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The Cannabis Industry Needs Accountants

For older, and even younger, CPAs and accountants, taking on clients who grow and/or sell marijuana (Cannabis) may seem like the very last niche industry you would have considered for your practice. Yet, no matter how you personally feel on the subject, the reality is that legal Cannabis is becoming a booming business, ripe with opportunities for an accounting practice to work and consult with businesses in the marketplace on a full range of tax, sales tax, accounting, audit and workflow issues. 

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What is Federal 280E Compliance?

One of those more interesting regulations related to the cannabis industry is federal 280E compliance. The Internal Revenue Code section 280E was originally implemented to keep drug kingpins from deducting the costs of the airplanes that flew cocaine from Colombia on their federal tax returns. What 280E compliance means for someone with a state legal cannabis business is that they cannot deduct from their taxes all the expenses that a normal business can. The only acceptable expenses (according to the feds) are the cost of goods sold or direct costs.  

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3 Things to consider to help you chart your entrepreneurial course

The good news is that being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to necessarily mean starting a company with dollar signs as the target. Yes, it would be nice, but you can be rich without being wealthy. At its core, what being an entrepreneur really means is pursuing a purpose that delivers value -- with a little bit of risk, of course. That’s it.

If you think about it, the majority of time in our lives is spent at work, so that work should be meaningful and fulfilling. To help you chart your entrepreneurial course from the bottom up, consider these three things.


1. Chart your course.

Of the myriad industries in existence, there is one that resonates with you. Pursue it. Just go with it. If it turns out that tech isn’t for you, for instance, move on to the next. The problem many people face is they try to boil the ocean -- they try to consider every industry out there at the same time and get frustrated because they don’t know where to begin. Just pick one and go with it.


2. Build your curiosity.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but at least it didn’t die dumb. At the most granular level, the root of an entrepreneur’s success is her curiosity. The power of a curious mind is unfathomable -- it’s potential reach is interminable.

Curious minds are the very reason we have nice things, such as Facebook, Twitter and self-parking cars (that’s part joke, part truth). To build your curiosity, start by taking notice of the small things and then questioning what’s practical, what isn’t and what can be improved. Once you find the question that resonates with you, congratulations -- you’re there. Now pursue it.

3. Adopt a mentor.

The beauty about mentorship is that it doesn’t necessarily warrant a one-on-one relationship with someone. The value of mentorship comes from the learning we gain from direct or indirect experience. It may be a book we read, a bad experience never to be repeated (remember the first time you got drunk?), or somebody else’s tough lesson learned.

The point is, being cognizant of the instances in which we learned the most can help us replicate similar circumstances and keep learning.

Remember, everything is all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. That’s an eloquent way of saying, that, while the concept of “not doing it for the money” is great, there comes a time when the electric bill needs to be paid -- and they don’t accept smiles.

This is when the rubber meets the road to challenge your beliefs. It takes hard work and a whole lot of trust in yourself to weather the storm of financial appeal. But, then again, as James Allen said, “Circumstance doesn’t make the man -- it reveals him."

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Speak Simply My Friends

There are basic concepts to everything we do in life. We spend the first part of our youth leaning the basic concepts needed to live. When we chose a career path, we spend the second half of our youth leaning the basics of our chosen discipline. Mastering all of these basic concepts becomes the foundation for success. 

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5 Ways To Promote Your Work Without Feeling Awkward

It’s no secret that women have a tendency to minimize their accomplishments. We struggle with promoting our own work, taking credit for what we’ve accomplished and touting our own achievements. We worry that we’ll be seen as arrogant or boastful. Yet if we don’t make our accomplishments known, managers and senior leadership might not ever realize the role we had in achieving company goals or driving success.

Practice saying “I”

We are socialized to give credit to our team and use the word “we” when taking about accomplishments, Adams says. But if you said, “I lead an amazing team,” instead of “My team is amazing,” you would be giving your team credit while still making it clear that you had a part in their success, she says.

Showcase your work like a photographer

Rather than listing your accomplishments as bullet points on your resume or for your annual review, create a portfolio of your achievements by including samples of the report you wrote, the PowerPoint you delivered and the white paper you managed, Adams says. Don’t forget to explain the impact each deliverable had on your team and your company, Adams says.

You’re not bragging if you’re sharing facts

Shelby Whitzel, senior associate of corporate communications for media agency Blue 449, found a way to make sharing her accomplishments feel more natural and less like bragging. “Thinking about them as facts rather than accomplishments actually makes it easier to share,” she says.

Become a storyteller

Jessica Thiele, a marketing manager at VL OMNI, a data company, says she finds it easiest to present her achievements as stories “passed on verbally in non-confrontational ways.” Thiele looks for opportunities at meetings and in conversations with colleagues and managers to share her work experiences and achievements. Similarly, Kristen Elworthy, founder of Seven Hills Communications, re-frames her accomplishments as “case studies” and finds ways to provide examples of the results she achieved.

Encourage others to brag, too

At a weekly meeting, invite each team member to share a weekly high point, such as a deal made, difficult tasks completed or any other work they’re most proud of, says Ariyana Hernandez, director of marketing and strategic partnerships at AELLA, an online clothing retailer.

Find a champion

If you are still struggling to tout your own achievements, create a network of supporters who know you and the quality of your work, says Tess Ausman, talent development manager at LendingTree. Let them know what projects you are working on and ask for their feedback. Over time they will recommend you and your work to others, she says.

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Lisa Rabasca Roepe, Women@Forbes