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Old Year Lessons

In three weeks you’ll turn the calendar page to 2020.

Each year the years seem to fly by. And this year was no exception.

While three weeks isn’t a lot of time, you do have time to take some positive actions to end your year on a high note and get a head start on 2020.

Here are some tips that I’m taking to heart.

Don’t wait until Dec. 31 to check your financials.

I’ve been working on my financials the past week or so. As someone who is self-employed, I need to make estimated tax payments. While they aren’t due until Jan. 15, 2020, I like to get my settled before the end of the year.

Some questions you might consider:

• Do you need to follow up on any late invoices if you want the income to be in 2019?
• Do you need to defer the income until 2020?
• Do you need to make any expenditures by year-end?
• What tax consequences should you be aware of?

On my list is a quick call or email with my accountant. This will answer any last minute questions and allow me to make any adjustments I might need to minimize any taxes I owe.

If you do not have a giving plan in place, consider starting one before the end of the year.

Yes, you will get a tax deduction.

Even better, it will make you feel good.

You can find numerous local charities in your own backyard or look online for some that work with creative arts or an area you are passionate about.

I have supported both groups that help women get back on track locally and also micro-loan foundations that target the funds to help women make a living from crafts.

My local charities are Stepping Stones Shelter, which works with homeless families with children, and Generation Hope, which works with DC area teen parents to become college graduates and help their kids enter kindergarten at higher levels of school readiness. Two charities to consider that make microloans are www.finca.org and www.kiva.org. I’ve supported both over the years. Even $25 makes a difference.

Quilters and other artisans have a long history of donating handmade art and craft to charities to raise money. Just search for “craft charities” to find some.

As for me, I’ll be making a donation to the Quilt Alliance, whose goal is to celebrate and preserve our shared quilt heritage and inspire today’s quilters.

Look back over the year to see what your successes were.

Start by celebrating!

Lots of entrepreneurs do not take the time to celebrate what they have accomplished. You are always onto the next big thing.

Go back and list what your accomplishments were. I bet you can come up with 100 if you try. Let me know how many you find.

And take time to relish in your accomplishments.

As you looked over your successes, did you see places for growth?

Don’t leave 2019 with the status quo as your goal.

Spend some time over the three weeks getting clear on what is possible for you.

Consider who you will need for support, whether that is private coaching, group coaching, or your own personal networking group.

Finish planning for 2020

Have you purchased your calendar or created one that works for you?

Mine arrived yesterday. It’s the Action Day Planner. I get the turquoise one. It’s easy to find on my desk.

Have you entered dates for big events and those appointments with yourself? That way you can start the year on the right track. You will see where you need to fill in to build your business.

What’s your Big Why?

Have you considered why you get up each day and work in and on your creative arts business?

If you are unclear, set aside some time over the holidays to consider it. To find your Big Why.

That will make a difference as you begin the New Year. It can act as a rudder to keep you on course if you lose your way.

Aim for a clean slate.

Your goal should be to start the New Year with a clean slate.

You have put 2019 to bed, so to speak, and are onto new challenges.

In addition to the ideas above, I plan to spend some time tossing what is not needed in my studio, so I start with a “clean slate” in January.

Your turn!

What are you doing to be sure you end the year on a positive note?

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