Cyber Attacks on the IRS Website

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 29, 2015 in

Did you hear that the IRS was attacked recently by cyber hackers, and that the thieves accessed online past tax returns of more than 100,000 tax payers? Oops.The IRS's ability to monitor fraud is becoming increasingly difficult, while cyber attackers are becoming increasingly more adroit at their skills of bypassing the IRS sites. As reported by the NY Times, the IRS has lost more than 13,000 jobs since 2010, making it increasingly more difficult to enforce tax law, and protect the US from these types of attacks.As a note, the IRS will not email taxpayers directly, but will instead send any affected taxpayers a letter to offer free credit reporting for the victims.As part of our client's service with our firm, remember that we monitor and respond to all tax notices for the corporations and the individual owners of our clients. Please don't hesitate to reach out to our team…

The Deficient Organization

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 26, 2015 in

Of course, this Peter Drucker quote is true because all organizations are deficient. Meetings are just one way we highlight our organization's deficiency. For example, we don't know how well we work together as a team, or what we are really supposed to do as a company until we come together in a meeting. A meeting is stating a fact that we need help.Other factors create the need for meetings - lack of information, miscommunication, poor processes, a weak team, and many more. How can we lessen our need for meetings?1. Let people do their jobs. As a leader, your primary goal is to support a great team, not change their work or make the work look like you created it. 2. Anticipate the needs of your customer. We need information from all of our clients before we serve them, so why not create a few steps in your onboarding…

Time to Pay Your Quarterly Estimated Payment for June

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 14, 2015 in

When: Your second quarter estimated tax payment is due June 15, 2015.Why: Because our government is a "pay as you go" type of government. That means anyone earning money must pay tax on that money as they earn it. If you have a job, then you already know this. The government has your employer withhold money from your paycheck, which is a representation of what you owe by earning that paycheck.Who: You only need to make estimated tax payments on a quarterly basis if you expect to owe tax at the end of the year. All of our clients owe tax because they all make a lot of money.How:Federal: You can pay your quarterly estimated tax payments online. There are two locations to do this securely online: via bank draft at no cost: http://www.irs.gov/Payments/Direct-Pay via debit card with a $3.95 flat fee: http://…

Entrepreneurs Do One Thing

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 8, 2015 in

I love the insights Dan Sullivan (of Strategic Coach) brings. In the video below, Dan talks about the entrepreneurs' Unique Ability. This video is great in that it helps the entrepreneur focus on doing the one thing they do well.As Dan points out, when you find your Unique Ability, and begin making it your sole focus, you will begin achieving breakthroughs in simplicity, creativity, teamwork, and productivity. The simpler things become, the more the results of your Unique Ability multiply. How to Move Towards Your Unique Ability Make a list of 5 things you are doing right now that prevent you from achieving your Unique Abilityand actually drain your energy. Over the next 90 days, eliminate these activities. On the flip side, list the 5 things that you love doing the most, that bring value to others, and make you the most money. Over the next 90 days, do more of…

A Heart Attack Costs More Than A Gym Membership

Posted by JasonBlumer on May 5, 2015 in

Many struggle to pay for expensive gym memberships (like Crossfit), and make time for exercise. But taking care of yourself is a lot less expensive than having a heart attack or other major health issuelater on. Of course, just because you don't exercise doesn't mean you'll have a heart attack. I'm just making the comparison of a short-term decision to get a long term outcome. Many fruitful short term decisions cost money, but the long term expense is even bigger if you neglect the short term decision now. I believe these are the hardest choices we make in business too - "what should I do in the short term that will bring the greatest long term outcomes?" I believe these are difficult decisions because we typically want the most immediate outcome, for the least amount of investment. Furthermore, since we can't see what the future holds, it's hard…

Majoring on the Minors

Posted by JasonBlumer on Apr 28, 2015 in

One of my jobs as a coach to design/marketing agencies is to improve their focus. There are so many things happening when you are building a business. As the owner, you are responsible for them all. It's easy to become flummoxed by the sheer number of tasks/issues/problems/initiatives to move your agency forward.As a general principle, I find many owners major on the minors. That is, they make small things a big part of their focus. They allow the team to reverse-delegate work back to them, take on minor issues in the daily scrum, and worry about how to solve small things. This leaves no energy or attention to solve the bigger (harder) problems found in major issues.See the matrix above dissecting the major and minor issues as they relate to long term and immediate needs of the agency. Can you fill this out for…

Narrow Your Focus As You Get Older

Posted by JasonBlumer on Apr 24, 2015 in

I'm learning that all of life is an attempt to narrow what you do, and focus only on what your unique ability is. I've tried to draw this out in the image above. At the age of 20, life is open to you. You could choose many paths. Even after you may have graduated from higher education with a college degree, you still may not do anything related to what your degree is in. In my own life, the ages of 20 to 40 were a pursuit of establishing myself, learning what I am good at, and committing to that.Now in my 40s, I feel it is my responsibility to seriously narrow what I do. To me, this means narrowing who I spend time with, narrowing the types of books I read, narrowing the clients I will take on, and narrowing the commitments of my time. I think I will be at…

Abundance vs. Scarcity

Posted by JasonBlumer on Apr 21, 2015 in

I love listening to Dan Sullivan and Joe Polish on their 10x Talk podcast. I'm catching up on some episodes and I'm in the middle of Scarcity vs. Abundance. Such an eye opener for this world! As Dan Sullivan discusses, our world is hyper focused on a future of limited resources, scarce resources, and decreasing resources. The news and Hollywood constantly pump our minds with a world of scarcity.On the Scarcity vs. Abundance podcast episode, Dan Sullivan states that entrepreneurs with a scarcity mindset fall into a false world view of scarcity when they (wrongly) believe in 3 things:1. Zero sum - I have and you don't. If I get something, it means I got it from you.2. Depletion - Resources are dwindling. The future will have less of what we have now.3. Unfairness - Since you have and I don't, it is unfair.And if you believe in these…

What is Workers Compensation Insurance?

Posted by JasonBlumer on Apr 3, 2015 in Workers Comp

Have you heard of workers comp? If you are an employer, I hope you've reviewed your state's requirements for workers comp coverage on your employees. Workers Comp is insurance that a company buys that will cover their employees if they are injured on the job, and possibly provide wage replacement payments in case they can't earn a wage. Since the employer is covering the employee, it is typically true that the employee is agreeing not to sue their employer for negligence. Everyone is protected.Workers Comp is like any business insurance where the business owner will pay an insurance premium based upon the types of workers they have, and how much they are paying workers in wages. If you employ designers sitting at a desk, your premiums will be lower than if you employ forklift operators. The insurance premium will be, in part, based on the risk the employee is…

Do The Opposite Blog Post Series: Break The Rules

Posted by JasonBlumer on Mar 31, 2015 in

This original blog post series started here. This is the last post in this series.One of my recent favorite authors is Dr. Jules Goddard. He wrote Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense and it is a favorite contrarian business book of mine. One major insight I have gained from Goddard's work is that business is more of a game to be won than a skill to be improved. He says so right here in this Youtube video.I used to think there were rules to how we ran businesses. Follow those rules and you'll be okay. I used to feel there was some unknown pressure on me to play by the rules of my profession. But, as Dr. Goddard says many times in his book, that path is for losers.The landscape of business is changing - business strategy is now more like the strategy that a great football coach employs…