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The Amazing Places Self-Reflection Took Me: Running A Business at 21-years-old

Self

I seek to find meaning in every experience that I have or in anyone that I connect with. I crave a valuable existence.


Therefore, I apply myself conscientiously and wholeheartedly in every aspect, including my life at home, at school, with friends, with family, and with my business: Nudesox.

I am a thoughtful friend, a resourceful person, and a deep thinker; my strength in finding value in various parts of my life brings me happiness and stability. Self-reflection has allowed me to really understand myself and how I can discover my purpose.

I try my best to start and end my day with reflection. One way that I have found balance in my life is through yoga and meditation, but any type of reflective thinking about the day counts! Another tool for finding happiness and peace within myself is reading a gratitude list that I add to from time to time. I find that listing events, thoughts, people, and scenarios from my past and present that make me happy, allows me to fully focus on what I do have in my life, rather than what might be missing. If I don't review my list and practice meditation, I lose focus on what really matters and all that I have to be thankful for. If you, yourself, are not balanced, how can you expect your life to be? It is easy to get caught up in the physical aspect of life, which is why spirituality and self-reflection are so important. Self-work is crucial to personal wellbeing, but it is also important to have a balanced environment, and to surround yourself with people who allow you to thrive.

Through my reflections, I have realized that my values do not necessarily align with all of my friends' or family's. Once I understood this, it became easier for me to accept that I cannot have certain expectations from people. Just because I have a certain value, does not mean that the person I am dealing with will have that value as well. This clarity has allowed me to better read people's deeper motivations. Being able to comprehend the inner workings of personal relationships has enabled me to better understand the dynamic between a brand and its customer. By discerning people's values and perspectives, I am able to predict the outcome of a situation and better prepare myself to engage with someone. In business, it is harder to know your customers' mindsets without having interacted with them several times, so it is important to make your brand valuable in and of itself to encourage buyer loyalty.

The work of self-reflection is a powerful tool in both life and business. Throughout this practice, I have gained five primary strengths that aided me in establishing my business, Nudesox, a women's athleisure sock brand in five shades of nude.

Analytical Skills

The ability to focus my mind in silence has greatly honed my analytical abilities. Having just a few moments of silence during a busy day can have a huge impact on my efficiency when completing daily tasks. Making the time to think about your needs makes you more likely to fulfill them; your priorities become clearer and you are able to achieve more after dissecting the task at hand.

Perspective

Self-Reflection allowed me to gain insight into how other people think and why they behave the way they do. When you really learn to understand yourself, it becomes easier to understand others. In business, it is important to understand your consumer and what kind of product or service they need. With this understanding, you can grow your business by releasing products that fit your customer's needs, as well as creating a community of raving buyers.

Non-Reactivity

In general, I consider myself to be a reactive person. However, learning how to meditate and finding my center has taught me to recalibrate and relax in stressful situations. By not reacting, I am able to step back and handle situations with more clarity and maturity. I have the ability to assess my options and choose the more appropriate one. It is crucial to make good decisions in business because one mistake can ruin the brand image. In daily life outside of business; just one mistake can ruin a brand's image. In your personal relationships, it may be easier to seek redemption, but it is much harder for a business to be forgiven.

Confidence

Being more aware of myself and what makes me feel good has allowed me to strengthen my character and be more demanding of what I need. Building my self-worth has allowed me to see my value and what I am able to create. That level of confidence is vital in business because without it you can't strive to do the impossible, which is the mindset it takes to be successful. The main reason why people don't take the step to start something of their own is that they believe that they are not capable of greater achievements. It is far easier to stay in your comfort zone than to abandon your routine and try something new that involves risk, but confidence allows you to believe in yourself, even if it starts out as fake confidence.

Creativity

Taking some time to stop and clear your mind gives you the ability to think deeply and openly, allowing fresh, new thoughts to become clear. By simply being conscious of your breathing, you allow your mind to expand and fill with genuine ideas that flow effortlessly. These thoughts are more pure because there is no force behind them and they emerge straight from your consciousness. Creativity is always important in running a business from the very moment your idea is born. You need to be constantly innovating to keep up with the market and stay relevant. People always want the latest and greatest, so it important to use creativity towards that.

Tips for feeling more at peace with yourself:

Although self-reflection has helped me in so many ways, there are always going to be times when I need an extra boost. These tips help me put things in perspective and return to my center when I feel a little lost.

1.Sometimes I feel like I am having a quarter-life crisis because I feel like I have so much left to do. But, being busy is a good thing; it means that you are living your life to the fullest. Regardless of that fact, it is easy to become overwhelmed by everything on our plate. Whenever you have this issue, picture yourself as a bird. Slowly start flying and zoom out of that image and picture your surroundings, then zoom out even more, and watch as your surroundings shrink beneath you. Zoom out of your city, out of your country, out of the world, and you will realize how small you are in comparison to life as a whole.

2.I am the type of person who puts pressure on myself to be successful and to be successful fast. When things don't go my way or as I planned, I stress out. I think it is fair to say that a majority of us think about ourselves and our lives in relation to time. We tend to map out the way we want things to work out, or where we want to be in X number of years. One thing that relieves this type of pressure is to think about each year as a percentage of our lives. Let's say that with the progression of technology and advancements in medicine, we live until we're 100 years old. That means that each year is only 1% of our entire existence. That's nothing! When you train your mind to have a wider perspective on life, time starts to feel like less of a burden, and more of a tool to progress along your journey.

3.If you don't relate to the stressors in these examples, the next time you feel overwhelmed in any way, you can always just stare into the sky. There is something so peaceful about spacing out into the stars or clouds. It is another way to remind yourself how tiny you are in comparison to the universe. If you can't find a clear sky nearby, just visualize yourself in relation to the sky and remember that in the end, it will all work out, even if it is not the way you pictured it. No matter which industry you work in, or how old you may be, just know that you are capable and can reach your goals through self-reflection and a passionate determination to be of more value to society.

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Choosing the Right Corporate Structure: Which Business Entity Should You Go With?

Business entities can be defined as the corporate, tax and legal structures which an organization chooses to officially follow at the time of its official registration with the state authorities. In total, there are fifteen different types of business entities, which would be the following.


  • Sole Proprietorship
  • General Partnership
  • Limited Partnership or LP
  • Limited Liability Partnership or LLP
  • Limited Liability Limited Partnership or LLLP
  • Limited Liability Company or LLC
  • Professional LLC
  • Professional Corporation
  • B-Corporation
  • C-Corporation
  • S-Corporation
  • Nonprofit Organization
  • Estate
  • Cooperative Organization
  • Municipality

As estates, municipalities and nonprofits do not concern the main topic here, the following discussions will exclude the three.

Importance of the State: The Same Corporate Structure Will Vary from State to State

All organizations must register themselves as entities at the state level in United States, so the rules and regulations governing them differ quite a bit, based on the state in question.

What this means is that a Texas LLC for example will not operate under the same rules and regulations as an LLC registered in New York. Also, an LLC in Texas can have the same name as another company that is registered in a different state, but it's not advisable given how difficult it could become in the future while filing for patents.

To know more about such quirks and step-by-step instructions on how to start an LLC in Texas, visit howtostartanllc.com, and you could get started with the online process immediately. The information and services on the website are not just limited to Texas LLC organizations either, but they have a dedicated page for guiding fresh entrepreneurs through the corporate tax structures in every state.

Sole Proprietorship: Default for Freelancers and Consultants

There is only one owner or head in a sole proprietorship, and that's what makes it ideal for one-man businesses that deal with freelance work and consulting services. Single man sole proprietorships are automatic in nature, therefore, registration with the state is unnecessary.

Sole proprietorships are also suited to a degree for singular teams such as a small construction crew, a group of handymen, or even miniature establishments in retail. Also, this puts the owner's personal financial status at jeopardy.

Due to the fact that a sole proprietorship entity puts all responsibilities for paying taxes and returning loans, it directly jeopardizes the sole proprietor's personal belongings in case of a lawsuit, or even after a failed loan repayment.

This is the main reason why even the most miniature establishments find LLCs to be a better option, but this is not the only reason either. Sole proprietors also find it hard to start their business credit or even get significant business loans.

General Partnership: Equal Responsibilities

The only significant difference between a General Partnership and a Sole Proprietorship is the fact that two or more owners share responsibilities and liabilities equally in a General Partnership, as opposed to there being only one responsible and liable party in the latter. Other than that, they more or less share the same pros and cons.

Registration with the state is not necessary in most cases, and although it still puts the finances of the business owners at risk here, the partnership divides the liability, making it a slightly better option than sole proprietorship for small teams of skilled workers or even small restaurants and such.

Limited Partnership: Active and Investing Partners

A Limited Partnership (LP) has to be registered with a state and whether it has just two or more partners, there are two different types of partners in all LP establishments.

The active partner or the general partner is the one who is responsible and liable for operating the business in its entirety. The silent or investing partner, on the other hand, is the one who invests funds or other resources into the organization. The latter has very limited liability or control over the company's operations.

It's a perfect way for investors to put their money into a sector that they are personally not experienced with, but have access to people who do. From the perspective of the general partners, they have similar responsibilities and liabilities to those in a general partnership.

It's the default strategy for startups to find funding and as long as the idea is sound, it has made way for multiple successful entrepreneurial ventures in the recent past. However, personal liability still looms as a dangerous prospect for the active partners to consider.

Limited Liability Company and Professional LLC

Small businesses have no better entity structure to follow than the LLC, given that it takes multiple good ideas from various corporate structures, virtually eliminating most cons that are inherent to them. Any and all small businesses that are in a position to or are in requirement of signing up with their respective state, usually choose an LLC entity because of the following reasons:

  • It removes the dangerous aspect of personal liability if the business falls in debt or is sued for reparations
  • The state offers the choice of choosing between corporation and partnership tax slabs
  • The limited legalities and paperwork make it suited for small businesses

While more expensive than a general partnership or a sole proprietorship, a professional LLC is going to be a much safer choice for freelancers and consultants, especially if it involves risk of any kind. This makes it ideal for even single man businesses such a physician's practice or the consultancy services of an accountant.

B, C and S-Corporation

By definition, all corporation entities share most of the same attributes and as the term suggests, they're more suited for larger or at least medium sized businesses in any sector. The differences between the three are vast once you delve into the tax structures which govern each entity.

However, the basic differences can be observed by simply taking a look at each of their definitive descriptions, as stated below.

C-Corporation – This is the default corporate entity for large or medium-large businesses, complete with a board of directors, a CEO/CEOs, other executive officers and shareholders.

The shareholders or owners are not liable for debts or legal dispute settlements in a C-Corporation, and they may qualify for lower tax slabs than is possible in any other corporate structure. On becoming big enough, they also have the option to become a publicly traded company, which is ideal for generating growth investments.

B- Corporation – the same rules apply as a C-Corporation, but due to their registered and certified commitment to social and environmental standards maintenance, B-Corporations will have a more lenient tax structure to deal with.

S-Corporation – Almost identical to a C-Corporation, the difference is in scale, as S-Corporations are only meant for small businesses, general partnerships and even sole proprietors. The main difference here is that due to the creation of a pass-through entity, aka a S-Corporation, the owner/owners do not have liability for business debt and legal disputes. They also are not taxed on the corporate slab.

Cooperative: Limited Application

A cooperation structure in most cases is a voluntary partnership of limited responsibilities that binds people in mutual interest - it is an inefficient structure due to the voluntary nature of its legal bindings, which often makes it unsuitable for traditional business operations. Nevertheless, the limited liability clause exempts all members of a cooperative from having personal liability for paying debts and settling claims.

This should clear up most of the confusion surrounding the core concepts and their suitability. In case you are wondering why the Professional Corporation structure wasn't mentioned, then that's because it has very limited applications. Meant for self-employed, skilled professionals or small organizations founded by them, they have less appeal now in comparison to an LLC or an S-Corporation.