Accounting Time Capsules

I always feel slightly nostalgic this time of year. Why? Because my accountant has free shredding week and I pull the old accounting records from the attic. During the process I glance through the files to make sure nothing was filed that I need to keep. In those files I see all kinds of goodies. Old employees I have such positive memories of. A sense that it really wasn’t that long ago that we all worked together. Channels we used to sell through and, because of the vendors and suppliers, a sense for people I haven’t talk to in a long time.

In some ways, those years felt more certain, our success more guaranteed. Now it feels more nebulous and harder to grasp. Reality, however, didn’t turn out that way and what we are working on now has way more potential than what we were working on then.

This year I get to review two years: 2005 and 2006. For some reason I have been keeping eight years back instead of the required seven. 2005 was a very rough year for my wife and me personally. In January of that year my wife’s father died suddenly and in February we lost our baby at 22 weeks pregnant. 2005 also was the year Infinity Softworks lost 75% of our revenue in six months, forcing me to lay off most of the staff and refocus with a tighter team. We went from 10 to 3 people during that time.

2006 was rosier. We were close to shipping our new education product, which at the time we thought was going to have great success. And my first daughter was born a year after we lost a son, one of my three happiest days on this planet. [1] Unfortunately business success was not there yet and navigating first-time fatherhood was difficult. Let’s just say I didn’t handle the mixed family and work responsibilities well. By the time the calendar hit 2007, though, it felt like we were at least on solid footing, at home and at the office [2].

These two years were especially important. They were transition years. Infinity Softworks was changing. I was changing. For the first time I was asking questions about why some businesses were successful and some weren’t. I was questioning the “this is the way it is done” party lines that had nearly driven Infinity Softworks out of business. My priorities were changing. In some ways, for the first time, my wife and I weren’t just two people living in the same house. With the birth of my daughter we were a family.

The years pass, of course. Seven since this time, to be exact. In a few weeks another year will go by the books. In a few weeks I will put 2013 in a box, where it will wait to be opened and its stories revealed, like some accounting time capsule, in 2020.

[1] The other being when my youngest daughter was born two years later and when my wife married me 13+ years ago.

[2] At home that proved true. At the office… another mirage.

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