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By: Courtney Rosenfeld

Do you feel like you are getting all that you can from your business? If not, it may be time to go back to school. Doing so can help you gain knowledge and skills so that your business can reach its full potential.

Affording School

Figuring out how to afford higher education can be tricky. If you are already running your own business, you may end up putting some of your profits toward your studies. Many students rely on financial aid. This can come in the form of grants, scholarships and loans. There are a wide variety of options to choose from for students of all ages.

Depending on your financial situation, it may be more affordable to take just one or two classes at a time. It may take longer to finish your degree, but stretching the payments out over an extended period is generally easier to budget.

Choosing a Program

Data show that over 40% of entrepreneurs hold a college degree. The skills and knowledge gained through higher education are beneficial to running a successful business.

There are many fields of study available to entrepreneurs. While a business degree may be the first one that potential students consider, accounting, economics and marketing are also beneficial. Though an MBA can offer a combination of all four of these necessary skills. Psychology and computer science can help in a more indirect way. Many schools even offer degrees in entrepreneurship that are tailored for those currently running or hoping to start a business. If you choose a minor and elective courses that complement your primary area of study, you can gain even more useful knowledge.

Balancing Work and School

If you are running or starting your own business and continuing your education, it is important to balance your work, school and personal life to avoid burnout. Choosing an online master’s program is a smart way to save time and incorporate some flexibility into your studies.

Practice good study habits to save time. Actively engage with the material rather than simply re-reading your notes and textbooks. Make flashcards, quiz yourself and do practice problems. Active studying is resourceful because most people can retain information more quickly with these methods.

Practicing general time management in all areas of your life will help you attend both work and school. Plan your schedule using a physical or digital planner. You may find it helpful to estimate the length of time required for each task as you make your schedule. This can help you set reasonable expectations for the day. Another option is to hire a virtual assistant to handle day-to-day administrative tasks so you have more time to focus on your studies and your business.

Remember to make time for relaxing with family and friends. Participate in hobbies. If you don't have any hobbies, find some. Try hiking in nature or playing a sport.

Going back to school while running your own business can feel overwhelming. Don't forget that financial aid is available for many individuals and many programs offer some flexibility to make the process easier for working adults.

A virtual assistant can be an invaluable resource to help free up your time so you can focus on the bigger picture. If you’re a small business owner looking for assistance, connect with Ready, Set, Assist today!

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To know me is to know that I am a little odd. One of the oddest things to most people is that since I was 16 I have been looking forward to turning 45-ish because I truly believed something about your 40’s meant you'd found the secret to life. There was something about 40 that said to my teenage self that “I have arrived to be fabulous, glow, and not take any shit.” I have never recoiled at the thought of aging, only the thought of letting another year pass with no progress. Being stagnant scared the shit out of me and that’s why I am constantly evolving. I also at that very green age was already planning for retirement, which is crazy considering my retirement plan is still unsecure. After a riveting lecture on how to become a millionaire by 32 from my Medical Terminology teacher Ms. Dakers I went home telling my sister the simple way for us to get rich. I never put my plan into action living my life was just to expensive by that I mean: I had no self discipline. Sorry, Ms. Dakers I should have been more disciplined!!

I am LaKeisha, I am not a financial guru. I am writing this because I decided I was breaking up with the struggle, banishing financial procrastination, and ensuring the security of my legacy. I founded a virtual solutions company “Ready, Set, Assist” which consists of a Virtual Assistant firm and a micro call center. I am also approaching my 30th birthday deeply engrossed in entrepreneurship. My mind is refocused on securing the whole bag and that includes the success of my financial future! To do this

there are two areas of focus: Business Estate Planning, and Retirement Planning.

Business Estate Planning: More than Life Insurance

When we discuss estate planning the inevitable conversation of life insurance comes up. Life insurance is very important but as a entrepreneur there are more avenues that we should prepare for in the event that we are suddenly no longer in the capacity of making decisions for ourselves or our business. Outside of the traditional health care decisions regarding end of life care, or personal matter such as who will assume custody of children we have to prepare our business for that transition as well. Often, creating an exit strategy sounds so morbid, but this is not only in the event of death. Does your business stop operating because you need to take 2 months off for surgery or does your health take the back seat because the check is calling? Even if we have the money saved it is simply not good business to put everything on pause your audience deserves consistency.

Let’s start with who you would like to take over your business if you can no longer handle the day to day operations. If you know who that person is, let’s make sure we set them up for success. Your life should not read like a Lifetime Original before putting these things in place communicate!!!!!! Inform the person or group of people of your wishes, and your vision for the company.

Consider, how you would like your audience notified and what ways they may be able to participate in your end of life celebration or send their well wishes respectfully, that doesn’t infringe on your privacy. In the digital age it can be harsh to overly expose and let people around the world into our lives, families, and homes then to abruptly oust them when they too are grieving over the end of the connection we initiated.

Basic business transition must haves:

  • Standard

Operation Procedures

  • List of bank

accounts and necessary documentation to access these accounts.

  • Vendor/Client Contact list

  • Social Media

Accounts and Passwords

  • Audience Notification Request

As a 19 year old I took $200 from my educational refund and started my IRA promising myself I would contribute the maximum by year end. Not only did I not have any discipline but in that moment I was unemployed. I looked up 3 years later and my IRA had only grown by interest I never made another contribution. At that time I was in my post graduate struggle and set up an automatic weekly debit of $5. It wasn't much but it was my start. Don't be like me prioritize your retirement as early as you can.

As much as I love what I do, each day I hope and pray that what I am building will afford me the luxury to pass on my legacy to either my children, nieces/nephews, or share holders. Making a successful transition entails preparing my business to operate without me in addition to my own personal financial security. Below you'll find a few examples for entrepreneurs in preparing for retirement.

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