THANK YOU, DR. DYER Remembering the Author Whose Words Changed My Life
This month, we are hopefully looking forward to an early spring! Anyone who has lived in Wisconsin for a period of time knows the winters can beat you up emotionally and physically. Two years ago, I was taking my dog
If you’ve never heard of Dr. Dyer, it’s about time I tell you his story. Young Wayne had a rough upbringing in Detroit, where he and his brother were raised as orphans after their father left them and their mother gave up
for a walk and slipped on some black ice on my asphalt driveway. I fell flat on my back and cracked two ribs. So, if you’re also feeling the pain of winter, I want to give a shoutout to the wise words of self-help author Dr. Wayne Dyer to get you to spring.
custody. Despite that adversity, he grew up to be a respected psychologist, the author of more than 40 books, over 20 of which were bestsellers, and a teacher of what his website calls “the practical psychology of self-improvement.” From book to book, his message is relentlessly positive. He assures readers like me that we have potential, and offers tips on getting in the right mindset and living in the now instead of worrying about the past or future. During my divorce, that was exactly the kind of thing I needed to hear.
My ex-wife was a big fan of Dr. Dyer, to the point that she and her close friend read all of his books and even took trips to see him in person in the early 2000s. Somehow, my son (who was 4 or 5 at the time) even got hooked on Dr. Dyer’s motivational self- help CDs. He’d pop them into his boombox and sometimes we’d even sit and listen together. I think there was something in Dr. Dyer’s voice he found soothing. For my part, I saw Dr. Dyer all the time on PBS, and even went with my ex to see him speak in person once at the Rosemont Hotel in Chicago in 2007. I was impressed by the guy — particularly by the fact that he stayed to greet every audience member and sign every book without a hint of fatigue — but I didn’t truly take his advice to heart until I rediscovered his work while going through the divorce process in 2012. Back then, I was spending a whole lot of my time in the local Barnes and Noble. I’d order a cup of tea from the cafe, grab a book, and spend 6–8 hours reading in the cozy chairs. (Those chairs aren’t there any more — probably because they caught on to mooches like me.) I probably read 15–16 books of Dr. Dyer’s over a short period of time after my eye landed on a display of his books being promoted near the cafe one day.
Dr. Dyer passed away in 2015, but I’ll always consider him the father of motivation (a title he’s regularly given). His book “Change Your Thoughts — Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao” helped me get through a year of rough times. It’s full of his modern interpretations of ancient Tao Te Ching verses, and I still read one every day — this is probably the 40th time I have been through the book — over breakfast to put myself in the right headspace for the day. I can’t recommend it more highly, though first-time readers should really go back to his first book: “Your Erroneous Zones,” published in 1976. If you’re feeling down, do yourself a favor and pick up a Dr. Wayne Dyer book or simply go to his website — DrWayneDyer.com — where you will find a daily inspirational quote attributed to Dr. Dyer to lift your spirits. He might just change your life like he did mine! Paul Francetic
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GIVE LOVE, GET LOVE TURN AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE INTO A MAJOR REVENUE SOURCE
Boosting customer retention by any amount can have a huge impact on your revenue. A study conducted by Bain & Company and reported by the Harvard Business Review found that even a 5% increase in retention can boost revenue by 25%–95%. In short, your ability to retain the right customers can make or break your business. Businesses are constantly searching for ways to achieve customer loyalty. After all, it’s far more cost-effective to keep the same customers coming back to you than it is to constantly go after new ones. Marketing to new customers can cost up to 25 times more than simply catering to your existing customer base.
marketing for you through social media and other word-of-mouth channels, convincing others that your business exists and has value. But how do you get to that point? How do you develop a strong bond with your customers that is hard to break and will keep them coming back time and time again? It really starts with stellar customer service. Poor customer service is the No. 1 cause of customer loss. Upward of 71% of people say they cut ties with businesses over poor customer service. Customer service includes your employee- customer interactions, your response to problems, your response time , and your approachability on social media.
Look to businesses that have figured out how to do customer service right, like Apple, LEGO, and other beloved businesses in your community. Consider what you can incorporate into your own customer service experience or become a customer yourself and see just how far other businesses are willing to go for you. Another way you can win loyal customers is just by being present. One way to do that is by answering phone calls, emails, and online inquiries immediately . The more time you put between the initial customer contact and your response, the worse it looks for you. When people visit your business in person, be there to offer a hello, answer questions, and engage in casual conversation. When you’re there for your customers, your customers want to be there for you. has recently given up hobbies or started citing lack of money as a reason for staying home, they might be facing mounting debt. They’ve recently gained or lost weight. Without another clear cause such as a new diet or workout routine, either of these changes could indicate financially-induced stress or depression. If your loved one is showing any of these red flags, they could be in trouble with the IRS. Discussing the problem with them and recommending a tax resolution professional could save them heartache, but it’s important to do so delicately. Next time you see your loved one, try broaching the subject by talking about your own past financial difficulties, or those of a friend. This could help them feel secure discussing their own worries. If they do open up to you, don’t hesitate to direct them to Francetic Tax Resolution. I can help before it gets too out of control. •
Loyal customers who love your business are an incredibly powerful asset. They can do a lot of your
IS YOUR LOVED ONE IN TROUBLE WITH THE IRS?
3 Warning Signs to Watch for This Month
of mind, so if you’re looking for a way to show your loved ones you care this month, offering subtle assistance could make a real difference in their year. Reading those statistics, you may already have someone in mind who needs help, or who you think could be in financial hot water. If you’re worried about the latter, consider whether you’ve seen any of these warning signs in your loved one: They’re reluctant to open their mail. This could indicate that they’ve been receiving IRS notices but are avoiding opening them because they’re too afraid to face the reality of their situation. If you actually see letters from the IRS or the state (whether opened or unopened), that’s a neon sign something is wrong. •
Thanks to Valentine’s Day, most of us spend the month of February doing a bit of extra thinking about our loved ones. Maybe you’ve spent weeks planning the perfect date night, choosing the ideal gift, or putting together a delicious dinner menu. But have you thought about the well-being of your partner, family, or friends this month beyond planning that special night? According to a 2019 survey conducted by the tax and consulting firm PwC, 65% of women and 52% of men feel more stressed by financial concerns than anything else in their lives. These worries can impact their health, relationships, and peace
They turn down opportunities and invitations for financial reasons. If your friend or partner
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FTR TAX TIP OF THE MONTH
In 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) became law, changing the rules for future tax filings. The act included a lot of small and large policy changes, but one of the most significant was the raising of the standard deduction. Because of it, many Americans can no longer itemize on their federal tax returns, a strategy that was once popular for maximizing tax benefits. If you itemized in years past but can’t under the new tax law, all isn’t lost — you still might qualify for an itemized deduction credit, located on Pg. 4 of the Wisconsin tax return. Because of this state option, it’s still important to keep track of your medical expenses, mortgage insurance, charitable donations, and casualty losses even though they won’t matter on your federal return. Here’s how it works: Wisconsin offers a 5% itemized deduction credit when the total of the above eligible deductions exceeds the Wisconsin standard deduction. This deduction isn’t fixed like the IRS amount. Instead, it gradually gets lower as your income gets higher. For example, say you’re married and filing jointly for 2019 and you have $60,000 of income. Your standard deduction will be $12,565. If your medical expenses (which would normally be eligible for an IRS Schedule A deduction after the 7.5% haircut) charitable donations, and mortgage interest total $20,000, then you can take $20,000 and subtract the standard deduction of $12,565 to get $7,435, which is multiplied by 5% to get a $372 credit. If you’re eligible, this credit will decrease your Wisconsin tax owed, just like the school property tax credit, married couple credit, homestead credit, and earned income credit would. This is truly a perk of living in the Badger State, as tax credits are almost always better than deductions. They reduce your tax owed dollar for dollar, where a deduction reduces your tax owed by a percentage, which depends on your tax bracket. If you’re unsure of whether you qualify for the Wisconsin itemized deduction credit or have a friend or family member facing heavy medical bills you think might qualify, Francetic Tax Resolution can help. Call me today, or pass along my phone number (262-752-6992) to your friends and family for a free consultation! DON’T OVERLOOK WISCONSIN’S ITEMIZED DEDUCTION CREDIT!
APPLE CIDER CHICKEN AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Inspired by Food Network
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1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved 2 gala apples, cut into wedges 1 red onion, cut into wedges
4 boneless chicken breasts 1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped 2 tbsp butter, divided 2/3 cup apple cider 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary
• • •
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. On a baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts, apples, onion, and rosemary sprigs in olive oil, salt, and pepper. 3. Roast vegetable and fruit mixture until tender, about 25–30 minutes, flipping halfway. 4. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary. 5. In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tbsp butter. Add chicken and cook 6 minutes on one side. Flip and cook 2 more minutes. 6. Pour cider onto chicken. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and let it rest on cutting board. 7. Return skillet to stove on medium-high and simmer sauce until reduced by half. 8. Swirl remaining 1 tbsp of butter with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slice chicken and divide among plates with roasted vegetables and serve.
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15 Years With Dr. Dyer Get More Love Back From Your Customers (When You Love Them First) Is Your Loved One in Trouble With the IRS? Stressed You Can’t Itemize Your Tax Return? Wisconsin Law Has Your Back Apple Cider Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Learn All About Leap Year
Like the Olympics and presidential elections, leap years only occur once every four years, which is why many people look forward to Feb. 29. But there’s a lot that you might not know about this quirk on the calendar. WHY To keep the calendar in sync with Earth’s orbit around the sun, an extra day is added to it every four years. Earth takes exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to orbit the sun. Those extra hours add up over time, so another calendar day becomes necessary. But a leap year doesn’t occur every four years. Adding that extra day still doesn’t quite keep Earth on track, so the calendar skips leap years that occur during century years not divisible by 400. For example, 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 won’t be. WHO The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are 1 in 1,461. That means that of the roughly seven billion people in the world, only about five million of them are “leaplings.” The number of leaplings currently living in LEAP INTO 2020
the U.S. is roughly 187,000. Some famous leaplings include motivational speaker Tony Robbins, rapper Ja Rule, and singer Mark Foster of Foster the People. However, the most famous leapling is probably Superman. When you invent a super-being, you might as well give him a super-birthday. WHERE Anthony, Texas/New Mexico (a single town that straddles the two states’ borders), claims the title “Leap Year Capital of the World.” The city throws one massive birthday party for all leaplings but invites everyone to join the celebration. Two leapling neighbors from Anthony began the tradition in 1988, and it’s blossomed into a festival with thousands of participants every four years. It includes banquets, hot air balloons, a carnival, concerts, parades, and more. When you have four years to plan in between each shindig, there’s time to go big. Celebrate this leap year by doing something unusual or new. It’s a special day that doesn’t occur often, so make the most of it by doing something you’ll talk about for another four years.
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