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Last Minute Tax Moves for 2017

Last Minute Tax Moves for 2017

Running a Business, Taxes
Did you know there are still some things you can do to reduce your 2017 taxes? You’ve missed most tax savings opportunities since they tend to have to happen within the calendar year. However, there are a couple that you can still do… and even an extra two available to you as a business owner! One really important note: I’m not a CPA and if you’re looking for specific tax advice you should talk to a CPA. I’ve sent folks to Ernest Jones before and he knows his Twitch… check him out. Additionally, you could check out our article on taxes here. Traditional IRA + HSA First, assuming your return shows under $72k Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) single ($119k married) you can get a tax deduction for contributing to…
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SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis

Galen's musings
SWOT analysis While getting my MBA I learned many things that really don’t matter to me today. For instance, I rarely my CFA level investment management class. However, one of the things that I do use is the SWOT analysis. While it’s safe to say that it can get a bit buzz-wordy, at its core it’s a useful tool. What is a SWOT analysis? SWOT is an acronym. Is stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The idea is to analyze those factors as they apply to you, your business, or even a specific opportunity. With strengths and weaknesses you focus on the internal and with opportunities and threats you focus on the internal. Strengths What are you good at? What advantages do you have? What’s unique and beneficial about…
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The Four Things You Can Do With Money

The Four Things You Can Do With Money

Galen's musings, Personal Finances
The four things you can do with money This concept is blatantly borrowed from Financial Planning 3.0 by the late Richard Wagner. My plan is to take it and more specifically apply it to content creators with a focus on streamers. Let’s dig in to the four thing you can do with money and the magic formula you can use it figure out the right mix for you! Thing 1: Receive it Receiving money can be extremely sweet or the worst thing in the world. After all, it could be payment for an awesome commission, your first sub, or the sub that gets you to the level you calculated would let you go full time. However, it could also be lottery winnings (check out the stats, usually leads to bad…
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Mental accounting

Mental accounting

Personal Finances, Running a Business
Mental Accounting We’re continuing our discussion on way to trick yourself into making smarter money moves. I think in particular the method we’re talking about today, mental accounting, can work really well for streamers. What is mental accounting? Mental accounting describes an interesting way that humans think. When we’re looking at some resource that we possess we tend to assign it to a specific category. Picture it like you’re saying that you only use the money in one particular account for one purpose and no other. Perhaps you have certain nicer things you keep to use only when you have company, like a nice bottle of wine. Just remember: mental accounting is assigning a resource to a specific purpose that isn’t necessarily its only purpose. When can it be bad?…
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Bet on Yourself for Accountability

Bet on Yourself for Accountability

Galen's musings, Personal Finances, Running a Business
I came across a really interesting personal accountability tactic while reading the book Nudge, a book with strong behavioral finance implications. If you’ve not read it before, I think it’s pretty interesting. Anyways, the basic idea is that you set up a meaningful bet that you will do something. That way, you are in control of the outcome. This could be an awesome tactic that helps you improve your stream’s consistency or your business’s operations. The book’s examples The author is a professor and part of his work involves mentoring PhD students during their thesis. His students have a strong financial incentive to finish their thesis as soon as possible because it leads to a promotion, increased pay, and increased benefits. However, one of the main ideas in the book is…
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The Employer Identification Number for Streamers

The Employer Identification Number for Streamers

Running a Business
Hey folks, this is a hopefully quick article. Today we’re going to cover the Employer Identification Number (EIN) and when/why you might need it. This is one of those random business-y things that may or may not apply to you. Since generally streamers aren’t like restaurants with their staffing needs the requirement to get an EIN is a little gray. However, it’s really good to have looked at it and decided that it doesn’t apply instead of never having heard of it. I can tell already that this is going to be one of those boring articles that someone reads when they google EIN and streamer and not something people are drawn to because of the exhilarating title. What is the EIN? The EIN functions a lot like your Social…
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New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

Galen's musings
I’m often a bit cynical. Because of that, I’ve often looked down upon New Year’s resolutions. “Why”, I scoffed, “would the passing of an arbitrary date make you change your life?” Well, I’m a changed man. I’ve come to realize that anything that can help motivate someone to improve can be a positive force. Also, what am I doing bothering with how someone else runs their life? Point being, this year I decided to make some resolutions for myself and to suggest some for streamers. Hopefully some of my ideas help you with coming up with your own goals or resolutions. My resolutions There are SO MANY things that I could and should improve. However, I firmly believe that you’re most likely to achieve your goals if you’re realistic. There…
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How to ask effective panel questions

How to ask effective panel questions

Galen's musings
This one’s a little different than most of my posts but it’s been on my mind since TwitchCon. My awesome panel went a little longer than we intended (totally my fault) so I felt as though we didn’t have enough time for questions. Part of the problem was that we didn't get effective panel questions. Let’s jump right in to how to ask better questions! Have a Clear Goal What is it you hope to learn from your question? Hopefully you know that before getting up to the mic. If you’re not certain what it is you want to learn in the moment or have a very involved question it may not be appropriate to ask it at a panel. After all, the panelists are having to interpret what you're…
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Holiday Shopping Best Practices

Holiday Shopping Best Practices

Personal Finances
Tis the season to spend tons of money on stuff we hope other people want. In return, hopefully they’re spending tons of money on us, right? Because let’s be honest, I would really, really, really love to get a Switch, Mario Odyssey, and Breath of the Wild. That’s a pretty expensive present right there. Yay holiday shopping. I swear, I’m only slightly cynical about this stuff. I really do like giving and receiving gifts. However, it’s an area where that good intention and the awesome warm glow from giving a gift can spiral out of control. Plus, just think about it. Would you want a family member to be financially uncomfortable but get you a gift or would you rather their full, unperturbed presence? Let’s dive in to it. Set…
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