July 2009  
All of your business needs. One easy solution.
Volume 6 Issue 7   www.offassist.com
The Email Addiction

As I write this (in early June), I am preparing to take a two week vacation with the family. This is the first time I've taken more than about four days in a row off since starting OffAssist. Yes, it really has been that long!

I'm a little nervous, but my clients don't seem to be. I'm making the usual preparations, but this year, well, this year I'm turning my email over to my lead bookkeeper. Yes, I said, "my email."

Anyone that knows me, knows I'm crazy about my checking my email. Turning it over is hard, but I definitely like the idea of not having to deal with it or feel compelled to check it while I'm gone. I'm having it archive a copy and then forward it on to someone, so I'll still have a complete record of everything that comes in while I'm gone.

THIS is my challenge this year: Successfully take a real vacation without freaking out. I'm usually pretty good about relaxing on my vacation, but I also usually check my email 3 or 4 times a day (at least) while I'm gone. This year I'm aiming for checking in with my team only *gasp* once per day.

I can do it.

Right?

Stay tuned next month to find out!

In this issue...

Vacations Are a MUST For the Self-Employed
Karyn Greenstreet

I've just returned from a 20-day vacation to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

It's impossible to describe the sheer terror of finally deciding to take more than a week's vacation. Would my business crumble? Would I miss logging on each morning to get my email? Would my clients remember me when I returned? Would I miss a new business opportunity while I was gone?

It all started rather simply: three different opportunities for speaking engagements came up in California, and so close to one another that it seemed silly NOT to go to California and do presentations. My husband casually suggested, "Why don't we both go, then take some time for a vacation while we're out there?" It seemed reasonable enough.

In the past, I'd take a week-long vacation a few times a year, and my business had survived. But 20 days away from my office? It took a bit of getting used to.

But let me tell you a secret: starting the very first day, I never once had a interest in finding an Internet café and checking my email. Not once did I feel like I had to pick up phone messages and return phone calls. It was shocking that I could so easily leave it all behind. It was heaven!

Vacations are mandatory for self-employed people. When you do your annual budgeting for your business, schedule in enough revenue so that you can afford the cost of the vacations as well as the cost of not earning money for the weeks you're away.

Why? Because we all need a break from our businesses, from the high-energy involvement, from the stress, from the stuck places. You need time to pay attention to yourself, to those you love, and to do the other things you enjoy. You need a place to clear your head and step away from the everyday busy-ness of your business.

After 20 days away, I'm refreshed. While hiking in Yosemite, I made some major strategy decisions about the direction of my business for the next five years, without even really thinking about my business consciously. I allowed my sub-conscious to process all the questions and decisions I had to make about my business, then allowed the answers to slowly bubble to the surface while I walked, sat, talked, and took photos of lovely nature scenes.

Now that I'm back in my office, I feel a rush of energy, and a great clarity of thinking. I'm also keeping in touch with the slow, calm, peaceful feelings I felt each day I was away, and am bringing them back into my daily business life.

So, when is your next vacation?

Karyn Greenstreet is a Self Employment expert and small business coach. She helps you increase sales and profits, and learn practical small business skills. Get the free audio and ebook, "The Art of Networking and Referrals" by visiting www.PassionForBusiness.com.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com


QuickBooks Tip
Fixing Invoices in QuickBooks

Q: If you have marked an invoice as paid and then realize that it's not, how do you fix in QuickBooks??

A:

SITUATION 1. If there was no payment at all from this client:
  • Open the invoice in question.
  • Click the "History" button at the top of the invoice screen. This will show you the payment transaction.
  • Click on the "Go To" button at the right of the screen. This will take you to the payment that was used to pay this invoice.
  • Press Control-D to delete the payment transaction.
SITUATION 2. If there was a payment from this client, but it should not have been applied to this invoice:
  • Open the invoice in question.
  • Click the "History" button at the top of the invoice screen. This will show you the payment transaction.
  • Click on the "Go To" button at the right of the screen. This will take you to the payment that was used to pay this invoice.
  • In the lower half of the screen, click your mouse on the checkmark to the left of the invoice to which the payment was applied - this will remove the checkmark - and then click to the left of the invoice to which the payment *should have been* applied - this will create a checkmark.
  • Save and close.
Note: Check with your accounting professional before doing this to be sure that's how they'd like it done. YMMV!
 
 
Tax Deadlines
July 15
- IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits due for June issued payroll

July 20
- State Sales & Use Tax Return due for monthly and quarterly filers

July 31
- Employer's Quarterly Payroll Tax Report(s) Form 941

- Employer's Quarterly TWC (Texas Workforce Commission)

- Deposit FUTA owed through June if more than $500.00

August 15
- IRS Monthly payroll tax deposits for July issued payroll

August 20
- State Sales & Use Tax Return for monthly filers
Tech Talk With Tom...
Where is Your Email?

We recently had a little scare in the office. Someone accidentally set their email program to delete all messages older than 30 days. Seems like a good idea, right? Except it affected all of the folders, including some important (and therefore, saved) messages. Good thing we keep a backup, right? Oh wait...

In case you have never had this happen, let me tell you, it's not fun. Turns out that Thunderbird, and Outlook as well, keeps your messages locked away in a little file. Even if you have this file copied and stored away there is just no way to get the information out of it. So you have two choices: 1.) Do a complete restore of your old backup or 2.) Live with the mistake. Too bad there isn't a third choice.

Or is there?

For Thunderbird and Firefox there is a nifty utility available called "Mozbackup" (which, incidentally, also works with several other Mozilla-based programs). MozBackup is available for download from mozbackup.jasnapaka.com.

Once installed, just select what you want to backup and where you want the backup saved and you are off and running! Oh, and did I mention MozBackup is free?

Outlook users...do not despair. Here is a link to instructions on backing up and restoring your Outlook emails: www.sitedeveloper.ws/tutorials/outlook.htm. The tutorial covers several versions of Outlook including: 2007, 2003, 2000, and Express.

So, there you have it! Now you can restore your email without worrying about losing other information while doing a full restore.

As a side note, I have found MozBackup extremely useful in moving emails to and from my PC when going on trips or when I want to peruse my old emails while sitting on the sofa.

Tom Beauchamp is the marketing and tech expert behind OffAssist. He can be reached at tom@offassist.com.
Spotlight On...
From Music Therapy to Virtual Assistance

With a background and previous career in Music Therapy, Cindy Opong wanted to convey that she comes at her work from a creative angle. When she first started her business in 2002, she had hoped to work more with artists, musicians, etc. so Creative Assistants seemed like a great fit. While that niche didn't work out, she still love the name!

Her business really began to take off when she became involved in VA groups such as IVAA, attended conferences, and got to know other VAs from whom she received some great referrals.

As far as Cindy's ideal client, she enjoys working with growing businesses who are looking for a team that can grow with them and has a high degree of technical knowledge. She loves working with technology and can troubleshoot, provide some tech support, and delve into more advanced projects with minimal ramp-up time. In addition to "traditional" Virtual Assistant services and Social Media support, her top-notch team of VAs provide some unique services like software testing and IVR management & testing, which would be hard to find elsewhere!

To find out more about Cindy, check out her website at www.CreativeAssistants.com. If you're into social media, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She just loves social media. Cindy is a Colorado native. Also, for a bit of exciting news, Cindy and hubby are expecting their first baby in the Fall. Congratulations Cindy!
 
Have you nursed a secret longing to be in the spotlight, center-stage, all eyes on you?

If you would like to be featured in the OffAssist spotlight column, and have not been featured in the past twelve months, contact Candy@OffAssist.com and we'll see if we can put you in the limelight.

Humor
A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller.

He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack. So he says, "Ms. Whack, I'd like to get a loan to buy a boat and go on a long vacation".

The teller looks at the frog in disbelief and asks how much he wants to borrow. The frog says $30,000. She asks his name and the frog says that his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and it's okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patti explains that $30,000 is a substantial amount of money and that he will need to provide some collateral against the loan. She asks if he has anything he can use as collateral. The frog says, "Sure, I have this", and produces a tiny pink porcelain elephant, about half an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed. Very confused, Patti explains that she'll have to consult with the manager and disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and says, "There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000. He wants to use this as collateral". She holds up the tiny pink elephant and says, "I mean, what the heck is this?" The bank manager looks back at her and says...

"It's a knick knack, Patti Whack, give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone!"

Have an article you'd like to write for our monthly newsletter or want to be spotlighted? Have a QuickBooks question or something you'd like to see in the Tech Tip?

Email candy@offassist.com.

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