Category Archives: Social Entrepreneurship

What’s Wrong With Success?

You know… I have been thinking a lot lately about how challenging it is to find other people who are passionate about their possibilities….passionate about making a difference….about succeeding in an extraordinary way in the world today.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of people out there who have worked hard to get a decent job, get paid pretty well, and even have an occupation they love, and I don’t mean to take that away from anybody…but is not the success I am talking about.  That type of success is typical…it’s predictable, and in the overall scheme of things….it’s easy, not to mention very ubiquitous.  Who I am talking about here, are the people with fire in their bellies.  I am talking about the people who look at succeeding as a virtue and not as a vice?  The people who are excited to see what they can do with this thing called life.  People who want to not only see how far they can go, but also, how far you can go.  Where are these people?  Have they all been scared away into hiding!?

It’s really odd, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been exposed to people whose credo was “que sera sera” or “if you are trying…you are trying too hard.”  I mean what kind of bunk is this?  When did striving to be our best become so undesirable?  When did people start believing that being a go-getter, a risk taker, was incompatible with being compassionate, socially conscious, or good?

And the naysayers!   Wow…there’s no shortage of them.  You would think that there was some special/secret “discouragement fraternity” where being a charter member was something to be celebrated.  You know who I am talking about….those people who want to keep you in their own comfort zone.   Of course I don’t want to be harsh…I do understand that it’s not that this group doesn’t want you to be successful. They just don’t want you to be more successful than they are.   Are you starting to get the picture?…..When did complacency become in vogue?

Here is a thought.  If I were to come up to you at your workplace or your home and say “You ready?…let’s go do it…let’s go change the world! Let’s go create your destiny!”  What would you do?  Would you look up at me like I was crazy…and say, “uhhhh, no thanks”? Or would you say…”let’s go do it…let’s go put a dent in the universe Nate?”  Statistically, many people would be the former…of course It’s my hope that you’d be the latter.

I know, I know…”but success is subjective” one might say.   It’s true it is…but I feel that there is a universal quality that can be applied to this thing called success…and here it is….”It’s the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal, while making a difference in the lives of others”.  Would you agree?  Well here’s a quote from one of my favorite Leaders/Entrepreneurs that is worth the read especially if you have a little voice popping up in your head right about now telling you that I am full of “it”….so here it is, Robin Sharma says  “I have a sense that the best part of you will feel a little hollow. Part of what makes us human is the hunger to realize our greatest gifts and live life fully. We were built to shine. And without significance, I believe that we will feel that we have walked the planet in vain.”….gosh I love this guy!    So, hey…I guess it’s okay if you choose to walk this life in vain, I’d hate to see it happen, but if does, please let’s not pretend that to do so is honorable, and then cast a shadow on success as if there was something wrong with it.  There’ s nothing wrong with success, just like there’s nothing wrong with leaving the world in a better condition than you found it.

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The $3,000 Giveaway

I am sure that you probably know by now how taxes work and how frustrating they can be, but I thought I’d still put this together and throw it out there to you to jog your memory, just in case you were in need if a refresher, because hey…everyone , or at least almost everyone likes money.

Now, I’ll bet that you have heard of how people can actually save money with taxes when they have a business, but do you know how they actually save the money?  Well if not, then read on because I am sure you have been at one time or another, that person who has said to themselves… “Dang, my friend, sister, cousin, or whatever,  is so lucky..  he/she get’s to write everything off!  If only I could do that…yada, yada, yada”  So I thought I’d share with you how easy it is to save/make (depending upon how you look at it) $3,000 – $9,000 / year in taxes if you so choose to.

Keep in mind as you look at the breakdown that you can simply enter in your own figures to get an estimate of what you woud be able to write off if you had a home based business.  Don’t forget that most of the expenses you already have will fall into a type of business expense category once you have your business up and running (Disclaimer:  all figures are relevant to my expenses and will differ based on the type of business you set up).  Let’s begin!

Tax Deductions (untaxed income) for a Home Based Business


Cell Phone: Monthly Charge:  $ 100 x  12 months
= $ 1,200

Internet Service and Home Phone (Land Line… New Messages) Monthly Charge:  $ 67 x 12 months
= $ 804

Business Overhead
Signup $299.00 + Monthly Website fee $ 14.95 x 12 = 179.4
= $ 478.40

Education / Training (annually)
SuperSaturdays, Conventions, Audiobooks
=$ 1,000

Office/Business Supplies (annually)
Ink Cartridges
= $ 200
Computer Paper
= $ 60
Misc. Pens/Pencils/Staples/etc..
= $ 20
Business Cards
= $ 60
Internet Technology i.e. sites, myfax, etc.
=  $ 122
Gas Mileage (annually)
Total Mileage on Vehicles(s) this year:  15,000
Total Miles driven for other employment:  5000
Miles remaining:  10,000 so
15,000 – 5,000 = 10,000 x $.55
=  $ 5,500

Meals / Entertainment
(meetings with team, partners, prospects, leaders, or recruits)
50% of Monthly meals out or in home:  ($240 x .5 = $120) so
$ 120 x  12 months
= $ 1,440

Vacation (Intellectual Property) $ 1,200 x 2 (# of vacations)
= $2,400

Total Tax Deduction  = $ 13,284.4
Estimate your tax bracket (20 – 25% is good for this example)
= $ 13,284.4

x            .25

$ 3,321.10   =  TOTAL TAX SAVINGS …..Yippee!

I don’t know about you, but  having an extra $3,321 per year is a lot of money.  I am big on assests, so of course I will put the money back in the market and have it work hard for me.  I like to play with the numbers so I will show you what I will get when I invest this $3,321 give away into an average performing stock for oh…let’s say 20 yrs.

So that’s $3,321, with an annual addition of $3,321 for 20 yrs at 6% and I get, drum roll please…………………………. $140,145.74!
(Try For Yourself)

I know what you are thinking… Holy smokes that’s alot of money, and you’re right, it is.  So the question is, what would you do with a $3,000 giveaway? Go on vacation, pay off some debt, invest it, gamble with it?…what?  I am curious.

Okay, so you don’t have a home-based business I understand that, but if you are curious, and would like to know what is out there, I would highly recommend visiting npros.com  or entrepreneur.com.  These two sources  have an extremely extensive list of  fast start home-based businesses which you can choose from that will be most fitting to your personality.

So, are you going to take advantage of the $3,000 giveaway, or are you not going to do anything and  give away the $3,000?

[This is an estimate only.  Check with your CPA as tax laws periodically change.  Many other deductions are probable such as a percentage of all household costs for Home Office, i.e gas, electricity, water, HOA fees, landscaping, sewer repairs, etc…  The percentage is based on the square footage in the home used for the home based business.  Capital Expenses, i. e laptop computers, printers, flat screen TV’s used for presentations may also be depreciated/deductible.  June 2009.  For more Info on Tax Law for the Home Based Business, call for recorded info at 702-405-4438. or visit the Tax Reduction Institute]

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What if?

What if…..you decided to do something different, make some changes, and take some action?

For example, what if ……you decided to create a website that had a sole aim of collecting one penny from every person in China and India, and then decided to direct those funds to a charity?  With these two countries having a population of roughly 2.6 billion people combined, you would be able to amass $26,000,000 to ultimately do some good.  What if you went bigger and attempted to get one penny from every person in the world?  With a world population of  roughly 6, 700, 000,000  people / 100 =  you would have $67,000,000.  Now that would be a nice chunck of change to do some serious good in the world.

What if….you decided to better yourself by one percent each day.  Focusing on ways to be more effective at work, ways to be more creative, socialable, friendly, caring, giving, or just more human.  With a 1% change a day, you would be 31 – 33 % better after a month.  Imagine the amount of change you would experience in all these areas of your life after just a few years of compounded personal growth.

What if ….you decided to read one more additional book per month.  You would have read an extra 12 books per year,  48 in four years, 96 in 8 years,  192 in 16 years, and whopping 384 extra books in 32 years.   You would be a freaking sage.  Your friends and family, and even me,  would be compelled to start calling you professor.

What if…. you decided today to meet one new person per week and befriend them?  After one year you would have 52 new friends, after 10 years you would have 520 friends, after 20 years you would have 1040 friends.  Imagine the amount of possiblities that lie within reach of knowing so many people who trust you.  Imagine the influence you would have with such a group of friends.

What if…… you decided to take some extra risks and push through those inevitable walls set up to test our dreams and deter us from being the passionate revolutionaries we truly are?  Imagine you got through those barriers and received everything you’ve always wanted….

What if you took action? What if you don’t?

What if?

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The Art of Living Dangerously

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I put together a lens on Squidoo the other day titled The Art of Living Dangerously.  Now, I built this lens for a couple of reasons.  First of all I have a slight fascination with the idea of Dangerous Living, Second, it embodies an idea which I have been striving to live by for quite some time, and finally, it’s a way of living which I think is necesarry for entrepreneurs to have…. especially if they are to  achieve any kind of extraordinary success.  So, for all of my already adventurous and enterprising readers I hope you enjoy the happy reminder of what you are, and for all my readers who are on the fence awaiting “that moment” to which you are to start making some big things happen in your own life, I wish it to be a catalystic experience for you.

Now  if you decide to leave this page before reading it…remember….that our biggest failures in life will be our failure to try, and our biggest risks in life will found in riskless living.  Take a risk today and go and enjoy The Art of Living Dangerously and please don’t hesitate to comment back.

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Are You A Change Agent?

Are you interested in trying to identify and solve social problems on a large scale?   Are you  innovative and relish the thrill of opportunity seeking?  Does making changes and improvements to systems or society interest you?  If so you may be a social entrepreneur.

Do you primarily seek to generate “social value” rather than profits for your business?  Is your work targeted not only towards immediate, small-scale effects, but sweeping, long-term changes in the world?  Are you an idealist?  If so you may be a social entrepreneur.

Now reverse these questions and replace social value with economic value and social problems with economic potential and you have yourself a true blue entrepreneur. 

Now I have a tough time with this rigid dicotomy of the entrepreneurial types, and often wonder why there isn’t a definition for the two combined.  It does seem reasonable that the two could combine.  So, I ask myself the question.  “What would you call an entrepreneur who has the goals of a capitalist but a heart of a saint?”

My answer?  A Change Agent…yeah a Change Agent, it sounds cool,  makes sense, plus I think Peter Drucker might agree.

So, what are your goals? What are your intentions?  Do you just want to make a profit, or is making a difference important to you too?  What are you going to do in your business to emerge from the average, the typical, to combine these two ideas and make some real change?
Hello, are you listening….Are You A Change Agent?

P.S…this doesn’t just apply to “Entrepreneurs”   See Why.

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