lockdowns seem increasingly likely as we have this second or third wave of COVID. But I hope that in the midst of having unprecedented burdens, whether it’s homeschooling for us. You know, for example, we’re homeschooling our nine-year-old, and that is tough. And, you know, structures that we’re used to having child care has either become prohibitively expensive or shut down entirely. The ability to freely and ad hoc socialize with friends is more challenging. And we’re homebound in many cases. And when we’re not homebound, the statistics are fairly clear that the consequences of that tend to be swift. They tend to be severe. And they tend to be fairly pervasive.
Mike Blake: [00:03:13] So, I’d like to encourage everybody to think about things that you can be thankful for. And I’d like to take this opportunity to use my platform to be thankful, to express my thanks for a lot of things. I’d like to express thanks for, you know, my family. I’m now spending a lot more time with them than I ever have. And it wasn’t necessarily by choice, but I’m glad that I have had the opportunity to do that because I’ve learned things about my family that I did not know. Some good, some things that needed improvement, some things that I needed to improve in terms of interacting with my family.
Mike Blake: [00:03:48] I would like to thank my terrific team at Brady Ware. I’m an introvert and I’ve worked from home, basically, for the last 12 years or so, often whether my employer really liked it or not. But for other people who are more social animals, this is very difficult. And, you know, not everybody has the luxury of living in, you know, a sizeable home and having a standalone separate home office the way that I do. And working under conditions of having life go around you can be extremely challenging. And so, I’d like to thank my staff that works directly for me and with me at Brady Ware for their resilience, their ability to adapt. And I’d like to express gratitude to the whole of Brady Ware for, you know, putting, at some point, our employees first and making some hard decisions.
Mike Blake: [00:04:42] But I’m proud of one thing. We have not had to lay anybody off during the entire pandemic. So, people’s jobs for the moment have been secure. I’m not going to get here and gone here to commit to the future, but I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve kept everybody. It hasn’t meant that our profits have been the best in the world, but we’ve kept our staff and I’m thankful for that. And I’m thankful to Brady Ware for sponsoring this podcast. This requires a lot of my time, which is expensive. And requires a lot of cash outlay because of the work that business radio action genre put into this. This ain’t cheap. And while it is a labor of love, it’s an expensive labor of love. And I’m thankful that I have this platform to do it.
Mike Blake: [00:05:29] And I will say this, too, and you probably guessed this because you’ve guessed I’m not a mouthpiece for Brady Ware. Brady Ware has never come on and told me not to do a topic. It has never told me to edit something. They’ve given me complete freedom to produce in terms of the content of this podcast the way that I see fit. And I hope that you, as the listeners, have enjoyed that, continue to enjoy that and benefit from it.
Mike Blake: [00:06:01] And I want to thank our guests. Our guests, particularly the ones that came on. I, basically, said, “Hey, look. I’m starting this podcast. Nobody’s listening. Do you want to spend an hour of your time and put yourself out there on the internet?” And every single one of them said yes. And, you know, since now we’ve gotten a little bit of a listener base and it’s easier for me to convince people to come on, because I can say that we’ve got 12 million or so downloads since February, which I’m told is a big number. I don’t know that, but I’m told that. I don’t know how to measure podcasts. But, you know, each host has brought something different to the table, a different knowledge, a different experience, a different tone. And each podcast a little bit different. That’s because the guests that have come on and have been willing themselves to be vulnerable. You know, for the most part, they have not come on and try to just sort of sell what they do, but rather just get inside their head and share their expertise freely. Sometimes that expertise, frankly, is valued thousands of dollars per hour. And, you know, I’m not going to sit here and be like Rush Limbaugh where I do a three-hour show by myself every day. I’ll be hoarse and I’ll be boring. So, thank you very much for the guests that have come on and done this.
Mike Blake: [00:07:08] And then, thank you to you guys, the listeners. I can speak into a microphone any time I want. It’s much more fun when it’s turned on, it’s being recorded, and people are listening to it. And the emails that I get and the engagement that we get on social media is fun. It’s nice to hear that when you do something like this that you’re making an impact. And many of you have written to me or called me, tweeted me, @Unblakeable, and told me that what we do makes an impact. This helps you make some tough decisions, helped you avoid some, what might have been, terrible mistakes. And that’s really awesome.
Mike Blake: [00:07:47] And I’m thankful for, knock on wood, my health. I have not been stricken with coronavirus. Nobody, as far as I know, in our family has. That has not been the case for everybody. And this is a scary disease. I believe that it’s real. I believe that it is scary. And we still don’t know what the long term effects are. Some people get better, some people don’t. And that is terrifying to me. So, whatever your ideology is, whatever your chosen path is, you know, I want you to be safe. And I hope you’ll be safe. Because, frankly, I mean, you can’t listen to the podcast if you’re not around. So, I need all the listeners I can get. I can’t have you guys dying off on me because you got the coronavirus.
Mike Blake: [00:08:33] And I’m thankful to the pharmaceutical companies, that a great expense, are developing new vaccines. And we seem to have three or four now that appear to be likely to be available first quarter of next year. And they’ve poured unprecedented resources into this. And they are not all going to make their money back, right? There are something, like, 20 candidate vaccines out there, if even half of them come to market, are they all going to make their money back? I’m not certain that they are. I think a lot of them are doing this from a sense of an obligation to humanity that this is kind of their time to step up and help out. And, you know, I’m thankful to all the individuals and companies that have worked tirelessly and have given up time from their families in order to develop these vaccines that can finally, maybe, put this pandemic away.
Mike Blake: [00:09:26] And, of course, we have to be thankful to the health care workers, and doctors, nurses, orderlies, everybody who is part of our health care architecture. You know, you are right now the folks that are running towards danger rather than running away from it. I’m a running away from it kind of guy, which is why I don’t do those sorts of things. And we’re grateful that you guys, under very difficult conditions, under dangerous conditions, stand there in the face of those conditions, sometimes without a whole lot of gratitude from the public, which is frustrating to see. But for what it’s worth on this one particular podcast that you’ve probably never met, you have my gratitude and appreciation for what you do.
Mike Blake: [00:10:14] And then, finally, I would like to thank our society. You know, our society has been put under immense pressure defining who we are over the last couple of years. Some of it political, some of it environmental, some of it from other places. And our society has had a lot of opportunities to breakdown. I’m not sure they’re out of the woods yet, but I’m very grateful that it hasn’t. And not every society would survive the pressures that this one has. And I’m grateful every day that we do have a society that, it seems no matter what sort of burden we place upon it, we survive. And it’s ugly sometimes. It’s often frustrating. There are winners and losers from it. But it does endure.
Mike Blake: [00:11:08] And I also want to thank my friends out there in the marketplace and the clients of mine who, for 20 years, have entrusted their businesses, their livelihoods to me and to my team. And I thank God. I thank the universe. I thank whatever you think I should be thanking every day for you to be out there. That you do entrust us with this work. And, you know, it does sustain my livelihood but also gives me a life purpose. I don’t have any other skills to feed, clothe, shelter, or heal anybody. I’m a danger to myself and others when I try. But the opportunity to help you, whether you’re a client or whether you’re somebody that simply comes to my office hours at Tech, Alpharetta, or at the Downwind. And we’re going to crank those up as soon as it’s safe to do so. You know, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you and then for the option to serve you over, in many cases, a long period of time.
Mike Blake: [00:12:17] So, I don’t want to make too big a deal of this. I’ve probably went on longer than I had intended. But it turns out that when I really started thinking about being grateful, there is a lot to be grateful for. So, again, I can’t tell you if you should be grateful or not. You may be in a really tough spot. And I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you have to be grateful to everything that happens to you. And I’m not a motivational speaker. I’m not the guy that’s going to get up on the stage like Tony Robbins and have you do jumping jacks or walk on coals or whatever it is that he does to tell people they can change their lives. Only you can determine to the extent to which that is possible.
Mike Blake: [00:12:56] But I can, again, express my gratitude. And if you’re feeling low, if you’re feeling isolated, if you’re feeling like the cards are kind of stacked against you right now, I hope you can find something positive in your life to be thankful for. I certainly can. I hope all of us can. And if you can’t find that in your heart today, then I wish you all the best in terms of getting to a place where you can do that.
Mike Blake: [00:13:24] So, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, if you choose to celebrate it. And, you know, all the best. And here’s looking forward to an upswing in the last part of 2020 and better times ahead in 2021. Thank you.