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Category Archives: Business

Gain Some Tax Advantages While Embracing Your Passion

It’s Tax Day, 2011.

Today is the day when millions of Americans are required to submit their tax returns to the IRS. While many have to work 5 to 6 months into the year in order to break even on their tax liability, many more don’t even realize just how much they’re paying in taxes. For those who are working in the 9-to-5 corporate world with very little tax relief, there is a better way.

Have you considered taking your passion and turning it into a business? With a legitimate business playing to your strengths, you can increase your income, reduce your tax burden while gaining tax advantages and — most importantly – work in a field that you are absolutely crazy about.

So what are you crazy about? What’s business ideas have you been harboring for many, many years? Are you interested in providing a service, creating a product or embracing a long-term passion?

Here’s what I recommend. First, write a list of the things that you are good at doing or creating. Second, write a list of the things that you would do for free. (After all if you would do it for free, you certainly do it for money.) Third, read the following books, “48 Days to the Work You Love,” by Dan Miller and “Crush It! How to Cash In on Your Passion,” by Gary Vaynerchuk. These books will help you identify your passions and how to monetize them.

Of course, as you begin a legitimate business that produces income, you can reduce your tax burden by writing off legitimate expenses. For more information regarding taxes, please consult a competent tax professional or research the many resources online.

Today is Tax Day. You can use this day to declare the American Dream for yourself and finally launch that new business or capitalize on that “big idea” you’ve stowed away. Not only can you gain some tax advantages, you can embrace a new opportunity that will help you capitalize on your strengths and passions, make extra (or replacement) income and live your life to the fullest degree.

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Business

 

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A Bath Towel Caped Crusader

He always had the greatest toys: an awesome car, a boat, a motorcycle and even a plane. He had the hottest bachelor pad complete with every amenity imaginable. To top it off, he had a super-secret ultimate Man Cave filled to the brim with the latest tech gadgets.

He even had a butler and a sidekick—and a few billion dollars to boot.

He’s Batman.

Over the decades, we’ve seen Batman portrayed by several actors. In the ‘60’s we had Adam West. In the ‘70’s, Batman was a Saturday morning cartoon. In the 80’s Michael Keaton shaped the character for a new generation. In the 90’s, a failed mash-up of Val Kilmer and George Clooney still commanded the big screen. During the first decade of the “two thousands,” Christian Bale reinvented the Dark Knight in a brilliant, blockbuster fashion.

Considering that I am now in my early 40’s, Adam West was my first influential Batman. (No, I actually watched him in reruns in the ‘70’s, because Batman was off of the air before I was even born!) Quirky, yet intelligent, the Adam West Batman was a victorious crime fighter with his purple leotards, shiny cape and pointy-eared cowl. His bright yellow utility belt stowed a seemingly endless cache of tools to handle any scenario. In the 70’s cartoon form, his grandeur remained true, further fueling my imagination.

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While a budding youngling, many an afternoon was spent emulating my super hero role model. My lucid imagination would bring to life many crime fighting scenarios. Just like Batman, I was always victorious in the end. I always had my sidekick with me. My younger brother, a neighbor friend or a cousin typically portrayed Robin in remarkable fashion—the Dynamic Duo, as it were.

Like for any 7- or 8-year old boy during the mid-70’s, an ordinary bath towel made a formidable superhero cape. Held fast with a clothespin, the towel would flap in the breeze as I sped my Batbike at top speeds down the boulevard. With two feet on the pedals, my bicycle could double as Batman’s motorcycle or even the Batmobile, ready to face mortal danger.

It’s amazing how a young boy can be invincible against the foe. Armed with just a bath towel, this caped crusader was ready to take on the world.

Fast forward about 30 years or so. Is the boy, now a man, still invincible? Does the boy, now a man, have the intelligence to outwit the most devious of archenemies? Does the boy, now a man, still have access to the vast array of tools donned in the ultimate utility belt?

As an adult, many a man—or even a woman who grew up idolizing Wonder Woman—found himself fully immersed in life. Consumed by the obligations of career, business and “busyness,” it is easy to quell the excitement, energy and optimism found in the days of our youth. Daily distractions take us further and further away from the central tenets that fuel our creativity. Just because we have to “grow up,” doesn’t mean that we have to give up our imagination.

Batman’s tools—not super speed, super strength or a genetic mutation—made him a force. They turned a mortal man into a super hero. It’s all in the gadgets, the vehicles and the unrelenting spirit utilizing them.

So what’s in your utility belt? What creative ideas are you harboring? Do you have an idea that you want to take to market? Are you an artist, a singer or an author seeking for a way to celebrate your spark? In all actuality, it only takes a towel, a clothespin and creativity to bring these things to life.

 
 

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What Ideas are You Harvesting for 2011?

The Holidays are rapidly passing us by. Just as 2010 was a blip in the radar of Life, it’s easy to get consumed in the minutia of our daily routines. Just as we are easily distracted by the noise all around us, it doesn’t change the fact that sometimes we must turn off all outside distractions and focus on the task ahead and reinforce the relationships that matter most.

By week’s end, we will be in the prime of January 2011. As we usher in the New Year, we all entertain the notion that we must incorporate some resolutions to improve our current standing. Many times we’re not happy with where we are presently positioned.

Sometimes, we simply have a desire to improve ourselves, go back to college or perhaps start a charitable foundation. Perhaps we’re business owners looking to focus with laser-like accuracy. Regardless of the reason, we all look ahead and consider our direction in the pursuit of happiness.

Yet, sometimes identifying those targets is not easy. More so, it’s difficult to know the answers when we don’t remotely understand the questions. In nearly every circumstance, we seek the following:

Clarity. Purpose. Calling. The answers are unique to each of us. It summons us to aspire for more.

Therefore, during the course of this “lame duck” week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, there are some steps that we can take to shield ourselves from the distractions. In silence we can refresh our spirit, commune with our Creator, and seek the answers deep within us. Chances are, we’ll find inspiration and epiphany.

Refocus. Retool. Reenergize.

Commit to it this week. Turn off, tune out and unplug for three teeny-tiny hours of quality time of reflection. Get a journal, make notes and let the ideas flow… ideas for your business… ideas for the relationships in your life… ideas for your physical and spiritual health… Whatever the realm, let the ideas develop and flow. Write them down. Harvest and cultivate those ideas for a rich and fulfilling 2011.

Happy New Year!

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Business, Health