Investing in Loss

If you rely only on your "winning" skill set, you'll never develop anything else.

By Bill Reeb

“Invest in loss” is a technique that helps us expand our knowledge and ability by setting our ego aside so that we can learn how to work better and get better. With invest-in-loss, the focus is on improving; whether you win or lose, whether you look bad or like a pro, whether you are embarrassed or held up as an example, the key is to improve.

MORE: Constantly Build on the Basics | How ‘Take What’s Given’ Works in Business | Learn to Work ‘Better’ Instead of ‘Harder’ | Be Realistic Regarding Expectations
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Don’t confuse investing in loss with “give up and don’t care.” These two phrases have nothing in common. While investing in loss still means you are trying, you are not restricting yourself to those approaches that give you the best chance of “winning.”

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Bill Reeb

Bill Reeb, CPA, CITP, CGMA

About the Author

Bill Reeb, CPA, CITP, CGMA,  is CEO and co-founder of The Succession Institute LLC and 2019-2020 chair of the AICPA.

Bill has been consulting for three decades to all sizes of businesses, from Mom and Pop operations to Fortune 100 companies, primarily in the areas of strategy, leadership and change management. 

He decided to add the credentials of CPA behind his advisory work and became a CPA in 1986.  Prior to his life as a CPA, he worked for IBM in sales back in the late 70’s.  As an entrepreneur, Bill has founded seven small businesses, he had two ladies clothing stores, one retail computer software store, a software development firm, a computer consulting firm, a CPA firm, and his current management consulting firm - Succession Institute, LLC.

As an award-winning public speaker, Bill lectures throughout the U.S. and Canada to thousands of executives and CPAs each year.  In addition, he has been featured on numerous video-taped and live television programs.  As an award-winning author, Bill is internationally published with hundreds of articles and columns to his credit.  He currently authors a bi-monthly column called “In the Bill-iverse” which is distributed by a number of State CPA Societies as part of their Practice Management e-newsletter.  Besides being published by various magazines, journals and newspapers, Bill and his partner Dom have co-authored two books on Succession titled Securing the Future: Building Your Firm’s Succession Plan with its companion field guide called, Securing the Future: Implementing Your Firm’s Succession Plan.  He and his partner also co-authored the Succession Resource Center website materials for PCPS in 2008 and the fourth edition of their consulting book called Becoming A Trusted Business Advisor: How to Add Value, Improve Client Loyalty, and Increase Profits. Finally, Bill’s newest book is titled The Overachiever’s Guide to Getting Unstuck: Replan, Reprioritize and Reaffirm.  All of their books have been published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (the AICPA).

Bill is an active volunteer within his profession having served in many leadership roles.  He serves as an advisory board member of CPAFMA and KROST CPAs.  For the AICPA, he is a past and current member of the Board of Directors and Council, past Commissioner on the National Accreditation Commission, and the 2018-2019 Vice Chair of the AICPA, putting him in line to become AICPA Chairman for the 2018-2019 term.

Bill has been honored by being named as a CPA Ambassador, was presented the Pathfinder Award and served as the Texas Vision Delegate.  Accounting Today has recognized his efforts by listing him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential CPAs, CPA Magazine has named him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Practitioners, and Inside Public Accounting has listed him as one of the top 10 most recommended CPA firm consultants.

Finally, Bill enjoys a number of hobbies.  He is an avid golfer, skier, and enjoys being active.  He spends the majority of his free time as an instructor teaching (as well as continually learning) six different styles

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