Your Legal Resource Newsletter

January, 2008

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Happy New Year!  LoriNow is the time to reflect on the accomplishments and learning opportunities of 2007, and forge ahead with new goals to make 2008 your best year ever!

 

What stood out for you as

a highlight last year?  What insights did you glean?  What lessons did you learn that you are hoping not to repeat this year? 

 

For me, learning to stay in the moment and enjoy the process was a valuable mind shift.  I'm very results-oriented and can sometimes lose sight of the value the process provides.  I'm grateful that my clients remind me of the difference I make to them, even in the little things.  Afterall, it's the little things that sometimes mean the most.  What little things can you do to make a difference to others this year in your business and personal lives?

 

I thought I'd share a few of the kudos I received this past year. 

 

"Lori is one of those people that you rarely see in business today. Not only does she follow through, have integrity, but does it all with a great attitude. Her networking skills are by far some of the best I've seen. She constantly thinks of people needs and tries to fill them with the right people. It is a pleasure to work with her and promote her business on MetroAlive.com."  Alicia Roberts, Marketing Director for Metro Alive 

 

"Lori is probably the fastest worker I've ever met. There is no time between assigning her work and getting results. She is resourceful, well connected and even takes the initiative to contribute new ideas to help solve your problem." Brian Surowiec, Co-Owner of Essential IT, LLC 

"Lori is a first class networker and an excellent resource person. In a world where "who you know" is valuable, Lori - and her professional introductions -- are worth their weight in gold!"  Richard  Bruder, Attorney and Managing Member of Enterprise Law Partners, PLLC

 

"It takes courage to step away from what we know in order to be more of who we really are. Lori Williams took that leap when she stepped away from the practice of law and began instead to practice the art of connecting those who need legal help with those who provide it. I've come to know her as a gifted "connector" of people in general, and a woman of great integrity and sincerity. It is an honor to be her friend and colleague." Linda Anger, Owner & Principal Writer of The Write Concept, Inc.

 

"Lori is a detail oriented woman that 'gets things done'. She is passionate about connecting people together for mutually beneficial business arrangements. I have been delighted with the resources she has connected me with. Thanks Lori!"

Alita Marlowe, Owner of Marlowe & Associates, Inc.

 

Thank you to all of you who support me and my business, and for encouraging me to continue using my gift of connecting others.  It truly is a joy for me to help you in this way.

 

I encourage you to take the time to appreciate others in your life who have made a difference and let them know how you feel.  No one is too busy to receive a compliment!

 

Make 2008 your best year yet!

 

All my best,

Lori

 

Lori Williams, President

Lori T. Williams PC

Your Legal Resource

248-594-4470

 

 

What Are You Resisting? 

by: Lori T. Williams, JD, Your Legal Resource

In our last issue of the YLR newsletter, I confessed that I resisted writing a newsletter for over three years.  I observed that often the thing I'm resisting is the very thing I should be doing.  Resisting something doesn't make it go away.  In fact, "what you resist,  persists!"

 

I polled our readers and found out they too were resisting something in their business.  I know you're shocked!  I promised to keep their comments annonymous, but thought we could all learn from one another by sharing these insights.  Perhaps it will inspire and empower each of us to take action and stop resisting.  business meeting 3 people

 

So what are you resisting in your personal life or your business?  The same problems can show up in multiple places.  Here's what our readers said:

 

1.  I too have resisted writing a newsletter, and now I must!

 

2.  Joining discussions on Motorcityconnect.com.  For over a year people kept telling me to log on, and I finally did.

 

3.  Creating boundaries around reading/replying to email.  It's midnight and here I am still at my computer so lost in reading and following one of the book suggestions that I completely lost track of time   (Editors note:  I rather like that one.  Maybe I'm biased.  Does anyone else see a problem with reading my newsletter at midnight?  Ha, Ha!)

 

4.  I wish I was a better reader and found more time to do so.  There have been so many interesting books referenced that I would like to read. 

(Editors note:  Men, I hear this from you all the time.  All I can say is "Leaders are Readers!"  Just 15 minutes a day and you can usually finish a book in a month.  12 books a year could change your life.  So could one book.  Just start with one.)

 

5.  Hiring a Virtual Assistant.  I see the value in it, because I could give up the admin work that I don't do that efficiently anyway.  Yet I keep doing everything myself. (Editors note:  This one hits home with me too!)

 

6.  Learning new and more productive work habits - the hardest thing in the world is changing old habits and beliefs.  (Editor's Note:  I know a resource for this.  See Jeff Kaplan and take his Mission Control one day workshop.  He can help you change habits and coach you if/when you "fall off the wagon" and resort to old habits.) 

 7.  Writing a book. (Editors note:  Me too!  I even have a title, but it's the rest that's got me stopped.  I am seriously considering an ebook and have a resource where I can learn how to do it.  This is on my goal list for 2008).   

8. The dreaded "cold call."  I don't want to be hung up on, put into a voice mail quagmire, or otherwise treated as if I was a leper.  I am a fanatic about networking so that I can get those warm introductions instead of the cold shoulder.   

 

9.  Networking!  For the first five years of my business I resisted networking because it seemed intimidating to meet a room full of strangers.  I've gotten comfortable with it now that I've been doing it for awhile.  I also used it view it as a waste of time, because it didn't immediately lead to business.  Now I see it as a relationship building tool, and I enjoy getting to know someone to make a contact and possibly a friend. 

 

10.  Getting my advisory board together to problem solve, brainstorm and plan.  I see each of them one on one, but I don't take the time to bring my banker, lawyer, CPA, and insurance agent together to discuss my business.  If I did, I believe the ideas would be more impactful on my business because they'd all be on the same page. 

In This Issue

Article 1: What Are You Resisting?

Article 2: Do You Have Or Want Global Clients? Newsletters Might Help Bridge The Gap

Article 3: How To Hire A CPA

 

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FAVORITE READS OF OUR READERS

 

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(Editor's note: Thank you to all who contributed these powerful statements about your favorite books.)

 

1.

      Creating a World That Works for All,  by Sharif Abdullah

 

-Have you ever considered that we're depleting the world's resources with such velocity that it's ENTIRELY possible we'll have none left WITHIN OUR CHILDREN'S LIFETIME?  Abdullah makes a powerful argument that the entire existence of our world depends not on more band-aids (emission control, renewable energy, etc), but in shifting our relationship to love, compassion, generosity from absence to abundance.  This has been the most IMPORTANT book I've ever read.

 

2.      Season of Life, by Jeffery Marx

 

- Athletic ability,

sexual conquest and material success - these are the top three measures men use to value themselves and their world.  By using those measures, how many men truly become fulfilled human beings?  How many people and relationships do they kill off along the way?  Marx shares his own story of his renewed relationship with former Baltimore Colts linebacker Joe Ehrmann who now devotes his life to teaching young men a whole new definition of masculinity: creating powerful relationships driven by love, leading courageously and being of service to others.  This is a must read for every man.

 

3.      Getting Real, by Susan Campbell

 

- This is one of the "top 10" lists we DON'T see enough of.  We all value open and honest communication, but do we really practice it?  No.  And it's not because we're manipulative, controlling jerks (most of the time) but it's likely we just don't know how.  Campbell offers 10 powerful suggestions for creating powerful communication through ideas like: how to be wrong, to be transparent, to notice intent, to welcome feedback, to revise previous statements and to embrace the silence of not knowing.  This is what I call the definition of Responsible Communication and will open your eyes to new and powerful relationships.

 

4.      The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

 

- Lots of media buzz around the movie and this book.  If you've not heard of it before now, don't worry and don't beat yourself up.  You'll just be attracting more anxiety and abuse.  Here's the bottom line: "Everything that's coming into your life you are attracting into your life.  And it's attracted to you by the virtue of the images you're holding in your mind - it's what you're thinking", [Bob Proctor].  In other words, you are and you have exactly what you think you are and you have.  Nothing more, nothing less.  "Thoughts become things", [Mike Dooley].  Think about it. "-)

 

5.     Why Your Life Sucks, by Alan Cohen

 

- This gets my #1 vote for best title.  This book is one of the most awakening peeks into our own mirrors.  We all have it that our life "sucks" at some point.  So, how come?  In another powerful top 10 list book, Cohen offers the top 10 reasons we feel our lives suck and offers ways to have them be "suck-less".  When we - give our power away, expect life to suck, get fooled by appearances, waste time on things that truly suck, and say "yes" when we mean "no" - no wonder we struggle getting out of bed each morning.  If you're ready to turn that belief system on its head, this book is a must read.

 

 

6.      The Last Word on Power, by Tracy Goss

 

- The most powerful leadership book on the market today.  For anyone in business (or life) who desires to accomplish an impossible future, this book invites you to take an intense look at the following idea - the power that got you to where you are today (the power of your current success) is now preventing you from achieving anything you consider impossible.  In other words, without shifting your awareness and actions to an entirely new paradigm, you will forever achieve ONLY what's predictable.  Goss takes you on a fascinating, at times horrifying, and ultimately enlightening journey on discovering your true power to create the impossible.

 

 

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Have You Seen What's New at the Smart Women's Cafe?

 

Do You Have Or Want Global Clients? 

Newsletters Might Help You Bridge The Gap

 

By: Jinny Bromberg, President of Bromberg & Associates Translation Agency

Jinny Bromberg Photo 

Google the word "newsletter' and you'll get a return count of over 233 million searches. That should immediately tell you the importance newsletters have in communications and Internet marketing for your company or organization.

 

If you narrow your search to "Chinese newsletters" you'll find 32.5 million hits as well as 21 million newsletters in French. Google the term "Spanish newsletters" and you'll get 9.77 million results back along with the German figure of 6.25 million.

 

How Much Could Your Company Grow By Translating Its Newsletter into Other Languages?

 

Newsletters are a convenient way for busy people to receive news and a cost-effective way for companies to send them. Additionally, a well-designed newsletter can improve a company's image. What if your newsletters were to be translated into these languages? You could expand your customer base and embark on building a global brand just by having your newsletters translated into another language. According to the industry studies people are 4 times more likely to obtain the services if the offer is presented in their language.

 

The first step is to determine which other countries are good targets for your products or services.

The top languages currently used in newsletter translations are Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian. Therefore it may benefit your company to look into these markets also.

An experienced firm should always handle newsletter translations, so that your finished piece will be an asset to your company. Your newsletter will not only be translated correctly but also will show cultural sensitivity. A word for word translation is never appropriate.

Select materials that your target country's readers or local ethnic communities may easily relate to. Avoid using content that can only be understood by the American reader, i.e. do not use American football jargon in an article aimed at a soccer playing country, such as Brazil.

 

By following the above-mentioned guidelines your company is sure to bridge the linguistic and cultural gap. Whether you already have or want to have global clients a newsletter is a sure fit. A large array of clients is waiting to establish a working relationship with you. So,  what are you waiting for?

 

 

       ______________________________________________________________________ 

Jinny Bromberg is the founder of Bromberg & Associates Translation Agency, headquartered in Hamtramck, Michigan.  The company's services include translation; interpretation (consecutive and simultaneous); web site translation and localization; multilingual desktop publishing and video production; language training; cultural training; interpreter training and performance evaluation. Bromberg & Associates  works with over 40 languages locally, and 500 translators worldwide with aptitude in 90 languages and dialects.  For more information, visit:  www.brombergtranslations.com.

 

HOW TO HIRE A CPA

by: Ursula C. Scroggs, CPA/Managing Director, Derderian, Kann, Seyferth & Salucci, PC

 3 older people on bench 

 

Hiring a CPA firm is much like hiring an employee. There are several  steps that are involved in both processes.  First, you need to narrow the possible choices.  Ask your banker, attorney, and other business associates what CPA firms they use or recommend.  You may want to check business directories for firms in your area, such as Trade Associations or various Chamber of Commerce    directories.

 

Once you've narrowed the field somewhat, the next step is to meet     and interview eachprospective firm,                   just as you would interview a prospective employee.  Some questions for your prospective CPA might be:

 

Do they have experience and knowledge in your specific industry?

 

What types of services can the CPA/firm provide?

 

*Tax preparation;

*Financial statement preparation;

*Bookkeeping assistance;

*Computer consultation;

*Tax and financial planning;

*Management advice.

 

How long has the firm been in business?

 

What type of records will you need to provide them?

 

What will the CPA provide to you?

 

How does the firm keep Clients informed of new tax laws, etc.?

 

Can the firm continue to service you as you and your company grow?

 

What is the firm's fee structure and billing practice?

 

 Who will be responsible for servicing your account?

 

How often will your CPA be in contact with you during the year?

 

Can they provide you with references from other clients that you can call?

 

The CPA should also be asking you relevant questions about your business during your conversation. In weighing your needs for accounting services, consider the five  basic benefits any accounting firm, regardless of size, should provide:

 

1) competent tax assistance;

2) better cost control;

  3) order in your accounting system;

  4) credibility in your financial statements; and

5) compliance with the law.

 

Those are the basic payoffs that should govern not only your choice of services but the determination of their value.  

 

You've now interviewed potential firms. What guidelines should you use to make your selection? Small                  business executives and public accountants agree that the three most important criteria are: 1) personal attention, 2) reputation, and 3) experience.                   

 

Personal attention includes commitment, compatibility and respon­siveness. Will the principal of the ac­counting firm be directly involved in your business? Will you and your staff be comfortable with the individuals who will actually be doing the accounting work? Will your accountant be there if needed?

 

Reputation has little to do with prestige. It's a matter of how bankers,

attorneys andother businesses in your community regard the accounting firm. Also, try to check on how the accountant stands within his/her own profession.

 

Experience counts! What does the accountant know about your industry, and specifically, small business in your industry? A current client list will help answer that ques­tion, but it is also one that should be addressed personally by those who will be working with your company.  Assume that the professional is fluent in accounting and finance; the important question is whether or not he or she can 'speaks the language' of your business.

 

Simply put, your accountant should be someone you can trust, someone who understands how your business operates,and someone who is willing to listen and respond with ideas.  When you find a CPA who fits that  description, chances are you've found  your best professional advisor.

 

           _______________________________________________________

Ursula Scroggs began her career with the Troy based accounting firm of Derderian, Kann, Seyferth & Salucci, P.C. as a high school co-op student and continued working for the firm while she attended college full time. By the time she graduated from Wayne State University, she had the requisite experience required to obtain her Certified Public Accounting license in 1979. She was made a partner in the firm in 1985 and in 1999 was elevated to the position of President and Managing Director. She has extensive experience in consulting to small and closely-held businesses and organizations in all areas of planning, financial management, tax consulting and operational advice.

 

Ursula serves as the Partner-in-Charge of many of the firm's key accounts. She has particular expertise in manufacturing (tool and die, prototype, auto-related businesses), distribution (retail, wholesale and warehousing), professional services (medical, legal, engineering, etc.), construction (developers, trade contractors, commercial and residential) and not-for-profit organizations.  For more information, visit the firm's website at: www.dksspc.com.

 

 

 

Need a legal tune-up?  It's a New Year and now might be the perfect time to finally prepare that Will and Trust you've been putting off, or have it updated from the 80's!

 

Or perhaps your business needs a tune-up and you should put some vendor contracts in place, update your operating agreements or partnership agreements, create an LLC, or protect that intellectual property you've been talking about. 

 

In my former divorce practice I found that January and its new beginnings also brought about the ending of relationships that no longer worked. 

 

If you or someone you know is in need of a legal tuneup for their personal or business matters, we'd love to help.  Just give us a call for a FREE consultation.  Use the coupon below or pass it on to someone else.   

 

All my best,
Lori

 

Lori T. Williams, JD

President of Lori T. Williams, PC

Your Legal Resource(sm)

248-594-4470

 

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