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Issue 8 | December 2013


volution Business, Tech and More


Hope Katz Gibbs

Are You Ready to Be Inkandescent? Tax Tips That You Don’t Want to Miss Finishing

2013 Strong

Evolution Evolution Magazine - December 2013



Questions and feedback: PO Box 104, Stewartsville, NJ 08886 Phone: (347) 669 2EVO Email: Online: *Unless otherwise noted all stock photos are provided by Deposit Photos* And IStock Photos

Evolve Media Group Inc.

Innovative marketing solutions that will transform your business.

Profit Recovery by Transworld Systems is a customized program to fit individual business needs. We deliver the power of 3rd party intervention while allowing our clients to maintain complete control.

Hector E. Varela Office: 908-454-5421 Mobile: 973-219-2623

Are You Content Marketing? In spite of the call of the “New� marketing tools available, one thing ‘s still clear for sure: (Relevant) Content is still king. Writing effective content and distributing that content, better known as content or article marketing, can assist you in establishing yourself as an expert and improve your marketing results. Networking and content marketing are two economical and efficient forms of marketing that are easy to do and pay off greatly. It has often been my advice that they should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy Content marketing is a great way to improve search engine rankings, to inform, or to pitch products and services sold. Regardless of your purpose, consider using content marketing as a great way to build a loyal following. For content marketing to be effective, follow these guidelines: Research your niche. Start by finding a niche that is not only popular, but that you feel you can write about. It would point to something that you enjoy and are actively doing. If you are not interested in a particular area, it will be difficult to enjoy the process. Create a plan. Think about how much time and energy you want to put into your article writing, and for what purpose. You should consider how often you want to produce content, however, if you simply want to write and publish your work, you may only want to do a little bit each day. I suggest, if you are seeking to improve your rankings or sales from your content marketing, your publishing schedule should be more aggressive

Evolve your content in

2014 with Evolution Magazine

Submit your article to article directories. Evolution Magazine is welcomes your content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. However, there are a few other directories that I believe you should consider. Sites such as Ezinearticles or GoArticles are very well-sourced and active sites and webmasters use these article directories to find content for their website. Content marketing has many benefits. The most important aspect of content marketing, in my opinion, is to clearly understand what you want to use it for, build a plan, and consistently create and distribute content. Following these tips could be the difference in just having words inEvolving cyberspace or long-term success that results in your success together,

Darnell G. Davis Evolution Publisher & Founder

Donnie Bryant


Evolution Magazine/ December 2013

Photo Credit Wiki Creative Commons


Henry Ford is widely regarded as one of the greatest entrepreneurs in history. When you hear his name, you automatically think about how he innovated the use of assembly line techniques to revolutionize the automobile industry. Listen to what Harvard Business school professor Theodore Levitt wrote about Ford: “We habitually celebrate him for the wrong reason, his production genius. His real genius was marketing. We think he was able to cut his selling price and therefore sell millions of $500 cars because his invention of the assembly line reduced the costs. Actually he invented the assembly line because he had concluded that at $500 he could sell millions of cars. Mass production was the result, not the cause, of his low prices... He was brilliant because he fashioned a production system designed to fit market needs.” (Author’s emphasis) Ford understood an indispensable key to successful marketing: the needs and desires of your target market must dictate the products and/or services you provide. That should be obvious. Unfortunately, many businesses work hard to sell what they want to sell (their latest invention or a gadget they think is really cool) instead of what the market wants or needs to buy. Those businesses fail. Now, let’s look at this point from another angle. What did Henry Ford himself say about his market? “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” Doesn’t that negate what we’ve said thus far? Far from it. Nobody wanted cars, it’s true. But they did want to travel more quickly. So Ford did manufacture and sell what people already wanted; it just came in a different package than they expected.

I think there’s an important lesson here. According to another Harvard professor, Paul R. Lawrence, all the decisions we make are based on 4 basic drives: to 1) acquire/achieve, 2) bond, 3) learn/ comprehend and 4) defend. If you think about it, everything you purchase satisfies at least one of these motivations. For example, I may buy a Rolex watch to acquire the admiration of my peers. Or, maybe I’ll get the Timex to defend my bank account. Of course, these drives are unique for everyone. That’s why you have to dig deep and really get to know your ideal clients. What drives are dominant in their decision-making process? What shape do those drives take? What stimulates those drives? Creating your ideal customer profile is great, but make sure it’s rooted in reality, not your imagination. GIVE ‘EM A REASON Having a product people want usually isn’t enough to make you successful. We see companies with great products or services fail all the time. Think about the multi-million dollar ad campaigns we saw during last year’s presidential election. Neither Obama nor Romney were just “trying to get their name out there.” They beat up the other guy and presented themselves as the better choice with specific “evidence.” (Whether or not their statements were true is another conversation entirely.) Remember Paul Lawrence’s 4 Drives theory. Your sales and marketing messages should communicate the specific ways your offer will address these deep-seated desires in your audience. How does your product satisfy their desire to acquire something they badly want? How will they come to learn something they desperately need to know by working with you?

Just being the better choice won’t get a candidate elected; it certainly won’t convince people to buy from you. You have to let them know. Paint an accurate picture of life as they know it, then paint one showing what their experience will be like after they get their hands on your product. The more vivid the image, the more compelling it will be. Back up your claims with proof: scientific evidence, testimonials, awards, case studies, etc. Make it real for them. Once prospects see themselves enjoying their new life, making the purchase is the next natural step. This usually takes work (research, writing, rewriting, testing). So does filing bankruptcy if you can’t get anyone to spend their money with you. OH, AND ONE MORE THING People generally won’t buy from someone they don’t trust. It is of the utmost importance for entrepreneurs, marketers, and salespeople to gain the trust of their prospects and customers. Rather than writing about earning trust, allow me to refer you to an interview I did with a third Harvard man, bestselling author Charlie Green. During our 30-minute interview, Charlie talked about: why trust is critical to you success in business; specific ways you can build more trust in your relationships; mistakes you might be making that can sabotage your efforts to gain the trust of your prospects; common myths about trust; and how long it really takes to start building (or rebuilding) trust.


Finishing 2013 Strong Michelle Brown-Dawson

“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.” Richard L. Evans Here we are in December. Three quarters of this year has flown by! Remember the goals that you set for your business? How are you progressing? Are you on target? Are you finding that you have fallen behind?


Evolution Magazine/ December 2013

Well, the good news is that you still have time to hit the reset button, make the necessary adjustment in your priorities, and renew your commitment to reaching your goals. You can still achieve the success that you were meant to experience in 2013! These four tips will help get you back on track.

Tip #1 – Begin by Forgiving Yourself I talk with people daily who are not where they desire to be in their business. This causes them to lose self-confidence and belief that they will ever be successful. If this is you, stop beating yourself up and get clear about the reasons you haven’t reached your goals, the underlying emotions that were influencing those reasons. And then let it go. Next, rather than wasting time agonizing over the past, put your focus on taking action. Every time we make choices from this empowered place, we strengthen our heart and spirit to continue taking positive, proactive steps forward.

Tip #2 – Rediscover Your Why As you move down the road toward your goals, it can be easy to forget your motivation for initiating the process. Challenges, obstacles, and negative attitudes can begin to crowd out the reason why you felt the need to achieve the goal in the first place. Make it a point to stop and ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” What’s my expected end result? Why do I feel compelled to spend that most scarce of resources - the time I have on this planet - on what I’m doing? Why is what I’m doing important to me? What inspires me about it? How will I feel when I accomplish my goal? What effect will it have on my life? What effect will it have on the world around me? Goals are great, but they can also start to ring hollow when separated from the real motivation. Asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?” on a regular basis can help ensure that you stay connected to the rewards - financial, emotional, or otherwise - of achieving those goals. Tip #3– Have an Action Plan Success doesn’t happen without a plan. Once you have a plan, you can make informed, conscious choices about your life and business because you’re able to

see the entire picture. As you evaluate your 2013 plan and find that things aren’t quite where you had hoped they would be by third quarter, don’t get discouraged. The main point is not whether or not you have achieved all your goals up to this point, but what actions you are willing to take moving forward. Commit to taking a set of specific steps within a certain time frame (e.g., the next week, or two weeks, or month).

Understand that you can still make an impact in your business with just 3 months left in 2013. It all starts with making a decision to get focused and start implementing today!

Michelle Brown-Dawson, President of Catalyst Enterprises International and the Catalyst Success Institute, is a Business Strategist specializing in process implementation for organizations and small businesses. For more information about Catalyst Enterprises International, visit Tip #4 – Don’t try to do it alone or www.catalystsuccess. When you move in isolation, it’s easy to let com. things slide if you get too busy, or the steps you need to take are too uncomfortable, or when you just procrastinate. On the other hand, when you commit to doing something and you have a witness you know will be holding you accountable for doing it, it’s a lot harder to be a slacker. Like the proverb states, “Iron sharpens iron.” If you want to make sure you keep taking consistent, persistent action for the long-term, make yourself accountable. Building that accountability into your own journey is a great way to make sure you stay engaged and on track. It could be as simple as telling a friend what you intend to do in the coming week, and asking them to check in to see how it went. Or you might find someone else who is on a similar journey toward their dreams and act as accountability partners.



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3 Steps To Stop Trading Time For Dollars

Tips Most Business Owners Don't Consider Angel True “I want my business to be a profitgenerating machine that works easily and automatically without much attention on my part” Michael McDonald* said about his design studio. “I’ve spent all these years building it up, but I know the moment I leave, it will all stop working. I don’t want that to happen and I’m ready to make it even better!” It wasn’t that he was desperate. In fact

Michael’s business was doing quite well. He just wasn’t sure how to take the leap from “being the business” to “managing the business” and he was ready to make it happen… finally. Michael and I had been having this conversation for some time now. He was good at his work. In fact, he was one of the best in his field. He’d successfully built his

business around being an expert graphic designer with a clear understanding of marketing tactics and needs, and his portfolio and reputation showed it well. With his admission, Michael was about to push over the edge of an internal struggle he’d been facing for years. This struggle is likely a familiar one for many business owners: You build a successful business based on your hard work and

skill, but the transition to growing based on other people’s hard He didn’t have any senior staff that could perform anywhere close work and skill is a challenge. to his level of skill. His business was also barely making the $1M mark – even with all those employees. What Michael needed At one point or another, every business owner faces the same wasn’t more employees, it was a new approach. difficulty. Moving from a business that isn’t much different than a job, to owning a business that generates income without trading “I’m afraid that if I let go of the details, no one will do a good time for dollars, or one that is based on the work of others, can enough job,” he said quietly. “But I realize now, I’ve never given be difficult. anyone the chance to try.” As he said this, I could hear the slight embarrassment in his voice. No matter what your business looks like or what industry you’re in, the challenge in making this leap is the same. Most important Michael already had all the elements he needed. The problem was to remember is that the shift has less to do with your business he hadn’t given his staff the opportunity to succeed or excel on design and more to do with how you approach it. their own. What he needed to do was give his team bigger tasks, more responsibility, and the incentive to step up to the task. There are certain critical elements that must be in place to smoothly execute this transition. Below are three of the most By making this one simple change, he had the opportunity to critical steps you need to take to get there. hand off the work he’d been managing, while mentoring his team so they could grow. Obviously, this wasn’t a short-term strategy, Rethink Your Strategy so the longer he delayed, the more difficult it became. The leap Michael wanted to make was about more than just having a successful business. He needed to build a business that Release Attachment would thrive without his daily involvement. To do this, Michael Recognizing this strategy shift unlocked the second critical step needed to rethink how he approached his business. that Michael needed to make to stop trading his time for dollars. He needed to let go of the little details. He’d already successfully grown to a point where he had several employees. He had 3 graphic designers, one web designer, a Michael had a habit of double checking and second guessing his receptionist, and a business manager. The bulk of the business work staff. Periodically, it came up as a concern, but he’d usually just was already being handled by his junior staff. The problem was ignore it, thinking his staff didn’t understand what he wanted that he was still in charge of sales, design review, overall business them to do. Now he was recognizing that he’d put a heavy hand strategy, and rallying the troops to get everything done on time. over them, expecting them to “comply” rather than “create” – the specific task for which he’d hired them.

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2014 with 14

Evolution Magazine/ December 2013

To make this change, he needed to take a few steps back, trust his staff, and guide them more strategically than he’d previously done. This change required Michael to do two things. First, he needed to educate his team using his vast knowledge. Second, he needed to give them the opportunity to learn from failure. As a business owner, you are of course highly attached to “doing it right every time.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t how you learned to be as skilled or successful. You learned from failing, too. When you are training someone to step up to greater tasks, you need to find a balance between letting them fail and guiding them toward better results. By letting his team fail periodically, Michael was increasing their opportunity to grow, learn, and succeed without his constant supervision. Be Committed The third step Michael needed to make for this transition was included in his first statement. He was “ready” to make the leap. As a business owner, making this change from being the business to managing the business can be slightly terrifying. Up until now Michael had retained control of everything that went out the door. He’d approved designs, contracts, sales presentations, and everything else. He hadn’t been ready to relinquish control and trust his staff. In order to make this business change, he needed to be committed to trusting his staff, providing the guidance necessary, and getting out of the way. The last one is often the hardest for business owners. Michael was proud of his accomplishments, had a well-

deserved reputation for excellence, and was well-liked by his clients. To create the change he wanted, he not only needed to be willing to risk all of that, but he had to be fully committed to supporting his team in reaching that same level of success. With this one simple admission, Michael had opened the door to taking the leap. He became committed to doing what was necessary to achieve his goal. This is the most critical step of all. Without commitment, nothing else will work. As a business owner, you already know that commitment is critical to success. What is holding you back from being fully committed to achieving your dream results? Take a moment right now to ask yourself what you want to accomplish and what commitment will be necessary. Add your thoughts into the comment section below. I’d love to hear them! If you know another business owner that could use a little support in making the leap to creating a cash-flow-machine, then share this article with them. *Names and details, are changed, generalized, or combined and are intended for illustrative purposes only.

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Are you ready to Be Inkandescent? Hope Katz Gibbs


h, the art of being yourself and living your dream — while making enough money to employ others and grow your marketshare. Isn’t that every entrepreneur’s goal? Doing it with spirited passion, brilliance, and white-hot light is what makes the best companies stand out from the crowd, for they are “inkandescent.” That’s the mission for The Inkandescent Group, LLC — a PR, content marketing and publishing company that I founded in 2008: I knew there were thousands of entrepreneurs who needed help with their public relations and marketing campaigns, but couldn’t afford the big guns in NYC. For the last five years, our PR firm “by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs” has helped businesses raise awareness of their brand and ideas. Staffed by award-wining print and broadcast journalists, designers, web developers, and photojournalists, our team knows how to tell a great story — and has fun doing it. It’s been very satisfying to help other small-business owners craft their message, create stunning websites, write educational newsletters, and get quoted in the news. Realize that Content Marketing Is Queen


Evolution Magazine/ December 2013

Since getting in the news is what most entrepreneurs hire PR firms to do, we’ve been happy to oblige. We’ve gotten our clients mentioned in national publications such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, as well as “The CBS Early Show,” and on Fox News, and more. But what is the real value of that kind of fireworks if you don’t catch the embers? Sure, being quoted in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal is a great credibility builder, but if you don’t catch the embers — on your website, in a monthly newsletter, and on your social media pages — it’s just a pretty memory. That’s why we focus on helping our clients develop a logical, methodical strategy around their PR and marketing campaigns. This includes using every article they write, every press mention they generate, and any accomplishment they achieve three times. Embracing the “Power of 3” is also the reason we launched our own business magazine in January 2010. We wanted to give our clients, and other smallbusiness experts, another means of sharing their insights and ideas with our growing network of entrepreneurs. After all, a tenet of journalism is to “show, don’t tell,” and what better way

Ah, the art of being yourself and living your dream — while making enough money to employ others and grow your marketshare. Isn’t that every entrepreneur’s goal?

to show the world what you know than in thought-provoking and timely articles? Our monthly magazine, www., now has more than 2,500 searchable articles, 50,000+ subscribers, and gets hundreds of thousands of visits a month. One key to the magazine’s success is that each issue is anchored by a theme specifically chosen to resonate with readers. From recent cover stories ranging from “The Honesty Issue” in December 2012, to “Conscious Capitalism” in April 2013, to “The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs” in October 2013, the theme of each issue gives our columnists a new topic to consider from the point of view of their business and industry. In fact, each issue reads like an e-book on the various topics, and includes a Book of the Month, restaurant and hotel reviews, and a feature on one of the leaders from our series.

Hope with husband Michael Gibbs, the art director of The Inkandescent Group and an award-winning illustrator and designer,

Pictured with Hope is Inkandescent Group’s Senior VP Kathleen McCarthy, who is also the managing editor of Be Inkandescent magazine.

Plus, sharing new content online is what continues to make a priority in its Search Engine Optimization, so these regular articles are a great way to literally “raise the profile” of an entrepreneur or business. We also use the articles in each client’s monthly newsletter, a monthly press release, and on their website, which feeds into our Power of 3 strategy.


Make Your Own Fireworks To make things even more interesting, in 2011 we launched a networking website to help entrepreneurs find the best business networking events to attend, from New York City to Miami Beach: www. Then, in 2012, we added new media to the mix when we launched The Inkandescent Radio Network: The Voice of Entrepreneurs: www.InkandescentRadio. com. Each day, we feature a new podcast interview with entrepreneurs, authors, artists, financial planners, truly amazing women, and more. In 2013 we decided to take our show on the road when we launched our speakers bureau, www.InkandescentSpeakers. com,

the topic of the speech I’ve been giving all over the country. It’s also the heart of our new book, “PR Rules: The Playbook — The Entrepreneur’s Guide for Super-Sizing Your Small Business.” So take a page from our Playbook: 1. Create a stunning website 2. Develop an explosive PR campaign 3. Make a splash in the news 4. Write a column in a magazine and launch your own radio show 5. Network wisely 6. Join a speakers bureau 7. Write a book 8. Pay it forward Avoid the Trifecta of Small Business Failure

Following the 8 Steps alone, though, won’t ensure your firm’s success if Embrace the 8 Steps to PR Success you’re suffering from a malady that afflicts many solopreneurs and leads “Making your own fireworks” to the failure of their businesses. is the foundation of our 8 Steps to PR Success,


Evolution Magazine/ December 2013

The good news is that there are approximately 11.5 million entrepreneurs in the Untied States, according to Babson College’s most recent Global Entrepreneur Study. That’s a 13% increase over last year. What’s more, the study indicates that 534,000 people start businesses each month — with an average investment of $15,000. The bad news, according to the Kaufman Index, is that almost half of all entrepreneurs go out of business within three years. • 25% fail in year 1 • 36% fail in year 2 • 44% go out of business in year 3 As a PR and publishing company, we see many entrepreneurs undermine their success by embracing a mindset that’s part of what we call, “The Trifecta of Small Business Failure.” These are the three mistakes we see almost every entrepreneur make. Do any of these sound like you?

• The Control Freak. When it comes to your business, have you ever thought this, or said aloud: “I do it all by myself,” “You’re not the boss of me,” or, “Everything is horrible; the sky is falling!” Many entrepreneurs have a tendency to want to hold on tight to all the facets of their business. After all, being in control is why many people start their own companies. But beware: No one is good at everything, much less has the time to think of, perfect, and execute all the necessary tasks required to ensure their business succeeds. So let go — delegate, share, outsource! Collaboration is the key to success. • The Small-Picture Person. Do you understand the icing-and-cake metaphor? If not, you may not be making the most of your core competencies — your “cake” — by leveraging them to make more money. Start by identifying your core competency, then step back and look at the big picture. Find all the revenue streams available — your “icing” — and incorporate them into your business. For example, if you are a chef and you are only cooking for your restaurant, then you are leaving money on the table. Consider catering or selling some of your products online, or in local coffee and tea shops and farmer’s markets, and through co-ops. Don’t aim just to just break even; super-size your small business! • The Win-meister. If you’re a “winmeister,” the “win” comes only when you beat someone else. If your competition or colleagues have to lose for you to win, you are operating on an outmoded, inefficient philosophy. The paradigm has shifted! Embrace the 21st-century concept of winning — the win–win–win — in which you win, your customer and colleagues win, and so does the world at large. The Millennials work under this banner; if you’re not, you’ll likely miss out on the next generation of sales.

No one knows that better than an entrepreneur. At The Inkandescent Group, we’re convinced the best way to create customers — and successful, sustainable businesses — is to be light. That’s why we do everything we can to help our clients, readers, and followers develop strong PR and marketing campaigns so they can glow and grow. What sets us apart is the fact that we insist on making this as fun as possible for everyone we work with. We know that most business owners love their businesses. They think of their company as their “baby,” and their team as a family. So long as they stay focused on that, getting their business in the limelight is easy — and fantastically fun. That’s why we love this quote from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” which sums up our philosophy of business, and life. “When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle. And this’ll help things turn out for the best. Always look on the bright side of life. Always look on the light side of life.” Forget the fear. Stop worrying so much about what haven’t yet accomplished, and set your sights on the fireworks that are certain to come. Now go out there and make some noise. Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success.

Reach for the Stars What’s our value-add to the business community? As business guru Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.”

Photo Credits Steve Barrett Photography,

A tradition steeped in culture... The Social Tea House specializes in preserving the cultures and history of Chinese and Japanese teas by importing from the finest tea gardens in the Far East. Enjoy our products coming soon to retailers and a growing list of premier gourmet restaurants centered on the Washington, DC metro area or order online to have it shipped directly to you. We also provide cultural performances of traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies conveniently for office catering events and at partner restaurants. In addition we also manufacture hand crafted wooden tea trays and boxes inspired by traditional Asian designs.

A Maryland Based Local Business PO BOX 2265, Rockville, MD 20847

Kelly Freuler 503 625-1324

46240 Potomac Run Plaza (Potomac Run Plaza at Route 7 & Cascades Parkway) Sterling, Virginia 20164 | Phone: (703) 421-0404

Power Player Under


Melissa Krivachek Age: 25 Occupation: President of Briella Arion Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Travel globally) Affiliations: Seen in Forbes, CNN, Fox News, Yahoo Finance, WSJ, Under30CEO & Gulf Elite Magazine among various other publications, affiliations, and awards. Inducted in 2013 in NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) which profiles the country's most accomplished professional women.

Describe your work ethic and why you are a power player? Discipline and focus have been critical to the development of our brand and the level of success I’ve attained in life. Business isn’t about how many people you can talk to, but rather, how many people you can impact. It’s not about how much money you make, but what that money does in your community and the world. It isn’t about serving the masses, but serving those who serve the masses. I have a ridiculous work ethic that allows me prioritize, systematize, and work with those who don’t need what I have, but find value in the work that I do and the impact that it makes in their personal, professional, and financial lives. Being a power player boils down to a few qualities most people never develop: consistency, personal growth, discipline, focus, and determination. It really is that simple.

What motivates you to go above and beyond people’s expectations? I’m incredibly passionate about helping professionals break through limiting beliefs to live the life they’ve always desired by helping them focus on what matters most to them and their business. Mindset. Internal/External Confidence. Communication. Leadership. I’ve always had a passion for people and for getting results. Coaching has allowed me to combine and monetize both passions.

How do you feel about networking? Networking is the backbone of business and the only way to build a solid foundation for long-term success. At Briella Arion we value the belief “People before Profits & Relationships before Results.” Without people or relationships, you won’t have profits or results.

As a coach, being incredibly selective about who I work with helps my clients meet and exceed their own expectations, because it isn’t me getting them results; it’s them taking the action necessary, implementing the disciplines required, and focusing on their clients that truly makes the difference. Being in business has nothing to do with a title, accolades, or your desires it has to do with results. The bottom line is, results are everything! They create momentum to continue serving your clients and making a difference.


End-of-Year Tax Tips That You


Want to Miss

Chris Miles


Evolution Magazine/ December 2013

Every year, I watch at least a few, slowacting, small business owners who wait until the last minute, or the next year, before they finally start saving thousands of dollars on taxes. In some of those cases, TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars! For many of you, these tips are urgent because it might take at least a month or so to get everything in order with your business to get these tax deductions/ advantages. In my experience, about 94% of small business owners are unnecessarily paying too much in taxes each year! If you can picture overpaying by just $5,000 a year (for many, it's more!) would still cost you $100,000 in just 20 years!!! So here are just a few tax-saving ideas that my CPA will find with my clients (Remember, I am not an accountant. I am just giving you commonly missed tax deductions that my accountants run into): 1. Not tracking mileage or travel costs - Did you know that you can write off mileage, even if you have a side job? Also, did you know that, if done legitimately, you can write off family vacations? Yes, even Disneyland can be used as a legitimate business write-off! 2. Not having the right business entity - This is a big one! I just had one of my clients save $10,000 a few weeks ago because of this ONE strategy! I have another client that is a leader in a direct sales company that I believe will save at least $25,000 this year because of this one thing!

jobs, such as marketing/advertising, cleaning, and even modeling. It just has to be a reasonable wage for the work. Imagine paying your kids the same amount of money to cover their sports, hobbies, clothing, etc and it was all a write-off! 4. Home office - Some of you may do something similar, but if you have the right entity and structure in place, there are ways you can write off over $10,000 per year without lowering your pay, and not get taxed on it! That could be a tax savings of $2,000 - $5,000 per year while still taking home the same amount!!! These are just a few ideas that could work in your situation. My experience has shown me that the more money you earn, typically the more you are paying needlessly. That needs to stop immediately! The key to this (or anything that you learn) is being able to implement it. Find a pro-active CPA (Yes, they are very hard to find) that will actually teach you which strategies can work in your situation. Warning – You DO NOT want a CPA that tells you to save money in taxes by buying unnecessary things for your business or “investing” in IRA funds. Those two strategies for a business owner is like flushing money down your toilet (or giving it to the government). You don’t want an accountant who only files your taxes while not educating you how to improve your situation. That’s why I love the CPA on our team. If there is a way to get a tax benefit, he will find it. Be sure to hurry on this soon because the year is almost over. Don’t let one more year pass where you’re overpaying in taxes again!

Evolution Magazine

What are the year-end tax tips that you NEED so that you don’t end up paying thousands of dollars needlessly this year?

3. Hiring children - No, I'm not suggesting violating child labor laws. What I am talking about here is that your children can be paid for doing various


Photo Credits

The Comeback? Tommy Tran

Fashion trends have a tendency of repeating themselves every other generation. What once seemed cool to our parents now seems like a disaster, and somehow our grandparents have the classiest, up-to-date wardrobe. A perfect example is the bowtie. The bowtie goes all the way back to the 1700's, when Europeans would use them as scarves to hold together the top of their collared shirts. Eventually it became a symbol of the upper class, and survived throughout many generations. Nowadays, most people would associate the bowtie with James Bond, tuxedos, and prestigious professors. Yet suddenly, we are seeing this fancy piece of neck wear being integrated into a sporty, more casual look. No longer is it plain


Evolution Magazine/ December 2013

or conservative like we saw in our grandparents. We now see this neck tie coming back with a flare of modern touch. High color contrasts, crazy patterns, and unique branding are all part of the bowtie. We can now see the bow tie rocked with khaki shorts and sunglasses, something that a few years ago would look absurd. There's even some who are courageous enough to slip one on with a button down shirt and jeans. No longer is this accessory just for a spy dodging bullets, tuxedos on prom night, or the mind of a scholar. It is now for the common man to look "high fashion."

Redd and Company Customizing the American Dream

As we approach the holiday season, we often begin to think on the things we will purchase for loved ones, family, friends, and associates. Every now and again, we seek to find that perfect gift for the special people in our lives and just draw a blank. In that case, I suggest a custom piece from a Lehigh Valley gem, Redd and Company Fine Jewelers. Nestled in on Allentown’s south side, Redd and Company Fine Jewelers stands as a hidden treasure that personifies the American Dream. Hard work and dedication to achieving your dream, while allowing your creativity to flow, is what we found in Allentown. Owner Redwan Kholi immigrated to the United States in his early teens and was soon immersed in American culture. Shortly after graduating high school Redwan, formally known as “Redd” by his peers, joined the work force and began to work as a sales associate for a corporate jewelry chain. Over ten years, Redd would become the manager of one of the most successful jewelry stores in town. He became highly sought after for

his expertise as he began to build strong relationships with his customer base. As with many seeking the American Dream through hard work, Redd realized that time for change had come when he saw that he knew more about the jewelry business than most of the corporations he was working for. Understanding his own potential, he routinely envisioned opening his own jewelry store. In 2003, Redd decided to venture out on his own. With hard work, years of experience, and a devoted following of customers under his belt, he opened Redd and Co. Fine Jewelers. For over ten years now Redd and his staff, which includes his wife, has set Redd and Company apart from his competition. Their ability to provide you with the highest quality fine jewelry, while offering a relaxed, family-like atmosphere is one of the great things about the store. Take some time to stop by and experience Redd and Company for yourself. While you are there, ask him for a cup of coffee and enjoy a wonderful conversation.

1701 Union Blvd. Allentown, PA Phone: 610-776-2676

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