Star City Six – Robert F. Cruise
Cruise & Associates (cruise-associates.com) is an accounting firm in Lincoln and five other locations. Robert F. Cruise is the president of Cruise & Associates.
Tell us a little about your business.
We work with businesses and individuals to take care of their income tax, business, and financial services needs. We communicate with our clients to create a personalized plan to meet their specific situations.
How did you get started in business?
I graduated from College in 1991 and could not find a job. At the time, Nebraska was still recovering from the farm crisis in the 80s and accounting firms were not hiring. I was working in a restaurant and the owner told me his brother was looking for someone to do bookkeeping. To help me get started, the owner’s brother gave me a 100-square-foot office rent-free and paid me $100 a month to do his bookkeeping. I sent out mailers and built my client base one at a time.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Being told by several people that I would not succeed in life. I was told I would not be able to graduate from a four year college. I had a banker, when I was first applying for a loan to purchase a computer, tell me to just go find a job working for another accounting firm, and once I had the client base built up to leave and steal the clients. Another challenge was starting a business with nothing but a desire. In the beginning, I was working two other jobs in the evenings and weekends just to survive.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Receiving my Enrolled Agent (EA) certificate. An EA is one of three professional designations allowed to represent people at all levels with the IRS.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Buying an office in another location.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I love to cook.
Who inspires you?
John French because he helped me get my start in business and gave me some very practical advice about running a company. In addition, President/Owner of Triple Check David Lieberman because he helped give me the training/information I need to run my own business.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein. I’ve tried to incorporate this into my business by always looking for new and different ways to help our clients reach their goals.
If you had to choose one descriptive word to be remembered as what would it be?
If you had a theme song what would it be?
“Working for a Livin’” by Huey Lewis and the News.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with and are there any special reasons why?
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). They work for kids who often don’t have a lot of consistency in their lives, and CASA volunteers serve as a stable adult in their life who stays with them through the whole process.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
Virgin Way by Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, which today has over 400 companies.