EONS AND ELSIES

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 I have a thing where I hate to backtrack and touch a document twice.  I want to be done with it when the action is completed.  Unfortunately to avoid my normal paralysis by analysis, I’ve put the cart before the horse which is forcing me to backtrack and make corrections.  I had a checklist for starting a business and a few items on it could be done at anytime in no particular order.  Well now I’m here to tell you, if you are applying for a corporation status, get your legal name confirmed before applying for the EIN (federal tax number).

After spending multiple days coming up with an appropriate company name that wasn’t cheesy, wasn’t trendy, wasn’t fluffy, cliché or overused, I finally settled on the name Elite Personal Care. It’s a good idea to check if the name is already trademarked or branded so I searched the site:  http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp, and found no confirmation of a brand or trade mark on the name.  Of course I Googled the name in Georgia, and found one senior home with a similar name but the phone number was disconnected.  I couldn’t find any updated info so I felt it was safe to proceed with that name.  (Yea go ahead and comment away on that underwhelming thought.)  I was thrilled to discover I could self- apply for the EIN (can we say cheap at $0 cost) at www.IRS.gov .  The website form took the info, and spit out an almost instant EIN.

Next I linked to  www.LegalZoom.com to apply for LLC status; they asked for a 2nd and 3rd choice of names just in case the original name was unavailable. (BTW, you can self-apply with the state for your legal structure; current cost is $100.)  Thinking I had it all in the bag (because of the extensive research), and not wanting the site to time out, I threw out a few variations of the company name without any research.  A few days later, Georgia approved the optional name, “Elite Care LLC.”  Now I think to Google that name variation and find that name is active in Michigan, Ohio and probably a few other places that I failed to advance to in the search.  Quel horror!  I immediately called www.LegalZoom.com  to see if I could change the name – nope the process had started and they didn’t legally have to search any further than the state of application, as the state controls the name approvals.  The rep generously offered that she had just taken a call where their customer had received a “cease and desist” order for their company name because it was already in use.  O joy, just great.

Because it will cost to revise the LLC name, I’m going to run with it for now.  I’ve been told I can always create another “dba” name, that is doing business as which is legal.  In other words the legal name is still Elite Care, LLC but I can do business for example, as Elite Solutions.  Still thinking on that, but I did have to revise the EIN name to match the LLC name.  I sent that change request off to the IRS today, and am waiting confirmation. 

After I get through this process, I hope to compile a handbook of basic A-Z’s for starting a business.  Until then I hope these thoughts and tips posted here will help you. 

Your thoughts and comment are welcomed!  To be so cliché, have a great weekend!

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HOW NUDE ARE YOUR BONES?

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                           Shhhh, I’m totally losing track of my theme for VV.  It started out as a commentary toward fiftyish something women who had been laid (layed?) off, and were transitioning to other jobs, careers, life path changes.  It has now become a hit and miss journal of my exploration of other things which I hope will generate income sooner or later.  I’m really drawn toward fashion, trends, political events, but really aren’t there enough blogs and websites touting same? All the while I’m exploring new ways to make money, and make a website attractive and alluring, I’m also learning how to monetize the site.  As I became an affiliate to multiple companies, ads starting appearing in various places– in the header, the sidebar, the footer, and anywhere else I could squeeze them in.  As my edumacation increased, the ad placements became more logical as the ads themselves became more thoughtful.  Traffic has increased and decreased contingent on buying ad space from Google, Facebook, MySpace.  Reciprocal links added validity so the Alexa rankings are on a downward trend (that is a good thing, for instance Google is rated #1 site on Alexa).  My initial ranking was over 16 million, today it’s some over 908,000.  Dabbling in promotions via social media (mainly FB and Twitter). and SEO activities (search engine optimization) is also proving beneficial but takes a lot of time.

So here is the thing…I’ve done a lot of other stuff that I haven’t documented here, due to my aversion to actually laying my bones bare to the public eye. Not that VV gets huge lots of traffic, but I generally live a private life, opening up to a chosen few family members, and friends.  Keeping a written journal that you can close and hide is one thing, keeping a written journal in the web’osphere is quite another. No thing gets lost to the webula’s ether.  To stay true to VV theme, I need to document and share more of what I’m doing.  So let’s say that I prefer a thoughtful presentation of my nude bones versus a vulgar display, and as writers know when you edit, many tender, cultivated bits gets thrown out if it doesn’t contribute to the bottom line.  My goal today is to share more.

What’s your goal today?  Please share with us by hitting the comment button below.

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A.M. SPOUTS

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So here I am at 1:52 a.m. spilling out some words; please forgive if something doesn’t quite make sense. I’ve been feeling a little guilty as it’s been a while since I’ve spouted about anything so let me catch you up on TAS current events. I’ve been debating about going back to school to become more experienced in website design, marketing and eCommerce. But I’ve also had these intrusive thoughts that until one build up loads of traffic (which with hard work can take years), the advertisements and banners placed on the websites are simply billboards instead of commission making vehicles. I’ve made some coffee money from the Google ads (and I ain’t taking Starbucks dollars) but I need to start generating a serious income. Going to school to learn more about websites isn’t going to help me generate any income now so is my mind using that as a delay tactic? Possibly. Probably. Plus I have a repetitive motion hand injury that flares up often and I seriously wonder how many hours a day I can keyboard without doing serious damage. I’ve had rehab on the hand but like sex, I think abstinence is the only method to prevent further injury. Sad. School on the back burner for a minute.

On the other hand, I’ve started making a business plan for an idea that I had a few months ago. This by the way is what has seriously eaten into my post writing time, ergo this now 2:46 a.m. post. I had gotten stuck with researching the competition as it’s not a well published service, so I scheduled a meeting this past Monday with SCORE to get some help. SCORE is a source of free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs. The counselors are retired executives and entrepreneurs who share their wisdom and experiences. Check it out at www.score.org. The counselor gave me some very good ideas and tips, and indicated the idea was viable. (He also mentioned a non-disclosure agreement but I didn’t see anything in writing.) He has multiple small LLC’s so I feel pretty confident and excited to steam ahead on this.

Blogging can be a vast lonely desert. I personally know no one else that blogs so tonight, I attended a bloggers meeting. There were all levels in attendance from the very experienced and making bucks to the newbies (c’est moi). I especially liked meeting the blogger who demanded that I remove the “celebrating life path changes” off my tag line because it was the name of her book (shameless plug right? Tell someone who cares). The facilitator suggested that a business plan is a must for any serious blog. After I pound out the business plan for my idea above, I’ll get started on one for the websites. The facilitator didn’t see the point of having a blog if you weren’t looking to make money off of it. As I’m unemployed, I’d love and anticipate making a dime or two, but I think there are a whole lotta folks out there in the nether that just want to have a voice, and an outlet and probably won’t care if they never make a dime off their blogs. Love to hear from you – what say you blogger extraordinaire?

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OLD SPICE

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Have you seen the newest Old Spice commercial?  An attractive charismatic man with a deep voice, and big muscles performing seemingly effortless scene changes, makes it seem like your man, who is ordinary and average Joe, could become just like him if he simply used Old Spice Body Wash, and smelled like Old Spice instead of smelling like ladies body wash.  Everything you had ever hoped and dreamed of, he could provide, if only he smelled of Old Spice. The original commercial ended with the man riding a white horse; this time he gets splashed down on a motorcycle.  Both times the commercials end with something between the man’s legs.  We all know sex sells—I see these endings as a subliminal representation of his (translate “your man’s”)  sexual prowess (as if he could ride you).

My dad used Old Spice back in the ‘60’s.  I haven’t known one man in my adult life that has ever bought or used Old Spice.  I probably would have made fun of him if he did.  The new commercials show marketing at its most brilliant –there is no doubt of the product being pushed, it sucks you in, it’s engaging and entertaining, persuasive, and straight to the point.  It’s directed at women who will, at minimum, encourage their men to use Old Spice Body Wash or buy it for him during her normal store run.  Men will now second guess why they are using their lady’s body wash.  This commercial makes me curious to remember what Old Spice smells like.  You want to see the commercial again after it ends.  At least I did.

Buy 1 Old Spice Fresh Collection Deodorant or Odor Blocker Bodywash & get an Old Spice Fresh Collection Fiji Deodorant FREE at drugstore.com. Offer ends 07.31.2010.

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NATURAL ODDITY

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It was astoundingly odd to see this sight on the glass of my patio door; it is a close-up of multiple, pin head sized, arranged in a less than perfect circle, eggs on glass.  They fried later and turned cream colored in the blazing Georgia sun.

 I have yet to clean them off, just to remind myself that nature can and does go wrong.  Were the eggs laid by a bug in a hurry, or a bug that was challenged  by some genetic function gone wrong?  Whatever the defect, it won’t be passed down in this particular bug’s line, since the eggs had zero chance to survive.  This oddity is definitely symptomatic of our topsy turvy world, possibly a pre-cursor to or another natural disaster happening before our eyes.  If something has gone wrong there, something must also be going wrong with us since we are also part of nature.  This event was probably the by-product of something man made that the tiny insect could not escape.  Are we humans also  performing what we think are seemingly normal ordinary acts but in the eyes of our higher powers, those acts are seen as nature gone wrong?

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TRANSITION TO THELONIUS

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Transitions are happening everywhere, everyday.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but if the change makes life easier, I’ll all for it!  WordPress has a new 3.0 release titled “Thelonius,”  apparently named after a  great jazz musician, and a new theme Twenty Ten which replaces Kubrick.  Check out and catch Matt Mullenweg’s excitement as he speaks about the changes:   http://wordpress.org/development/2010/06/thelonious/

 I was previewing Twenty Ten but neglected to close out of it when I got called away.  When I got back to my nb the next day, the darn theme had automatically updated, thank you very much!  I do like it much better than the theme I was using,  but I lost a bunch of widgets in the transition.  Among other things, Twenty Ten will allow you to add a picture to the header and to the background without having to add on a plug-in (which may or may not work for the release that you use).  It allows menu customizations which I have yet to explore.   I don’t believe in co-incidences so maybe that hi-jacking was a sign that I needed to simplify my page, de-clutter if you will, which I’m also starting to do in other areas of my life.  More on that later…

If you are running WordPress, and have updated to the latest/greatest, what do you think of it?

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TIME BECOMES MY ENEMY

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What are you doing right now?  Working, wishing you could take a nap, driving, in the hospital, contemplating suicide, cussing someone out, sitting with a sick one, having a drink, stuck in traffic, watching TV, preparing a meal, eating ice cream, kissing a baby, laughing, crying?  As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, we know this moment will pass.  For most of us it will pass too quickly.  Sadly, for me, time becomes the enemy when there is not enough of it. 

I’ve found out how to make my days slow down, but it’s something that must be practiced, practiced, practiced.  Everyday.  It’s being present.  Deepak Chopra in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of success says, “The Present is a present.”  The present is most certainly a gift, but it is one that is most often underappreciated, overlooked or ignored.  What is being present?  Easy to describe, hard to do.  It is being focused on whatever is happening at this particular minute.  It’s not allowing your mind to race forward to what you have to do tonight, or what you should have done last night.  It’s taking the time to appreciate the event or non-event that is unfolding in front of you, be it pleasant or unpleasant.  It’s that second that you push the remote control to close the garage door and watch it ease down, so you don’t have to wonder later if you actually closed the garage.  Or it’s the second that you actually see yourself  turning off or unplugging the iron or other appliance so you feel secure that your house won’t burn down while you are away.  Or actually seeing the range of emotions flit across your child’s face as they share their day.  How beautiful is that?  

I’m not exactly sure how this makes time slow down for me…maybe because some part of each day became embedded in my mind, and those multitudes of moments can be recalled?  Is it because I’ve gained moments in time, not lost them?  I don’t know, but lately I’ve been forgetting lately to be present and it shows in my house, in my being, and in how I treat others. It’s like I’m in the midst of chaos and my time is swishing right by at an accelerated pace.  I don’t like that feeling so I’m taking a moment now to be present, and to center myself, to feel each breath and to become aware of my lungs gracefully moving air in and out.  I’m not sure I could ever be present twenty-four hours a day, or even if I should, but won’t you share this moment with me?

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