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Can you believe it? A year ago today, I returned to the helm of Get Rich Slowly. Eight-and-a-half years after selling the site, I bought it back. During the past twelve months, GRS has been through three distinct phases as I've struggled to figure out my focus and direction. First, I tried to manage the […]


The post Celebrating one year of Get Rich Slowly 3.0 appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

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Why doing business with family might not be such a bad idea

How many of us have heard the expression that we “shouldn’t do business with friends and family?” As someone who once subscribed to this idea, I now realize just how wrong I was. My mother is my de facto personal assistant; my cousin designs our company t-shirts, and my brother has referred so many people that he has VIP status.



Their presence in my business life has made an incredible difference. My output is greater;

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I have generated new leads; and I have had a chance to meet and network with new clients. Just this past year, one of my former students, turned friend, starting working on projects with me.



Much like my experience with my biological family members, working directly with my friend has been an amazing experience. She is detail oriented, highly skilled, and flexible. In a fast-paced industry with tight deadlines and a diverse clientele, she has been an ideal addition to my team.



But what if I had dismissed her or my family members as potential team members simply because we are friends and family?



Why not work with family?

This question made me wonder: Why are some of us so quick to disqualify family and friends as potential clients, customers, and even business partner? I even tried to trace back to where my stance came from, considering the fact that I haven’t had any overtly negative experiences.



I guess I, like so many others, have heard so many cautionary tales from other entrepreneurs that I thought I was protecting myself.



But protecting myself from what?



Just as many of us would welcome a new client, a total stranger, on the assumption of good will, we need to think about how our friends and family may also be wonderful resources and ambassadors for our business endeavors. With an open mind, you may even find your next business partner at Thanksgiving dinner.



The importance of boundaries

The key is being clear about the line that you draw between your business and personal spheres. It may seem odd at first, but you want to make sure that you use the same safeguards that you would with others, including contracts where applicable. It is also important to talk about expectations up front.



Of course, it is perfectly feasible to offer a Friends and Family discount, but just make sure that it is an amount that you are comfortable with. Friends and family members who are serious about supporting you will respect your boundaries. They will also accept your policies and procedures.



Sometimes, they can become your biggest cheerleaders as they spread the word about your business with their networks and share your work with others. I have literally seen people expand their businesses exponentially because of their ability to work collaboratively with their kinship units.



The one advantage of potentially working with people who you know very well is that you can vet them before you do business with them. Drawing from past experiences and interactions, you can probably determine if it really is a good idea to proceed in a business-like capacity.



Know what you're getting into

The ones who are not able to respect your boundaries or who don’t have the work ethic that you desire are simply not good candidates to do business with. Because no transaction is worth severing familial bonds and friendships, if you are in doubt or not sure, it’s best not to move forward.



Even with the possibility that some familial transaction will not be positive ones, don’t miss out on potential business relationships that can have positive outcomes for everyone involved. You may want to start with one or two people to figure out how, or if, it will work for you. And you may even want to spend extra time prepping family and friends because they are familiar with you in a personal context, but they may not be familiar with you as a business person or as an employer. Remember, by drawing boundaries, you are protecting all parties involved.



Try it out

Still not sure? Well, if you have been hesitant before, give it a try!



Whether it is serving as a referral, a client, or even a partner, remember that family members and friends can turn out to be tremendous assets.



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Love writing short stories? I do too, mainly because they’re short. I can get an idea, start writing, and can complete the story in just a few hours. However, as well as being fun and easy to write, short fiction has another benefit. It sells. I’m amazed at how few authors realize this. Short stories: […]


The post Short Stories: The Untapped Marketplace For Your Words appeared first on

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com/blog">Angela Booth's Fab Freelance Writing Blog.

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The old website cliche “pardon our dust” definitely applies to this space. The site is being overhauled and updated and in the meantime now that we are back online after a lengthy absence, there is plenty to clean up around here! Apologies in the interim for sections badly in need of an update such as Writers Groups By State and Writing Programs.


Updates as they occur. Thank you for your interest!


Joe Wallace

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Freelance-Zone.com

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Because I'm a money nerd and a comics nerd, one of my favorite things is when these two obsessions come together in the form of (drom roll, please): financial graphic novels! You might think that's a niche I just invented, but you'd be wrong. I'll admit that financial graphic novels aren't common, but they are […]


The post My experience with the KonMari method (and the life-changing magic of tidying up) appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.

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Happy holidays–updated meal and entertainment deduction rules are here

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.



If you are keeping track of the rules related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TC

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JA) that are likely to impact you as a freelancer, you’ll want to take note of this one in regard to meal deductions. At the beginning of the year, it looked like the IRS was not going to allow the deduction of 50 percent of food and beverage expenses associated with business operations.



However, this rule was recently clarified to confirm that you can continue to deduct meal expenses as long as they meet the specific guidelines for such deductions.



The good news for freelancers

This is good news for freelancers, especially if you are planning to host client meals this holiday season and for any of the business meal expenses that you may have racked up throughout the year (as long as you have receipts).



Keep in mind, however, that expenses for entertainment, amusement, or recreation in the course of business are not deductible. For example, if you want to treat your client to dinner plus tickets to a show, only 50 percent of the meal expenses would be deductible.



What you can deduct

You can deduct client meal expenses, but they have to be legitimate. As a refresher, here are the requirements for being able to take advantage of the meal expense deduction on your freelance business tax return:





The meal expense must be reasonable and a necessary as part of your business operations.

Either you, or an employee of your business, must be present when the meal is eaten.

The food and beverages you are claiming must be provided to a current or potential business customer, client, consultant, or similar business contact.

If food and beverages are provided during or at an entertainment activity (i.e. brats and beer at a baseball game) they must be purchased separately from the entertainment on one or more bills, invoices, or receipts.



...and what you can't

In case you were wondering, you cannot try to pass through the cost of any entertainment as a deduction by claiming that the meal or food and beverages you provided is greater than it really was. In addition, you must have receipts to support your meal expense deductions (not just a credit card statement) so be sure to keep those filed with your other tax information.



Beware of the new IRS view on de minimis meal expense deductions for your business.



Aside from the above meal expense deductions, it is important to remember that under the tax reform laws, significant changes to the amount you can deduct for de minimis meal costs were also made.



These expenses related to meals provided on premise by companies to their employees are considered a form of de minimis or “fringe” benefits by the IRS. Typically, de minimis benefits are characterized by a) their low value (a good rule of thumb is the expense is less than $100) and b) the relative infrequency with which they are offered.



It used to be that de minimis benefit expenses were 100 percent tax deductible as a general business expense and included items such as occasional snacks and refreshments provided to employees by an employer or the infrequent provision of money for meals by an employer when employees are working overtime.



Not anymore.



The TCJA gradually eliminates these deductions. Starting in the 2018 tax year, the deduction businesses can claim for de minimis meal expenses is reduced from 100 percent to 50 percent. By the 2025 tax year, the ability to deduct these costs is completely eliminated.



In addition, starting in the 2018 tax year, the current 50 percent limit on the deductibility of business meals by individual taxpayers expands to include businesses. This means that any meals provided by businesses on their own premises, such as at a company cafeteria, holiday party or employee picnic—as well as any related operating costs—are no longer 100% deductible. This year only 50 percent of these costs may be deducted by businesses and in 2025 no deduction for these expenses can be taken.



So there you have it—some good news and some not so good news about meal expenses for your freelance business. If you plan to take clients out to eat or to bring treats to the office during the holidays, keep your receipts in your tax file and the above TCJA provisions in your mind.



Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers and self-employed individuals across the country. He offers a free consultation to members of Freelancer’s Union and a monthly email newsletter covering tax, accounting and business issues to freelancers on his website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com which also features a new blog, how-to articles, and a comprehensive freelance tax guide.



Jonathan is happy to provide an initial consultation to freelancers. To qualify for a free consultation you must be a member of the Freelancers Union and mention this article upon contacting him. Please note that this offer is not available Jan. 1 through April 18 and covers a general conversation about tax responsibilities of a freelancer and potential deductions. These meetings do not include review of self-prepared documents, review of self-prepared tax returns, or the review of the work of other preparers. The free meeting does not include the preparation or review of quantitative calculations of any sort. He is happy to provide such services but would need to charge an hourly rate for his time.



21

When you’re writing fiction, what comes first? Your characters, or your plot? No, this isn’t a trick question. For me, the seed of a plot usually arrives first, then the characters arrive. Other authors create their characters, then kickstart them into a plot. Sometimes my “seed of a plot” strategy doesn’t work. For example, a […]


The post Writing Fiction When You’re Stuck: Let Your Characters Plot For You appeared first on

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el="nofollow" href="http://www.fabfreelancewriting.com/blog">Angela Booth's Fab Freelance Writing Blog.

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The site has been up and down quite a lot in the last month due to upgrades, changes, bugs, troubleshooting, and much more. It’s great to report that we are finally getting close to being 100% up and running on a 24/7 basis! Our first official posts will be coming very soon. Thank you very much for your interest and if you have found this website because you are in search of writers or editors for a project you need help with, please feel free to get in touch via email:


editor@freelance-zone.com


We are accepting ne

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w projects for our writing team including online content writing, editing (books and other publications), articles, social media management and much more. A full list of our services and writers is coming very soon.


Thanks for reading!


Joe Wallace

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

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