Episode 106: 2012 Tax Planning, Looking Ahead and Saying Good-bye

UPDATED 2016: LOOKING FOR NEW EPISODES? Check out my current podcast, The Inspired Entrepreneur’s Guide, for brand new content and inspiring interviews with today’s entrepreneurs. Go to¬†dvpodcasts.com for all new episodes and business resources!

 

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In episode 106 of A Virtual Perception podcast I interview Dominque Molina, she is the co-founder and President of the American Institute of Certified Tax Coaches (CertifiedTaxCoach.com) and the co-author of the book Breaking the Tax Code. In this episode Dominque shares her expertise on tax planning and preparation, common tax mistakes business owners make and how to avoid them, tax considerations you should make when choosing an entity for your business and advice on finding a tax professional that is right for you and your business.

In addition to the podcast episode, I also bid you farewell. As this is the final episode I will be producing of A Virtual Perception. It has been an awesome ride. I am grateful to all of the guests who graciously shared their insight and expertise with me and my listeners. I am most appreciative of you, the listeners for sticking with me through it all (even my somewhat botched up attempts at live shows ūüėČ ). ¬†The podcast episodes will remain online and available for download. So that you can refer back to them for information and resources.

If you would like to get in touch with me for any reason, you can email me at darlene (at) darlenevictoria.com or visit DVPodcasts.com to check out my current podcasts.

 

Show Links

Dominque Molina – http://www.certifiedtaxcoach.com

Thank you to the first and longest running sponsor of the show:
Virtual Assistant Forums – http://www.virtualassisstantforums.com
Be sure to visit their site for resources and support for and by Virtual Assistants. They truly rock!!!!

Produced and Hosted by:

Darlene Victoria Gonzalez of True Harmony Media, LLC

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Episode 105: Anchoring and Engaging Your Clients

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This week my guest is Nancy Butler of AboveAllElse.org. Nancy is a national motivational speaker and entrepreneur  who is currently helping other business owners and individuals find success in life and in business. Nancy has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur. She started her business back in 1981 as a newly divorced single mom and built her business to be a $200 million dollar financial planning practice which she sold in 2007. In this podcast episode, Nancy shares with me her insight and advice as it relates to connecting, engaging and anchoring clients to your business. Sometimes in this day and age of technology, customer service and customer attention gets overlooked. Nancy provides some great thoughts and ideas that will help keep your customer relations fresh and have your clients coming back time and again. Some of the other items we discussed in this episode include:

  • The circumstances that led her to taking the leap and starting her own business
  • Setting your business apart from your competition
  • Viewing your business from your clients’ perspective
  • Creating unique experiences for your clients
  • and much more!
Nancy truly is a motivating and inspiring entrepreneur. If you are in need of some motivation this week, as well as, some new ideas for customer relations – this is an episode you surely shouldn’t miss. Please feel free to leave your questions and comments as it relates to this episode in the comments below.

Show Links
Nancy Butler  Рhttp://www.aboveallelse.org

This episode of A Virtual Perception podcast was brought to you by:

Audible.com: Get your FREE audiobook download at http://www.audibletrial.com/avppodcast.
Over 85,000 titles to choose  from for your iPod or MP3 player.

A Virtual Perception podcast is produced and hosted by:
Darlene Victoria Gonzalez of True Harmony Media, LLC

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Ditch Your Day J-O-B and Start Doing What You Love!

This week I have a special interview blog post to share with you. Vidette Vanderweide (that’s Vidette on the right —>) is the creator of DitchYourJobNow.com and she is on a mission to help women live more passionately by doing what they love. Vidette took some time out of her busy day to answer some questions as it relates to her website, her experience, how not being a “supermom” is a-ok and most importantly about her: helping others succeed in doing what they love. Vidette is a breath of fresh air and oh-so-inspiring. Check out the interview below. To connect with Vidette, visit her website:¬†http://www.ditchyourjobnow.com

 

Darlene Gonzalez: Please take a few moments to tell me about yourself.

Vidette Vanderweide: I am a mother of two boys, 3 & 5. I also have a husband who’s been my biggest cheerleader throughout the process of quitting my job and starting my business. I live in Orange County, CA by way of the East Coast and feel as though I’ve found the perfect place to live!

I continue to develop myself everyday dedicating myself to getting better as a person, mother, wife and entrepreneur. When we stop learning, we stop growing and it’s up me to continue to get better for my family and clients so I can inspire them to get better.

Darlene: Many of my podcast episodes provide tips to new business owners. I found your website to be vibrant and it provides an exciting and fresh approach to this topic. You specifically talk a lot about finding and following your passion in business. Can you take a few moments to talk about starting a business and why being passionate about what you do is so important?

Vidette: Starting a business was so much more than I ever expected as far as how I grew as a person. There’s a great amount of courage in just deciding to start a business. It took me a long time before realizing that I really wasn’t passionate about my life, which was a hard thing to admit. I was married, had kids, had a job with the greatest benefits, so on paper, my life looked perfect to many. But inside, I was dying a little bit everyday but never realized it.

I just thought I was restless or doing my best to climb the corporate ladder, but there was something missing in my life.

I finally came to terms with my situation, stepped through the guilt and finally admitted one day to feeling unfulfilled, but that realization changed my life. I decided to take control of my life and be fulfilled to be better for my family.

I started a business doing what I loved and doing what I knew was good at and that first day, everything changed! I was better in every role in my life and I started to experience joy and happiness in the little things in life….I actually noticed the flowers, the smell of the ocean in the air, the laughter of my kids.

It was an experience that so changed my life that it completely became my mission. To help other women live passionately and realize the drastic changes that come with doing so.

Darlene: The name of your website is: DitchYourJobNow.com. Ditching your job, to many budding entrepreneurs, is the ultimate goal! But, ditching your job can also be very scary. What are some steps a person can take in order to ease some of that fear?

Vidette: The decision to ditch my job was the scariest I have ever made. That said, the decision was the hardest. The minute I called in my notice, my life changed. Now, I quit before I had a business, so that isn’t the way I’d recommend doing it. It made for a lot of scary times, financially, however, nothing will motivate you more than to not have that paycheck anymore.

That said, I work very closely with clients to have a plan. There is a methodical way of setting one’s business up for a leveraged and lucrative business and done right, the time-frame of starting a business to being able to safely leave a job is shortened.

There will always be fear in dropping what many of have been raised with as being the norm…a job. Having to put total faith in oneself to earn a living and/or accomplishing a big mission will always drum up feelings of self doubt and insecurity.

That said, being a successful entrepreneur (whatever that means to the individual), is a process. Success isn’t about the money, per se, it’s more about the person you become. That person must stand up to fear, overcome it and move through it time and time again. So, leaving a job will only come when that person has showed their commitment to themselves and their business, so the person they are at that point, will probably have become “psychologically unemployable.’

Darlene: Weekly Wake-Up Call. I absolutely love the fact that you have a weekly wake-up call subscription on your website; a quick audio tip delivered to email on Monday mornings. What prompted you to do something like that? What advice do you have for new business owners when it comes to finding ways to use New Media in their business?

Vidette: My ideal client is a woman who is “miserably employed” looking for a way to live more passionately. I know Monday mornings in the corporate world are HORRIBLE!! It’s so hard to get moving, motivated and inspired when trying to get yourself up, get the kids up and out the door, fight traffic to simply get to a job you hate.

So, because I have a very specific vision of who my target market is, I thought about what it is they want, need, or would hope to have. Inspiration on a Monday came to my head. So, if I could deliver 5 – 10 minutes of inspiration, taking their mind off of their Monday ‘blues’ for that short amount of time, I feel like I’ve succeed for that day. Plus, when they are inspired for that 5 – 10 minutes, my hope is that they keep thinking about what is possible for them.

The new business model that we are now seeing today, an online business allows us to communicate our messages, teachings, and inspiration via technology. Utilizing new media is a must. Clients and students want their information ASAP and on their own terms, so by delivering it using technology, people will build their loyalty quickly to you.

Darlene: A lot of the listeners to this podcast are work at home moms. One of your latest blog posts entitled, “Why Women Juggling Work and Family Perfectly Annoy Me” got a giggle out of me. As women, we do try to be perfect in everything we do, from managing our business, to keeping the house in check and everything else in between. ¬†Of course, there is no such thing as being perfect. We try anyway. What advice or thoughts would you like to share when it comes to balancing business and family?

Vidette: My biggest advice: it’s o.k. not to be perfect. It’s o.k. to admit you may not win the “mother of the year award.” It’s o.k. to have a messy house. It’s o.k. to leave a load of laundry on the couch until the next morning.

I spent a good portion of my married life, even before kids, “keeping up with the Jones,” I had to have a nice house, a nice car, etc. Then when my boys were born, it was exhausting living that life. Being o.k. with not being able to do it all has been YEARS in the making for me.

I used to get peeved if I saw my husband folding the laundry that I had set down on the couch hours prior. I thought that he was thinking I was a bad wife/mother. I now realize, that was the story I made up in my head. I also now realize that women like me are too tired and busy to even care if I’m perfect so who cares!

I have neighbors stop by for a cup of milk and I’m no longer embarrassed if my house isn’t spotless. I don’t care. When it’s all said and done, if my family is experiencing joy and happiness and we are laughing together, than I could care less if there are balls of dog hair floating across the floor.

But then again, my process in growing as an entrepreneur has made me the person I am. I am no longer concerned with the material things in life, but what’s happening in the present moment. I think when one lives passionately in life and has feelings of fulfillment, there isn’t the need to bury oneself in the material things.

Knowing what I know now, I now know that the “supermom” doesn’t exist. Everyone has their quirks so trying to keep up with something that doesn’t exist is just wasted time.

Darlene: Finally, do you have any tips or advice that you would like to share as it relates to creating and building a business?

Vidette: The biggest advice is to get a mentor.

There is a right way to build a business. I spent a lot of money trying to figure it out myself. I failed. I worked really hard. I learned a lot, but I didn’t get a head very quickly.

I finally decided to follow the path of many mentors that I had read about. All mentioned having mentors and coaches. It was an investment I was so frightened to make, however, after doing so, I now know I would have saved THOUSANDS of dollars had I just started out hiring a mentor.

I believe we all have a path to follow and that was mine, I just hope to inspire more to start at the first step, which is the scariest, but will get you much further.

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Episode 104: Business Insights, Advice and Resources for Today's Online Entrepreneurs

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Happy October everyone!  This month I will be airing one audio podcast episode Рwhich is this one. Then in a couple of weeks, check back here for a special blog interview with Vidette Vanderweide of DitchYourJobNow.com.

This episode is full of business insights, advice and resourceful information provided by Adam Menon (pictured to the right) of Winningstack.com. Adam is anonline entrepreneur who manages several different websites and online ventures. He took some time to talk with me about his business and share his experiences, which I think you will find very helpful to you and your business. Some of the items we discussed were:

  • How to choose ¬†business ideas (out of the many you may have at any ¬†given time!)
  • Attracting people to your website using free valuable content and gaining paying customers
  • Outsourcing work to grow and expand your business, allowing you to free up your time and focus on the things you like to do
  • Setting yourself apart from others in your industry; niches
  • And a whole lot more!
I found Adam to be extremely¬†knowledgeable, helpful and easy to talk with. I hope you gain some inspiration and insight from our conversation. If you have any¬†questions¬†or would like to leave feedback, please do so in this post’s comments. Thanks for listening!



Show Links
Adam Menon’s website: Winningstack.com

Virtual Perception podcast is brought to you by:

Virtual Assistant Forums: http://www.virtualassistantforums.com

Virtual Assistantville: http://www.virtualassistantville.com

A Virtual Perception podcast is produced and hosted by:
Darlene of True Harmony Media, LLC: http://www.yourtrueharmony.com

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Episode 103: Virtual Assistant Interview with Jenifer De La Garza

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Last week, I aired a portion of my interview with Jenifer De La Garza of Support My Office.¬†In this episode I share my complete interview with Jenifer. Our conversation focused on Jenifer’s business: why she started it, building confidence, ideal clients and how all of that led her to where she is today. I ¬†found the conversation to be refreshing and inspiring, I hope you do too!

Show Links:

SupportMyOffice.com
WordPress.tv
Wordcamp Albuequerue

Virtual Perception podcast is brought to you by:

Virtual Assistant Forums: http://www.virtualassistantforums.com

Virtual Assistantville: http://www.virtualassistantville.com

A Virtual Perception podcast is produced and hosted by:
Darlene of True Harmony Media, LLC: http://www.yourtrueharmony.com

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Episode 102: Wordcamp in a Nutshell

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If you are someone that works online then you’ve probably heard of the term WordPress. Perhaps you are someone who has been thinking about creating a website using the WordPress platform, but just aren’t sure where or how to start. ¬†Maybe you already have a WordPress website; but want to learn how to really make your website work for you!

During a podcast interview last week with Jenifer De La Garza of Support My Office, she spoke about Wordcamp Albuquerque, an event she is co-organizing along with Albuquerque Web Designer Karen Arnold. Wordcamp is a conference that discusses all things WordPress. The event is this weekend and I wanted to share the information about this upcoming event with you.. in case you can and want to go.

In addition, Jenifer shares with me the experience and benefits she’s had by being co-organizer. One benefit: face time with other business professionals. Definitely some food for thought for anyone that has been thinking about organizing or helping organize an event such as this.

Next week I will be airing my complete podcast interview with Jenifer where we speak about such things as her Virtual Assistant business, why she started her business, finding the confidence needed to succeed, rates and more. It’s certainly a conversation many can relate to and also may find inspiring, I know I did. As always, thanks for listening!

Show Links
Wordcamp Albuquerque

Wordcamp Central

WordPress.tv

This episode of A Virtual Perception podcast was brought to you by:

Audible.com: Get your FREE audiobook download at http://www.audibletrial.com/avppodcast.
Over 85,000 titles to choose  from for your iPod or MP3 player.

A Virtual Perception podcast is produced and hosted by:
Darlene Victoria Gonzalez of True Harmony Media, LLC

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Episode 101: Marketing Fun, Social Media News and Events Galore!

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All new podcast episodes are back! Episode 101 starts what I like to call the “Fall Season” of A Virtual Perception. In this episode I tell listeners about some changes to the show’s format: I’ll be airing shows twice a month, instead of weekly and the iTunes Feed will be changing at the end of this month. This episode also provides virtual assistant resources, news and noteworthy events.

Episode 101 also features my conversation with Steve Gordon (pictured right) of Steve Gordon Marketing Systems. Steve is a marketing consultant whoshares his unique approach to marketing – systematic marketing.

We also discuss the following topics:

  • how to use online services to systematically market to customer using email and traditional mail
  • adding value to your systematic marketing messages
  • how to market without feeling like you are pushing your product or service on someone
  • how to create a systematic marketing plan that can be automated
Steve was a great guest and provided me, someone who has a hard time “selling myself” with the inspiration, tips and confidence needed to get out there and market!
Show Links:

Grab your free copy of ¬†Steve’s Report “7 Biggest Marketing Mistakes..”
Mashable’s 10 Tips for Google+
Dell’s America’s Favorite Small Business Contest
Wordcamp Albuequerue

Virtual Perception podcast is brought to you by:

Virtual Assistant Forums: http://www.virtualassistantforums.com

Virtual Assistantville: http://www.virtualassistantville.com

A Virtual Perception podcast is produced and hosted by:
Darlene of True Harmony Media, LLC: http://www.yourtrueharmony.com

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New Episodes Back in September!

Hello AVP Listeners and Followers,

A quick note to let you know that all new episodes will be returning to the internet airwaves in September.

If you are interested in being a guest, I’d love to have you on the show! If you are a business professional interested in providing other small business owners with resources and information that will help them grow their businesses through marketing, communication, social media, inspiring entrepreneurial journey or other innovative avenues, you’re exactly who I want to chat with. This is a great way to highlight your area of expertise and get in front of a new audience.

Complete the Be a Guest Form on the site for consideration. I look forward to hearing from you! And, I definitely look forward to bringing you all new episodes in September. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Until Next Time,
Darlene

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Episode 100: Special 100th Episode!

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This week AVP celebrates its 100th Episode! In this episode, five guests return to answer questions ranging from social media to being a work at home mom to advice for aspiring Virtual Assistants. The guests are: Kimberly LeRiche of JK Virtual Office Resources, Lee Drozak of My Office Assistant, Tahneesha Smith of A Virtual Blessing, Tammi Metzler of the Write Associate and Tess Strand of Virtual Assistant Forums. These five entrepreneurs have been super supportive to the podcast over the years and I am grateful they came back to share insightful and inspiring information to you, the listeners.

I started the podcast in May 2008 just for the fun of it. I did not have any experience with audio recording or podcasting. If you had told me back then that three years later I would still be podcasting and celebrating my 100th episode, I would not have believed you.

Producing the podcast is something I have always been passionate about. It is truly my way of giving back and it’s a joy producing it for you. About a month ago I contemplated ending the show after the 100th episode. It was a sad thought and after some soul searching I realized I just needed a break and that ultimately I didn’t want to end the show. Therefore, I am taking the summer off from producing the podcast for some R&R. By doing so, I can come back in September – refreshed, revitalized and ready to roll!

If you want to be a guest on the show, have a topic suggestion or just want to reach out and say “Hey!” send me a message. Use the form on the Contact page to get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for your continued support of the show!

Show Links

Kimberly LeRiche: http://jkvirtualoffice.com/
Lee Drozak: http://www.myofficeasssist.org/
Tahneesha Smith: http://www.avirtualblessing.com
Tammi Metzler: http://writeassociate.com/
Tess Strand: http://www.virtualassistantforums.com

Virtual Perception podcast is brought to you by:

Virtual Assistant Forums: http://www.virtualassistantforums.com

Virtual Assistantville: http://www.virtualassistantville.com

A Virtual Perception podcast is produced and hosted by:
Darlene Victoria Digital Media Support


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Episode 99: Virtual Assistant Interview with Tiffany Hoeckelman

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Episode 99 of A Virtual Perception features my interview with Virtual Assistant, Tiffany Hoekelman. Tiffany is the owner of Avail Virtual and provides desktop publishing, document production and administrative based services to small businesses. Tiffany first landed on my radar of potential people I’d like to interview on my show after she left a comment about one of AVP’s episodes. I hopped on over to her website and was instantly impressed. ¬†I invited her on the show to talk about being a VA and starting her business and she graciously accepted.

During our chat Tiffany shared with me the reason she started her VA business, how she first learned about the Virtual Assistant Industry, networking locally, the design of her website and more!

Show Links

Tiffany Hoekelman: http://www.availvirtual.com

Toggl: https://www.toggl.com/

Google Apps: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html

Virtual Perception podcast is brought to you by:

Virtual Assistant Forums: http://www.virtualassistantforums.com

Get your FREE audiobook download at http://www.audibletrial.com/avppodcast.
Over 85,000 titles to choose  from for your iPod or MP3 player.

A Virtual Perception podcast is produced and hosted by:
Darlene of True Harmony Media, LLC: http://www.yourtrueharmony.com

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