IT's Tax Time

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We are getting down to the wire and the end of the year is upon us. Soon we will be in the year 2019 (which sounds very futuristic:) and the tax season will be in full swing.

Are you ready?

According to a stat on Entrepreneur.com, “50% of small businesses in the U.S. spend more than 40 hours a year managing their federal taxes.” That doesn’t sound like fun at all.

Check out this short list to help you not become a part of this statistic:

  1. Have a bookkeeping professional help you get your books in order.

  2. Gather your receipts and supporting documents

  3. Find a CPA that fits your personality & business

Here are some resources for you to check out to help you with these 3 checklist items:

CPA On Fire - Here is an article/video on how to find the best tax preparer for you.

Fit Small Business.com - Here is an article on how to find a bookkeeper who is right for you.

Startups.com - Here is an article on how to best manage those pesky receipts.

I hope this will be helpful to you as you wind down your year and get ready for the one ahead.

Keep it Sunny!

Ready Set Go!

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The end of the year is here. I don’t know about you but it seems like it got here really quick. I hope this year was one of your best ones yet and that all the goals you set have come to pass. If not then check out my previous post on how to start fresh with new goals in 2019. This is a busy time of the year for many reasons but don’t forget tax time is just around the corner. Next week I will chat with you about how you can get organized and ready for your favorite CPA. If you don’t have one yet then I will give you some places you might want to check out.

Have an awesome day and as always Keep it Sunny!

:)

Got Goals?

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Do you remember the popular milk campaign called “Got Milk”?

The goal was to raise awareness about drinking more milk to improve your health. In the same way I am asking you this question:

“Got Goals”?

My Business Is Stagnate

In order to reach higher areas in each part of our lives including our business we need goals. Sounds pretty simple right?

Yes and no.

We can think of a million things we would like to accomplish BUT never get results. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post on how to set easy goals for your business. Now I want to go one step further. Recently I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, 48days to the work you love by Dan Miller and stumbled across a goal setting e-book that he was promoting on his website. It’s very comprehensive and it took me about 2 hours to complete. In all fairness I was watching t.v. at the same time and did the exercises in between commercials. :) I found it to be very helpful and useful as a system that will help me make more achievable goals. Take a peek and see if it can work for you. Whatever tool you decide to use doesn’t matter. The real deal is picking a solution that will be easy for you to use and then taking action. What do you have to lose? Give it a go.

What system do you use to achieve goals? Share in the comments below so we can learn from each other.

Keep It Sunny!

What Are You Thankful For Today?

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love all the food, festivities and time spent with friends & family. There is a lot of noise that comes much in the form of black Friday holiday shopping offers, holiday travel stress, meal prep or missing a love one that has passed on. And as business owners we have additional stress that can take place.

It’s Time To Give Thanks

It can be easy to get caught up in the hoopla of the season and not stop to really reflect on what you are thankful for today. I am thankful for my faith and connection to Jesus, my loving family & friends and for my business. Not to mention being in good health and just for having an overall attitude of positivity.

What About You?

What are you truly thankful for today? Forget the madness that this season can bring and take a quiet moment (I know that maybe hard with a house full of people:) but give it a try. I hope you discover the richness that fills your life with joy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

:)

Easy Goal Setting For Your Business

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Do you set goals for your business?

Do you achieve the goals that you set for your business?

If the answer is “yes” to both of these questions then you should be very proud of yourself.

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BUT

If the answer is “no” on both fronts then it’s time to take a look at how you can get better at setting and reaching goals for your business.

Last week I talked about how to manage financial stress in your business by making a plan. This week I will keep it short and sweet. We will look at 3 easy steps you can take to set goals for your business.

  1. Pick a goal and break it down. I know that sounds like a no-brainer but most of us suffer from goal overwhelm. The end result according to Rebeca Brown from Life Hacker.com is that, “This struggle can make us feel extremely overwhelmed, triggering us into habits that are less than productive and that keep us from getting things done. When the day ends, we then feel a crushing sense of guilt and anger for not having accomplished what we set out to do.”

  2. Pick a system to manage your goal. There are one million ways to manage your projects and goals that sometimes we get lost in the sauce. I don’t want to add to the madness so I will refer you to one book called 12 Week Year. The authors state that you can get more done in 12 weeks than others. That sounds like it is worth checking out.

  3. F.O.C.U.S. Follow one course until success. John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire says this motto all the time and I would have to say it works and you know it works. Think back to a time when you had no choice but to focus and accomplish a goal and it worked. Perhaps it was graduating from college or completing a work deadline.

There you have it.

Short and sweet.

Have an amazing day & of course Keep It Sunny!

Pain Management For Your Business

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Do you feel like this poor teddy bear sometimes?

There are client requests to fulfill and business operations to maintain and of course you need to keep your eye on the bottom-line.

It can get crazy!

The end of the year is upon us. Halloween is over and the official holiday season has begun. And let’s not even talk about black Friday, cyber Monday and all the special deal madness that is coming our way to get us to release money from our bank accounts.

All This Financial Stress Can Take It’s Toll

But don’t fear. I believe that planning is the BEST prevention and the best medicine for this type of pain. Take a deep breath and check out this post I wrote in July about how to manage your financial pain and take back control of your business and your life.

Keep It Sunny!

It's Time To Start Winding Down & Planning Ahead

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It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is almost here.

>Sigh>

I know it went by really fast and hopefully you had a productive year. Right now is a good time to start planning ahead for your business.

In the last blog post I talked about how you could take steps to make sure you stay healthy. This time around we need to take at look at how to make sure your business stays in shape. Check out this awesome end of the year checklist and get busy.

Don’t procrastinate.

We all know that once Halloween has come and gone the holiday madness will begin so start planning how you will wrap up this year strong and start fresh for 2019.

Keep It Sunny!

How To Stay Healthy As An Entrepreneur

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Are you taking care of yourself?

Life can get pretty hectic as an entrepreneur. There are clients to take care of, services to deliver, finances that need to be managed and being there for your team if you have employees. None of this includes your personal life. It’s easy to see how quickly a person can get run-down and eventually not feeling their best.

But what can you do?

These things must be handled in order for your business to operate and be profitable. According to Entrepreneur.com and the American Institute of Stress, “Stress in the workplace is more strongly correlated with health issues than even financial difficulties or family problems.” If you work from home then this issue can get much more complicated and real. Here are 10 quick ways to stay healthy as an entrepreneur:

  1. Take scheduled walk breaks daily

  2. Eat healthy during lunch and snack time

  3. Cut out the distractions during your work day

  4. Get organized with your time

  5. Create boundaries with your clients & team

  6. Don’t work after hours

  7. Have fun time scheduled In your down time

  8. Go to the gym during the day during lunch time

  9. Go to bed on time

  10. Breathe

    These 10 tips aren’t anything you haven’t heard before. They are more of a reminder to take time out for yourself and to take care of yourself. You can’t be good to anyone if your not healthy.

Keep It Sunny!

Using Your Personal Story To Market Your Business

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We all love a good story.

Marketers know this and you can see the results of this every time you turn on the t.v. and a commercial appears. I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel like I am watching a mini-movie and then discover that it’s a commercial to sell me an Apple product or some other “must have” item.

Why Did You Start Your Business?

I am guessing that you probably started your business based on something that happened to you and it compelled you to change it by sharing your talents. I know I started my business for a number of reasons but primarily because I was tired of the old way of working. I didn’t want to be constrained by corporate bureaucracy which was preventing me in my opinion from growing in my career. I wanted to be able to travel and live my life in real-time. I wanted to be able to have choices in where I worked, how I worked and to be able to work on things that I was passionate about. So you can say pure frustration with the status quo is what moved me to start my own business.

:)

When you are faced with life challenges there are a myriad of ways to deal with it. Jennifer Esposito the actress has an interesting story about what led her to start her own online business, The Simply Box. The actress shares on her site, Simply Jennifer that after experiencing multiple divorces and an undiagnosed celiac disease illness she decided to use these challenges to help others to improve their lives. She goes on to say that, “Money; toxic people; toxic places; toxic jobs; toxic behavior; even toxic living situations were a catalyst. It was a surplus of unneeded excess that was not for her greater good.”

That got my attention and I am sure it resonates with others. She married her love for healthy cooking and a desire to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle by attending the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to help people change their lives for the better.

Are You Relatable?

We all have heard this statement; “We buy from people we know like and trust”.

Are you relatable? Are you someone that people can resonate with and take a chance on trying your product or service?

What is your story?

Keep It Sunny!

Are You Using Social Media To Share Your Business?

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I love social media. It’s a great way to build connections with others and stay abreast of what is going on in the lives of your friends and family. But it is also a great tool to use to build business relationships, network with others and find clients.

How Can I use Social Media To Increase My Brand Awareness?

  1. Listen and Share: The best way to use this tool is to share your resources and answer questions that are pain points for others.

  2. Focus: It is good to have a presence on the top 3 social media channels, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn but to really get the most out of it start with focusing on just one core activity like blogging. The question of how many channels to use really depends on how much time you have to spend on it. Jeff Bullas a social media strategist states that, “It is more a matter of the resources that you have available, both in time and money to engage in Social Media effectively.

  3. Be Consistent: According to Buffer.com, “The first thing that businesses and entrepreneurs can do to find success is make a commitment to social media. They’ve found that it takes eight months to one year to really get the hang of social media. Not only to get a consistent content stream going, but to figure out what your audience resonates with and what they don’t”.

  4. Be on a team: Often the best way to really build lasting connections is to join a specific group on Facebook, LinkedIn or on any social media channel that you use. If you treat the group like your in person group associations and provide support you will get more out of it.

This is a short list on how you can use social media to share your business. The most important thing is to get started and share information, pick one focused channel to put your time and effort into, be consistent and join a group or groups where you can provide the most value.

What are your tips for using social media to share your business?

Keep It Sunny!

FALL IS HERE!

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Summer is winding down and fall is fast approaching. I hope you enjoyed your downtime and had time to have moments of reflection. We all know that if we are not sharing our business with others and actively doing marketing then we are one step away from not being in business.

:(

This month we will look at different ways to market our business and share what we do with others.

What are some low-cost ways that you use to share your business with others?

Keep It Sunny!

How To Create More Peace In Your Business

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Being an entrepreneur is an exhilarating ride.

There are ups & downs.

When things are going great it's like living in the roaring 20's.

BUT when things are not going so great....well...it is like a black cloud follows you around. Is there a way to create some ying & yang within your business?

I believe there is a way. Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at a few different areas within your business and how you can create more peace and balance in those areas. 

How do you create that ideal balance within your business and in your life?

 

Keep It Sunny!

Do You Have Work-Life Balance?

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Does your life look like the picture above?

Or

Does it look like the picture below?

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If you picked the second photo but wished your life could look more like the first photo then you are in good company.   According to an article from Entrepreneur.com, "More than 11 percent of American workers say they work 50 or more hours a week."  And The American Institute of Stress stated that "77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stressed." 

Can you really achieve a work-life balance?

I think you can achieve balance in both areas of your life. It takes effort, focus, and patience with yourself. To get you started on this journey check out this article with 20 great ideas towards getting your life to look more like picture number one. You can't be a successful entrepreneur if your life is falling apart. But you can stop and redirect your energy towards living a more positive and intentional life.

Do you have any tips to share on how you work to achieve balance in each area of your life? I love shutting off all electronics and just meditating. What about you?

Keep It Sunny!

 

Self Care For Health & Wellness Practitioners

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Are you approaching burnout from being a helping professional?

If so you are not alone.

According to an article by Health Trust, "More than half of all U.S. physicians surveyed in 2014 by the Mayo Clinic reported at least one symptom of burnout—an increase of 9 percent from a study three years earlier."  Although you may be another kind of health and wellness practitioner the fact remains that helping professionals who suffer from career induced burnout is on the rise.

What Can You Do Right Now 

Take action to prevent burnout and increase self-care for yourself.

According to an article by Holistic Primary Care, there are 5 primary burnout insulators:

  1. Reflection and Recognition

  2. Self-Care

  3. Coping Styles

  4. Community

  5. Structure

These may seem like a no-brainer to you but it is a good reminder to zone in on preventative measures that can help you to be your best so that you can take care of your clients and your business. Check out the additional resources below for more tools to use for creating a self-care plan of action today.

The Signs of Burnout

Self-Care Revolution by Ellen Rondina, LMSW

Wellness and Self-Care Tools

Health and Wellness Burnout Prevention

What are your best strategies to help prevent burn-out? I love to turn off all electronics and listen to nature. What about you?

KEEP IT SUNNY!

Is Financial Stress Blocking You From Reaching Your Business Goals?

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Are you stressed out? If you are you are not alone. According to The American Institute of Stress and The American Psychological Association, "77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Additionally, 76% of people cite money as the cause of their stress".

Stress and Your Business

As an entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, you help others deal with the effects of daily stress in their lives. The problem is that you put your needs on the back burner and this can cause havoc in your business and in your life. It can show up when managing operational tasks such as your finances. For example, if you are stressed out then most likely you won't stay on course with taking care of receipt management for expenses, monthly bookkeeping, budgeting and forecasting and adjusting prices with your clients to ensure you are bringing in enough revenue. When you are not bringing in enough revenue then you might be tempted to work with anyone instead of your ideal clients and that can certainly add to your stress. 

 

"How you deal with stress determines how well you and your business do".

So what is the solution?

Stress Management Tips

1. Get enough sleep. If you are not well rested there is no way you can do your best work or make good business decisions. Set a specific time to power down each night and stick to it. If you are having challenges powering down check out apps like Sleep Cycle to help you relax.

2. Create a financial emergency cushion for your business and personal life. Dave Ramsey has great tips on how to do this on his site www.daveramsey.com.

3. Create a financial business team. This team which should consist of a CPA, an attorney, a financial planner and, a good bookkeeper. They can assist you with managing your business finances and ease stress related to planning for your financial goals. 

Financial stress is a daily challenge that most entrepreneurs face. It doesn't have to sink your ship. The key to stress management is prevention. If you put a plan in place to mitigate stress it will have no room to slow you down from reaching your business goals. Do you have tips you can share on how to manage financial stress?

 

Keep It Sunny!

 

 

 

Are You Stuck In A Business Rut?

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I hope you enjoyed the 4th of July holiday with your friends and family. I think it is a good time to sit back and reflect on those who fought to make sure we have the freedoms we enjoy today including the freedom to work for ourselves.

But what if you are just burnt out?

What do you do then?

Take some time to remember why you started on your journey and just give yourself permission to re-direct your course. 

This is your business and you can color outside of the lines with a joyous smile on your face.

 Sit back and just take time to smell the roses and celebrate your wins.

 

Keep It Sunny!

It's Time To Have Fun!

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As we come to the end of June and close out the first half of 2018 I hope you have conquered your goals.

If not then it's time to relax and take stock of what's working and what isn't.

Summertime is here and it is the season for basking in the sun and taking vacations. As you get into the full swing of the season take some time to have fun like you did when you were a kid and plan ahead for the rest of 2018.

What are some of the fun things you do with your friends & family during the summer?

 

Keep It Sunny!

I Don't Have Time To Network!

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Do you feel like this? You are so busy that you don't have time to network? Well picture this: You are humming along in your business taking care of your customers and managing your daily admin tasks and then suddenly......business starts to SLOW down to a crawl.

What do you do then?

Oh you can contact that person you met at that networking event to see if they need help from you.

Oh wait a minute....you didn't have time to go to the networking event....bummer.

Does this sound familiar?

I hope it doesn't but if it does then it is time right now to start networking with other business owners. It isn't necessary to even leave your house and go sit at a lunch and learn type of event or an evening mixer. You can start online using a platform such as Alignable.com.

Alignable is similar to LinkedIn but with more focus on small business and building a true community. I started a profile a few months ago and forgot about it and then guess what my business started to dry up with clients so I thought about how I could network with other business owners to share what I know and learn from them in a cost-effective way.

Alignable.com definitely fits the bill. Check out Alignable.com and this post from one of the members. He explained why Alignable.com was the best choice over using LinkedIn. I personally think you can use both but he definitely convinced me to put more effort in networking with Alignable.  Are you using online networking tools right now? What are the best ones that you recommend?

Keep it Sunny!

Must Have Online Marketing Tools You Need

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We all know that you should always be selling..a.k.a marketing your business. And we also know that even if your business is a bricks & sticks operation that you still need to market yourself online. But where do you start in this online wilderness? What tools should you really be using?

Savvy marketer Neil Patel states that "To do online marketing right, you've got to buy the right tools." That's right you need to actutally purchase the tools. I know we all like "free" stuff but sometimes that just won't cut it. Check out this article to learn what are the 7 must have tools you need to have in your online arsenal.

What tools do you love using to market your business online?

Tis The Season Of Business Networking!

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Well it's that time again everyone. It is time to get out there and make new friends and share your business with others. In short it is the season of business networking. Does your face look like the surprised Santa above?

Is this how you feel when you walk into an event and attempt to start "networking"?

Well fear no more. Check out this post on how integrating these 7 tips to your networking efforts could help you to feel relaxed and excited to share your business. The bottom line in my opinion is to just be yourself and share what value you can bring to help someone. 

Keep It Sunny!