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Leadership and Professional Development Archives - R. Darren Sanford, CPA, CGMA
Jul 132015
 
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Big Al Banner

You look for the best car for you, and you purchase the car.

But, you never learn how to drive your car.

You never take driving lessons, you never go out driving with your parents, you never read the owner’s manual. You don’t know about those strange pedals on the floor or where to put the key into the ignition.

The only thing you do is make a few attempts at “trial and error” … you yell at your car and say,

“Drive! Drive!” And your car doesn’t drive itself.

But, you have a vision board …

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So, you looked for a network marketing business that was a good fit for you.

You purchased the business and joined.

But you never learned how to make your business work.

The only thing you did was make a few attempts at “trial and error” … you said the wrong words to a few friends and two cold leads.

And your business didn’t build itself. Your business didn’t work.

* You didn’t come to Saturday trainings.
* You didn’t do three-way calls with your sponsor.
* You didn’t listen to any training CDs.
* You didn’t come with your sponsor while your sponsor went prospecting.
* You didn’t learn how to give a “One-Minute Presentation.”
* You didn’t learn “SuperClosing” or any other closing.
* You didn’t learn about the “Colors” … the four different personalities and how to talk to them.
* You didn’t learn any effective “Ice Breakers” or openings.
* You didn’t learn how to get prospects to beg you for presentations.
* You didn’t learn any effective first sentences.
* You didn’t learn how prospects make decisions in their minds.
* You didn’t learn how to get unlimited appointments.
* You didn’t learn how to stop sounding like a sleazy salesman.
* You didn’t learn any of the “sequences of words” to communicate directly with the prospects.
* You didn’t learn how to use the differences between needs and wants.
* You didn’t learn where and how to locate the best prospects.
* You didn’t learn how to create prospects instantly with effective sentences.
* You didn’t learn the sequences of words that the top leaders use.
* You didn’t learn how to open a presentation.
* You didn’t learn how to build instant rapport with anyone.
* You didn’t learn how to use word pictures.
* You didn’t learn how to talk directly to the subconscious mind of the prospect.
* You didn’t learn why prospects tell you “no” when they should be agreeing with you.
* You didn’t learn the first things you must say to cold prospects.
* You didn’t learn how to locate and create leaders.
* You didn’t learn how to motivate people.
* You didn’t learn how to get your prospect’s unconscious mind to work for them.
* You didn’t learn how to use stories to bypass the two mind filters of prospects.
* You didn’t learn how to quickly capture your prospects’ imagination and attention.
* You didn’t learn how to …

So stop blaming the business.

The business doesn’t work.

You work.

Don’t blame the “stupid” prospects, the weather, the economy, the product pricing, the compensation plan or your sponsor.

If you want to drive the new car you purchased … learn to drive.

The end. 🙂

Credit: Tom “Big Al” Schreiter

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 152015
 
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Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

One of the advantages of owning one’s own business is the deductibility of expenses which would otherwise be considered personal, and therefore not deductible, for income tax purposes.  Three of the most common expenses which are generally not deductible for income tax purposes are rent, utilities and insurance.  However, if an individual engages in a business for profit and meets the following two requirements, these expenses become deductible (in part) for purposes of determining the taxable income from that business:

1.  The area (or room) must be used regularly and exclusively for administrative or management activities of the business, and

2.  There is no other fixed location where substantial administrative or management activities are conducted.

What exactly does this mean?  Assume you have a job where you’re an overworked and underpaid employee.  Every day of your work schedule you travel to the location where you conduct your work.  This is generally in a building in an office or cubicle.  Every day of your work schedule constitutes “regular” use of this area.  Whether you work four hours a day or ten hours a day is irrelevant.  The fact that you do this on a scheduled basis satisfies the regular use requirement.  So what does exclusively mean?  In your work area, do you take naps, watch television, or conduct other activities not related to your work?  Chances are, you do not.  At least not for long.  Since this area is used solely for the purpose of conducting your work activities, the requirement of exclusivity is met.  If there is no other fixed location where you conduct a substantial part of your work activity, requirement 2 is met.  Obviously, the business owner in this case gets to deduct the cost of rent and other expenses of the property.  If the business owner owns the building where this office space is located, they would be entitled to deduct the cost of the building over a period of years.  This allocation of cost is known as depreciation.  Of course there are other costs such as occupancy costs, insurance, maintenance and repairs, etc.

Consider this.  Though you are still paying rent or other housing costs, utilities and insurance on your home, those expenses are not deductible for income tax purposes.  Wouldn’t that be nice if they were?

Well, they can be.  Let’s apply the above scenario to your own business which you operate from a room in your home.  Every day, every other day, or whatever schedule you establish, you conduct business in this room.  This might include calling customers, prospects or vendors, placing orders, completing paper work, etc.  You have no other place where you can conduct these activities.  You perform these activities two to four hours on each of your scheduled days.  No other activities such as taking naps, watching television, etc. are conducted in this room.  Your expenses for rent, utilities and insurance are now deductible for income tax purposes.  By simply engaging in an activity with a profit motive and conducting the majority of that activity in this room, you now have expenses that are deductible for income tax purposes that would otherwise not be deductible.

The expenses for business use of your home are calculated under one of two methods:  actual expenses or the simplified method.  Both methods require that the square footage of the room or area be determined and the total area of the home be known.  By dividing the square footage figure by the total square footage of the home, we derive the business use percentage.  Let’s say we have a room which is 10′ by 10′, or 100 square feet.  Let’s also assume the total square footage of the home is 1,000 square feet.  Our business use percentage would be 10%, or 100 square feet divided by 1,000 square feet.  Let’s further assume we pay rent in the amount of $500.00 per month.  For each month we continue operating our business and meet the requirements discussed previously, we can deduct $50.00 of the rent as an expense for business use of your home.  Of course, you may have other expenses as well in operating your business which are also deductible such as advertising, vehicle mileage (commuting to a job is not deductible), telephone, etc.

If you’d like more information on how you can start a business and take advantage of these and other tax deductions, complete the form below.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jul 092013
 
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In today’s hyper-competitive global marketplace, the ability to consistently generate valuable products separates top performers from mere observers. At the heart of every growth strategy, people play a key role in crafting a company’s capacity to develop and implement disruptive ideas. Too often, however, finance executives are sidelined in conversations about innovation—or worse, they’re described as inhibitors of the creative process.

The truth is: (Read more…)


Connect with Darren Sanford aka The Network Marketer’s CPA on Facebook for tips on small and home based business accounting and tax topics.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jun 272013
 
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In this Small Biz 911, Eric Schurenberg, the Editor-in-Chief of Inc.com, and serial entrepreneur and investor Julie Hanna, join us. They share three ways to think positively and why you should delete “failure” from your vocabulary.  (Watch here)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jun 182013
 
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I subscribe to Jay Kubassek’s WAKE UP CALL series and felt the need to share this information with you.  Today’s post was especially helpful in light of all the noise we hear on social media, news broadcasts and the many other sources of information.  I highly recommend adopting all of the strategies mentioned here if you aren’t following them already.

“Over the years I have found that productivity can be an elusive bugger! Often I find myself busier than a one-legged fool in an ass-kicking contest and feel as if I am going in a hundred different directions all day long…

By the end of the day, I am exhausted, stressed out, and completely wiped. Worse yet, if I’m being honest with myself- despite all of the “busy-ness”- sometimes it seems I have little to show for it.

As you will find out in today’s WAKE UP call, I try to keep these sanity-savers in mind, daily:

  • Urgent vs Important:  Great time management means being effective as well as efficient. Managing time effectively, and achieving what you want to achieve, means spending your time on the tasks and issues that are important and not just urgent. To do this, and to minimize the stress of having too many tight deadlines, you have to understand this distinction:

    • Important activities have an outcome that leads to the achievement of your goals, whether these are professional or personal.

    • Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are often associated with the achievement of someone else’s goals. Unfortunately, urgent activities are often the ones we concentrate on, they demand attention because the consequences are immediate and inescapable.

  • Start with the end in mind: Know what the outcomes of your day/week/month/year are before you start taking action. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Every Monday morning I break projects into individual tasks that can be completed in 30-60 minutes max. Then, I make two fresh to-do lists: Important and Urgent. Important tasks are the ones that will have an immediate impact on my life and business. I knock these out first. The second list has everything else that needs to get done for the week. This list includes doing things for others, catching up on emails, paying bills, meetings, administrative tasks, etc.  My goal is to knock out 3-5 Important items off of my list each dayMondayTuesday and Wednesday. (I don’t pencil any in for Thursday in case I am running behind.) Thursday and Friday are my days to catch-up and take care of the Urgent items and “busy” type work.

  • Eliminate distraction: Multi-tasking doesn’t work. Can a professional golfer, surfer, tennis player, or race car driver surf the net, check social media feeds, and afford to be distracted while trying to play at the top of their game? If you are anything like me – you can only do one thing at a time well. And, you’ll prefer to leave the endless notifications, chimes, reminders, beeps, and vibrations for the scatter-brained…

  • Leave room for life to happen: I fill only 60% of my calendar daily; I leave 20% available for spontaneity, and 20% as a reality (kid, dog, car, etc.) buffer. This tip alone will transform your days by reducing unplanned, time-zapping headaches- into minor, scheduled tasks. Once you grasp the cardinal importance of this and allow yourself some space for surprises, you will be amazed how much easier life becomes. No one won wins a battle against Father Time, you can only work with him…

  • Don’t be attached to the linear order of things:    I tend to do my best work when I am having fun. I try to be flexible with my schedule, plans, and lists- willing to move things around as needed. If I don’t get done today what I intended today? No biggie- I take a deep breath, go for a walk in the morning and hit the reset button. Building a business (or life) is a marathon and no game is ever won or lost in one moment or opportunity. It’s what you do consistently over time that has a compounding effect- not what’s done under the gun…

  • MILK IT! If I find myself in an inspired state or creative “groove”- I stay in  it as long as I possibly can. Creativity and inspiration are the dew of the Gods’ IMHO and not to be taken for granted.  The creative process can be fickle, so it’s best to give it room to breathe and happen organically. If invention is the the mother of necessity, them creativity is the daughter.  We all have vast creative abilities but few of us ever truly nurture it, cultivate it, or allow it the time and space to blossom naturally.

  • Pace yourself:  Set attainable day-to-day goals. Know your limits. No one will ask, “How long did it take?” they’ll ask, “Who did it?!” Do this and you will achieve the impossible over the long term. My dad taught me this…

  • Transfer unfinished tasks to the following day without regret: There is always tomorrow… As long as you did your absolute best today- you will rest peacefully tonight. No one can make you feel bad for a job well done. Rome was not built in a day my friend. I remind myself of this daily.

  • Learn to say “no” with finesse: Spreading myself too thin is a bad habit that always bites me in the ass… and not looking out for Numero Uno serves no one in the end. People will respond positively to your self-imposed boundaries and assertiveness. They will respect you for having the foresight to demand it… It screams self-power and is inspiring to others.

  • Keep at it: Keep working at your plan each and every day. Remind yourself daily that time is on your side. Don’t be attached to how long it takes, rather be attached only to the eventual outcome. (Don’t worry about how you get it, just that you get it.)

  • Have fun, for goodness’ sake: Last but not least, I always try to have fun with what I have to do… Seriously- nothing is worth doing if you don’t love what it is you do.”

Credit:  Jay Kubassek is a serial digital entrepreneur and co-founder of Digital Experts Academy. He is also a professional speaker and trainer, Baja off-road racer (Dust Racing), member of the New York Blue Elephant Polo team, self-taught cellist, amateur photographer, amateur chef and indie film producer (Aliquot Films).

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Jun 172013
 
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If you’re looking to enhance your knowledge of tax benefits available to businesses, the IRS is hosting a couple of webinars coming up this week.

During National Small Business Week 2013, the IRS is hosting two free, live small business webinars.  Go online to learn about the many tax benefits available to businesses.  You will also learn how to avoid common mistakes made by small businesses.  IRS staff will answer questions during each webinar.

If you’re unable to attend the live events, you can view the archived versions on the IRS Video Portal. They’ll be available about three weeks after the broadcasts.

For assistance with accounting and tax issues related to your small or home based business, visit R. Darren Sanford CPA or email darren@the-network-marketers-cpa.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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May 072013
 
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How To Start A Movement

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Apr 142013
 
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Thoughts and habits often hold you back from being the person you were meant to be.  Check out this list of tips for combating those thoughts and habits and moving forward to your success.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Sep 212012
 
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Put The Glass Down

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Sep 202012
 
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7 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I might receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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