Reluctant Accountant And PakOPerks

I’ve always described myself as a reluctant accountant.

I chose accounting as my major in college without any clue about what a job in the field would entail. I just knew I liked to work with numbers but calculus threatened to make my head explode.

After barely passing the CPA exam, I set off into the exciting and glamorous world of accounting.

Accounting is not what you’d call a creative field. In fact, there are laws against “creative accounting”. Interesting, fascinating laws!

Sleeping

 

I’ve worked for big firms and small firms, full-time at the start, and then part-time after my first child was born.

When my second child came along, I decided to hang up my own shingle and work from home.

Anyone who says working from home is easy has never done it.

The low point in both my accounting career and my career as a parent came one day when I had to call a client about some very important matter regarding their financial situation.

Of course, this was back before cell phones, before even cordless phones so I was tethered to the wall in the kitchen.

Baby girl was napping; big brother was playing quietly in the living room.

Playing quietly, that is, until he noticed that I was on the phone.

We’ve all experienced this, right?

My adorable son started squawking and demanding my attention while standing behind the Lazy Boy in the living room, just out of the reach of my telephone cord.

I’m not proud of what happened next.

Folks, I grabbed a package of Oreos from the pantry and started tossing them to my son as though they were fish and he was a performing sea lion.

cookies

It quieted him down – until the sugar rush kicked in.

Not my finest moment.

Well, maybe that working-from-home thing didn’t pan out for me but I loved the idea of having my own business.

So, while biding my time as a reluctant accountant I brainstormed ideas for entrepreneurial success.

Eventually, I came up with an idea. I researched, roughed out a business plan, researched some more, sent out a survey to potential clients, and researched even more.

One day my (now much older, Oreo eating) son said to me, “Are you going to spend the rest of your life thinking about starting a business or are you actually going to do it.”

Boom! Wise words from a wise fellow.

I took the leap and PakOPerks was born.

PakOPerks

The logo was designed by my pal, Archie. You can see that I borrowed from the PakOPerks look when designing the logo for Mocadeaux.

PakOPerks was geared toward vacation rental properties. We had, over the years, rented vacation homes and were always surprised at how few amenities were provided. Hotels give guests shampoo, soap and even coffee. Most vacation rental spots give nothing.

My idea was to allow property managers to pick and choose from a variety of “perks” to include in welcome gifts customized for their guests and their location.

We offered items like shampoo, sunscreen, laundry detergent, dish soap, coffee, tea, nuts, biscotti, playing cards and yes, even Oreos.

PakOPerks

The packs could be as big or as small as desired. Each was individually packaged in gift bags to be given to guests upon check-in.

During the life of this business, we sent many thousands of these gift bags to customers all over the country. From Myrtle Beach to Jackson Hole, from Palm Springs to Cape Cod, PakOPerks greeted guests and gave them a “starter kit” for their vacation needs.

But alas, all good things must come to an end.

Although, for a variety of reasons, I eventually had to close PakOPerks, I was proud that my little business had been as successful as it was.

While accounting has been good to me over the years, it was the time I spent working on PakOPerks that made my heart sing.

Reluctant accountant; enthusiastic entrepreneur.


This post is the 7th chapter in the “Who I Am” project. This month’s topic: jobs I’ve had. The post was supposed to be done weeks ago but do you have any idea how tough it is to write an entertaining post about accounting?!?!

Please head over to Kiss My List where Dana has links to other stories.

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Comments

  1. Mo… I love the idea of your business. So sorry that you closed it. Maybe I’ll steal it and pitch it on Shark Tank. I’ll have my peeps call your peeps. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

  2. What a great business idea, Mo! I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but I’m still waiting for a good idea 🙂

    I was so grateful that the house we rented in Seattle came fully stocked with shampoo, shower gel, and coffee – what a relief to not have to run out as soon as we arrived to get these essentials.
    Dana recently posted…Counting my blessingsMy Profile

  3. You are a woman of many talents!

    I knew quite a few female accounting majors at ND. My dad encouraged me to major in accounting, because it’s “practical” and I would be guaranteed a job upon graduation. It sounded boring to me, and one accounting class my senior year, Accounting 101, confirmed my suspicions. I had Prof. Vijay(??). He wore sharp suits and his nickname was “Easy A Vijay,” unless you were a woman (he wasn’t fond of ND turning co-ed). Do you know the prof to whom I refer?

    • Your dad was right and you were too. We all had multiple job offers before graduation but…boooorrrriiiinnnngggg. I remember Prof. Vijay although I never took a class from him. Your comment prompted me to look at the list of current faculty and I was shocked to see that both my tax professor (Milani) and my intermediate accounting professor (Nichols) are still at ND!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Reluctant Accountant And PakOPerksMy Profile

  4. My son Domer was a Finance major (don’t know where he got his interest and ability with figures!!) He had lots of friends in accounting. I didn’t know about your home-based business, but it sounds like something that was needed and should have taken off. I love working from home, something I’ve done for many years now. And yes, I can totally relate to your story about your son and the Oreos! More times than I can count, I had one eye on Little Domer and the other on work!!
    Debbie recently posted…Seeking PeaceMy Profile

    • Just as I’m sure your son is, I’m proud to be a graduate of the Mendoza School of Business. And I’m glad that in spite of their childhood antics, both of our sons have grown up to be responsible adults. In my case, it’s reassuring to know that I didn’t cause any permanent damage with “the Oreo incident”!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Reluctant Accountant And PakOPerksMy Profile

  5. I love the idea and the fact that your son nudged you to get after it. It probably was residual from the barking seal/oreo incident. I loved that too.
    Barbara recently posted…Spelling Bee – EleutheromaniaMy Profile

  6. Fascinating! I love how we learn more and more about each other as time goes by.
    Kathy G recently posted…Dividing IrisMy Profile

  7. Go “Pack O Perks” & never too late to revive this super successful business! I remember fondly on a trip with sister Kathleen helping in the packing area being surrounded by miles of ribbon & delicious treats! A winner & CEO the smartest!

  8. And yet another layer of the story of Mo surfaces. I think your business idea was excellent and I’m not surprised it was successful. I think people who start businesses (or blogs- ha!) are brave and courageous. We all want to end up saying, “I tried it” rather than, “I wish I had!” You are a woman after my heart!
    Leslie Anne Tarabella recently posted…Annie Sloan made me do itMy Profile

  9. So interesting to read about your working past! Really. I love the idea of PakoPerks. Way to make that work. Hope you sold it for a tidy profit. 🙂
    Katy recently posted…Real-life Back to School Shopping TipsMy Profile

  10. I too remember helping pack bags, what fun it was. The goody bags for our wedding were spot on.

  11. What a great business! I cracked up at the tossed Oreos for although I think my boys are a bit younger than your kids, I can recall moments in motherhood that I am reluctant to share for fear that statute of limitations may not be cleared.
    Beemie recently posted…Jubilation…My Profile

  12. Bless your heart, Mo. I had no idea about your PacOPerks history. What a brilliant concept. And yes, I am with you on the tossing of the Oreos front. My pal moved to Ontario and when her youngest was 3 we were engaged in a “very important” long-distance call. He walked into the room and she tossed him her china piggy bank. He skillfully caught it and proceeded to wing coins about the room. Just before we hung up, the now empty pig slipped from his fingers and fell to the ground. The left ear snapped off. 21 years later she still has the pig – repaired ear and all. Don’t even get me started on the cheese sandwiches I tossed at my two in the car whilst driving between skating and swimming lessons. “Here’s dinner!”
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…Guess Who I Met This SummerMy Profile

    • Oh, Kelly, you always make me laugh!!!! I can just picture you winging cheese sandwiches into the back seat. Just doing your job! And I love the story about the piggy bank – especially that it survived the fall and exists as a symbol of the lengths we will go to in order to stay connected with a dear friend!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Reluctant Accountant And PakOPerksMy Profile

  13. Hi Mo! I am so happy I saw this post – I have been traveling and not reading blogs as regularly as I would like! I, too, was a reluctant accountant. My new career is what truly makes MY heart sing – I wish I had discovered the path a little sooner in my life, but I am LOVING every minute of it now! Pak-o-perks is SUCH a great idea!! Sending you hugs!!
    Sandy recently posted…Just Back From…Experiencing the World at Travel Week in Vegas!My Profile

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