Category Archives: Success

Taking success to the next level all starts in the mind. If you have to become a success in your mind before you can become a success in front of others. We will show you how you can change your mind into a winning formula.

6 Tips to Combat Time Poverty

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy discusses how time management techniques that can really make a difference in your daily life. Most people think they are too busy to stop and actually educate themselves on time management, but the truth is that you are too busy not to do so. Learning how to make the most of your time is a great way to improve your productivity and happiness, so stop putting it off.

To learn more, click play.

Watch more YouTube videos from Brian Tracy on his channel.

Related: The Biggest Obstacle to Financial Success

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Why are IRA, Roth IRAs and 401(k) contributions limited?

A:

Contributions to IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans are limited by the IRS to prevent the very wealthy from benefiting more than the average worker.

Contributions to traditional IRA and 401(k) accounts are made with pretax dollars, so they can offer a significant reduction to a worker’s annual income tax burden. The contributions to many retirement savings accounts are capped to ensure that those who can afford to defer large amounts of their compensation do not take advantage of this tax benefit.

401(k) Contribution Limits

In 2017, the maximum employee contribution to a 401(k) plan, either traditional or Roth, is $18,000. Also, employers can contribute through either non-elective deferrals or contribution matching. However, the total contribution from all sources must not exceed the lesser of the employee’s compensation or $54,000 for 2017.

To encourage those nearing the end of their working years to contribute more, the IRS also allows additional catch-up contributions for employees over the age of 50. In 2017, the catch-up contribution is $6,000, for those over 50.

Non-Discrimination Testing

A 401(k) is a qualified retirement plan offered through an employer. The IRS imposes certain limitations on the contributions of highly compensated employees, called non-discrimination testing, to encourage equal participation across all compensation levels.

For the 401(k) plan to retain its qualified status, contributions made by employees who earn large salaries – more than $120,000 must not exceed a certain percentage of the average contribution made by non-highly paid employees. This prompts higher-level employees, such as executives and management, to encourage plan participation among the rank and file. As the average regular employee contribution increases, the amount that more highly compensated employees are allowed to contribute increases, up to the annual maximum.

IRA Contribution Limits

For the 2017 fiscal year, IRA participants are limited to a maximum contribution of $5,500, or 100% of their compensation, whichever is lesser. Those over 50 can make catch-up contributions of up to $1,000 annually.

Like 401(k) plans, the contribution limits for IRAs apply to all accounts held by the same person. If you have both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, the total of all your contributions to both accounts cannot exceed $5,500, or $6,500 if you are over 50.

Leveling the Playing Field

IRAs are not qualified retirement plans because they are not offered through an employer. There is no provision for the type of non-discrimination testing that applies to 401(k) contributions.

However, IRAs were developed to encourage the average worker to save for retirement and not as another tax shelter for the rich. To prevent unfair benefit to the wealthy, the amount of your contribution to a traditional IRA that is tax-deductible may be reduced if you or your spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored plan, or if your combined income is above a certain amount.

In addition, Roth IRAs are only available to those who meet certain income requirements. In 2017, the contribution limits for single persons who earn more than $118,000, and married couples filing jointly who earn more than $186,000, are reduced. Individuals who earn more than $133,000 and couples who earn more than $196,000 are not eligible to contribute to Roth IRAs.

3 Ways to Build a Business That Gives You Mental Balance

When you are launching a new venture, it can sometimes feel like balance is a complete myth. Michael Schultz knows firsthand about working long, crazy hours, having worked in the restaurant industry since he was 12 years old. He has worked for big names such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Wolfgang Puck, and in 2015, opened Goddess and the Baker, a well regarded cafe in Chicago.

This spring, when he launched his new company, a specialty food and beverage chain called Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea Brew Bar, Schultz wanted to make work/life balance a part of the company’s mission from day one. While it’s something that’s incredibly valuable to Schultz now, he says that wasn’t always the case.

Related: 4 Innovative Ways to Motivate Your Team

His wake up call came seven years ago, days before his first daughter was born, when he wasn’t able to attend his wife’s last ultrasound appointment. When he met her in the hospital afterwards, he recalled that she asked why he was there, since he had meetings that day.

He found himself thinking about all the moments that he had missed, and he told her that he would quit his job with Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Though they had a baby on the way and had just bought a new house, he knew that he couldn’t stay on the path he was on. “I said, ‘I want to create opportunity for others. I want to build a business that inspires people, makes them feel valued and feeds that entrepreneurial spirit,” Schultz said.

Schultz has three pieces of advice for entrepreneurs who have a similar goal in mind.

Related: Does Work-Life Balance Exist? See What These 12 Founders Think.

1. Contribute to your community.
Schultz says he wants the spirit of giving back to permeate every aspect of his company. “Each team leader has a budget for doing random acts of kindness,” he says. “The success of our company can be judged when we impact people’s lives in the community in which we operate.”

The first Fairgrounds location will open on March 29 in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. Twenty percent of the store’s opening day sales will go to the A.N. Pritzker School. The second location, set to open in May, will be in the Chicago Athletic Association hotel. The Chicago Children’s Choir will be that store’s charity partner, and will also receive 20 percent of the first day sales. Members of both the Chicago Teachers Union and employees of Chicago Public Schools will have a standing 10 percent discount at the city’s stores.

Schultz says that there are plans in the works for charity partnerships with every new location that opens, starting in Los Angeles this summer, with Houston, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Miami following.

Related: 3 Effective Ways to Manage Employee Burnout

2. Be a leader in all aspects of your business.
“I take 30 minutes every day to meditate to regroup, refocus and center my energy. That is a behavior we encourage with our team members in trying to help them to create balance in their lives,” Schultz says.

His first priority is to instill in his employees the value of taking time for themselves, even if it’s something as simple as reading a book or talking a walk to take a break during the day, he says. “Having great balance between family, health and business allows you to achieve higher levels in all of them.”

3. Don’t play the “what if” game.
Schultz says it is impossible to move forward and maintain any sort of balance if you find yourself consumed with regret. “There is a moment that comes in everyone’s life you look back and you think about what could have been,” he says. “Don’t put yourself in a position where you can look back and say, ‘What could have or what would have happened [if I had done this’]. Take that leap and have that courage to believe in yourself.”

10 Healthy Foods That Are Easy on Your Budget

When it comes to eating healthy food, most of the pros are now advising to eat clean, which, in short, means to bring food back to the basics. By eliminating convenience foods, such as processed or premade food items, the health factor tends to increase and a common perception is the price does too.

Dietitians also recommend eating a variety of foods. A plate containing clean, nutrient-dense foods from various food groups and of multiple colors, is key when it comes to improving health. Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy foods does not require you to spend hundreds of dollars at boutique supermarkets. There are plenty of healthy, budget-friendly foods across each of the major food groups.

Brown Rice

Carbohydrates and starches tend to get a bad reputation when it comes to healthy eating and dieting. While certain carbohydrates are better choices than others, some of the best choices are easiest on the wallet. Brown rice is one of the top whole grain choices, costing approximately 18 cents per serving. Its high fiber content has been proven to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Quinoa

Quinoa, which costs about 66 cents per serving, is another budget-friendly and health-conscious choice as far as whole grains go. Like brown rice, it is high in fiber. It is also gluten- and wheat-free, making it easily digestible – a big bonus for those with gastrointestinal illness or sensitivity.

Eggs

While meat is one of the most widely obtained sources of protein, it is not the sole option. Eggs tend to wind up with a bad reputation because of the fat and cholesterol content in the yolks. However, many nutritionists argue that this fat is a good fat and is necessary for optimal health. Eggs, while dense in nutrients and packed with protein, are also light on the wallet, costing about 22 cents each.

Chicken

Another budget-friendly protein option is chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost approximately 83 cents per serving. While most dietitians recommend purchasing organic chicken to minimize ingestion of antibiotics, it does raise the price to around $1 per serving.

Spinach

People try different ways to consume the recommended servings of vegetables every day. Spinach contains extensive amounts of vitamins K and A, as well as B vitamins. It increases energy and improves the condition of the blood. All of those benefits come at around only 85 cents per serving.

Sweet Potatoes

Vegetables don’t always have to be green. Sweet potatoes have been touted as one of the healthiest foods in existence. They are a good source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, as well as vitamin C, fiber and potassium, and they only cost about 50 cents each.

Bananas

Fruit tends to be one of the food groups that gets pushed to the side. While it isn’t a main source of sustenance of a meal, fruit is easy to incorporate into other foods or have alone as a snack. Bananas, costing approximately 20 cents each, are some of the most versatile fruits. You can eat them on their own, you can freeze them, you can blend them into smoothies or you can mix them into other things, such as yogurt or oatmeal. Bananas are a great source of potassium and can provide some natural energy.

Oranges

Oranges, costing around 36 cents each, are also a great fruit option. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in oranges help to calm inflammation and strengthen immunity.

Yogurt

Dietitians recommend avoiding sugars, sugar substitutes and syrups that tend to be in flavored yogurt. Plain yogurt, costing around 59 cents per serving, is a better buy. Take it up a notch and choose plain Greek yogurt – it’s a bit more expensive, but it packs a ton of protein. The probiotic content in yogurt is high, and it aids in digestion and gastrointestinal health.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is also a good source of protein, as well as vitamins A and D. It typically costs around 50 cents per serving, and, as with yogurt, it is less expensive when purchased in bulk containers rather than individual portion-sized cups.

3 Problems Stunting Entrepreneurship Across the U.S.

Entrepreneurship seems to be on the rise. The rate of new entrepreneurs has increased by more than 15 percent in the last two years, and the proportion of new entrepreneurs driven primarily by opportunity (rather than need) reached 84 percent in 2015. But if this last election has taught us anything, it’s that the opportunity and promise of the American dream isn’t reaching everyone. Large numbers of Americans, including rural populations, those with limited education opportunities and minorities, are simply being skipped over.

The President is a man who seems fascinated and driven by the idea of legacy, not to mention someone who prides himself on his entrepreneurial journey. While his total potential term may be eight years, he could create a foundation for entrepreneurialism and job growth that extends far beyond any factory deal with Carrier or Intel.

To do that, this administration should recognize the problems impacting the very Americans who put them in power, and put policies in place to correct them.

Related: How Student Loans Are Crushing Millennial Entrepreneurialism

1. Affordable education solves obsolescence

The great jobs boogeyman in the U.S. isn’t an immigrant, it’s a robot. According to a White House report, 83 percent of the jobs where people make less than $20 per hour will be subject to automation or replacement.

We need to educate unskilled workers to succeed at tasks that aren’t quickly disappearing. We should be thinking of contextual, interpersonal and creative skills, not to mention many new and developing skillsets around the automation ecosystem itself. Additionally, graduates should tap into the realistic opportunities available while also getting an education on running a business.

By developing curriculum around how to run a business effectively, budding entrepreneurs will not only build more businesses themselves, but also tap the talents of others — the class of graduates that are self-employed as freelancers or soloprenuers.

Related: How Changes to Net Neutrality Laws Could Affect Small Businesses

2. Millions lack internet access.

For some American would-be entrepreneurs, there’s still a substantial hurdle to overcome, and it’s something almost anyone reading this takes for granted; internet access.

In 1977, more than two out of every ten U.S. startups were in rural areas. Today, when high-speed internet service is a business essential, that ratio is just over one in ten. The reality is that 39 percent of rural Americans (23 million people) lack access to broadband internet speeds. Rural areas often receive “hand me down” equipment after it has been used in larger urban areas, which means rural internet service is forever behind the times.

Joel Young runs his video and animation business out of his rural Ohio home where he struggles with unreliable connectivity and speeds a fraction of what urban and suburban communities get. Joel’s is the exact kind of business that could flourish in a rural area, pulling in customers from a global marketplace without relying on local demand, but without reliable access and equal speed, businesses like Joel’s struggle to ever get off the ground and simply don’t have the same chances to succeed.

The Obama Administration introduced the National Broadband Plan in 2010, following the example of previous generations that brought electricity and telephone connectivity to every home in the country. They understood universal access is crucial for the development of the country. While President Trump and Congressional leaders have made statements around infrastructure spending, the FCC is killing a program to bring high-speed internet to low-income households with children. You could argue the administration is working against expanding crucial infrastructure.

Related: Repealing Obamacare Will be a Disaster for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs Who Rely on Them

3. Packing a backup chute.

Providing the education and the internet access for budding entrepreneurs creates opportunity, but what about stability? Fiftyfive million Americans work independently and another 23 million are self employed entrepreneurs already. President Trump and his administration need to create a foundation that allows for the new ways people work.

That means looking beyond just health insurance to create options for new entrepreneurs and non-employer businesses to reach their potential without sacrificing their well-being. A 2008 Harvard study revealed that 11 million Americans were in “job lock,” meaning they kept their jobs only for fear of losing health coverage if they quit. The iron bond between your job and your health insurance stunts entrepreneursh and undermines the dynamism of the U.S, reducing the number of startups that hire workers and boost the economy.

As an Israeli, I often hear people refer to the book Startup Nation. It’s a good book, but it’s more of a history lesson than anything else at this point. The dynamics of economies simply move too fast, and the landscape has already changed. Updating curriculum that can adapt to future work demands, delivering internet access throughout the U.S. and shifting the safety net to be in line with the ways people are actually working should be major building blocks to create long term job growth in the United States. Not just for individual families, businesses and entrepreneurs, but for the entire country.

This absolutely requires great political courage and capital to carry out, and it won’t be easy. But then again, isn’t that the exact stuff legacy is made out of?