Episode 106 – 3 major mistakes getting tasks done, and how you can start fixing it now

Stop floundering creating task

Have you ever been told that if you work hard you will succeed? I was. I believed it. For years whenever I had an issue I just started to work more. Work more hours! Push! Push!
I kept moving.

I would do great for a while and then I would burn out. Sometimes I would kill it and prosper, but to be honest most of the time I seemed to go nowhere.

It was frustrating. However, I just kept doing it. I would also get very focused on the work. I was told if I just work smarter. all my problems would go away. I just needed to focus on the type of work I was doing. However, that failed to make my life better, or my business larger.

I also went through a period, where I cut out all the work that I didn't like, that was the worse mistake. I lost touch with so much that was important to my business because I did not want to do work I did not like. I would store up all that crappy work until I was forced to do it. I managed to 10x the work I hated. This is a 10x you...

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Episode 104 – How to get it all done

We all have so much to get done. Our small businesses can turn us into workaholics. Our family and friends are always trying to distract us. And all those hobbies take time. So can we really get it all done?

Human nature says no

Think of how much life has changed for humans since the dawn of recorded history. We have created air conditioning, air planes, escalators, teddy bears, the Theory of Relativity and all those major changes happened in the first 5 years of the 20th century.

As a species, we are driven to make our life, and the life of our family members better.  It has taken humans from small tribes of hunter gatherers to data scientist in ~5,500 years. So stop worrying about getting it all done, until we reach a utopian state we will always come up with new tasks to do next.

So stop trying to get it all done

Your time is better spent trying to learn how to figure out what to do and how to do what you are doing better to get to your next goals. And...

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Episode 103 - How should I form my small business? LLC or S Corp

business/career Sep 04, 2017

As a CPA, Kristin is asked many questions about how small business owners should deal with money and tax issues for small businesses.  There is one question that she is asked to most.

How should I form my company?

Well, as with most questions involving the government and taxes it is never quite that simple.

The common options:

  • S Corporation (S Corp)
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership

There are many reasons to pick any of these selections. However, the first thing you need to understand is an LLC is considered a disregarded entity for tax purposes. That means that if you have one owner, your business will be treated as a sole proprietorship by default. Have two or more owners? Your LLC will be a partnership by default. You can elect that your LLC be treated as an S Corp as well.  If you ever decide to move your sole proprietorship or partnership to an S Corp you will save yourself paperwork if you...

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Episode 102 - Small Biz Speaking Tips with Aurora Gregory

Public speaking is an important skill for small business owners because it gives us another opportunity to show the world we are an authority and is great free publicity. In this episode, we discuss small biz speaking tips with Aurora Gregory, co-author of Get Picked and owner of Aurora Gregory Consulting.

About Aurora

As an 8th grader, Aurora was a finalist in a speech contest. She didn’t win but that just might have been the start of her career as a communicator. Some of the biggest brands in business have worked with her to get their message right, create communications programs that connect with target audiences and set marketing strategies – all achieving stellar results. Aurora’s gotten high marks as a communications trainer, helping people develop skills to deliver their most important messages to customers, media and presentation audiences. She has years of experience in leading speaker’s bureau programs that have placed hundreds of speakers at...

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Episode 101 - Saving for your retirement

business/career financial Aug 20, 2017

There are a lot of retirement plan options for small business owners. How do you determine which one is right for you? In this episode, we discuss all the options to help you find the right plan for your biz. 

All the numbers in this post are valid for 2017. Each year, these numbers are updated by the IRS. 

Individual Retirement Plans (IRAs)

If you are just starting to save, an IRA might be an easy way to get started. An IRA will allow you to save up to $5,500 in 2017. If you are over the age of 50, you can make an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000. 

There are two types of IRAs: a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. 

Traditional vs. Roth

It's important to understand the difference between these two plans to ensure you are achieving your goals. 

Traditional

With a traditional plan, you put the money in pre-tax, which means you get a tax deduction now. However, when you take the money out at retirement, you must pay taxes based on your normal tax...

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Episode 100 - What a long strange trip it's been

We can't believe it's been 100 episodes and almost two years since we started Small Biz Life. In this episode, Jeff and Kristin reflect on where they were on episode 1 and where they are today. 

A lot has changed since we launched the show on September 15, 2015. Join us as we discuss what we've learned and how our lives have changed. 

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below.

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Episode 99 - Money and Budget Tips with Melissa Thomas

Money and Budgets affect every aspect of out a small business owners and our lives.

Personal Finances matter as much as business finances for small biz owners

Kristin and I have a discussion with Melissa about controlling budgets, working towards our dreams, and her new book, "Building My Yellow Brick Road: Life Lessons from Pursuing a Dream".

Listen to a great interview and get out and Building My Yellow Brick Road: Life Lessons from Pursuing a Dream and learn more about her business Melissa the Coach and how to deal more about your personal finances. 

 

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below.

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Episode 98 - What to do when your plan fails

We all experience failure at one time or another. Successful business owners learn from their failures and keep going. In this episode, we discuss how to learn from failure to increase your success next time.

What to do when your plan fails

Jeff and Kristin discuss the following items this week:

  • First thing is to accept that your plans can (and sometimes will) fail
    • Understand there is risk
    • Go in with eyes wide open
    • Try not to risk it all for an opportunity
  • Own it!
  • Understand the damage
  • List out what when wrong
  • Determine what can be salvaged
  • Determine if there are other wins
  • Make a new plan to move forward
  • Breathe and smile
  • Keep moving
  • Learn from it

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below.

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Episode 97 - How to deal with unhappy customers

None of us want to deal with unhappy customers but it is inevitable as a small business owner. In this episode, we discuss how to save your sanity and your reputation next time you must deal with one. 

Before you respond

Many of us get a negative email, message, or review and want to instantly respond while we are seething mad. Probably not the best way to respond. Before you reply:

  • Breathe
  • Empathize
  • Do not take it as a personal attack
  • Think of solutions

How to respond

  • Listen objectively and get to the root of the problem
  • Come up with a quick resolution
  • Implement the resolution quickly
  • Don't be a pushover
  • Sometimes you cannot make them happy, no matter what you do

Sometimes you must fire customers

If a customer is too demanding or gets out of line, you can fire customers. Make sure you have disengagement language in client contracts where applicable. 

Listen to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, or with the player below.

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Episode 96 - Pricing your products

Small business owners typically struggle with pricing their products, especially digital products. In this episode, we discuss the factors that must be considered when setting your prices.

For more information about pricing your services, check out episode 90.

The components of pricing

There are four components of pricing:

  1. Direct materials - These are the materials that go into each unit of your product. This might be the cost of a product that you have someone else manufacture for you or bonus items you give away with the cost of a digital course (maybe you mail a welcome packet or t-shirt). Direct materials can also be the cost of software that is incurred on each sale (if you are selling software as a service or other products with incremental software costs).
  2. Direct labor - This is the direct cost of labor to make or provide the product. An example of this would be the cost associated with your labor to record videos for a monthly membership site like Small Biz HQ. This would...
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