Taxman. Let’s just play the song and enjoy it rather than be in a hurry to file early!

Taxman
Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman
If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
Don’t ask me what I want it for
If you don’t want to pay some more
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me.
Songwriters: George Harrison
Taxman lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
For those of you that own your own business, here’s a quick reminder:
Return​​​​​ ​Due Date
December 2017 (monthly and quarterly)​ January 22, 2018
Annual (calendar year 2017)​ February 5, 2018
January 2018 February 20, 2018
February 2018 March 20, 2018

So, unless you own a business and have to file quarterly, why be in a hurry?  The only reason is if you are entitled to a refund.  And the only reason you would ever have a refund would be if you overpaid and/or didn’t sufficiently prepare to best balance your income and expenses.

It’s interesting that most of us don’t think about what we could do better, smarter, more effectively until April 15th looms.  By that time we have already lost the first quarter of the year.  Plus, it will take you another 45-60 days to fully implement your “this year” strategies.

What should you do today, in mid-January?  Everything that you can!  MileIQ, Hours Tracker and Quick Books “Self-Employed” (if you are) for your smartphone.  Every receipt should go somewhere other than your console, wallet/purse or the trash.  Good habits only take 21 days to become ingrained in us according to the often cited studies of Dr. Maxwell Maltz (A plastic surgeon in the 50s, the good doctor found a pattern that it took an average of 21 days for patients to fully accept their cosmetic changes. Seriously, that’s where the 21 days originated.)

The fact is that it takes longer than that to develop good habits.  So, now, in January is the time to get to busy so you can benefit from your work most of the year.

Oh, and toward the end of this year….let’s say September…would be a great time to take stock in the present and develop some sound strategies and tactics for 2019!  It’ll be here before you know it and you’ll be fully prepared to make it your best!

What do you think?

 

 

bj

Cold Enough For Ya? (And other silly things people say)

Call them “ice breakers”. Call them filler for an uncomfortable silence.  Call them silly….OK, call them stupid.

From Facebook-

He:  “What does BRB mean?”

She:  “Be Right Back”

He:  “OK, I’ll wait”

Patron to the bartender-

“I can’t taste the vodka in this drink..”

(Bartender) “Well, maybe you’re an alcoholic.  No bartender pours less than an ounce an a half of alcohol in a drink.  So, you might want to order a double next time.”

Kim Kardashian-

“I have this, like, sixth sense where I can smell if someone has a cavity.”

 So, I suppose that there’s something to be said for the proverbial adage “Silence is Golden.” 

Whether it’s leading a team, interviewing for a job or in negotiating a deal, Silence is POWER.

Credit: Dr. Alex Lickerman article “The Effective Use of Silence” in Psychology Today (December 11, 2009)

With the caveat that power can always be abused, the effective use of silence can bestow many gifts, chief among them:

  1. The ability to listen effectively. Few do it well. Most of us engage in listening only as a way of waiting until it’s our turn to speak. If you can’t resist thinking about what you want to say when listening, focus instead specifically on being silent. You’ll be surprised how much your ability to concentrate will improve. And if you can stop focusing on what you want to say when listening (don’t worry; it won’t go anywhere you can’t find it) and instead concentrate entirely on what’s being said to you, then silence won’t just bring you a new skill; it will bring you new knowledge. Remember that listening is far more powerful than speaking. You learn nothing by saying something (which by definition you already know). Besides, how often are we really able to influence another’s behavior or beliefs by what we say?
  2. A clear view into the hearts of others. Silence gets you out of the way and creates a space others will fill in with themselves. A person’s personality becomes apparent in mere hours to days. Assessing a person’s character, on the other hand, takes months to years. But people remain themselves at every moment. An offhand comment made when you first meet someone may, in retrospect, be obviously representative of a large character defect (or virtue). If you employ silence to listen carefully to not only what people say but how they say it, you’ll find they’ll give themselves away to you constantly and enable you to understand their character far sooner than you would be able to otherwise. Having had years of practice interacting with and observing nuances in our fellow human beings’ expression and tone has made our intuition far more accurate than we often believe. It only requires your silence to give full play to its power.
  3. Attractiveness. People want more than anything to be heard and understood and will find anyone who provides them that feeling powerfully charismatic.
  4. Self-control. Think how much more in control you’d not only appear but actually be if your first response upon hearing or seeing something that sparks a strong reaction in you wasn’t to lash out emotionally but instead to become–silent. Silence is a terrific substitute for self-control, not only creating its appearance, but over time and with practice its substance as well.
  5. Wisdom. When facing a new challenge, making silence your first response gives you a chance to reflect before you speak, increasing the likelihood that what you say and do will be on target, intelligent, and useful. Further, silent reflection promotes the appropriate use of what we call in medicine a “tincture of time.” If you resist the urge to leap into action at the first moment a problem arises, the problem often fixes itself. In medicine, as in life, sometimes the wisest action is none at all.

Prior to that conversation during my residency, I’d only thought about silence as something to be enjoyed in solitude and avoided in the presence of others. Now I think about it as a tool I can use to make myself more effective at my job and more understanding of others, and thereby more compassionate, wiser, and happier. Just think how the world would be different if we all spent more time listening. At the very least, it would be a whole lot quieter.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to explore Dr. Lickerman’s home page, Happiness in this World.

 

bj

I Like Ike (look it up)

The 34th President of the United States was also a decorated military General. Dwight D. Eisenhower was known for having quite the way with words. He is often quoted and one that always comes to my mind is “In preparing for battle, I’ve always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”.  

Truth was spoken.  A “plan” or a strategy is nothing more than a map in your hand.  Worthless unless you’re doing something with it.

“Planning”, on the other hand, requires thought and dedication to take action with those strategies.  If you’re planning, you’re part of the process and you have buy-in from the start.  Everyone knows the goals, the strategies used and the tactics implemented to carry out the actions needed for success.

Think about your business and your daily life.  Do you have a plan?  Great, but how is it being carried out?  Who’s in charge of what aspect and how will everyone know when the goal has been achieved?

Strategic Planning is one of our core competencies.  Call us at (352) 800-4407 and let’s talk about your plan.  Then let’s talk about how we can make things happen through professional and structured planning.

Oh, and you may wonder what made me think of “Ike” today.  Oddly enough, I was looking for a new “To-Do” app for my Android device.  I’ve used a few but frankly found them overly complex when they didn’t have to be (I suppose they’re doing what they can to justify the couple of bucks you’ll pay for a “Pro” version).  I found one called “IKE”.  I downloaded it, found it to be basic…simple…not over-baked and liked it.  I was a high-roller and ponied up the $1.99 for “Pro”.  As I went back to leave them a well-deserved review I read the product info.

You see, General Eisenhower used a simple priority matrix in order get his “to-do’s” done.  Well, it was actually author and motivator Steven Covey that called the Eisenhower method a “matrix” in his “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.  Prioritizing tasks from the start is the foundation of “IKE”.  I like Ike.  You might like it, too.

bj

 

 

Welcome to 2018 and Venomous Consulting, LLC

“How did that happen?”

We’ve all heard that line before.  We’ve all said it, too!  Whether it’s another birthday, a new year or kids suddenly leaving the nest, tempus fugit.  And, as time passes, it is prudent to take inventory of where we’ve been and use that knowledge to guide us through our future.

At Venomous Consulting, LLC we’ve seen countless examples of frustrated and anxious business owners and managers sitting around the table in December attempting to establish goals for the coming year.  The problems are:

  1.  They have sales data on which to reflect and examine the past 12 months, but they have no idea of WHY business was up or down.  What were the roadblocks or catalysts to the prior year’s productivity?
  2. They don’t know if their greatest issues are internal, external or a combination of both. You certainly don’t want to “fix” the wrong problem.
  3. How can they realistically create attainable goals for the next year without all of the information?  They can’t.  But, this happens more often than not and sets everyone on the team (and ownership or shareholders) up for failure.  Imagine planning for failure!

Rather than depending on the Magic 8 Ball or gut, the responsible and sensible approach is to truly take that inventory of where you’ve been, how you got there and what elements where in play along the way.  Only when you are armed with this critical information can you create a defined and attainable set of goals for your company’s future.

How do you solve this problem?

How would you do it for your company?  What tools would you use?

 

BJ