“Helping Others to Get More Green Using My Ideas in 2017!”
Yeah, this is my homey goal (or at least one of many!) this year. I have been blessed to have been exposed to many industries, entrepreneurs, and have read many books and attended a bunch of workshops and seminars on making money. Unfortunately, I have spent so much time working various jobs, reading books on making money, and attending training and speaking events that I haven’t made much money. But, I have finally learned enough, including the “Multiple Streams of Income,” by Bob Allen. Now, it’s time for me to teach others what I have learned so that they don’t waste the 40+ years that I have invested in education, training, and learning about money-making. And, I plan to make my own green (at last!) in 2017!
One thing I have learned is that some people (like me!) have great ideas, but didn’t do much, if anything, with our ideas. An idea is just an idea that is worthless unless it is put into action to bring about change, improvement, make money, or help others make money or have a better life mentally, physically, morally, spiritually, or financially. Well, anyway, I do have a plan to do something with all of this information, knowledge, and input on at least having a home business whose expenses will allow me not to pay taxes. Now, I have nothing against paying taxes; I just think that I have paid enough, and am willing to pay my 15% – 20% after I have made my millions! Perhaps with Trump as President, there will be more opportunities for small businesses, and home businesses that can have a fair shot at becoming profitable entrepreneurs. I learned some of this when I did income tax preparation for some fairly wealthy people. When I did the income tax for a somewhat very wealthy man, he didn’t pay any income tax. When I finished my first draft, I called him to give him a report. When he asked me how much taxes he had to pay, I told him nothing. I thought he would be shocked. He asked me what was his taxable income. When I told him, he said I was $10 off! I had worked hard, figured, and re-checked my figures from his company income, his rentals, and other income, and was sure my figures were correct. Then he blew me away with some information.
This client’s information floored me! He told me that his daughter was his company’s bookkeeper and that she was married to an accountant who had already drafted his income tax return! Then he told me he had a CPA who annually checked their work, and that he had a tax attorney. Noting my silence, he then told me that every year the IRS audited him, and that he always hired someone each year who didn’t know anything about his operations in order to get a fairly honest tax return that he knew would be audited!
When I returned this client’s books to him and his final tax return, I was curious about how he could make SO much money, and not pay taxes. I will never forget that conversation. I will share a little with you, the reader:
ME: How could you make so much money, and yet not pay any income taxes?
HIM: I pay my taxes by paying my daughter, by paying her husband, by paying my CPA, and by paying my tax attorney. They, in turn, spend the money in our area which helps our economy. If I pay a lot of income taxes to the federal government, they don’t use good economic sense. They just give away money into worthless social service programs, and help foreign governments, but don’t invest the money to really help the American economy.
ME: But don’t you feel bad by not paying federal income taxes?
HIM: No, I spend my time doing everything legally because I know I am going to be audited EVERY year. I keep a log of all of my travels locally and globally and track every penny earned and deducted. I don’t do anything without thinking of a tax advantage. Even when I need some groceries or anything, I figure out how I can go pass the store or stop, talk to someone about business, and on the way home, I make my stop. The entire trip is tax-deductible and I keep a log of my mileage, where I went, and who spoke to. When I want to take a vacation with my family, I don’t take a vacation; I take a business trip. I figure out where I want us to go, check out to see when the location has business seminars, sign us up for seminars, attend at least ½ day of each day of the seminars, take the other 1/2 day enjoying ourselves, and then take people out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The entire trip (vacation) is a tax write-off.
ME: I want to do that.
HIM: You can’t.
HIM: America was not made for wage-earners; it was created for entrepreneurs. You have always worked for others so you are a wage-earner. I am an entrepreneur, and America and the tax laws were made to benefit entrepreneurs. Only entrepreneurs can benefit from our tax laws!
At first, I was angry with him, and at those who made a lot of money and didn’t pay taxes. Later, I realize that he was right. As long as I worked for others, I was helping them to bring their dreams come true, and I was a tax write-off. If I didn’t make enough to cover my wages, AND make the other person or the company I worked for a profit, they didn’t need me. But, as long as I was making them money beyond what they paid me, they would keep me on, paying me just enough to keep me on, perhaps giving me awards, but not enough money for me to really get ahead and stay ahead. Usually, they didn’t care about my family, my needs, or my dreams—that was my responsibility.
I am glad for that conversation with that client. I am glad for the books read, meetings I attended, and getting experience from a lot of different jobs. I know a lot about how much (or little!) people make from a lot of industries. I have seen hard-working people lose their homes, lose their cars, unable to help their children get into college, and not have enough money to take care of their own health, or pay for great legal advice when needed. If these people would have had a successful home business, and/or had some entrepreneurial training and had a great money-making business, there would have been a different ending for these families, and would have set their descendants on an entirely different financial path.
Many late-arriving immigrants seem to have learned what many native-born Americans have not learned: share housing as much as possible with others living together, save money until they can really afford to get a place of their own; work whatever job they can, including working a second job, and learning how to have their own business (often with help from other native-born business people and/or their countrymen). Perhaps if more native-born Americans would spend fewer hours watching television and listening to music, and more time learning on a second job, AND attend meetings on how to have a home business or make extra money, they could be as successful as many legal (and illegal!) immigrants.
At the same time, many native-born Americans have great ideas as has been shown in developments in the space age, in music, in agriculture, in technology, and in so many other areas. Others have had great ideas, but didn’t know how to protect their ideas and became discouraged; some others shared their ideas, and had them confiscated; and then there were many others who didn’t know the steps to get their idea from conception to successful marketing and gave up. Well, at least, I can help some of them with some steps that I learned from a recent AARP Bulletin:
GETTING YOUR IDEA TO MARKET AND MAKING MONEY
- Believe that your idea will lead to a product that can solve a problem for many people
- Begin saving money for fees ($65 for a provisional patent application; $400 for most people; $800 for nonprofits and small businesses; and $1,600 for regular application; and several thousand dollars to hire a patent agent and/or patent attorney)
- Research on Google Patents or the United States Patent and Trademark Office website (uspto.gov) to make sure your idea has not already been developed, or is somewhat very different from a patented idea like your idea by looking at drawings of other similar inventions
- Do a detailed drawing of your idea
- Create a prototype and a marketing plan
- Get connected with a professional patent agent and/or a patent attorney
- Apply for a patent within a year of sharing your idea with others at uspto.gov, utilizing all of their resources, including the Inventors Assistance Center, as well as connecting with the United Inventors Association of America (an inventor club helping members)
- Get input from trusted family and friends who will not reveal anything, and if necessary, get nondisclosure agreements
- Be patient, as the process of steps one through seven can take at least twelve months; step eight will take another year and a half before you hear back with a provisional approval; and then another six months before receiving a final decision—if over 65, ask to be fast-tracked
- Shop your idea around for licensing and manufacturing partners now that you have applied for a patent
- Connect with other production and distribution experts
- Develop a product name that people will easily remember and submit application to the USPTO (plan on spending anywhere from the $35 registration trademark fee to several thousand for legal protection fees)
- Settle on a company to license, manufacture, and market the product, and
- Work to get inventors’ royalties, which may be between 7 and 10 percent.
(Adapted from “How to Patent Your Million-Dollar Idea” by Kimberly Palmer, AARP Bulletin, October, 2016)