• Hi Jaynine, I was wondering if I would be able to get your feedback on something since I know you’re a business owner. My wife started an IT company and is currently in the process of getting certified as a Women-Owned Business. She said that she needs me to sign a “Statement of Non-Participation” in order to get her company approved as a women-owned business. My concern is whether signing such a statement would forfeit any marital rights that I have to the retirement benefits of her business? I will be retiring from the U.S Army in a few years in which 50% of my retirement would belong to her, which is great, but I just don’t want be put into a situation where retirement sharing is legally a one-way streak because I signed away my rights. We have a great marriage, going on 10 years now and she completely understands my concern about this paperwork, so it’s not a matter of whether I think she is trying to get over on me, but rather we just don’t know what it really means for a spouse to sign a statement of non-participation. We’re not familiar with what the spouse is giving-up by agreeing to such terms. If this is a loaded question that you wouldn’t feel comfortable answering without charging a fee, I will totally understand if you refrain from responding.
On Jun 23, Jaynine Ray-Howard, USMC (Ret), PhD (ABD) said the following:
Good morning, Those are great questions and concerns. I am not a lawyer so please do not take what I am saying as legal advice. I do think a lawyer is the best person to get advice as I will explain below in more detail. Woman Owned – business must be 51% owned by a woman (your wife) Veteran Owned – business must be 51% owned by a Veteran (YOU) Disabled Veteran Owned Business – business must be owned 51% by Veteran who is service disabled MinorityOwned Business – depending on your state – just being a woman is considered a minority In North Carolina, I am a Woman Owned, Veteran Owned, Minority Owned, and Service Disabled Small Business – this puts be ahead of others if I want government contracts. Consider which is going to be more advantageous for your family business. It may be more advantageous to have you listed as primary. Many construction companies have the woman as head of the company because it is more advantageous for bidding on contracts. So think long term which is going to be best for the company. Another concern for many business owners is what happens in the case of a divorce. You need to have – in my opinion – a post nup – a legal document that states you get 50% of the business if you get divorced. You also need a legal document that states you get the business if she were to pass and vice versa. Typically when there are two business partners they each have insurance so that they can “buy out” the other half of the business in case of death so the deceased share doesn’t go to the “family”. I recommend keeping very accurate records on how much “family” money or your money from bonuses, inheritance etc. is put into the business. So if something were to happen again you have proof of what you contributed.
Regardless of your age, marital or socioeconomic status, at one time or another, you will experience stress and anxiety. Each changing season produces different stressors. Summertime has the pendulum swinging from how to keep children from fighting and saying they are bored to keeping them free from sunburns to an upcoming move to a new neighborhood. The body’s initial reaction to stress is fight or flight. Symptoms of excess stress include feeling mentally and physically exhausted, problems sleeping, tension headaches, bowel disturbances, a lowered immune system, and irritability.
Here are five tips to control summertime chaos:
1. Laugh. You have probably heard that laughter is the best medicine. Research shows that laughing produces endorphins which cause you to relax, experience joy, and ease pain. When feeling stressed picking up the telephone and speaking with a friend can often bring a smile to your face that will aid in producing the feel good endorphins. Also, turning on the television and watching your favorite sitcom can aid in reducing stress and anxiety.
2. Evaluate your diet. Limit caffeinated products because caffeine is a stimulant. Alcohol consumption should also be restricted since alcohol is a depressant. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables over commercially processed items. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables are easier for your body to digest than commercially processed foods such as cookies and chips. However, there is nothing wrong with occasionally indulging your chocolate craving.
3. Exercise. Engaging in exercise is another way for your body to produce endorphins. Taking time for a walk after dinner or meeting a friend for a game of racquetball can raise your level of feel good endorphins while getting you in shape physically and mentally.
4. Have a MAP (Master Action Plan). When you stop to think about what is causing anxiety such as an upcoming move or the absence of a spouse during a deployment you can develop strategies to cope with the stress. Creating a step by step plan on how to walk through the action will allow you to empower yourself by taking charge of the situation. If you are experiencing stress on how to keep the children entertained during summer vacation you can develop a daily schedule so that the child knows what to expect throughout the day; children thrive on routine. Having a Plan A is great but having Plan B and Plan C will ensure you have covered whatever may be thrown at you with minimal disruption.
5. Increase Productivity. Productivity creates an atmosphere of positive change and is more fruitful than worrying and doing nothing.
It is impossible to ignore or reduce all stressors from our lives. However, when you are able to recognize your limits of stress and know how to use practical strategies to reduce stress you will control summertime chaos. Therefore, laugh and exercise to raise your endorphin level. Be productive and design your MAP to navigate stressful situations. Lastly, don’t forget to occasionally indulge your chocolate craving and enjoy your summer.
Did you know that rules for paying overtime have changed? They changed on May 1st, 2016.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is expected to release a new overtime rule in May that could have a big impact on small business payrolls.” “The current weekly minimum for salaried, overtime-exempt employees is $455. That will increase to $921 a week for most full-time salaried workers when the rule changes this spring.” “Small employers may misclassify employees as exempt just because they receive a salary and perform non-manual work.´ read the full article at http://www.manta.com/resources/small-business-trends/small-biz-owners-not-aware-of-new-federal-overtime-rules-impact-on-payroll/
Remember you don’t have to pay for full time employees. You have options.
Stay within Budget 1099 Contractors – you may choose to use 1099 Independent Contractors. There are rules to follow if you use this classification for your help. They are not employees so technically you cannot dictate their schedule. They work when they want to and you contract with them for work when you have work to do. I’ve seen this used in the construction industry, real estate industry, and by many small business owners who do not need full-time employees. I’ve also seen this used by small business owners who did not want to pay the appropriate taxes or benefits as would be required by having employees. They prayed they didn’t get flagged for an audit and were prepared to play dumb if caught. I don’t condone this practice. At the end of the year you will need to issue the worker a 1099 if you pay them over a certain amount if you are following the rules. Consult a tax preparer or enrolled agent for guidance.
Free Lancers – there are several freelance websites where professional list their skills. You post the job and they bid on the job. The freelancer is typically charged a fee to bid on the job and/or when he or she wins the job a percentage of his earnings is paid to the agency. A freelancer is responsible for paying his or her own taxes. You do not need to issue a 1099 to a freelancer. Consult a tax preparer or enrolled agent for guidance.
Interns – summer interns or interns who work during your busy season can be a great boost to your business productivity. Most states require you to pay your interns at least minimum wage or a fair wage for the work performed.
Regardless of who is performing the work you need to stay within a budget. This can be accomplished by asking the employees how long they estimate a project will take to complete. This should be asked prior to preparing a proposal. When assigning work you need to let your employee know how long you expect him or her to spend on the task. If the task is going to take longer than anticipated they should let you know that it will take longer, how much longer and why. This allows you to pull the plug if going over budget or devise a new strategy.
Employees don’t often recognize the costs associated with making errors. Whether it is wasting copy paper and printer ink, boards, and other construction materials, or baking products they don’t see how this is costing the employer. They also fail to recognize they got paid to do the work wrong and then got paid to do it over. Training and supervising your employees can reduce the cost of mistakes. Mistakes can easily run up overtime costs.
Now is the time to take a look at how you pay your employees or workers. Make an appointment with your accountant or enrolled agent to explore what is the best option for you and your business. You won’t grow your business unless you focus on the net and stay abreast in changes to the rules, regulations, and laws.
Time to Bury the Fax Machine and Ditch Your Fax Number
Do you still spend money on a monthly fax service?
Do you still own a fax machine?
When was the last time you sent a fax?
When was the last time you received a fax?
I admit I was still paying $9.99 a month for my fax service until recently. Throughout the years, I have sporadically sent faxes. In 2015, I sent maybe four faxes. I don’t recall receiving any. If you are still paying for a fax service I suggest you look at the alternatives. I ditched my fax costs and I suggest you do too.
An alternative to sending a fax is scanning the document and sending as an attachment through email. There are also free app for your cell phone that you can use to scan documents and then send via message or email.
As we enter into 2nd Quarter it is a good time to do some spring cleaning. Review your expenses and see where you can eliminate waste. Each expense should show you an ROI that makes it worth keeping. If you can’t justify the cost then eliminate the waste. There are plenty of free resources available if you need to send a fax. A onetime use of a fax service at a local office supply store will still be cheaper than paying a monthly subscription that is never used.
Whether you are a business owner or the Chief Financial Officer for your home it is always good to periodically review your budget and see where you can cut costs.
Western Union closed its telegram service on 27 January 2006. Sending and receiving a fax is now becoming obsolete and needs to be retired.
Business owners, wives, and moms often find themselves short on time and energy. They are busy juggling a myriad of tasks. Remember, it only takes someone 15 seconds to sum you up and form an opinion. Whether right or wrong that is what happens. No one likes to be around a whiney person or someone who looks a mess.
In order to reclaim YOU so you stop sabotaging your efforts- you must adopt the three L’s:
Love You – Make time each day to do something for you. You must fall in love with yourself all over again. Now is the time to purge your closet of any items that make you feel fat or ugly. Purge your refrigerator and cupboards of all foods that make you feel sluggish or guilty. If you are a business owner does your office reflect your personality? Are your surroundings or where you spend most of your waking hours conducive to good mental health? Many of us cannot function when we are surrounded by clutter. Clutter is not only present in your home or office it is also in your car. Clear the clutter so you can unplug and feel good about you. Do not forget to make time to exercise. This does not require investing in a gym membership or expensive clothing. You can put on a comfortable pair of shoes and go for a walk. When you exercise, you will improve your mental clarity and strengthen your heart. Now is the time to make time to take care of you. It is not greedy to love you.
Lose the Excuses – Now is the time to stop playing the blame game. Lose the excuses. Stop blaming the economy, the children, your spouse, or the family pet. You must accept responsibility. If you are short on cash, rework your budget. If you are short on time start budgeting your time. Learn to say no. You have a voice and it needs to be heard. If the children are making demands that strain the family budget, learn to say “no”. If you have family and friends making demands on your time say “no”. People are not mind readers. They often do not have access to your day planner to see that you are over tasked. People will not stop being your friend or associate if you say “no”. When you lose the excuses you will be organized and in control of your situation. This will result in less stress and anxiety in your daily life.
Learn something new – A fundamental part of being successful is always learning something new. You must invest in you so you can grow personally and professionally. This can be something as inexpensive as reading a library book or article online from a quality source. You may want to invest in a weekend retreat or class at your college. Online learning makes it easy to invest in you. You can often listen and learn from the comforts of your home. Do not dismiss investing in you. In order to be successful as a business owner, wife, or mother you must invest in learning something new each day.
Regardless of the role we play we all want to be successful. When you adopt the three L’s you will be on the road to reclaiming your life and being successful. You will reap many benefits when you make time to love you, lose the excuses, and invest in you.
We all hit that brick wall at times where we are no longer jumping out of bed each morning excited to start our day. When you find yourself lying in bed dreading to get up and start your day you know it is time to do some self-reflection and find out what is zapping your energy.
Retreat from Your Business and Self Reflect 1. Mission & Vision – are you still honoring your original mission and vision for your business? If not, why did you get led down a different path? Were you chasing money to pay the bills instead of following your heart? Make time to review your mission and vision statement and update as necessary.
2. Evaluate Your Circle of Influence – do you have a support system that truly cares about you and your business? Do you have people sabotaging your efforts or belittling your goals and dreams? Use the attachment to take the time to evaluate your circle of influence. Make necessary adjustments so you can thrive.
3. Work Less – I know this may sound impossible but a few years ago my Coach told me to stop working so many hours. Set office hours and honor them. Use my productivity tracker to see where your time goes and how much time is being spent on tasks. If you would be outraged that an employee took so long to complete a task then revamp that task. I recommend setting a timer or placing a time limit for tasks. You will find you get the work completed within the time frame or sooner. You will be focused.
4. Delegate – delegate any task that does not bring you JOY. Find a virtual assistant or outsource to FIVERR or Elance if you do not have employees. Many tasks can be done faster and better by someone else. You do not have to do everything. Remember, two heads are often better than one. I would personally be lost without my team to jump in and help when I am sick, helping a client in crisis, or just by doing the tasks I don’t like to do. Give up control and delegate so you can focus on revenue generating tasks.
5. Invest in Self Care – you need to be the top priority for your business. This includes your physical and mental well-being. If you are not physically and mentally in shape you will be no good to your business. This means you may need to adopt an exercise program. You are worth the 30 or 60 minutes a day needed to focus on your health. When you exercise your body will release endorphins and you will have mental clarity. Your mood will be elevated for hours afterward. This will cause you to be more creative and productive as well as just a more pleasant person to be around.
Are you ready to start jumping out of bed to get your day started? Implementing my five tips above will help you have a positive mindset and more energy. This will aid you in attracting abundance. The Laws of Attraction are always at work. Like attracts like – don’t attract negative. Adopt a positive mindset so that you attract positive things for you and your business.