Tom Dubois was distraught over the prospect that his wife might be cheating on him…with the pop star Usher. To get him out of his funk, his neighbor enlisted the aid of a relationship consultant—A Pimp Named Slickback. Slickback? No. A Pimp Named Slickback. You say the whole thing…like A Tribe Called Quest. His name […]
Spring is here!
As such, it’s a great time for Spring cleaning. As I was rummaging through an old cabinet, I ran across something that reminded me of the time just before I started my home based business.
Years ago, I was convinced of the benefits of having a business and I knew I wanted to start one. I just had no idea what to do. I was trying to figure out what would be right for me.
No matter what, I wanted to get off to a good start whenever I did start a business, so I enrolled in a weekend class about how to start and run a profitable small business.
Once in the class, I got two binders full of information plus two cases of CDs.
It was a lot of information—good information. But I felt a little overwhelmed by the end. I found there are a lot of things to consider when running a successful small business.
Here’s an idea of what was in the course:
- Small business accounting
- Financial Statements
- Marketing and Advertising
- Inventory Control
- Hiring, Training, and Keeping Excellent Employees
- Managing Overhead Expenses
- Business Taxes
- Why Companies Fail
- Choosing the Right Business for You
- Choosing the Right Business Location
- Competitive Analysis
- Cost Analysis
- Choosing a Business Name
This is just a sample of some of the topics covered over that weekend. Like I said, I got a lot of great information. But by the end, my head was kinda swimming. I realized there were a lot more things to consider than I knew about.
Sharing Is Caring
Well, if you fast-forward to today, I believe in this day and age it is easier than ever for a person to get into business. Although there are things you have to learn, you can focus on a few things instead of those binders full of information that I just mentioned.
As you grow your business, you can learn the rest as you go along.
As an example, look at what I did to become an author by publishing my book, The Beast Code.
With Amazon, I was able to simply provide my creativity and ideas and use their infrastructure to self-publish and distribute my book.
At the push of a button, my book was available on several different electronic devices and platforms. It is also available in multiple countries. I’ve seen sales in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia.
I didn’t have to write a single line of code to make my book display on multiple platforms, computers and mobile devices. I didn’t have to set up websites that comply with the laws of multiple countries. I didn’t have to set up payment processing that can handle multiple currencies. All of that was done for me.
That’s just one example of a larger phenomenon called “the sharing economy”.
As an entrepreneur and business person, I get to bring my skills and talents and maybe some products and I get to share and leverage the infrastructure created by other companies like in this instance, Amazon.
So all you have to do in today’s sharing economy is decide what you want to do, and then stake your claim on a piece of digital real estate. Author Nick Loper calls it a “buy button”.
Claiming Your Clicks
It’s like, there are these buttons that are out there in digital space where if people click, somebody gets paid.
So, I staked my claim on a buy button on Amazon. So, if people click on that “buy now” or “buy now with 1 click” button (that has gotten me a lot of times), I can get paid and share in that economy.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been confronted with as much information about starting a business as the binders I just told you about. If you have, you probably felt overwhelmed like I did.
If you do feel overwhelmed, I urge you to gain a different perspective. Because you don’t have to do ALL of the things necessary to start a business. You can take advantage of the sharing economy. You can scale it back and focus just on the things you want to focus on to start. You can learn the rest as you go.
Room To Grow
In the future, you may want to expand, get your own building, do your own distribution or other things. But there are so many places now where all you have to do is just claim that buy button, provide your skills and talents, and you’re in business.
Another example just real quick is Uber. You can pretty much run a taxi business by sharing your car and driving skill. The app for people to call for a ride, the payment processing, the logistics—all that’s handled for you. You share that with Uber.
And by now, who hasn’t used Uber at least once to go somewhere?
That’s the economy we’re living in and it’s a trend that’s going to continue. Keep your eyes open. You’re going to see more and more examples of business ideas that grow utilizing the sharing economy. People will be able to go into business for themselves offering all kinds of goods and services without having to take on all the hassles of building “ground-up” infrastructure to start.
With that being said, if you’re like I was a few years ago and you’re looking for the right business for you, I have something for you. I have been fortunate enough to get connected with the right people and because of that I have the inside scoop on a piece of technology that hasn’t hit the marketplace yet. It also takes advantage of the sharing economy and has the potential to have a huge impact for a lot of people.
So if you’re open to investigating something, follow this link and sign up to get details delivered to you via Facebook Messenger. If it’s a good fit for you, I can walk you through a simple system to get started and avoid information overload and overwhelm.
“What’s your biggest expense?”
Without giving it much thought I said the first thing that popped into my head. I answered, “my mortgage.”
He said “nope”. “Most people think ‘mortgage’ or ‘rent’, but there’s something else that’s bigger.”
I was stumped. I awaited his answer.
As soon as he said it, it seemed obvious. Yes, taxes were my biggest expense although I didn’t think about it that way. After all, you have to pay taxes, right? I mean, what can you do about it?
I was about to learn something that day.
You see, it was a financial advisor who asked me about my biggest expense. He had already helped me calculate how much I needed to put away each month to hit my retirement goals. The next step was to help me figure out how to divert my current spending into savings.
So, when he asked me about my biggest expense, taxes didn’t come to mind. I always saw taxes as a given. After all, what’s that saying?…
“There’s two things you can’t avoid…death and taxes.”
With taxes being right up there with my own mortality, it didn’t occur to me that it was possible to divert those dollars into something like retirement savings.
What my advisor told me next totally changed my point of view.
He told me that most people in the United States pay too much in taxes because they employ no strategy to do anything about it. Consequently, they know nothing about the #1 best legal strategy to dramatically lower taxes.
What is this strategy, you ask?
Owning and operating a home based business.
Former IRS insider Sandy Botkin and author of Lower Your Taxes—Big Time says so too. In the very first chapter of his book titled, “Why You Would Be Brain Dead Not To Start A Home Based Business (If You Don’t Already Have One)”, he states you will probably save $2,000 to $10,000 per year just by starting a part-time business.
To illustrate his point, the financial advisor put it to me like this:
“Every time you drive your car, watch the odometer, and every two miles, roll down your window, pull a dollar out of your wallet and throw it out.”
It was a shocking mental image. I don’t like to waste money! I got the message.
If you don’t have a business, you can’t deduct your mileage which is like throwing money away.
But mileage is only one of many areas where owning a home business can entitle you to tax savings. Other areas include:
- Entertainment and Meals
- Home Mortgage/Rent
- Medical Expenses
- Kids’ College
- Mobile Phone
There are a host of others depending on how you structure your business.
I’m no tax expert and you certainly shouldn’t take anything I say as tax advice. But, if an extra $2,000 to $10,000 per year in tax savings sounds good to you, you might want to do what I did.
First, I looked for a home based business that was right for me. Second, I talked to a qualified tax professional to map out my tax strategy. Finally, I learned the proper way to track and document my expenses for tax reporting.
So if you’re thinking about starting a home based business (and by now you should), I invite you to take a look at what I do. I was fortunate enough to find a business that is fun, rewarding, and can be run part-time from home. It also includes a professional subscription to Deductr to help track expenses and make tax time easier. To learn more about Deductr and how it can help you track business expenses watch this short overview video:
Click this link and I’ll contact you in Facebook Messenger. I’ll give you all the details on what I do on the side and you can see if it’s a good fit for you. If it’s for you, I’ll personally show you how to get started and I look forward to working with you. If not, don’t stop looking. Find something you love, make a profit, and cut your biggest expense all at the same time.
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
If you’ve watched the movies or read the comics you know this is the familiar saying of Peter Parker’s beloved Uncle Ben. You also know those words played as much a part in transforming him into Spider-Man as did the bite from that radioactive spider.
You see, Peter witnesses a robbery and although he has the power and the opportunity to stop him, he allows the robber to escape. Later, that same criminal murders his dear Uncle Ben. Peter then understands he must use his powers to do all he can to prevent criminals from hurting others and that’s when he truly becomes Spider-Man.
Uncle Ben plays a role within the Spider-Man saga that occurs in many fictional stories—not just comics. Uncle Ben is the Mentor/Guide. One of the functions of this archetype is to teach the Hero/Protagonist how to use their innate abilities.
As art imitates life, this archetype appears in real life too. For me, that person was my mother. Like Uncle Ben, she had a phrase she would always quote to me.
“To whom much is given, much is required.”
This phrase is derived from Luke 12:48 and it’s meaning is eerily similar to Uncle Ben’s favorite mantra. With that phrase, my mother was teaching me to recognize and use my talents and gifts in a responsible way.
Not unlike Peter Parker, I wasn’t overly interested in hearing about “responsibility” in my youth. However, over time, my mother’s words took hold and have done much to shape how I live my life.
The Shape of You
So over the course of your life, one or more Mentors have spoken words to you that had the potential to shape your life. However, not all words take hold. That’s a good thing, because not all words spoken by Mentors are positive or affirming.
Odds are, you were not aware of the words that shaped you early in life. The good news is, as an adult, you can decide which words you allow to influence you.
First off, if you’re happy with your life the way it is, good for you. There’s nothing else you need to do.
But, if you’re like me and you feel some things could be improved, stick with me. I’m going to share some tips on how you can review the messages you’ve received from the Mentors in your life and decide which ones serve you and which ones don’t.
Accentuate The Positive
The first thing to do is to think back to a time that someone said something positive that impacted you. That person can be from your family or not.
Laurie Beth Jones shares the story a man from one of her seminars in her book The Power of Positive Prophecy.
“I grew up in an alcoholic household where I never heard a positive word. On my way home from school I would always stop in at Jimmy’s, the local dry cleaner, because he kept candy on the counter. He got to know me, and told me one afternoon, ‘Michael, you are a very smart boy. Someday you are going to run a very big business.’ I would listen to him in disbelief and return home only to get called a ‘dog’ and knocked around by my dad. But you know,” he said with tears forming in his eyes, “Jimmy the dry cleaner was the only person I can remember believing in me.” He paused a moment to catch his breath and gather the reflection that was forming inside him. “Today I run a multimillion-dollar health care organization, just like Jimmy predicted. I guess you could say that a dry cleaner was the prophet in my life.”
So you see, positive words from a Mentor can be extremely powerful. They can counteract a host of negative words.
Prepare The Soil
But what if you can’t remember any positive words? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. There’s a way to get positive results even from negative words. It all comes down to belief.
Words spoken to you are like seeds and they can only grow if they land in good soil. That soil is belief.
See, that’s another trick my mother taught me. I was a sensitive child and I would run crying to her often because someone hurt my feelings. My mother would simply respond with the same set of questions.
“Are you hurt?”
“Then what is it?”
“So-and-so said I was a such-and-such.”
“Well, is it true?”
By this time I started to wonder whose side she was on. “No! It’s not true!” I would exclaim.
“Well, did it become true because they said it?”
“No.” My protest was a bit softer because I could see where she was going with her line of questioning.
“Then why are you crying?”
At the time, I wanted my mother to indulge my hurt feelings. Just once I wished she would scoop me up, kiss my forehead and say “you poor baby…how dare they say such mean things to you”.
Not. Even. Once.
Being the good Mentor she was, she taught me one of the most important lessons of all. Although she never said it explicitly, she gently guided my attention to this important fact:
“It doesn’t matter what anyone says about you. It only matters whether you believe it is true.”
What people say is out of your control. What you choose to believe is 100% within your control. And it’s never too late to choose.
Burn The Weeds
Maybe you have believed some negative words and have allowed them to take root and grow. You can still choose to stop believing it, uproot it, and chop it up and burn it for fuel—fuel to prove to yourself that what they told you was a lie and you will succeed in spite of it.
When those negative words come to mind, stop and ask yourself “is it true?” Answer yourself “No!” Experience the feeling of protest against these negative words. Finally, express gratitude for the negative words that reminded you to affirm the truth about yourself.
For example, suppose you remember someone telling you “you’re a loser.” Your expression of gratitude would go something like: “thank you for reminding me I’m a winner.” It’s important to express gratitude in a positive way instead of saying something like: “thank you for reminding me I am NOT a loser.” Your subconscious (the place where your beliefs live) doesn’t understand the word “not”. It just hears “thank you for reminding me that I am a loser.” So, be sure to make a positive affirmation.
So that’s how you benefit from the Mentors in your life. Remind yourself of the positive words they have spoken to you and transform the negative words into fuel to succeed in spite of them.
Join A Tribe Of Mentors
Moving forward, pay attention to the company you keep. Be sure to hang around people who can serve as positive Mentors instead of negative.
I encourage you to join my Facebook group The Beast Code Community. It’s a place where you can discover your abilities and talents—your superpowers. It’s also a place where you can find support and encouragement from Mentors and be a Mentor for others.