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Janna WIlloughby-Lohr says she was born to become an entrepreneur. She came up with her business idea for Papercraft Miracles while in college, and, in 2013, she launched her career as a full-time business owner. Now, Janna is busy enough at work to hire an employee, but she still makes time to give back to her community. Janna donates part of her profits to Gay & Lesbian Youth Services in Buffalo. She also serves on the board of the Buffalo/Niagara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners where she speak to high school girls interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

Janna will be selling her Papercraft Miracles products at the Bazaar at QB Connect 2018 in San Jose (November 5-7th). Click here to reserve your ticket today for this exciting event!

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Content Leader
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 Leslie Barber shares a message with the QB Community.

 

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).  You may not be able to fend off technically savvy and extremely determined hackers, but you can certainly take small but meaningful steps to batten down all your cyber security hatches.

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Content Leader
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During the crazy holiday season, it’s easy to prioritize your business over well, everything. We’re here to remind you that losing sleep, eating poorly, staying Superglued to a screen or otherwise connected to your work 24/7 is not in your best interest. Remember, when your mental, physical and emotional health suffers, so, too, does your business.  

 

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What’s not to love about a national observance dedicated to making someone else feel good? It doesn’t take much to show your appreciation for another person, whether it’s a friend, a family member, a fellow entrepreneur or even a stranger.

 

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What do you do? Where do you go? How do you find that moment of restorative peace?

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In September we got inside your head! We explored how entrepreneurs, small business owners and freelance workers approach all things business, from creatively solving problems and staying motivated 24/7 to turning an epiphany into action and an idea into a product. Read on -- and be prepared to be impressed.

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The leaves may be just starting to turn golden, but Halloween costumes, candy and decorations have been front and center on shelves and in storefronts for weeks now. It won’t be long before Thanksgiving décor is added to the seasonal display. With the holiday season racing our way, let’s find out how some entrepreneurs are prepping today for their busiest time of year.  

 

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Launching and running your own business requires continuous self-education, as rising challenges demand creative solutions that may bump up against the limits of your knowledge and expertise. What's one new thing you've learned recently that has helped you solve a thorny problem or take your business to the next level?

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Yep, National Get Organized Week really is a thing. If you’re feeling scattered, distracted or just tired of frantically juggling a million different tasks, maybe this is the perfect week to up your organizational game.  

 

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jollyholiday.pngFor many of us, 'tis the season to start thinking about holiday retail. And for others, 'tis the season to hire seasonal workers (or make more permanent hires before the holiday crazy), wrap up loose ends on projects (before the holiday crazy), or get busy making plans for workflow/inventory/purchasing/sales & promotions/customer and client appreciation...before the holiday crazy. Am I sensing a theme here?

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Sometimes we think we should rename QB Community “Epiphanies R Us!” As countless community members have told us, you just never know when an idea will pop into your head and BOOM! A seed of an idea grows and blossoms into a successful business. Of course, that flash of inspiration is just the first tiny step on any entrepreneurial journey – but without it, you might not be taking a journey at all.

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We hear all the time in this community about the mindset that helps entrepreneurs succeed in business. One thing is clear: Working for yourself means thinking differently about every aspect of, well, “work” – what it means to you (everything), when you do it (always), when you put it aside (rarely). Below are some of the insights you’ve shared. Do you recognize yourself in any of these hard-working entrepreneurs? Of course, you do!

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Technically speaking, doing research and development or R&D means officially allocating time and resources to a team of inventors or product manufacturers who think of and develop product ideas. This crack team will make prototypes and conduct formal trials with prospective customers to see if a product will fly. If this sounds like it’s well beyond the scope of your budget and resources (both financial and human), you might be right.  

 

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We'll kick off World Gratitude Day by telling you what we on this QB Community team are grateful for. Spoiler alert: We’re all pretty darn delighted to be working with entrepreneurs like you!

 

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You have questions about running a small business, and our QB Community members have answers! Everyone here knows the importance of building meaningful member-to-member relationships, and there’s no better way to learn, discover and get inspired as an entrepreneur. Best of all? When members share what they know, everyone benefits. Check out this recent QB Community conversation, and you’ll see what we mean!  

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All small businesses have a couple of things in common. First, they’re run by a dedicated, determined, passionate entrepreneur. Second, each one of those inspiring self-employed folks had an idea for a product (or a service) and figured how to transform it into something they could sell. We know – and you do, too -- the process of turning an epiphany into a business is never easy. Here’s how some folks in QB Community have managed to do it.

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Here’s a question you’ll get asked all the time as an entrepreneur: Why did you decide to start your own business? (Thankfully, the other part of the question – what made you crazy enough to think you could start your own business? – is usually just implied!) We’ll help you home in on your answer by sharing some of the top reasons folks in this awesome community have chosen to do their own business thing. Did we omit what motivates you to work for yourself? In the comments below, tell us what inspires you to take the entrepreneurial leap!

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When Erica decided to sell the “clean,” healthful granola she regularly baked for family and friends, she wasn’t planning to turn her side-hustle into a full-fledged business. But three months after attending her first farmer’s market, Erica was selected as a food vendor for Google. Suddenly, she needed to make gr8nola on a whole new scale.

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JTcarpentry asked: Hello, we are still a newer company but have been in business for 4 years, running as a sole proprietorship. Does anyone have some quick and simple advice as to why maybe an S corp would be beneficial to me?

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"As a two-time cancer survivor, I knew all-too-well going through chemo can be grueling and scary and lead to all sorts of unpleasant side-effects like nausea and mouth sores. I wanted to help others as they go through chemo by sharing carefully curated gift boxes lovingly packed with helpful, purposeful products."

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Meta Mesdag is a mom of three in Juneau, Alaska. Wanting to be available to her kids, Meta has opened two successful small businesses out of her home. Although both ventures have kept super busy, Meta decided earlier this year to start a family “mariculture” business -- an ocean farm where she, her husband and kids will grow (and then sell) oysters, clams, mussels and kelp.

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Each and every day, the inspiring self-employed folks in our QuickBooks Community remind us that entrepreneurs find their calling in their own unique way. Some can’t imagine ditching the security of a day job, while others give it up in a flash. We’ve met moms who tailor their career to fit their family life, friends who join forces to bring a business idea to life and sons and daughters who are carrying on family business traditions.

If you recognize your own entrepreneurial personality among these eight, let us know. Are you a different type altogether? Tell us more!

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Seven years ago, professional voice actor Sharon Coleman was diagnosed with colon cancer. Two years later, the cancer returned, and Sharon once again endured surgery, radiation and chemo. Thankfully, today Sharon is five years cancer-free. She’s also celebrating another significant milestone: This month, she launched an online business that’s directly inspired by her own harrowing experience with cancer. Sharon has founded Lemon and Honey Gifts which offers a carefully curated selection of gift boxes for men, women and kids going through chemo. 

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