Like Sands In An Hourglass

No this isn’t a lead-in to an old soap opera. This is how the first 6 months of the year have slipped away like sands in an hourglass blown into oblivion.

Yep. In a couple of weeks, the first half of the year is gone. Kaput. But, we have 6 months left to get our respective acts together and achieve some of our goals.

In other words, now is a good time to review what you did the first half of 2013 and plan for the next half of the year.

10 Review Steps

1. Set up a bank account just for your self-employed income and expenses. With banks competing for customers, you should be able to set up a no-cost checking account easily.

2. Set up an accounting record of all your expenses. This can be an accounting journal or just a spiral notebook. Decide on the Expense Categories you need like: Office Supplies, Postage/Shipping, Internet, Cell Phone, Website, Professional Dues, Market Research (that's books, magazines, etc.). Each month list what you pay so you have a cumulative record of all the expenses in the various categories.

3. Do you have all your receipts for the above expenses categorized and files away so you can produce them if you're audited? A simple file is a #10 envelope labeled with the expense name and the receipts inside.

4. Analyze expenses versus income and see how you’re doing. See if you can do better.

5. Do you have any income due you that you haven't received? If so, do you need to send an invoice or perhaps a reminder of some kind?

6. Do you have a calendar or planner or something on which you record the hours you work and on what project you work? If you're an aspiring writer, this is especially important if you file a Schedule C in order to show a tax auditor that this is not a hobby for you. This is a profession in which you're seriously trying to get established.

7. Get a jump on doing the end of year organization and de-cluttering by doing it twice a year. Now is the time to clean out research materials, file cabinets, pending files, and the office closet. Shred the stuff that needs to be disposed of. Donate office equipment like old PCs, cell phones, etc. to a charity that can use them. You get a tax deduction, and the charity gets merchandise to resell.

8. Look at your goal list for this year. Have you achieved some goals? Have you abandoned others because they don't fit your needs or your career? Have you discovered something else you'd like to achieve the last half of the year? Update your list.

9. Plan on learning something new. Is there an Internet service or software you've wanted to take advantage of but knew you'd have to set aside time to learn the process? Now's the time to do that.

10. How's your skill set? Do you possess all the skills you need to successfully accomplish your stated goals? If not, what do you need to learn or perhaps un-learn? Now is the time to schedule time to do that.

Takeaway Truth

Last, but not least, is a review of your happiness quotient. How happy has your career made you so far? Are there things you don't like about where you're heading? Now is the time to analyze and figure out what to do to change things.

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