Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

A Short Guide to the 2021 Tax Season
Feb27

A Short Guide to the 2021 Tax Season

Largely due to COVID-19 and the related bills passed by Congress, 2020 brought with it notable tax changes. In this article, we will go over the main changes for the 2021 tax season—from tax bracket inflation adjustments to changes in tax law—that impact a large percentage of Americans. As accounting professionals know, the start date for the 2021 tax season was moved back by the IRS to Friday, February 12, 2021. Please note that this list is not comprehensive and not intended to be used as tax advice. For a complete overview of adjustments and regulations, you should check out the IRS website. Standard, Yearly Updates Tax rates and brackets There are seven tax brackets for 2020: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%, which are adjusted for inflation, and the tax owed for different filing statuses are outlined by the IRS here. Adjusted standard deduction For single taxpayers and those married filing separately, the standard deduction notably increased by $200, for a total of $12,400. For taxpayers who are married and filing jointly, it also increased by $400 to $24,800, and for heads of households, it increased by $300 to $18,650. Note that for taxpayers who are 65 years old or older, the standard deduction amounts have been increased as well: For single and head of household filers, the standard deduction increases by $1,650. For those married filing jointly, the standard deduction increases by $1,300 (if one spouse is 65 or older) and $2,600 (if both spouses are […]

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I Miss the Beach … Avoiding Burnout in 2021
Feb27

I Miss the Beach … Avoiding Burnout in 2021

We are approaching one year in virtual mode. We’ve pivoted. We have and are applying for our PPP loans. We’ve shifted our meetings to Zoom. We’ve become comfortable with working largely remotely. We’ve turned our dining rooms into classrooms. We’ve done what we can to make sure our team members have what they need and are okay. Working remotely is great, right? But wait, am I the only one who’s feeling a little burnt out? Am I the only one who is NOT working with toes in sand this winter? Let me share with you a few ways that I’ve been avoiding burnout and helping my clients to do the same. My Top 3 Ways to Avoid Burnout in 2021: 1. Do less: Yes, you heard me right, do LESS. In my experience, doing more hasn’t gotten me better results. Rather, gain laser focus on the 20% that drives your business forward and maintain hyper focus on that 20%. Right now, for most of us that means creating a behavior plan that drives referrals (rather than waiting for referrals). Referrals will give your highest close ratio (do less) and it is the best use of your time. 2. Do it Better In order to drive referrals, you need to be 100% clear on your compelling messaging. Your compelling messaging is built on your differentiating factors. Your differentiating factors are built on your competitive research. The world has changed people. When was the last time you researched or secret shopped your […]

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Virtual Hiring: The Key to Attracting Diverse Candidates
Feb27

Virtual Hiring: The Key to Attracting Diverse Candidates

When the Alliance for Board Diversity partnered with Deloitte to examine the gender and racial representation of Fortune 500 boardrooms, their findings painted an alarming yet encouraging picture: Minorities represented only 12.8% of 5,600 board seats in 2010; by 2018, that representation had increased to 34%. While any progress is good, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Although many homogeneous workforces are the result of bias and discrimination, it hasn’t always been easy for companies in certain locations to improve diversity. For example, white people make up more than 72% of the population of Portland, Oregon. In the past, companies would have to fly recruiters to locations with more diverse populations to find potential candidates. The recent shift to virtual hiring makes it easier than ever to meet or exceed your diversity initiatives. It’s no longer possible to excuse poor workforce representation when you have easy access to a diverse candidate pool. In addition to recruiting from the next town over, you can now target certain groups of people on job search websites the same way marketers advertise via Facebook and Google. How to Recruit Diverse Candidates After 2020 brought racial injustice and inequality into stark focus, more companies have been implementing diversity initiatives and inclusion efforts. For example, Capital One aims to hire diverse candidates for a variety of positions. To do this, the banking giant has hosted nearly 200 diversity-specific events and partnered with groups like the National Society of Black Engineers. In addition to improving […]

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A Guide to ABM Funnel Metrics
Feb27

A Guide to ABM Funnel Metrics

Take a moment to imagine your ideal in-house marketing team. How is that dream team performing, and what are they achieving? Here’s what I see: Marketing is consistently exceeding their SMART goals; return on marketing efforts and progress towards key performance indicators (KPIs) are simple to track; and sales and marketing work side by side as a well-oiled machine. Step back to reality and come to realize that many marketing teams are facing the same types of common challenges that prevent us from bringing this dreamworld to fruition. To name a few: Lack of visibility into marketing attribution and understanding which channels are right for their organization Lack of historic data to properly set benchmarks and KPIs Lack of technology to align marketing and sales efforts Lack of time to be proactive rather than reactive with marketing By being more strategic with our marketing strategy and spend, we can overcome many of the aforementioned obstacles. One essential strategy to place at the forefront of the mix is account-based marketing (ABM). Overcoming Challenges with Account-Based Marketing There are a number of effective marketing tactics, but among them, account-based marketing seeks to break down data, technology, and team barriers. Not only this, but ABM is an essential part of realizing return on investment (ROI) on your marketing spend and truly forces your marketing team to think strategically. HubSpot says it well: “ABM helps your business work and communicate with high-value accounts as if they’re individual markets. By doing this—along with personalizing the […]

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How you can use bitcoin for purchases
Feb26

How you can use bitcoin for purchases

Bitcoin is a vast finance system that offers you to use it as an investment, a stock to trade, or as a technology that will shape the future of entire industries. Bitcoin is capable of all as it is a digital currency, the “coin” in the name implies, a form of currency. It has a unique design that is free from any government authority making it the foremost currencies in the world. It is right to say that blockchain is an important technology, but bitcoin was also supposed to help you make purchases without banks getting involved at all. The point is how you can spend it?  What can you buy with bitcoin? There is nothing to worry about when you see bitcoin overtaking the dollar anytime soon, as bitcoin being the foremost cryptocurrency would be still there, whether you mine bitcoin or buy bitcoin. There are a variety of places that will accept it as payment. Mostly these options are available online but now depending on your location, it is an issue to find a local bitcoin-accepting shop near you. There are limited places that accept bitcoin payments and the number of such stores is also not increasing rapidly. It still has to travel a long way before becoming widespread. Bitcoins’ volatile nature in its price along with lengthy transaction times on the busy blockchain, make it more difficult for establishments to accept bitcoin payments. Consumers also hesitate in spending it, as they think like why spend $30 worth […]

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