Hobbies, start-ups, and technologies

Don’t Let the IRS Reclassify Your Business as a Hobby @ Entrepreneur: As a follow-up to my reader Q&A last week regarding the difference between a business and a hobby, here are some tips for keeping your business legit.

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business @ Bplans: More on this week’s theme: did you see this great resource from Bplans on turning your passion into business.

10 Mistakes That Start-Up Entrepreneurs Make @ Wall Street Journal: Launching a start-up can be tough, but if you learn to avoid beginner mistakes, you’re already on your way. “Make sure there’s enough margin in your pricing to enable you to bring in other people. Clients generally don’t mind outsourcing as long as they can still get face time with you, the skilled professional who’s managing the project.”

Five Technologies That Will Increase Your Cash Flow This Year @ Forbes: Cash is king. Keep it that way by using the latest tools and tech.

5 Year-End Tax Savers for Businesses @ Cisco & Co: As we’re coming up on the end of the year, consider how your invoicing and expenses could benefit (or hurt) your tax bill.

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Reading habits, e-commerce empires, and incorporation

How to Find Time to Build Your Ecommerce Empire While Working a 9 to 5 @ Shopify: It’s tough working a “normal” 9-to-5 job and trying to run a business on the side. You’re what this author calls a “sidepreneuer,” and though the tension between day-job commitment and entrepreneurial passion project can be daunting, it’s not an impasse.

Getting a Grip on Estimated Quarterly Taxes @ Bench Blog: It can seem like a pain for small business owners to pay taxes four times a year, rather than one, but if you do it right, it’ll save you money in the long run (and make for fewer headaches, too).

This Postal Connections Franchisee Is Not Content to Just Mail It In @ Entrepreneur: “I love the freedom it gave me. I’m a born leader, and I like to make the decisions that matter. I like having control. With no office politics or useless corporate bureaucracy, things move very fast. There’s nothing stopping you from turning your dreams into realities. But it doesn’t come easy — you’re putting in tons of hours, but it’s all worth it.”

7 Actions to Take After Incorporating Your Business @ Entrepreneur: So you’ve officially incorporated your business, but what do you need to do next? Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet, offers seven solid places for you to keep your momentum moving forward. “They’re simple steps and will keep your business legal and protected for years to come.”

How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health @ FastCompany: What are you going to spend 30 min on this weekend to make you a better boss, entrepreneur, and human being? “People who read find it easier to make decisions, plan, and prioritize, and this may be because they are more able to recognize that difficulty and setback are unavoidable aspects of human life.”

Startups, taxable free stuff, and quitting your small business

Ten Steps to Get Your Startup on Track @ Shopify: Great job getting your new online store up and running! Here are ten accounting tips for you to make sure you’re starting off on the right foot.

Taxable Complimentary Stuff @ TaxMama: Let’s say you got a whole bunch of free stuff from a client or contractor. Then at the end of the year, you get smacked with a $10,000 1099MISC. You can’t sell or use the free stuff you got, so do you still need to pay for it? TaxMama answers.

5 Reasons Why I Quit My Own Business to Work for Someone Else @ Entrepreneur: Just because you know you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you’re obliged to grow your small business. Sometimes it makes sense—and will serve your small business better in the long run—if you play a bigger game.

9 Smart Habits of Highly Effective Networkers @ Inc: Networking is part of doing business, but networking events can sometimes feel awkward or purposeless. The key lies in knowing how to read the room—and being humble, authentic, and helpful. It helps to have some business cards, too.

Millionaires, leadership traits, and brain-expanding books

Here’s your weekly link roundup! This week, it’s all about becoming a millionaire, key leadership traits, and brain-expanding books.

How to Be a Millionaire @ Forbes: Investopedia weighs in at Forbes on what it takes to be a millionaire. Spoiler: it takes a lot of hard work, skill cultivation, and sometimes—but not always—a bit of luck.

4 Things Successful Entrepreneurs do before Breakfast @ Forbes: Neil Patel at Forbes discusses the four things successful entrepreneurs do before breakfast. But first things first: wake up early, and knock the difficult stuff out early.

5 Visionary CEOs and Their Key Traits That Every Leader Should Master @ Entrepreneur: Good advice from Chuck Cohn, CEO and founder of Varsity Tutors: “You may believe that the leaders you admire are smarter, luckier or more creative than you, but the traits that make them wildly successful can be honed over time.”

The Not-To-Do List: 9 Habits to Stop Now @ FourHourWorkWeek: Small business owners spend a lot of time checking things off the to-do list, but what about the NOT-to-do list? Tim Ferriss lists nine bad habits to cut out, like answering calls from unknown numbers, sending emails first thing in the morning or late at night, and most importantly, hoping that work will fill a void that other things should, like relationships and activities.

The Ten Most Important Books To Expand Your Brain @ Medium: Skip the author’s self-serving preamble at the beginning, scroll down to the actual list of business books for some healthful brain expansion. Especially Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Outliers.”

Friday linkage

In today’s weekly link round, it’s all about cash flow, tax audits, and learning how to think like a chef. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Entrepreneurship: Sometimes Work Is Just Work @ A Practical Wedding: Your passion drove you to start your own small business, but now that you’re here, it can be hard to see the green grass. You haven’t made the wrong choice! Sometimes, work is still just work.

10 Cash-Flow Surprises That Could Kill Your Startup @ Entrepreneur: 90% of small and startup business failures are caused by poor cash flow. Martin Zwilling at Entrepreneur offers ten great tips for small business and startup owners to “maintain a certain reverence for cash”—and make it to the next level.

How to Better Manage Your Cash Flow @ Entrepreneur: A few more words on cash flow today: “Prepare cash flow projections for next year, next quarter and, if you’re on shaky ground, next week. An accurate cash flow projection can alert you to trouble well before it strikes.”

These 6 Things Can Lead to IRS Tax Audit @ YFS Magazine: According to TaxReceipts.com, small business owners are 940% more likely to be audited than W2 wage earners! Here are six easy things you can do to keep your records keep and your audit probability low.

For A More Ordered Life, Organize Like A Chef @ NPR: Americans spend almost $10 billion per year on self-help and organization, but Dan Charnas at NPR says maybe all we need to do is look into the kitchen. In the culinary world, it’s called mise-en-place (put in place), a practice, “a way of life … it’s a way of concentrating your mind to only focus on the aspects that you need to be working on at that moment, to kind of rid yourself of distractions.”

Friday linkage

Friday is here! Friday is here! Which means that it’s time for my first weekly link roundup. Click around and enjoy your weekend!