Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year Everyone!

We have officially made it to 2019. It sounds so strange to me but we are here. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family.

Did you spend time in quiet reflection at any point?

I hope so.

I did a lot of thinking and goal setting for this year.

Do you have a theme for this year? My theme for this year is the year of completion; Plan It & Do It!

The new year brings with it a clean slate and a chance to start fresh. Name your goals and make a plan to get them crossed off your to-do list. Here is a previous blog that I wrote to help you get started.

Keep It Sunny!

Countdown To The New Year! Let's Get Ready For 2019

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I am so excited for 2019 and all the great things that are ahead.

I don’t know about you but 2018 was filled with many twists and turns. It was a good year but there are always areas for improvement. Especially when it comes to being a business owner. I was listening to a podcast by Christy Wright from The Business Boutique and she talked about creating a list of what went well, what went wrong, what was missing and what left you confused about your business. I thought this was a great idea and I plan on taking some quiet time to complete this exercise. If you want to learn more about it and other tools that will help you get ready for the new year check out her podcast episode #63 here.

I hope 2018 was a good year for you. As you relax during the holiday season take a moment to celebrate your wins for this year and get ready to kick butt in 2019.

Keep It Sunny!

Help Wanted

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I hope you are enjoying the holiday season with your family. This time is very magical and filled with fun. I hate to bring up taxes right in the middle of this fun time of year but hey we are business owners and it’s that time. :)

So do you have a CPA?

If the answer is no then check out Dave Ramsey’s ELP program. ELP stands for endorsed local provider and this is where you can start researching and hopefully find a CPA for your business.

I know you don’t want to think about this but it’s good to get this taken care of so you won’t be in a panic once the new year starts.

Keep It Sunny!

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!

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!

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!

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

How do you define success?

That is my question for you today.

Is it based on comparing your activities to others accomplishments? Is it based on your own personal goals, beliefs, and desires?

If you haven't thought about it lately then take a moment today to pause.......and answer this question.

I am a very goal-oriented person and do my best to set the bar high and achieve my goals. When I fall short of reaching my goals I can get bummed out BUT I always take a moment to reflect and think about these questions:

Did I set my goal too high?

What could I have done better in a process or system?

Who can I help more and deliver more value to?

Did I help one client achieve their business goals this month?

When I answer these questions it gives me time to really give deep thought to how I define success. It's really important that we get intentional about defining what success means on a personal level. Your business is your personal expression of your gifts and talents. Your goals and how you define success should be personal to you as well.

Take some time this weekend to celebrate every win you had this month, regroup and refocus your efforts on areas that you want to improve upon.

Keep It Sunny!

Why Did You Start Your Business?

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Hello everyone. I hope the month of March was productive and profitable for you. If it was then that is awesome and of course, you should do more of the same for the month of April. If you didn't reach your goals for March then maybe it's time to;

STOP

REFLECT

AND ASK YOURSELF THE QUESTION BELOW

Why Did I Decide To Go Into Business For Myself?

The answer to that question is different for everyone. But it is the foundational fuel that will push you to be a better entrepreneur.

It will give you purpose, energy, and motivation to redirect your efforts toward making your business a success.

This month we discussed how to solve some the biggest problems with running your holistic practice successfully. We took a look at how you can have more peace in your business and using online tools in your business to make it run better. Finally, we took a look at a few ideas on how to be more productive and make more money in your business.

The bottom-line is it is YOUR business. Your heart and soul should be in it 100%. If you feel you are off track then take a little time now before the next month starts to reflect and redirect your efforts.

I will leave you with some words of encouragement that I shared at the beginning of the month.

You can do this. Your destiny is to use your gifts to help people to change their lives for the better! Now get moving!

Keep It Sunny!

3 Easy Ways To Create Unlimited Peace In Your Business

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Are you one of those people that has a to-do list for your to-do list and nothing ever gets completed?

Or are you constantly telling yourself I will finally finish (fill in the blank) project next week but next week comes and your project is still not done?

Do you feel like your that little hamster in the wheel that keeps moving fast but never goes anywhere? Cute little fella:)

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BUT doesn’t this leave you feeling stressed out?

Well it’s time for the madness to STOP!

It’s a New Year. And it is time to take action to create unlimited peace in your business. Here are 3 easy ways to do just that!

1. SCHEDULE EVERYTHING

I know this sounds crazy but successful entrepreneurs like Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income swears by it.  On a recent podcast episode of Christy's Wright's Business Boutique, He stated that "everything get's scheduled". This includes time with his family. He says that if it doesn't get scheduled then it doesn't get done.

Pat also suggests, creating a list and putting things in order of priority and listing out all the things you need to do. This will help you to see what things are really important to tackle or what is just keeping you "busy" but not producing real results in your business.  A great tool to use for scheduling items is Google Calendar which is included in Google's G Suite platformTrello is a project management tool that can be used to brainstorm your list of priorities. 

2. USE TIME BLOCKING

You know how this goes: Your knee deep in your zone of genius and the phone rings or an email notification goes off and your focused is gone. In the book The 12 Week Year, They suggest using a system called time blocking. It is categorized into 3 buckets of time:

  • 3 Hour Strategic Blocks which is where you eliminate all distractions to focus on the one pre-planned project that you must complete for the day.

  • Buffer Blocks - These are smaller timeframes (30 minutes to an hour) to deal with low-value tasks such as email responding or responding to a phone message.

  • Breakout Blocks - This is pre-planned time scheduled for leisure activity. This block is about 3 hours during your normal business hours during the week where you can get OUT of the office and go do something fun and relaxing like yoga or going for a walk in nature. This will help you to feel re-energized and ready to tackle your business goals.

3. STOP MULTITASKING

According to an article in Time Magazine, Dr. Kubu a neuropsychologist at the Cleveland Clinic stated that "We are wired to be mono-taskers. One study found that just 2.5% of people are able to multitask effectively. And when the rest of us attempt to do two complex activities simultaneously, it is simply an illusion."

The research is clear: multitasking isn't an efficient use of your time.

Check out this article that list some ideas about how you can stop multitasking. I especially liked idea #1. 

It is time to take action. You can use these 3 ideas to create unlimited peace in your business. I will leave you with this quote from my favorite new book The 12 Week Year:

"A year from now you will wish you would have started today."

Do you have some easy ideas that you use to create peace throughout your day? I would love to hear them.

Keep It Sunny!

 

How To Start A Home-Based Business With No Money In 4 Easy Ways

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You are always coming up with new ideas to the point it is driving you bonkers. Maybe it's time to do something with all those great ideas and start a home-based business. 

1. Decide on if you will offer a service or a product.

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It can be tricky putting together the pieces of this puzzle. According to Elle and Company Design, offering a product first can be costly if you don't have a wide audience. In contrast, offering a service can be less risky and "you only need a handful or two of interested clients to generate a significant profit". 

2. Figure out if your idea is viable or not.

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It's important to do market research to see if people will pay money to buy your services and products. Is there an unmet need for what you want to sell? This is where many of us freeze up and dreams die off. But it doesn't have to be that way. In an article on Entreprenuer.com, they state that "You can gather information from industry associations, Web searches, periodicals, federal and state agencies, and so forth. A trip to the library or a few hours online can set you on your way to really understanding your market. Your aim is to gain a general sense of the type of customer your product or service will serve-or at least to being willing to find out through the research process".

3. LeverageTechnology.

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We live in the greatest technological time. It has never been easy to get up and running with sharing your gifts and talents. Just look at all the Youtube stars. You can use the internet to test the market and sell your service and products with minimal barriers to entry. This is a game changer.

4. Sell, Sell, Sell! When many people think of selling to others the image of a slick talking used car salesman usually comes into focus.

Image courtesy of somkiat2023 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of somkiat2023 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to Springboard Biz Development, this is known as transactional selling and is based on " short-term solutions which are primarily concerned with the promotion and selling of the product with little or no emphasis on customer needs".  This definition of selling according to Dictionary.com is to persuade or induce someone to buy (something)". Eww! I don't know about you but I don't want anyone "inducing me to buy anything". But I would be interested in someone getting to know my needs and pain points and sharing a service or product that would alleviate my problem. This version of selling is relationship based. Relationship-based selling is focused on "building long-term relationships where the sales rep gets to know his/her customer, their needs, and their wants. Then and only then does the salesperson even think about trying to make a sale".

When you have zero dollars to start a business starting a home-based business could be the answer. It's important to:

  • Decide if you will offer a service or product

  • Figure out if your product is something people need or want

  • Use technology to test the waters

  • Build relationships with your customers so that you can share services or products that they want

Are you pumped and ready to hit the ground running with your new home-based business? Do you have other ideas to share to help others who are looking to build their business with no money? Share in the comments below.

KEEP IT SUNNY!

It's Tax Time - Are You Prepared?

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As the year winds down and we all start to get into the holiday season there is one thing to start thinking about as a business owner: TAXES

I know I just ruined your breakfast this morning but it is something we cannot ignore. Here are 3 quick tips to help you as you prepare for this all-important task:

1. Make sure you have updated contact information and W-9's for all vendors who you have paid $600 or more to this year. If they are a corporation then they will not need a 1099 to be issued to them but if they are a sole-proprietor or LLC then you will need to issue them a 1099. If your not sure then get a W-9 from any vendor who you have paid more than $600 to this year. It's better to be safe than sorry.

2. Start gathering all your business related receipts you used for expenses this year and capture them on an Excel spreadsheet for easy retrieval for your tax preparer. For next year think about using Expensify to manage all of your expense recordkeeping.

3. Make sure your bookkeeping is up to date and is working for you. Do you use a specific accounting software or are you only using Excel spreadsheets? If it is the later it may be time to review if that system is still working for your business.

If you need more specific information related to tax planning and how to work with the IRS should you find yourself owing them check out Josh Bauerle's site CPA On Fire to learn some cool tips and tricks.

It is the season to be jolly but you won't have much to be happy about if you have the tax monster nipping at your toes. Be proactive and check out the tips above. Do you have a good system for keeping track of your tax-related information? Or do you just hate the word taxes? Share with us in the comments below.

Keep it Sunny!

 

How to Grow Your Practice Using A Business Coach

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Are you stuck in your business? It's easy to get in a rut. You have all these ideas but start to feel the sense of overwhelm taking over and you become paralyzed. Well, maybe it's time to start using a business coach to help you get unstuck.

According to an article on BidSketch.com, "As a business owner, you can get in your own way a lot, and spend a lot of time in your head. So you need someone to pull you out of the funk". Check out 10 ways that using a coach can relieve you of getting stuck in your business and move you toward success.

What are some current issues you're facing right now that a coach can help you with? Share in the comments below.

 

Keep It Sunny!

3 Tips For Starting an Online Business in Health and Wellness

Image courtesy of blackzheep at FreeDigitalPhotos.net  

Image courtesy of blackzheep at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 

You love all things health: nutrition, coaching people, holistic living. So you decided that you are finally going to follow your bliss and start your online business focusing on health and wellness. Or you may already be in business.  In any case it never hurts to do a business checkup periodically to make sure everything is running smoothly.  If you have jumped into the health and wellness space to help people in person or online via coaching or both, having the right business basics in place will help you to serve your clients well.

 Tip 1: GET A BUSINESS COACH

I think this is the best place to start when you are ready to move from being an employee to an owner. It's also great if you're an owner right now and your business is not growing. According to Entrepreneur.com, "A business coach is somebody who helps you move from where you are to where you want to be, and does so by solely focusing on your goals". Here is a great article on 10 ways hiring a coach will help you reach success. 

    TIP 2:  INVEST IN YOUR OWN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

    There is a myriad of ways to gain knowledge for your health and wellness business:

    Podcasts: The Wellpreneur by Amanda Cook is a great audio resource for health and wellness professionals filled with great tips on how to make your business a success. The podcast Entrepreneur On Fire by John Lee Dumas will keep you inspired about your entrepreneurial journey.

    Networking: If you are looking for a great place to learn about how coaching fits into your business and network with like minds then check out Dan Miller's site 48days.net. It is a hub for entrepreneurs in general but more specifically coaching entrepreneurs.

    Certification: A great way to continue to stay abreast of the latest trends in the industry and display credibility to your clients is to have a certification in your field of focus. The Integrative Nutrition site is a great place to start the research process. This list on the Exercise Science Guide site is another great place to check out.

    TIP 3:  PUT THE NUTS & BOLTS  FIRMLY IN PLACE

    Do you have a robust internet connection? Have you maintained your business license or researched your business name? On the site Long Live The internet, they suggest that "One of the most important steps to starting an eCommerce business is getting organizing with a To-Do list". Here are a few things they suggest you have on your list:

    • Define your startup capital $$
    • Decide on a name
    • Register your domain name
    • Setup your email
    • File your corporate paperwork
    • Get a federal Tax id EIN
    • Register with the State for Sales Tax
    • Setup your bank account
    • Fund your account
    • Get checks and debit/credit card
    • Get a phone number
    • Decide on an accounting strategy
    • Design your logo

    The journey to being a successful health and wellness entrepreneur can be exciting. It will run more smoothly if you have a good plan in place. These 3 tips are a great place to start to help you along the way. 

    Do you have some other tips for getting started or restarted as a health and wellness entrepreneur? Share with me in the comments below.

    Keep It Sunny!

    How To Reboot Your Health and Wellness Business This Spring

    Spring time is here and it is a great time to start or reboot your health and wellness business. During the month of March we will talk about:

    • What business foundational basics you should have in place 

    • How to attract the right customers that are your ideal fit

    • What to do with them once you have found them

    • How to keep your customers happy

    The first thing we will start with is mindset. I have a great message on my wall calendar for this month:

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    Insert the Wayne Dwyer quotes!

    What are some creative ways other businesses have used on YOU to gain you as a customer?

    Share in the comments below and.....

    Keep It Sunny!

    3 Simple Ways To ReInvent Your Business

    If your like me & other entrepreneurs you started your own business for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons may have been to create more freedom in your life, share more of your talent and skills to clients, focus on what's passionate to you and share that with others. No matter what the initial reason was to start your own business, somewhere along the way YOU got off course. Now you are stuck in a rut and your business is turning more into a job instead of a labor of love. What can I do to get back on track, Tracey? Well I am glad you asked.

    • The first thing is to do is remember your "Why". 

    Why did you want to start your business in the first place? Write down 3 reasons and keep them posted near your desk. This will help you to stay enthusiastic when you hit those business rough patches.

    • Have an immigrant attitude.

    On the website www.successthread.com, the late great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar describes having an immigrant attitude as people who have come to America with little or no money, very little english speaking skills and no family. They do this because they have a burning desire to carve out a new life for themselves & their family. "They do it because they have a dream and the dream has them".

    • Surround yourself with like-minded thinkers

    I am sure we have all heard of the motto, "Birds of a Feather Flock Together". What that means is that we tend to hang around people who think & believe like ourselves. As an entrepreneur it is critical that we surround ourselves with other positive small business owners to stay encouraged and tuned into what is going on in our industry. If your still working in corporate america and doing your business as a side-preneur then it is EXTREMELY important that you find your tribe of people who are on the same path as you to stay focused on your goals. Some great places to hangout are on LinkedIn, www.48days.com or .www.entrepreneuronfire.com.

    So there you have it. 3 simple ways to reinvent your business. It all starts with your attitude & that flows down to propel you into action.

    Do you have other things that you do to get you back on track that helps you reinvent your business? Share so we can all learn together.

    Keep It Sunny!