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1.  Vatican 2.0.  The Pope is diving into social media.  Benedict’s got his own YouTube channel now (you better step it up on social media) – GoSee

2.  Got a blog?  Here are 21 ways to grow your blog – Guaranteed (I guess you get your money back if it doesn’t work) – GoSee

3.  I like the company Intuit (the maker of QuickBooks).  They are very innovative and focused on the microbusiness.  They’ve just released some pretty exciting survey info on the small business community (e.g. “89% of small business owners say they see opportunities for their business despite the stagnant economy”) – GoSee

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer


Met with my business coach again yesterday…  and he railed on me again.  In a nice way, but I had it coming.  This monthly outside scrutiny has become something I rely on heavily.

One thing I’ve learned at 37 years of age is that I haven’t learned much.  This epiphany has changed my life.  It causes me to look to my coach, my dad, my friends at church, my wife and anyone else I can to learn and grow in my work and life.  I don’t turn anyone down who is ready to offer me free advice (from the rich snob to the humble homeless man).

Though you may not think about it very often, outside scrutiny is REQUIRED if you own a business or manage people.  But you are so busy day to day that you don’t actually seek it out.  Outside scrutiny has brought me:

  1. Fresh thoughts on my marketing plans (or lack thereof),
  2. Assistance with the consideration of new business lines of revenue,
  3. More effective ways to manage my time,
  4. Elimination of unproductive activities or ideas,
  5. Creation of new friendships and/or business contacts,
  6. Confirmation of who to hire and who to fire,
  7. Assistance with developing clarity in our firm’s methods of service to our clients,
  8. Knowledge about many things I’ve never had time to learn about,
  9. Contradictory relationships that make me sharper in my business knowledge and general understandings,
  10. Challenges to consider the time I spend with work vs. family,
  11. Relationships with people who can NOT enhance my business but certainly engage my heart,
  12. Suggestions on business books that enhance who I am as a leader,
  13. etc, etc, etc.

There are many more (can you think of anymore?).  I need this scrutiny and so do you.  There is wisdom in seeking outside scrutiny – in fact your business and relationships depend on it!

Here are some often overlooked medical itemized deductions you may want to consider for the upcoming tax year:

  • Acupuncture
  • Air Conditioner (must be necessary for relief of allergies)
  • Ambulance service
  • Clarinet lessons to treat an improper meeting of a child’s upper and lower teeth (Squidward will be glad to know that)
  • Dyslexia language training
  • Humidifier (if the doctor told you so)
  • Over-the-counter medical equipment and supplies (needles, crutches, bandages, etc.)
  • alcohol and drug abuse treatments
  • Travel expenses to medical appointments (round trip). Deduct 19 cents/mile before 7/1/08, and 27 cents/mile after 6/30/08

Now you know.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that (i) any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; (ii) any such tax advice is written in connection with the promotion or marketing of the matters addressed; and (iii) if you are not the original addressee of this communication, you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.

“A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge.”

Peter Drucker

1.  I went to two monitors a while back and have lived the truth of this article.  If you haven’t made the jump yet, believe me – you will increase your productivity for a small investment (now I just have to do it for my staff) – GoSee

2.  Are you an entrepreneur and need some funding?  Attend the annual Innoventure conference in Greenville, SC for a chance a VC funding – GoSee

3.  Small Biz Labs always explains things very well.  I love that blog!  Here is a nontechnical yet compelling argument behind pursuing niche markets in our global economy – GoSee

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer

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January 2009
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