Entrepreneurial Thoughts: TAXES

I’ve encountered some scary situations in adult life, but none have been as daunting as filing corporate taxes for my small business. It’s our first official calendar year, and we handed over our beloved binder of taped and scanned receipts, expenses, and hand written notes to our CPA. We do all of our own accounting, but since we’ve never filed corporate year-end, we hired an affordable CPA willing to help guide a small business through this hurdle of terror.

As we walked away from his office, we found ourselves relieved. Little fear, no anxiety – just general curiosity about what we’d hear back from the IRS. We’d budgeted and prepared for this every day for the last year, and kept meticulous records of every penny we spent and earned. We knew this was coming, and we were as ready as we could be.

Ironically, many people in both our personal and professional lives had warned us about his moment. They told us that we would never be able to handle our own accounting; we weren’t disciplined, experienced, or possibly capable of running our own show. It was too difficult (it wasn’t), a CPA would be way too expensive (he wasn’t) and the business itself would be too confusing (it wasn’t).

2160c8ba6a06427711207386e42aeb10We had people we both respected and trusted tell us firmly, even aggressively, that we’d never make it out alive. Yet, here we are – moving along into the next year with year-end taxes being a small financial and clerical blip on the radar. I wasn’t sure if I felt lied to, or misguided. Why had people discouraged us so vehemently?

I realized that when you have an idea or new business, you have to be very careful who you listen to. We’ve always been open to advice – in fact, we still are – but this journey has taught me that people can be very defensive of the path they’ve chosen. When they’ve spent 15 years climbing the corporate ladder and you decide to deviate from the status quo and build a set of stairs, a few feathers can easily be ruffled.

Keep in mind that how people meet your idea or new business says more about them than it does about you. Maybe they are terrified of accounting and taxes, and that has deterred them from starting their own business. Or they’ve even had a bad (or terrible) experience with a CPA or the IRS, and are dutifully passing that information on to you to help you escape a similar fate. Or, they might be upset that you’ve chosen to reject the status quo when that status quo is their life – their past, their future, their choices.

Whether you’ve been building your own business for years or considering starting, there’s two things I’ve learned in this first year:

  1. anything is possible with enough research and phone calls
  2. No one – literally no one – really knows what they’re doing.

So, you might as well pursue your dreams – taxes and all.




spiritual, Veg/Vegan

Finding My Path & Purpose


Life has been a blur these days. If you haven’t noticed, my posts have been few and far between, yet so much life has happened between the cracks. I’ve quit my dream job as a Development Coordinator at a non-profit, and started my own business with my boyfriend. I went to Germany with my family, embarked on my first faith-based mission trip to Nepal, and have gone vegan. I’ve changed up my life, and every step has been for the better.

Going to Nepal absolutely deserves its own post – if not several – but I will say this: it was incredibly humbling and healing. My faith and relationship with God have deepened and strengthened, and I felt my head clear and my heart open to the path and purpose God intends for me. Part of that includes having confidence in my business endeavors and the abilities I’ve been gifted, and cultivated in the professional sphere.

Another part of my deepened faith is a recommitment to veganism. In working to make a positive impact in Nepal, I had a difficult time coming back to normal life in Hawaii and working for myself. I wanted to keep working for good and for God, and reducing the harm I contribute to is one way to do so.

My goal in this life is to do as much good and as little harm as a I can, to people, the planet, and other creatures alike. That includes treating others with kindness and patience, and understating where their hurt comes from. This love for other people – even strangers, far away, and very different from myself – is what’s continued to drive me to recommit to a plant-based diet. For the animals, yes, but also for the people living in communities polluted by animal agriculture, those working under harsh conditions in factory farms, etc. We all spend our time and thoughts searching for our purpose. While mine isn’t completely crystal clear, I know I’m meant to do good in any way I can. Right now, and through the rest of my days.

To more posts and positivity,

Nicole ❤


Wednesday Wisdom: What’s Meant to Be

Some people really dig the idea that what’s meant to be will be. It cultivates a sense of hope when crazy things happen and throw us off course; the unexpected happened because it was meant to. And in some cosmic sense, said events are pushing us in some unforeseen direction.

Others detest the lack of control that this notion suggests. What’s the point of trying if we can’t chart our own future? 

The truth of the statement hangs in the balance between the two. While our efforts don’t go unrecognized, they aren’t the end all be all of our destinies. We can steer the ship in a general direction, but we can’t dictate our exact route. And no matter how forcefully we pull, we’ll probably helplessly watch said ship crash into a few icebergs and nearly sink a few times.

Personally, I find this philosophy quite beautiful and forgiving. Life is all about taking risks and chances, crashing and burning, falling flat on our faces and picking ourselves back up again. That’s how we get stronger, wiser, and more open. 


Thoughtful Thursday: Failure is a Blessing


Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.

About the future. About the present. About my upcoming birthday, when I’ll be turning 25 (eek!) and exiting the carefree years of my early twenties. Somehow, I feel like I should be more of an adult. Yet part of me still feels so free.

c7eb7d8fc9e93b6cead1fd2f7bacbdfdLiterally and figuratively, I find myself at a turning point. As I enter the next few years of my life, I’m unsure of how, where and with whom I’d like to spend them. I like my current office job and adore the people I work with, yet it doesn’t fulfill me the way writing does. They say you should pursue what you do to procrastinate from real life; in my case, fitness, travel and writing are all equal first loves. But how could I turn a few hobbies into a fulfilling, financially sound career?

I continually come back to the same answers, regardless of the question. I would love to spend my life writing, helping others with fitness and nutrition, and traveling whenever I can. That’s what I want. But I didn’t go to school for it, I have bills to pay, and live in one of the most expensive places in the country.

This past year has been inexplicably tough, and filled with more ups and downs than I could ever imagine. However, the hardships have come with gifts attached – I now have the ability, education and freedom to build the exact life I want.

7fc0622a4155614cbd5ad5bbbd68574cI’m unsure of whether or not its possible, but I am absolutely determined to try my best.The only true failure is to not try in the first place, right? I’m blessed to have a strong support system to catch me if I did fall, but I have faith that I’m on the right path, as scary as it may be right now.

No matter our goals or what our metaphorical ‘fork in the road’ may be, we can all benefit from failure. It’s always scary to try something new. It’s always terrifying to leave our comfort zones, financial security, and support network in search of something greater. Failure is only one outcome; and there’s always the possibility that we will find ourselves, find success, and build the life we’ve always dreamed of but never thought we’d achieve.

If I have to move to another island, state, or country, if I have to leave everything I know, spend all my savings to invest in my future, or forgo some of the luxuries I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy – so be it. This is my path, and as long as I go forth with faith and effort, I will get to where I need to be. Even if it’s not where I thought I’d end up when I started this journey.

Here’s a little motivation to get you through to your goals, whatever they may be 🙂




Island Life

Aloha Friday: Makapuu Lighthouse Trail!


Happy Aloha Friday everyone! Since the islands been flat lately (boo!) we’ve had to try different activities, such as my favorite: hiking. Along with gorgeous beaches, breezy weather an awesome waves, the island has plenty of beautiful trails for the wayward wanderer. From waterfalls to dense rainforest to spectacular views, pretty much any hike around here is a winner.

Since I had work today, we chose to go to the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail because its a mere stones throw from my job. It’s a pretty easy hike, since the path is paved (meh) but the view at the top is breathtaking.

The trail snakes up a steep cleef that sits agaisnt the water, with a crystal-clear view of the east side of the island, from around Allen Davis to Chinaman’s hat. One of my favorite things about living here is how beautiful and realtively untouched it truly is – the sky is so clear that we can see shadows from the clouds on the glittering water and green hills. Back home in Cali, we’re used to seeing the stereotypical smog line on the horizon.

Here’s our pics from today. The lighthouse is a beautiful trail – and we didn’t even have enough time to offroad it on the northern part of the cliff. So there’s more to this lovely little landmass, which I will hopefully be reattempting (and sharing!) soon.