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Solo Pursuit: The Benefits of Micro Business Ownership

Article by Courtney Rosenfeld (guest writer)

When you’re a solopreneur or a micro business owner, you’re responsible for every element of your business operations. While this type of total control can help ensure your business runs the way you want it to, it can also become overwhelming from a time management perspective. Fortunately, there are freelance and other assistive services that can give you access to expert help when you need it without the added hassle of having W-2 employees on your payroll.

Hiring Out Special Projects

Most small business owners are, or quickly become, subject matter experts in their field or business. However, since they likely have their hands full with day-to-day operations, it only makes sense to hire freelance or contract services to add layers of expertise and lessen their workload. For example, if your solo enterprise is a catering company, it might be to your advantage to hire someone to design your website, handle your bookkeeping or make deliveries so you can concentrate on client cultivation, customer service, and food preparation. Even farming out personal services, like house-keeping, dog walking, or personal errands, can free up precious time to devote to running your business.

Taking Advantage of Technology

Advances in technology have created a dynamic in which small business owners can easily tackle things like accounting, tax preparation, and invoicing online. Virtual meeting platforms similarly allow people to collaborate from multiple locations, which can save everyone valuable time. You can also access remote help in the form of virtual assistants, schedulers, or receptionists. Even “help bots” on your webpage can respond to customer inquiries with answers to frequently asked questions. Not only are technology-based business aids less expensive and more flexible than employees, but you can also pick services you need when you need them.

Running a Successful Business

Operating an enterprise on your own means you’ve got to be hyper-aware of your use of time, appropriate identification of your target demographic, and implementation of superior customer service skills. Creating a detailed business and marketing plan can help you create a roadmap for how your business will function, as well as help you identify areas where outside assistance could be beneficial. According to the US Small Business Administration, writing a business plancan aid in this effort, and is a necessity if you plan to apply for a small business loan or another type of funding to get your company up and running. Good recordkeeping, target advertising, and cultivation of a loyal repeat customer base are all elements to manage when operating a solo endeavor.

Protecting Your Assets

As a solopreneur, you are the face of your business, both operationally and legally. To ensure you’re compliant with rules and regulations of your industry, and to protect yourself against liability, establishing yourself as a limited liability company can be a smart move. States have different requirements for LLCs. You can do a bit of legwork through your state’s department of businesses and industry and file paperwork yourself, hire a pricey attorney, or use a formation company to do the work on your behalf.

Being your own boss as a micro business enterprise is an exciting and rewarding experience. You increase your chances for success by providing exceptional service, comprehensive customer care, and ensuring that you price yourself fairly, yet competitively. Don’t forget, according to the US Internal Revenue Service, you can deduct a lot of qualifying business-related expenses when you file your taxes each year. Keep good records so you’re able to take advantage of all of the tax benefits that come with small business ownership and operations.

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Where Do We Go Back To?

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”. Or put more simply, “send them back” and “go back to your own country”.

It’s a rhetoric that’s dangerous, poisonous, toxic, and has infested everyday society. Day after the day, the gap widens between people of different viewpoints about topics such as immigration, health care, and essential policy. There’s a sense of “us vs them” in the air that we breathe and the actions that we take.

This one hits a little bit harder to home. As a first-generation Vietnamese-American, this rhetoric is something that I’ve experienced multiple times in my life. I’m sure similar to many children with immigrant parents, a focus on English is created in the household and a loss of the foreign language and culture is embedded into the minds of youths since childhood. Yet this results in a strange predicament, the children of immigrants have been “whitewashed” by American society and can’t ever fit back into the cultures in which their parents came from, but yet they’re “too ethnic” for the American society that refuses to accept them.

Many of these immigrants have citizenship and the cause for their ancestors no longer residing in their country of ethnicity varies; there’s economic problems, war, famine, among many others. For most, it’s the pursuit of the American dream that drives people to come to the land of opportunity. Think about it for a second, what push would you need in order to leave everything you’ve ever known and loved, to be forced to learn another language, adapt to a new culture, and struggle through all the growing pains these changes come with. Our nation’s history with immigrants has been mixed, while we pride ourselves for being a country of diversity, one unlike what anywhere else in the world has to offer, we often marginalize and criminalize those who differ from the norm.  At first it was the WASP (White Anglo-Saxan Protestants) in power, using their power to create advertisements and rhetoric such as “Irish need not apply”, this then shifts to the Japanese-American internment camps, and now current day, the rise of domestic terrorism in correlation to immigration, but via homegrown terrorism against said immigrants. You can read more about that here.

Throughout my time in college, and even post, I’ve been deeply entwined with the concepts of immigration, migration, refugees, and the concepts of life in America as someone who seemingly represents everything that the nation stands to represent. A fresh start, an ability to use your talents and gifts to contribute to this harmonious society where all cultures blend, mix, and fuse to create what we call America. Must we forget our heritage and how our nation started out? We were founded by people who stood for religious freedom, people who were segregated for various reasons found a place of asylum, this pinnacle of freedom. There’s a certain sense of blissful and selective ignorance that comes from this, with chants and claims of sending people back while standing on grounds which were not originally ours.

This land is your land, this land is my land. As a proud American citizen, I want to use this right to speak up about these injustices, not because I dislike this country, but because I want to make it better. To create policy, to create a more inclusive America, and exercise my right to freedom of speech. We can simultaneously love something and also have the ability to critique and want to make it better. After all, isn’t that the true American way?


The Selective Perception of Patriotism

I know this post arrives a tad late after July 4th, and it would’ve been just a little bit more powerful if it came out the day of, but there’s a lot I want to get off my chest about our concept of patriotism and how it needs to be a tad more nuanced than it currently is. Let me explain.

Patriotism is a concept that I think about pretty often, as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, it means “the quality of being patriotic; devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country”. Yet in modern day society, there’s lack of room for nuance in our arguments. We see patriotism in action everyday, with traditional examples being wearing the classic old navy American flag shirt while we shoot fireworks up in the sky, snacking on BBQ foods and tossing a football in the backyard. Other definitions of patriotism exist as well, can we support our country while stating that there are things wrong with it that should change? Recent examples of this being movements such as Black Lives Matter, that has been quickly countered by Blue Lives Matter. The concept of kneeling for the anthem has been challenged recently, and a battle over free speech and hate speech has recently taken the media by storm. On Twitter (arguably the most vocal social media of our age), we see people like Megan Rapinoe, Colin Kaepernick, and even Qasim Rahid be given an incredible voice, and at times they are quickly shut down.

What I define as selective perception is the process where people choose to omit certain aspects of an argument or viewpoint based on their own prior biases or beliefs. This happens on both sides of the political spectrum. One can be pro black lives matter and blue lives matter. A person can be morally pro-life, yet vote pro-choice. The world and our beliefs are not black and white. The ideology of selective perception, in my opinion, stems from the rise of identity politics. It’s seeped into our culture and at times, it feels as if we no longer have a sense of tolerance or patience for the other side of the aisle. Of all places, we see this on Tinder profiles in the form of “don’t swipe if you’re a snowflake” or “swipe left if you voted for Trump”. Part of a debate and a discussion is to realize where we disagree and find the common ground on which we stand upon. A nation known as the United States seems to be ununited and splitting at the seams.

Why does this matter? In modern events, we view things on a black or white spectrum. The media, our own bubbles that we have created don’t allow for debate and discussion, but a “you are wrong, and I am right” mentality. The very idea and concept of patriotism has become subjective. We arrive at difficult questions that even though precedence has decided these before, we treat them on a case by case basis depending on our political ideology. Should Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe’s free speech be allowed? Then why not someone like Alex Jones or Tomi Lahren? On one hand, the athletes are representing their right to assembly and right to free speech, yet they are disrespecting the flag in the eyes of a few. Alex Jones and Tomi Lahren are also using their right to use media how they wish and display their thoughts in a public forum. The difference here lies in the aftermath; if someone’s speech incites violence or hatred, at that point is it still patriotism? These questions are tough, and at times don’t have a perfect answer. Maybe this writing piece doesn’t bring us anywhere closer. But at the very least, we should open our ears and listen to each other. We have more in common with each other than we believe, after all, we all love our country, just in different ways.

For All of Us We Must Not Forget

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For those who had traumatizing pasts, embarrassing pasts, disappointing pasts, shameful pasts, for those who are not lucky enough to remember your pasts due to illness or harm, and for those who are no longer here on this earth to do so either, this is for all of us!

Its okay to not talk about the past but its not okay to forget about it and act like that part of your life didn’t exist. Some pasts can be scary, uneasy, even traumatizing, so its completely okay to not want to talk about them but what is not okay is erasing them, forgetting about them, acting as if moments did not happen. The pain they brought has happened, an outcome came of it, but you made it to this point. The point where you get to stand here and say “THAT moment happened, THAT pain was endured, THAT was THAT”. Call it tough love but something most need to hear and others need to view from a different perspective. 

I’m not going to sit here and say cliché things like “the past is what made us to what we are today” and yes while that holds a good amount of value I feel as if saying that quote makes pasts always seem so bad. That being said yes some peoples are but there are also people who’s pasts were not bad. And to be quite honest I wish we could see more positive pasts without people calling them privileged or lucky! I am sorry that some people had such horrible pasts that have made you incapable of not being happy for others who did not! What people need to realize is be lucky your here to remember a past, to be able to be here and to have grown from a past, some souls out there never got that chance for a past.

But no matter what your past WAS, if it was something painful you were put through or if you were the person inflicting pain and hurt on others; it does not matter. This isn’t to discredit or devalue some peoples traumatizing pasts, its for people to know that its okay to not talk about things you did not like or make you feel a negative way; but we must never forget them. Lessons were taught and events occurred that pushed you to where you are now (some might not be at a good place right now but give it time). So please stop thinking its okay to forgive and forget, that nothing good can come from remembering the hard moments, when in fact someones everything now came from those moments. Our past has everything to do with our present and future. Think about it- if we only talked about whats ahead never wanting to recognize what happened how would we know what to reflect off of?

You don’t have to talk about your past, you don’t have to think about it all the time either but we must not forget. We are lucky enough to get the chance to reflect and remember!