3 Strategies I Use to Make the Most of Your Workday?

I thought I would take the time to answer a question I was asked earlier in the week. I’m guessing that most business owners would have their own way of answering this. Throughout the years, I have incorporated different methods and strategies to try and get more out of my workday.

As a long-time business owner and parent, it has always been essential to make the most of every workday to maintain a high level of productivity. With multiple responsibilities (personal and business related) it is imperative to come up with your own strategies to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to productive workday time!

The best tip I have -that took me a long time to learn- is to STOP multitasking. As a parent, I was a huge proponent of multitasking. Now when it comes to getting the dishwasher going while the dryer is drying a load of laundry and the Roomba is vacuuming the den, that is perfectly find. I promote any use of technology that saves you time and money! However, when it comes to focused, effective use of your own brainpower, multitasking is a scam. Several studies have come out to show that multitasking is much less effective than once thought. Law school really brought this one into reality for me. I found that 30 minutes in a quiet room would allow me to really focus on the material or task at hand and really allowed me to comprehend things and make decisions quicker.

The #1 system or process I use to promote productivity is time blocking. Again, studies have shown that transitioning between tasks or ideas, bogs down the mind and creating downtime and wasted minutes in moving from one thing to the other. I schedule 1-2 hour time blocks that I devote to specific topics. Unfortunately, emergencies or interruptions may occur. This is normal, but time blocking allows you to get back on task quickly with limited time wasted.

My favorite new piece of new technology for productivity is audio typing. As you read this, you may be one of the individuals that have been doing this for years, but I just happened upon this a few months ago. The basic premise is that you speak much faster than you type. So, if you are in a business or occupation that requires a lot of document preparation (Lawyer, bloggers, writer, etc.) you can actually audio type almost three times faster than regular typing. Most smart phones and current computers have the technology already built in. You probably don’t need any additional microphone or other device to start audio typing today. Several authors shared that audio typing has allowed them to write books in weeks.

These are just three things I do to make the most of my workday.Small Business Strategies

Legal Practice Update

I’m really excited to report that Liberty-Ellington Law and Mediation is going better than expected. As many of you know I was a little concerned with opening a practice in a small town because all of my previous businesses were started in large to super large cities. (Albuquerque, Denver, Dallas). Liberty-Ellington Law and Mediation-Reception Area

But I did not let this deter me, because I really wanted to establish my practice close to home with minimal commute. My building has been such a blessing. We are located in downtown Russellville, AR at 100 Denver. We are right next door to Fat Daddy’s BBQ and part of a great downtown community. Downtown Russellville is a great organization that is helping to revive the old, downtown feel with monthly activities such as the recent Fall Festival. As a downtown business, we are blessed to have the opportunity to participate and help the community as well. IMG_1776[1]

We have a great community and wonderful clients. I spend about half my time working with various legal clients on business, landlord/tenent issues, and family law. Our community has approximately 30 attorneys, and everyone has been gracious and welcoming.

I offer unbundled services, which I think has been a great factor in our success this first few months. The rest of my time is spent working with businesses and owners to promote good business and prevent legal issues from arising.

I am really excited that business is going well, and I can’t wait to see what 2018 has to offer!

 

Are you Ready for Some Football?

Shout out to all the female participants in Women’s football! WFA championship

This weekend is the Women’s Football Alliance Championship Weekend. July 21-22, 2017 the WFA is having their 2017 Division I, II, and III final showdown in Pennsylvania.

To those that don’t know, women’s football has been in existence for well over 40 years. Today, women’s football is still run with a grass roots approach. Teams work in their local area to promote the sport and gain local sponsorship. If you can’t make it to the Championship, be sure to check out a game. With over 50 teams throughout the U.S., there is bound to be a team in your area!

How to Make the Most of Your Workday?

time

I thought I would take the time to answer a question I was asked earlier in the week. I’m guessing that most business owners would have their own way of answering this.

Throughout the years, I have incorporated different methods and strategies to try and get more out of my workday. As a long-time business owner and parent, it has always been essential to make the most of every workday to maintain a high level of productivity. With multiple responsibilities (personal and business related) it is imperative to come up with your own strategies to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to productive workday time!

The best tip I have -that took me a long time to learn- is to STOP multitasking. As a parent, I was a huger proponent of multitasking. Now when it comes to getting the dishwasher going while the dryer is drying a load of laundry and the Roomba is vacuuming the den, that is perfectly find. I promote any use of technology that saves you time and money! However, when it comes to focused, effective use of your own brainpower, multitasking is a scam. Several studies have come out to show that multitasking is much less effective than once thought. Law school really brought this one into reality for me. I found that 30 minutes in a quiet room would allow me to really focus on the material or task at hand and really allowed me to comprehend things and make decisions quicker.

The #1 system or process I use to promote productivity is time blocking. Again, studies have shown that transitioning between tasks or ideas, bogs down the mind and creating downtime and wasted minutes in moving from one thing to the other. I schedule 1-2 hour time blocks that I devote to specific topics. Unfortunately, emergencies or interruptions may occur. This is normal, but time blocking allows you to get back on task quickly with limited time wasted.

My favorite new piece of new technology for productivity is audio typing. As you read this, you may be one of the individuals that have been doing this for years, but I just happened upon this a few months ago. The basic premise is that you speak much faster than you type. So, if you are in a business or occupation that requires a lot of document preparation (Lawyer, bloggers, writer, etc.) you can actually audio type almost three times faster than regular typing. Most smart phones and current computers have the technology already built in. You probably don’t need any additional microphone or other device to start audio typing today. Several authors shared that audio typing has allowed them to write books in weeks.

These are just three things I do to make the most of my workday.

Hard-selling is Hurting Your Business

 

As I was finishing up social media and closing for the day, I took a moment to check my e-mail. A well-known business consultant was posting a plea for people to STOP Hard-selling.                                       salesman

Hard-selling happens to be one of my pet-peeves. I was sure that I had written about it before because I despise it so much. After looking, I had never written anything about hard-selling-what it is, why not to, what a better alternative is.

We all have fallen victim to hard-selling tactics. The picture that usually comes to mind is a used car salesman (please note, I have a couple great friends that are used car sales persons, that don’t do this), another may be a store at the mall that wants you to come inside ad try a product. Another example, if you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, is the salespeople that ask if you are going to be staying for another night. They offer you a FREE night at a super, deluxe villa. It’s their sales ploy to get you in their building and sell you something.

It’s somewhat harassing and embarrassing for the person being sold to. I can’t imagine how it feels to depend on this approach to sell your product or service.

I won’t get too much into the psychology of it, but this approach is usually used by individuals promoting a product or services they don’t necessarily believe in or understand.

As a business owner, it is your number one job to know your product, know how it benefits others, and believe in your product. Years ago, there were telephone solicitors that would call up and ask you to change telephone service providers from AT&T to MCI to Sprint. (If you remember MCI, I’m pretty impressed). The salesperson would tout all the savings and added benefits and people would switch service providers. Stockbrokers would cold call people out of the phonebook- and people would buy!

People actually sent $5000 or $10,000 to a stockbroker to buy stock in XYZ as a result of one call from a stranger.

hello friendTimes have changed, folks. Not only have people been scammed, they are less trustworthy, and they are smarter. A great business man told me recently, it’s not that so many businesses are bad, they are failing because so many businesses are good.

For generations, businesses could continue to run even with bad customer service, poor products, and shoddy work. Today, people are smarter and more businesses are better at what they do that in the past. The market is more competitive, so you can’t simply cold call and make a sale. You must show someone who you are, why they need your product, and why they should buy from you.

As people get smarter, they can see through the sales-y pitch you are feeding them. People do not want to be sold. They don’t want to waste their time or money. If they get the impression that you have sold them or want to sell them something they don’t feel a need for now. They are not going to buy.

That doesn’t mean that they won’t need it later. But if you waste that opportunity by trying to sell them when they aren’t interested, they will never want to buy from you even if they do find a need for it in the future. So, slow down on the hard sale, and give people time to decide if they want your product, if it has value to them, and if they want to buy it from you!

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion: A Great Tool for Small Business Owners

How can a single word cause such great confusion? When it comes to taxes, most of us start in a state of confusion, so each word simply adds to the chaos. When it comes to estate planning, the difference between annual gift tax exclusions and lifetime gift tax exemptions, tends to be one of the most common causes of  confusion!

The new estate and gift tax exemption for 2017 is $5.49 million per individual ($10.98 million for a married couple. This means that a couple can leave an estate to their heirs of up to $10.98 million protected from taxes. Gifts throughout the years can be counted against the total overall exemption.

The 2017 changes to the estate and gift tax exemption from $5.45 million to $5.49 million matter more to the wealthy who want to keep their money from hitting the threshold and being subject to the 40% tax.

Most small business owners don’t come close to worrying about such a large estate. However, the $14,000 annual gift exclusion may be of more interest to you!

An individual can give away $14,000 to any number of individuals he or she wants each year and the money is not taxed. For example, if you and your wife have four children, you each can give $14,000 (total of $28,000, in 2017) to each of the children that year (for a grand total of $112,000 that year). Not only is there no tax on these gifts, but the annually excluded amounts do not count toward the lifetime gift exemption.

You can give a series of gifts throughout the year for an allowance or buy a $14,000 car for your son. It doesn’t matter!

Other excluded gifts that are not taxable include tuition or medical expenses you pay for someone, gifts to your spouse, and gifts to a political organization. (www.irs.gov).

For the small business owner, this concept can result in a win-win-win! Yes, three wins! Ultimately the gift results in lower taxable income, resulting in the recipient enjoying more of the funds available because they weren’t taxed, and you probably were going to help foot the bill for their expenses anyway!

Please see full details at www.irs.gov. Please note that this article is for informational purposes only, please contact your attorney or tax professional for details that pertain to your specific situation.

 

Why I love Super Small Business and Law?

lyngradHey ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for taking the time to visit our (my) website and blog. I say our because there are many individuals, who, without them I would not be able to do what I do. Although I’m the person you will talk to, work with, and share your story, I have a team of people that I work with that help me accomplish all I can.

I started in small business over 20 years ago. As a child I wanted to be a business owner and a lawyer. Both of my grandfathers were business owners. The idea behind small business was that it didn’t matter where you came from. If you worked hard, you could be and do anything you wanted.

To make a long story short, I started my first official business at 19 or 20. I had customers waiting before I even had a business license. I wanted to be a lawyer to fight for all the people that couldn’t get child support (but that’s a own other story).

 

Fast forward several years, I went on to get my bachelor’s degree. For some reason I was terrified to take the LSAT (the Law School entrance exam). I went on to get my MBA. Not only because I enjoyed learning about business, but as a way to avoid taking the LSAT.

In those days, you couldn’t go to law school part-time, so I looked at my first businesses as a way to provide income for me (and my kids) while I went to law school. Over then next several years, I remarried and moved to different locations due to my husband’s job, all-the-while not having to take the dreaded LSAT.

Over the years I had connected with many business owners, networking, mentoring and consulting on various business ideas and concepts.

Throughout my years of working with other business owners, there was a common theme of the unknown. Some started their businesses by accident. Others had no other choice. Many business owners were unaware of federal and state laws that required them to do things in a particular way.

While we were living in Texas, I signed up and took the LSAT, twice. I wanted to make sure my score was one that I would have a great chance of getting in. Next, we moved again!

After relocating to Arkansas, I was determined to apply to the nearest law school (85 miles away). I gave away or sold my businesses to others to devote all my time to law school.

There are so many things that affect small business owners in a different way. Divorce can impact a business value, Death can impact a succession planning and business longevity. And failure to follow the rules and laws in place can open a business to liability that can financially devastate and ruin an organization.

Don’t get me wrong, when someone calls that is not a business owner, I am willing to help them as well. However, many topics must be approached differently when you are a business owner. Sometimes the rules are different as in, wills and trusts, or taxes. Other times, you have more riding on the decisions you make. What may seem like a simple, honest mistake, for example, lack of an employee manual, or failing to provide a piece of safety equipment, can and has resulted in bankrupting a business.