6 Financial Mistakes Small Businesses Make All the Time

When it comes to starting a business, it’s all about the budget. Maintaining a healthy bottom line is key if you want your fledgling venture to take flight and grow.

Too often though, small businesses make a variety of financial mistakes that allow their hard-earned money to leak away. For example, 21 percent of small-business owners say they claim less than half of their business expenses, which means they are dramatically overpaying their taxes. A large reason for this is the tendency not to claim small figures, which is a mistake: Even $5 expense claims can add up, so get in the habit of saving your receipts.

To discover five other common money mistakes small businesses make (along with ways to fix them), check out the infographic below courtesy of Make It Cheaper, a company that helps businesses save money on energy bills and other services.



Source: entrepreneur.com

‘Unfair Advantage’: What’s Yours and How Do You Capitalize on It?

What is Your Unfair Advantage

We all wish we could have that ace in the hole, that sure thing that would set us apart from our fellow team members or potential clients. The truth is that most of us have one; we just fail to acknowledge it or use it to its fullest potential.

Do you know what your unfair advantage is?

First, a definition: Your “unfair advantage” is the skill you have that is your unique talent. Were someone investing in you or in your idea, your unfair advantage might be why you’d win the investment over the competition. On a team, your unfair advantage might be the reason you’re assigned a leadership role for a task. For clients, your unfair advantage could represent why you are the best person for the job at hand.

You might have an awareness of, and experience with, the ins and outs of a particular industry. You might be an effective leader with an ability to balance motivation with accountability. Your written and oral communication skills might be superior, or perhaps you might excel at breaking down complicated systems, ideas or projects into bite-size, manageable and easy-to-understand concepts.

Further, you might be the “glue” that holds a team together when morale is low. Perhaps you excel at remaining calm and centered during a time of crisis or an urgent deadline. Your problem-solving skills might allow you to offer ideas that are outside of the box anyone else would think of.

You can’t use your unfair advantage until you can name it.

Do you ever receive a compliment that you just shrug off because whatever is mentioned is just “easy” for you or something you regard as mere common sense? Do you find that there is a particular theme or topic that people consistently come to you with, or seek your consult about? Is there a type of project or task that ignites your passion, motivates you and is something you could go on and on about?

What exactly comes to mind?

You’re rarely encouraged to toot your own horn or pat yourself on the back. Sharing what you excel at can sound like bragging or selfishness or narcissism. But, rest assured: These questions are not intended to set you up for some grand announcement about why you’re superior to others.

Instead, the intent in helping you to nail your unfair advantage is to improve your self-awareness. It’s important that you know what you offer others and what you bring to the table. Once you organize your own thinking on the skills or talents that set you apart, you can make a concerted effort to start showing people this skill, rather than telling them you have it.

Knowing and using your unfair advantage sets you up for success.
Once you can dial-in on the skill set that sets you apart, start to use it to your own advantage. Make sure you’re demonstrating your ability in this area when you’re making a pitch or selling an idea. Offer examples of times you were successful and how you were able to make something happen.

Your unfair advantage will help you build trust and credibility with supervisors, co-workers, clients and prospective clients. Honing-in on this will also increase your own confidence; and when people are confident, they become infinitely more competent.

At some point, you’ll need to sell yourself: This is how.

When you’re selling something, you’re never going to leave the best feature until last. You wouldn’t call out all of your product’s fine characteristics and then mumble the best feature or hope it will be found in the fine print. You’d say it out loud, right?

Similarly, at some point, you’ll be called upon to name your unfair advantage. You’ll be asked to say what makes you great. You’ll be challenged to answer why you might be better for the job than the person next to you.

Once you know your unfair advantage and can own it, you’ll use it to meet the goal you want to accomplish, not just by naming that goal, but by offering details of how you’ve already accomplished important things using your skill.

No one can see or appreciate your talent, skills, or knowledge — until you do first.

Source: entrepreneur.com ~ By: Heather Gray ~ Image: Canva Pro

Updated 8/11/23

10 Daily Habits For Millionaire-Style Success

Daily Habits For Millionaire-Style Success

When it comes to being truly successful, many people think that the changes they need to make should be huge, significant, life-changing. They think that in order to achieve lifelong success, they should change their careers, start their own business, travel the world, enroll in masterminds and courses or change up their routines completely.

But what few people know is that true, sustainable success comes from the little things, the tiny habits you’ve built into your daily routine. Making big changes is all well and good – but you’ll miss the point completely if you end up reverting back to your old ways.

Instead of trying to figure out the “winning formula” for ultimate success and which route to take to get you there the fastest, learn from what millionaires do each day to build and retain their success.

1.     Be true to who you are

Are you happy with the person you truly are? Are you a good partner, friend, parent colleague, boss? Are you staying true to yourself, doing what you enjoy, and living the life you love? If not, you might have to make a few changes. After all, you don’t (and can’t) build a successful life for yourself while simultaneously being unhappy with who you are. It’s similar to building your house on a shaky sand foundation as opposed to a solid rock foundation. Discover who you truly are and be 100% you every single day.

2.     Create a morning routine

The first few minutes after we wake up can determine our mood for the rest of the day. Why not set yourself up for a happy and successful day ahead every day, by creating a morning routine that you love. One that energizes and inspires you. Take time to prepare yourself for the day, note down 5 things you’re grateful for, groom yourself properly, and set out a goal for your day. By doing a few simple things each morning, you can drastically alter your mood for the better – even if you wake up grumpy.

3.     Be grateful every day

Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to change your perspective on things for the better. Learn to find beauty in the smallest of things. Appreciate everything in your life and the blessings each moment brings you. Be happy to be alive. Adding a gratefulness habit to your daily or morning routine can increase your overall happiness and hugely affect your day. Learn to enjoy the basic things in life, not the big things.

4.     Ditch your phone

No, I don’t mean ditch it completely. Taking time to disconnect from your phone, social media and the news is important. Avoid looking at your phone first thing in the morning, stop spending so much time on social media, and take that time to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. Ditching your phone (especially in the morning) helps you respond to events in your day reasonably instead of reacting to them emotionally.

5.     Nourish your soul

Feed your soul with whatever it is that makes your heart sing. Listen to inspiring music. Read good books. Take time to do yoga and meditation. Practice writing poetry. Plant a herb garden and tend to it. Do some painting and create beautiful art. Learn a new language. Whatever you choose to do, it should leave you feeling uplifted and more connected to yourself.

6.     Feed your body

What you put into your body matters. As the saying goes; you are what you eat. If all you eat is greasy junk food, you can be sure that it’ll weigh you down and stop you from achieving your full potential. Try eating a healthier diet of fruits and vegetables, being conscious of what you’re putting into your belly. You wouldn’t knowingly ingest poison – so why eat things that are equally as harmful? Feed your body the nutrients it requires to support you through your days, and through your life. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.

7.     Get moving

Take care of your body by getting in regular exercise. One of the most important things for a successful life is to take proper care of yourself first and foremost. Everything else comes after. Take care of your body and make sure it gets the movement it needs to fuel your brain. Choose a sport that you love, one that you’ll be happy to do frequently. Basketball, running, badminton, yoga, dancing, swimming – whatever it takes to get your heart rate up and your muscles pumping.

8.     Change your perspective

How many times a day do you find yourself saying “I have to”? Instead of saying that you have to do something, shift your perspective by saying “I get to…” For example, you can tell yourself: today, I get to go to work. I get to see my friends and co-workers. I get to prepare a nice meal for myself. I get to give a big presentation. This powerful mindset shift will make you appreciate your life and take your gratitude game to a whole new level.

9.     Discover your ‘why’

Figure out why you want to achieve what you want. Envision your successes as if you’ve already lived through them and write a list of all the reasons you set out to do what you want to do. This will help you when times get tough and you lose sight of your end goal. Approach all the tasks along the way with enthusiasm and curiosity.

10.  Don’t let your thoughts define you

Your thoughts are just that – thoughts. They don’t define who you are, they are fleeting clouds of images and emotions that come and go. If you find yourself feeling sad or angry, try observing these emotions in order to distance yourself from them. Notice that your moods change, your thoughts come and go, and that there’s nothing wrong with that.


It’s the small things we do every day that build up to make big changes. As long as you implement these 10 steps into your routine, you’ll start to build that solid foundation for success in no time.

The next time you find yourself thinking about the meaning of success, come back to the points on this list and realize that success – despite what you may think – is not as far away as you think it is.

Source: productivitybird.com ~ Image: Canva Pro

6 Stories of Super Successes Who Overcame Failure

Failure is not the alternative to success. It’s something to be avoided, but it’s also only a temporary setback on a bigger, more significant course. Everybody encounters failure at one point or another. What truly matters is how you react to and learn from that failure.

Take the stories of these six entrepreneurs. Their stories end in massive success, but all of them are rooted in failure. They’re perfect examples of why failure should never stop you from following your vision.

1. Arianna Huffington got rejected by 36 publishers.

It’s hard to believe that one of the most recognizable names in online publications was once rejected by three dozen major publishers. Huffington’s second book, which she tried to publish long before she created the now ubiquitously recognizable Huffington Post empire, was rejected 36 times before it was eventually accepted for publication.

Even Huffington Post itself wasn’t a success right away. In fact, when it launched, there were dozens of highly negative reviews about its quality and its potential. Obviously, Huffington overcame those initial bouts of failure and has cemented her name as one of the most successful outlets on the web.

2. Bill Gates watched his first company crumble.

Bill Gates is now one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, but he didn’t earn his fortune in a straight line to success. Gates entered the entrepreneurial scene with a company called Traf-O-Data, which aimed to process and analyze the data from traffic tapes (think of it like an early version of big data).

He tried to sell the idea alongside his business partner, Paul Allen, but the product barely even worked. It was a complete disaster. However, the failure did not hold Gates back from exploring new opportunities, and a few years later, he created his first Microsoft product, and forged a new path to success.

3. George Steinbrenner bankrupted a team.

Before Steinbrenner made a name for himself when he acquired ownership of the New York Yankees, he owned a small basketball team called the Cleveland Pipers back in 1960. By 1962, as a result of Steinbrenner’s direction, the entire franchise went bankrupt.

That stretch of failure seemed to follow Steinbrenner when he took over the Yankees in the 1970s, as the team struggled with a number of setbacks and losses throughout the 1980s and 1990s. However, despite public fear and criticism of Steinbrenner’s controversial decisions, eventually he led the team to an amazing comeback, with six World Series entries between 1996 and 2003, and a record as one of the most profitable teams in Major League Baseball.

4. Walt Disney was told he lacked creativity.

One of the most creative geniuses of the 20th century was once fired from a newspaper because he was told he lacked creativity. Trying to persevere, Disney formed his first animation company, which was called Laugh-O-Gram Films. He raised $15,000 for the company but eventually was forced to close Laugh-O-Gram, following the close of an important distributor partner.

Desperate and out of money, Disney found his way to Hollywood and faced even more criticism and failure until finally, his first few classic films started to skyrocket in popularity.

5. Steve Jobs was booted from his own company.

Steve Jobs is an impressive entrepreneur because of his boundless innovations, but also because of his emphatic comeback from an almost irrecoverable failure. Jobs found success in his 20s when Apple became a massive empire, but when he was 30, Apple’s board of directors decided to fire him.

Undaunted by the failure, Jobs founded a new company, NeXT, which was eventually acquired by Apple. Once back at Apple, Jobs proved his capacity for greatness by reinventing the company’s image and taking the Apple brand to new heights.

6. Milton Hershey started three candy companies before Hershey’s.

Everyone knows Hershey’s chocolate, but when Milton Hershey first started his candy production career, he was a nobody. After being fired from an apprenticeship with a printer, Hershey started three separate candy-related ventures, and was forced to watch all of them fail.

In one last attempt, Hershey founded the Lancaster Caramel Company, and started seeing enormous results. Believing in his vision for milk chocolate for the masses, he eventually founded the Hershey Company and became one of the most well-known names in the industry.

Draw inspiration from these stories the next time you experience failure, no matter the scale. In the moment, some failure might seem like the end of the road, but remember, there are countless successful men and women in the world today who are only enjoying success because they decided to push past the inevitable bleakness of failure.

Learn from your mistakes, reflect and accept the failure, but revisit your passion and keep pursuing your goals no matter what.

Source: entrepreneur.com ~ By: Jayson DeMers

10 Strategies of Highly Inspirational People

Inspirational People

As leaders, small-business owners often must inspire their team, customers and vendors in order to accomplish their company’s goals. People will likely follow others that can motivate them to achieve goals beyond what they might accomplish on their own.

Here are some effective ways to help you be more inspirational.

1. Make permanent connections.

Whether they meet online or in person, inspirational people can make these connections come alive. They remember who they were introduced to and details about their lives. Inspirational people reach out periodically to others to see how they’re doing and what they can do to help. This is not a time where they try to sell something, but only to be helpful. This could be as simple as to say, “how are you doing?” or send a helpful piece of advice. This can also be “liking” or commenting on their post of Facebook or retweeting something.

The message is simple: “I care and thought about you today.” It may make that person feel important, which can help reinforce the connection.

2. Bring other people together.

I will never forget when I would see Chris Brogan at events, as he was talking to someone else. When it was my turn to talk to Chris, the first thing he would do after the greeting was to introduce me to the person he was with. Through him, I was always able to make new connections.hab

Inspirational people always try to bring together people who have common interests.  This can not only strengthen their own network, but help expand it.

3. Believe people are good.

Business is competitive, and many players may act out of their own self-interest. But inspirational people believe that, when given a choice, most people are good and will see their actions in the context of the larger community. This can be a more positive starting point than the alternative: being paranoid that they’ll always get hurt in the end.

4. Welcome people who disagree.

Inspirational people can consistently invite different points of view. They actually listen and understand why others might disagree. Inspirational people typically don’t spend a lot of time trying to convince everyone that they’re right. They know that the best outcomes typically start with discussions.

5. Dedicate yourself to a cause.

Inspirational people tend to be on their own authentic path. They may not be deterred by popular opinions and are comfortable in their beliefs. As Simon Sinek proposes, they can communicate their “why.” All their actions can reflect their desire to achieve that goal.

6. Act fearlessly, even when afraid.

In small business, it may be natural to have a fear of actions that can produce unknown outcomes. Inspirational people may still be scared, but they move forward with actions anyway. They tend to be calm in any storm. They take small steps, evaluate the outcome and then plan future actions.

7. Give back to the community.

Inspirational people know they’re not alone on this world. They give to their community even though they may not personally profit from it. They also know that a strong community makes each person in it more successful over the long term.

8. Show gratitude.

Inspirational people don’t brag about their achievements. Their focus doesn’t get consumed by what they do not have or have not yet done. Instead, they show empathy and gratitude for others and are able to celebrate their successes even if they have failed at theirs.

9. Tell a good story.

Inspirational people are typically good storytellers. They are able to take true stories from their life and turn them into motivational messages that have a redeeming lesson.

10. Be responsive and dependable.

Inspirational people are there for others when it matters. In this 24/7 world with so many forms of communication, they are always able to respond when they’re most needed. This happens because of their desire to help and their decision to prioritize responsiveness above other activities.

Source: americanexpress.com ~ By: Barry Moltz

Ask Michele Today Secured By miniOrange