Author Archives: Blake Akers

Sustainable Business Planning

TSP Business Directory Feature of the week: Sustainable Business Planning

This week I am proud to feature another business from the TSP Community that focuses on helping the farm entrepreneur. Erin Martin resides in upstate New York on an 11 acre homestead. Erin’s venture came from a desire to help other homesteaders and farmers figure out the numbers side of running a successful business. Sustainable Business Planning gives farmers an online workshop to help with their accounting and strategic planning. Here are a few of the courses offered:

  • Can I earn a Profit With This Business
  • Business Planning
  • Using Quickbooks to Manage Your Business

Live Workshops

You can also purchase a bundle of all the courses offered at Sustainable Business Planning. These are live workshops, but you will get access to a recording after you finish. What inspired Erin to offer these courses? I’ll let Erin explain that:

My name is Erin Martin.
I grew up in Brooklyn and currently reside in upstate New York on an 11 acre homestead with my 2 dogs. I have a passion for gardening, horses, being outdoors and permaculture design. I have spent my career in corporate accounting, as the Corporate Controller for numerous small businesses (40-100 employees) with Revenues ranging from $15-$300M annually, and have close to 30 years experience in that field. I have a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. Over the years I have trained numerous employees in all aspects of corporate accounting, and I have a love of teaching. I had come to hate corporate life in general, not the accounting work itself, but the 9-5 of it, the 8 hours chained to a desk when I would rather be growing something. I still loved the numbers, and the story they can tell about the past, present and future of a business, but I wanted to do it on my own terms. The idea for this business came as part of that personal evolution.
The purchase of my homestead came out of a fierce desire to find liberty and self sufficiency in my life. I was tempted to throw caution to the wind and live the life of a vagabond woofer, but common sense prevailed and I decided to purchase land and try my hand at homesteading and see if I could make it profitable. Being a numbers geek, as soon as I started planning and analyzing what I wanted to do here on the homestead, I started building spreadsheets to use to run my numbers and look at different products and scenarios. That’s when it hit me! Why not leverage my years of experience helping businesses achieve their financial goals, into a business of my own?
Sustainable Business Planning was born. My goal is to help fellow farm entrepreneurs realize their dreams of profitable farming. Building a business is a journey, which begins with that first step.  I hope that you will allow me to join you on your journey and that you will join me on mine. Together, we can sow the seeds for success.

Erin has a great course that seems to be perfect for those contemplating a venture into farming. One of the things I like about this course is that she doesn’t require you to purchase two courses if a spouse or business partner wants to attend the workshop with you. You get a unique login that allows one device at a time into the workshop. So, plan accordingly if you want to work through the course material with someone else.

7-Weeks to a Financially Sustainable Farm

You can work through all the courses in about 7 weeks if you want to get the most value out of the program. In fact, Erin is offering TSP members a 15% discount at checkout by using the code 2016tspn15
You only need to purchase a one page business plan book and a copy of Quickbooks in order to attend the course. Payments are accepted through PayPal if you want to get enrolled in the next class. Speaking of, these classes are limited to no more than 30 attendees. So, expect the opportunity to ask plenty of questions and interact within a small group. Overall, I think this is an excellent opportunity for anyone considering farming or for the farmer looking to get a better grasp on their financials.
Sustainable Business Planning

TSP Business Directory

You can find Sustainable Business Planning and all the other businesses in our Directory here. Do business within the TSP community and support small business when you can. Listings start at less than $1 a month. Or, you can get a premium listing to get your business featured in one of these posts on the TSP homepage and Facebook feed. Thanks for your support and let’s make 2017 an outstanding year!

TSP Directory Feature of the Week: The Wealthsteading Podcast

The Wealthsteading Podcast

This week’s featured member of the TSP Business Directory is Expert Councilmember and Podcaster John Pugliano. John wants you to manage your wealth by first managing your life. He is a proponent of preparedness and saving before you invest. What does that mean? To put it simply, the gains you would get from investing less than $50,000 are probably not worth the time and effort spent making an investment decision. Instead, you might consider saving that money in a safe place and focus on increasing your income. A gain of 10% on $5,000 is only $500. Is it worth the risk to invest such an amount? However, once you reach $50,000 it might make more sense to invest because a 10% gain yields $5,000. It’s all about risk versus reward. So, consider following John’s advise: EARN then SAVE and finally INVEST in that order.

TSP Directory Feature of the week: The Wealthsteading Podcast

Common Sense Analysis

If you’re looking for easy to understand, yet detailed analysis of current market conditions, tune into John’s podcast. You can listen on iTunes or your Android device. John usually publishes at least one podcast each week with timely topics related to investing and the overall economy. You won’t find any get-rich-quick schemes or outlandish strategies, just common sense analysis.


Wealth Management

Another service John offers to the TSP community is active portfolio management. If you visit Investable Wealth you can learn more about this service. Here’s what John has to say about his portfolio management:

We offer fee-only concierge advisory services. Clients work directly with the founder & portfolio manager, not a salesman. We sell NO products – no annuities, no insurance, no mutual funds, no hidden fees…nothing. We simply act as a fiduciary and manage our clients’ wealth as we do our own…with care & caution.

Some of his ideal clients are disciplined savers who are seeking growth beyond traditional bonds and dividend investments. John is completely transparent with his management fees and investment direction. If you’re interested in learning more about his recent strategies, you should check out his observations and commentary blog. He posts up to date information about recent trades and provides his general reasoning behind investment choices. John is an active member of the TSP community and a wealth of knowledge.

About the TSP Business Directory

The Wealthsteading Podcast and all the other outstanding businesses that joined the TSP Business Directory can be found here. The purpose of our directory is to allow the TSP community to exchange value for value within the community. You will find a diverse mix of small businesses on the directory. Categories range from guns and tactical gear to gardening or HAM radio equipment providers. Shop within the TSP community and support small business when you can. Be sure to provide an honest review on the directory when you do so. If you want to list your business for less than a dollar a month, go ahead and sign up today. It only takes about five minutes, and you get exposure to Jack’s growing audience. Premium listings get featured in one of these posts which gets blasted out to the TSP Facebook community as well. Listing in the directory is also great for your site’s ranking in the search engines. So, consider joining our growing list of TSP community businesses.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a solicitation, offering advice or recommendation of any security. This website does not intend to provide investment, tax or legal advice.


TSP Directory Feature of the Week – Fluid Depiction LLC

Web Dev and IT Contracts

This week the TSP Business Directory will feature a business from the IT and Web Development sector. Located in Colorado, they can work remotely for your business no matter your location. Fluid Depiction LLC is your source for Quality Website Design and Contract Information Technology Services!

Fluid Depiction LLC

Some of the services offered by Fluid Depiction are:

  • Hosting
  • Web Development
  • Logo Design
  • SEO
  • Contract IT Services

Fluid Depiction provides excellent customer service. In fact, they helped fellow TSP community member Great Escape Farms with their farm logo and some SEO work. Check out what they had to say:

“Fluid Depiction did the logo for my web site and a great deal of work on SEO for my web sites. The do great work, charge reasonable prices, and go the extra mile to make the customer happy. If you need any work done on your website, this is a great company and has two thumbs up from me.”

If your computer is running slow, or you need help with IT security you can setup an account right on their website. Once you are established, they can remote into your PC and fix most problems.

Great UX Design Services

Working in the industry myself, I must say I admire the design aspect of their web development. I love the parallax scrolling effect you can see on this page. Notice the movement on the banner when you scroll down? This is a premium design effect that provides a great User Experience (UX) element to the site. Marketing is all about getting noticed. Great UX design and proper white-hat SEO techniques can help you stand out on the web. What’s white hat SEO? It basically means ethical methods are used to rank your site higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

SEO Optimization

The goal is to get as close to the top organic search result as possible, just not by ANY means necessary. If you are not careful when selecting your SEO, you might get a high ranking initially, only to get penalized by Google for using unethical techniques. So, select a trustworthy company like Fluid Depiction for all your SEO and web design needs.

Even if you do not have a need for web marketing or IT support, chances are you will find a great business to work with in our Directory. Jack and I built the TSP Business Directory to help small businesses within the audience. Consider listing your business right on the TSP website. You can start out for less than $5 a month. If you don’t have a business, take a moment to do some last-minute shopping before Christmas. It’s a great way to support small businesses and find unique gifts you won’t see in a big-box retail store. Click here to go straight to the TSP Directory. You can learn more about Fluid Depiction and all the other great businesses listed there.

TSP Directory Mention of the Week: Dynasty Wealth

Dynasty Wealth Partners

Dynasty Wealth Partners

Our TSP Business Directory featured mention of the week is Dynasty Wealth Partners. They are an authorized Infinite Banking Practitioner. Dynasty Wealth can help create multi-generational wealth. Their strategies show you how to keep more of your money, have more control over your finances, pay less taxes and build more wealth for now and for the future.

Dynasty Wealth has three websites to advise you on specific needs. They are Dynasty Banking, College Savings Plus and Business without Banks. Each of these areas of expertise will appeal to those that are interested in learning more about those topics. They have an excellent blog that features posts to enlighten you to wealth preservation and debt elimination.

A licensed IBC provider

The Definition of Banking

Michael has a wealth or resources on his site about the Infinite Banking Concept, if you are interested in learning more. You can check out his blog here, but I wanted to share a particularly interesting section from his site:

“Banking, banks, savings and loans, credit union etc. Do the commercial banks own these words? Think about the word – Bank. What does that mean? You see we have blood banks, memory banks, snow banks etc. A bank can also mean a slope that goes to a body of water, like a river bank.

Commercial bankers do not own the word bank. What we would like for you to understand today that banking is a function. Banking in the sense of money is an action where someone deposits money into a pool, that which can then be loaned out to generate revenue.

In modern times customers of a bank or credit union deposit their money (which is actually a liability on the banks balance sheet). Then through the use of fractional reserve lending the bank can create loans based off of the allowable fraction determined by the central bank. This is approximately around 3% of deposits to the commercial bank.

Reserve requirements are the amount of funds that a depository institution must hold in reserve against specified deposit liabilities. Within limits specified by law, the Board of Governors has sole authority over changes in reserve requirements. Depository institutions must hold reserves in the form of vault cash or deposits with Federal Reserve Banks. (source: )

In the United States, a reserve requirement(or liquidity ratio) is a minimum value, set by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, of the ratio of required reserves to some category of deposits held at depository institutions (e.g., commercial bank including US branch of a foreign bank, savings and loan association, savings bank, credit union). The only deposit categories currently subject to reserve requirements are net transactions accounts, mainly checking accounts. (source: Wikipedia )

Your deposits into your current bank account go on to become loans for your friends, neighbors, and even yourself. Most people think that banks earn the difference of what they pay you in interest and what they charge in interest on loans. This is only partially true. Because of the fractional reserve system banks can earn hundreds of percent based off one deposit.

I explained all this so that you will know that banking is a function and not a place downtown with a large nice building where people in suits go to work everyday called a Bank.

Once you understand the Banking function you can then go on to learn how you can take advantage of “Becoming Your Own Banker”. Meaning, you create a pool of money that builds over time, then when you need access to money you can get said money. When created properly you will have more control, you will be able to capture the interest that is normally going to the commercial banks as profits which in turns gives you even more money in the future.”

Thanks to Dynasty Wealth and all the TSP Directory Businesses

Be sure to check out Dynasty Wealth Partners and the other outstanding businesses right here in the TSP community. Remember to support small business when you can. Shop local and shop within our online community here at TSP. Next week, I will be writing on Fluid Depiction LLC. They are an IT contract and Web Development company right out of the TSP audience. Be sure to check it out.

If you haven’t already listed your business here on the TSP site, you can get started today for less than $1 a month. Build resiliency into your life by becoming your own boss. As we approach the end of 2016, think about opportunities around you, and seriously consider the entrepreneurial path. The only thing stopping you is yourself!

TSP Directory Featured Member – Honey Locust Home

Honey Locust Home This week’s TSP Business Directory featured member is our friends at Honey Locust Home. Mindy and Josh operate their business out of their home. They produce artisan soaps, lotions, pillows, blankets, and accessories for your house. You can visit read more