Empowered Employees

Looking for ways to inspire and jumpstart your team?  Turns out that micromanaging can actually stall the process and failure to delegate leaves employees feeling powerless.  For more great tips on how to help your employees achieve their fullest and to give you less stress as a manager, check out this article from Forbes Community Voice, 10 Ways You Can Start Empowering Your Employees.

Musicians Filing Taxes

Here in #ATX, the self-proclaimed, “Music Capital of the World,” we play host to all levels of musicians.  This article from Tom Tom magazine offers a great look at best practices for filling taxes as a working musician.   Drummer and owner of Math LLC, a tax preparation service, Emily Kingan, gives detailed information on all things money from handling cash transactions to dealing with a multi-facited career.  Tips from an Accountant: The Best Way for Musicians to Do Their Taxes.  

Real or Fake?

After the Equifax information breach, many of their customers were encouraged to visit a site containing consumer updates and security information.  Instead of creating a page from the Equifax domain, the company spawned a new page, one that was easily copied, leaving their clients yet again at risk.  Nick Sweeting, a software engineer proved this point when he created a clone of their page.  His version was so convincing that a representative of Equifax even tweeted the web address (three separate times) he had created.  Sweeting’s page alerted people that it was a fake since his intent was not to steal information but to spotlight the fact that Equifax had created yet another cyber hazard.

Someone Made a Fake Equifax Site. Then Equifax Linked to It.

Helping Yourself and Others After A Natural Disaster

Last week Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas and Louisiana leaving destruction in its wake.  Now the Atlantic hurricane, Irma is causing great damage to the Leeward Islands with its eye set on Florida.

In the aftermath of a disaster, what are the best ways to help others and if you are affected by the storm, what should you do to expedite recovery?

The Federal Trade Commission offers a good overview of natural disaster best practices along with tips, advice and links to other agencies on their page,  FTC Advice for Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims.

More Women In Tech

Companies often say they desire a more diverse workplace without really understanding how to achieve this goal.   Katherine Zaleski, in Opinions for the New York Times highlights the fact that small changes in the interview process can make a huge difference.  From making sure the panel includes one woman, to perks that are mentioned, such as maternal leave and child care subsidy.

The Maddeningly Simple Way Tech Companies Can Employ More Women


Phone Protection?

There are a multitude of smart phone protection products on the market today.  Deciding exactly what you need can be hard.  The Wirecutter, the product recommendations site owned by The New York Times has narrowed the field with their top choices.  Reality Check: What Does, and Doesn’t, Protect Your Smartphone. Currently debating a screen cover versus a case or possibly a protection plan versus a warranty?  They have research backed answers that may help with your decision.

Calling All Creatives

Work conferences sound like a boring proposition? Then check out the latest one coming to Austin, Texas.  The Creatives Meet Business Experiences (CMBXP) will combine creatives from many fields with their business minded counterparts in an effort to foster new partnerships and offer affordable access to content.  Want to be part of this innovative, new concept?  More details in this article from Culture Map Austin, Austin’s newest conference connects creatives in a whole new way.

Repair or Improvement?

What is the difference between a home repair and a home improvement?  As defined by the IRS, an improvement lasts for more than one year and adds value to your home.  There are exceptions, such as when the upgrade is no longer part of your residence.  (Ex. You installed wall-to-wall carpet years earlier and then replaced it with wood flooring.). In cases of fire damage and natural disasters, all work applies, from the smallest repair to the largest addition.  Knowing these details is especially important when you plan to sell your home because it may help reduce the taxes you owe on profit.

Tax differences between home repairs & home improvements

Health Care Free Market?

Exactly what does it mean to have a health care free market? According to Farzon A. Nahvi for the New York Times, it would involve an adjustment in our sensibilities about life and death.  He based this assessment on the patients sent to his ER by well meaning bystanders who called EMS when they found people unconscious on the street.  As a community are we prepared to look the other way and not try to help?

Don’t Leave Health Care to a Free Market

Talk, Talk