I have listened to some people passionately express satisfaction with paying monthly rent and gaining the related offset by using it as a business deduction. An expense. The ideas that expensing rent is somehow a way to reduce tax burden. My opinion is simple – Hog Wash.
Why would you give money away to someone else each month. Consider this: when you own, buy, or purchase there is an interest expense deduction, a depreciation deduction and the best news – you pay yourself each month. The principal paid each month is a payment to yourself creating equity buildup. Each month over the life of a note, the principal paid to you increases. Google the words, amortization schedule, and play with the amortization calculator, you will find that each month the payment you make increases to you and is reduced to the bank. Wow – you get to make more money each month. What a great idea!
Consider owning instead of renting because the advantage is also very simple – in roughly 12 years, the note duration, you now become the very happy owner of your own building. What a great way to create equity and personal wealth. Consider buying instead of renting… it makes good cents.
Beat the Heat
Everyone knows how difficult and miserable the heat of summer can make things. From getting the yard work done, doing routine maintenance around the house, gardening, playing sports and for those that work out in the heat all day, the summer temperatures make life much different.
As a life-long Vegas resident, construction guy and former roofer I know a few tricks to help beat the heat:
- Acclimate yourself to the heat. Each year you need to do this and once your body gets use to it, life becomes much more bearable. It is a process and once you become more accustomed to the heat you can then increase your level of physical activity. A person can do the heavy and hardest work early in the morning but as the day wears on and the temperature rises, it becomes a matter of pacing yourself to get through the day. Take the time to acclimate yourself to the heat and then buildup your physical activity level accordingly.
- Plan ahead and do the most difficult physical activities in the early morning hours. Plan your day so the shady and less strenuous work is done when the temperatures are high.
- Dress for the desert by wearing wide-brimmed hats, loose fitting long sleeve shirts and long pants. By protecting your skin from direct sunlight you insulate your body from the sun and the loose and light clothing, once wet with sweat, provides a cooling effect. Use water to help you stay cool. Spray your hat and your shirt with the hose every hour or when you feel the strain from the heat to save your body from sweating. Let the evaporative cooling nature of the breeze keep you cool. If a hose is not the answer then try filling a spray bottle with water and putting it in the refrigerator for use later. Some folks now wear “cool vests” that are pre-soaked and worn in the heat of the day to provide the same effect. They really do work as long as there is a breeze.
- Don’t eat big meals in the heat. A big meal is a real downer when it is time to get back out in the hot weather and it makes you feel lousy.
- Small things add up. Keep long hair up, wear less makeup, take more breaks in the shade, cool off when you can, hydrate-hydrate-hydrate and listen to your body.
- Put a grapefruit or other citrus in your drinking water. I found that doing this made a difference. I don’t know of any scientific evident behind it but it really helped. Maybe, it is the citrus just made the Lake Mead water taste better. Years ago, as a Roofer, a typical summer day in Las Vegas required that I consume 3 gallons on water each day. My body turned into a sweating machine complete with salt rings on my clothing.
- Forget the caffeine or alcohol until after you finished with your day in the sun.
- Be smart and protect yourself from UV and UB rays by using sunscreen. Today, as an older guy, I am on a first name basis with my Dermatologist. Not good. Take care of yourself today and you will glad you did later in life.
Image from http://www.coyote-tv.com/
Las Vegas Summer Heat
Most who live in Vegas came from somewhere else with harsher winters and more moderate summers. As you know, in Vegas, the humidity is typically low and the summer time temperatures can be unbearable. Temperatures seem to increase each year due to the heat island effect (concrete, asphalt and buildings retaining the day’s heat) and the drought conditions we have been experiencing.
Here are some simple reminders to help stay safe this summer:
- Become acclimated gradually to the hot summer temperatures.
- Pace yourself. Your output will not be the same during excessive temperatures.
- Stay away from caffeine, soda and alcohol – it interferes with your body’s ability to cool itself.
- Keep water close at hand and drink often
- When the humidity is higher your body’s ability to cool is much less affective so take more breaks and drink more water.
- If you stop sweating and start cramping you are already in trouble so get cooled off and hydrated. Don’t wait.
- The physics of heat exchange is important to keep top of mind (more on this below)
- The most common symptoms of heat illness are nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, or an altered mental state (confused, raving, aggressive, rambling incoherently). Get cooled off now if you experience these symptoms.
- Your dog or cat know to stay in the shade so “stay in the shade” as much as possible
Sweating and evaporation is how your body naturally cools itself; much like the evaporative or swamp cooler cools the air in homes or at work. The hotter it becomes, the higher the humidity and a lack of breeze reduces the bodies cooling ability. Adding physical exertion or exercise creates additional internal heat and requires additional evaporative cooling, hence, the need to pace yourself to balance heat buildup and heat exchange. Pay attention to your body and stay ahead of the heat exchange curve so you never have to experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke (heat stress).
Acclimate, stay hydrated, pace yourself, listen to what your body is telling you and know the signs of heat stress to stay safe in the Nevada desert heat this summer.
Next post I will share some tricks to stay cool learned over a lifetime as a desert dweller.
Image by: Strive & Grind: http://strivengrind.com/
The drive to become your own boss, own your own business and experience the independence of being a business owner motivates many young and energetic people to become entrepreneurs. It can be very cool to experience all these things.
The reality is we all answer to someone.
As a business owner and boss it doesn’t take long to figure out that you always answer to your customers. When things are done well and customers are happy being an independent business owner is enjoyable but when the inverse occurs it doesn’t take long to realize your business success depends on happy satisfied customers. The reality for business owners are that customers are king, they rule the day and if their expectations are met your business will prosper. If your business does it better than competitors your market share will increase. Create unhappy customers and it won’t be long before you become an employee, working for the next entrepreneur looking to live the dream of being an independent business owner. Here is a small list of key things I have used to help keep perspective regarding my/our customers:
Gratitude and Kindness will take you far – treat others like you would like to be treated
Recognize Responsibility – if you screw up admit it right away
Follow Through – your word is your bond so keep your promises and keep your word
Honesty is Crucial – Walk on the hot coals of accountability and you will earn respect
Build Trust – for every bad experience it takes a dozen good experiences to make it up
Communication is 2-Way – Listen and act on “reasonable requests”
Customer Experience – this will make you or break you
Respect your Customer – 58% of unhappy customers tell their friends
In our industry, the building and construction industry, about 90% of customers are reasonable, fair and honest people. Focus on them. The remaining 10% consume your time, energy and talent. Stay the course, stay motivated and remind yourself of the other 90%. Strive to convert the tough 10% by showing them outstanding customer service and do your “reasonable best” to satisfy expectations; otherwise, move on and find another good customer.
Remember – If it was easy everyone would be a business person.
Several weeks ago I was sitting in an airport observing many hundreds of people and then the very obvious reality struck that people do not talk to each other. A casual hello may occur as another person would find a seat.
“…the last thing we seem to do is talk.”
The next step for almost everyone was to get out their smart phone and have a conversation with someone; anyone that is not in the present or anyone else not in the room at that moment in time. Instead the propensity is to seek to communicate with someone outside their immediate environment. It is wild to see how things are changing.
Today, we email, text, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. LinkedIn and do all the digital forms of communication but the last thing we seem to do is talk. I see people, myself included, email or text the person in the same room or office next door. It is easy, convenient and it usually works out fine. Today, talking is usually the last or least way of communicating. We all do it.
“Conversation – a great thing to try…”
Have you found it difficult to communicate issues that are wrought with emotion, disagreement or sensitivity? On occasion it can be pulled off but, in my case, digital communicating these kind of issues tend to complicate. It is the “reading between the lines” that seems to be a problem. Although, the intent is to show sensitivity and understanding the take-away can be misunderstanding of the intended message. Knowing that “reading between the lines” is a problem it may take 10 times longer to draft a particular email than it would take to call the person and have the conversation.
Body language, inflection, facial expressions and the combination of all these non-verbal forms of communication can have as much, if not more, meaning than the words you hear. The digital medium just doesn’t do the same job. Sorry for sounding like an old guy but it is true.
Conversation – a great thing to try next time you sit next to a stranger in the airport. Hopefully, the other person will be inclined to participate instead of being annoyed by your interrupting their digital conversation with someone outside the room.