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THEY REALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT US – WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT SET TO RAISE TAXES ON SMALL BUSINESS?

Yup you read it right.

My day started off so far quite good. A few minor distractions but all in all not bad. I had brunch with my daughter, got some client work done, signed up for a great website and got some good tips to help me grow my small business and feeling VERY focused. Right when I was about to finish my plan for the day I stumble upon a blog posted by Paul Obrien from Outright.com that I’m not sure how I missed considering I try to keep up with the latest small business news from the IRS on a daily basis! At any rate the article left me feeling angry, upset confused and reminiscent of some things that are currently going on in the mental health industry in the south.

You can read the full article/blog here from Taxgirl.com. (read it then come back)

Ok so now that you read it. In short, Taxgirl.com says through the American Jobs and Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 one of the provisions includes:

Death to s-corporations. This provision, which I criticized before, is still in the bill. The bill would impose payroll taxes on distributions from an S corporation engaged in a professional service business that is principally based on the reputation and skill of 3 or fewer individuals or an S corporation that is a partner in a professional service business. Professional service is a pretty broad term and would include “health, law, lobbying, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, consulting, athletics, investment advice or management, or brokerage services.”

Either someone in Congress has a deep rooted hatred for small businesses or we as professional service providers have a bit of identity crisis. Why? Simple, they figured out what a lot of solo business owners figured out long ago, probably through the help of some very smart business advisors, how to save on employment taxes by setting up as a s-corp.

 For those who do not know; a S-Corp is basically a way a sole proprietorship(SP) or general partnership (GP) can extend liability to its company, be treated like a corporation for tax purposes but still act like a sole proprietorship or partnership. As a SP or GP you and/or partners are the business thus all the liability and tax burden goes to you. Plus you are required to pay an additional 15.3% in self-employment tax on the ENTIRE amount of your income, which obviously you want to avoid if possible. S-corps are attractive for many micro and solo small businesses because you basically get the best of both worlds. Instead of all profit going to you as income, you only pay payroll taxes on your salary among some other perks. Giving individuals who own their own jobs more control. The IRS knows this and places some restrictions on who can elect to be an S-corp, if your business is one of service where your direct service is your business (health care providers, barbers, hairstylist), you cannot elect to be an S-corp, but all in all it still gives many service businesses an opportunity to be s-corps and receive the tax benefits of doing so. This is how it has been and is a fairly decent proposition up until now. The new bill basically says that businesses owned by less than three people can no longer afford this luxury. Thus if you are in business by your self or one other person, and you are an s-corp, you can kiss that and the tax benefit goodbye!

 The point of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 was to do the former, create American Jobs but as you see through the “Tax Loopholes” part they squeezed in some tax provisions on the sneak like no one would notice sort of like me trying to get into a size 10 jeans again, I might be able to do it but seriously?  

 I can’t even begin to tell you how confused and upset I am about this. Confused because this is the same government that just last week I was singing their praises for attempting to help small business by encouraging us to hire employees, and offer them health insurance, small business lending and also extend unemployment. This is the same government that sponsored the National Small Business week and talks about how small businesses are cornerstone of this great county. But through my anger a moment of clarity emerges. Why would they do this? Because there has to be SOME way to pay for all the new tax benefits that have just passed! Here are my four other reasons this is a bad idea:

  1. More tax evasion. As an accountant and one who is asked weekly from business owners about how to structure their business for tax purposes, I see in the faces of all these business owners that they want to do what’s best for their business and the country. They want to pay their fair share of taxes but also know that it’s difficult to do it when they struggle to keep their businesses open to begin with. Along comes S-Corp which gives these businesses a chance and now you take it away. I suspect, though I won’t advise, more people will “take their chances” and figure ways to avoid reporting full income earned through their businesses. It makes my job harder in some ways as I try to educate on the total opposite.
  2. Discourage new business growth. Well it probably won’t but it doesn’t do much to encourage it! The only alternative businesses have is to either form C-corps or merge large S-corps the latter requiring a lot legal interaction and may not always be realistic for a lot of service businesses nor will many of them have the knowledge to do so.
  3. Minority Small businesses are can be the effected the most. Census statistics show over 50% of businesses are professional service businesses and are owned by women and other minorities. As a black woman in with my core business being in professional service, these facts are alarming in light of the new tax provisions. The bill includes provisions for industries that minorities just aren’t part of and black women in particular are leaders in professional services from the beauty salon, to social media consultants like sistasense.com. Therefore this bill could affect us the most as in what and Joe Kristan says (via Taxgirl site) :

It would penalize the smallest personal service providers to the benefit of their larger competitors. A sole proprietorship would pay taxes at a rate at least 2.9% higher than a competitor whose “principal asset” is the reputation of more than three employees.

 4.    Doesn’t do anything to improve Government trust. I mean really I don’t think I need to say more.

 It’s very obvious that when the government says “small business” they are only talking about product driven businesses or businesses that help keep foreign competition at bay. NOT the professional services that support these businesses and the minorities that run them. The law extends tax breaks to the film industry, mining, energy, technology and motorsports; industries women and other minorities are disproportionately represented. We seem to have an identity crisis. Accountants, architect, barber shops, consultants, business coaches and the like keep all other businesses going. True what we do at times cannot be tangible, but we are the heartbeat of companies.

It’s the whole BIG corporate mindset, when I worked in Corporate accounting, I often heard middle management say, that “we” don’t get the great perks or recognition that Marketing, product development or sales departments do because we don’t generate revenue for the company. We are just support and basically don’t matter (that last part were my own thoughts but I’m sure some arrogant sales or marketing exec thought that!) I’m angry about this and hope organizations like NASE are on the case now on behalf of professional service businesses and the micro and small businesses across this country to advocate on our behalf. In the meantime, you can write your congressman, join the NASE and share your outrage, but whatever you do, please contact your CPA, Tax advisor, Small Business Accountant and/or Bookkeeper to make sure you make the necessary changes now to avoid a hefty tax bill once this law passes.

 Taxgirl.com sums it best: “Congress Hates Small Businesses”. I concur and add that they must also REALLY hate minority small business the most.

MAKING MONEY AND KEEPING MONEY…NOT THE SAME Top 10 “real” reasons businesses fail and how you can avoid them.

Let’s face it; making money is easy especially in America. In this country you can literally start a business with little experience and money and build a multi-million dollar corporation with hard work, passion and some luck. We’ve seen it happen many times and it will continue to happen. So it’s not the creating of businesses that is difficult it’s keeping them!

 Below are my top 10 “non-text book” real world reasons why businesses fail or struggle. (in no particular order)

  1. Poor or lack of Goal setting and strategy – This goes back to my blog on business and passion. Once you’ve reached the point where you know your passion should be a business you must then determine what your goals are and develop a strategy surrounding them. Not doing that can leave you running a treadmill and loathing your passion.
  2. Big Cash, Big Spender syndrome – I’ve seen this in the consulting business. You get several contracts and are paid generous initialization fees and instead of treating the huge payments as part of your future cash flow or properly investing, you begin purchasing assets that suck up your cash. Create cash flow projections and don’t treat your business like your personal life. Start and grow LEAN.
  3. Not taking your business seriously – A marketing expert once said “When you don’t have money all you’ve got is time.” Not knowing basic legal, financial and regulatory aspects in your business can cost you. Know your business and as TheCashFlow.com’s tagline affirms “Handle your Business”.
  4. Confusing your hobby for a business. – I talk about this a lot but it’s very true. Not that you shouldn’t turn your hobby into a business, but be sure points #1 & #3 are in-tact before doing so.
  5. Hiring friends and family — Like point #3, unless your business is a hobby, many of us actually want to obtain some financial security. While you CAN hire family and friends, do so ONLY if it makes good business sense. If you have a business need that your friend is more than capable of handling, great, but don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole.
  6. Not paying taxes or avoiding them — Back to #3, understand the basic regulatory aspects about business. Make sure you pay your payroll taxes on time. If you can’t, consider getting out of business. Period.
  7. Putting the cart before the horse – When you hire employees, remember as CEO you set the tone and pace for your company. The success or failure does not rest solely with the employees it’s with you. As with our bodies, everything starts with our brain. Even a strong healthy leg (employee) can give out if our nervous system (the CEO) isn’t functioning properly. If you’re dysfunctional so is your business.
  8. Personal and business funds commingle – It’s very easy to look at your business as an inflated personal ATM machine when you’re doing well. This practice can get you in trouble. Especially reverting back to point #6. It’s difficult to truly see how your business is performing if there are many personal transactions in the way.
  9. Over outsourcing – It’s great to outsource areas that can be done more efficiently and cost effectively by someone else, but there is a drawback. Over outsourcing can drain your cash flow and become counterproductive when you have limited money and resources to begin with. Take the time to come up with a plan and remember think “LEAN”.

10.  Know your numbers – Quick tell me what’s your profit margin? COGS compared to your unit pricing? Payroll compared to revenue? EBIDTA? Quick Ratio? DSO? LMNOP? (last one was a joke) Point is these seemingly dubious terms actually can hold the key to your business success. Not knowing these and other financial indicators can leave you wondering “where’d the money go?”

 This list can continue forever so you can add mine to your favorite top 10. The goal though is NOT to discourage you but as always to empower you if you see yourself within any of these points. The old school definition of an entrepreneur used to be one that takes risks. So continue to enjoy the risky ride. Just be it a well informed ride.

 Be Empowered…


Katrina M. Harrell is a self-proclaimed “Proactive Bookkeeper” ,accountant and small business consultant in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. She is also CEO of YourSimple Bookkeeper, Inc. which provides virtual bookkeeping services to micro and small business across the country. She is also creator of YourSimple Bookkeeper in-a-Box™ which provides practical recordkeeping and bookkeeping guidance for micro business owners. Her blogs about small business, entrepreneurship and financial management can be found on www.katrinamharrell.com or on her facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/yoursimplebookkeeperdotcom

Are you Prepared for the Next Tax Season? Do you have a P.L.A.N.?

One of my favorite websites for business and entrepreneurship is Inc.com (if you haven’t been to this site and you’re in business check it out!) as the articles and alerts are often insightful and extremely practical when it comes to business. So in true fashion I received the perfect article regarding business and taxes.

The article discusses planning for the next tax season now by being PROACTIVE. In essence, what this means is not waiting UNTIL January 2011 or April 14th for that matter to giving attention to your business finances. It means taking small steps throughout the year to manage and organize your books, ask questions to your Tax Preparer, knowing and understanding how new tax law changes affect your business, and so on. Several tax professionals offer their advice and tips on this and have formulated it into a simple acronym: P.L.A.N.

P. Preparing your Records

L. Listing Issues and Questions

A. Analyzing for Accuracy

N. Noting Changes in Tax Laws

Do you P.L.A.N for your taxes? As a small business consultant, I realize that most if not ALL of these steps can be time-consuming or frustrating when you don’t know where to begin; especially noting changes in Tax Laws. Who truly has time to navigate through constantly changing tax codes to find relevant information? Doing so can be elusive, confusing and just a waste of precious money producing time.

Here’s a simple suggestion on getting your books in order in time for tax season. Find a Bookkeeper who has flexible service options and request a consultation and review. Some can provide you with tools to organize your books if you choose to do it yourself completely free or for a nominal monthly fee. Depending on your budget you may even be able to afford an outsourced bookkeeper to help you manage your books. Affordable BOOKKEEPING for your business DOES EXIST.I urge all businesses micro or small to take the time to consult a Bookkeeper or CPA to request a review of your books and recommendations for how to P.L.A.N. for tax time.  In my blog, Proactive Accounting, I talk about how planning in advance can actually SAVE you money at tax time, and save your business!

Be proactive about your business. It will be worth the time and expense in doing so.

To check out the full Inc.com article click here.

Proactive Accounting: What is it and 5 ways it’s good for Business.

Picture it – Your Business, LLC, April 14th 20-“you pick the year”. Business is doing relatively great, you’re riding high on the small business/self-employed cloud, there is some cash in the bank, your clients are moderately happy, and you’ve managed to replace your 9 to 5 income. Not so bad for not hiring an accountant or bookkeeper to help you manage things. Well it’s April 14th and you realize that you must file your taxes, ok still not a big deal, I’ll just go to my CPA give him/her my shoebox of receipts and records, and if need be I’ll just file an extension. NOT A BIG DEAL! Your CPA charges you $XXX hundred dollars to file an extension, never utters a word about why you haven’t come to him earlier takes your money and files an extension on your behalf. 1-3 months later your CPA calls you with disturbing news:

“You owe $X,XXX in taxes this year!” Oh and since you are a sole proprietorship you also owe $X,XXX in self-employment taxes” And because you haven’t reported a profit in over 5 years you’ll probably get a notice that the IRS is going to audit your financial records. Ya might wanna also get those contractors to complete a W-9 cause they might want to review that too. SURE we’ll help ya…that’ll be $X,XXX invoice in the mail! See you next year!  à  Channel “Deer in Headlights”

 Ok I may be over dramatizing this, most CPAs and Tax Preparers do not take this drastic heartless detached approach; in fact many of them work tirelessly to encourage small businesses to plan ahead, follow IRS guidelines and actually offer monthly bookkeeping services to businesses to avoid these pitfalls. But the fact remains that a vast majority of small business owners look at bookkeeping and accounting as an afterthought and even put off planning until after they started making money, started incurring expenses and can actually afford to pay for advice and planning. Frankly, you’re not in business to do your books, so why on earth should you care right now? Well as an Accountant, I’m offended (not really), as a self-employed turned small business owner turned entrepreneur, I understand! BUT the truth is hiring a bookkeeper, or CPA or Tax Advisor in the infant stages of your business can save you thousands if not completely save your business if nothing else your sanity!

 “Rear-view accounting” is what we are used to, I call it reactive accounting, it’s what most small businesses do, and what I described above. It’s doing only what’s necessary regarding the financial management of your business and seeking counsel from professionals when desperation strikes. For most micro businesses it’s being your own bookkeeper to keep cost down or “DIY” Bookkeeping. I’m a fan of the latter if money is an issue, but it’s the former that has me nervous. Thus, I’m talking a “radical” new approach to the way small businesses view their finances, I call it “Proactive Accounting”. I was excited when I “created” with this term a few weeks ago, until I Googled it and saw that in fact this is a concept that has been around. The model of YourSimple Bookkeeper is based entirely on the concept of Proactive Accounting whether I invented this or not and hopes to give a fresh take on it and use it to totally change how we look at small business finances and accountants overall (to all CPAs and Tax preparers, I kindly welcome all donations).

 Proactive Accounting is a real simple concept; it’s considering how the financial management of your business affects your business from the inception and throughout the course of managing your business. Proactive accounting involves having your bookkeeper if not your CPA in the front seat with you as your trusted advisor from “Day 0” of creating your business. Traditionally Bookkeepers, accountants and CPAs were looked to only at tax time for payroll or once you were in trouble, but most of my business now-a-days comes from people looking to start businesses and want my advice on the proper steps to do so. Mostly from a “how to I pick the right entity” or “how do I lower my tax bill” perspective, but I use this time to push my agenda of actually getting their books set-up right the first time as well as getting in the habit of reaching out to me on a monthly basis for review. I admit it is a challenge to change the mind set of folks but I’m committed to trying. Instead of doing your books alone, proactive accounting involves tax planning, record-keeping set-up and tracking from the very beginning and including this very expense in your start-up and operating cost if needed. This new approach may make some CPAs uncomfortable at tax time with the onslaught of well prepared clients who no longer need extensions, but with the IRS set to increase its audit of small business particularly those who improperly classify employees as independent contractors as well as the new legislature to enforce 1099 reporting, mileage tracking and self-employment taxes, NOT having your books set up from day one nor having someone on your team can honestly cost you your business.

 5 ways Proactive Acct is good for business:

  1. Can help with potential borrowing – Lenders almost always want to see a well written business plan. Some probably want to also see that you’ve actually started making money in your business already. Having a way to track your expenses and revenues in the beginning and seeking the advisement of a bookkeeper or tax advisor along the way can ensure your books are sound and accurate, something that is crucial to a potential investor.
  2. Can help avoid costly pitfalls – Consider most of us do not realize that the IRS makes modifications or changes to the tax code more often than we know or that there are always new tax law changes in the pipeline waiting to be passed a lot of them recently directly impact micro and small businesses. Having a bookkeeper on your “team” on a consistent basis can help you identify potential troubles before tax time. And alert you when it’s time to take a trip to your Tax advisor, make adjustments to how you conduct business as well as make recommendations to help you save money.
  3. Avoid Cash Flow issues – As anyone who has been in business for at least a year knows is that CASH IS KING. Which in simple terms means knowing where your cash is at all times is paramount to the success of your business. One small business pitfall in cash management is not knowing how their money is being spent or having adequate records of client payments. Having a simple monthly review of your bank and customer records by a qualified bookkeeper can alert you to some potential cash flow meltdowns on the way.
  4. You’re always Audit Proof – Poor recordkeeping is one of the top reasons small businesses fail or get trapped in IRS audits and with 78% of all businesses being small business, it’s true that we are the cornerstones of this country economy. Take it from an accountant, great bookkeeping spills over and improves other parts of your business as well. Example, a client called me one day panicked b/c she was being audited from the ESC for her payroll records (this was a routine audit the ESC performs on businesses under 2 years old). They wanted to see her payroll documents as well as tax returns. They were looking not only if the data was there but how was it kept. Luckily, her financial records and payroll documents were in order and the audit went through without a hitch. Had she had some issues, she would have been faced with steep fines and penalties which for her small business would have cost her everything.
  5. One less thing to worry about! – Like I said above, unless you’re me, you’re not in business to do books so WHY would you want to worry about this? You’re good at what you do and making money doing it and should be able to focus on that. Hiring a qualified bookkeeper on a monthly retainer may seem like an expense you can’t afford, but add up the hours you spend working on your books and look at that as an actual LOSS of potential revenue as you could have spend that same time improving your marketing to drive more business. How nice would it be to know that you can bring home the bacon and someone else is gonna make sure it doesn’t go bad.

 What do you do next? Fortunately there are bookkeepers and accountants out there who offer Proactive Bookkeeping services such as YourSimple Bookkeeper, Inc. whose fees can run as low as $600 annually ($50 a month) for simple reconciliation and review of your books each month. Some can even provide you training on how to manage your own books if you’d prefer that. To get started, I would find a local bookkeeper and ask them if they offer a low cost monthly review service you can utilize, if they don’t give YourSimple Bookkeeper a call for a free 30-min consultation!

Straight…no chase. Katrina’s thoughts about the truth of being a woman entrepreneur.

I’ve been fascinated with business and entrepreneurship since I was a child and knew I would be in business when I became an adult. I even started my accounting consulting business fresh out of college when a dance school asked me to help them get their books in order. This is in my blood. But I know that although I was born to do this I’m still on a journey to become an entrepreneur. I’ve learned that it isn’t something you decide to become but is a process and journey that continues to evolve. Fast forward 10 years later and I’m still on the business journey and now am starting to use social media to grown my business. I’ve joined quite a few sites and am seeing a lot of great information and knowledge being shared. However there is one thing I noticed consistently in networks and conferences; the lack of transparency from other successful business people, particularly woman. I rarely see people get into the guts and horror stories of what it truly takes and is like to be an entrepreneur. I’ve also noticed that Men in business have a totally different experience in business than women and therefore we can’t always play to the same set of rules they do.

I have an Accounting and consulting business and am very very good at it. In fact I’m set to launch a new business model that I hope will help small business across the country. There is a wealth of information available to help you navigate through the facts about starting a business, but not everyone will tell you that although they have a successful business, they struggle to pay their taxes, their marriage is on the brink of failure, they are losing their business because of a dishonest business partner or they are making six figures or seven annually but have no clue what their business is worth and will probably have to start their business over 5 times before they get it “right”.  My point is that we don’t need another site dedicated to facts, we need women who are willing to become transparent and offer truthful facts about their business and their journey. I can’t tell you the number of times I meet a successful business woman and once she finds out I am an accountant and consultant she immediately pulls me to the side or emails or calls me and whispers “listen I really need your to help me out with my books or my business, they are a mess!!” I’m happy for the business but it does disturb me at the same time.

Or maybe it’s just me maybe I’m the only one who while I have worked in corporate America for 10 plus years, couldn’t never seem to keep a job! I wasn’t supposed to say that was I? But it’s true! Or that a bad business decision almost cost me my relationship! Yikes! What does that have to do with starting a business? EVERYTHING! Being honest is very uncomfortable, but when you see statistics that show women make up more than 50% of all small businesses, of that women of color generate $230million in sales, out of 12.6 million people that work for women owned companies, 1.6 million of those people work for women of color firms; and THEN with all of that find out that Asian American women have the highest business survival rate double that compared to Black women whose survival rate is less than 35%! WHEW! Ok, I’m calm now. My point is regardless of the stats, as those were recorded in 2006, women of color and black women in particular have unique set of challenges we are faced with in America if we really want to be successful, whatever that means to us, however we individually chose to define that, we must be willing to address those challenges with honesty and transparency.

Once I failed at starting a Mental Health business, once my relationship almost ended because I became a slave to my business, once I was bed-ridden for a week because I failed to take care to myself, I realized that the only way I can become a true entrepreneur is if learned from all of these and be willing to share my journey with others.   Being an entrepreneur wasn’t something I “decided” I’d become one morning it’s something I’m discovering through trial and error success and failure. One example of this is the story of Nadine Thompson former CEO of Warm Spirit (see next blog).

How to balance work and life and business shouldn’t be in separate blogs, they should all be together because those areas truly need to work together to make a successful business woman. Coupled with not being afraid to fail (see next blog) We need to educate women to understand the term entrepreneur to truly understand it is a journey not something you decide to become (we will explore this further- shout out to Olalah of the Yellowwood Group for the “Aha!” moment I received at the Diversity Women’s conference in Greensboro in 2009). We need to know what aspects of your physical life need to be in alignment, we need to know that a Business Starter Kit that does not include tips on Bookkeeping, marketing, self-assessment, personal finance assessment, a succession plan is not complete. We need to talk about relationships with men when we embark in business and how that effects our business development. We need to talk about learning to trust others, outsource, share, and we need to learn about how to create a working business plan and not focus solely on the business plan as it will always evolve. We need to talk about technology and how blacks are disproportionally not aware or involved in the bountiful technology that is out there to help our businesses. We need to know about building business credit. I can on and on. We need not just facts on entrepreneurship, but those of us who rely on blogging as experts to help build our businesses, need to take the time to be a bit transparent. If you really want to help another woman in business tell her about your failure tell her that yes you are an expert in your area, but tell her how you got here and no it wasn’t all about the corporate gigs and degrees, and happy clients it was about trial and error, divorces, mistakes, failures, unhappy clients and subsequent successes.

Be Empowered…

Katrina

IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO FAIL YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO SUCCEED – 5 things failure can teach you

As a young business woman, I’ve have made several mistakes that I’m not ashamed to mention, from not knowing how to manage growth of my bookkeeping thus loosing clients, to working for a friend and realizing that that wasn’t a good idea that eventually cost me a friendship and a severed business relationship, the failed job interview, and so on. I’ve had many successes so far as well, having reinvented my accounting, bookkeeping and consulting business and growing it 30% in one year and gaining momentum, to launching a successful web-based bookkeeping firm which already has happy clients in 3 states. But it’s always the set-backs that seem to keep me up at night and haunt me. We all have read the books about 7 habits of highly effective people and know the basis of entrepreneurship is about taking risks; we all know how to be successful and have been prepared to know how to be successful, but we haven’t been taught is how to react to failure! When we fail our lives fall apart, we feel like the world disowned us, we feel we are worthless, ashamed even. The most magnificent thing about our spirit though is that it always seeks balance. When we fail, there is always something won’t let us stay down long. But if we can only begin to start teaching how to respond to failure we might even be better business people! We will learn that even though we can’t predict when failure will take place, we can at least prepare how to react to it and how to come out of it!

I received a book from my aunt titled “When Smart People Fail” written by Cathy Lieob and I immediately was drawn to the book after having a major set-back when I was denied endorsement to open a Human services agency. I was eager to find answers to what I was feeling and thus began to read the book. It’s not that I love misery. The book is more than 15 years old but the message is definitely timeless: Failure, part of the process of finding success, is inevitable, yet still a matter of our own perception. The books takes on a quasi-scientific view of how various business and professional people respond to failure, the view of success in our culture and the stages of processing failure. It even offers some insight into the authors experiences with failure. The goal of the book is not to evoke a feeling of dwelling in failure but empowerment for those of us who tend to hide behind failure and learn to change our perception of it. From reading the book I was able to take away some great points:

1. Failure teaches you about yourself. Without failures our little egos would run amuck and cause havoc and destruction on the world! Ok I might be a bit exaggerated, but failure teaches us that we are human, that you know what I Don’t know everything! Failure shows us both the good and bad in us but teaches us to learn.

2. Failure opens the window to greatness in us. When I experienced a professional failure, each time, I’ve found a part of me that I never knew I had, a resilience and strength I never knew existed. I have a background in accounting but embarked on opening a human services agency. When I failed, I learned that I do have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and thus decided to pour my energies on my bookkeeping firm instead.

3. Faliure is part of the process. There is no light without dark, no happy without sad, no peanut butter without jam. You get my point. Part of our creation is about balance and life comes with risk. While I felt like a failure, I felt a tremendous sense of pride for taking the chance to do something others with my background would never do.

4. We are not alone. EVERY successful entrepreneur has a list of regrets and failures to support every success. It’s normal, and once I realized that it was normal and I wasn’t alone, I did feel better. You know what they say misery does love company J

5. Success and failure are moral judgments. It’s a matter of how we were raised, our experiences. Failure isn’t an objective occurrence, it’s merely subjective and thus we can change how it affects us. I have always been expected to win to be a success since I was a child, so this failure was embarrassing to me. After reading the book though I realized that the only person who took this as a failure was me, everyone else around me felt I had accomplished something great and I had to eventually agree.

After reading the book, I realized that everything that has happened in my fledging business career is totally normal, part of the process and I’m not alone! What I must do is recognize the failure as part of the process, pick myself up, dust myself off and remember that some of those failures were really a reflection of some reality of myself I need to change. And even acknowledging that failure is really about my perception! If I can somehow change how and what I perceive as failure I may realize that I have more successes. The success that I will achieve will feel bigger, better and more lasting than what I could have ever imagined. I don’t know but what I do know is that while we all  love basking in the glow of success we should learn to look impending failure in the distant eye and say “bring – it – on”

Be Empowered People…

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