I did it.
I wrote and published a book. More specifically, I self-published an eBook on Amazon. For me this was a defining moment in my life. I was actually able to complete something that I never thought possible.
Having worked with my son over the past 5 years and counting, together we were able to build and grow a successful online business. So, why not reflect on how this mentoring relationship worked and share it with everyone who might be interested.
In this book titled “Mentored“, I hope to share the realities of what’s involved in building an online business and how working with or as a mentor can be the most helpful and rewarding experience to ensure the venture is an amazing and successful one.
To reiterate, this book’s targeted audience is to both sides of the mentoring relationship.
First, it’s aimed at the entrepreneur who is seeking guidance and support to build and grow an online business.
Second, it’s positioned for the mentor, more specifically a business savvy retiree, who has the necessary skills to share and to transfer the wisdom and experience gained for the benefit of the entrepreneur combined with a strong feeling of accomplishment for the mentor.
For the entrepreneur – You will learn how to:
- Understand how daunting entrepreneurship can be without help, resources and support
- Overcome the many challenges involved with running an online business
- Find and select an amazing mentor who has the necessary skills to help grow an online business
For the mentor – You will learn how to:
- Be an amazing mentor to an aspiring online entrepreneur
- Learn new skills as a retiree and transform yourself into someone with a purpose
- Challenge your creative mind to help an entrepreneur succeed
Who knew that retirement could provide anyone with the time and inspiration to achieve amazing things on that “bucket list”.
This book represents my personal transformation journey and it should be enjoyed as such. Perhaps you too will be inspired to make the best of your passion.
The book is available on Amazon.
Accounting, a Necessary Evil
Yes, it’s a necessary duty for all businesses, big or small, to keep track of revenues and expenses, at least for income tax reporting purposes. However, there are many side benefits to recording these details into meaningful categories to help better understand where the money is coming from and what it’s being spent on.
For a small business entrepreneur starting out, the recommendation is to set up a bank account, a PayPal account and a credit card account and let them keep track of your revenue and expenses. The next step is to install accounting software that interfaces or integrates with each of those accounts. Then all that’s required is to revue your accounting software account, on a regular basis, to categorize the revenues and expenses into meaningful buckets for further analysis.
My Favorite Accounting Software
For the money, Wave Accounting is my favorite accounting software. Not only is it free (comes with sidebar advertising) for all of the basic accounting requirements for a small business, they also provide you with free 24-48 hour email support as well as options to add on software modules (e.g. Payroll), at minimal cost, when your company grows.
Wave Accounting has many time saving features such as:
- Cloud based software where your accounting records are kept private, backed up and secured
- Automated downloads from your bank, credit card and PayPal accounts
- Minimal manual entry (usually to categorize revenue and expenses)
- Professional reports which can be downloaded into spreadsheet or PDF formats
- Income Statements
- Balance Sheet
- Sales Tax
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Unlimited invoicing
- Unlimited accounts, customers, transactions and always free
Wave accounting software is being used by thousands of small businesses. The Accounting Lab people have even created a series of instructional YouTube videos to teach anyone on how to use all of the Wave features.
Here’s a review of the Wave application from the folks at Cloudwards.
I have now used Wave Accounting for the last 2 years with my son’s online business. There is no question that this software has saved me a lot of time and effort. The Wave team is always adding new features such as Bank Reconciliation. This feature alone ensures your records are always in sync with your bank, credit card and PayPal accounts.
The Report Generation feature also provides instantaneous Monthly and Year to Date Income Statements, Sales Tax collected and spent as well as a current look at the Balance Sheet. This feature provides an immediate view of all necessary details required to prepare Sales and Income Tax returns without the hassle of creating manual spreadsheets.
It’s not unusual, right? To flashback to some of the key moments of your working career. I know I certainly did. I remember working 48 hours straight desperately trying to meet a critical cut over date for a software release. I remember working with a small team of 8 people where we designed, developed and delivered a first class system under budget and on time. I remember, most of all, the feeling of total relief when we finally resolved critical problems before the computer system was scheduled to come up live the next day. There were some real adrenaline rushes. However, these would be followed by the next major challenge and stress maker. A lot of memories, some really tough ones, but most of all some good times.
It was not meant to be!
I even dream sometimes about what I could have done, knowing what I know now, to better resolve a conflict situation. I also remember what I could have done, should have done and would have done if only I had been more of a risk taker. The fact that I had a mortgage, a newborn child and a fairly secure job made the decision, to become an entrepreneur and to start up a computer consulting business, an extremely difficult one at the time. I have absolutely no complaints about the path I chose. Being able to retire early and to live through new experiences has made it all worthwhile.
All was not lost!
The amazing thing with having children you can actually have an opportunity for a do over. As it turns out, my son, came across the same crossroads in his career. He had to make a decision to quit his high paying technology career to become an entrepreneur. Tough call to be sure. As a parent you only want what’s best for your children. Your first instinct is to be conservative but then you realize why not let him at least try. Then there won’t be any second thoughts later on like I had. As it turns out, my son did start up his own blog, wrote and published an eBook and developed a series of programming video tutorials for paying members. How cool was that? For me personally, the interesting part was that I was able to assist in the company he set up and I now find myself as the Chief Financial Officer of my son’s company. I had found yet another part-time job to excite and recharge myself. The opportunity to develop business plans, to discuss new product ideas and more importantly a chance for some father and son bonding. Granted my part-time CFO job, with this start up company, was destined to be a volunteer one. After all he is my son.
It’s great to look back from time to time but I keep telling myself there still a whole lot more living left. We are living so much longer now and we all need to experience the “overtime period” to the fullest.