‘The Beginning is the Most Important Part of the Work’ – Plato
This quote by Plato, the Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, sums up the central issue some accountants have with tax planning – they just cannot get started. The day to day grind of servicing the needs of compliance clients leaves them with little time or energy to develop new services, skills, and expertise (like tax planning). The day to day grind can consume all your time and leave nothing for the truly important stuff. This is nothing new of course and was first written about by Plato approximately 2,400 years ago. This is the basis of his famous quote, ‘The Beginning is the Most Important Part of the Work.’ Without the beginning there is nothing. Once a start is made (even not a great start) there is something to build on and improve.
Steven King (the world-famous author of 50 plus bestsellers) believes the most important thing an author (or wannabe author) can do, is write every day. He writes 2,000 words every day, including Christmas day and his birthday. He said, sometimes the writing comes easy, and other days it’s hard and not great. But even on a bad day writing 2,000 words of rubbish, at least there is something to re-write later. The same principle applies to developing your skills and expertise as a tax planner – just make a start, and build from there.
"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"
- Bono: U2