Disclosure: This is sponsored content in partnership with Intuit QuickBooks. I switched from a free bookkeeping software last year and it has made doing my taxes a breeze. It's a vital part of making sure that self-employment runs smoothly. Intuit QuickBooks is a great resource for small business owners and the self-employed. Their QuickBooks Resource Center has tons of free (YES FREE), information for anyone who is starting, running or growing their business.
Jumping into self-employment can be scary, but doing it with absolutely no warning? A rollercoaster. 2016 was trash as far as my career was concerned. I was laid off twice with no more than 2 weeks pay to comfort me. I have to say that I was shocked because unlike many of my peers, I actually adored my job and have constantly curved the idea of being a full-time entrepreneur. But that's the thing with what we want, it's not always what's best for us. I had been fighting with myself for a very long time about building my own business. I have been encouraged by family and friends to just take the leap into full-time entrepreneurship. But I was so afraid to get started. I was afraid that I would fail, that I would ruin my credit, or worse that I would be exposed as a fraud to others. I was addicted to the bi-weekly paychecks, dressing business casual, the mediocrity I was able to settle into.
The thought of working for myself was just too overwhelming, it felt like too much work. I kept telling myself "the life that I want for myself costs too much. I'm never going to be wealthy." What a silly way to think. So naturally, as one would have it, I ended up getting laid off and I no longer had a choice. The comfortable lifestyle I had was abruptly ended by the words "Your position has been eliminated. After a lot of contemplating, here are the things that I considered before canceling all my job interviews and taking the leap into entrepreneurship, for real.
Was I willing to pay self-employment tax and keep accurate track of my finances?
Was I willing to pay for my own health insurance and be diligent to contribute to my 401(K)?
Had I set up the right systems in my business that I could scale?
Did I finally have the grit and the mindset necessary to endure this arduous challenge?
What no one tells you about being self-employed or owning your own business is that there are a lot of responsibilities that can take your coin from 100 to owing the IRS real quick. I had to invest in many tools to help me take my business from side hustle to bill-paying operation and showing people that I was serious. I used Trello to get my to-do list together, invested in a better email marketing system, hired a community manager/assistant and got Intuit QuickBooks. Yes, the free tools are cute, but when you want to level up, your tools need to do so too. While more money was going out than ever before, I knew it was necessary so more money could come in.
I realized that I needed to adjust my mindset in order to be successful as an entrepreneur - not just my finances. There are many reasons why people become self-employed, and nowadays people are jumping into it for the wrong reasons. When I was laid off, I had to really consider why I wanted to go into business full-time. It couldn't be because I was tired of job searching or because I hated my boss. I needed to go into business because I knew there was something that I had to offer the world, and something that the world was willing to pay me for.
When you go full-time in your business you have to learn about managing cash flow, invoicing, inventory and a whole lot of other technical aspects. Two of the biggest responsibilities you undertake as a business owner or someone who is self-employed are your taxes and bookkeeping. One of the reasons I enjoy using Intuit QuickBooks is because the vast amount of information, guides, and tools the QuickBooks Resource Center provides you with. For instance, the Self-Employment tax I discussed earlier. For the year of 2016, I was able to calculate my taxes with the self-employment tax calculator offered by Intuit QuickBooks. It figured out how much I would need to pay without me having to pull out my calculator and crunch the numbers myself.
Filing your taxes for the first time as a business owner can be scary. Expenses can add up and nobody has time to be sitting around collecting receipts and jotting down on paper what every expense was for. With Intuit QuickBooks you are able to keep track of your receipts by through a simple snap of your cellphone camera which will help you when you are figuring out what transactions can be applied as a deduction.
QuickBooks has been helping millions of small businesses manage their finances for over 30 years. If you want to learn more about Intuit QuickBooks and the tools I mentioned visit them on Facebook and Instagram.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Intuit QuickBooks and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. The opinions and text are all mine.