How To Start Something New

Not too long ago, I celebrated my birthday in the Bahamas.

What I found interesting is that people, even when I am on vacation, are curious. My fiancée and I met people and during the course of conversations some found out that I was successfully doubling my enterprise’s performance this year over last year. And, they would ask me questions. Some even told me how they were interested in beginning their own social enterprise or business and others mentioned that they wanted to start on a project but just could not figure out where to begin.

I have been there. Sometimes, it can seem daunting, but it really boils down to one step at a time to start something new.

I told the people who engaged me in this sort of conversation while I was in the Bahamas that they first had to have an idea they were passionate in seeing come alive. I can’t say how important this is because there will be challenges and setbacks along the way. If you don’t really have the passion for seeing your vision and idea through to the end, then it will be very easy to simply give up at after the first few of innumerable obstacles.

More than likely, you will also get the chorus of people who will tell you that it can’t be done or ask you why you would ever want to put so much of what you have at risk. These are the people who never have known defeat because they never risked anything themselves. It means they never won anything either because they failed to get into the battle that is life and business. Ignore them.

Once you are clear about your vision and idea, gather around you supporters and champions. These individuals can be people you already know. They can be new people whom you reach out to specifically for this new enterprise or effort. They can be a mix of professionals and personal friends and family. You will need these supporters to help you see things through and each will have a part to play in giving you some tidbit of information or helping you think through opportunities and challenges in ways you might not have thought.

Then begin to develop the plan. Just as when you travel you use your GPS to help you arrive at your destination, you need a plan for developing a social enterprise, starting a business, nonprofit or beginning a new organizational initiative. Take a careful look at what is being done by others. Then, figure out where and how you would fit in with your idea. Make sure you have developed a plan around marketing, finances, operations and other relevant areas.

Once you have the right resources in place and the support you need, begin to execute your plan. If you have ever started something new, you know, there will be obstacles and course adjustments along the way. That’s simply the nature of life and business. Just keep your eye on the prize and on being able to operate – sometimes – in unknown terrain. That is when you use the best information you have available and when the tough times come, and they will come, you rely on your discipline if the road is temporarily obscured.

Eventually, you will get to your destination, and you will have made it a success or perhaps you will experience the sour flavor of defeat. But, if you are true to the vision and idea, it is not going to go away. It shouldn’t. The world needs people like you: the visionaries and dreamers who just never give up, even after accumulating significant losses.

Protecting Yourself With Asset Protection

Whether it be Asset Protection or Asset Allocation. Managing your finances should be a priority. You need to be aware of your rights and safety’s that you may find. One needs to keep an eye on things as personal property.

One may be looking to protect themselves during a divorce or other unforeseen occurrence. These occurrences may come up at the worst of times. Like most things in life, That is usually when they happen.

There are legal means that you may be able to take in your state or jurisdiction to control these unforeseen events. Knowing that you have rights and what they are can be categorized as an Asset Protection .

Knowing how to do these things can be called an Asset Management or Allocation. The more you know about your rights in these instances can protect you from possibly losing your home. Or worse yet everything that an Attorney can get there hands on.

Asset Protection and knowing how to implement it can save your life. You can use Asset Protection to make sure that your Asset’s aren’t taken from you. These can be from lawsuits, Medical bills. Even if you were to have to go to a nursing home, Your assets would be protected.

It would be better to start protecting your family and assets now than later. You’ve worked years to get what you have now. Don’t let anyone or thing take it or remove it from you. You have rights, The sooner you know how to implement them the better.

You don’t have to be or have an Attorney to use these rights either. Common sense and the right frame of mind and information will help you here. Start protecting your family and assets today.

A good professional lawyer can tell you, Asset Protection is important. Don’t put your asset’s and family at risk. There are many trusts and other ways to protect yourself with Asset Protection.

Tangible asset’s and protecting them should be your first priority. Don’t make yourself and family suffer because you have not protected yourself.

Only you can take the needed steps and learn what is needed to protect yourself and your assets. Don’t be a none doer, Be the person that says I know what I’m doing. I’m going to protect myself and my family now.

Recipe for a Successful Business Launch

magine staring at a table full of great mouth watering produce, fresh oven baked bread, herbs a plenty, local farm raised beef, chicken or fish, the best cooking equipment possible and perhaps a great bottle of wine or two. Your culinary vision includes creating a lightly spiced, yet full flavored appetizer followed by an entrée basked in flavors and aromas from hours of tedious preparation and then completing this extravaganza with a delectable dessert that leaves one satiated, yet wanting more.

There is one small problem with this vision, you are an extremely successful entrepreneur, but a novice in the kitchen. How then do you create this meal? Where do you start? Do you try the recipes once before making them for friends and loved ones? Who will teach you basic knife skills, how to pick the best ingredients for each dish and how to nurture each ingredient to its fullest potential? These are just a few questions you are faced with in your quest to create the perfect meal.

You decide to venture into the culinary world on a solo journey. After a minor burn, a small cut and a poorly executed recipe, you decide to hire a Chef to train you. The Chef starts you off with basic knife skills, cooking techniques and food pairings that she has honed over countless hours in the kitchen while mastering her craft. You practice the menu with her until it is perfected and then off you go to create a sensational dining experience for your guests. In exchange for her services, the Chef asks you for help in starting her business.

She has seen so many success stories and seeks your advice to prevent the all to often restaurant failure. She has a vision of a restaurant filled with happy patrons who crave her food and desire the great service. They come back again and again, but how does she start this business?

She is staring at a desktop piled high with how to manuals, various business plans and countless business books. She doesn’t have the first idea of where to start. What she needs is a recipe for success.

As the Chef walked you through the various challenges of preparing your glorious meal, you will guide her through the process of opening a business. This task may be daunting for some, yet it illuminates your strengths.

You and the Chef agree to a recipe, that when followed, should lead to a successful launch of her business. Here is your secret recipe:

1. Utilize resources that help get the idea onto paper. Plan, plan, plan. This is the most important, yet most frequently overlooked part of business creation. Can you ever remember hearing a successful business owner say, “I planned too much?” Countless resources are available which include business plan building software, free or paid for business counselors, business consultants, countless how to books and the often times underutilized mentor. It is vital for your success to have a clear and precise understanding of what your business will provide and who the target customer is. Have clearly stated operational objectives that include entrance into the business world and a clear exit strategy.

2. Create the entity. Decide on how to legally set up your business. Some choices included a sole proprietorship, a Limited Liability Company, a corporation, partnership or charity. Make certain to identify the pros and cons of each entity and all of the regulations associated with each including liability protection. Once the entity has been chosen, create the appropriate bank accounts prior to initiating any business transactions. Secure an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for proper handling of all tax matters.

3. Determine the legal requirements. Check with local, regional and state entities and request information on the minimum expectations that are required of you to operate your business legally. Requirements may include registering with a department of revenue for tax collection agency, operating permits or licenses, health or fire inspections.

4. Build Business Infrastructure. Review your business plan and decide what type of support systems and materials you will need to build the business. Are you starting your business out of the garage, the back of your truck or with bricks and mortar? You should have a budget created from your business plan for support materials such as office supplies, computer equipment and software, internet access, credit card processing, membership fees and other support services you deem as an important part of running your business.

5. Create vital assets. Website design, trademarks, logos, intellectual capitol, copyrights and provisional patents are just a few things to consider. Often times employment contracts and confidentiality agreements are part of this process. Once created, ensure that you have policies and practices in place to protect and retain these assets.

6. Acquire financing. The financial overview and objectives should have been clearly defined as part of the business plan. It is now time to get the financing into place. It could be your savings, partnership cash or outsider investment dollars. If possible, seek counsel to review any and all financial agreements you may enter into. Each party involved must be absolutely clear as to the financial expectations of each other.

7. Establish operational logistics. Many start up companies have limited resources for accountants, lawyers and insurance needs. Additional considerations include Information Technology staff, banking, E-Commerce and website design personal. Training and Human Resources are two more areas that are often overlooked. There are countless tasks for any business owner to contend with and creating a support team is vital for their success.

8. Hire people. Acquire the very best human capitol and retain them. Outside of sole proprietors, businesses live and die by the quality of the operations team. Hiring and training are two very large investments of money and time. Establish consistent hiring and training methods that yield loyal and long- term employees who will aid in the growth of your organization. Forward thinking employers find ways to tie in employee compensation to company performance.

9. Get the message out. Market your business! There are a myriad of ways to accomplish this task and remember to stay focused on your plan. Make sure your brand’s message is memorable, clear, precise and it differentiates you from your competition. Consider your web site design, mobile connectivity to supplemental sites and the numerous avenues to open communication channels with your potential customer.

10. Open the doors, execute and Sell! Market research has been completed and a research strategy has been implemented. You have identified your potential customer and their purchasing habits. Your goal now is to under promise and over deliver to ensure optimal customer satisfaction. Embrace feedback and create powerful recoveries as needed. Fabricate long lasting customer relationships through outstanding products and services; repeat.

Give five chefs the same ingredients and ask them to execute the same recipe. You will end up with five similar, yet very different dishes. The same would be true with five different entrepreneurs and these ten steps. There is not one sure-fire way to accomplish the arduous task of creating a business. However, just like a finely tuned gastronomic creation, plenty of planning, attention to detail, a lot of hard work, the right timing and a little luck go a long way towards the successful launch of a new venture.

Invest In Yourself and Save Money

Start Investing in Yourself today and feel healthier and more in control of your healthcare costs and finances. The first step is to take the Invest in Yourself Challenge. It is time to examine your life and what you term your “comfort zone”. Now ask yourself if your “comfort zone” is good or bad for your overall health. Everyone likes to feel comfortable but have you learned to be comfortable doing things that may be contributing to compromised health. Do you overeat when you are feeling an emotion? Are you comfortable with your present weight? Do you know what your body mass index is and if you are in the normal or risky category? Do you know your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels? Do you know what your family history is? I know a lot of questions and why are they so important?

Your lifestyle does affect your health and compromising health costs you money. Hopefully you have health insurance but the average person still needs to pay some of the balances not paid by your health insurance. Do you know the average middle income person who has health insurance and develops a single disease, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease, approximately 46% of them will have to claim bankruptcy. Yes, it is hard to believe but true. The associated costs of an illness can deplete your savings in no time. But, according to national research the average person is saving o% these days. The average out of pocket expenses are rising as we speak to approximately $2100 per year and that is up from $1200 last year. Healthcare is not going to be getting any cheaper so the only way for you to control and contain these costs is to Invest in Yourself and implement these strategies for life: take time for self,maintain height/weight ratio,motion, life ergonomics, 5 food group menu planner , destress daily and positive body image.You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to be the best you can be. Maintain your independence,optimal health and finances and Invest in Yourself right now. Do not waste another precious moment. Your Life, Health and finances are dependent on it.

Some Basic Financial Terms Explained

There are so many terms used in the finance industry. Far too many to include in an article, besides listing them all would not make for interesting reading. Instead you will find some basic financial terms that are more commonly used and most useful to you. These will help you in your quest to learn more about financial matters. Please note that they are not alphabetical as the terms follow from vocabulary used within the explanations

Let us start with asset, asset class and asset allocation. An asset is an item that has a value that can be measured in terms of money. It can be converted into cash such as bank deposits, shares or property. Assets are generally considered in terms of asset classes. An asset class is the group to which an asset belongs and the main groups are considered to be: cash, fixed interest, property, shares. There are other classes even within those basic groups.

When talking in terms of asset allocation this is the design of a plan to invest in various asset classes which best meet the needs and objectives of the investor as well as their tolerance to risk. It provides diversification to an investment portfolio.

Diversificationis a natural part of asset allocation. The mere fact that you use the different asset classes makes your portfolio diversified to a degree. Diversification is the spreading of your investments to ensure that you do not have a concentration of all your assets in one particular area. The concept is that each asset will act in different market cycles in a different way and will mean you are not subject to the downs of one group of investments.

Diversifying within the asset class is also important to spread your risk. Take for example investing in one share compared to investing in twenty shares. If that one company was to fail the person with shares only in that company would lose their investment whereas the diversified investor would still have shares in other companies to make sure they still have some value.

An investment portfolio is an appropriate mix or collection of investments held by an institution or an individual. It is a collection of assets specifically designed for a particular investor to ensure that goals are met allowing for the individual’s risk tolerance and time frame.

Risk tolerance is measured by the use of a risk profile tool which is a series of questions designed to establish the investor’s attitude to risk. This attitude to risk is the tolerance you are willing to accept with your investment. How would you react if your investment value dropped by a certain percentage? Getting your tolerance to risk correct is important to make sure that you can sleep at night.

The term investment has been used and you may be wondering what the difference is between saving and investing. Saving is usually for short-term goals for readily available cash such as deposits in the bank and call accounts. An investment is the purchase of assets that are not for consumption today but are for future use in an effort to create wealth. Investments are to generate income and to appreciate in value for the future.

You have heard the term shares used but may think of these in terms of stocks and wonder if there is a difference. These are used interchangeably and while the term stock refers to the ownership of any number of companies the use of the term shares refers to the ownership of a particular company. At the end of the day stocks and shares are the same thing. To add to this the term equities is sometimes used.

You may want to see a Financial Planner about starting your investment portfolio. A financial planner creates a plan providing comprehensive advice and assistance to meet your needs and life goals. The planning process normally includes six steps: data gathering, goal setting, identification of financial issues, preparation of written options and recommendations, implementation of your decision, and periodic reviews and revision of your plan.

Financial Planning Strategies and Resources

Engaging in strategic financial planning can help you achieve personal wealth. Whether you want to build a retirement nest egg, purchase a vacation home, pay for your child’s college education or purchase investment property, financial planning is best way to reach your goals.

In today’s economy financial planning has never been more important. Unfortunately, many people falsely believe they do not possess enough money to save for the future. The truth of the matter is most people can set aside at least five dollars a week. It’s simply a matter of reviewing finances and making minor budget cuts.

People who are living paycheck to paycheck may want to consider obtaining credit counseling. Although most credit counselors charge a fee, there are several non-profit agencies that utilize a sliding scale to adjust fees for people with low incomes. Depending on income levels, some people can obtain credit counseling at no cost.

Many options are available to help people commence with financial planning. The Internet provides a wealth of educational resources to help consumers regain control of personal finances. Local libraries offer numerous money management books, along with home study investment courses.

The first step of financial planning requires thorough review of income and expenses. Most consumers have more money than they realize, but often waste it buying unnecessary items. A simple way to determine if you are wasting money is to track every expense for one month. Write down every penny spent, than review to determine where expenses can be trimmed.

If you find you are spending $100 each month on coffee drinks, fast food lunches, yard sale items and online purchases, consider eliminating those expenses and placing that money in a high interest savings account. Over the course of ten years, this small amount could turn into $12,000 plus interest.

Financial expert, Suze Orman, suggests setting aside a minimum of 10-percent of earned income prior to paying living expenses. Many people feel guilty about paying their self first, but if you want to get ahead in life you must learn how to include savings in your household budget.

One credible source for learning how financial planning can help you become debt-free is Dave Ramsey. Ramsey is known for his no-nonsense approach to debt management. His website is packed with debt reduction tools and advice which can help anyone achieve financial freedom regardless of their income.

Ramsey’s website offers his no-cost Gazelle Budget™ Lite online budgeting software to help consumers create a zero-budget financial plan. Visitors can peruse financial planning articles, download household budgeting forms, purchase personal finance, money management and investing books, attend financial classes or obtain personal coaching from Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

Another great source for learning about various financial strategies is through certified financial planners. These professionals can help consumers achieve short- and long-term investment goals. They are trained to help individuals be aware of negative spending habits and learn how to implement get out of debt strategies.

The best place to find certified planners is through the Financial Planning Association website at FPAforFinancialPlanning.org. Visitors can locate information about retirement planning, estate planning, saving for college and buying a home.

There has never been a better time to begin financial planning. The sooner you start, the easier it is to build wealth. Before you dive in, take time to conduct research to determine which type of planning is best suited for your needs. Then, create a savings plan and make a commitment to stick with it.

Reduce Debt with Online Debt Consolidation

Obviously the point of this article is to give a few tips on reducing debt. Let me start things off with a fantastic quote.

“There are plenty of ways to get ahead. The first is so basic I’m almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn.” ~ Paul Clitheroe

I absolutely love this quote because of its simplicity. Hopefully we all see the most important part of it… It’s the last sentence. (And if you don’t for some reason, be sure to slap yourself up the backside of your head and say, “Doh!”, out loud… only when you get a chance though. Spend less than you earn. These 5 words should be tattooed on 80% of Americans’ forehead. Why? It’s so when Joe Blow goes to the restroom after throwing back 10 and a half beers, he sees a reminder in the mirror NOT to put the $50+ bill on his credit card. Not really BUT, It’s SO easy for the average American to live on credit.

So, the question, how do you reduce credit card debt? You reduce it by keeping your principal from increasing to Never-land and by paying off what you can afford every month. Or just use online debt consolidation. Simple, eh?

Oh, if it were so easy. If it were that simple to reduce your debt, then we wouldn’t have so many people with credit card debt related problems. Or would we? There’s are all kinds of advice available on the internet regarding debt and how to reduce it. But, even with the plethora of great information available, nothing much seems to change. The problem still persists. However, there are options. One of the most efficient ways is to use online debt consolidation. To me, the best part about this route is that it’s 100% online. That means you won’t have to sit there and talk to someone over the phone about how much you’re in debt or how crappy of a credit score you have. That’s my type of service!

I told you I’d give you a few tips didn’t I? Well, the first tip to reduce debt is to prevent it from taking unneeded amounts in interest. Think about it, interest = bread and butter of a creditors income. This should be a personal finance 101 tip for everybody. The 2 most important ways accomplishing this step are, smart balance transfers and use of cash.

Did you know that a balance transfer is usually the number one measure to reduce debt. This is really something that can help reduce the rate at which your debt is growing. It also provides you relief in terms of the APR being 0% for initial 3-9 months. To reduce your debt using this nifty idea, you need to transfer your balance from your current credit card(s) onto another credit card that has a lower APR (usually 0%) than your current card. Now you can reduce credit card debt by stopping it in its tracks. And the hope would be to pay off as much as you can without hurting your day-to-day living. Yes, you might have to follow up on your New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking and/or drinking. Give up some of the things that aren’t a necessity. At least until you can get your finances going in a positive direction.

The other simple little trick is to use cash instead of a card. Yes, cash can be a pain in the rear end. Yes, your pockets with get filled with unsanitary coins everyday. But it’s worth it! Simply put, by using cash, you aren’t putting any more money on your credit cards. Which means you’re not getting charged any interest. At least give it a shot. It’s the only way I do business!

However, you can think about getting out of debt as much as you want. But the people who are successful in this world, DO IT! If you’re looking to get out of debt much quicker, I recommend finding an online debt consolidation service. Read up on the company. Make sure it’s 100% online and reputable. Implement these ideas into your life and stick with it. You WILL get out of debt.