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Surprising Last Minute Deductions for Even “Wanna-Be” Self-Bossers

WARNING: Even if you’re just “thinking” about being your own boss, the following information may cause you to experience unexpected exhilaration, a soon to be persistent sense of freedom, and chronic joy.

On January 1st I’ll do what I always do. Set aside time to reflect on my goals for the coming year – health, relationships, spiritual, home, financial, and of course, business.

During the last days of December I’ll also do what I always do. Make sure to take full advantage of every available tax advantage of self-employment.

My friend and author of one of my all-time favorite books Making a Living Without a Job Barbara Winter said it best

“The American tax system is set up to benefit
the very wealthy and the self-employed.”

No surprise if you already have a business.

However if you have not started your business – no make that ESPECIALLY if you have not started a business – there are some important tax facts (and hence major tax savings) that may surprise you.

But you have to hurry!

SURPRISING TAX FACT #1: You can still take a tax deduction even if you haven’t yet made a profit

If you have not yet launched your business you may be surprised to learn that…

Even if you don’t earn anything from your new business until 2013, you can still write off legitimate business expenses incurred in 2012.

According to the United States Internal Revenue Service, as long as your efforts demonstrate an intention to earn a profit, you can begin deducting any money you invest in building your business right away. In their own words:

You do not need to actually make a profit to be in a trade or business as long as you have a profit motive.”

In fact, even if you don’t make a profit for three years, you can still deduct business expenses as long as you are making “ongoing efforts to further the interests of your business.”

Again from the IRS site:

The IRS presumes that an activity is carried on for profit if it makes a profit during at least three of the last five tax years, including the current year…

Save those receipts because deductible expenses include office supplies, phone, internet, advertising, books, postage, magazine subscriptions, bookkeeping services, member dues – just to name a few.

SURPRISING TAX FACT #2: Part-time businesses can take deductions too

Here’s what the IRS says about part-time businesses.

You do not have to carry on regular full-time business activities to be self-employed. Having a part-time business in addition to your regular job or business also may be self-employment.

And being the helpful people they are J the folks at the IRS even provide an example!

You are employed full time as an engineer at the local plant. You fix televisions and radios during the weekends. You have your own shop, equipment, and tools. You get your customers from advertising and word-of-mouth. You are self-employed as the owner of a part-time repair shop.

So that side business making wedding cakes, giving piano lessons, dog sitting, coaching others (sports, life, health, career), or plowing snow (which is what my engineer by day, plow guy by night does) – all qualify to take deductions.

SURPRISING TAX FACT #3: Wherever you are, as long as you’re working – it’s deductible

At Home

If you work from home, you can deduct a portion of your expenses.

So if your home has five rooms and your studio, office, or workshop is in one, generally speaking you can deduct one fifth (20 percent) of your rent or mortgage utilities, and home or tenants insurance.

Check with an accountant on repairs and improvements, but as I understand it… work done to your specific work space – for example, the cost of paint or wall treatments – is deductible.

The same is true for work done to your home as the whole. So unless you have an in-home food related business, you can’t deduct the cost of new cabinets.

But a portion of home repair expenses – a new roof, driveway, or septic system – or general upkeep like landscaping or snow plowing that involve your property as a whole would most likely qualify for a deduction.

On the Road

Let’s say you take a 7 day vacation to the Caribbean or Florida or London.

You take a day to call on local businesses to introduce them to your products or services, scout future seminar locales, do research for your book, interview people for your blog, or shoot an on-site video.

You can’t write off your entire vacation of course. But you can write off any expenses — lodging, meals, car, etc. — incurred for the time you spent doing business.

For seven summers my company (that would be me!) sent me off to a quiet, non-Internet connected lake house in New Hampshire for a one or two week writing retreat.


Since I wrote every day, I was able to deduct my mileage, cottage rental, and the groceries that kept me fat and happy as I worked out on the deck.

SURPRISING TAX FACT #4: Learning is tax deductible!

You may not yet know “how” to make money doing your own thing…

But did you know that your investment in LEARNING qualifies as a legitimate business expense?

After all, what could be more proof of your intention to be profitable then investing a portion of your start-up costs in the education and training required to succeed?

Training, Licensing, Certifications

Want to start a business around your love for cooking or wine? Check out the Culinary Institute of America’s Cooking Bootcamps. Start with the Wine Enthusiast Bootcamp this year and with some experience under your belt you’ll be better positioned to apply for a wine training scholarship

Want to work with injured or aging dogs? Register for Cindy Horsfall’s popular Aquatic Therapy training or join Hyun Park’s Englewood-based physical therapy center. But if you really want to go for it become a partner in her business!

Want to start a business entertaining children? Sign up for the 2013 class of the Red Skelton Clown School.

Basic Business Skills

Maybe you already work for yourself but need to hone certain skills. You can deduct these costs too.

Presentation skills: When I was in the corporate world I attended and then went on to deliver an outstanding 2-day course from an international company called Communispond.

Sales training: Sales expert and friend Carolyn Herfurth runs an excellent, results-oriented course for coaches, healers, and others who need to get more “yeses” but hate to “sell”

Writing your own web site marketing copy Even if you don’t talk to potential customers in person, you still need to get people to buy.  Another friend (and new first time dad!) Matthew Goldfarb has a great course that shows you how to create sales pages to turn your website into a cash machine.

Business Building Training

You can also deduct the full cost of home study programs that help you launch your business. Some of my favorites are:

Profiting From Your Passions®

Okay this part is blatant self-promotion. But it also makes another important point.

Over the years hundreds of people who naturally think outside the job box have trained with me to become a licensed Profiting from Your Passion® Career Coach.

The heart of the course is a proven coaching system to help clients connect the dots between the things they love to do and creative ways they could make money doing it.

But the course also covers things like what to do before, during, and after a laser brainstorming session, how to design a business that works for you, and selecting marketing strategies that play to your strengths and personality.

That makes the course both a training and business launch program.

Which, here again, if your intent is to earn more than the you spent to take the course – and hence a profit, then the tuition qualifies as a tax deductible expense.

If you like the idea of getting paid to brainstorm, there’s another incentive to act now. Register before the Early Bird deadline and you save $500. That means you can get started today for as little as $282.

The bigger point…

Whether it’s this or any course, the smartest move from a financial/tax perspective is always to pay in full because if you do it by December 31. you can write off the entire cost in 2012.

Obviously if you live in Uganda or Norway… or for that matter Utah or Nebraska… it’s more convenient and cost-effective to learn from the comfort of home. Hence, most of my own students opt to attend the online version of the career coach training.

You may be the kind of person who positively thrives on the energy and connection that can only happen at a live training. If that’s you, there’s another tax plus.

SURPRISING TAX FACT #5: Business-related travel is tax deductible

Whether you plan to join me in San Francisco this January, or travel anywhere for any business-related reason — your travel expenses are also a tax write off.

The travel deduction applies even if the event itself is free.

I’m thinking here of Entrepreneur magazine’s 2013 Growth Conference January 10th in Dallas. Thanks to event sponsor UPS, the entire event is FREE. And this year’s keynote is none other than Barbara Corcoran – author, entrepreneur, and star of the hit show Shark Tank.

Plan ahead so you’re ready to pitch your business to the editors (details at the conference page). The line is long, but it moves fast and you’ll meet really neat people!


Regardless of the event, if you want to take the deductions this year, make sure you book your airfare or pre-paid hotel reservations by December 31.

But don’t just think lengthy “business trips” here.

Local trips to the post office, bank, office supply store, or a local networking event – all qualify as business-related travel.

If you take public transportation, save your receipts; if you drive, track your miles. The IRS Standard Mileage Rate for 2013 its 56.5 cents.

That 3-times a week 10 mile round trip to the post office adds up to a whopping 1560 miles a year which equals a $881deduction. And that’s for one just errand.

Timing is Everything!

Barbara Winter turned me on to this cool tax fact:

Warren Buffet became self-employed in 1943 when at the age of 13 he delivered newspapers and sold his own horseracing tip sheet, claiming his bike as a $35 tax deduction.

What about you? Are you serious about being your own boss? If so, then take a moment now to list the classes, conferences, webinars, networking or other live events you know would help you get there.

Then DO IT NOW. I can’t stress enough:

As long as the course tuition and any related travel expenses are posted to your credit card by December 31, 2012 – even if the course itself is not until 2013 – you can write it off this year.

Again that applies even if you’re self-employed part time and even if you have not yet earned a profit.

It’s like getting free money people!

For more information on deductible expenses and other tax matters visit the Self-Employment/Small Business section of the IRS web site. My Canadian friends can check out

Live outside the US or Canada? Take the time to learn about possible the tax benefits for entrepreneurs in your country.

Tick Tock

If you want to be your own boss, you need to start thinking like a self-employed person now. This includes being aware of the multiple ways you can start benefiting from the American tax system this very day.

More importantly, if my mother passing away unexpectedly at just 61 taught me anything, it’s to not defer something as important as your dreams.

Time is ticking folks. Taxes aside – please don’t let this year end without taking at least one small step to get you closer to where you want to be in the New Year.

A Look Inside Valerie’s “Profiting from Your Passions Career Coaches Tool Box”

Game Changing Resources that Your School Guidance Counselor, Your Career Counselor, and Your Own Mother Never Told You About… But I Will

Information truly can set your clients (and you!) free.

On this informational webinar, I’ll share 5 of my most frequently recommended resources.

These are the kinds of game changing resources that help my clients go from wishing they could make money without a job to doing it!

There’s a reason most people don’t know about these resources.

That’s why you’ll also discover 10 important ways in which Profiting from Your Passions career coaching differs from traditional career or life coaching.

Monday, January 23rd
12:00pm Eastern

Please understand that I want to be able to ensure I can adequately support everyone who registers. For that reason, spots are limited.

So if you feel called to help others to find their calling, I strongly suggest you sign up here to get your name on the “first in line” list for priority notification when the doors open sometime next week.

Katharine Graham said, “To love what you do and feel that it matters, how could anything be more fun?”

Make Money and Reach More People with Online Presentations

Not too long ago, Ryan Lee was struggling to support his young family as a physical education teacher in the Bronx. With his very first online product (with zero experience) he made close to $20,000.

Now, for the first time, he’s going to reveal exactly how he did it on an exclusive, LIVE webinar for Changing Course subscribers.

If you’ve been a subscriber for long, then you know I’m not what you’d call a “techie,” but when I saw how easily Ryan was able to automate his process, and the results he’s been able to accomplish, I got very excited.

I’m in Ecuador this week for my Work at What You Love Retreat, so I’ve asked Lisa Tarrant, my on-hand “techie,” to work with Ryan in getting this content to you.

I hope you can join Lisa and Ryan on Friday, April 29th at 12:00pm Eastern for this information-packed webinar.

Here are just a few of the things Ryan’s going to share with you…

  • How to really turn your passion and hobbies into a six figure passive income stream
  • How to make money online with ZERO technical skills
  • His top-secret resource to automate everything (no one knows about it!)
  • And much more!

This special webinar will fill up quickly, so register RIGHT NOW at

I’ve had the honor of bringing some of my Profiting From Your Passions® coaches to Ryan’s Continuity Summit’s where they served as Idea Joggers. Let me assure you – Ryan is the real deal. Not only does he deliver a TON of content, he’s just a great guy.

You won’t want to miss this, and you WILL want to ready to take lots of notes!

Here’s the link again:

There's Lisa in the front row at the 2010 Continuity Summit with Ryan and the other Profiting From Your Passions® coaches who served as Idea Joggers.

Friday, April 29th
12:00pm Eastern
Click Here to Register

The No-Travel “Work at What You Love” Virtual Weekend Workshop

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
Carl Jung

Since I began offering retreats in my home last year, I’ve heard from hundreds of people from all …

Dreams take Action.  Take action and save over $1300.

I know you want to work at what you love.

I am guessing that money is tight.

I know, too, that if you’re not a big traveler, then coming to a live event by yourself can feel daunting.

So, here’s what I’d like to do…

If you watched the heartfelt videos from people who’ve attended one of my previous “Work at What You Love” workshop & retreat…

The ones where one person after another… after another… looked you in the eye and told you point blank:

“If you really want to find a way to make a living doing what you love —
then you HAVE to find a way to come to this AMAZING retreat!”

If you read the true-life success stories of people like Gail, Serena, Judy, Ashley, and others who literally in a matter of MONTHS, have made incredible progress on their dreams — with several actually quitting their j-o-b-s…

And you’re STILL on the fence about attending the upcoming “Work at What You Love” Workshop & Retreat because of money or worries about traveling on your own…

I have some really good new!

I’ve come up with a way to help you realize your dream of working at what you love… have more fun doing it.. and SAVE OVER $1,300.

In few weeks, an intentionally very small group of people (no more than eight) will gather in my living room in the hills of western Massachusetts.

And I want you to be one of them.

The people who have already signed up know how vitally necessary it is to really slow down and tune into their dreams in a deeply intimate way.

But mostly they come seeking the answer to the essential question they — and YOU – have been asking forever…

“How can I do work that I love AND make money?”

Whether you want to totally replace your mind-numbing job. Or just find a creative way to bring in an extra three or four figures a month on the side…

Either way, like I said, I’d like to extend a unique opportunity for you and a friend to attend the November 12-14, 2010 workshop at an enormous savings.

Normally the 3-day workshop including materials, most meals, and a private, pre-workshop coaching session with me (which alone can run as high as $1200) — is $1497.

But when you sign up for the “Work at What You Love” workshop & retreat — you can bring…

…a friend
…your spouse or partner
…a buddy from work
…your mom
…your brother
…your cousin
…your postal carrier
…the server at Starbucks…

WHOEVER you want for only $197 extra.

If you both paid separately, the two workshop seats would cost just under $3,000. But when you sign up together, your companion can attend the retreat for only $197 more.

That’s an automatic total savings of $1,300!

Assuming you split the savings, you and your companion are attending the entire retreat for only $847 each.

When you consider that I charge close to that for a few hours of personal coaching, I think you’re agree this is a remarkable offer.

Plus, since you’re sharing hotel and other travel expenses, your total savings is actually much higher.

I hope this offer to save you over $1,300 — and give you an excuse to share your journey with a friend or loved one gets you off the fence and onto the road to right livelihood.

Register here now:

As Margaret Bourke White once wrote, “Action stops fear.”

So call your friend and tell them you’ve found a way you can BOTH work at what you love!

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence

P.S. There are so few times in our life when a decision really can make the difference between living life as it is… or as you wish it to be. This is one of those times.

To learn more about how you and a friend can be among the only 8 people to attend the live November 12-14, 2010 “Work at What You Love” workshop & retreat and SAVE over $1300 visit:

P.P.S. I am very sincere when I say, if I can help you brainstorm other creative ways for you to attend “Work at What You Love,” please don’t hesitate to reach out.

“Work at What You Love” Workshop & Retreat

November 5-7, 2010* Montague, Massachusetts

(For Maximum Benefit & Attention This Event is Limited 8 People Only)

If the idea of loving what you do appeals to you, make a promise to yourself right now to take the first bold step on behalf of your dreams. Join me at my home in November where you and a very small group of fellow dream seekers will…

  • Discover the powerful secrets to turning almost any passion into a money-making small business
  • Receive personalized coaching from an acclaimed expert to help you to define your true calling… overcome obstacles… so you can begin to take the leap from having a boss to being your own boss…
  • Walk away with your own step-by-step plan to make your dream of working at what you love a reality — and the support to follow through…

Give Yourself The Time And Space You Need To Tune Out The “Noise” Of Your World As It Is And Tune Into Your Wildest Dreams…

Come as you are… leave with your dream — and a plan in hand. I could go on and on about this amazing event. Instead, I’ll let the a few of the people who were there tell you what they thought…

Only 6 Spots Left!

If Past Retreats Are Any Indication, This Event Will SELL OUT To hear from more change seekers and to learn about how this highly personalized workshop/retreat can help you profit from your passion and achieve your goal of a richer, more rewarding life CLICK HERE NOW.

George Eliot wrote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Isn’t it time you finally made the commitment to discover the work you were meant to do? November 12-14th Montague, MA Click Here to Learn More

* Love to Attend But Can’t Travel? Register for the Virtual Work at What You Love Workshop

December 3-5, 2010

Since I began offering these retreats in my home last year, I’ve heard from hundreds of people who would LOVE to be there. Unfortunately because of work, family, health, and/or funds they simply can’t get to a live event. I don’t want anyone left out of what truly is a transformative experience. When you watch the video and read the true success stories from the “In the Garden” section here — you’ll see for yourself! So I’ve put together a highly convenient and affordable “virtual” workshop! Click here to learn more. When you attend the Virtual Work at What You Love workshop you’ll still get the full benefit of being coached personally by me on interesting ways you can turn the things you love to do into income (this portion of the program alone represents up to a $1500 value). Plus, you also still gain all of the support, encouragement, and input that comes from working pursing your dream with a small group of determined change seekers… people who often see your gifts before you do! Spaces are still limited. Learn more here

Inspiring Stories of Working @ What You Love & Gentle Reminder

I love my “job”!

I just hung up the phone from talking with Gail Ruth, one of the eight people who attended my very first “Work at What You Love” Workshop & Retreat in February.

The fact that Gail traveled …

3 No Cost Ways to Beat the “I Hate Monday” Blues

There are so many small steps you can take to change course. Here are three FREE things happening THIS WEEK.

If you even do one I guarantee you will be farther along the path to loving Monday… and every day!

1) Rub Virtual Shoulders With Movers and Shakers

Quick: What do Billie Jean King, Warren Buffet, President Obama, Marlo Thomas, Hillary Clinton, Olympia Snow, Geena Davis and over 30 other “movers and shakers” have in common?

They’re all part of a star studded Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit happening this week in DC. The event is officially closed, but you can watch the LIVE streamed video of the entire streamed FREE Oct 5-6, 2010

Learn more at

2) “Where Money Meets Meaning”

That’s the tag line of the sold out social entrepreneur convention called Social Capital Markets Convention happening October 4-6, 2010 in San Francisco.

If you love the idea of using business to change the world, you can be a part of this amazing event via LIVE streaming video — again, for FREE!

Many of the discussions may be at a higher level than you are currently thinking — but how fun to be a fly on the wall so you can begin to expand your own vision of how your future business could make a difference!

Learn more at

3) International Happiness at Work Telesummit

I am so honored to join 12 internationally renowned speakers from the UK, Europe, Australia, Singapore, and India all sharing their secrets and scientific research on how to be happy at work.

Not only can you gain valuable insight on happiness at work but this is an amazing opportunity to learn from these authors, coaches, trainers and business owners across cultures. And because I’m participating in this Telesummit, you can attend as my special “VIP” guest at no charge.

Even if you can only do one of these events, just taking action — any action — sends a powerful message to the brain that says I am ready to start living my dream of changing course!

Learn more here:

Bonus Resource

This one is not free but it is an amazing resource at a very reasonable price. Plus, I can use my connections to save you even more.

You see Barbara Winter my friend and author of one of my all-time favorite books, Making a Living Without a Job, is part of a live seminar called “Joyfully Jobless Jamboree” happening in Austin, Texas on October 15-16th. 2010

To learn more about Barbara and the impressive line up of speakers go to

Not only will you be well on the way to saying “I am the boss of me,” but you can SAVE $50. Just enter this discount code to claim your savings: BOSSOFME (all caps/all one word)

If you get to the Jamboree look for the “Idea Detectives” booth where you can get a free mini-brainstorming session from a certified Profiting From Your Passions coach!

Okay I just gave you 3+ ways to say goodbye to the “I hate Monday” blues and hello to My New Life! Now you need to take action.

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence

Can You Really Fire Your Boss in 90 Days or Less?

Before I answer the question, “Can you really fire your boss in 90 days or less?” I need *you* to answer a question for me:

QUESTION: Do you work in a high stress job you don’t enjoy… or for a …

I know it and you know it…

I’ll cut to the chase…

You know and I know that you desperately want to do work that pays the bills AND feeds  your soul.

So, in theory, all I should have to do is remind you that the $500 off Early Bird Savings ends TODAY for the “Profiting From Your Passions” workshop & retreat.

But you and I also know that “wishing” is a whole lot easier than “doing.”


So Ask Yourself…


Exactly how many more years do you intend to waste…

…”wishing” you could change course to work at something that makes you really happy?

…”settling” for less satisfaction, balance, control, life?

….”waiting” until the time is right to finally go after your dream of being of your own boss?

It doesn’t need to be this way you know.


The Wait Is Over


For the 8 very determined people enrolled in the SOLD OUT February event, the wait is over.

In about 20 hours, change seekers from as far away as Alaska, California, Texas, and Missouri will descend on my home in rural Massachusetts.

I know they’re not really coming just to soak up the peaceful view from my living room window…  or the chance to sit around a blazing fire sharing their dreams with other like-minded souls… or the gathering in the evenings for fabulous gourmet meals…

They’re coming because they know that for 3 days they are going to get my undivided attention. I’m going to make sure they leave here on Sunday with…

*** a crystal clear vision of how they want their future lives to look…

*** concrete ways they can make money doing what they love…

*** a practical plan to make it happen

*** PLUS the all-important ongoing peer support they need to follow through

Tomorrow’s seminar is completely sold out. But that doesn’t mean you’ve lost your chance, yet…

The next one is happening March 26-28th and all the details can be found at:


3 Things You Need To Know


1) I am intentionally keeping these groups small so you and your dream get MAXIMUM time and attention. As I write this, there are only 5 spots left in the March session.

2) Holding these intimate, time-intensive workshops in my home is all a grand experiment. I am committed to doing the February and March sessions. In a few days I’ll know whether this is it or if I’ll do more. No promises either way.

3) The Early Bird $500 OFF SAVINGS ENDS TODAY. Since your meals are included, you can put that toward a very reasonably priced hotel about 9 miles from my house or your airfare.

Finally, this is what *I* know.

I have been helping people see ways to profit from their passion for 15 years. And I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that some amazing success stories are going to come out of this February group. Simply said, people’s lives will be changed forever.

There are lots of reasons not to be here in March. But when you stack these up against the chance to finally get to do the work you really love, there really is no excuse.

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence

P.S. I would love to change YOUR life! The $500 Savings Ends TODAY

When you register for the March “Profiting From Your Passions” workshop & retreat you will get everything you need to discover what you love to do and then make money doing it. I’m giving you all of the tools, techniques, and most importantly, my time. (No small thing since big corporations like Procter & Gamble pay me up to $7,000 for a one hour presentation).

P.P.S. You can keep “enduring” work weeks where you feel like THIS…

…or you can make a change and gain the Freedom, Flexibility, and Quality of Life you deserve… Click Here to Learn More

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A New Direction

I decided to take the Work @ What You Love Workshop and also work one-on-one with Valerie. The workshop explored so many unusual and unexpected solutions to my specific questions. I made so many new connections to what clearly works for me in crea...

Julia Raymond
Curvology Studio

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