Monthly Archives: May 2016

Authenticity: Just Another Item for Your To-Do List?

download (10)There’s so much talk about authenticity. It’s becoming one of those overused words that people roll their eyes at.

It’s easy to talk about authenticity. But actually being authentic? Not so much.

All this pressure to be authentic can start to feel like yet another dang thing that you have to do in order to be successful in your business. One more add-on to an already burgeoning to-do list.

The thing is, authenticity isn’t really about adding anything on.

It’s about letting the artifice, the mask, the act fall away.

When you’re authentic in your business, in your marketing, you allow the essence of you to shine through. You allow those endearing quirks, heretofore (using the perfect big word is one of my quirks!) only seen in the company of trusted loved ones, to come out.

Aren’t your clients and customers loved ones? They can take it.

Not only can they take it – they want to see it! They want to see the real you.

Your work in the world is an act of love.

It’s the way you manifest your love in the time you spend at work, which is the most time we spend doing anything on a given work day. With that in mind, wouldn’t you rather express love from who you really are, and not from some adopted work persona?

I know I would.

My own journey with authenticity has felt like a winding and sometimes arduous one. When I started working, lo these many years ago, work personas were highly valued. Especially in my corporate job. Being yourself was considered wildly anarchistic, and few managed it successfully.

Besides, when I did try being myself, I was slapped down more than once by a manager. It’s a challenge to keep getting back up and trying again to be yourself in that environment.

One of the beautiful aspects of being an entrepreneur is that there is no one to say, you can’t be yourself. In fact, we all welcome it! We all crave it for ourselves.

When you are yourself, you not only feel the freedom of self-expression, you touch people in a deeper way. You connect with our humanity.

That’s powerful stuff in human terms. And it’s powerful in business too.

In the spirit of not adding to your get-to-do list, I’m not going to put another list of how-to’s or to-do’s here about authenticity. I’m just going to share some thoughts with you about what I’ve observed in the authentic (and most successful) business people out there:

1. Stop worrying about what everybody else thinks.

What stops many of us from being real is worry about what other people will think if we are just ourselves. That we’ll be judged. That we’ll even be rejected. It seems less painful to be rejected when it’s your persona and not you that’s getting the cold shoulder. It’s not easy to just shut that worry off. What authentic and successful biz people do is express themselves anyway. That could be you!

2. Embrace standing out.

You know that guy in the terrible furniture commercial wearing a zebra costume who looks like he’s having the time of his life? We laugh. Or cringe. And we remember him. I’m not saying you need to dress up like a zoo animal. What I am suggesting is that doing something that feels foolish and fun can help you stand out. We worry so much about being embarrassed. What if we focus instead on how much fun we could be having?

3. Love yourself.

Oh yeah. This is a big one. HUGE. All that stuff I said in the first two points? Pretty much not a problem when you love yourself. You’re a beautiful amazing being. Be as good a friend to yourself as you would to someone you love.

How cool would it be to have someone in your life who lets the crapola fall away and is just themselves? You can be that person for your clients, your team, anyone who comes into contact with you. It’s inspiring. It’s loving.

4. Do what you promise.

Making a lot of promises that you don’t keep is one of the quickest ways to be perceived as inauthentic. People need to be able to trust what you say. That’s the start of any business relationship. From that foundation, buying decisions are made. Without it, there’s no business.

5. Have fun.

Business is hard work, right? How much fun are we allowed to have, exactly? Here’s some news: as much as you want! What if one of your criteria for whether a project goes ahead is, overall, is it fun?

It’s kind of cool when truths about business are also truths about life, isn’t it?

I welcome your authenticity. I’m with you in showing us who you are. We’re all cheering you on!

 

Secrets of Bonding 125: When to Call It Quits

images (4)Construction contracts can be terminated by either party under certain circumstances. Let’s take a look at it from the Contractor’s point of view.

Federal contracts make it easy for the government to end a project. The “termination for convenience” clause spells out how the project can be ended (with no fault on the part of the contractor) and provides a method of payment for the work in place. Other public and private contracts may also contain this clause.

Sometimes it is the contractor who is motivated to end the project early. In these situations, it is important to know how and when to proceed.

The Disputes Clause

“The Contractor shall proceed diligently with performance of this contract, pending final resolution of any request for relief, claim, appeal, or action arising under the contract, and comply with any decision of the Contracting Officer.”

Found in federal contracts, this clause means you must continue to work when facing a dispute. This assures that the contractor doesn’t hold the project hostage while the dispute is under review.

Other public and private contracts may include language regarding unresolvable disagreements, so it is important to…

Read the Contract

Contractors should only quit a project when they have a legal right to do so. You need to read the contract and, with the help of your attorney, choose a course of action.

An Unresolvable Disagreements clause may allow the contractor to stop work. An example could be engineering issues that make it impossible to proceed.

Stop Work for Nonpayment

In these cases, the contractor should send written notification of the overdue payment and allow a time period to collect the funds. Some contracts require that a second notification be sent before work may be suspended.

Because nonpayment may be a material breach of the contract, it can be justify stopping work. However, state laws vary on this subject. An attorney can help determine if such action is advisable.

Surety Bonds

If a Performance and Payment Bond covers the contract, it can play an important role.

General Contractors should alert their surety regarding any disputes. Stopping work can result in a Performance Bond claim. This can hamper the availability of bonds for other projects. The surety will want to understand the dispute and may offer guidance to the contractor and attorney.

Subcontractors have these same issues if they have bonded their subcontract. In addition, contracts with “pay when paid” wording may justify the GCs nonpayment – another reason to read the contract.

An advantage for subcontractors may be a P&P bond above them, filed by the general contractor. The Payment Bond is available for claim by subs and suppliers. It can be a powerful tool to protect subcontractors. Even a letter to the GC threatening to file a payment claim can shake the money loose in many cases.

Conclusion

Stopping work can be an important remedy for the contractor, provided the action is legally permitted. When a contractor considers suspending work they must remember they may ultimately be found in breach of contract themselves. They should also take into account the larger situation of the nonpaying party, such as an impending bankruptcy.

The best approach is to review contracts in advance and negotiate the addition of langue that allows work stoppage under certain circumstances. The goal is to acquire the contract while limiting the risks.

Steve Golia is an experienced provider of bid and performance bonds for contractors. For more than 30 years he has specialized in solving bond problems for contractors, and helping them when others failed.

The experts at Bonding Pros have the underwriting talent and market access you need. This is coupled with spectacular service and great accessibility.

 

How Did Trump Make Himself Judgment Proof?

download (9)Unfortunately, litigation has become a way of life in this country. There are over 16 million lawsuits filed each year. More than 70% of the world’s attorneys live in the United States. Contingent fee arrangements encourage lawsuits. Many times the defendant still has to pay his legal bills, even if he wins.

I am sure that Trump found the best safeguard against lawsuits is not to have any attachable assets. He has accomplished this by transferring them into judgment proof entities.

I believe he created an estate plan whereby the vast majority of his assets were transferred into a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) to eliminate or reduce his exposure from future lawsuits.

How did this non-fraudulent transfer protect those assets? The key is the vote. Creditors may get a charging order on a limited partnership interest, but they cannot direct its affairs. Only the General Partners can.

Transfers that are fraudulent can be put aside and creditors can proceed against the debtor’s property. Fraudulent conveyance is judged on a case-by-case. Below are some of the criteria used to make this determination.

1. Consideration paid.

2. Solvency of debtor before and after transfer.

3. Pending claims at the time of transfer.

4. Intent of the debtor.

If the creditors do get an attachment against his limited partnership interest, they have to decide whether they want to expend additional time and money overcoming the following formidable obstacles:

1. Obtain judgment against the debtor.

2. Prove the debtor has an interest in the Limited Partnership.

3. Have the courts issue a charging order.

4. Obtain appointment of a receiver.

5. Apply for foreclosure.

6. Attempt a forced sale.

7. Secure judicial dissolution of the limited partnership.

8. Upon dissolution, receive what is left after priority paying claims.

Once creditors know, the position they are in, they will want to settle claims as soon as possible. If he decides to settle, he will use the following strategies:

1. Start off with 10% of the amount due and go up in increments of 5%.

2. Extend the payments out as far as possible.

3. Don’t offer any collateral or co-signers.

4. If they want to charge interest, prime rate is okay.

5. Have them erase any negative marks on your credit rating.

The most significant advantage of a FLP is that it protects his assets from creditors. The revocable living trust doesn’t. As part of an estate plan, the FLP will accomplish the same probate and tax protection as the living trust plus give him the additional asset protection.

 

The 4 Benefits of Hiring Professional Construction Waste Removalists

download (11)Being a building contractor comes along with several responsibilities where you have been assigned to construct buildings by your client. It involves arranging for labourers, purchasing raw material, estimating the time frame for the completion and finally clearing out the construction area from all the unwanted commodities strewn around. The waste often include waste extracted from building material, soil, broken glass, concrete blocks, broken bricks, stone chips, etc. Quite often, contractors make use of the labourers to help in clearance of the construction waste but those results in improper waste disposal.

Construction waste is often hazardous and when not disposed well, it is known to cause severe damage to the environment. There are designated professionals in most cities that specialise in construction waste disposal and perform the tasks with expertise. They are equipped with necessary equipment and machinery to ensure that the construction waste is taken care of and disposed in the most effective way. Here are a few benefits of hiring them which would make you understand the difference between their service and of those provided by the labourers.

• Convenient – You do not have to make arrangements for transport and other equipment to gather, segregate and haul the waste to dispose. The professionals would do so as they are designated to do so and are experts in what they do. They come over with the necessary equipment and disposal bins to allow safe disposal.

• Takes care of your safety – Construction waste is often fatal where broken glass, metal or concrete can be harmful to those who would be disposing it. The professionals are equipped with necessary measures that allow them to take care of fatal waste and accordingly dispose it not to harm them or the environment in any way.

• Efficient services – As they are professionals and need to keep a good reputation to stand out amongst competitors, they are the ones who would efficiently carry out the disposal tasks in the best way possible. They would ensure that you have a clear construction site that is ready for use. Most removalists come along with contracts that ensure that they would complete the tasks in the stipulated time and not cause any hassle while doing so.

• Efficient waste disposal – Most removalists have collaborations with waste treatment plants that allow construction waste to get disposed in the most effective way. Quite often, these wastes are recycled to be used in a better way to serve the purpose of construction all over again.

 

Strategies For Enhancing Company Profits For Greater Financial Health

download (8)Small and growing businesses are often tasked with the challenge of making do with inconsistent profits. While their overhead costs remain fairly static, they may not have enough regular money coming into pay their bills on time. With the right strategies, however, these entities can bolster and build their bank accounts for greater financial health overall. Following are several tips that owners of small-sized companies can put to use right now.

Stop paying your bills long before they are due. Although you might feel hard pressed to resolve these debts, keeping your money in your own bank account until bills are actually due is a much better way to manage your funds. This way, your cash can continue earning interest and actively working for you for as long as possible.

Make sure that your investments in new equipment and other resources are actually adding value to your business. New investment decisions should be entirely data driven in order to ensure wholly positive outcomes. When they are, all new tools will increase your productivity and overall capabilities so that you are primed and ready for expansion. Buying resources that grow your business will help you enjoy greater consistency in your profits over the long term.

Take inventory of the tools and equipment that you currently own and eliminate any redundancies. You may have a number of resources that all perform the exact same function. Equipment rental costs and maintenance fees for the goods that you own outright can add up fast. Make sure that your are only maintaining what you need by conducting a full equipment inventory on a regular basis.

In addition to lowering your overhead costs by inventorying your goods, you can also find items to sell. The resulting monies can be stashed away in your savings account where they can collect interest. Should cash flow issues ever arise, you can always fall back on these savings in order to quickly and easily resolve your money troubles.

Determine whether or not there are any redundancies in your workforce. These are evidenced by multiple employees who are performing the exact same job but who are not providing any additional benefits by doing so. You can streamline your team by redistributing job duties are by letting unnecessary positions go. While this might be a tough choice, it could be essential for the ongoing health of your organization. Remember, unnecessary overhead costs can diminish your profits considerably.

Consider going paperless so that you can control or even eliminate unnecessary supply costs. This is a fast, easy and wholly convenient transition given the expedience of scanning equipment and online data archival systems. Taking your documents to the cloud can also boost your public image by showing the world that your company is an environmentally-friendly one.

Align yourself with a good debt collection agency in order to clear out your delinquent accounts. Many growing businesses have financial troubles simply because they are unable to get large numbers of clients to pay for the services they have already received. These agencies can use proven collection tactics to help you collect on old invoices while continuing to maintain comfortable and profitable relationships with your existing customer base.