goodpods headphones icon

To access all our features

Open the Goodpods app
Close icon

Grow For It!

Jim Ray Consulting Services Management Business Development and Marketing

Grow For It! is a business podcast designed to help you stay focused on your vision. This is meant for small business owners, managers and professionals trying to achieve more in a competitive environment. Jim Ray will provide insights, examples and raises questions to help you develop your mindset around issues that really matter, instead of distractions. Episodes will feature interviews and information about business development, business growth, marketing and other issues related to effectively owning and managing a business. Ready to move forward? Then let's Grow For It!


not bookmarked icon
Share icon

All episodes

Best episodes

Top 10 Grow For It! Episodes

Best episodes ranked by Goodpods Users most listened


07/14/20 • 39 min

Episode 19: I’m proud to welcome Dr. Frank Raymond to today’s podcast. He’s Bellarmine University’s Interim Dean of the Rubel School of Business, the MBA Director and my former professor. In this episode, we’ll discuss how business owners are making sense of the 2020 economy. There’s a surprise announcement toward the end of the episode, so I hope you’ll listen in for that exciting news.

The economy is dealing with a number of important issues, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a virtual lockdown of the economy. At the same time the country is dealing with extreme social unrest and an upcoming presidential election.

The June and July economic performance reports are encouraging. While business owners are looking for certainty, we’re not out of the woods; far from it.

The Stock Market Isn’t a Complete Indicator of the Economy

There are a lot of speculators in the modern market. This increases the sensitivity to the news cycle. Information moves more rapidly. The reporting is more homogenous than in previous decades. This results in a market that’s a bit detached from the actual performance of the broader market.

Fear of a second wave of COVID, employees not being able to return due to the closing of a business, supply chain interruptions and other factors are instilling fear in the consumer, resulting in further uncertainty for business owners who are able to weather this crisis.

This Crisis Is Different

Unlike previous crises, this is a healthcare crisis. It’s risky to ignore the necessary mitigation steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even if your business reopens, consumer fears may prevent them from walking through your door.

The oil shocks of the 1970s, the dot com bust in 2001 and 2002, as well as the 2008-2009 banking failures were economic crises. These each had slow, but strong recoveries.

This COVID-19 crisis is different. We may snap back quickly if a cure is discovered. People are now adapting to new ways of conducting business. The adoption of tech-based solutions has accelerated a structural change, unlike the previous downturns.

The China Impact

There’s a lot of negative opinion surrounding China, right now. Bringing jobs back from China may not be as easy as it sounds. There’s still an increase in labor costs that must be absorbed and that negatively impacts profitability and innovation. Meaningful change must be practical and feasible. This may be more of a challenge that the headlines would lead us to believe. Unless capital is cheap, it may not offset the increase in labor costs.

CARES Act Stimulus

This necessary program has added a tremendous amount of debt to the country’s balance sheet. We can’t continue to pump in this massive cash influx. Dr. Raymond questions where the concern was in previous years? The impact of current stimulus is short-lived. We need continued tax relief for small businesses, but more importantly, we need a long-term strategy.

The Payroll Protection Program and the increase in unemployment benefits were still short-term solutions.

US Tax Policy

The US tax rates are relatively low compared to other countries. Still, many of the tax cuts are short-term in duration. Unless they are made permanent, it still doesn’t lead to certainty for medium to long-range budgeting and planning.

Repatriation of overseas held funds is risky. Who makes the policies and how businesses are incentivized are important. Still, how they are implemented is critically vital. Individual businesses will be left to make their own decisions. Some innovators will lead the way for a larger shift in a desired direction.

Transitional support systems need to be improved to help people understand which sectors will provide specific opportunities. We should increase efforts in effective training and planning to enable them to get there.

Disruption is Actually Normal

The economic environment is still shifting. Patience is an advantage, if you can afford it. Supply chains may need to be diversified. Your focus on expense control is paramount.

Tax policy should be simplified to get rid of loopholes. Level the playing field so companies can plan.

In closing, as a business owner, get back to your company’s core competencies. Remember, during any economic downturn, many of your competitors are going to pull back, especially in marketing. You may find opportunities to increase visibility, reach and impact by increasing your market-exposure before your competitors return. There’s still market share to be gained in advance of an economic recovery.

Important Disclaimer:

This discussion is intended to be an informal exchange of ideas. These ideas do not necessarily reflect the views of Bellarmine University. Listeners should be reminded that information provided by the participants is not a substitute for gett...


07/14/20 • 39 min

plus icon
share episode

06/17/20 • 46 min

Episode 18: There’s a lot of negative news with COVID-19, protests, riots and other factors. Jim and Dr. Tony Sheppard will discuss some useful perspectives and tips for filtering out that negativity so you can maintain positive mental health as you manage your business and protect your family.

Dr. Sheppard is the owner of Groupworks Psychological Services in Louisville, KY. He’s a certified group psychotherapist. The practice provides various types of psychological services for children, adults and families. During the COVID-19 crisis, his practice has successfully transitioned to a tele-health format.

Many of Dr. Sheppard’s 2020 business goals have been delayed or sidetracked. This is a common theme for many business owners, entrepreneurs and managers. In fact, Tony actually contracted the coronavirus at a conference in New York, earlier this year. Luckily, he’s made a full recovery.

Business owners are struggling with financial pressures, increased stress and anxiety, feelings of helplessness and maybe even failure. I’ve also dealt with so many distractions and a general inability to focus.

The temptation to constantly check the news for information is adding to the issue. We don’t deal well with uncertainty. Humans are wired to look for what’s coming next and to scan the environment for threats. It’s amped up and primed our anxiety levels. This anxiety spreads to and elevates our concern for our businesses, our families and our extended family.

Tips to Maintaining Your Mental Health at Work

  • Give yourself permission to reframe and adjust to the current business climate. This year is simply going to be different than what we anticipated. It’s okay to understand you’re not in control of everything.
  • Keep things in perspective. It’s important to stay in the present and deal with what’s actually in front of you, rather than the false narrative your fear may be whispering in your year. Live today and don’t spend too much time thinking too far ahead.
  • The human mind is programmed to focus on negative information. One way to limit the impact of all of this uncertainty, is to limit your exposure to the constant stream of media stories and/or social media.
  • Focus on the things you do know. Concentrate on tasks and hobbies. This can add a sense of control and normality to your day.
  • Try making lists to counteract your anxiety. Routines are also helpful, especially in the midst of chaos. This is especially important for your kiddos who are struggling with the disruption.

Tips to Help Your Children’s Mental Health

  • Find ways to implement structure back into your child’s day. Routines are familiar and can help them to feel less anxious.
  • Maintain positive communication. Be conscious of the need to reassure them. We will get through this current situation. That positive message is a safety zone.
  • Focus on the aspects of life that can be controlled. There’s a lot outside of our control right now. Don’t waste time worrying about things we can’t control.
  • Find ways to maintain social connectivity. This promotes quality time with people whom you love and care about. Try taking a hike or some other outdoor activity. You may also need to ease the rules to allow your children to spend time with their friends.

Dr. Tony Sheppard’s practice, Groupworks Psychological Services is taking new clients. If you’re asking if you need to seek help, maybe that’s a good sign you should. The stigma around seeking mental health services has diminished. You don’t have to make a commitment for years of therapy. Some people find a few sessions with a qualified therapist to be extremely helpful.

Visit Feel free to explore the COVID-19 page and the Services page for additional links to additional resources.

For more information about Jim Ray Consulting Services, additional episodes of the Grow For It! small business podcast or to contact Jim Ray, visit

Thanks for taking the time to listen to this episode!


06/17/20 • 46 min

plus icon
share episode

05/20/20 • 37 min

Episode 17: In this episode I interview Jason Hawkins, First United Bank’s CEO and President. We discuss a regional view of the economic crisis related to the COVID-19 lock down and its impact on small businesses throughout Kentucky.

Jason’s Background

Jason and I are very good friends. We went to college together at Murray State University and are brothers in the Sigma Chi fraternity. Jason has an undergraduate degree in Finance and an MBA. While in college, he worked at a community bank. He took a job in the trust department for Old National Bank, in Evansville, Indiana, after graduation. He worked in corporate trust doing bond issues and escrow arrangements. In 2005, he moved to First United Bank and Trust, based in Madisonville, Kentucky. He eventually became the CFO. In 2017, he assumed his current role as President/CEO.

Community Banks vs. Large National Banks

First United Bank focuses on what is best for the communities they serve. They currently have loans in more than 40 Kentucky counties. They are servicing about 1/3 of the state on a county by county basis.

Community banks don't have to work through a lot of red tape. They want to bring local decision making to their markets. When clients come in, they are able to have a personal touch because they are not dealing with 800-numbers. Local, community banks don’t have to send their decisions off to a remote location. They don't have to call committee meetings with people across the country to make a decision. They decide how to operate and then put that into action. First United Bank establishes strong connections and relationships with their clients. Jason and his team provide a high level of client communication to ensure they are servicing local needs.

Macro Climate

The Covid-19 crisis came out of nowhere. The government’s decision to lock down businesses across Kentucky has been economically devastating. This is not meant to be a political statement. Rather, an observation that the environment changed overnight.

When the government funding came through, it became a challenge for the banking industry and remains a challenge. The Treasury’s guidance was delayed and confusing to both small business owners as well as lenders. The SBA’s infrastructure was overwhelmed. It’s been a huge learning curve for everyone. Typically, when the government institutes a program it takes 6-12 months to implement, and in this case, they had 2 weeks. Congressman Andy Barr said, “In the first 14 days of this program, there were more SBA loans made than in the last 14 years.”

In one of my previous podcasts, I interviewed Tommie Causey of the SBA, and Dave Oetken of the Louisville Small Business Development Center. Both of them were really proud of the work they did to assist small business owners. I also interviewed my CPA, Steve King on the Make the Numbers Work podcast. We talked about it from an accounting standpoint.

One of the biggest concerns was the US Treasury did not initially tell the banks how to treat this money and the specific requirements. The guidance has been slow to come out. It has been frustrating for small business owners. However, the US Treasury has created a list of FAQs to clarify many of the issues. Here’s a link to that information resource. Please make sure you’re reading the most recent version.

A Community Bank’s Response

As Jason explained, the banks took a first come first served basis. Speed of action wasn’t related to the size of the loan. They tried to deal with customers as they received applications.

In Episode 16, I explained that deal with a larger bank, but they had trouble because of the onslaught of PPP applications. I went across the street to a local community bank and within a matter of hours I had the loan approval numbers and with a matter of days directly thereafter, I had money sitting in my account. I was surprised how quickly a community bank moved this through the system. Whereas a large bank tends to get bogged down for a lot of different reasons.

One of the proactive steps Jason has implemented is to provide deferments on existing loan payments. This refers to loans outside of the Payroll Protection Program. This local decision typically allowed up to 90 days of payment deferral to help his banking clients. He required them to be current in order to get that, meaning they had to pay through their March payment in most cases to be able to qualify for deferral for the months of April, May, and June. This is another ad...


05/20/20 • 37 min

plus icon
share episode

05/14/20 • 54 min

Episode 16: Louisville Attorney Parker Wornall and I discuss small business guidelines and considerations for getting started, now that small businesses are reopening during the COVID-19 crisis.

Crisis Funding

The government and the SBA are providing funds to help small businesses. There were initial questions about whether companies qualified for the funds. Now, the focus in on how the funds need to be used. New details are coming out and this is adding confusion and frustration. An initial step is to deposit the funds in a separate account to isolate them and provide an easier way to track how the specific funds were used.

Protecting Employees and Customers

As small businesses reopen, it’s important to be mindful of the CDC guidelines. Start with the basics. Consider hiring a cleaning service to ensure you’re actively taking measures to keep the environment and surfaces clean. You may need to consider appointment scheduling to ensure adequate spacing is provided.

Convert your plans into a policy and make sure you publish the policy for the benefit of both your employees and customers. Consider using printed formats, videos, internal podcast episodes, etc. Make sure you’re providing adequate access to masks, hand sanitizers and other PPE-related items.

Note that some of the guidelines are easy to understand, while others are more subjective. As a small business owner, considerable “the reasonable man status.” Even though it can be debated, you need to take reasonable steps. Was there a plan in place? How was the plan communicated? Did you take steps to protect employees and patrons?

The Department of Labor and other agencies have requirements for making specific business notifications visible. You may consider posting your policies and procedures near these other notifications. If a claim is being investigated or litigated, the attorneys will ask for your policies and procedures. Having these organized, published and updated will help your case.

Engage Your Attorney

Be sure to involve your business attorney in important communications and decisions. This is especially important with compliance issues. It also can add the protection of attorney-client privilege.

It’s a good idea to have an attorney act as your general counsel. Parker does this for many clients. The advantage is that documents, contracts and policies can be reviewed and updates made. Going forward, your general counsel can efficiently and proactively help you to avoid potential exposure to adverse claims and lawsuits.

Who is Monitoring Non-Compliance?

There aren’t any CDC police roaming the streets. However, small business owners may need to consider how other government agencies and regulators can use the CDC guidelines.

State licensing boards have enabling statues and regulations to give them the ability to govern your professional license. Communicable diseases have a history of enabling an entity to comply to federal guidelines.

OSHA inspectors may be able to incorporate CDC guidelines to levying notices and fines.

Tort Liability is another area to be concerned with, as a small business owner. If a patron makes a claim that you failed to take steps to comply with CDC guidelines, and that failure resulting in the patron becoming ill with COVID-19, you may be exposed to a negligence claim. In Kentucky, the governor has set up a hotline for citizens to report concerns.

Engage Your Employees

It’s critical that you actively communicate and reinforce your policies and procedures. Consider team meetings to ensure your staff understands the steps you’re taking. It will enable them to ask questions, so they can begin to feel more comfortable. It also provides a way for you to demonstrate that you’ve taken necessary steps to educate your employees on the company guidelines.

Seek Out Original Sources Rather Than Interpretations

It’s important that small business owners stay informed and up to date on the information regarding COVID-19 and required measures. Don’t rely on commentary. It’s a good idea to seek out the information, directly from the source.

Managing Your Managers and Supervisors

Legally speaking, you need to be aware of who can bind your company. Communications to employees by managers and supervisors could expose you to adverse le...


05/14/20 • 54 min

plus icon
share episode

04/18/20 • 35 min

Episode 15: There’s no doubt the COVID-19 crisis has negatively impacted small businesses. Now the initial $349 Billion in relief has been depleted. In today’s episode, my guests will discuss what business owners should do now, and how they may be able to help.

I’m joined in the studio by two, local contacts. First, Tommie L. Causey, Lead Economic Development Specialist, Kentucky District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration. With over 20 years of experience in federal contracting, lending, and economic development, Tommie is responsible for accessing, researching and identifying market national and local trends to develop or adjust value propositions tailored to fit customer needs. He collaborates with community leaders to help start and/or grow existing small businesses.

Second, I’m joined by Dave Oetken, the Director of the Louisville Small Business Development Center which provides free consulting, market research and debt capital sourcing to businesses in the Greater Louisville region. He has extensive experience owning and managing businesses both large and small across numerous industries including manufacturing, food services, hotels, recreational facilities, professional sports teams and commercial real estate & development. He holds an MBA from Bellarmine University, is a Certified Economic Finance Professional (EDFP), Certified Commercial Property Manager (CPM), Certified Exit Planner (CEPA) and a Certified Mergers & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA).

A quick clarification: I mentioned in the introduction that Tommie and I were recently involved in a Bellarmine Rubel School of Business Roundtable. I commented that Tommie was a host and I was a “guest.” To clarify, I was not invited as a presenter. I participated in the event.

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

The SBA is helping to administer these programs. The PPP funds are exhausted, but there may be another $250 Billion coming soon. The EIDL provides $10,000. The PPP is provided via banks and the EIDL comes directly from the SBA. It’s important for business owners to go ahead and apply for these programs, regardless of the current lack of availability of funds. You want to be in line for future funding, related to this COVID-19 business crisis.

Some of these funds will be forgiven, provided you use the fund for the intended purposes. There was a level of confusion as to how to access the loan applications.

The Louisville Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is available to work with small business owners to access their individual situations and begin to develop a survival plan. The services provided by the SBDC and the SBA are free.

Where Do I Begin?

If you have a relationship with a lender/bank, start there. Some of the programs will be applied for via your local lender. The EIDL is applied for directly via the SBA. The SBA is a one-stop shop for small businesses. They are there to support you. They are standing with you to help you find sources of funding, business expertise and guidance.

Can Non-Profit 501(c)(3) or Faith-Based Organizations Apply?

Yes. The rules were amended to help these organization.

Can Self-Employed People Qualify for these Programs?

Yes. Some of the programs are now available to self-employed, 1099 and other types of individuals.

Contact Tommie Causey at (502) 276-6873. His email is: [email protected]. For more information visit:

Contact Dave OetKen at (502) 594-3871. His email is: [email protected]. For more information visit:

Additional Information for Small Business Owners

Finally, the specific number of available programs, their intended purposes and how you can take advantage of them may seem overwhelming. I get it. There’s a ton on your plate right now. I recently helped CPA Steve King produce a series of short videos that may help you to better understand some of those programs. You can watch these videos on LinkedIn at Meyerowitz & King, PLLC, or if you prefer to use Facebook, search for MKCPAsLouisville.

I hope you have found all of this information helpful. Believe it or not, it’s all temporary, even though it may seem like the end of your world. Hang in there. Make smart decisions and ask for help when you need it. There are many people ready, willing and able to help. If there’s anything I can do, then Let’s Grow For It!


04/18/20 • 35 min

plus icon
share episode

03/31/20 • 47 min

Episode 14: As we discuss topics related to new business start-up, marketing and other important topics, this episode features a conversation with husband and wife team who launched the Dogwood Veterinary Clinic in Norton Commons. They offer some innovative procedures and services, combined with a strong focus on building relationships with their clients. We’re going discuss their vision, their journey (so far) and a few comments on facts you need to know about your pet and the corona virus (Covid-19).

Dr. Katie Franklin and Dr. Chris Franklin met while attending the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Katie earner her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky. Chris earn his undergraduate degree at Murray State University, where he was also a quarterback for 5 years.

After an extensive search, they decided to build their new practice in Louisville’s Norton Commons, rather than buying an existing, veterinary practice. The risk is that they started off without a client base, but were confident that their vision for the business would lead to success.

Creating a Vision:

While both initially thought they’d focus on equine medicine, Katie and Chris explain how and why they decided to transition to a small animal veterinary practice. Some of the advantages include a better work-life balance, more opportunities to build relationships and the chance to create a unique environment for pet and the pet-owners. For them, it’s about creating a terrific experience.

Developing Unique Selling Propositions to Standout in Your Market:

Concierge Service – An optional service to provide cell phone access 24/7 for emergencies. You can see if your pet is having a true emergency, or if it’s something that the pet-owner may be able to handle the following day. It can be a significant cost savings vs. a trip to an emergency veterinary hospital. If it is an emergency, Dr. Katie and/or Dr. Chris can communicate directly with the other vets about your pet’s history.

Loyalty Program – A way to reward loyal clients. You earn rewards based on the money you spend to be used toward the cost of future services at Dogwood Veterinary Clinic. They want a way to give back to their clients for deciding to support a local business.

Regenerative Medicine – A new procedure involving using your pet’s own stem cells and platelet-rich plasma to help it recover more quickly. The entire process is handled at Dogwood. The benefits include:

  • Cheaper than a full surgery
  • Less pain and anesthesia for your pet
  • Your pet can usually go home the next day
  • It’s used on both cats and dogs

House Calls – You can schedule a home visit with your vet and a technician for your pet. This is an excellent option if you have limited mobility, multiple pets, large pets or even if you’re worried about avoiding the corona virus.

The Dogwood Veterinary Clinic offers a variety of standard surgical procedures including broken bones, abdominal surgeries, bladder stone removal, spay and neutering services. Dr. Chris discusses how they specifically target the market opportunity to provide these services much more cost-effectively than going to a board-certified surgeon.

They also offer dental cleanings, extractions and other veterinary dental procedures.

The clinic’s website features an online store. This enables you to order medication for your pet and other items to be shipped to your home. You can use the clinic code to order pet food from Purina Vet Direct. During this time of dealing with the Covid-19 virus, Dogwood is offering home delivery.

Can My Pet Get the Corona Virus (Covid-19)?

Dr. Katie and Dr. Chris explain that while one dog, in Hong Kong, did test weakly positive, it’s not clear that your pet can pass Covid-19 to you. The AVMA’s current position is there’s no evidence a pet can contract, transmit or get sick from the Covid-19 corona virus. Animals do and can carry a corona virus. Note however, that this doesn’t mean it’s the Covid-19 virus. The risk to any virus is its ability to potentially mutate.

Spring & Summer Tips for Your Pet:

  • With Easter approaching there’s a risk that certain house plants (e.g. lilies) can be dangerous if your pet chews on them. the plastic grass in your Easter baskets can be very dangerous for cats.
  • Chicken bones, beef bones and fatty foods are dangerous and could lead to pancreatitis.
  • Dogs can be susceptible...

03/31/20 • 47 min

plus icon
share episode

03/13/20 • 39 min

Episode 13: Today, Louisville estate planning attorney Kelli Brown joins me to discuss important topics, including the March 20, 2020 launch of her 2nd book, Estate Planning When You Have Pets. Kelli has over 20 years of experience in helping individuals and families.

Kelli graduated from the University of Dayton. She earned her law degree from the Northern Kentucky Chase College of Law and her Masters of Laws in Estate Planning from the University of Miami. She’s licensed to practice in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

Estate Planning Basics

The primary objective is to decide and document who should be in charge in the event of your incapacity or death. Your estate plan should include directions for medical care, finances and how your assets should be distributed.

If you don’t plan, the government plans for you.

While we don’t want to think about it, it could come into play more quickly that we think. You could be injured or killed in a traffic accident or while traveling. Once your child turns 18, he/she should have some of these documents in place. They need to specify someone to make medical decisions, now that they are considered an adult in the eyes of the law.

Important Estate Planning Documents

  1. Power of Attorney Document – specifies who can handle your finances, your business and other issues, on your behalf, even while you’re alive but cannot act for yourself. Remember to also name an alternate Power of Attorney (POA). These can be very specific or more general in nature.
  2. Living Will Directive (Healthcare Directive) – specified who can make medical and related healthcare decisions, if you are incapacitated.
  3. Last Will and Testament – specifies what happens to your assets, after you pass away.

Common Mistakes People Make

  1. Fast Food Estate Planning – be careful of free dinner seminar presentations that turn into expensive sales pitches. The documents are often oversold based on fear and scare tactics.
  2. Failing to keep a digital inventory of your assets, accounts and passwords. Your heirs, trustee and or executor may not know how and/or where to find this important information. You need to update the lists of your information and providers.
  3. Not having a financial planner. You need a quarterback who can help you and your heirs to fully understand your finances. You may want to have a number of trusted advisors and an alternate(s).
  4. Not updating your documents and beneficiary designations after life changes (e.g. divorce, remarriage, sales of assets, birth of a child).

What if You Have an Addicted Child?

There’s a tremendous risk of your child blowing through substantial funds, and possibly engaging in self-harm, should they suddenly have access to a large amount of money. A trust can help to ensure the assets and money are better managed, on behalf of your addicted child. There are many ways to structure the trust of protect your child. Kelli’s book (see link, below) provided options you may want to consider.

How Can You Provide for Your Pets in a Trust?

Kelli’s new book will launch on March 20, 2020. If you have a pet, you may want to consider providing for the future care of your pet. A trust is one option to help you make it easier on the person who is going to help re-home your pet, upon your death. It’s important to think about the expenses related to veterinary expenses, food, grooming and other necessary events. It can also specify who will assume the care of your pet(s).

Important Final Thoughts

Make sure you discuss the cost of the estate planning services and documents. Know how much it costs, before you hire an attorney. You should feel comfortable the attorney and the fees should be reasonable.

Additionally, it’s important to remember your lawyer should not be appointed as your executor, trustee, attorney-in-fact. Your lawyer should be your “drafter” but not in a leadership role.

Can I Get Kelli Brown to Speak to My Organization?

Kelli speaks regularly on the estate planning topics. She’s available to make presentations to your group or organization. You can contact her via her personal profile (see link, below).

Helpful Links:

Kelli’s Professional Profile and Contact Information

Kelli’s Book Website

Kelli’s Book on Estate Planning When You Have an Addicted Child

Kelli’s Book on Estate Planning for Your Pets


03/13/20 • 39 min

plus icon
share episode

12/31/19 • 12 min

Welcome to Episode 12 of the Grow For It small business podcast. As we wrap up 2019, I'd like to take a few minutes to share a few thoughts and perspectives for 2020.

There are so many opportunities at your finger tips. We've never had so many advantages, compared to previous generations. One of the advantages is the experience we gained during this past year. We're another year smarter. Both mistakes and successes can lead to learning opportunities.

Take time to think about your dreams. What's holding you back? What are you willing to do in pursuit of them?

With 2020 knocking at our doors here are a few key thoughts:

Dream Big. There's so much out there to learn, to accomplish and to achieve. That process begins with allowing yourself to dream.

Set Audacious Goals. Don't worry if they seem impossible. The best long-term goals are supposed to feel that way. The important point is to commit to your success by taking steps toward them.

Become Your Biggest Cheerleader. Your progress, and happiness, is ultimately up to you. Remember the importance of also cheering for others. Their success doesn't take away from yours.

Expect the Storms. Life is full of them. Regardless of the situation, it's only temporary. You can and will get through them.

Remember to Breathe. Stress and pressure will try to shut you down and derail your pursuit of those dreams. Remember to breathe and believe in yourself.

Be Thankful for What You Have. As I often remind myself and my friends, "I compete against me." Life is full of temptations and reasons to feel less than successful. Others have worked hard to try to provide you with opportunities and to make your path a little smoother. Be thankful.

Finally, Believe that there are a million opportunities out there. Most importantly for 2020, have the courage to chance one of them.


12/31/19 • 12 min

plus icon
share episode

12/20/19 • 44 min

Welcome to Episode 11 of Grow For It! This is a podcast for small business owners, managers and professionals. I’m Jim, and my goal is to work in the space between your ears - you know on your mindset – to help you move closer towards your Vision.

Today’s topic deals with Income Tax for Business Owners. My guest CPA Steve King offers advice on some of the impacts and changes to tax laws. We wrap up the episode with 5 End of Year Tax Moves.

Steve is a partner at Meyerowitz & King, CPAs in Louisville, Kentucky. His phone number is (502) 587-9833. You can visit his website at

Today's discussion covers Qualified Business Income Deductions, Qualified Opportunity Zones, New Equipment Depreciation, Changes to the Deductibility of Alimony, the Loss of Entertainment Deductions, the Loss of Moving Expense Deductions and a brief point about the new Secure Act which was recently passed, but has not been signed into law as of this recording.

5 End of Year Tax Moves

  1. Max out your HSA contributions to take advantage of the tax deduction.
  2. Max out your Retirement Plan contributions.
  3. Think about everything included in your Home Office deduction.
  4. Harvest your Tax Losses (remember the Wash Sale Rule).
  5. Take your Required Minimum Distribution if you are required to do so to avoid a significant penalty.

I interviewed Steve King on my small business radio show, Let's Get It Started, in May of 2018. Here's a link to that interview:

Previous episodes of this podcast, as well as podcasts of my small business radio show are available on my website You can also find them on iTunes. Just type my company name in the podcast search bar. While I tried to limit previous episodes of the Grow For It podcast to less than 10 minutes in duration, my radio show features interviews lasting about an hour. As we move forward in 2020, my Grow For It podcast will feature more in-depth content and interviews.

As we close, remember, there’s no time like the present to begin planning for your 2020 tax strategies, if you need a talented CPA and advisor, call Steve King. When you’re ready, Let’s Grow For It!


12/20/19 • 44 min

plus icon
share episode

09/17/20 • 32 min

Episode 20: My good friends Wendy and Alan Hall joined me in the studio for a discussion about the Alan Hall Agency. They work with various types of insurance. In June of 2018, they appeared on my small business radio show, Let’s Get It Started. Their business recently went through some changes, so I thought it would be a good idea to ask them to walk us through the process.

Their business was founded in 2013. Today, they primarily focus on Medicare, health, home and automobile insurance. Earlier this year, they relocated their office, just before the COVID crisis. All things considered, the business is still doing well.

One of the drivers behind the relocation was the opportunity to expand their lines of business insurance policies. However, that area if far more complicated and takes much longer to process. The other types of insurance they provide are much more efficient to quote and process, based on their years of experience.

The learning here is that they noticed the strain on their productivity and took steps to make a vital decision for the health of their agency. Small business owners often simply try to gut it out, often to the detriment to both their businesses and their clients.

The Alan Hall Agency is a brokerage. They have access to multiple insurance carriers. Other agencies may be a “captive” agency, which only offers one carrier’s product (e.g. State Farm). Alan feels the inherent advantage to being a broker is the ability to shop for the best coverage, based on the needs of their clients.

Don’t Buy on Price

Wendy addresses the common mistake of purchasing insurance policies based on price. There are often gaps in the levels of coverage. Insurance policies aren’t always apples to apples, because they can be customized to achieve certain types of coverages and premium price levels. Buying insurance on price can lead to unanticipated risk and exposure.

Automobile Insurance Issues

Alan, Wendy and I have a mutual friend, Steve King of MK CPAs. In one of Steve’s podcast episodes, Steve discussed the importance of performing a mid-year review for your business. As your business and personal situations change, your needs often change as well. Wendy and Alan are happy to help you assess your coverage.

In the area of auto insurance, I described some good coverage recommendations my friend attorney Jim Desmond made to me about the value of maximizing your UM/UIM coverage. Wendy fully agrees that a minimal price increase to the premium can add thousands of dollars in coverage. She also described a tragic situation her client experienced after deciding not to upgrade his insurance policy.

Life Insurance Issues

Regarding life insurance and those types of issues, I mentioned how attorney Scott Scheynost recently helped us draft a Will, POA and healthcare directives for my college-age son. Anytime your children reach the age of 18 or older, they are legally considered adults. Having these important documents in place, even for young adults, is extremely important; especially when vital decisions need to be made on their behalf.

Taking out a life insurance policy at a young age gives you the advantage of locking in rates at a much lower price that if the individual were to wait until they’re older. Alan discusses how some policies are considered convertible.

Insurance for Business Owners

One way to protect your spouse and heirs is to consider using a term life insurance policy to pay off the note on a commercial property, should you pass away. It can prevent them from being burdened with unexpected debt and the loss of your income.

Business owners commonly underestimate the need for proper levels of health insurance and disability insurance. Unforeseen emergencies can easily place your business at risk. The sudden decrease or elimination of your income or ability to operate your business is something we don’t like to consider. Nevertheless, it happens.

Long-term disability insurance can be one of the strategies you can implement to replace some or all of the income you were producing before the accident or illness occurred.

To contact Wendy and Alan Hall:


Thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode. I hope you found the information insightful. To listing to additional episodes of the Grow For It podcast, please visit my small business consulting website, search for it on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Google Podcasts, iHe...


09/17/20 • 32 min

plus icon
share episode

Show more

Toggle view more icon


How many episodes does Grow For It! have?

Grow For It! currently has 28 episodes available.

What topics does Grow For It! cover?

The podcast is about Entrepreneurship, Podcasts, Business and Smallbusiness.

What is the most popular episode on Grow For It!?

The episode title 'Interview with Bellarmine's Dr. Frank Raymond' is the most popular.

What is the average episode length on Grow For It!?

The average episode length on Grow For It! is 29 minutes.

How often are episodes of Grow For It! released?

Episodes of Grow For It! are typically released every 26 days, 17 hours.

When was the first episode of Grow For It!?

The first episode of Grow For It! was released on Dec 1, 2017.

Show more FAQ

Toggle view more icon



out of 5

Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey IconStar filled grey Icon
Star filled grey Icon

No ratings yet