How Will You Measure Your Life?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2019 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on How Will You Measure Your Life?

How Will You Measure Your Life?

In 2010, management scholar and innovation expert, Clayton Christensen, posed this question to the graduating class of Harvard Business School, then asked it in a Harvard Business Review article, and then wrote a book on the question. I pose this question to all of you, myself included – how will you measure your life?

Measuring your life’s success is part of the process of looking around to see how you are doing. How is it that you measure your life? After all is said and done what is truly most important to you? What are your deepest goals and desires? When you look back, what will be your measure of personal success? What will you be most proud of? No doubt, many of us would put family, relationships with spouses and children, faith, values, positive impact in the community, etc., as their measures of success. Now the question is, how well do you allocate your personal resources to reflect those measures of success? Do you feel like you are spending the appropriate amount of time in the areas that are most important to you? Are you spending enough time building the relationships that you feel are so important?

Tyler and Gary atop “the Diving Board” on Half Dome in Yosemite after climbing “Snake Dike” route to the top.

Reading Christensen’s book was life-changing for me. It made me look honestly at my life to see if I was really living up to my values. We work hard all our life to make things better for our family, for our friends, and for ourselves, but I wonder if we look back enough to recognize just how much we’ve done to make life great. Appreciation for what we have seems to be one of the greatest attribute one could attain. It is pretty common for people to want to be something that they are not – taller or shorter or thinner or younger or more muscular or faster or more successful or a myriad of other things. We could spend our whole life wanting to be something that we are not, but that would be a waste of time. The happiest people seem to be those who look around and realize that what they’ve got is pretty good and appreciate it.

When you analyze the success of a company, you don’t look at it in terms of its intentions, you look at it in terms of how it actually spends it’s time, money, and physical and human capital. Is it investing in new products, markets, technology or talent? Or is it just chugging along without much current investment in hopes of finding another organization to purchase?

Now what about you? As you look back on today, how did you spend your resources like time, energy, and money? Did your actions today align with your deepest goals and desires? If not, it’s never too late to make adjustments to move in the direction you really want to.

Deciding how you want your life to be measured may be the most important decision you ever make!

The profession you chose reflects your values. Tax professionals have the great opportunity to help individuals and families stay compliant with tax laws, organize their finances, take care of things they don’t want to take care of, suggest strategies to minimize taxes, and more often than not, serve their clients as a family adviser. I am constantly amazed at how much you do for your clients and how involved you are in their lives. Seeing, visiting with or talking with them every year is an opportunity to develop a wonderful relationship of trust and caring.

If you want your life measured in part by how you deal with and help others, you’ve chosen the right profession.

Your friend,

Gary Quackenbush, Esq., CSTC President

Derek S. Questions Gary Quackenbush about Estate Planning and Trusts.

Posted by on Aug 28, 2019 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Derek S. Questions Gary Quackenbush about Estate Planning and Trusts.

Listen to get Derek’s perspective on Estate Planning and Trusts.

Estate Planning – Difficult Decisions Day

Posted by on Jun 7, 2019 in California Trusts, California Wills, Estate Planning, San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Estate Planning – Difficult Decisions Day

GQ Law & Gary Quackenbush – Estate Planning Difficult Decisions Day

Who should be my Trustee?

Who should be the Guardian?

Gifts to charity.

How to “control” distribution- based on age, maturity, or other criteria

Is it a good idea to try control distribution? – Or just let them have it all at once?

Options for Successor Trustee and Guardian

Family or Friend

Professional – Private fiduciary or Institution? 

Distribution Options: 


Staged @ ages, @ life stages, @ accomplishments, @ land-marks

Pooled Trust

Successor Trustee’s discretion

Words, words, words – how to get it all written properly.

GQ ON The LAW – Special Needs Trust, Power of Attorney, Guardianship

Posted by on Sep 20, 2018 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on GQ ON The LAW – Special Needs Trust, Power of Attorney, Guardianship

GQ on the law explains Special Needs Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and Guardianship. Special needs trusts are required if a beneficiary receives any type of government assistance due to disability, incapacity, or special needs. Without a Special Needs Trust, the special needs beneficiary could forfeit any government assistance for medical care or other support. In this show Gary Quackenbush explains ways to create and use a Special needs Trust. GQ Law.

Health Care Directives, Living Wills, Guardian Nomination, Putting assets into Trust

Posted by on Sep 20, 2018 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Health Care Directives, Living Wills, Guardian Nomination, Putting assets into Trust

If you can’t speak for yourself, you will need a Health Care Directive to appoint someone to speak on your behalf regarding healthcare, life support, and organ donation decisions. 

GQ LAW and Marty Schneider have a lively discussion on their live radio show covering this importatn estate planning topic. 

Minor children need to have a Guardian nominated to prevent them from being placed in the foster child system if they lose both parents. A Guardian nomination is a simple but very important document to have in your Family Protection binder. 

Gary Quackenbush

GQ Law

IRA Conduit’s and Living Trusts. Word on Wealth Radio show discusses IRAs, Living Trusts, Estate Planning

Posted by on Aug 22, 2018 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on IRA Conduit’s and Living Trusts. Word on Wealth Radio show discusses IRAs, Living Trusts, Estate Planning

Having your IRA or 401k handled by your Living Trust requires special trust language.

The average Living Trust or Family Trust can not handle retirement money properly and could cause accelerated income taxation if not prepared properly. If prepared properly, your Trust can safely distribute inherited retirement accounts to your beneficiaries on your terms and yet avoid accelerated taxation. This radio show “Word on Wealth” with Marty Schneider, CFP, and Gary Quackenbush, Attorney, frankly discusses IRA and 401k inheritance issues. 

For more information go to 

Digital Transformation: Transforming Business Models

Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Digital Transformation: Transforming Business Models

Digital Transformation: Transforming Business Models

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A third, and perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of an organization’s digital transformation, is the transformation of it’s business model. The digital world has allowed, and oftentimes necessitates, the complete reformation of the way a business makes money and goes to market. Capgemini Consulting and MIT offer two notable ways this occurs.


Digitally-modified Businesses (i.e. sustaining innovations)

A digitally modified business is one that adopts technologies or innovations that add to their current product or service. For example, Toyota may develop a new technology that reduces the need for human capital and offers more production capacity. Or, perhaps, an insurance agency may dramatically reduce the amount of customer cold-calling it’s sales office does in exchange for collecting customer information through website traffic data or free web chat consultations. This potential customer information could then used for outreach via email, text or social media. Both of these cases are examples of a modified business model that changes the way business is done without the need of a new, separate organization to manage the innovation.


New Digital Businesses (i.e. disruptive innovations)

Another aspect of business model transformation is in the introduction of a completely new and “disruptive” way of doing business. The term disruptive is not simply to imply the type of competitive moves that cause shake-ups in the market and temporarily disrupt the steady trajectory of other organizations. The type of changes that are followed by relatively short-term, reactionary plays which bring competition inline again. A disruptive innovation in the sense considered in this article quite literally upends incumbent organizations and houses the inertia to put the existing business model out of the job.

As defined by innovation expert Clayton Christensen, disruption “describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.” Think personal computers disrupting mainframe and mini computers, or cell phones disrupting landlines and online retailers that are currently disrupting discount retailers that once disrupted full-service department stores.

This subject will merit it’s own series of posts and will describe in detail the process of disruption and a tried and true methodology to either disrupt or avoid being disrupted.


As you consider your business model, ask yourself, “What ways can I incrementally use technology to improve and enhance my current business model. And, “What simpler, more convenient, cheaper, down-market trends am I seeing that are taking my lowest end customers? Should I adopt a similar methodology to prepare for the long-term?” Once again, we’ll discuss these questions in more depth in posts to come.

To summarize, here is an insightful comment recorded by Capgemini and MIT researchers, “A media executive said, ‘We’ve realized that if we don’t transform the way we do business, we’re going to die. It’s not about changing the way we do technology but changing the way we do business.'”


Digital Transformation: Transforming Operational Processes

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Digital Transformation: Transforming Operational Processes

Digital Transformation: Transforming Operational Processes

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While transforming the customer experience will affect heavily what’s going on outside of the walls of the office, transforming operational processes will completely change the way you work. This can be accomplished in three main ways, as taught by MIT and Capgemini researchers.

Process Digitization

One of the key improvements technology can make in an organization is getting rid of repetition. Many repetitive tasks can now be automated with software, robotics or other means. The goal should be, if I have (or someone else has) to do this regularly, what do we need to do to eliminate it? Simple examples may include payment, customer setup, or data entry. More complicated examples might include the use of artificial intelligence to solve intermediate problems such as fixing broken production lines or anticipating/predicting inventory management and supply chain decisions in the event of upcoming changes to demand.


Worker Enablement

From introducing dramatic changes to employee flexibility, while also increasing the amount of time an employee is connected, to increasing communication between upper management and all levels of the organization, digital change can greatly enable employees. If the workforce has more access and is more accessible, a company’s speed to action can increase without the need of slow meetings and drawn out decisions.


Performance Management

As time is created through reducing redundancies and creating agility, there is an increased capacity to use data, insights and broader input from the organization for better decision making. Companies can more easily outsource what is outside the scope of their expertise, and focus on being the best product or service possible in their scope of value. Time can then be used for creating more time in the future and the virtuous cycle continues.


The digital landscape has completely altered the way a company can operate. Through digitizing processes, enabling workers and increasing the amount of time for creativity and value creation, a company’s operational processes can become one of it’s greatest assets to growth.

Digital Transformation: Transforming the Customer Experience

Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Digital Transformation: Transforming the Customer Experience

Digital Transformation: Transforming the Customer Experience

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One important area companies are transforming digitally is in their customer experience. The customer experience can be bucketed into three categories:

Customer Understanding

A company can create customer understanding using data and predictive analytics, being more deeply involved in their pain points through analysis of social media, budding trends and successes/failures of other organizations’ interactions with customers in varying industries. Social media, advanced search and much improved CRM systems have made this type of information much more accessible, organized, and affordable. Resources that used only to be available to deep-pocketed companies are now readily available for much smaller organizations.


Top-line growth

With a better understanding of your customer you can be more effective in anticipating/understanding needs and catering to them. This is particularly important in the sales process. As your organization becomes more mobile and nimble, your sales force can be better equipped to engage customers. Another essential aspect of top-line growth enabled by digital change is brand management. It is now easier than ever to guide a brand with a well-managed marketing strategy–but don’t worry, you don’t need to be the expert. True to form, digital disruption has changed the advertising industry and many small “marketing boutiques” are available remotely that specialize in digital marketing and promotion.


Customer Touch Points

One of the greatest benefits of technology in the customer experience is speed and response time. Especially in competitive, commoditized industries where products are hard to differentiate, customers look more and more for speed, access and convenience. Companies can more readily engage customers through social media, targeted mobile push notifications and ensure 24/7 access to solutions, products or service information, payment, scheduling and ordering.


The fast evolving digital landscape has broadened your ability as an organizational leader to transform the customer experience. Through understanding your customers, driving top-line growth and increasing the quality and quantity of customer touch points, your company will better be able to serve customers who will in turn spread the word to their broad and easy to reach social networks.