How Going Out On My Own Changed My Life

TakeALeap

It’s a fact- I am the more adventurous type. I chose the performing world despite my parents’ request to do something more stable. I left home at 17 and moved to Hawaii for a boy and ended up being a showgirl. I had my own little business as soon as I could afford a reformer that I stuck in my dining room. Despite all my boldness, three years ago I found myself working for the man in a glass fishbowl I affectionately called the, “Pilates Prison”.  I was a 30-something, unemployed professional dancer with a torn hamstring, things were feeling way more scary than exciting. It was right about that time that I got an offer that changed my life.

As luck would have it, unbeknown to the Pilates Prison Police, I acquired some private clients from a dear friend that left the city for warmer climes. I found a studio in Union Square that would rent to me and started my own thing. Over time the Prison became jealous and suspicious that my little one man show somehow hindered its multimillion dollar empire. I tried to leave, they asked me to stay, and reluctantly I did- big mistake. Eventually what is a long drawn out story that really should be told while enjoying some alcohol- I was forced to resign. Yes please. F@*k you very much.

On my own and flying free was a little like riding a bike for me. I jumped in and built up my private clientele to 5 clients 5 days a week. A solid practice. I was doing what I was good at surviving but who wants to just exist right? My hamstring healed and I desperately tried to regain what once was and the gods responded- YOU WILL NOT KICK BALL CHANGE ANYMORE YOU WILL TAKE OVER THIS PILATES STUDIO!!! The owner of said studio was moving away, was I interested in taking over? I was shocked that an opportunity like this could just land at my feet and during a time when my head was filled with, “what’s next”. Was someone listening in? Apparently so.

What was a difficult decision was followed by many more obstacles, like finding financing and getting new equipment, but ultimately everything worked out. Here I am 3 years later helping other teachers break out of their “Pilates Prisons” and find the business of their dreams. I would never have thought, back in the days of wearing a g-string and a head-dress on the showgirl stage that I would be doing some of the most fulfilling work of my life (and that it wouldn’t be while dancing). Being willing to jump at the opportunity that was presented to me, and taking a leap brought me to where I needed to be. Playing it safe never brought greatness. What are you holding yourself back from and what steps can you take to play big today? 

The crew at FORM wants to help you have to safe space to land when you take your big leap. Enter your info below and take the first step on going out on your own! 

Interested in becoming a member of our Co-Op?
Click here for a short application!

Tax Tips for the Independent Contractor

what-taxes-are-for

I’ve been told I’m anal retentive, detailed oriented, overly organized, and maybe even a touch OCD. While those things are true (well, mostly true) what most don’t understand is that it is really that I’ve developed a way to keep myself stress free. Clutter on the desk, an overflowing inbox, or say- my taxes can send me into an anxiety spiral, so this is my way of keeping myself sane and practicing good self-care (my therapist would be so proud).

Tax time can be especially daunting to most, and I watch my colleagues and friends begin to nail bite right after the buzz of New Year’s Eve wears off. There’s no need to spend money on all those manicures, just get organized! Here’s my tips on how to keep your sanity and money in your pocket:

Keep excellent records
Personally, I can’t sing the praises enough of book-keeping software. I use Quickbooks for my business, but Quicken also works just fine. Download all the transactions directly from your bank account and even most credit cards. While it takes a minute to set up the categories, once that’s done all you need to do is sit down and input it all. Quickbooks even allows for a Petty Cash account so you can input your cash receipts and avoid the dreaded box o’receipts at tax time.

Update your books monthly (at least!)
Seriously, you owe it to your mental health to make a date with your books at least every month. I strangely enjoy the act of organizing and balancing my books (I TOLD you I’m anal!), but I know for most they would rather get their teeth pulled than do this. Bottom line- you’re just going to have to bribe yourself with a big glass of vino, premium dark chocolate, or a mani/pedi. I sit down in front of the TV to do mine and watch a particularly good episode of Real Housewives of where-ever. This ritual allows you to attack it in manageable pieces and can even help you get more money back since your accounting for all of your expenses.

Do your taxes early
I never understood procrastination in this situation. Prolonging the reality of how much you’ll owe only gives you wrinkles and heartburn. The earlier you know, the longer you have to put a little aside and budget it you need to pay, or pay some and then get on a payment plan with the IRS. Their interest rates are not bad, cheaper than some credit cards. Filing for an extension is just a waste of money, drawn out anxiety, and sleepless nights. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a good accountant, they are close to God. Find yourself one, pay their fee, and you’ll have someone to help you out of you ever, gulp, get audited.

There’s two things in life that are certain- death and taxes. The former will surely get you, don’t let the latter.

Need more help preparing your business to be the professional that you are? Schedule your FREE 1/2 hour session with yours truly here today!

[do action=”gray-contact-box” text=”Change your business for the better! Get tips and tricks in my biz-nass newsletter. It’s Free!”/]