Lessons I’ve Learned from Jack Dunn.

507183686I am aware that most of Strumings readers don’t know Jack Dunn. Jack, now 88 and retired, was a successful accountant running a strong practice now led by his son Greg. I’ve worked with Jack and Greg for almost 30 years on a personal and a professional basis. They are terrific accountants. Reliable, very skilled and good people.

But Jack was far more than a good accountant. More importantly, along the way in the years of working with Jack, I’ve learned critical life lessons from him which I gladly pass along:

1. Materiality

In reviewing my returns along the way, Jack would inevitably stress materiality, the quality of being relevant or significant. How important (and in this case how many dollars) was this particular deduction. Would it materially change the return? Was it worth focusing on?

His financial advice was clearly also a metaphor for important life advice. How important is the issue you are taking a stand on? Is it “material” to you or do you just want to be right 100%?
With the wisdom of age, I now submit it is far more important to focus on the important, and say “no” to the unimportant. In the prioritization of life and business activities, Steven Covey, in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in his habit First Things First comments to “Put the big rocks in first”, or focus on the most material things.

Things like:
• Intellectual Growth.
• Physical Exercise
• Health
• Relationship with Spouse, Family and Key Friends.
• Important Projects

And as we all know, you must say “No” to the Unimportant to say yes to the important.

2. Happiness

In speaking with Jack recently, he said to me he views his role to provide happiness, to him and to others. Though he was not without issues in his life, he said nonetheless he was 100% appreciative of his life and was determined to live his life to the fullest. He is not as spry as he was in his youth, but he is still mentally spry and his zest for life was inspiring. How often do we focus on the negative and under-appreciate the good we have in our lives.

Thanks Jack for inspiring me with your thoughts. You are a wise man. I also appreciated you pushing me to take those extra deductions.

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