Will Getting Rich Make You a Jerk?

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(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Wealthy people are dishonest. Wealthy people are corrupt. Wealthy people are selfish. Is that really true? Recent events seem to point to this. In the wake of the Paul Manafort trial and other documented misbehaviors newly uncovered by members of our political and business elite, some people are asking whether or not the wealthy can be trusted.

“There’s something about wealth and privilege that makes you feel like you’re above the law that allows you to treat others like they don’t exist,” Dacher Keltner, a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley Keltner told the Washington Post. “To researchers who study wealth and power, it’s dismaying but not surprising, because it tracks so closely with our findings. The effect of power is sadly one of the most reliable laws of human behavior.” Read More…

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The “Pass Through” Deduction Isn’t As Limited As You Think

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Last December, as we all know, Congress passed into law a sweeping tax reform bill. Since then, many accountants have been advising their business clients not to make any big moves until certain parts of the bill – particularly the rules around the “pass-through” deduction – are clarified. Last week, the IRS issued proposed regulations that clarify the bill.

Lots of business owners I know have been concerned because the deduction may exclude those in the service industries or have other limitations that make it less attractive.  Yes, there are limitations. But not as much as some – particularly those of us running small companies – think. If you’re running a small business, here’s what you need to know.

1 – Some businesses will qualify, others will not.

Read More…

IBM Is Still A Believer In Blockchain…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Blockchain hype may have peaked, but IBM is still a believer.

Even though only 1 percent of corporate executives say they use blockchain, IBM still thinks the technology that underpins bitcoin has untapped potential. Blockchain is a kind of tamper-proof database for keeping track of just about anything, and the company believes that promising uses of it include supply chains and finance. (Source: Quartz)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…

These Are 15 Free Excel Templates You Can Use to Make More Money

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

In these days of cloud-based systems, mobile applications, and web-based services, why use a spreadsheet for any other purpose than analysis?

Three reasons: ease, customization, and cost. A spreadsheet can be easily saved, updated, and reused again and again. A good template serves as a head start for you because it can be customized to fit your exact needs and business. And if you’re not financially ready (or willing) to invest in a monthly or annual subscription, these Excel templates will get the job done for your so that you can spend your money on something else that makes you more money — like good employees or specific technologies.

Now that you’re convinced about a spreadsheet’s value, are you aware of all the ones that Microsoft offers its Office 365 business users for free? Here are 15 that are worth checking out.

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On CRM: We’re Pretty Bad At CRM But There’s Hope, According To A Miller Heiman Study

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Are you looking to invest in a new CRM system and you’re concerned about whether or not it’s worth it? Or maybe you’re struggling with the one you already have. Don’t worry – your concerns are justified. Plenty of others are having the same challenges. But, according to a new study, there is hope.

The Sales Operations Optimization Study recently released by CSO Insights – the research arm of sales consulting giant Miller Heiman – looked at 300 companies of all sizes to determine the effectiveness of their sales operations. Here’s what I learned from reading the study. Read More…

Is The Galaxy S4 Better Than The iPad And The Surface…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1— Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S4 tries to beat the iPad at productivity.

Samsung “surprised” the tech community this week when it released an update to its Galaxy Tab S4. And, according to one tech blogger, “this time around Samsung isn’t just taking aim at the iPad Pro, it’s also looking to challenge the Surface Laptop.” (Source: PC World)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…

This Entrepreneur Risked It All and Ended Up Homeless Handing Out Resumes on a Street Corner

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(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

Want to start a business? Good for you. Just don’t make the mistakes that David Casarez made.

Casarez, a twenty-something software developer, made news this week when a passerby took a picture, which went viral, of him holding up a sign on a street corner in Mountain View, Calif., — Google’s home town — that read “Homeless hungry 4 success take a resume.”

“I told myself all I need is just one person out there to say ‘hey, this guy is worth giving a shot’,” he told Fox News.

Well, he’s certainly getting a shot. As a result of all the attention, he’s received hundreds of interview offers from tech firms (including Google. For the past year he’s been living in his car but is now living in into a hotel room, courtesy of a $500 Airbnb gift certificate provided to him by a nonprofit.

How did this young man wind up in this predicament? According to Business Insider, Casarez had quit his job as a software developer at General Motors last year so that he could launch his own tech startup. “Would I rather be on my deathbed knowing I didn’t take the risk or knowing that I did?” he asked himself. “That’s what really pushed me to leave the comfort of working at GM.”

I’m guessing the story struck a nerve with people because it’s not every day that you see a college-educated, skilled worker made homeless because he couldn’t afford the high price of living in Silicon Valley. But to me, I see something quite different: a young, naive entrepreneur who made two very huge mistakes that no one should make when starting up a business. Read More…