From Olympic medals to national championships, the world of elite sports is full of inspiring stories of hard work and determination. Similar to the career of an entrepreneur, success in this profession doesn’t come easy. Being a star player often requires long hours, creative thinking, and commitment to the team. Although physical talent is key to an athlete’s success, their mindset is even more critical and can teach entrepreneurs a few lessons on how to be equally victorious in the board room.

Continue to set goals and improve. Plateauing is both an athlete’s and an entrepreneur’s worst enemy. An athlete must set performance goals and create a plan to achieve new career milestones. Consistent practice and self-evaluation allow them to perform their best as a competitor. Likewise, entrepreneurs should set overall goals to keep their businesses moving in the right direction. They should focus on making a game plan that will help them improve as they continue to grow. Breaking their overall goals down into micro-goals is one way they can make tracking their progress more manageable.

Don’t be afraid to take risks. Most successful athletes did not get where they are by playing it safe. Risk and reward often go hand in hand, so pushing that extra mile or taking that final shot are what differentiate elite athletes from the average player. Finding a balance between risk and recklessness is also critical for entrepreneurs. Being too scared of change will inhibit growth, and changing too much at once will cause failure. Calculated risks are the solution to keeping a business ahead of competitors while taking potential concerns into account.

Keep your head in the game. The greatest athletes in the world are also recognized as leaders. Their hard work, ambition, and drive are qualities any director, CEO, or business influencer can aspire to possess. If an athlete makes a mistake, being able to separate their failures from their present performance allows them to continue reaching for success. Entrepreneurship may be one of the most challenging business environments, but business owners must maintain a level head throughout the ups and downs. Entrepreneurs need to stay confident in themselves even when the odds are stacked against them.

Talley shares the same entrepreneurial spirit that has helped propel our clients to their current levels of success. With over 25 years of experience assisting high net worth individuals and business owners, Talley has the expertise necessary to help entrepreneurs throughout their entire journey, from formation to succession.

Taylor Swift is no small name in the entertainment industry having millions of fans across the globe, selling over 30 million albums, and being named the highest paid celebrity in 2019 according to Forbes. Although the artist is known to make headlines, the most recent news comes from the purchase of her former record label Big Machine Label Group by her longtime adversary Scooter Braun. Since Swift’s first six albums contractually belong to Big Machine, Braun gains ownership of her master recordings along with the label. This estimated $300 million deal and Swift’s loss of ownership of a lifetime of work shines a spotlight on the importance of contract negotiation.

Swift commented on the situation via Tumblr stating that for years she had attempted to gain control of her work, but her only option was to re-sign with Big Machine and earn one album back by recording a new album for the label. This album for album trade felt like the perpetuation of Big Machine’s control over Swift’s recordings and ultimately led her to move to Republic Records last year. Although the loss of five albums of master recordings was a tough call to make, Swift’s new contract gives her the rights to her latest album to be released next month and all future music she creates.

While Swift was aware that her master recordings could be sold to the next owner of Big Machine, the acquisition by Scooter Braun felt like salt in a deep wound. In her Tumblr post, she mentions being bullied and manipulated over the years by Braun and his associates, who include Justin Bieber and Kanye West. Although the situation is her “worst case scenario,” Swift has seemingly maintained a positive outlook on the future of her music with the support of Republic Records.

In many cases in the entertainment industry, the first contract a performer signs may give industry professionals the upper hand. Swift was fifteen when she got her big break with Big Machine, and it is evident that she would have made contractual changes if she had the power or the knowledge at the time. A buy-back clause could have given her the option to purchase her masters, or a “non-assignment” clause may have allowed her to have some deciding power on if the recordings belonged to a new owner of the record label. At the least Swift can hope that young entertainers can learn from her experiences and be more prepared when their big shot comes.

Whether a recording deal contract or an M&A transaction, every negotiation is unique and needs to be approached with the proper strategy and insight. Talley LLP is uniquely equipped to provide the technical and managerial expertise to help you plan, negotiate, structure and execute on your buy-side or sell-side strategy.

As companies pursue success, avoiding fatigue should be a priority for employers and employees alike. According to the National Safety Council, sleep deprivation effects over 43% of workers, which ultimately deteriorates workplace productivity and safety. They estimate per year the loss per employee to be between $1,200 and $3,100, a large sum considering the size of a workforce. To combat this problem, here are three tips that can help you and your business battle fatigue.

Evaluate your lifestyle.  Lack of sleep is the most significant contributor to fatigue, and a few updates to your routine can make a world of difference. Temperature, bedding, nearby electronics, and lighting are all factors that can influence the way you sleep. Making gradual adjustments can help you determine which changes improve your quality of sleep and will leave you better rested. In addition to sleep, factors like diet and exercise have a considerable influence on your energy levels. To establish a baseline, keep a lifestyle log over a few weeks to determine which foods or activities make you feel better and worse. You may find that your most tired days are directly linked to certain foods or workouts that drain you.

Go see your doctors. Sometimes fatigue can be rooted in a deeper cause that no amount of sleep or habit tracking can help. It is essential to maintain your yearly checkups at the doctor to assess your health, but if your fatigue is affecting you long term, seeing your doctor again can only help you. Simple blood work or allergy tests can point to common biological and environmental causes preventing sleep. If the problem is more serious, a doctor can best help you find out why. Either way, a checkup can help you get treatment and get back on your feet.

Listen to your body. If your body needs something, do not feel bad about giving it that. Personal health is something many overworked business professionals may be ignoring, risking long term consequences. Taking a day or two off when you are too stressed or tired will allow your system to reset and recharge. Whether you are a boss or an employee, fatigue can affect you, so being mindful of your well-being will help you not only be more effective but improve your overall happiness.

Talley shares the same entrepreneurial spirit that has helped propel our clients to their current levels of success. With over 25 years of experience assisting high net worth individuals and business owners, Talley has the expertise necessary to help entrepreneurs throughout their entire journey, from formation to succession.

In recent years, health scientists have begun emphasizing research related to preventing illnesses and diseases before they become harmful. The Stanford University School of Medicine is a particular champion of the cause, dedicating studies to what they call precision health, or “predicting, preventing, and curing disease precisely.” In their most recent study, the group utilized “Big Data” on over a hundred patients to preemptively identify sixty-seven issues including high blood pressure, lymphoma, diabetes, infections, sleep apnea and more.

Researchers started by creating a biological baseline of participants health. Using wearable trackers, microbial and molecular profiles, blood and stool samples, and genome sequences, they determined what being “healthy” for each person meant and began tracking the metrics daily over a three to eight-year period. Like all data, the information meant little without the ability to distinguish between what was important and what was not. As they observed changes in the different variables, the group began seeing abnormalities that could be matched to potential health problems.

The genetic sequencing found thirteen disease-related concerns including heart defects, which were later confirmed with cardiac testing. One individual’s spleen was enlarged which led doctors to identify lymphoma and allowed the patient to get treatment early. Heart rate monitoring led to the discovery of sleep apnea, and elevated heart rates showed the beginnings infections. High blood pressure was found in eighteen individuals, while other irregularities indicated precancers, low hemoglobin, and arterial plaques all before the patients exhibited symptoms. 

Additionally, with all the collected information the scientists were able to make preliminary determinations on biomarkers and molecular markers for diseases and cardiovascular disease risk. With positive results, the research team is looking to continue and expand the study in the hopes of helping more people. The important lesson of Stanford’s findings, applicable to most businesses large or small, is seen in how the team converted “Big Data” into proactive data that can ultimately save lives.

From technology-based accounting solutions to management information, analysis, and reporting, Talley LLP is the premier business consulting firm for entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses. For more information on how to leverage your business’s data technology, contact Talley today.

Has the thought ever crossed your mind that smart devices are becoming too smart? Recently, Amazon admitted their Alexa devices collect speech recordings that are later listened to and analyzed by employees across the globe. As smart products infiltrate more and more genres from doorbells to lighting, the amount of data intercepted may leave some curious as to what companies are doing with their information.

Amazon stated that employees listen to, transcribe, and annotate conversations had with the device to improve Alexa’s speech recognition. Workers may hear everything from a request to play a popular song to your trivia answers with the hubs built-in games. In one case, there were reports that two staff members even believed to be hearing a domestic violence situation occurring but legally could not take action. When they may encounter upsetting conversations like this, workers may use the internal group chat room to release stress, since interfering in these matters would breach security.

Amazon’s response to the public’s worries of their conversations being tracked was to assure customers that there are policies in place that hide user’s personal information and that they do not tolerate any system abuse. To protect identities, they use several forms of authentication and a controlled environment for their workers. Although in this case, Amazon has told the public the information is solely for performance improvements, as seen in the reports of Roomba’s robotic vacuum tracking floor plans or Target analyzing baby product purchases to market to pregnant women, who’s to say this big data won’t be leveraged some other way in the future. For now, the information seems secure, but with the new found knowledge in hand, Alexa users may be more careful with what they are asking the smart device.

Now more than ever, the small to mid-sized business owner can develop the same Big Data analysis as larger corporations—an important step in achieving a competitive position in your industry. From technology-based accounting solutions to management information, analysis, and reporting, Talley LLP is the premier business consulting firm for entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses. For more information on how to leverage your business’s data technology, contact Talley today.

What happens once your business experiences initial success or substantial growth? Having “real” money can bring about complex problems that your business had yet to encounter. With the help of professional advisors, there are a few ways to make sure you handle these issues effectively and ensure your successes only continue.

Be aware of burnouts. Burnouts are a big reason for business failure especially in the first year and taking that time to appreciate your accomplishments can help prevent this.  Part of avoiding burning out is ensuring that you maintain your personal and mental health. All the business and productivity advice in the world won’t help you if you’re already stressed out, sleep deprived, and running yourself into the ground before you take that first sip of coffee or tea in the morning.

Be mindful of taxes. While running your business, it’s easy to focus on the day to day operations, forgetting about important long-term details such as tax planning. Working with an experienced tax planning advisor can help you mitigate taxes and proactively plan for the future of your business.

Plan for your long-term future. There will always be more money to be made as an entrepreneur and reaching your first goal is only the beginning.  Although using your earnings to fund entertaining purchases is an earned right, investing your money in things that can appreciate will set you up for continued wealth. Having an expert counsel can help you make these decisions as they are familiar with the challenges that characterize an entrepreneur’s business ventures.

Form habits that create continued success. Specific motivators made you successful in the first place, so do not stop focusing on them. Running a business calls for ongoing work but managing your time effectively and forming useful business habits can help take the stress off of you. Always set new goals for you and your business to ensure you achieve continued growth and success.

Talley shares the same entrepreneurial spirit that has helped propel our clients to their current levels of success. With over 25 years of experience assisting high net worth individuals and business owners, Talley has the expertise necessary to help entrepreneurs throughout their entire journey, from formation to succession.

Big Data is only getting bigger as business usage increases and more companies change the way they look at their processes in 2019. A recent Gartner survey found 62 percent of participants have indicated that their management teams have developed plans or initiatives to increase digital practices and 47% have at least been encouraged to pursue an increase in digital practices.  More than analyzing buying patterns or customer relationships, Big Data can allow entrepreneurs to improve their financial forecasting and future trends.

Predicting company success and finding potential opportunities is a common goal for any entrepreneur. By leveraging real-time/big data metrics, finance teams can gain valuable insight into trends, improving their ability to take advantage of upcoming opportunities or mitigate risk.  When considering the benefits, implementing big data metrics does not have to overcomplicate your existing financial reporting methods.

Utilize the resources you already have in place. Businesses big and small are already housing stores of information in their existing systems, whether through their business or sales management systems. For example, customer relationship management systems hold valuable details about sales, sizing, markets and more than can be referenced across departments. However, all that data means little without the ability to effectively distinguish between what is important and what is just white noise. These details, although large in quantity, can allow forecasts to adjust as events occur if properly utilized.

Don’t be afraid to let go of old technology. The typical Excel spreadsheet forecast focused on historical trends is very limiting when considering how extensive your decision-driving data may be and the way activities affect different parts of your business. These simple documents continue to emphasize the inefficiency of solely using historical data to make future business decisions. By embracing real-time metrics and overall real-time forecasts, entrepreneurs can gain a greater understanding of how specific actions affect their forecasts.

From technology-based accounting solutions to management information, analysis, and reporting, Talley LLP is the premier business consulting firm for entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses. For more information on how to leverage your business’s data technology, contact Talley today.

With 2018 fresh in the rear-view mirror, many entrepreneurs and executives are taking time to reflect on what worked and what did not last year. While New Year’s Resolutions can act as a catalyst for change in both your personal and professional life, they usually reflect short-term thinking and fall short.

So why do resolutions not work? For starters, resolutions tend to be vague and lofty in nature. Some individuals simply don’t know where to start and give up immediately.  Others lack an executable plan of action to achieve their goals once they get going. And lastly, there are those who don’t know how to sustain their goals once they reach them (e.g. keeping the weight off after losing it initially).  Sounds familiar? These challenges to resolutions draw many parallels to several critical life cycle stages of a typical business model: Start-Up, Growth, and Stabilization. Each stage comes with its own set of challenges to overcome and opportunities to leverage.

Given their abysmal success rate, your company’s strategic plan for 2018 and beyond should not take on the flawed form of resolutions. Set goals and milestones instead and pick those that will impact you the most. Here are some pointers we’ve collected along the way.

Write your plan down. While it’s great to brainstorm goals, without writing down your mission, focus fades and continuity begins to decrease. Putting pen to paper forces you to identify and define the specific goals that you are working toward.

Be realistic about your expectations. Whether it’s about weight-loss or company growth, setting unattainable goals doesn’t help your success, it hampers it. It’s better to establish a set of smaller goals that can be expanded upon than something you feel you’ll never actually reach. Think about the most important things that will impact your business, and with hard work and effort, you can actually achieve.

Establish milestones to track success. A year is a long time to stay focused. Here’s where effective planning comes into play. Think about what success looks like in both the short term and long term to keep yourself motivated. Be sure to set key performance indicators for each of the goals you set to make sure you are on track.

What are your goals for 2018?

Whether your goal for 2019 is improving the quality or timeliness of financial statements, growth through strategic acquisition, or developing a tax-efficient succession plan, the advisors at Talley are here to help you. Contact us today to see how we can assist you with your strategic goals in 2018.

Growing a business takes a certain level of both personal and professional investment to better the likelihood of success.  With the nonstop demands that come with running a business, even the most energetic of leaders can get worn down and many entrepreneurs have experienced firsthand how not letting go of the “CEO of Everything” mentality can lead to sub-par results. Here are a few ways to keep things in check so you can consistently show up at your best.

Take a 10,000 foot view. With the daily influx of emails, message pings and phone calls, it’s easy to see productivity as a measure of how fast we clear our inboxes and how many items we tick off our to-do lists. These lists are certainly helpful, but the real value CEOs bring to the table doesn’t always fit in a series of checkboxes. To fully comprehend crises, challenges and opportunities within a business, CEOs do well to take a 10,000-foot perspective, not just a close-up.

Don’t micro-manage mundane tasks. The surest way to stifle innovation and decrease your own productivity as well as that of your staff and partners—is to micro-manage every task. Eventually, as your business grows, the day-to-day administrative tasks of running an organization will take valuable time away from growing your business.  Smart business owners know when it’s time to hire help to scale their growth initiatives.

Systemize and automate as much as possible. Take a closer look at how your business process works, from your marketing process to your customer acquisition to purchase fulfillment and look for ways to make each step easier. Is there a part of your business that slows you down or frustrates you? Find a way to make challenging aspects work on autopilot (or as much as possible) and it will free you up to tackle other responsibilities and make your business run smoother.

It’s necessary for business leaders to be keenly aware of the goings-on, processes and results in their companies, providing guidance and support where needed. But is it necessary to enter every invoice yourself? Make every social media post? Schedule every vendor meeting? Instead, find team members and service partners who can help you focus what you do best: grow your business.

To learn more how Talley can help grow your business, give us a call today.

For the entrepreneur, there’s usually much more to personal finance than a W-2 employee content to passively funnel money into 401(k)s and IRAs full of mutual funds.

Here are three key questions to ask yourself when planning for future success.

Are you taking advantage of all the legally allowed tax savings? The IRS tax code is more than 5,700 pages long (over 75,000+ pages if you count supporting documents like court case rulings). That includes which deductions you can take and which strategies you can implement. Whether it’s forgetting to deduct the interest from business loans, paying business items on a personal credit card, not recording self-employed health insurance properly, or forgetting to write-off business transportation taxes, missed deductions add up fast.

Do you have the capital to take advantage of growth opportunities and to get through hard times? With enough liquidity in your “back pocket” you can greatly reward your business and even save it in the future. For example, if the right business opportunity comes along and it requires a capital investment, you’ll be able to act quickly. Additionally, if your business hits a rough patch, you won’t need to look at financing options to get through the tough times.

Do you have an estate plan in order? It seems morbid, but it’s a vital issue to address. What happens if you’re not around anymore? Do you have a succession plan for your business in the event of incapacity or death?

Proper estate planning—deciding on the “who, what, when, and how”—and executing this with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs possible is a challenging affair. Start early.

Proper business planning is a complex and on-going effort. It requires expert counsel from a professional with knowledge and experience, one who’s familiar with the challenges that characterize an entrepreneur’s business ventures.

Talley shares the same entrepreneurial spirit that has helped propel our clients to their current levels of success. With over 25 years of experience helping high net worth individuals and business owners, Talley has the expertise necessary to assist entrepreneurs throughout their entire journey, from formation through succession.


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