The First Steps to Starting Your Dream Business

The First Steps to Starting Your Dream Business

Are you feeling stuck in your current job, dreaming of starting your own business but unsure of where to begin?

It can be a daunting decision to leave the security of a steady paycheck and take the leap into entrepreneurship. However, there are certain signs that indicate it may be time to quit your job and start pursuing your passion. 

Starting a business can be one of the most rewarding things you can do to create the life you’ve dreamed of, but it can also be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to take the right first steps to ensure that you’re building a business that is aligned with your values and goals.

Check out these small business tips and resources to help you set yourself up for success, and get a better understanding of what it takes to transition from employee to entrepreneur – and to start living life on your own terms!

When You Should Quit Your Job

Deciding to quit your job and start your own business is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. While the idea of being your own boss and pursuing your passions may be exciting, there are also significant risks and challenges involved in starting a business. 

Maybe you’re experiencing a toxic work environment with bullying (which was what happened with me!) or you want your work to have a bigger impact on the world. Take time to look at your own mental health and the resources that are available to you, as well as your level of commitment to starting this new business. 

Ultimately, the decision to quit your job and start your own business is a personal one that requires careful consideration and planning. While it may be tempting to jump into entrepreneurship without fully evaluating the risks and rewards, taking the time to assess your situation and plan accordingly can help set you up for success in the long run.

The 5 Keys to Starting a Business

To build a lifestyle in alignment with who you are, it’s important to keep these five key factors in mind when starting a business:

  1. Passion, purpose, and vision –

    When starting a business, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your passion and brand purpose. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals, even in the face of challenges. If it feels overwhelming to think of narrowing down to a specific area, learn how to niche down as a multi-passionate person.
  1. A solid business plan and brand strategy –

    Every successful business starts with a clear vision of what it wants to achieve, and a well-defined strategy to get there. Without a clear sense of direction and purpose, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations and lose sight of the bigger picture. Having a solid business plan that outlines your vision and strategy will help keep your business focused and on track, while also providing a roadmap for growth and success.
Design and manifest your dream life with the vision book
  1. Build a consistent brand presence on social media –

    Consistent branding and marketing across social media platforms that align with your communication style are also essential for building a successful business. By developing a strong brand identity and consistently promoting your products or services, you can establish your business in the minds of your ideal target audience and build a loyal client base.
  1. Find your ideal client and build a strong brand experience for them –

    By prioritizing client satisfaction and building a positive reputation, you can create a loyal community and attract new customers through word of mouth. Having a clear idea of who your ideal client is will also help you build these strong relationships, because they’ll naturally be in alignment with your offers!
  1. Work on your mindset and daily routines –

    Finally, this might be the most essential ingredient to starting a business that will last and bring you success long term. It’s important to work on your mindset and develop daily routines that will help you stay grounded in the face of an ever-changing business landscape that will require you to be adaptable and flexible. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and successful entrepreneurs are able to pivot and adjust their strategies as needed to stay ahead of the curve.

By keeping these five key factors in mind, you can increase your chances of building a successful business that aligns with your personal values and goals, and start creating a lifestyle that you love!

How Can I Start My First Business with No Money?

Starting a business with limited funds can be challenging, but it’s not impossible with the right approach and mindset, it’s possible to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

Being resourceful and creative is key when funds are limited, and there are many ways to get started on a budget. Here are some practical tips for getting started with little to no investment:

  • Consider the type of business you wish to start. For example: an online business offering services can cost you $100 or less to start as you don’t need much capital unlike a restaurant or a beauty product brand 
  • Build your support network by bartering or partnering with other businesses to reduce costs
  • Find a flexible side hustle that can pay your bills as you grow your business 
  • Use free or low-cost resources, such as podcasts and social media, to learn and reach your target audience. My FREE personalized brand strategy guide is a great place to start – check out this brand strategy quiz I created to help you understand how to show up in your business in alignment with your unique energy, personality & Human Design
  • Start showing up on social media and talking about your business everywhere to land opportunities such as sponsorships, investors and features that will help bring you clients to grow your business 
  • When you can’t invest money, you will have to invest more time to get where you want to go.

Starting a business is a journey, and it can be a challenging transition. However, with the right mindset, resources, and support, you can absolutely build a successful and fulfilling business that supports your true-to-self life. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your existing business to the next level, embrace the process and take the first steps towards building the business and life of your dreams.

If you are ready to build an online brand that allows you to live a freedom and joy filled life, check out my brand development coaching program. This program gives you hands-on experience creating your brand from scratch, including messaging and social media strategy.

How to Thrive as a Woman Entrepreneur in Business and in Life

How to Thrive as a Woman Entrepreneur in Business and in Life

Written by Karyn Winrich of

As an entrepreneur, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Not only are you concerned with your own career development, but you want to help equip each of your team members to take their careers as far as possible while benefiting the overall success of your organization. 

If you’re like many other entrepreneurs, you have family, friends, and other passions and interests outside of work that you don’t want to lose sight of. Juggling all of your commitments can quickly become overwhelming without a strategy. But fortunately, if you’re intentional about finding harmony in your responsibilities, you can flourish in all areas of your life. Here is some practical advice for doing just that!

Accept Failure     

You might feel like many other entrepreneurs and be well acquainted with failure. Your desire is to be a superb leader, wife, mother, and friend. You might sometimes feel like you fail miserably at any or all of these roles. 

But here’s the thing: you must practice anything if you hope to do it well. Every time you make a mistake, you have the opportunity to analyze where you messed up and take things in a different direction. Failing means the chance to grow.

You’re going to make mistakes. As long as you learn from them, they can improve your work and personal life in the long run. However, if you wait for too long and neglect to make changes toward growth, it can negatively impact your personal relationships, health, and productivity. Try not to get discouraged every time you make a mistake; just be intentional about using them to your advantage!

Keep Tabs on Your Finances      

Healthy finances are critical to succeeding in business and at home. If you struggle to manage money, whether it’s for your team or your household, look for ways to improve. Creating a basic budget is an excellent place to start because it will show you where your money is coming from and where it’s going.

One area of your personal finances that you should always be mindful of is your credit history. Reading your annual free credit report, which is available from one of the big three credit bureaus, can help you stay apprised of your personal credit standing. Your credit score can affect your ability to take on loans like a mortgage, so it’s important to stay on top of it.

Tips for budgeting as an entrepreneur

Seek Grants      

While taking out a business loan can give your business an injection of capital, you can also give your company a jumpstart by accessing grants. Fortunately, there are many grants available to women entrepreneurs. These include grants at the state and local level and national grants such as the Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant and Open Meadows Foundation Grant.

Take Time Off

Don’t be afraid to take vacations. As a leader, you may be tempted to always remain available to help your team and keep your organization running smoothly. But you will eventually burn out if you don’t skip town now and then. Prioritize time off to spend with your family and do other things you love.

Establish Firm Work Hours

While working in a leadership position, it might be impractical to say that you should never work overtime. Now and then, working on the weekend or coming home a bit later may not significantly harm your relationships. But you can rest assured that doing it too often will.

Set work hours and make sure your team, bosses, and family understand your boundaries. Remember your ultimate goal is to find harmony, not workaholism!

Opt for Harmony Over Balance

Finally, know that work-life balance is a myth. You cannot divide your energy evenly for the long term. Many entrepreneurs discover that pursuing harmony in life delivers better results. Instead of compartmentalizing your life, see all the parts as essential pieces of one puzzle. This means that you might talk about your kids a lot at work and share your office challenges and victories with the family when you get home.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have priorities. But when each piece of your life is aware of the others, it tends to create a more supportive environment.

Being an entrepreneur can be rewarding, but it makes for a challenging career. If you want to foster your well-being and maintain a high quality of life, you must take steps to develop harmony. Consider the tips above as you start to make productive changes, and keep learning how you can reduce stress and add fulfillment in all areas of your life!

If you are ready to build an online brand that allows you to live a freedom and joy filled life, check out Marina’s brand development coaching program. This program gives you hands-on experience creating your brand from scratch, including messaging and social media strategy.

If you want to find your authentic brand strategy, check out this brand strategy quiz Marina created to help you understand how to show up in your business in alignment with your unique energy, personality & Human Design.

7 Steps to Personal Development for Mindful Entrepreneurs

7 Steps to Personal Development for Mindful Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur you’re a leader to your internal team, your clients, the community you build, and on any stage you step on. 

This role as leader and the responsibilities of entrepreneurship can feel overwhelming, so cultivating mindful practices that contribute to your personal development is essential.

Not only will this benefit you personally, but investing in your growth will help you create spaces where others grow, amplifying the impact of your work. 

Here we’ll discuss 7 steps you can take to build a personal development plan and become a more mindful entrepreneurial leader. 

But first let’s define what it means to be a mindful leader and why this matters. 

What is mindful leadership and why it matters

As an entrepreneur you have likely heard the many personal benefits you gain from practicing mindfulness. 

Mindful leadership moves beyond that to bring the awareness you cultivate in your personal life into the interactions you have with others and the ways you respond to situations in your business. 

Executive Coach, Patricial Omoqui, describes it as a leadership style where you “cultivate [your] ability to be present, open-minded, and compassionate when interacting” and one in which you “respond to what’s happening in the moment instead of defaulting to reactive patterns”

You can build mindful leadership with a consistent mindfulness practice that benefits your personal growth and of those around you. 

A study with 57 senior leaders found that mindfulness, if practiced consistently, can help with resilience, the capacity for collaboration, and the ability to lead in complex conditions. 

The study showed these were the result of three meta-capacities:

  1. Metacognition: the ability to observe your thoughts, feelings, and senses means that in the fast-pace of entrepreneurship where people are often in survival mode, you are able to step back and be fully present to observe the situation. 
  2. Allowing: having more openness and kindness towards yourself and others prevents criticism from getting in the way of observing and seeing situations as they really are. 
  3. Curiosity: the desire to explore and learn more about what shows up in your inner and outer world. 

The benefits of developing these capabilities is that you lead without relying on fear or manipulation. 

Instead, you overcome challenges and move through conflict while cultivating a safe environment for your community and teams to grow along with you. 

So if you want to be a leader who encourages growth, it’s important to bring mindfulness into your daily life and use it to improve your personal development. 

How to develop as a mindful entrepreneur

Focusing on your personal development should be a priority. Often, we want to prioritize strategies in the business before we prioritize ourselves, and we end up falling victim to the never-ending new strategies. 

You’re not grounded in anything, and end up burning out. This approach to business is not sustainable and prevents you from growing as an entrepreneur, leader, and as a person. 

The first step to avoid falling for the never-ending tactics is to create a plan for your personal development.

[Listen to my discussion with the grounded Intuitive Traveling Goddess Liz where we discuss how to stay grounded and build a spiritual practice]

7 steps to create a self growth plan

Creating a plan will bring more awareness to your actions, so you can take ownership of your growth.

The key to being a mindful leader is creating a plan that goes beyond habits by taking an inward journey.

1. Develop a mindfulness practice

Mindfulness is more than meditation. It’s a practice that brings awareness to your thoughts and feelings.

If the thought of meditation makes you uncomfortable, there are different mindfulness options you can try.

The more known one is seating in silence while you observe your breath. You can modify this approach and instead of observing your breath, you might use a guided meditation or repeat a mantra. 

If sitting down is not for you, try movement meditation. This is a mindfulness practice where you do an activity like walking and pay attention to your body and your environment as you move.

There are plenty of ways to practice mindfulness. Start exploring to find what works for you. As you learn more about what feels right, you can start to mix and match different tools. 

For example, I often mix reading and deep breathing meditation. I randomly flip through my copy of 365 Tao: Daily Meditations or The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh and follow it with deep breathing meditation.

Know that mindfulness will make you more aware of yourself, including your limiting beliefs. One book I recommend to help you understand the illusion of your limiting beliefs is The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz

Building this level of awareness is the foundation for your personal development, so creating a consistent mindfulness practice is important. 

[Bonus tip: Check out Headspace for different options but remember to check in with yourself and pay attention to what puts you into a state of mindfulness]

2. Create a vision board

Being aware of your limiting beliefs means you can start to look beyond them. This and your ability to calm your mind will make it easier to create a vision board for the business and lifestyle you want to manifest. 

How you create your vision board will depend on your personality. Here are two examples:

You can be very specific and envision a contemporary house with a beachfront, pool, and 4 rooms in Bali. 

Alternatively, you can be more broad and think about a beach house in a location with a temperate climate. You can focus more on the feeling and add words like “warm”, “spacious”, and “bright”. 

What’s important is that you create a vision board in a way that lets you dream bigger and brings you joy! I created the Vision Book for just this thing!

3. Write down why this matters to you 

After creating your vision board, write why these manifestations matter to you. 

Using the example of the house: Is it because you want to create a home for a future family? Is it because you want to have a home office to create more impact with your business? Is it because beaches bring you peace? 

While this example is about a house, you can do the same for your business. Exploring why you want to build your business and the type of business you want to build will help you define the purpose behind your business. This “why” is an essential part of your brand message. 

4. Identify areas for growth and create goals

Your vision board can be a guideline for your personal development goals. Looking at your vision board, identify your top goals for the year. Limit it to 3 needle moving goals. 

If you want to travel more, you might need to increase your profits, so your goals could be launching your brand or booking 3 quality speaking engagements. Based on this, identify what areas of your life you need to prioritize. 

Here are 5 areas to consider:

If you want to book 3 quality speaking engagements, your area for improvement could be physical to take better care of your voice.

5. List your personal growth habits 

After doing the internal work to identify what you truly want and where you need to improve, list the habits that will help you grow in the area of your life you’ve chosen. 

For example, maybe you want to be an influential speaker who attracts more opportunities that support your traveling lifestyle. You could create habits like doing daily vocal warm-ups for speaking. You might choose to make exercise a habit to help reduce stress, and feel more at ease when you speak. 

If you’re unsure of how to build your habits, Atomic Habits by James Clear gives you a process to create habits that stick. Throughout his book he walks you through the steps needed to build habits including tips like:

  1. Create identity-based habits (instead of I want to eat more fruit say I am a healthy person who enjoys eating fruit)
  2. Make habits easier by making them obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying
  3. Stack habits to create a system of habits rather than isolated actions

Whichever the habits, focus on your why and knowing the identity you want to embody (e.g. a speaker who loves travel) to help you build habits that actively contribute to your growth. 

6. Track your growth journey lessons

One of the activities I suggest to all my clients is to journal. Many people may see journaling as a way to get to know themselves better, but it can also be a great way to track your growth. 

By the end of the year you will have a “record” of how you’ve changed and grown.

7. Own and celebrate your growth

Take the time to celebrate, and include the small wins. Celebrating your wins doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simple as eating a piece of your favorite chocolate or going to your favorite coffee shop. 

Celebrating yourself will make it easier to stay on track and help you stay motivated.

Be mindful with your actions

So if you want to be an entrepreneur who is more grounded, at ease, and creates environments where you and others can grow, mindfulness is essential in your life and leadership approach. 

This will make you more aware and give you more ownership of your personal growth journey as you build your business. 

This is why I encourage my vivacious clients to explore their limiting beliefs, create a vision board, and step into their personal power. They know that personal development is part of building a personal brand. 

If you are ready to build an online brand that allows you to live a freedom and joy filled life, check out my brand development coaching program. This program gives you hands-on experience creating your brand from scratch, including messaging and social media strategy.

If you prefer a 1-on-1 approach, I offer a customized social media branding package

If you want to find your authentic brand strategy, check out this brand strategy quiz I created to help you understand how to show up in your business in alignment with your unique energy, personality & Human Design.

3 Business Growth Tips for Small Business Owners

3 Business Growth Tips for Small Business Owners

This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using my links.

Starting and growing your business doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Many early entrepreneurs make the mistake of misallocating their money and energy. 

Part of sustainably and successfully growing your business is developing an entrepreneurial mindset to better prioritize and structure your business needs for growth. 

Here are 3 tips for growing a small business to help you start making smart investments that will last for the long run. 

Create a healthy relationship with money

Before discussing how to invest in your business, it is important you think about your relationship with money. 

Whether you are creating a budget to quit corporate or have already quit, understanding how you relate to money is key. 

Take time to understand how your past or current experiences shape how you view money, including how you spend or want to spend your money. 

Understanding how you relate to money can help you create financial goals for your business, so you can more easily make decisions. 

1. Close your knowledge gap and get paid more

There are various ways to make money, but the key to getting paid consistently and well is mastering your skill and increasing your business knowledge. 

How you invest in the early years will differ from person to person, but the one thing every entrepreneur has in common is that they invest to close their knowledge gaps. What do you already know, and what do you need to know to make your business grow?

For example, if you already have a skillset you want to monetize, you are better off spending money on services that help you package your offers to get paid well– you can prioritize a brand or business coach. 

If you are pivoting and learning a new skill, you can minimize your expenses by doing free courses on educational platforms like Coursera, EdX, and Hubspot Academy

[Bonus Tip: If you choose to pivot and learn a new skill, you can leverage your current skills to make money while you learn the new skills]

Spend your time wisely

Your time and attention are as important as money when you are closing the knowledge gaps. How much time and energy you have will depend on various factors (e.g. if you still have a 9-5, if you have children, if you have caretaking obligations other than children, etc). 

Set aside time to deeply focus on your education. Whether it is learning a new skill that will pay more or learning about sales, this knowledge sets the foundation your business needs to grow. 

[Pro tip: Track your time with a tool like Toggl for 1-2 weeks. Also track your energy levels throughout the week to understand your energy flow. You will start to see how you can improve your time and energy management to work more effectively] 

It can seem boring to learn some of these skills, but having the right knowledge will help you build a sustainable business that consistently brings in money. 

And the better you understand how you operate, including what you enjoy doing and not doing, will help you decide how to delegate tasks later. You can then spend more time in your zone of genius and finding new ways to scale your business.

2. Get tools your business needs to move the needle

Don’t get caught up in the hype of logos and building a website. When you first start, spend money on the tools that are necessary for your business. 

Unless you are building an e-commerce business or a business around blogging, you don’t need to spend your money on a website.

Instead, spend money on tools that will set the foundation for your business like: 

  • Necessary tech like a laptop
  • Professional email. This will be useful to grow an email list. 
  • Client management tools like Calendly or Honeybook
  • Canva pro if you are building templates. If you’re not, you can start with the free version. (These customizable branded Canva templates can get your business off to an amazing start!)
  • Website builders like Shopify if you sell products. 
  • Tools for your wellness like the Vision Book I created, therapy, Calm, or mindset coaching because you are the person behind your business moves

There are many free tools like Google Meet for video calls or Clickup for project management. There are also many tools with free trials to help you decide whether a tool is right for you or not. 

As you grow, you can spend more money on more powerful tools, but don’t start overspending on fancy tools that don’t serve you. 

The key is to spend money on tools that help you streamline your workflow, so you can spend more time on money-making tasks or on enjoying life because if you are happy and energized, your business benefits from it. 

3. Build a brand that connects with potential clients

Building a brand can be a game changer and should come before content pillars or a beautiful feed. Visuals are important to grab attention, but aesthetics without substance will not build a connection with your audience. 

Branding is what helps you decide your messaging, niching, and services. If you know your brand, it is easier to make business decisions because your brand is your business compass. 

By making brand-aligned decisions, it will be easy for people to understand your brand. The easier it is for people to understand your brand, the easier it is for them to remember it. 

In a world where people are increasingly distracted, making it easy for people to remember you will increase awareness and leads for your business. 

And because your message is clear, you will also attract aligned clients, so you can work with people who share your values to create the impact you want.

How you spend your first years in business can make it easier or harder to scale later on. Remember that these first few years are all about planting your seed (ideas) in good soil (business foundations). 

If you want to build a business that lasts more than 1 or 2 years, take the time to cultivate your business the right way, and you will reap bountiful benefits.

If you are ready to build an online brand that allows you to live a freedom and joy filled life, check out my brand development coaching program. This program gives you hands-on experience creating your brand from scratch, including messaging and social media strategy.

If you prefer a 1-on-1 approach, I offer a customized social media branding package

If you want to find your authentic brand strategy, check out this brand strategy quiz I created to help you understand how to show up in your business in alignment with your unique energy, personality & Human Design.

Tips and Tools to Create a Location Independent Lifestyle With Ease

Tips and Tools to Create a Location Independent Lifestyle With Ease

This blog post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using my links.

If you’re a freelancer, remote worker, or an entrepreneur, you know working independently and having a location-independent lifestyle can be freeing.

But moving that often can also be an adjustment. If you are not prepared, your work may suffer, and that can hurt your source of income. 

So here is a list of tips and tools to make your location-independent lifestyle easier. 

Bonus: If you are looking to quit your job and start your own business, here’s a complete guide to get you started on building a life you love. 

The complete guide to build a profitable personal brand

Choose the Right Place to Stay

Choosing the right place is more than picking a destination. You have to think about what’s most important to you and what brings you joy. 

Know What Environment You like

One of the amazing things about living a life of travel is that you get to explore many places. As you travel more, you will learn what environments you enjoy the most. 

I know I feel alive with the sun, so I choose destinations that have temperate weather and where nature is abundant even if it means letting go of some conveniences. 

For me it is about the quality of life and the experiences I get to have with other travelers like going to the beach to watch the sunset. 

When choosing your destination, ask yourself what would improve your quality of life. 

Some question you can consider are:

  1. Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?
  2. Are you a city person or a country person?
  3. Are you comfortable sharing a room, a house, or prefer a place to yourself?
  4. Do you prefer a place with more natural scenery or a place filled with tourists attractions?

Not only will choosing the right type of destinations bring you more joy, the environment will help you get into the flow of your work with more ease. 

Bonus: If health is important to you, consider these related science-based benefits of retreats that improve your health. 

Choose a Work Friendly Environment

Aside from knowing the types of destinations you enjoy, it helps to know what accommodations you need to feel comfortable and productive.

Type of living setting

There are many options for stays when you travel, each for different personalities and budgets. You want to consider what type of setting works best for you that is within your budget. 

A hostel may not be the best option if you need plenty of personal space or if you have done that and are ready to try a different life of travel. 

Other people may choose spaces with co-working areas like those offered by SelinaWe Work, and Coliving.  These could be great spaces to network and create lasting friendships with people who have a similar lifestyle. 

Pro tip: One way to break the ice is using games like in the loop card game to start building deeper connections that make your travel life more fulfilling. 

Ice breakers for a digital nomad

Internet Connection

Needless to say that if you are traveling, your work will be done virtually, so you will need a reliable internet connection. Wherever you decide to stay, check that they have high-speed internet connection. 

Find a traveling pace that works for you

We are all different, have different energy levels, and have different priorities. So when you are thinking of this lifestyle, think about this: how fast can you move and still sustain your workflow? 

Some people like my friend  are slow travelers who stay months in one place while others prefer to travel more frequently. 

Recommended: If you want to learn about how to start your location-independent life, check out my IG live with Guido on the first steps you should be taking. 

The pace of your traveling life will depend on your own energy and even the type of work you do (e.g. if you need more time for deep work moving at a slower pace can let you do that more efficiently).

Tools of Your Trade (and more)

When you travel, you also want to make sure you have the necessary tools for your success and ease of mind. 

Your Work Tools

With virtual work you will want your laptop, and any other tools you need to run your business. 

This includes a portable tripod to take your branded pictures for a cohesive social media feed to make your brand memorable. 

Digital tools to consider

In addition to physical tools, consider digital tools that make communication and organization easier, and tools that will help you grow an online business.

Some of these are: 

  1. Client management tools like Honeybook and Calendly to keep track of appointments and communicate with your clients
  2. Project management tools like Clickup or Google Workplace that will make delegation easier when you bring additional support like a virtual assistant.  
  3. Flodesk– everything feels intuitive with this powerful email marketing tool and one of the key reasons we love it here at Livin Vivaciously. 
  4. And tools like Canva and Inshot will make content creation for your business social media simpler.  (I used Canva to create pre-made, 100% customizable templates that you can use in your biz to save you time with creating content!)
  5. Financial tools like Bench who will take care of your bookkeeping needs, so you don’t have to stress about it and are prepared for tax season

Whichever your choice, do your research, so you can choose the tools that make working while traveling easier for you. 

Choose Items that Bring You Home

This tip may be unconventional, but the truth is that being away from loved ones is not easy. Even if you are very free-spirited, you may miss those close to you. 

This is why I suggest you travel with items that make you feel at home wherever you go. 

For me that includes my copy of 365 Tao, tarot cards, affirmation cards, and my journal. These help me tap into my inner self, so I can always feel at home in the world. 

A friend I met on the road travels with a little rug she used to use in her camper van. It instantly makes her feel at home. 

Ask yourself what items help you feel centered and at peace with yourself. You can even use the Vision Book I created to help with reflecting on this!

These are a few things to think about as you go on your own journey and discover what a location-independent life looks like for you. 

If you are ready to build an online brand that allows you to live a freedom and joy filled life, check out my brand development coaching program. This program gives you hands-on experience creating your brand from scratch, including messaging and social media strategy.

If you prefer a 1-on-1 approach, you can get a customized social media branding package

If you want to find your authentic brand strategy, check out this brand strategy quiz I created to help you understand how to show up in your business in alignment with your unique energy, personality & Human Design.

How to File Your Small Business Tax Return

How to File Your Small Business Tax Return

This is no sexy topic…

But if you’re a small business owner in the United States, you are required to file a tax return each year and you might be wondering “how the heck do I file taxes as a small business?” 

It can be tempting to put off tax prep until right before the deadline,  but setting aside a few hours now will save you time and headaches down the road — and give you space to focus more on the fun parts of your business.

I totally understand that taxes can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time filing as a business owner. To help get you started, here’s a list of everything you need to do before you file:

  1. Gather your small business records
  2. Choose the right tax form for your business structure
  3. Make note of important tax deadlines
  4. Choose the right filing method for your biz
Prepping for taxes 101

1. Gather your small business records

Gathering and organizing business records is the first step when filing a business tax return. Some of this information is personal, so the IRS can confirm your identity, but a lot of it is related to the finances of your biz. 

Here are the documents you’ll need when filing your taxes:

Personal identification information

Your Taxpayer Identification Number (Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number) and your tax return from the previous year.

Financial records relating to your business

Financial statements like a balance sheet and income statement, 1099 forms you have received or sent, and the amount you’ve paid in estimated tax payments during the year.

Supporting documentation

These documents generally fall into two categories: earnings and expenses. Records that show your earnings can include:

  • Invoices you’ve sent to clients
  • Customer sales records
  • Cash register tape
  • Anything else that shows money coming into your business

Documents that show your expenses can include:

  • Rent receipts for your small business
  • Receipts for any online tools you use
  • Payroll records
  • Anything else that shows money coming out of your business

If you use a bookkeeping platform like Xendoo or Bench, you’ve already been keeping your books updated throughout the year, so collecting these documents won’t take much time at all. It’s a great investment for the long term because it creates space for you to focus on living your life and pouring your energy into the aspects of your biz that you’re passionate about. With Xendoo, your dedicated team can assemble a comprehensive Year End Financial Package with everything you need to file an annual tax return before it’s even tax time.

2. Choose the right tax form for your business structure

Filing the appropriate tax form for your business entity will help you avoid costly mistakes. Not sure which tax forms you need to file? Here are the most common business structures and the forms they require.

Tax forms for small businesses

3. Make note of important tax deadlines

Once you know which forms to fill out, you’ll need to know how to fill them out correctly and keep an eye on when they are due. 

Filing Deadline: March 15, 2023

Partnerships or LLCs with multiple members: If you are part of a partnership or a multiple member LLC, you should get a copy of Schedule K-1 at tax time—either from your accountant or the person responsible filing your Form 1065. Don’t forget that the IRS will only accept your personal tax return (Form 1040) with a Schedule K-1 attached.

S corporations: An S Corp needs to file its own tax return. At the same time, the shareholders of this business entity need to report their share of profit or loss with a Schedule K-1 on their personal taxes.

Filing for both of these business structures is more complex than filing as a sole proprietor, so it’s a good idea to get expert tax filing support if you can.

Filing Deadline: April 18, 2023

April 15, 2022 might be an easy date to remember, since it’s the same deadline for your personal tax return.

Sole proprietorship or LLCs with one member: The IRS considers business income from sole proprietorship entities the same as personal income, so filing for this business structure is relatively simple. If you’re paying $1,000 or more in income taxes, you’ll also be required to file estimated taxes. 

C corporations or LLCs that elect to be corporations: Corporate income tax rate is a flat 21% for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. On top of this, you are required to pay personal income taxes separately from your corporate taxes.

Tax extensions and late payments

Depending on the type of business you own, you can request a six-month filing extension by submitting Form 4868 on or before:

  • S corps and partnerships: March 15, 2023
  • Individuals: April 18, 2023
  • C corps: April 18, 2023

Just remember that extensions give you more time to file your tax return—not more time to pay it. If your payment is past due, you’re looking at paying an extra 0.5% of unpaid taxes every month until you pay your original tax bill, up to a maximum 25% of your total tax bill. So get that shit in on time!

Other notable dates

If your small business has paid $600 or more to a contractor or professional, do not wait until March or April to start your taxes. You’ll need to file a 1099-MISC which must be ordered from the IRS and filed by January 31, 2023.

If you’re self-employed, the deadlines for estimated quarterly tax payments are: 

  • April 15, 2023
  • June 15, 2023
  • September 15, 2023
  • January 16, 2024

If you’re worried about which forms you need to submit, or whether you’re missing out on any sizable tax deductions, investing in a tax professional is worth it. Having tax experts in your corner can give you the peace of mind that everything will be filed accurately and on time and save you hours of stress in the run up to tax deadlines. 

With a premium subscription from Bench, you can get your federal and state taxes filed effortlessly. Plus, your dedicated tax team has the knowledge and expertise to help minimize your tax bill by making sure you receive every deduction and tax credit available to you.

Tax tools for small business owners!

4. Choose the right filing method for your biz

While you can fill out your tax forms by hand and mail them to the IRS, it’s simpler and more secure to file your taxes online through the IRS’s e-File system. Bonus: you’ll get your return back faster AND any tax refund will be electronically deposited into your online bank account. 

You have three main options when filing your federal taxes online:

1: File with Free File

Free File is an IRS program designed for business owners who made $72,000 or less during the year. Sign up with one of 9 Free File providers to prepare and file your return at no cost. They offer guided tax preparation with online calculations, and they’ll automatically send a copy of your tax return to the IRS for you. 

You should definitely double check the instructions from whichever Free File service you choose. If your filing needs are complex, you may have to add on paid features.

2: File with Free File Fillable Forms

Free File Fillable Forms are electronic forms you fill out and file yourself. You qualify for this option if your business made over $72,000 during the year. You’ll need to create a Free File Fillable Forms account with the IRS and fill out the relevant forms for your business. 

While they offer basic calculations and some guidance, they won’t catch errors for you. Double and triple check your tax forms before submitting.

Options like Free File and Free File Fillable Forms may be cost effective, but they have their limits. For example, if you need to file state taxes or back taxes, Free File Fillable Forms is not an option.

3: Find an online tax pro to prep and file for you

For more complex businesses, the easiest and most pain-free tax filing method is handing your taxes over to a professional. I’m currently loving Xendoo!

They handle all your business bookkeeping and tax filing in one place to fully streamline your finances before tax time. 

Plus, Xendoo provides additional services that free tax filing programs can’t, including:

  • Customized tax support: Have rental income? Need to file back taxes? The Xendoo team knows exactly which tax forms you need and which deductions to claim for your small business. 
  • No additional cost for state tax filing: File your federal and state income taxes for one flat fee.
  • Quarterly estimated taxes handled: Your dedicated team fills out every remittance form for your quarterly taxes, and lets you know how much to pay and when.
  • Year-round tax filing support: Get on-demand and unlimited consultations with our in-house tax advisory professionals and research team.