If you're a regular reader, you may recall my saying that I'd send this issue on the 24th to remain consistent with my monthly schedule (10th and 24th of every month). However, upon reflection I decided that you'd be less likely to open it on the 24th. That day's a little bigger than my newsletter! I've put together another great group of items for you. Let me know if they're helpful!
5 Year End Tax Tips
5 Year-End Tax Planning Tips

It's almost time to start preparing for tax season. Ugh. Okay, I'm not trying to spoil your holidays. Instead, I might make them a little cheerier by providing some tax tips that could put a little more dough in your pocket. Now that's something to be merry about. These tips come courtesy of my CPA, James Wassermann. He's helped me for more than a decade and is a real expert. Here are 3 below. The rest can be found on my blog.

1. Accelerate Deductions and Defer Income
Deferring tax is a cornerstone of tax planning. Generally, this means accelerating deductions into the current year and deferring income into next year. There are plenty of income items and expenses you may be able to control. Consider deferring bonuses, consulting income or self-employment income. On the deduction side, you may be able to accelerate state and local income taxes, interest payments and real estate taxes.

2. Reconsider a Roth IRA Rollover

It has become very popular in recent years to convert a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA. This type of rollover allows you to pay tax on the conversion in exchange for no taxes in the future (if withdrawals are made properly). If you converted your account this year, reexamine the rollover. If the value went down, you have until your extended filing deadline to reverse the conversion. That way, you may be able to perform a conversion later and pay less tax.

3. Perform an Overall Financial Checkup

The end of the year is always a good time to assess your current financial situation and plan for the future. You should think about cash flow, health care, retirement, investment and estate planning. Check wills, powers of attorney and health care proxies for changes that may have occurred during the year. Remember, it's never too early or too late to start planning for the future!
Continue reading tips 4 and 5 on my blog.
Plan for Worst Case Scenarios

In 2016 I'd like to believe that everything's going to GO GREAT with the business. Sales will keep going up, my employees will stay with me as they grow more capable, existing customers will stay and increase their coaching investment, and so on. But how do I know that's going to be the case? What if something catastrophic happens? 

Just in the past few months you've heard of horrible situations at VW, Chipotle, and the troubles affecting the local crab season. Have you given thought to what you would do given some very unfortunate (and unexpected) circumstances? Most owners and their teams don't plan for the worst. By dedicating some time and thought to doing so you could more calmly and effectively handle such a body blow. Begin this exercise by coming up with 3 horrible scenarios and consider how you would respond if they occurred. Just by writing out a basic plan for each scenario you'll have something to turn to should the unthinkable happen. There are online resources to help stimulate your thinking such as this book, this article, and, finally this article
Grow Your Business in 2016 with The Business Growth Series
Okay, we have talked about disaster planning. Now, I want you to consider GROWTH PLANNING. I've put together a new series of 3 classes of increasing depth to help you prepare to have your best year ever in 2016. The time and money investment are fairly modest whereas your ROI could be really significant. 
The series will start with the updated Success Secrets of the Super Achievers, then I will present The Habits of Highly Effective Business Owners. The series concludes with the Business Growth Workshop. After taking these 3 classes you'll have great ideas, insight in to ways you can improve as an owner, and perhaps a role model or two to follow to super success. This series will kick off your year right and propel you forward. Register while there's still room and I'll see you for class #1 in January!
Super Simple Way to Get Your Team Working Better Together
I love to help teams perform at a higher level. This type of work totally fires me up. What I've instinctively known at a basic level is that it bonds a team when they eat together. I often bring food to team meetings and find it loosens people up and puts them in a talkative and sharing mood - a good thing. A recent article from the Harvard Business Review explores a study conducted of firehouse teams in a midsize American city. It reveals that the teams that ate together were twice as cooperative with each other versus those that didn't. Here's the link to the article. This just might be the simplest way to build a more cohesive team. 
Book Recommendation

I can think of no better way to start a new year than with the clear understanding that giving leads to receiving. In our culture we laud the Go-getter, but there's actually a better approach: Being a Go-giver. Bob Burg wrote the original edition of The Go-giver with John David Mann nearly 10 years ago. I have given the book to countless clients and even brought Bob Burg to the peninsula to present the key ideas in this book live. What a pleasure it was to see Bob update this great book with a new foreword by Arianna Huffington, an introduction, and a discussion guide. There are Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and you'll discover each one in this easy to read and profound parable about a character named Joe. By the way, this book is ideal for anyone in any profession. I recommend it for salespeople especially. You can find out more about the book and order it here.
Sales Tip

Here's a new video with a very simple message for the salespeople in my network: Don't be lazy! I see laziness in salespeople in myriad ways and it holds them back from being as successful as they can be. 
To add to what's in the video I also see that lazy salespeople don't study their competition, don't read books on selling, don't attend classes, don't get mentoring or coaching, and don't take care of themselves. If you know a lazy salesperson, send them my way!
And That's a Wrap...
This will wrap it up for this final edition of 2015. As the year closes I wish you peace, joy, good health and prosperity. May God richly bless you in the year ahead. Your next issue will arrive on January 10, 2016.

Michael Neuendorff | The Growth Coach | 650.373.2022 

The Growth Coach | 533 Airport Blvd. | Suite 400 | Burlingame | CA | 94010