Small Business

How Minimum Wage Effects All Lives

Corporate CEOs Can Do Without Their Third Yacht and Mansion and Pay A Livable Minimum Wage

Not a day goes by that I hear something about minimum wage laws. Some lawmakers think it would be a good idea for low-income employees to have a livable wage. Some think increasing the minimum wage is not a good idea for the companies that have to pay. I feel differently.

When you do not make a livable minimum wage, life without money is almost impossible

Because of the constant arguing around the topic, I think many Americans are confused. They can’t understand why politicians would not want employees to make a livable wage with a higher minimum wage.

I will try to explain here why it is important for all of us to engage in the conversation around getting all Americans to enjoy a livable wage. By implementing a fair minimum wage this can happen, and how it affects personal finances and the economy.

Why Most States Minimum Wage is Not a Livable Wage

I personally do not feel that most minimum wage salaries are a livable wage, regardless of the area of the country you live in, and therefore it should be increased. My argument is outlined here.

The conversation around getting all Americans to enjoy a livable wage starts here

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the minimum wage is normally controlled by laws of the individual states. There is also a federal minimum wage law. In states where the federal minimum is higher than the state minimum, the federal wage is used.

If the state wage is higher than the federal, the state minimum is used. There are several states that base their minimum wage on the consumer price index. Those states are, AZ, CO, FL, MO, MT, NV, OH, OR, VT, and WA.

They usually adjust their minimums every January.   There are some states that don’t have a minimum, those are AL, LA, MS, SC, and TN.

Washington D.C. has the highest minimum at $15.00 an hour as of July 5, 2020. California is next with $14.00 an hour. The lowest are Alabama ($7.25 federal, no state minimum), Alaska ($10.00), Arizona ($12.00), and Arkansas ($10.00).

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The average appears to be around $9.50 per hour in the U.S.  If the minimum wage kept up with 1963 rates, the wage would be $23 per hour. Employees are only asking for between $9 to $15 an hour.

A recent highly publicized report stated that just eight men in the United States own more wealth than half the population. This was not the case or even close forty years ago.

At Least One State in The United States Has No Minimum Wage, and That is Sad

But, as corporations figure out how to keep more of the company earnings, employees are getting paid less and less over the years. Investors are getting paid more.


There are the obvious disadvantages to earning the minimum wage or below, the first being; you will not have enough to rent a decent apartment or home. Some states make up for this with apartments they call “the projects” in the cities, or subsidized affordable rental apartments in the suburbs.

In “the projects’ apartment rent is based on income, so if your wages are low, your rent is low. The problem with this is the quality of tenant that good people are forced to surround themselves with is low.  and repairs often go undone.

Why a livable wage that includes a minimum wage too low hurts everyone.

One example of complexes that are considered “the projects” are in my city.

I have had the opportunity to speak to a few people who lived in one of these apartment complexes and they told me it is miserable.

Even with low rent, these low wage earners are usually not left with enough money to purchase or run a car or save for emergencies. Life becomes one painful emergency after another.

The next disadvantage five minimum wage workers I spoke to in my city told me is that, in order to have a semblance of a normal life they have to work two jobs.

This means their kids are left alone frequently, they are usually over-tired driving home from their second job — a road hazard, and they have little or no time to take care of their personal affairs or that of their children.

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Reporter Shaila Dewan, wrote in the New York Times, “Rent is Rising Out of Reach For The Middle Class”.  My question is if rent is too high for the middle class, where does that leave the lower middle class or the low-wage worker?

What type of future does this group of workers have, if rent continues to climb,  and low-income apartments continue to be torn down for high rise, high-income buildings; like we see in most cities around the United States?

Many of the major cities are so expensive that in order to live there you have to find a dwelling similar to a third world country. With lots of people living with you, and the building is usually in disrepair. A few years ago, a city near me had several articles in our local newspaper about a gentrification issue.

They wanted to tear down low-income “projects” near a fancy new shopping center — problem was, there were 1200 people living there and they could not figure out where to put them.

Lucky for them, the economy collapsed, and discussion was halted, at least for a few years.

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Now, the economy has improved, so I suspect the discussion is quietly taking place somewhere behind closed doors to tear down the low-income apartments and replace them with high-income dwellings.

There has been a huge apartment building boom in our 7 sister cities area. A small percentage of the apartments are set aside for low-income dwellers, so this may be a partial answer to their relocation problem. These are called “affordable income subsidies”.

The drawback to depending on low-income apartment rent is that they are limited compared to the number of renters who need them. You usually have to get on a waiting list for an available apartment – as long as a few years.

According to Zillow, the rents for middle-income wage earners are running from 35% of income in (Hattiesburg, Mississippi) to 47% of income in Los Angeles, California.

A major disadvantage of a minimum wage job is that you can’t afford an apartment in most areas of the country. Since low-income apartments are very limited (as mentioned before), and can take a few years to land at the top of a rental list.

Even when the average low wage earner does get a low-income apartment — then the issue becomes food, utilities, healthcare, transportation, and emergencies.

If the average low wage income is $15,000 per year (an average usually quoted by media sources), and you have a family of 3, your monthly take-home could be a little as $900.

Most rents are at least $1000 per month for a 2 bedroom home in an average priced city. That means you are behind before you pay rent. It will take some work to find affordable housing, and pay all other living costs.

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Low-income communities have a lower tax base for their school system,  mostly because the school system’s funding is based on local tax dollars.

So, lower-income communities suffer low taxes and low funding for schools. This means they have fewer resources than middle income or rich school districts.

The end result is that students often get a poor quality of education. This may be one of the reasons they have a higher high school dropout rate. In some communities, there is an increased crime rate since high school dropouts find it difficult to get jobs.

Another disadvantage, which seems to go unnoticed by professionals, is an ongoing depression in poor communities. It is the result of trying to live within the confines of a miserably low wage job while working long hard hours.

Many in poor communities are forced to work two jobs in order to live within their miserable low wages, this also adds significantly to depression.

Some major cities have affordable mass transit, others don’t. So, minimum wage workers are forced to purchase and maintain a car which makes life even more difficult than it would be with mass transit.


What are the solutions?   Some politicians are in favor of new laws that would increase the minimums, others are not.

I encourage you to Google, your congressman, and senator — encourage them to vote to increase the minimum wage.

People who make a fair livable minimum wage can afford to pay rent on an apartment or small home. They can shop for necessities and food, and spend more time with their kids by avoiding the 3 job day.

Schools will have more taxable money for better schools, and higher-performing students.

Because people have more money to take care of their needs, crime will be reduced in their immediate community and those around them.

So, as you can see a livable minimum wage benefits communities the employees live in, adjacent communities, and the economy.


Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

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Small Business Startup Tips

You can obtain a small business by taking it over from a family member or purchasing an existing business, or by creating a first time startup business.
But, in order to be successful, you must have some beginning small business startup tips. 

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The first time startup business is one you startup completely from scratch, no clients, no office space, no employees, no funding. But, you have enough education and experience in the field that makes you feel as though you could pull off a successful business venture in the next 3-5 years.

It takes at least that much time for a small business to grow to a decent amount of profitability. I have compiled a list of small business tips for you to get started. 

With a brand new business, you are starting up everything for the first time in order for the business to get up and running. The totally new business is by far the most rewarding, but also the most risky of business ventures.

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The failure rate of new start up business is very high, because most people don’t know the 500 small business startup tips you should know before starting.

They go into business with a hope and a prayer instead of;  1) Knowledge of the field, 2) Knowledge of running a business, including, city, state, and federal regulations, 3) Extensive experience working in the field 4)Business accounting principles 5) Plenty of money to last before you are profitable 6) Have the ability to deal only with facts 

If you are diligent and take things slowly it could work out. But you must be patient, and willing to work concentrated long hours to get started.

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Also included in a new startup venture are these small business startup tips:

Obtaining A Mentor

1. Talk to many, many people who are already in the field to get the big picture. Ask them to be completely honest when they answer your questions. Tell them you need to know all of the good and bad about the business. If you don’t know anyone in the field you may not be ready

Get the Experience First

2. Preferably, you should have worked in the field for a few years to see if it is a viable business. Your experience in your chosen field should be deep and through, no guessing games.

The amount of time and money that goes into a small business is too demanding to be a guess game. If you fail the recovery could take years, if not decades. 

Research is Essential

3. Do research, lots of research about the field. Find out if regulatory agencies are getting a lot of complaints about the type of business you are considering.

There is research everywhere now. You can do small business research at the small business website or sba.gov. Go to your trade association or professional website. 

Money quotes by Lois Center- Shabazz and

Know Quality Financing

4. Be careful about financing, if you can’t get a bank loan for the business that may be a hint that you are high risk, and may have a high rate of failure. There are many predatory places of financing.

Most of these offer high-interest loans or balloon payment loans. It is best to wait until you raise your credit score, save substantial down payment, and have a high grasp of business techniques. 

Venture Capital Funding

5. Consider venture capital funding for the business. This is very difficult, but possible. You should have a mentor who can guide you through the process. There is a complicated web of business plans and contacts within the industry that you need to access.

Non-Profit Venture

6. Consider starting out as a non-profit venture and getting a grant to run your business. Be careful, you could be jailed if you can’t account for every single penny of the money within your business.

Running a non-profit also includes first getting a 5013C. Hiring a grant writer to write grants for your non-profit business is a good idea. Writing a grant takes skill and experience. 

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The Right Accountant

7. You must have a close relationship with a good CPA (Accountant), and a good bank, and a good business attorney. Your knowledge of small business accounting should be through, so you can choose a competant accountant. The wrong or missing accounting could damage your business for life. 

Understand Leases

8. You must understand the different types of business leases there are, and that you could loose all of your personal property (home etc.), if you default on a business lease. Research the types of leases, they are: 1) Net, 2) Net, Net, 3) Net, Net, Net.

Many people sign Net-Net-Net leases with a 5 or 10 year commitment without knowing what it means. Business leases is an area that causes many small businesses to fail, understanding a lease is complicated. 

Obtain a good real estate attorney to advise you on the different types of leases and negotiate one you can afford as a new business. You may consider starting with a month-to-month lease if you are using your own money, instead of bank financing, and you don’t have to do leasehold improvements.

Your Bank Loan Tied to Your Lease

If you have a 5 or 10 year loan, or if you expensive leasehold improvements and you are on a month to month rental. You could be asked to leave any time.

The best way to start a small business is from home if that is
possible. Running a business from home also posses many risk.

There are also leases on business equipment. These are especially tricky, no all the ins and outs before you consider one. 

I have signed two 5-year leases with a previous business I owned, I feel this makes me fairly competant to discuss business leases.

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Small business startup tips

5 Reasons Great Small Business Records are Essential

5 reasons great small business records are important

Small businesses are often times under staffed and the owners are over worked. But that is no excuse for maintaining poor small business records. Some small businesses don’t understand the “records” part of their business to the point where written records are almost non-existent.

Not keeping detailed small business records or no records at all can cause serious problems for your business and the agencies that regulate your business. For some, record keeping is just one of those task they don’t want to deal with, others complain they don’t have the time.

No matter what your reason for poor small business record keeping, the reasons for good records are immense; they range from not missing important tax deductions to preparing financial statements.

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Here are 5 major reasons for keeping detailed small business records:

1. Maintain business ethics and stay honest with the IRS and other regulatory agencies, as well as your own peace of mind
2. Support items reported on tax returns
3. Monitor Your Small Business Progress for Profits
4. Understand Your Net Profit Subject to Tax
5. Prepare your financial statements

  • Maintain Business Ethics and Regulations

It depends on the industry your business is aligned with that determines which agencies regulate your business. But, no matter what agencies regulate your business, good records will keep you prepared if you are questioned. Honesty is an absolute must, to maintain the integrity or your business product and service, and keep your doors open. Staying honest will avoid having to worry about being caught for dishonesty later, effectively maintaining business peace of mind.

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  • Identify Your Source of Receipts To Support IRS Deductions

When the IRS scrutinizes your business the first thing they want to see are authentic and honest receipts. Keep them to keep your business honest. All receipts must be original and not tampered with. Keep your receipts organized and safely stored. The last thing you want is for the IRS to be forced to guess your actual costs due to poor record keeping and no proof of costs. To facilitate your tax preparation and reporting, as well as your responses to potential IRS inquiries, it is beneficial to record and store your documentation of any transactions between related parties. An example of transactions between related parties, i.e., a corporation and its sole shareholder, may be subject to special scrutiny.

For great small business records you must know your finances like the back of your hand

  • Make a Profit and Monitor Your Small Business Progress

You need to know how much you are spending on your business to keep it running efficiently. Understand your break even point to arrive at a profit. For example: “How much do I need to spend to create and sell my product or service?” Always keep good records of all of the costs of taking your product or service to market. You can avoid having a business that loses money each time you sell a product or service without knowing it. A sure road to small business failure is not knowing the exact cost of every item of your business.

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  • Calculate Your Lowest Net Profit Subject to Tax

You cannot deduct expenses that you approximate or estimate. You must be able to prove (substantiate) your business expenses with timely and accurate records to support the amounts deducted to compute your net profit. Burden of proof is on you, if you are ever audited. The proof is in accurate and honest receipts, expenses and your
small business records

Borrow Money From a Banking Institution or Other Commercial Lender

Potential lenders are going to check your credit and analyze projections to repay a business loan. All business assets, sales and receipts will be verified. Business relationships are sometimes subjected to scrutiny. Keep personal finances separate from small business finances, to avoid confusing regulatory agencies and prompt an audit, or prevent your ability to get small business bank funding. Understand the difference between your business and personal affairs by maintaining seperate accounts for each.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here

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7 Small Business Ideas That May Mean Your Ready For Business

Your Small Business Ideas

Small business ideas that mean your ready for business

Whether or not you are successful in business appears to be closely correlated with your type of business. The U.S. Census Business Dynamics database plotted a five-year survival rate of several industries since 2005.

The research showed the success of rates of industries from construction to mining with a success rate between 36% to 51%.

Then there are those who operate businesses that do not make a substantial profit. They are working long hours and spending most of the money that comes into the business on overhead; rent, supplies, salaries, advertising and marketing.

These people did not do their homework to find out the demand and cost of the business. For some of these people demand is low, and the cost is too high; but some just don’t know how to find their interested market.

Small Business Ideas

Here are some questions you can ask yourself before you think about starting a business, you will also get several small business ideas and tips.

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If you have worked in every department of a small business as an employee and understand how every single department works, then you may possess this one very important factor for success in your own small business.

If you have managed to master the skill of managing money, from small to large amounts, you posses a skill that will help you manage a business.

If you have worked in an industry long enough to understand what works in that industry to make profits and what does not, then you have acquired another skill that makes a small businessperson successful.

If you understand the team concept, and that you will have more success working with a team of people than alone – this is yet another skill you possess.

If you have ever done an analysis of business services or products needed in your area or on the internet, you possess a crucial ingredient for business success. Many businesses start up and fail because the market has been saturated with the product or service they sell or they don’t understand how to bring this market into their business.

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Both starting your own business and buying a business carry risk. In starting your own small business you need to have the qualities above and understand small business in general. The main issue is that it takes awhile to build a small business. You have to find customers and build the customer base. The hours are long and concentrated.

When it comes to buying a business, you have to understand how to evaluate the business. If it is a franchise-this is a type of leased business; questions to ask, Is it profitable? –the costs are extremely high with franchises. If it is a privately owned business, do I have an attorney and accountant that can do “do diligence” on the business, they must engage the following small business ideas to facts;

  1. Properly priced,
  2. There are no liens or encumbrances,
  3. There are no pending lawsuits against the business.
  4. There are no disagreements with prior business partners

When you buy a business, you need to spend money on a forensic accountant to determine if the business has produced what they are claiming. It is wise to spend money on an investigator and attorney to find out if the business is clear of any wrongdoing. If you don’t have the funds for this, or don’t feel it is necessary, you could end up with a worthless business, it has happened to many before you.


One of the most difficult concepts for beginners in business to understand is cost. Some businesses have cost of 90% of business income and some have cost of 50% of business income. No matter what your business, you will have overhead cost. Businesses go bankrupt all of the time. One major reason is that the cost becomes more than the business income.

The following costs are important to understand before you buy or start a small business. These small business ideas should be thoroughly researched before you start thinking about business.

  1.  The rent or lease cost and terms of both.
  2.  The cost of equipment for the business.
  3.  The cost of supplies used and ordered for the business.
  4.  The cost of producing the product or service, (materials, time, labor).
  5.  The cost of the employees: average salaries, employee taxes, employee benefits
  6.  Independent contractors cost

The cost of insurances for the business (product liability, injury liability on premises, workman’s comp, health, malpractice insurance etc.)


Has the market been consumed with small businesses of your same type?

If you are starting a new business, have you tested the need for your product by starting to sell it and building customers at a flea market, out of your home, or small office. If you increase your sells over time and get repeat customers and a growing customer base, this is one sign the product is in demand.

Have you tested different price points with your business product to see what sells the most, and you still get a profit of at least 20%. This is low, but at least it is a profit.

Purchasing a business works best when you have worked in that business, You have the opportunity to see the need, you see the profitability, and you understand the product.

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Advertising is very expensive. Marketing is very difficult, and can be expensive. Marketing tends to be more
effective than advertising because if done right it is more believable.

Studying advertising and marketing effectiveness is crucial. You can spend too much if you are not educated about both. The marketing of your small business ideas are more cost effective than advertising.


THE CUSTOMER IS KING, has been, and will always be the most important phrase you will ever hear.

If customers don’t get the product or service they are paying for, they will leave. If your business has little or no customers, it is a hobby. In some cases it is a very expensive hobby.

The next most important people in the business are the employees. Well trained and well appreciated employees are worth their weight in gold. They are a part of the team that will help you to achieve success.

As you can see there is a lot to think about before you think about seriously starting a small business. The research, development and previous experience will help you decide if the rigor of your own small business is something, you can do successfully. The most important person in your business will implement your small business ideas successfully.


Do your research, seek out advice from successful people, put in the hours, and listen when you get advice. Before you start a business you MUST understand budgets. Use the “Course For Fantastic Finances” to get started.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here

Get Your FREE Fantastic Finances Tips Course by eMail

How I Build Fantastic Finances ; Read More…

Don’t forget your free sample copy of “The Ultimate Guide to a Great Money WorkOver

The Unknown Reason We Procrastinate And How To Achieve Business Success

Achieve Business Success and do not Procrastinate

achieve business success

Are you part of the 26% of Americans that say they procrastinate (and those are only the ones that admitted it)? This article will show you research demonstrating that procrastination is a growing problem for all of us.

Most importantly, it will show you how to reduce procrastination and accomplish those goals you have been putting off want to achieve business success you were meant to be.

University of Calgary professor Piers Steel recently published a study in the American Psychological Bulletin on procrastination. The study showed that 26% of Americans now procrastinate, as opposed to only 5% in 1978.

Thus procrastination is growing and shows no sign of slowing. The study also showed that procrastination makes people poorer, fatter and unhappier.

Dr. Steel states that the growth of procrastination is directly related to the growth of distractions available to use. He points to such things as e-mail, the Internet, big screen TVs, cell phones, video games and so on that did not exist in 1978 but are all pervasive now. Dr. Steel feels it is these distractions that keep us from focusing on our goals to the extent we would like.

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When giving one of my seminars I use this tongue in cheek suggestion to determine if you are procrastinating. When the Post-It note you had your to-do list on has fallen off so many times, it no longer sticks, you are procrastinating. But seriously, my guess is you have a good sense of how much you procrastinate and if you need to be more focused on your priority tasks.

As a Motivational Expert, I am unhappy about the loss of productivity in terms of people’s professional and personal lives. So let’s look at some ways to stop procrastinating and get our lives moving again.

Keying off Dr. Steel’s discovery, the number one method to reduce procrastination is to reduce the distractions around you that are not related to your immediate goal. If you are working on a project, having a cell phone near you might be a great way to get needed input.

On the other hand, taking calls not related to your immediate goal, will take you away, instead of toward your goal. Things such as TVs, video games and other such distractions that have no bearing at all on your goal should be removed from the immediate area or off at the least turned off.

Of course having a list of goals and assigning priorities, plus time budgets to them, is a huge help in reducing procrastination. Knowing what you have to do keeps you focused and less apt to stray from the course.

A great way to avoid procrastination is to keep reminding yourself of the payback you will receive from completing your goal. Visualize yourself completing the project and enjoying the reward you will receive once you accomplish it.

Here’s a tip taken from my book Sixty Seconds To Success that may help you get started. “Act as if. That’s right, act as if. Whatever you want, act as if you already have it. If you’re in a bad mood, act as if you’re in a good mood. Go around smiling, hold your head high, sing, and walk proud.

Within minutes, you’ll find yourself in a good mood. Facing a chore you don’t want to do? Act as if you want to do it and start doing it. Within a few minutes, you’ll be enjoying it.

On a longer-term basis, if you want to achieve a goal, act as if you’ve already achieved it and guess what? You’ll achieve it. That’s the key to getting what you want. Act as if you already have it and it will be yours. ”

Many people find “Eating the biggest frog first” is an effective way to get things done without putting them off. Pick the hardest part of something you need to do and do it first. That way the hardest part is out of the way and you will move through the rest of the project without dreading doing the hard part.

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Taking the opposite approach to doing the hardest part first works better for some people. Theresa A. Smith, Business and Life Coach helps her clients get unstuck by first listing the steps they need to take to complete a task and then to pick one small action they can do without getting involved with the whole task.

Now it’s in their control to complete the action and then choose to move to the next small step and so on. When you find yourself procrastinating ask yourself “what’s one small action I can take that will bring me closer to success?”

Still need a reason to get moving. I send out a free daily email of “The One Minute Motivator”, and post a video version of them on youtube.com and recently in one I said, “How long do you have left to live? If you are a man, you can subtract your current age from 73 and women can use 76.

This will give you the number of years you have to live, based on average life spans. I’ll be that number is smaller than you expected and has you a little concerned now. Good, you should be concerned. We only have 86,400 seconds in a day and they are flying by.

Now is the time to ask yourself if you are using those precious seconds as investments for your long-term happiness. Start now to consider what you really want out of life, and what you need to get there. Then start moving, as the clock is ticking.”

So pick one of your high priority, high payback items you have been putting off, and start to work on it right now. Your life will begin to move ahead and you will obtain the satisfaction of knowing you have moved out of the procrastinator zone and into the “doernator” zone. website.

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procrastintate or achieve business success

Watching STAR TREK Can Make You Happy And Successful

Happy and Successful

happy and successful

Interested in being happy and successful in small business, love and life? We can all learn a lesson from an episode of TV’s “Star Trek” that gets in under our radar and teaches us the importance of focusing on the positive.

In one episode of Star Trek the crew lands on a vacation destination planet where they could create any reality they wanted, just by thinking about it.

At first the crew has a great time creating wonderful things, but gradually they become bored and tired and begin to focus on negative things, which creates negative situations for their reality there.

Many of us run our lives the same way, by starting out focusing on the things we want, but then shift our focus shifts to what we don’t want and our lives turns out as badly as the “Star Trek” crew’s in that episode.

So how do you focus on the positive? You need to make a decision to focus on the positive, it doesn’t just happen. As a motivational expert, I stress the importance of having goals to guide your life and “focusing on the positive” should be one of them.

Happy and Successful Budget for Small Business

People attending my seminars are surprised when I tell them to announce to the people they are in contact with that you intend to focus on the positive. My personal experience with this is that the reactions you receive to this will run the gamut from total acceptance to almost outright hostility.

I advise you to not let the reaction of others  affect your own thoughts and behavior. By announcing to the world that you intend to focus on the positive, you reinforce your decision to be positive by putting yourself on notice and encouraging other people to give you feedback on how you are doing regarding being positive.

Scientific research can help you take full advantage of a positive focus to make decisions. Research shows that we tend to become happier as we move through the day. Our mood is generally lowest when we wake then peaks at noon, then declines till four in the afternoon, and then begins to build to its highest point of the day around 10 PM.

So use those peak times to make plans, set goals, tackle hard jobs, etc. Make decisions when you are the most upbeat during the day in order to reduce the negatives in your life from pulling you back.

Happy and Successful Business Retirement Learning

It also helps to realize that you can only control yourself, you can’t control things like the weather, things that other people do or don’t do, mechanical failures and so on. Focusing only on what you can control takes a lot of pressure off you and leads to greater happiness.


Business and Life Coach Theresa A Smith spends time having her clients become very clear about what they want out of life and then helping them focus heavily on pursuing the steps needed to attain the life they want. She finds knowing what you want out of life and then working towards it is the number one step her clients can take that gives them long lasting happiness.


I publish a free daily email of “The One Minute Motivator” and recently in one I said “

Every day we have a choice. We can choose to focus on negative thoughts that leave us feeling insecure, frightened and cynical or we can choose to focus on positive thoughts that empower us and fill us with a sense of optimism about our world and our role in it.


What type of thoughts we choose to focus on, grow stronger, and the other type will grow weaker. Make the choice to focus on the positive, and you will find it gets easier the longer you do it.”


In my book Sixty Seconds To Success, I make a similar point. “Your focus is your future. You get what you focus on. You can focus on the things that will move you and your projects ahead, or you can focus on things that will not.


Focus brings all your power together and enables you to do things in one area that you couldn’t do without it. Picture yourself achieving your goals, and your chances of achieving them go up dramatically. Believe it and you’ll see it.


What you think about on a daily basis is what your future will be like. Tibetan monks believe that if you want to know your future, look at what you’re doing right now. Everything we do now affects what will happen next and determines if we will be happy and successful.

Happy and Successful Budget for Small Business

Our life’s a chain of now’s and all the things we did in those now’s. Now is what counts and now is what will make your future.”

The two worlds are there for each of us to choose which to live in. Choose the world of your dreams and focus on the positive in your life-it’s as close as your next thought- and before long your dream will be your reality, you will be happy and successful.

star trek happy and successful

Singer Prince’ Interview on Personal Finance With Tavis Smiley Was Insightful

Prince interview with Tavis Smiley

Singer Prince Interview With Tavis Smiley

Singer Prince, Tavis Smiley, Personal Finance

Singer Prince and Tavis Smiley on Personal Finance and Business


Singer Prince did an interview with Tavis Smiley. It re-aired a few weeks ago. I was very impressed with his small business acumen, his love of family. He spoke lovingly of his sister  and all the fun they had when they were fun.

Prince spoke about the problems he had with his business partners. It took years to get control of his catalog of songs. and be paid properly.  His complaint was how the business model works against the performer and in favor of the major record labels. But, being the businessman he was he insisted on getting paid what he was due. He persisted with lawsuits and publicity campaigns until finally he won control. I was impressed with his language and his business skills.

He was alert, intelligent, and resourceful financial genius. He had personal finance skills I have not seen in a performer for a long time. I was very impressed with his conversation with Tavis Smiley.



Business Success; How to turn the worst day of the year into the best day of the year.

Business Success

Business success

As for business success, researchers have determined what will be your worst day of the year and here’s how you can make it your happiest and most successful. This goes for business success as well as personal success.

How would you like to feel happy and hopeful on the one day of the year when people are most likely to be depressed? This article will show you how to be motivated and happy on that day, as well as every other day of the year, business success if closely tied to the happiness factor.

A recent study in England showed these results. Cliff Arnall, a Cardiff University psychologist, citing unpaid holiday bills, rotten weather and people’s realization that they likely won’t live up to their New Year’s resolutions, say Jan. 22 is likely to be the unhappiest day of the year.

His equation takes into account six factors: weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and feeling a need to take action. Taken together, they calculate to equal “Blue Monday.” in England.

I suspect these findings hold true for most countries around the world and present us with a real opportunity. As a Motivational Expert, I am more concerned with the loss of upside than I am on the downside of how the average person feels during the year.

The fix to the downside issues are fairly straightforward. Things like staying within spending budgets and setting realistic time schedules for activities certainly are a big step forward.

The issue of failing on New Year’s resolutions gets closer to the underlying issue though. New Year’s resolutions are just another word for goals, and goals can be a two-edged sword.

Goals can move your life ahead and give you real satisfaction, but goals can also be a cause of depression. Poorly chosen or implemented goals can do more harm than good.

One thing I stress in my seminars is that properly set and pursued goals are the key to a happy and successful life. If you know where you want to go and get there, life is good. Life is even good if you know where you want to go but aren’t there yet, but can see progress as you have hope.

Here is a quote from my book Sixty Seconds To Success that speaks to the point. “Here’s something that definitely works: getting definite about your plans. If you lay out what you want to accomplish in specific terms, it has a greater chance of happening than if you just have some vague ideas floating around in your head. Take your vacation, for example.

Chances are pretty good that you ended up when and where you wanted to be on vacation. Chances are also pretty good that you spent some time going over brochures, looking at costs, checking calendars, etc., to get most of the details worked out.

The rest of your life’s no different. Any business or personal plans that you give the same amount of effort to will probably happen. Imagine, you can really have what you want; you just have to plan for it.

It’s true, if you focus on what you want and get specific about how you can make it happen, you’ll probably get it. So if you definitely want to accomplish something, get definite about it.”

So how do we set and attain goals that will make us happy? First, we start by deciding what we want as a goal and only you can do that. Goals given to us by others rarely make us happy.

Invest all the time needed to come up with goals for you personal and professional life, that when attained, will truly make you happy. One of the tragedies of life is that some people become successful and then discover that the success is not what really makes them happy.

Next begin to lay out a plan to attain the goal. What money, activities, and time are required to attain the goal? What skills or experience is needed? Who will do what and when?

Then lay out a system to monitor results. Know when you are on track or off track so you can adjust your plan or activates accordingly.

I publish a free daily email of The One Minute Motivator and also post a video version on youtube.com and recently said this “Make one small change that moves you toward your goal, now.

Small changes lead to big changes, they build your confidence, and they give you feedback you are on the right track. Don’t hold off making a change until you are ready to make that really big change.

An Easy Budget Planner for Successful Folks

That time will never come. Start now and put a series of small changes together and before long, you will be where you want to be, and hardly realize you did it.”

Business and Life Coach Theresa A. Smith says, “Think about goals as the GPS coordinates to your happiness and success. Like the GPS coordinates, your goal coordinates need to be specifically articulated. What specifically do you want to achieve? How will you know you’ve reached the goal? What are your anticipated results? When will you arrive at your destination? I ask clients to clarify their top life values and to align or honor those values within their goals.

A goal that does not honor your values will not get the results you want in the long run. You may find yourself taking a detour and checking out the back roads. Perhaps the new views will help you think about whether the goal you set is really what you want.”

So regardless of what day it is, live it as if it is your last. We can’t choose how or when we will die, but we can choose how and when we will live. Living is a choice; you can be alive, but not ALIVE.

There is no guarantee that things will go exactly like you want them to go if you choose to be ALIVE, but if you decide to take the safe road, you will live an existence of boredom and regret, as opposed to savoring the memory that you decided to live life and did it your way. Try to tie this to your business success.

Related Links:  Residential Real Estate As An Investment

5 Low-Cost Ways to Promote Your Book Online

Promote Your Book Online

5 low cost ways to promote your book online

Congratulations on your book publishing contract.  Using my 5 low-cost ways to promote your book online will help you get started. There are thousands of unpublished writers looking to get signed so you have made a great accomplishment. Take a few moments to enjoy the victory before the real work begins, MARKETING YOUR BOOK. Because many books are now ebooks, it is imperative that you understand how to promote your book online.

Publishing houses are expecting more of their writers to promote, in these times of budget cuts, which means fewer resources and personnel to promote your book. Sales of books are tracked and low book sales of your first book can make it more difficult to get that second book contract. Marketing your book online offers a low-cost and effective way to get your book noticed and sold.

The cost of hosting a Website or blog has come down quite a bit in the last few years. Authors can find decent hosting services for less than $100 a year. There are also free sites that post Websites and  blogs. Paying for hosting services has two key advantages over the free sites. You won’t have to worry about ads on paid sites.

These ads posted by free sites can detract from the content on your site. You can choose the URL of the site as long as someone else hasn’t chosen the name first. With free websites, you may have to deal with a long string of characters making your site hard for readers to find.

#2 SOCIALIZE ONLINE: Create a Facebook page and Twitter account about the book separate from your personal page or account. The Facebook and Twitter accounts can be linked so that when you tweet it appears on Facebook.

Make the book Facebook page all about the book. Look for communities and groups that might be interested in your book and socialize with them. The goal is to build an audience that is interested in your story.

CAUTION: Be careful when promoting your book online. You want to be subtle in this arena or you will offend people.

As it gets closer to your book ‘s publication date make sure you have a way for people to pre-order and order the book. The two most popular online affiliates are Amazon [affiliate-program.amazon.com] and Barnes and Nobles [www.barnesandnobles.com/affiliate].

These affiliate link should be on the homepage of your website and the links to these pages included in all online communications about the book.

Authors can inexpensively video themselves reading from key excerpts from the book and post that online. Readers are curious about the author and posting a video can help establish your brand. An author may be asked to participate in a podcast (basically an online interview). Once the podcast is posted include a link to it on the publishers and author book Website and Facebook pages.

There are blogs and Websites on every possible subject and topic. These sites are often looking for content. Write an article in exchange for a mention of your book. Ask if the site reviews books or does sweepstakes (free book giveaway).

If they do send the designed reviewer an  ARC [advanced reading copy). Set up a  sweepstakes and include the link on your Website. Always ask the site owner if they can recommend any other online contacts that might be interested in your book.

Compiling contacts of related sites and blogs will help the author develop a list that can be used in an e-newsletter campaign. E-newsletters can be created easily in newer versions of Microsoft Word. In addition to information on your book and how to buy it, these e-newsletters should have content related to the book that will appeal to readers. Create a budget for book promotion.

TIP: When communicating with blogs, and Websites make sure you update your email signature to include the name and Web page link of the book.

These 5 low-cost ways to promote your book online, should begin soon after the book is slated for publication. It takes time to build a Website and community. Use online promotion for your titles and you will sell books. An author looking for a long career invests time and resources in promoting their titles independent of what the publisher is doing for the title.

Related Links:  Business Success

Being a Self-Employed Business Means Guarding Your Time

Self-Employed Business
Self-employed business

As a self-employed business consultant and software instructor for the past ten years, I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked “What do you do on the days that you aren’t teaching a class?” For some reason, people have the perception that when I am not teaching, I sit by the pool and drank margaritas all day. Believe me, as nice as that sounds, I could not have built up my business to the steady client base that I have today if I had done that!

Self-discipline is a key trait that self-employed business people share. People who are self-employed business are not “on-the-clock” in the sense that they are punching a time clock as they go to work each day. However, you must maintain regular office hours if you want to be taken seriously. Once you begin working for different clients, getting their work done on time should be your highest priority. Another part of being self-disciplined is being aware of how and where you spend your own time and realizing that nobody is paying you for certain activities.

Two years ago I sold a car. The young woman who bought it was just starting college, and her mom accompanied her to look at the car and help her with the buying process (I would want to do the same for my own daughter). The mother asked me if I would mind submitting the car for a “used car inspection;” meaning would I take it down to the local shop to have it inspected by a mechanic?

I did indeed take the car to a shop to have it inspected. As I expected, there was nothing wrong with my car, and I ended up selling it to the young woman. However, looking back on the situation, I might’ve handled it differently.

How so? Well, first off, nobody paid me for the time it took to take my car and have it inspected. The mother paid for the inspection, but I am talking about my own time. As a self-employed business person, I did not have an hour or two of vacation time that I could mark down on my time sheet so that I could go and take care of that little chore. Although it was an inconvenience for me, ultimately I did it because as a mother, I would want my daughter to have the same reassurance when the day comes that she buys her first used car.

My father has had his own engineering firm since 1973. Growing up, we belonged to a church, and all of the other kid’s fathers would get up early on Saturday morning and mow the church’s yard, and trim the bushes, etc., among other chores. I always wondered why my Dad was not interested in helping out, so one day I asked him. He explained to me that he worked on Saturday mornings, and that he made more money by working in his business, and that he would rather hire an able-bodied teenaged kid to mow the yard in his place.

My Dad’s answer was my first understanding that there is a “highest and best use” of a person’s time, depending on their skill level. In other words, my Dad had a choice between earning a high wage doing engineering work (which not many people can perform) for one of his clients, or working for free mowing the church’s yard.

As another example, let’s look at the same thing when you are cleaning your house. What is the highest and best use of your time? Cleaning the house, or writing an article that nobody else can write (or working on a client project, or doing some marketing work for your business, etc.)? You may want to consider hiring someone to do your house cleaning for you.

When you are self-employed, you need to consider carefully any request that takes time away from your business – whether it be volunteer work for a charity or a non-profit organization, sitting on a church committee or city board, or organizing a community event or fundraiser, babysitting for a fellow mom, whatever!

Cynthia Long, one of the case study chapters in my book – Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career – says that, for her, “One of the hardest things to learn was to limit my outside commitments. When I first started out, I was on City Council. I lost a lot of income by giving up what could’ve been billable hours to the City Council. In hindsight, I don’t think doing civic work and starting a new business are a good mix. You have to choose. Especially when you’re just starting out, you have to spend more time on your business.”

When you are a self-employed business, you must learn to guard your time carefully. Think about what you are trading – your time and income – for whatever it is you are being asked to do. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Your time is valuable. Learn to use it wisely.

Small Business Ideas; The Impact of Politics on the Business Climate in the U.S.

Small Business Ideas

Small business ideas and politics



The United States of America is a unique nation in the world in allowing individuals the freedom and opportunity to start a  business using small business ideas they have collected for years. If done right they can increase their standard of living and overall standing in life. Individual ambition, motivation, and determination, combined with hard work, will lead you to your own rewards in life, but the U.S. provides the place to do it. No other nation on earth guarantees individual rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press for its citizens.

So what’s wrong with our country today? More and more, I am disturbed by what I see on the news. It has been said that there are two types of politicians. Those who are altruistic; who truly fight for what’s in the best interest of the American people and the constituents they represent. Then there are the others.

Our wonderful economic climate and land of opportunity is systematically being ruined by politicians who, once they are elected, do whatever they need to do to please their campaign contributors (businesses) instead of the people whom they are elected to serve. Nancy Pelosi is a perfect example. She granted a special favor by excluding American Samoa from the recent minimum wage hike, because that is the home of StarKist Tuna, one of her biggest campaign contributors. Obviously this exemption benefits StarKist Tuna Corporation, rather than its employees who are individual citizens.

I believe that our elected officials have either forgotten or don’t care that they are elected to serve the public. But politicians rarely do what’s best for the public and the interests of the American people anymore, do they? You may have to go all the way back to the days of Teddy Roosevelt to find a President who truly did what was best for the United States as a country and its citizens.

The United States provides opportunity not only for us, but also for future generations of Americans. Call me naive, but why on earth can’t all politicians do what’s best for “we the people” (as in all the people), rather than just what’s best for their corporate contributors?

What has happened? Many politicians today are just that – politicians – not leaders. They are beholden to their campaign contributors rather than their constituents, and it is destroying this country. I see it in the small businessman who can’t get a SBA loan because the tax money that previously supplied grants or loans isn’t available anymore (because companies have moved their corporate headquarters overseas to avoid paying those taxes). I see many non-profit and governmental entities competing for the same shrinking pool of grant money. It doesn’t matter what your small business ideas are, the political climate makes it difficult to achieve success.

I see the governors in Texas and Illinois trying to sell off their respective state lotteries, assets which were originally funded and built with taxpayer dollars. I see it in New Jersey, where the state is considering selling off the New Jersey Turnpike. Yes, the one made famous in the Simon and Garfunkle song. Other states are also trying to sell off their roads, or have foreign companies collect tolls on new roads so they can keep the profits for themselves. Today (2/21/07) I heard that the cities of Austin, Texas and Chicago, Illinois are trying to sell their city-owned airports (ABIA and Midway, respectively). What will become of us when foreign companies and countries own our assets, infrastructure, and ultimately our land itself?

I see it in NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and other so called “free trade” agreements that have set up the United States for record trade deficits with other nations and disastrous national trade policies. NAFTA alone has caused nearly 1 million jobs to leave this country. Did you know, that through our own tax code, corporations are able to defer and sometimes never pay taxes that are earned on overseas profits? Moreover, some companies are actually subsidized with federal tax dollars as an incentive to move their operations overseas to cheaper markets!

You may be asking exactly what does this have to do with career (what my column is supposed to be about)? In my last two columns, I tackled the issues of starting your own business and also offshoring (the devastating practice of shipping American jobs overseas to markets that have cheaper labor costs). All of these things are related. You can’t create a climate that provides opportunities (economic, career, or otherwise) in a country where the elected “leaders” are not looking out for the people.

Economists were surprised when the American economy did really well in the fourth quarter of 2006. It grew by 3.5%, mainly due to consumer spending and business activity, even in spite of a slight housing slump. But it’s too easy to believe that the good times will go on like they always have.

We have inherited a great legacy in this country. Businesses and nations want to sell their goods and products in the American market, regardless of where they were manufactured. Why? The American middle class and the United States economy have created a unique marketplace. Nothing like it exists anywhere else on the planet for small business ideas. Let’s take care of it, shall we?  Understand the basics every business needs with coaching.