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Tucson, AZ
1886 Posts

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I must compliment Richard on his openess and courtesy. I know of few other businesses that have mentors of Richard's level of expertise -- and are able to communicate so freeley about the information and performance of that business without paying them great sums as consultants.

Might I then ask, Richard, what systems you use for keeping things straight -- taxes bookings etc. Business manager, CPA, agent, Filemaker Pro, carry-around diary with scribbled notes? Do you use a secretary -- family help?

In other words -- your work is also a regular business to feed your family. If you do not mind sharing it, what system is now working for you -- and what systems (multiple agents/computer tax programs) have you discarded over the years? How are you handling health insurance?

And how much vacation do you allow yourself??? (lol:-))
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ

C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Richard Osterlind
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I just got through posting on another thread about using a huge box for every receipt you get. You can never tell when ANYTHING might be important because of a law change or something you overlooked.

I have been blessed by a wife (Lisa) who actually LIKES to do bookkeeping! (That only ranks lower on my hate-to-do things than cutting grass!) She keep everything straight, makes sure the bills are paid, the quarterly returns go in, the insurance, everything!

Also, I do all my bookings through one management company. All my income comes through them and there are multiple computer programs taking care of everything. Likewise, Jim Sisti takes card of our Osterlindmysteries business and he is a wiz at numbers.

Yes, a diary in the car is there to notate any mileage and its purpose. My date book contains all details of traveling. And my tax service takes care of all that. I personally don't do my own as they are much too complicated. Also, my wife has a side business of her own and that all enters into it including office space at home, new equipment and computers and all that.

So, it is pretty complicated! But it is worth it!

Matt Pulsar
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Hmm, find a girl who likes crunching numbers and a partner who can do all the sales. You stumbled upon a great situation. I'm taken notes.
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Richard Osterlind
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Fred Berthelot
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New York, NY
356 Posts

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In The Business of Magic, you mention the importance of traveling. If I'm not being too forward, could you tell us how many days you're away from home in a typical month? Does your job offer you enough down-time to spend with your family?

Richard Osterlind
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Actually, not as much as you would think. Fortunately, because of the years and contacts I have made in this business, my fee schedule is pretty high. I don't have to take every show that is offered.

On the average I fly out about once or twice a week. I usually leave one morning and am back the following day. Sometimes I am gone less than 24 hours. Trade shows take up a bit more time, of course, but I only do a few of those each year.

So, all in all, I am home quite a lot! Smile

B&B Magic
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I imagine you are already aware of this, but please be certain to get up and move around during your flights. There is a silent killer, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), that can be precipitated by being seated for extended periods of time. I was only in practice for three weeks before my first DVT patient arrived. I referred them to a vascular surgeon and they underwent a procedure that same afternoon.
So be sure to walk around periodically (every 45 minutes or so) during the flights, or at least do some foot and leg exercises while in flight to keep the blood flowing!

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