No one wants to pay more income taxes than they are required to, but be careful if you do your own taxes. Attempting to cut your tax liability by getting into IRS grey areas can cause you problems later on. You don't have to do anything unethical to get your return pulled for an audit, you just have to raise too many of these red flags. If you’re in the middle of an audit or owe back taxes, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Contact us now.
1. Making too much money. Sounds like a problem everyone would like to have, but making over $200,000 may make you more likely to be audited. The fact is that there are fewer auditors, so the IRS is focusing on where they can make the most bang for the buck.
2. Not reporting all your income. No matter how much or little you make, report everything. In some way or other, unless you run a strictly cash business (another red flag), all of your income is reported to the IRS. W2, 1099 and other forms you receive are duplicated and sent in to the IRS. If your reported income doesn't match theirs, that's one more red flag.
3. Math errors. Whether you file electronically or still file paper forms, your information gets entered into a computer. And one thing computers are very good at is doing math. If things don’t add up, or there was an honest mistake in inputting the information, it can raise a red flag. A math error won't necessarily get you an audit, but it will get attention you may not want. Make sure to double check your returns and have a qualified tax professional assist you and keep you out of tax trouble.
4. Home businesses that never make money. Sole proprietorships that file a Schedule C year after year and always show a loss will raise a red flag. Even if you show a profit, but the profit margin is always unreasonably small, that will get the IRS' attention.
5. Large charitable deductions. There is nothing wrong with being charitable and there is no legal limit to how much of your hard earned cash you can give away, but if your donation is out of sync with the norm, that's another red flag.
6. Overstating business expenses. Depending on the type of job you have, there can be many legitimate expenses that your employer doesn't reimburse you for. If you’re a business, you might be tempted to write off just a little extra. These might be genuine deductions. But don't try to deduct something that's not on the approved list and don't claim deductions way outside the norm. Check with your tax professional and stay up to date with tax laws so you’re not padding your tax return with write offs.
7. Sketchy real estate rental revenue or losses. Some people will 'rent' their property to friends or family at well below market value and then claim normal rental business expenses. As with other areas, the IRS compares what you claim against local standards to determine if this is a legit business. If not, they will disallow the deductions.
8. Home office deductions. There are absolutely legitimate home office deductions but the IRS has very strict guidelines on what you can claim and how much. Try to claim too much and this is a classic red flag.
9. Claiming losses for things that aren't deductible or deductible in your circumstances. One example is claiming day-trading losses on a Schedule C. If you dabble in stock trading and take a loss, it may or may not be deductible, but almost certainly doesn't qualify for a Schedule C loss. You also can't take a deduction for alimony. The IRS maintains a list of non-deductible expenses, make sure to check that and check with your tax professional.
10. Claiming 100% business use of your vehicle. If you spend most of the time in your vehicle doing your job, you may think it's easier just to claim the whole thing for business. Wrong. You will either have to show your personal use, no matter how small, or show you have a second vehicle for personal use.
Many of these items are red flags for an audit, but many are also legitimate deductions. The key is to have a qualified tax professional on your side, especially someone who is well experienced in tax resolution and can help you minimize the risk of an audit and the resulting tax problems down the road. At the very least, keep meticulous records and make sure you are inside the guidelines of the IRS.
If you need an expert tax resolution professional who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem. Contact us now.
If you are an employee, you get a paycheck every pay period and most likely pay little attention to your taxes until the end of the year. Your employer does a lot of the work for you and you get a W2 at the end of the year.. However, if you are a freelancer or are self-employed, the responsibility of paying your taxes rests solely upon your shoulders.
There are 14+ million American taxpayers currently in the IRS collection division, and it’s easier to land there if you’re self-employed and don’t fully know what to do when it comes to taxes. Below are some simple tips to help you 1) reduce your tax liability and 2) keep you out of tax trouble.
Make sure to check with your tax professional to discuss your unique situation. If you’re already tax trouble, you’re not alone but you must take action before the IRS levies your bank account or seizes any property you have. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation and let our tax resolution team get you out of tax trouble.
With that said, let’s jump into the tax tips for freelancers and the self-employed.
1. Report business-related expenses and keep clean records.
If you purchased a new laptop to help you with your business, you can report that as a tax deduction. If you're using your cellphone primarily for communicating with business clients, you can claim that as a tax deduction as well. If you are able to prove with documents that your write-offs are legitimate, you can include them on your tax return. Make sure to keep strict and detailed records of any deductions in case the IRS wants proof later on.
2. Differentiate between your business and personal expenses.
The IRS considers most business-related expenses as legitimate write-offs but if you go beyond a certain limit, you can be subjected to an audit. For example, you can include office furniture or office supplies in your tax deductions for your home office, but you definitely may not claim that new sofa set in your second living room as a deduction.
3. Make Estimated Tax Payments.
As an employee, you get taxes taken from your paycheck every time. If you’re self employed, you don’t. This can lead to a large tax bill at the end of the year that you’re unable to pay. Self-employed taxpayers generally need to make quarterly estimated tax payments. IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, has details on making those payments.
4. Time large purchases toward year's end.
If you have been planning to get a new printer or a new ergonomic chair for your home office, do so in the last quarter. This way, you can include the purchase as a tax deduction for the year. The bigger the purchase, the bigger the tax deduction.
5. Monitor and track your use of your car, phone, and other utilities.
It is often highly impractical to get a separate car, Internet subscription, electricity, or even a phone for your home-based business. What you should do instead is to keep track of how much you use these items for business-related purposes. How many minutes are spent on business calls? How much mileage do you drive for business trips? Keep a list of these usages and include them in your list of tax deductions.
6. Have a qualified tax professional on your side
There are a lot of variables when it comes to taxes. As a small business owner, having someone to turn to when you have questions is absolutely essential. You should focus on growing your business and doing what you love.
If you’re already in tax trouble and you need an expert tax resolution provider who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem. Contact us
I don't care what type of nonprofit that you have guys, this is a business. You must think business first when you're talking about fundraising. #Fact A lot of nonprofits have closed their doors because they have been almost 100% dependent on grant funding.
1. Have a Diversified Fundraising Plan
Diversification in financial planning is crucial to the survival of today's nonprofit organization. Part of that diversified financial plan is grant funding. However, grant should be, roughly 20% of the organization's financial plan. Why just 20%? So that they're not at a detriment when it comes to whether or not they get grants; or whether or not the grant that they have is renewed. The best time of year to crate your financial plan is between June and August. This helps organizations be prepared to fundraise in the first quarter of the fiscal year.
2. Get Help
knowledge transfer if, for some reason, they leave the organization. Then, you still have two or three other people that are part of the grant writing team.
This helps your organization avoid a common pitfall... The one person that knows how to do something leaves, dies, etc. There's this one person that's the go-to person. What if that person leaves? Now what do you do? So this is a good nugget for you guys to make sure that you always have somebody that can do this.
3. Are You the Right Fit?
Do your due diligence; is this a good fit? Research the foundations. One of the questions that are important for you to answer is, does my organization fit with what this grant making institution is looking for?
Another is, who are their other grantees? Why is this important? If there are six or seven organizations just like yours doing the exact same thing, you may not get the funding. So they need to be at the bottom of your list; at the top of your list needs to be the grantors that are looking for what you have to offer but they don't have any grantees, that are doing it.
This is where that due diligence, this is where that research comes in handy. Honestly this is where that qualified grant researcher and that qualified grant writer comes into play. If you're working with a grant writer, ask them how much would you charge to train your team. Then...GET THAT MONEY! You can't afford not to.
News Flash! You're not the only applicant. You want to make sure that you are a qualified grantee. So what does qualified grantee mean? Qualified grantee means your organization needs to match all criteria - all criteria. Why? Because if there's one criteria that you do not meet, they're not even going to consider your application. There are several of you reading this and you are visualizing the multiple rejection letters you've received from grantors. The typical reasons that your organization was rejected is: 1. You did not meet the criteria; 2. Your grant package was not in compliance with the requirements.
4. Invest in Staff Training.
It's really vital that someone on your team be trained to research and write grants. If you send someone to grant writing training; you must require that employee to be the staff trainer. This will help you get the most out of your investment dollars. and I'll give you guys another tip. Typically, it's much cheaper to send them to a training that's already established, than to pay somebody to actually create a unique or specific training just for your team.
So this is why I'm encouraging you to invest early, invest upfront in training your own people. Why? Because when you invest in training your own people, you now save thousands of dollars on grant writing fees. The person that is trained can take that information and they can tailor it to the next grant. Bottom line: Don't reinvent the wheel. You must have some people that are trained to understand how to read these documents; how to read what they want; and then how to give them what they want in a way that they choose you over the competitors that are applying for the same small pot of money.
5. Tailor Your Application
Tailor your application. This is why it's important to either have someone in your organization trained or to have a staff grant writer because you want to make sure that you are tailoring your application. Think about this; if you're a non-profit and you are applying for let's say 20 grants because that's really a possibility. You're applying for 20 grants. How much is it cost you to pay somebody on the outside to prepare 20 grants? That's going to be a lot of money, right? For those of you that have worked in corporate America where you've had to have resumes, one of the biggest (and best) pieces of advice is: "tailor your resume for the position that you're applying for." That applies to grants as well. If you are sending a grant request to Verizon, it's going to be totally different from the grant request that you send to United Way. If you use a canned grant proposal and fail to take the time to present a custom product...it is a waste of time. Further, it will add to that rejection, because Verizon is going to say we don't fund these type of activities. This is not within what we want to do and that's why going back to number two, doing your research and doing your due diligence is very important.
Who would have ever thought that I would be a Champion for Changing the way the system views fathers and their ability to be an integral part of their children's lives? Certainly not me! I know all too well what a dead beat looks like; but there is something about a man who really wants to be a part of their children's lives and is never afforded an equal opportunity to accomplish that. Over the years, I have watched friends and others get crushed by the system, when all they ever wanted to do was to have a viable relationship with their children. This has to change. Recently I wrote this article for The Ambassador Monthly entitled, "A Legal & Personal Perspective on What About Dads? Fathers: Relevance, Rights & Responsibilities "
Read the full article here. You get the gist, right? In order to change the situation, we must change mindsets. Who is in the best position to determine what's in "the best interest of the child", but the parents? We have become so self-centered and self-absorbed that we would rather win the case, than create an environment that is secure for our children to have a balanced relationship with their parent.
The REAL reason you are preventing him from seeing his child is because you have a personal issue with him!
Please check your ego at the door! Whatever problem you have with him, it shouldn't spill over into his ability to have a relationship with his children...period. There are countless studies that have shown the benefits of a balanced relationship with both parents. From a personal note, I have witnessed (and lived) how the absence of a parent can create voids in a child's life. As a single mother, I, along with help from my family, raised my son without help from his other relatives. Even with that situation, I never said anything negative to him about his other parent. It was extremely important to me that he have the freedom to make his own decisions about that situation. Did I have a problem with that person? Absolutely! Did I always handle interactions with him appropriately? Absolutely, not! Could I bring drama during the immature stages? Of course I could. What was most important to me was how my child saw me, what would he think if his mother acted a fool with his father? I grew to a place of maturity and I had to eat those negative feelings, thoughts, and regrets. I had to eat them because I had work to do as a mother.
Put Your Child First...No Matter What!
Find a way to overcome the emotional challenges that come along with the demise of the relationship, the feelings of abandonment, and rejection. Make the effort to change and you will find that your child will be happier and healthier. When I see fathers who are fighting with all they have just to spend time with their children, I get excited. I want to help them get the time they deserve. I want every father (and mother) who wants to have a positive impact on their child's lives to be afforded the opportunity to do so. As a Champion in this fight, I will continue to advocate for equality for fathers because they have a responsibility to water the seed they plant. Mothers do not have to carry the burden alone, in the instances where fathers are ready and willing to step up. Will you let him?
Most of you who follow my social media posts are well aware that I am a part of a global collaborative work, "I Bared My Chest: 21 Women Share Their Naked Truth To Becoming Unstoppable". Whoo-Hoo...YES! The title is not just for shock value, these women, including me, ALL share very intimate points and life experiences that broke us down.
I BARED MY CHEST
Since submitting my work, I have spent some time reflecting on the experiences that I shared as part of this collaboration. Now, I thought to myself, what the heck was I thinking putting that in there???? Everything from childhood, to life, to love, to insecurities, to failures; but am realizing that ths project really was less for me than it was for many others . I feel like I'm a part of that show, "How To Look Good Naked" where they force you to come to a place of acceptance of who you are at the present time. This piece revealed those ugly scars left behind from unnecessary wounds. It showed how I viewed myself in the context of and ways that I defined who I was by the experience. In my article, "Being Naked and Unafraid" published in the August issue of the Ambassador, I reflected on my purpose and role in the liberation of women who are captive. I was once a captive but now I'm FREE! Thank God for saving Me!
MY SOUL WAS EXPOSED
"What was the purpose for this new found freedom?", I asked; but then, it hit me, it's all relevant to help others who have had the same or similar experiences. Every fiber of my being is in a state of gladness, I can live, I really can live, without any shame, guilt, or condemnation. I understand the righteousness of God and truly how His grace is sufficient.
I CAN BREATH BETTER
When I was concerned with what other people thought or what they would say about me, it was like holding my breath. You know, after you hold your breath for a while, then when you breathe, you start to pant and sometimes it takes a minute to catch your breath? Okay, you don't have to admit it but I know that I'm not the only person that has been there! But, HONEY!, now I can breath and relax. Writing a part in this book has released the anchors in my life....Now, I'm not ashamed to show ALL because I am Naked and Unstoppable! That's My Perspective!
Be Blessed, But More Importantly, Be A Blessing!
Next, look at all of your denim choices and choose which pair will be your base pair. Then, measure and cut to the desired length. In life the different pairs of denim represents things like, business, career, family, spiritual practices and other life influencers. You must choose what your focus is going to be and use that to anchor the rest of your masterpiece. Once you have chosen your anchor, you must now decide exactly the layout you want for your skirt. Commit to the vision. Writing or sketching the vision is one thing; now you are at the moment of truth, you must commit to your vision.
Next, take your other denim jeans and cut out proportional fringes. I had to look at my pieces and decide, “How is all of this going to work together?” I had no idea. But what I did have is an established relationship with God and a desire to succeed. Then, place the fringes on the anchor pair with pins. I had to take action. I had to take the steps of faith, if I wanted my masterpiece to become a reality. If you are satisfied with the lay-out, sew them onto the anchor pair. Commit to the process. Once I had an idea of how it would look, I made a commitment to see things all the way through. Lastly, continue until the skirt has the fullness that you prefer. Keep going until you fulfill your dreams!
The Pieces of Me skirt, has a 3 tiered design representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The limited edition, Pieces of Me skirts are made to order and available now for $69.99.
Want to learn how to make this skirt? Join our list to be notified of course offering.
So, I'm excited to start my "Favorite Thrift Finds" (Hashtag pending) series. Before I go into the long, drawn out, proclamations about all of the awesome deals I find while thrifting; #FavoriteThriftFinds is about making a positive lifestyle change. One of the most important reasons for displaying the thrift finds is to empower people to establish their own styling rules. I mean, what better way to accomplish this than by buying vintage, right? This first edition is my formal favorites! Many of the selections included in this blog have been featured as the #ThriftFindoftheWeek on my weekly Facebook post or offered for purchase at the Right Piece Boutique. Of course, recycling clothing has far more benefits than just the fact that the other "It Girl" at the party won't share the same outfit (even if you are cuter...lol) right? Upcycling and recycling offers the opportunity to walk in your truth.
Okay, so I've rambled enough!
Event: 1st Annual Apex Pyramid Awards, Atlanta, GA
Details: Recycled form fitting, cinched waist satin blend one shoulder knee length dress in black with flower detail. matching black satin pumps.
Event: 50 & Fabulous Gala, Lithonia, GA
Details: I call this #CherryCoveredChocolate. This ultra sexy, body con dress fits and hits in all of the right places! This dress falls at or right below the knee and flatters from the shoulder to the hem line.
Event: 2016 Georgia Gala Awards Atlanta, GA
Details: The ultimate sexy, #BlackSatin form-fitting recycled cocktail dress fit for a Queen (hence the throne...lol). The standard strap dress falls about mid-thigh and fits like a glove.
Thrifting is really more than about saving a few bucks. It's about a new way of living, creating style masterpieces, and being economically responsible. Everyone feels great when they look great. Everytime I walk in a store searching for that #RightPiece for myself, or even a client, I get all warm and fuzzy inside (kind of like when I used to drink martinis). Searching through the fabulous unique options and finding all the hidden treasures makes it all worthwhile. It is a great way to engage in some retail therapy without the retail prices. A personal goal is that every person finds, creates, and owns their personal style and I'm here to help each of you do just that! There is no greater accomplishment than sowing into the lives of others. In honor of the #FavoriteThriftFinds initiative kick off, I am offering a free 15 minute consultation to the first 10 people to sign up by July 1, 2016 at 5:30pm EST. You may also be eligible to obtain VIP status from the Right Piece Boutique. Click on the image below to sign up for the consultation today.
There are many questions to ponder during the aftermath of the #PulseShooting. How can one justify the murders at Pulse by using the "morality" argument? Some are quick to point out that this happened because this was an establishment that catered to homosexuals. Many pounce on the chance to point fingers at the #LGBT community as sinners; while justifying their skeleton filled closets, because the contents are socially acceptable. Since many are using biblical references as justifications for impermissible judgment (yes, Judge not lest ye be judged), that's in the Bible my friends, one of the greatest questions to ponder is "What would Jesus do?". Let's take a look: In John 8:1-11, men of God ("Saints") brought a woman ("Sinner") before Jesus and proclaimed proof (caught in the act) of her sexual exploits. The saints reminded him that Mosaic Law required that the sinner be stoned; but Jesus stooped and wrote some things in the dirt. He may have allowed the stoning, if the standard (HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN) had been met. Then by the generations, the saints started to leave, probably with the lifted index finger when you need to leave in the middle of the preachers sermon. The text indicates the saints were convicted by their own conscience. I wonder why? Is it because some of those with the most vicious things to say visited places like Pulse or secretly desire to? Maybe it's because you have a secret social media page or profile on a site catered to the same patrons as Pulse, and this is now a blow to your conscience. However, instead of bowing out gracefully, you spew hate speech behind the social media profiles. Christ promoted Love above all things and love is a characteristic of saints that are true to His word. So while you are holding the stone, check yourself before you cast it!
by LeTonya F. Moore, JD
As women, we are constantly searchng for answers to questons that we have concerning men. In this month's #Vlog #SheMatters Partner Dr. Joe Martin, founder of Real Men Connect talks about what's HOT about Men and how to be a HOT man! Humble. Obedient. Trusting H.O.T. #PepTalk #HOTIsGood#SheMatters #TheChampionBrand #LiveLikeAChampion #RiseUp #CallngAllHOTMen #GodGetsGlory#KingdomTalk #KingdomGirl #RaisingUpKingdomMen #PurposeOverPride #BlackGirlMagic#ChampionsFinishLast #RealTalk #RealPerspectives #CheckYourself
by: LeTonya F. Moore, JD
Over the past few weeks, I’ve engaged several women throughout the world about what matters to them as a woman. What does it mean? Why does #SheMatter? I had the pleasure of connecting with Ms. Cecile Edwards, Founder and CEO of WEvolve, Inc., an education and women’s empowerment company. When I asked Cecile about #SheMatters, she expressed the following:
She matters because she is the creator and nurturer of life. Scientifically speaking she incubated and passed DNA to you. She matters because without her who would incubate our spirits and bodies to be brought into this world to live out their purpose. She matters because she is here – she exists and has a life to live, story to tell and purpose to fulfill.
A few years ago when I was going through a battle with acute anxiety and depression I didn’t think I mattered. I didn’t believe I was capable of changing my life from where I was to new experiences that made me happy. Many women experience this anxiety and depression is also rampant among women. I feel that in a society where everything women do is scrutinized to shame and guilt for simply just existing and liking what one likes, she needs to know that she matters because she just does. What saved me from my anxiety and depression was learning that I mattered to myself and was worthy of the life I wanted to live. Add to that understanding that I have a legacy to build future generations, I matter. Self-love, self-care….understanding that your existence improves something, someone, somewhere – you matter.
Simply put, she matters because her life can change others’ lives because she lives it so well. She is not selfish because she loves herself and knows she matters. Instead her practice of self-love and self-care adds to how she shows up in the world and impacts what she touches. In short she must matter to herself first, and that is the most important matter for her to know and express.
As women oftentimes there are circumstances in our lives where we simply don’t know what to do. We find ourselves caring for everyone else and neglecting ourselves. For centuries there has been a campaign of shame against women and girls which has led to warped sense of self and self-worth. But the Essence of Woman is strength, beauty, cultured, and confident. Be encouraged my friends to push passed shame and be the woman that you were created to be. Special thanks to our #SheMattersAmbassador Ms. Cecile Edwards for sharing her story and being transparent. To find out more about Cecile Edwards and WEvolve, Inc, visit www.cecileedwards.com. Want to contact Cecile, reach out via email click here!
"Sound the alarm! I am so ready, ready to do this for the #gloryofGod. I had the pleasure of chatting with three #womenofGod for the #RealPerspectives episode Women on Fire and OMG did it open my eyes! I am convinced now more than ever that God is calling His people to take a stand, even in the church. Yes, that's right, I said it, EVEN IN (meaning INSIDE) of the church walls. I believe that God is pushing us to a level of transparency like no other time in history. During Saturday's show, we discussed trust in ministry and what the responsbility of the clergy is to keep confidences in the church. Someone shared that while growing up, she was surrounded by women she could trust, mentors who helped to guide her in her faith walk. She shared that she was able to go to these women and confide the things that were happening with her life. She looked up to these women, like her grandmother, church mothers, ushers, and the first lady of the ministry for example, as examples of how she needed to behave as a woman.
If that is your experience guys....GLORY!!!!!! You have been TRULY BLESSED. As the title mentions, I had to keep it real because that is not the reality that I know. Countless people have shared that when they went to these same figureheads, mothers of the church, first ladies, women's ministry chair, etc., etc., etc., the next thing they knew their business was all over the church. These women who were supposed to educate, embrace, and engage the younger (less seasoned) ladies were the culprits in creating or subjecting them to unnecessary shame. Preposterous....right? But anyone who has been a part of ministry for any period of time either has had these experiences or know someone who has, right? What's the most sad of all is, the premise of Christianity is built on the concept ot trust. "Trust God at His word", "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart", "Trust that Jesus died, was buried, rose, and ascended"; however, what does this mean when God's representatives are not trustworthy? What happens when the very people who are training us to "Trust Him" cannot be trusted?
Imagine the horror of having your life's woes spewed from the puplit, the very place...the very platform, from where we are taught that the Lord speaks. I see a paradigm shift in the Kingdom, we that are called and sent, have a responsibility to be open and transparent. We have spent centuries hiding our indiscretions, our flaws, our downfalls, or completely ignoring our past, in attempts build a fascade of perfection. This is crippling the walk of many. See what happens is, we place others in positions where they cannot compare to the perceived "perfection" of the leadership or congregational leaders and certainly cannot live up to the perfection of Christ, whom we are charged to strive to be like.
The time is now to keep it 100 about our past (even if it hurts). We are charged with bringing the unsaved to Christ; but we cannot forget that we were once unsaved. We are charged with treating them in the same manner that Christ would have treated them. No judgment. No shame. No manipulation. The time is now to stop robbing God of His due glory. It is the grace that brought us through what He has brought us through. It is his mercy that has kept us in our darkest hours. It is through Him that we are saved. It is God who is our source and our redeemer. I am here to keep it real and let you know that man's judgment of you, will end with self-judgment. Matthew 7:4 poses an interesting point, "How can we say to our brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?"
What has been your experience with the #PLANKSTERS? How did you deal with them? Were you able to move on and #TrustGod? I'd love to hear from you. Leave your comments, questions, here! #BeBlessed but more importantly, #BeABlessing.
Guys! So, while I was getting focused for 2016, which as you know is not easy, I realized that I had to develop a mantra. As many of you know, I had to first really understand what the heck a mantra is and what it means to have one! Mantra comes from a Sanskrit word meaning a “sacred message or text, charm, spell, counsel. So when I saw "charm" and "spell", I said, "Heck No", no mantra for me. But the more I thought about what I needed to do to get things on track, how do I get this train moving? What are the missing links or ingredients to reaching the level of success right now? In the end, I needed to do three things, Get Help, Get Organized, Get Moving.
I had to get some help honey. The first thing I did was have a consultation with a marketing and public relations person. Honey I had to get help with getting my message together so that people other than me and the folks who know me can understand it. We are still working on clearly defining the messaging; but what that consultation did was to help me to understand how other people saw "my brand".
The next step was to vet and join a mastermind group. I wanted to join a mastermind so that I could help myself by helping others. The major focus for the mastermind is to keep us all accountable to ourselves and our businesses by setting measurable, attainable short range goals, to move our businesses from the plateaus or to that next level.
My business was all over the place, consulting, coaching, writing, legal, representation, on and on, and on and on. Oh my God!!!!!!!!!!!! I started to get overwhelmed each and every time I thought about what I needed to do. Bottom line, I was not organized and I did not realize how chaotic this was because I understood it. I had to pull it together and focus. Many people have asked me, how did you do it? How did you get organized? The key to getting organized is starting with stating very specific goals and objectives. Then doing them.
For me, it started with the mantra "Take Action" and moving backwards from there. For every general goal, I asked myself, what does this mean? How can I get this done? By when can this be accomplished? Action, taking action steps to reach the small interval goals. My goals are very specific and achievable. Now my business is easier to manage. One of the action steps that I've taken is to get out and network with like minded professionals. That was not an easy task for someone who is not very comfortable in spontaneous interaction, generally a home body, and very low key. But, I had to bite the bullet and TAKE ACTION, if I wanted my business to grow. Now for the tough questions: Do you want your business to grow? What are you willing to do to make that happen? What are you willing to sacrifice to make that happen? What are you willing to change to make that happen? If you cannot answer these questions or if you are not willing to do, sacrifice, or change, shut the doors. I'm not willing to shut the doors so I had to make these changes.
You can make it. What's your mantra? Your challenge for this week is to develop your mantra. Mine is Take Action. Leave your mantra in the comments section, tell us why you chose that mantra and how it fits into your overall goals for 2016. Until next time, be blessed, but more importantly, be a blessing. If you are in the Atlanta, GA metro area on March 12, 2016, join us for Opulence TV's private netwroking event "Stimulate Your Business" space is limited so RSVP today here.
3 Secrets for Preparing the Best Federal Resumes
As part of a recent interview for the Jeff Altman Show, I discussed three main points and differences between the standard resume and the federal sector resume.
The rule of thumb for Federal resumes is to include everything. For each position, within each company, list your functional duties. What does this mean you ask? This means DO NOT just copy and paste a job description. It means to lay out your duties, responsiblities, as carried out on a daily basis. This is a much more detailed description than the standard resume, which requires an overview or encapsulation to stay within the requisite one page guideline. Even though the goal is to get everything in, there are several ways to streamline your federal resume. First, are there any functional duites to which you can pair with others? Second, write, read, re-read, revise, re-read again. Last, with each re-read, revise to create a more concise statement. This will help you "trim the fat" from an already robust resume and create a more tailored document.
How to Tailor Resume
In general, the rules are the same for tailoring a federal resume as with the standard resume. However, one difference is, the federal sector deals with job classifications or job series. This series is located in the job announcement and the number corresponds with a class of positions. When tailoring your federal resume, it is important to review the job announcement very carefully. First, look at the position duties and responsibilites, this will help you identify the proper "buzzwords" to use to insure that you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. Second, write your resume in the proper tense and active voice. Third, make sure that your descriptions demonstrate how your experience lines up with the specialized experience needed for the position. Lastly, list accomplishments that are pertinent to the knowledge, skill, or ability sought for that particular position/series of jobs. Additionally, there are items that must be included in the federal resume that are not required for the standard resume.
What information MUST be included
The following information must be included for federal resumes: Veteran status; the job announcement number should be included on every page of the resume; social security number; security clearance, if any; whether your positions were part-time, full time, contract, etc.; and current supervisor's name and contact information.
Job hunting can be daunting; but not having the knowledge to make sure that you are competitive can lead to long term unemployment. In this area, my typical clients are persons who are seeking upward mobility and need a stellar resume to get them in the door. They already possess the requisite skills, but lack the ability to present those skills in the way described here. We work with clients to get their resumes to the minimal qualified levels based on a class of positions. Be encouraged, if you find yourself stuck we are here to help!
Now that I've shared the secrets with you, how do you construct your resume? What's the best advice you would give someone seeking federal employment? Do you have a question or comment? Let's dicsuss tips, tools, questions, and feedback in the comment section below!
Greetings Champions! I have recently come to a better understanding of seeking FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Not just what it is; but how it plays into the overall purpose of life itself. When you review the model prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) where Jesus was teaching the disciples the WAY (methods and means) to pray; he talked about reverence to the Father and how holy he is. He taught them to ask the Father for His kingdom to come so that His will will be done on Earth, just as His will is done in heaven. He then teaches them to acknowledge that God will give them what they need each day and to FORGIVE THEM AS THEY FORGIVE. He then shows them to lean on God to deliver them from the vices of the evil one; because the kingdom, power and glory belongs to God.
What does this have to do with purpose?
There is only one thing that Christ followers should pray for, that is God's will for their lives be implemented, i.e., seek first the kingdom of God. This means to seek His purpose for your life and walk in that purpose. When this is done, everything else that is needed will be added (Matthew 6:25-34). When you seek the kingdom, your purpose will be revealed, your needs will be met and God the father will be authorized to work fully in your lives. Friends, everything that we do should be without regard to ourselves or fulfilling any of our needs. All that we do, should be to move and walk into the purpose for which God made us.
How do you seek the kingdom?
Learn all that you can on the kingdom of God! What is the kingdom (of heaven, of God)? Who is the king? What is the kings colony? Who are the kings subjects in the colony? What powers have the king bestowed on his subjects? How can the subjects use the powers delegated and when (Keys of the Kingdom)? To have this manifest you have to follow the process as laid out in the model prayer. Reverence God (the Father, source, Holy one) in the things that you do; Ask that his kingdom mandate for your life come and manifest through you here on Earth; thank Him for your daily bread; take the time to forgive those who have wronged you and take the time to forgive yourself for things that you are holding against yourself; seek Him to help you overcome strongholds and offenses in your life; and acknowledge that yor works are for the upbuilding of His kingdom.
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