Happy New Year!
This day tends to force us to reflect on the past and as a result, there is no shortage of top ten lists out there. We have instant access to the top 10 movies, games, news items, victories, blunders,the sexiest, the ugliest, the best dressed, etc…
I wanted to take a different tack and focus much more on the coming year. In that vein I have chosen one area of reflection and several more items to help plan for an amazing 2011. I hope you find these ideas useful.
Consumerist has a tidy list of their most read stories of 2010. Since I got a Best Buy gift card for xmas, this article popped out as one of my favorites. They are all good as there are few things more satisfying than hearing about a little guy beating a corporate Goliath. As their tag-line reads: shoppers bite back.
OK, enough about the past…
J.Money at Budgets are Sexy posted a great looking forward article.
Is this the year you are going to get that business started?
Now would be a great time to visit SCORE.
What is SCORE you ask?
SCORE, Counselors to America’s small business, is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small business start, grow and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
As I mentioned in The Hero with a Million Dollars, SCORE is all about finding a mentor to help you with your business.
Should you incorporate? Form a multi-member LLC? Go in as a Sole Proprietor? Should I set up in my home state or in Nevada? Delaware?
These are questions every potential entrepreneur faces from day one.I have 2 things that helped me and could serve as the launching point for your great idea:
1. Get a copy of Limited Liability Companies for Dummies by Jennifer Reuting and (after you read it) head over to her site: MyLLC to set yours up.
2. Don’t be afraid to Ask the Business Lawyer about specific issues related to your chosen endeavor. Nina Kaufman has tons of excellent articles, a free E-zine and if you are considering a partnership of any kind, you absolutely need to check out The Entrepreneurs Prenup.
1. Open an account with Vanguard (Disclaimer: I have zero affiliation with Vanguard other than some excellent investments). They have the best low fee mutual funds in the industry. Whether you are starting a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA or a Tax advantaged Bond fund, you should be working with Vanguard. Do you want to learn about ETF’s? Check this out. It is the single best overview of ETF’s I could find anywhere.
2. Do you already have an IRA? Don’t worry, you still have until April 15th, 2011 to max out your 2010 contributions. Nice!
3. Pick up a copy of The Richest Man in Babylon and check out my review of The Elements of Investing. Both of these small, easy to read books should be on your bookshelf.
1. Get a copy of Sandy Botkin’s Lower Your Taxes: Big Time. It is an eye opener and will pay for itself in the first chapter.
1. Check out inexspensively.com and clean out your cupboards already!
I believe giving should start at home, in your neighborhood and in your community. Give to your church, your school, your firehouse. Buy local when possible and help employ one of your neighbors. The following organizations are amazing in their creativity and cause. Give till it hurts then give some more, you will never regret it! Here are my favorite charitable groups:
1. There is nothing quite like Operation Homefront. Helping out those who bravely and tirelessly defend our freedoms is possibly the best kind of giving back.
2. The Giving Effect:
from The Giving Effect’s about page: Most of us have lives filled with things we don’t use — shoes, food, clothes, computers, and more. At the same time, thousands of non-profits and civic-minded people are struggling to get basic items to people in their communities. We see an opportunity to connect these groups together.
What a great concept!!!
You’ve heard of micro-transactions right? Small amounts of money from a large enough pool of people can add up to some huge results. Well, Love Drop is a micro-charity concept. With as little as $1 a month, you assist the love drop team in helping one person or family a month.