The Power of Color- Communicates Approachable or Authoritative

Invent Your Image

When putting together an outfit consider what you would like to communicate with your audience.  Do you want to express authority or do you want to be accessible?

It all boils down to what percentage of your ensemble is darker colors or lighter/softer hues.  Outfits with the majority of pieces that are of darker value will add authority and stature vs. softer/lighter colors illustrates openness.

Or in this instance just switching up the blouse changes the message of softer vs. stronger.


So whether you want to be perceived as friendlier wear lighter colors and for those times you need to be more formal or professional oft for a higher percentage of darker values in your outfit.

Navigating Technology

By Karen Koch, Owner, CompassPointz, LLC 

 Cars vs. Computers 

I noticed that the little sticker on my car windshield that indicates that it’s just about time for an oil change. It’s funny how we pay so much attention to our car and its maintenance, but we don’t do the same for our computers. 

These days, almost everyone owns a computer. It is a must-have, like a car. With our cars, we seem to remember to change the oil; we notice strange noises, indicator lights and take care of that infamous 60,000 mile tune up. Our computers are not so lucky even though we may use them more often than our cars – especially if you telecommute! 

With our computers, we travel all over the internet. Computers are responsible for our email, family calendars, schedules, pictures, music and those bizarre you-tube videos. We rarely consider that there are thousands of temporary file fragments being strewn all over our precious hard drives every time we go surfing. We forget to apply software updates and our virus scan software is often out of date. But when our computers come to a crawl or don’t work at all – we freak out! We keep a lot of stuff in that little box but don’t think about doing a bit of maintenance once in a while. We never worry until it’s too late! 

Regular maintenance for your computer will keep it going strong. A little TLC – starting with some “housekeeping” on a monthly basis will help. You should reboot your system at least once a week. Delete files you don’t need any more. Configure Windows Updates to install automatically. Make a backup copy of all of your important files and store them on an external drive and external cloud backup. 

First thing is have some sort of anti-virus. A decent free anti-virus is Avast. But remember – no Anti-virus is perfect. A useful clean-up tool is cleaner. Just run it every week or so and you may see quite a difference. If you notice that your system seems a little slower or sluggish, even you are performing regular maintenance, consider that you may be in the beginning of a hard ware failure. If you notice the signs early enough, you may be able to save some time and money…think of this like your check engine light! 

Schedule regular maintenance for your computer using post-it notes, email reminders or put in on the Outlook calendar! So, the next time you notice that little sticker on your windshield or change the oil on your car, think about your computer. Maybe a computer checkup now and then will keep you traveling safe on the “information super highway”. 

CompassPointz, LLC is owned and operated by Karen Koch and Shawn Clark. CompassPointz delivers customized computer services dedicated to residential and business systems. With over 30 years of combined experience they have unique insight and perspective on the needs of their clients. 

7 FREE Ways to Show a Business Appreciation

By Karen Gillman, Executive VP at On Point Executive Center

When a business exceeds your expectations it is only natural to want to show your genuine appreciation.  The problem is, how can you fully express your gratitude, without breaking the bank?  If you are truly satisfied by your experience and a monetary expression is not an option, check out our list of FREE, lasting, powerful ways to say thank you and truly convey your satisfaction.

A 5-star Google Review

Let’s face it, everyone uses Google.  One of the best FREE way to show your gratitude towards a business is to publicly rave by a review that will be seen by everyone who does a simple Google search for that business. It would be nearly impossible to place a dollar figure on the amount of positive exposure this kind of review would produce.

A 5-star Facebook review

If your business is not on social media, your business basically does not exist.  Multi 5-star ratings on Facebook will help elevate a business above its competitors.  You can also share their page which will increase the traffic to ensure your review is far reaching.

Written Note of Appreciation

With all the advances in technology, rarely does anyone ever take the time to hand write a well thought out letter anymore.  You can show your appreciation by taking the time to hand write what your experience with their business meant to you. This kind, sincere gesture is sure to put a smile on the business owner’s face.  When received, we know it does ours!

A Referral

You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing but you can’t buy referrals.  According to Neilsen, 92% of consumers trust referrals from friends and family over all other forms of advertising.  If you want to show your appreciation, thoughtfully refer a qualified friend or family member.  Ask them, if they are equally satisfied, to refer more friends and family.  Watch the positive snowball effect this has on a business.

An Introduction to a Networking Group

Networking groups are a valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from the success of others, attain new clients, and educate others about your business.  Networking groups are also a great way to partner up with a business that compliments your business.  This partnership will allow you to easily refer business to each other, which will increase sales and revenue.  When appropriate, ask an associate from the business you want to express your gratitude to, to attend a group with you.  Take time to introduce them to mutually beneficial associates.

An Endorsement

You do not have to be a celebrity to endorse a business or product.  An endorsement is a convenient way to send a positive message to people in your network.  Your endorsement will create a level of trust between those who know you and the business you are endorsing.

An eMailed Testimony with Permission to Print

This method works for so many reasons.  It encompasses all the above methods because with your permission they can use your testimony on Facebook, Google, their website, printed advertisements and virtually anywhere they choose. 

People will remember how you made them feel long after they will remember the amount of money you spent.  The amount of future sales you can generate by doing any one of the above is priceless.  While the words you use might be free, the value placed on them is immeasurable.  So next time you find yourself wanting to show a business appreciation, try using one of these free techniques.  Not only will your bank account thank you, but the business owner will forever be indebted to you for the new clients you have created.


Founded in 1999, On Point Executive Center offers a variety of virtual office solutions, virtual assistants and physical space to entrepreneurs needing offices or conference rooms on an as-needed basis. In addition to offices and meeting space, On Point Executive Center provides copy / fax / scanning machines, on-site notary services, wireless internet, address and mail services, translation, toll-free long-distance services and other telecommunications services, as well as a variety of office necessities at either at a package price or on an a ’la carte basis. Clients can also use the professional receptionist service, and/or secure a business mailing address and mailbox.

On Point provides an economical yet professional solution for companies looking to elevate their image while reducing their overhead.  For current affairs follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Small Business Lending Solutions

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been in existence since 1953 and, as a US Government agency overseeing government funded programs, there is no wonder that there are a million different stories (myths!) surrounding this long lasting and successful government agency and its many programs!

Were you aware the SBA offers the following services? 

  •  LENDING PROGRAMS – SBA 7(a) loans*, SBA 504 loans
  •  EDUCATION/TRAINING/TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE – Score, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), US Export Centers
  •  FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE – Surety Bond Guarantee Program, 8(a) Program for government contract procurement, Small Business Investment Corp offering venture capital (SBIC)

As small business owners, many of these services can provide tremendous help to your company. 

Does your company need a loan? Here is a breakdown of the two primary loan programs: 

SBA 7(a) LOAN PROGRAM (multi programs) 

  •  REGULAR TERM LOANS* – For all business lending needs, up to $5,000,000
  •  SBA EXPRESS PROGRAM* – Up to $350,000 for all business lending needs,  term loan or revolving line of credit
  •  INTERNATIONAL TRADE LOANS – For businesses involved in international trade  that have been hurt by foreign imports
  •  EXPORT LOANS – Short term working capital for exporting
  •  CAPLINES – Monitored Working Capital lines of credit, Builder’s spec, Contract  and Seasonal lines of credit
  •  MICROLOANS – Under $50m, run through non-profits, not banks
  •  DISASTER LOAN PROGRAM – Loans to businesses or individuals, direct from  SBA

SBA 504 LOAN PROGRAM* (single program) 

  •  20 year term financing for real estate purchase or construction
  •  10 year term financing for large capital/equipment purchases
  •  Emphasis on job creation (1 job per $65,000 of SBA loan funds received)

Maybe you have heard these stories from people who tried to obtain an SBA loan: 

“It takes forever to get approved for an SBA loan and the paperwork is a foot high!” 

“SBA loans are small and only for “ma and pa” type businesses or new start-ups!” 

“The SBA will want your house as collateral, along with your first born child!” 

“You have to be turned down by a Bank three times before you can get an SBA loan!” 

Well, since 1953, the SBA has made miraculous strides in streamlining its SBA 7(a) and SBA 504 loan programs. Required documentation has been significantly reduced and applications are now submitted electronically. Banks can be designated as a “Preferred SBA Lender”, giving that bank the authority to approve a loan on behalf of the SBA. This results in faster decisions and quicker turnaround. In addition, material legislative changes have been made to the programs through the years, especially since 2008 and the Great Recession, when President Obama instituted changes to the rules with the hope of getting loans out to help stimulate the economy. The biggest changes?…increasing the maximum size of a SBA 7(a) loan from $2,000,000 to $5,000,000 and, instituting an alternative size standard allowing Banks to lend money to much larger companies (Tangible Net Worth up to $15,000,000). Although SMALL is in the name of Small Business Administration…the size of loans allowed to be made and the size of company’s allowed to receive them are certainly not small! Most companies in our Hillsborough/Pinellas/Pasco/Manatee/Sarasota market area are eligible for SBA financing! 

Prospective borrowers with strong liquid cash positions can now retain most of their liquid assets and still be eligible for SBA financing. Along with that, personal assets that may be called upon for additional collateral on a SBA loan is now limited to personal real estate holdings reflecting greater than 25% equity…and this is only when business assets are inadequate to cover the loan being requested. 

What are the benefits of obtaining an SBA loan versus a conventional bank loan? 

  •  Longer terms resulting is lower payment and improved cash flow
  •  Less collateral required to secure the loan
  •  More liberal underwriting criteria (allows financing of good will, longer terms on working assets, repayment based on projections)
  •  Lower cash injection required in purchase transactions, protect your liquidity
  •  No balloon maturities
  •  No prepayment penalties if loan has less than a 15 year term
  •  Allows the business to grow, prosper and/or get back on its feet
  •  Solid banking relationship established for future funding needs
  •  Small business can obtain a loan it would not have been able to get through typical bank channels at reasonable rates

No, you don’t need to be turned down 3 times to apply for an SBA loan! SBA lending is a viable financing opportunity for all businesses. Check out for more information on the SBA programs or, contact your Banker! 

Please contact Diane McKelvey at [email protected] if you have questions about lending solutions for small businesses

*These SBA services are provided by American Momentum Bank, a Preferred SBA Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. 

© 2016 American Momentum Bank Equal Housing Lender Member FDIC 

The Big Spring Event

By Rachel Revill of PerfecTiming Concierge

Eliminating stuff is not as easy as it looks.  Taking on the task of organizing and de-cluttering can be daunting and exhausting work.  The big spring event – Spring Cleaning may look something like this.  There’s getting rid of clothes you no longer wear, reorganizing your closets and pantries, cleaning dust off the fans and out of the vents, brightening up your space and even refreshing the paint on your walls!

Guess what?  Getting organized and de-cluttering is about making hard decisions to let stuff/things go.  It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, thoughts and memories that can be overwhelming.  However, it doesn’t have to be a dreadful event. It’s time to hit the ole’ dusty trail and bring your family out of hibernation.

Check out a few tips to a successful spring de-clutter and renewal that will ultimately help you save time and exhilarate your senses.

1. You don’t have to do it all in one day. Taking time to decide what to keep and what to throw out or donate can be empowering! The ultimate tiebreaker in this game? If you haven’t used it in the last six months, donate it so someone else can enjoy it.
2. The big “O.” Organizing can be done in just a few simple steps. Rather than trying to tackle your whole house in one day, spend a few hours, two or three on one project or space until you complete it.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
3. The boutique critique. Clothing stores are always on top of moving old inventory. Try hanging your clothes with the hooks away from you in your closet. Whenever you wear something, return the hanger to sit the opposite way. If it isn’t turned around in six months, get rid of it.
4. Spring in to the mood. New season means new colors! Spruce up your rooms with bright curtains or pillows and set out some patterned or jazzy looking plates for the dining room table.
5. Carpet fresh. A good spring clean isn’t worthwhile if you’re looking at the same carpet that’s changed colors at least two times since last year. A deep carpet cleaning will help remove odors and freshen up your rooms.
6. Let there be light! Let that spring brightness in with freshly cleaned windows. Use a safe and toxic-free window cleaner to clean off dirt and built up grim.  Open your windows, listen for nature’s beautiful rhythmic sounds and let the fresh air flow inside!

Release the clutter; it’s about your space properly working for you.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day!

Here’s to creating more memories because you have Time!


By Kristi Campbell of Home Instead Senior Care

Lack of Activity Threatens Local Seniors’ Independence

Fear of frailty is a big concern for local seniors as well as their caregivers. Medical professionals describe frailty as a syndrome of weakness, fatigue and decline in physical activity.  And it can rob seniors of their independence.  

For some, frailty results from a heart attack or stroke.  Another senior might experience falls and weight loss.

Interestingly, what often leads to frailty is the lack of motivation and ability to stay active.  As it turns out, inactivity is also a big worry for seniors and family caregivers.  

We regularly see seniors who are literally trapped in their homes because they are too weak to remain safe and independent, or to even enjoy life.  That’s why staying active is viewed by so many as vital to healthy aging.  

Frailty can be difficult to define, but most know it when they see it, said the expert who helped us develop this program – Dr. Stephanie Studenski.  She is one of the nation’s foremost authorities and researchers of mobility, balance disorders and falls in older adults.  Dr. Studenski currently serves as director of clinical research for the University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging.  

Dr. Studenski and her colleagues conducted a series of focus groups with health care providers and family caregivers about how they view frailty.  She said that many family members base frailty on social and psychological changes they see in their loved ones. 

Doctors, on the other hand, focus on the physical evidence.  She said it’s important to look at all factors – social, psychological and physical.  

Most important, Dr. Studenski said that frailty can be both prevented and reversed by activity.  That’s why Home Instead Senior Care developed the Get Mom Moving Activity Cards and Web site at  These resources are designed to help keep seniors engaged and fit.  The tools provide the resources by which seniors can fight frailty. 

The activities have been listed in three categories: mind, body and soul.  All are important to helping seniors age well.  Here’s one of the mind activities:   

Change Direction

If a senior has a regular route through the grocery store or to the mailbox, he or she may want to try a different way.  Research has revealed that such a technique exercises the brain.

Or, if an older adult can’t leave the house, help a senior break a routine. Drink tea in the afternoon instead of coffee in the morning.  If he reads the newspaper in the morning and watches television in the afternoon, suggest that he try switching that around.  Make a note of what she likes and doesn’t like about the new order.

While she is going about her day, ask your mom to use her opposite hand to open doors and brush her teeth.  Or suggest to dad he wear his watch on the opposite wrist.  These activities will help their brains re-think daily tasks.

The Warning Signs

There are also warning signs that family caregivers and senior care professionals can observe to indicate whether an older adult is becoming more or less frail.

Change.  If a senior has always been interested in talking to the neighbors, reading the newspaper or volunteering and is withdrawing from those interests, suggest she see a doctor.

Inactivity.  If a senior suddenly becomes less active, investigate what could be the cause.

Slowing down.  If that senior always used to have a bounce in his step and now, suddenly, trudges along, that’s a bad sign. 

Loss of appetite and weight.  A senior who always had a healthy appetite and doesn’t any more should be of concern to their loved ones.

Unsteadiness.  Loss of balance comes with aging, but an increasing unsteadiness is a sign that something could be wrong.

Seniors have fears as well – issues that make them worried about losing their independence. 

This topic is at the heart of the concerns that we see each day in the lives of seniors and those who care for them.  Fear of frailty keeps seniors worried about whether they can stay home.  Following are the fears, in descending order of importance to seniors, according to our survey:

Senior Fear Factors

1. Loss of independence.

2. Declining health.

3. Running out of money.

4. Not being able to live at home.

5. Death of a spouse or other family member.

6. Inability to manage their own activities of daily living.

7. Not being able to drive.

8. Isolation or loneliness.

9. Strangers caring for them.

10. Fear of falling or hurting themselves.

Education is the greatest defense against fear.  So is support.  In a very real way, family caregivers and senior care professionals can encourage older loved ones, helping them stay healthy.  And that addresses seniors’ biggest fear of losing their independence.

To find out how you can help keep a senior active, contact Home Instead Senior Care for the free Get Mom Moving Activity Cards: “Activities for the Mind Body and Soul.”

These resources really should provide the information needed to revitalize the activities of seniors.  The good news is that family caregivers and senior care professionals can head off trouble by helping keep seniors on the move. 

Desk to Dinner

Do not have time to go home after work before date night?  Do not sweat it, the key is:

  • Wear a foundational piece/s to work.  Garments that fits great and has no embellishments.

  • Second,  bring evening accessories to work to make the switcho chango to take your look from day to night.

Here are 3 examples to assist you in visualizing how to take your work look and transition it into an evening look.

Desk to Dinner 1

Start with a simple sheath dress and change the belt, pop on these festive shoes and hoops and swap out your day bag to an evening one.

Desk to Dinner 3

You arrive at work with the red blouse, black trousers with a black pump.  To vamp up your desk look don a red lip, change your heels to leopard, switch your earrings and handbag.

Desk to Dinner 2

To take you boring black suit to the ballet, pop on a statement necklace, a sparkly shell, bronze bag and shoes.

It’s just that easy! Now go out and make it happen!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Free Wi-Fi

By Karen Koch

Owner, CompassPointz, LLC

I have a friend that travels a lot. She travels so much, that she knows which airports have Starbucks and which

ones don’t. You don’t want to hear from her at the end of a long week, from an airport that doesn’t have Starbucks…but that’s another story.

One of the things that I hear about a lot, (besides the Starbucks) is free Wi-Fi accessibility in airports and hotels (or the lack of it). While on the road, she constantly has to check in, check flights, check email, etc. and it is frustrating that the most expensive hotels charge for Wi-Fi, while the less expensive ones offer access for free.

And why don’t all airports offer free Wi-Fi? People have time to kill and time to surf while waiting for the always prompt airlines.  Free internet access would be wonderful – especially during the winter, when flights are delayed. Let the people watch Hulu or YouTube. The little televisions running CNN just don’t cut in for some mindless entertainment. But I digress…

While I understand the desire for internet access at the drop of the hat, I often have to remind myself (and my friends) of the inherent dangers that involve free Wi-Fi.

Finding available Wi-Fi networks is a good thing in this digitally connected age, but you have to remember that it’s a lot more vulnerable than your wired or secured home connection. So if you’re using someone else’s Wi-Fi network, be careful about which of your website accounts you access.

Research shows that free wireless public networks located in airports and other public places are ripe for exploitation by hackers. The ability to set up fake “free” Wi-Fi hotspots in public places and potentially use them to steal sensitive data, such as online banking passwords or personal information, is alarmingly easy to do. In fact, hacker Web sites provide instructions on how such frauds can be accomplished.

While free Wi-Fi may be safer for secure websites, highly sensitive activities should only be performed from your own computer. A public computer should not be trusted for anything but casual surfing. This applies to airports, hotels, malls, parks, and coffee places.

So now, in addition to long check-in and security lines, my friend has one more thing to be anxious about – the identity thieves. But don’t tell her…not unless she had her Starbucks first!

CompassPointz, LLC is owned and operated by Karen Koch and Shawn Clark. CompassPointz delivers customized computer services dedicated to and business systems. With over 30 years of combined experience they have unique insight and perspective on the needs of their clients.

It’s that Time of Year!

The time to purchase or make changes to your HEALTH INSURANCE

by Jeannie Holliday CFA, CDFA™

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes sure that everyone can purchase insurance even if you have a pre-existing condition. Thanks to the ACA, decisions like changing jobs, starting your own company and retiring no longer depend on whether or not you can get insurance.  Everyone can now get insurance, however, the affordable part is up for debate.  Since it reduces the cost for those who are high risk, it increases significantly the price for those of us that had been considered preferred.  It also increases the cost for young males since insurance companies cannot discriminate between males and females and must also cover pregnancy. 

Consider the following:

· Nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance according to a study published by the American Journal of Public Health in 2009.  People don’t get things checked out when they don’t have insurance. 

· People who lack insurance have worse access to care than those that are insured.

· Financially it can lead to paying hospital bills for long periods of time – money that could be used on a house payment or to purchase transportation.

· Parents tend to help their adult children pay medical bills jeopardizing their own retirement.

· Not having insurance could lead to a “medical bankruptcy.” 

I am a Financial Advisor who does not sell health insurance.  However, I believe this is critical to your financial well-being and want to make sure everyone understands the rules.  It is imperative that you get insurance during the open enrollment period of November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.  If you don’t have insurance – now is the time to get it.  If you do have health insurance, make sure you have the right policy for your needs and, if your adult children don’t have insurance, discuss it with them.  It is that important!! Your car is worth $15,000 to $35,000 and you insure it paying $100 to $200 a month.  Your house is worth a finite amount and you insure it.  Your health risk could be any amount.  Shouldn’t you insure it with the same vim and vigor?     

1. Open Enrollment starts November 1, 2015 and ends on January 31, 2016, however, it is best to sign up by December 15, 2015 so that your coverage will start on January 1, 2016.  Corporate plans will also allow you to make changes to your benefits during open enrollment.  You must purchase or change plans within that period. If you miss this window, there won’t be any way to get insurance, or to change to a different plan, for the rest of 2016 unless you lose coverage during the year by losing a job, getting divorced or moving.

2. You may be entitled to more financial help. A two-person household can get a tax credit to offset part of the premium if their annual income is below $63,720. has an easy-to-use calculator to assess what types of subsidies and discounts you’re likely eligible for.  If you are not eligible for a subsidy, contact a health insurance agent.  You may find a plan that works better for you outside of the exchange, contact a health insurance agent. 

3. The cost of your plan could change—a lot—from year to year. Health insurance premiums reset every year, based on the insurance companies’ projections of how much they need to collect to cover their members’ health care costs. And in 2016, as in previous years, changes are all over the map­ — up significantly for some plans in some localities, down in others. If you already have insurance and don’t do anything, your plan will automatically renew for 2016. Even though insurance companies had to return premium payments last year, they are increasing them again this year.  It’s not fair and I wish it wasn’t happening, but they are taking advantage of the system.

4. The penalty for not having insurance is going up the higher of 2.5 percent of household income or $695 per person.  The actual cost could be much higher.  If you have a hospital stay, the cost can run into the thousands and even millions of dollars. Lack of insurance is one of the main reasons people in our country go bankrupt.  Although the cost of insurance is unbelievably high, it can prevent a medical emergency from ruining you financially. 

Get help.  Insurance Agents are paid by insurance companies to help you. It does not impact the amount you pay. Health insurance is complicated and you need to use a professional.  If you don’t know someone see the Government’s web-site, ask your Financial Advisor or Insurance Agent or ask me for a referral.

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC.  Securities are not deposits, not insured by FDIC or any other government agency, not guaranteed by First National Bank of Pasco, and are subject to risks, including the possible loss of principal. Independent Financial Services and First National Bank of Pasco are independent of Raymond James Financial Services.

Any opinions are those of Jeannie Holliday and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.