All I wanted to do was make a difference. Help others live a better life. One filled with hope, encouragement, and inspiration. One of assurance: that they are, or at least can easily become, all they were meant to be. I want to help them find their greater purpose for living, but…
I got into a little trouble. I’ll tell more about that after sharing how I got to that fateful day.
At every event, no matter the topic I present, people repeatedly said–and still do to this day–that they have a desire to make a difference as well. Somewhere, in some capacity, and even with little knowledge or resources, they want to help others too. Which always fuels my desire for what I do.
I want to help them make their mark. And I want to help you make yours.
I expressed my passion by writing, first for friends, church members, then newsletters, and finally articles and books. I increased my involvement in training, teaching, and speaking for audiences that were growing in size.
Eventually, expenses started piling up and a little income trickled in. That’s when I stumbled into business with a greater intent and higher good. Although my educational degree is more in line with social and spiritual training, I grew up with a father who was an entrepreneurial small-businessman. Therefore, I knew something about business.
I did my best to honestly keep track of all transactions involving money. Even sought a C.P.A. to make sure I was doing it right. But then that fateful day came.
A huge packet from the I.R.S. arrived in my mailbox.
I freaked. That’s putting it mildly. I panicked. Couldn’t breathe. And had thoughts of asylum in South America. A fugitive in my native land. I felt so ashamed. Guilty for no apparent reason.
You see, I was being audited!
Me? The one who only wanted to do good, and help people.
And by the way had always kept immaculate records of everything I did, more on the overkill end than the slacker side of detailed records. I wasn’t trying to dupe anyone, not even the government. So, why me?
I’ll tell you why in a minute.
If you’re like me and want to help others and have expenses and income—no matter how big or small—you might need to know how to do a few things to protect yourself.
Don’t worry. I’ll help you and guide you through the steps I went through to make my life and service to others pain free—at least as it relates to the I.R.S., business stuff, and growing a ministry-business, or a business with purpose.
First of all, when that packet landed in my hands and I was able to catch a breath, I skedaddled my stunned self to the C.P.A.’s office. I needed advice and NOW!
Hence my smarter self began learning. The C.P.A. said, “Freelance speakers and/or writers are a group that is frequently audited.” Yes, that’s the reason I was picked on. I hadn’t done anything wrong and didn’t need to run hide in another country or anything. He also told me what to do to potentially call off this heat and ease my mind. And if you’ll do these same things it will not only keep you safeguarded, but will also help to build and grow your impact. At the least it will give you peace of mind. And that’s a huge asset for anyone!
5 Simple Keys to Protect and Prepare Your Ministry-Business and Yourself
Keep Detailed Information
I had to go back more than five years to the records, receipts, etc. Very important to keep details about each transaction so you’ll know what you did as well as prove to anyone else what you did.
Understand Business Proof
You know your intent in your ministry-business, but no one else does unless you tell them. The C.P.A. told me it was my job to prove my intent of conducting business. No matter what your greater good or purpose is, you must prove your business intent. Remember exchanges of money means business.
Open a Dedicated Banking Account
The business funds are kept separate from personal funds. Not only does this aid in keeping better records of transactions, but it also is more proof that my effort is a business.
Create A Business Plan
For further proof of your business intent–and quite possibly the best proof, you’ll need a business plan. It’s a simple document detailing your plan for your service and business. This same document when completed helps you share your business idea and intent with others who want to know more about what you are doing. People who’ll gain understanding from your plan are partners, volunteers, investors, bankers and obviously the I.R.S. among other possibilities. I also felt the plan deliver insight into my soul, and inspiration to my work.
As a bonus help for you, I want to give you a fun sheet outlining a business plan and showing you the basics of creating one. To get your very own click below.
Grow in Influence to Impact More Change
A growing business increases its viability. It gains more influence, more impact, more proof of business, and sometimes more money to reinvest in helping others. It’s a simple equation: Do more in order to do more.
These keys to prepare you and give you peace of mind will get you started on your journey to having a great impact of helping others. You’ll become more aligned with who you want to be and were meant to be.