Three Top-Notch Lifehacks From The World’s Top CEOs

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Have you ever looked at someone and immediately thought “they’ve got life figured out?” If you said anything other than ‘yeah,’ you’re probably lying. We’ve all got stuff we could do better, after all – and as an entrepreneur, it can often feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water. Continue reading “Three Top-Notch Lifehacks From The World’s Top CEOs”

Ten Tips That’ll Make You A Better Entrepreneur

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

You should always seek to be a better you than you were yesterday. Those are words I’ve lived by my entire life – and words you should live by, too. As an entrepreneur, self-improvement should be second-nature. Continue reading “Ten Tips That’ll Make You A Better Entrepreneur”

Three Things You Can Change About Your Workspace To Be More Productive

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Did you know that most people spend more time thinking (and reading) about being productive than they do actually making themselves more productive? It’s true. Everybody thinks they’ve got some great lifehack for productivity, some surefire way to make everybody work harder, better, and faster. Continue reading “Three Things You Can Change About Your Workspace To Be More Productive”

How Can You Tell It’s Time To Hire More Staff?

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Rarely is there an entrepreneur who can work solo forever. While they certainly do exist, chances are good you aren’t one of them. Eventually, you’re going to need to hire on some employees.

Continue reading “How Can You Tell It’s Time To Hire More Staff?”

Five Tips To Re-Take Control Of Your Work Schedule

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

It’s all too easy to let your job control you. But that’s also a surefire way to burn out. Here’s how you can regain control of your work – and your life.  

I’m no stranger to late nights and a lack of sleep. I’m also no stranger to feeling like a helpless passenger on the ship that is my business, careening without control from project to meeting to client. And that’s no way to live.

Remember – this is your business. It serves you, not the other way around. Today, I’d like to talk about how I took my life back from the overwhelming workload that comes with being an entrepreneur – and how you can do the same.

It all starts with proper time management.

Start Each Day By Taking Inventory

Slot off a half hour at the beginning of every day and take stock of what tasks you need to finish. Is there a looming deadline for a particular project or a meeting with an important client? Is an employee or colleague waiting on you to finish a task before they can do their own job?

Assign a priority level to each task, and tackle them in order of most to least important.

Learn Your Body Clock

Some people are night owls, and do their best work once the sun goes down. Other people love putting their nose to the grindstone first thing in the morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. You need to figure out which you are – figure out when you’re most efficient, and leave your important work to those timeframes.

Avoid Distraction

While I’m definitely an advocate of using a unified inbox like Hub+, I’m also an advocate of keeping your attention on one task at a time. Unless something pressing or urgent comes up, avoid the compulsion to multitask or switch from one project to another. Do one thing at a time – don’t check your email every few minutes, don’t constantly answer the phone, and don’t let yourself get sidetracked by banter.

Look At Your Calendar As A Flexible Entity

Now, there’s one exception to the previous rule. Sometimes, you’ll need to re-prioritize. A workplace emergency will come up, or a project will fall onto your plate that’s more urgent than whatever you happen to be working on at the time. In that case, you should learn to be flexible – look at your calendar not as something that’s set in stone, but as a guideline to keep you on-track with what you need to be doing. And again, think about using some sort of organizational tool.

Learn To Say “No.”

My last piece of advice probably flies right in the face of everything you’ve ever learned as an entrepreneur. You need to learn to tell people ‘no.’ To understand when you don’t have enough bandwidth for a particular task, or when you don’t have the energy for a project.

Every time you evaluate a new task or meeting, consider what else you could do with the time you might spend – if there’s something else you could be doing that’s more important or critical, it’s alright to refuse.

Closing Thoughts

As an entrepreneur, your schedule shouldn’t rule you – you should control your schedule. Letting yourself be dragged along by your business like a runaway freight train is a surefire path towards burnout. And trust me, that’s a road you don’t want to go down.

The Biggest Challenge No One Tells You About Running A Startup

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

The Biggest Challenge No One Tells You About Running A Startup

Being an entrepreneur is immensely rewarding, but also challenging. And the toughest thing about the job is something you might have to learn the hard way.

It’s five in the morning, and I’ve just pulled my second consecutive all-nighter. As I reach for my cup of coffee – I’ve lost count of how many I’ve drank at this point – my mind wanders to how much there is yet to do. A part of me rages against the work I’m doing.

I should go to the gym, it screams. I should be getting more sleep, eating food that actually requires some preparation, and spending more time with my family. Unsuccessfully stifling a yawn, I suppress that voice.

I have deadlines to meet, after all. I have clients waiting on the work I’m to deliver, and a reputation to uphold. What I fail to realize is that I’m moving at breakneck speed down the path to burnout.

Does any of what I’ve written above sound particularly familiar to you? If you’re a new entrepreneur, it probably does.  We live in a culture where working upwards of sixty hours a week is viewed as a badge of honor.

“Look at how hard they’re working,” people crow. “They must really have their life together.”

What they don’t see is all the cracks beneath the surface. The jilted lovers and abandoned friends. The health problems and crushing anxiety.

Don’t get me wrong – running a startup is a difficult job. Most people aren’t really equipped to do it. Late nights and long hours are, to some extent, inevitable.

At the same time, I’ve seen too many people conflate hard work alone with success. If you’ve got a good work ethic, that’s great. Hold onto it.

At the same time, it’s important that you learn to prioritize. As the old cliche goes, you need to learn how to work smart instead of just working hard. And that’s the thing that a lot of newer startup owners fail to see; the reason so many entrepreneurs succumb to burnout.

They’re perpetually overwhelmed. They’re running on empty, and throwing themselves at busywork without any real concept of what it’ll accomplish. They’re slaving away, even though they’re aware that they aren’t built for this – no one is.

Here’s what they – and what you – should do instead:

 

  • Learn to walk away. If you’ve spent an hour staring at the screen with no idea how to solve a problem, get up and go for a walk. Take a bath. Ride your bike. Play with your pets or kids. Give your brain a chance to refresh itself and catch up, and you might be surprised at what you come up with.
  • Deal with distractions. Set a timer during breaks to ensure you get back to work right away. Avoid going on social media when you’re working. Organize your email, and get used to working offline every now and then.
  • Prioritize. You know exactly which tasks are higher on your priority list – complete those first, no matter what other stuff you’ve got on your plate. I’ve been guilty in the past of distracting myself with pointless busywork, ignoring the fact that I’ve a critically important job that I’m simply not finishing.
  • Work in chunks. Most people don’t work well when they’re simply slaving away for hours on end. Instead, try completing work in short bursts, doing one task at a time.
  • Recognize your own workflow tendencies. Everybody works a bit differently – figure out what’s most effective for you.

 

I get it. You have a tendency to get lost in your work – I do too. Just make sure you don’t end up so lost that you can’t find your way back to the real world afterwards. By learning to work a little smarter, you can steer yourself off the path of burnout, and towards greater success in the future.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until the Election to Start or Grow Your Business

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

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Something we’ve been hearing over and over recently from clients and potential clients alike goes something like this: “I’m going to wait until the election is over to see if I should start my business” or something similar. Some existing business owners have said similar things in regards to expanding their business, spending money on marketing or capital improvements, etc. Basically, they want to see what the political environment will be like before pulling the trigger on any big decisions.

While that seems like the prudent thing to do, let’s go over the reasons why that might not be the best strategy:

  1. Gridlock will be likely
  2. You’ll lose months of momentum and experimentation
  3. Your best competitors will not have such hesitations

1. Gridlock will be likely:

Hillary Clinton, should she win, will almost certainly be dealing with Republican majority in the House and maybe the Senate. Republicans only need one house to block any meaningful legislation. There’s also a lot of “bad blood” going around this election season so there’s yet another reason why the 2 parties are likely not to agree on much – in this case, gridlock of our government is a “feature, not a bug” so when American’s can’t agree, the government usually can’t either. Also, recent scandals (emails, Benghazi, etc.) may cause both parties to fight from day one.

Donald Trump, should he win, will also be dealing with a hostile congress, even if it is Republican majorities in both houses. He’s made many enemies in his own party, in particular, Paul Ryan who is the Speaker of the House. Trump getting much legislation through in this environment is unlikely. Also, the Democrats will be extremely angry at his tactics to secure the Presidency so they’ll likely be willing to block anything just to spite him.

2. You’ll lose months of momentum and experimentation

In the small business world, speed, momentum and being able to test your product, message, marketing and other things is critical. Speed is one of the main advantages of small business. If you wait around for months to even start a business or spend money on improving your business you’re likely to lose momentum to other competitors. Speaking of…

3. Your best competitors will not have such hesitations

Many have written about the vast fortunes that were created in recessions/depressions and challenging political environments. The lesson is that while their competitors were petrified to move or even downsizing, smart entrepreneurs were taking advantage of tough times to “buy low” (investments, property, etc.), expand their business, simplify and streamline their operations and keep moving forward. Recessions are usually a convenient excuse to not do anything.

Should I worry at all?

Sure, any political or economic environment is unpredictable by nature, but these worries are usually not justified for small businesses or startups. It’s large companies that have the most to lose. Small business is nimble, quick to adjust and ultimately much more suited to survive the worst. Focus on the positive, the opportunities that even bad environments can bring and you’re much more likely to thrive.

How to Organize Your Corporation or LLC Minute Book

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Maintaining corporate or LLC compliance is an essential function that begins with being organized. Ultimately, it’s a job that starts with you, your company’s owner, secretary or shareholders—and it doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated.

One compliance task you can easily manage without having to meet a deadline or pay a fee is getting your company minute book up-to-date. Your company minute book is where you keep all your company’s important paperwork such as your state filing documents and company meeting minutes. As you update certain documents such as stock ledgers (if you own a corporation) or the member ledger for your LLC, you will want to make sure to place the updated copies in your minute book to keep it current. You will also want to keep your minute book handy for inspection at all times (for shareholders, members, investors or even the IRS or state taxation agencies).

If you are organizing a corporation minute book, start out by making sure that you have your original Articles of Incorporation from your state of formation. You will also need the Corporate Bylaws that you adopted during your organizational meeting, and the organizational minutes from that meeting. In addition to your organizational meeting minutes, you will need copies of minutes taken at all meetings including annual meetings and corporate board meetings. For reference to company ownership, your corporation minute book should also contain a stock ledger that shows percentages issued, dates of issue and any transfers of ownership or stock.

An LLC minute book will need to hold the Articles of Organization from your state of formation and the LLC Operating Agreement that was set forth by the LLC members during your organizational meeting. Place both documents in your LLC minute book along with the organizational meeting minutes. You will also need copies of all meeting minutes such as those recorded at annual meetings and any special meetings that were held to discuss company changes. Don’t forget to include a current LLC member ledger that tracks ownership of the company, including the percentage owned by each member.

MyNewCompany.com provides an easy solution to keeping a compliant minute book with a complete corporate kit or LLC kit including a 3-ring binder embossed with the company name, index tabs, sample stock or membership certificates, a corporate or LLC seal with your engraved company name and more. If you are just starting out or have an existing corporation or LLC in need of a perfectly organized minute book, MyNewCompany.com can order a corporate or LLC kit for you today.

Still worried about getting your other compliance tasks done? Consider ComplianceLock™ the peace-of-mind service that 1) sends email and text alerts (SMS) for important compliance due dates, 2) generates meeting minutes/consents with one click 3) monitors the status of your company and 4) securely stores your personal and corporate documents “in the cloud” for safekeeping and instant retrieval when you need them. It’s 4 products in 1 for total entity protection – one full year is easily less than one hour of attorney advice!

Close Your Business Before the End of the Year

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

When you no longer intend to operate your business for any reason, it’s important to file the state paperwork to permanently close your company. If that sounds like a waste of time and money, just think about this: Unless you file the paperwork to properly dissolve it, your inactive company will remain an official business entity with the state and you will still be responsible for annual report payments, filing business tax returns and keeping up with any business license or permit costs.

Of course you don’t want to spend time or money on a business you’re not actively involved in. The good news is, you don’t have to. You can properly close your company and officially end its existence by starting with these steps:

  1. Get approval from all company owners to permanently close the company. For a corporation this may require up to two-thirds of the voting shares or a vote of approval by the Board of Directors if no shares were issued. For an LLC, each state has its own dissolution requirements but generally require a majority of the members’ approval.
  2. Make sure that all taxes, fees and reports are current with the state. Some states even require that you are issued a “Tax Clearance” before a dissolution can be filed which takes some time.
  3. File your Articles of Dissolution with the state.
  4. Pay any outstanding debts to creditors and settle any claims.
  5. Cancel any permits or business licenses and notify all local, state and federal authorities that the business is closing.
  6. Distribute assets to the company owners.

As the end of the year approaches, there is no better time to file Articles of Dissolution for a defunct company. The last thing you want after going out of business is to find yourself involved in a messy tax situation from the previous year or still responsible for annual or renewal fees.

We can help you with your state dissolution paperwork and provide a checklist of post-dissolution tasks so you don’t miss a thing. Need to get working on closing your business immediately? Click here.

 

MyCompanyForms™ – Your Lifetime Business Forms Solution

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Why waste time and money when you don’t have to? MyNewCompany.com has created MyCompanyForms™ to provide you with all the important documents that’ll help you run your business for the long-term. For a one-time purchase of just $35, you’ll have lifetime access to more than 200 constantly-updated business forms to assist you with starting, operating and growing your company!

MyCompanyForms™ is perfect for all business owners whether you’re in the startup phase or operational. New entrepreneurs can benefit from our handbooks and checklists to properly set up your company from the get-go. Existing business owners can save money in legal and tax fees with our annual checklists, tax guides and popular business forms. Did you file your LLC formation or incorporation paperwork with your state on your own? No problem! Our company forms can walk you through the important “after-formation” tasks to make sure you don’t miss any crucial steps in organizing your new business.

How does it work? Simply order the forms as a standalone product or when you file an LLC or Corporation with us. Then visit our My Account section for immediate lifetime access to a digital business library including:

  • Startup Checklists for DBA’s, Corporations and LLC’s
  • The New Corporation Handbook, The New LLC Handbook
  • Compliance Guides
  • IRS Tax Guides, Calendars and More
  • Corporation Forms: Bylaws, Minutes and Resolutions
  • LLC Forms: Operating Agreements, Minutes and Resolutions
  • Dozens of Categorized Business Forms

Are you starting a company today? MyCompanyForms™ is included with our Entrepreneur and Complete Incorporation and LLC Formation Packages!