I have learned many things in a short amount of time. Every project is an opportunity for me to learn and grow, no matter how involved I am with it. Some of the things I have learned are working Quickbooks, the pros and cons of keeping a property as a rental, and making sure that every contractor you use has a W-9 filled out, so that you can claim the work on your taxes.
Quickbooks first. I had never even looked at Quickbooks before I came to work here. Now, I still have areas that need improvement, but I am navigating much easier. I am also learning how to document what bills have been paid when and am working on a two point check system to make sure these are done every month. I am certainly more settled with the way things flow than I was. I can give a close estimate as to which bills come in and when, a ballpark amount, who the vendor is, and which business is responsible for the payment. That helps greatly! I still make mistakes here and there, but in the mistakes I have an opportunity for growth. The mistakes give me a chance to figure out how to fix those mistakes in the future. We’re all human and we all make mistakes no matter how many times we do or have done things. It helps to have patience from your boss to make those mistakes and the realization that you are still learning and these mistakes are necessary to move forward.
One thing that Lee discussed with me last week was whether or not it would be more profitable to keep the Meadow Arbor 1 property as a rental, or to sell it outright, right now. In that discussion and through my own train of thought, I could see that it would be more profitable to keep it for now and make more money it, then sell it in a few years when we have made a decent amount on it. We also discussed what to do if all of the sudden the neighborhood depreciates for some reason. I learned the difference between cash flow and negative cash flow in those cases. Am I ready to start my own business and do what Lee does? Not hardly! But I have a unique opportunity with a teacher who would like me to have enough knowledge to have that option if I chose it.
The Value of the W-9
Lee’s blog about the undocumented workers was also a conversation that was great for learning. Someone has to pay those taxes, and if you cannot write them off as a cost of business, it will be you that pays them. Putting all morals and what you personally feel aside, it is not a good business idea to me to hire someone, anyone, that cannot provide you with the information that you need to write off the expense of their job at the end of the year. That old saying is true, “You get what you pay for,” and sometimes it isn’t the cheaper job that is the best decision; it is only cheaper on the surface. You certainly wouldn’t want me to come in and rewire your house for you, even if I only charged you $100. You would rather pay someone even 10 times that amount who is bonded and very experienced. That way, any problems that arise from that job would not fall back on you, or at worst case you could lose your house to a faulty electrical system. We want to do the most good, and that means being able to save money where we can so that we can spend where it needs to be spent. If we can save on paying some taxes, that money can go to programs like Habitat for Humanity. The more we make and the more we can save, the better we can distribute funds to places where it is needed the most.
How I Am Helpful
We live in a small town and I have known most of the people here since I was born. This is helpful when we need things done. I know who to call, or who to ask, and I can be confident that the money is benefiting our friends, our neighbors, and our little town in the best way possible. The growth of Hermits’ Rest Enterprises and Hermit Haus Redevelopment is not only up to Lee, Sue Ann, Carol, and Russell. I feel a responsibility to help it grow as well. I can do this by keeping the office going so Lee doesn’t have to do this too, and also by learning as much as I can so maybe I can take on a different role if necessary. Who knows what the future holds for this business? To ensure success, we have to be ready to grow and go with it when things do change. I may be more valuable doing something different in the future. If that comes to pass, I need to be able to pass along this knowledge to another person who can do what I can do.
Growth is a necessary part of life. I am very happy doing what I do now, but I will not turn down the possibility of growth and learning. This company is so perfect for me, because of these opportunities. Who knows what I will be blogging about a year from now.