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Off the Top by C Nicole

"Your Voice is Your Power"

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About C Nicole

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C Nicole is a wife, mother, sister, friend, aunt, and so many other things. I created "Off the top by C. Nicole" to take you on a journey of my inner thoughts. Growing up my parents always told me I say whatever comes to mind without thinking. I must say, they were absolutely right. The older I became the more I realized I journaled my thoughts but never released them. The people closest to me would only get a snippet, but now the time has come to share with the world. My blog is a place where you get to hear the thoughts I have as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and human being. 

 

So grab your coffee, tea, and it's five o'clock where you are, grab your adult beverage!

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Have you ever had to do something you know takes a lot of your time but know you have no choice? For me, that's dreadfully filing taxes every year. I can't stand them because it's time-consuming, and my husband doesn't cooperate. I work in Corporate America, so all I have is a W-2. Mr. Marshall, on the other hand, has multiple jobs. He has a business and works as a W2 employee, which means tax season can become a bit much. The thing with him having his own business is he must keep track of everything he spends or make concerning his business only. In past years I filed them; however, these past two years have been left to a professional because they have become more complex, and I'm not aware of all the things I can write off.





What is a Write-off?

Write-offs are nothing but your expenses for your business, from clothes, meals, gas, rent, phone bill, and so much more. The purpose of a write-off is to help lower the tax liability for all combined income. Therefore, the more write-offs you have, the better off you will be when submitting your return. If you are a business owner, the best thing you can do is have a system to keep track of expenses or hire a CPA (Certified Public Account) or tax preparer because they know the updated tax changes. CPAs and tax preparers are either skilled or trained and understand what does and does not qualify as a write-off, but what if they weren't?



So many of us quickly write things that may or may not qualify. How often have you written someone out of your life and realized later that you should have done that differently? How many jobs have you written off because you thought you didn't qualify to find out later you did qualify? How many times has someone written you off to come back and later apologize? Writing off things or people isn't always right because we often do it when we are full of emotions. Emotions will have you staying in things longer than you need and leaving something you should have never discussed for the next 30 years.


In conclusion, take your time to write things off. Then, evaluate whatever it is and determine if it's a liability or an asset.


Ask yourself these questions below!


1. How many things have you written off in your life?

2. Was it beneficial?

3. Do you regret it?

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The other day at work, I was dealing with a situation with one of my new hires, which was new for me. I was clutching my hidden pearls because I wasn't ready. Now, your girl here, I know my role; however, this was an area I had yet to experience. Let me tell you, shit got real, and I could relate to how she felt, but I also had to discuss accountability. So I had a conversation, and I told her that she has to be the driver and allow our insured to be the passenger while she's taking her calls because if not, she will lose control which made me think about life. How many of us allow others to drive our lives while we become passengers?


Drivers

When you drive, you are in control of not only the vehicle but where you are going. If you have children, you make sure their seat belts are on. You throw your purse or bookbag on the seat or floor, whichever you prefer. You put your keys in the ignition, check your mirrors, and put the car in drive or reverse. One of the most important things to do besides ensuring everyone is safe before taking off, prayers included, is to turn on the music. I have to have music while driving; that's a non-negotiable, and if you are riding with me, don't dare turn it. Drivers are attentive and pay close attention to the things around them to avoid accidents while having tunnel vision, but somehow, passengers think they are the drivers.


Passengers

Passengers are two types of people, one that isn't legally able to drive or chose not to be in control of the vehicle that day. The good thing about being a passenger is you don't have to worry about anything during the ride unless the driver asks. For instance, grab something from your bag, or hand you a Kleenex or an aux cord. The one thing in 38 years of life I've known a passenger to do while being driven around is to critique and have demands. For example, how often someone gets in the car, and you hear you are going too fast or watch out for that car? The other thing is they want to know how long it will be before they reach their destination, whether they can make stops, why it's too hot or cold, and what is on the radio. In most cases, the driver will let you know it's their vehicle and, if you are going to complain, figure out another way to get to your destination. The driver, at that moment, establishes who is in control because they choose not to hand it over.


We often value the opinions of others too much and find ourselves being people pleasers. We seek guidance from them; however, we already know what to do. The keys to our lives are thrown in their hands as we permit them to drive something not even registered in their names. The bad thing is those people don't have control over their cars(themselves). Yet we are stuck when it's time to make decisions on our own because we are used to the guidance of others. The reason is that some people simply like being passengers and not drivers. They don't want to have to figure out what it takes to reach their destination because it's so much that has to happen from start to end. Don't get me wrong, the person in the car with you can help you with small things, but your decisions will determine how soon you get to the destination.


In conclusion, we must take the keys back to our lives and be drivers. We don't need permission from anyone to do what we have within ourselves to get to our destination. Stop allowing people to control your temperature, judge what you are doing, and put timelines on your journey when they are not in control of their destination. It's okay to say can you hand me a napkin at times but remind yourself that you are still in control. If you have to turn off the music to drown out the noise, it's okay. The place you are going is for you, and those on the ride; can either enjoy it or get out of the car. Let God be your guide, and know if you decide to hand over the keys, don't get mad when your destination gets delayed.


I challenge you to ask yourself these questions!

  1. Are you allowing others to control you, or are you handing over the keys?

  2. Do you know when you are being driven by others?

  3. How can you take the keys back to your life?

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A few weeks back, I was driving home from church, and the truck next to me was speeding out of control to the point that it kicked up a rock and put a chip in my windshield. My initial thought was out of all the drivers on the road that day, my car was the one that had to get impacted. Now I could've gotten upset because I had a chip that turned into a crack in the same spot a year prior, and fixing it cost a lot of money. I was working from home, so there was no urgency to address it; however, I couldn't see between the crack when I did drive because it was shaped like the McDonald's arch. Finally, the crack became unbearable, so I called around to get estimates and scheduled a technician to come to my house. I was informed at the appointment that if I had taken care of it while it was a chip, it would have been cheaper. I gave that nice man a look like, " I know you are lying." Your girl learned a lesson from that incident, so I addressed it according to the state it was currently in.





What is a Chip/Crack?

A chip is a state of being impacted by a sharp object that causes a slight change. Chips, in most cases, can be filled with a solution; however, if the size is too big, it's deemed a crack. A crack is a state of something being split or separated that shows up significantly. The thing about both is they are repairable up until a certain point and after a replacement is necessary. The thing is, conditions impact whether a not the chips cracks quicker or the crack expands more but either way, something must be done,



How often have you noticed the chips you don't talk about in your life? The disappointment from your spouse because you didn't communicate what you needed, but somehow you are now mad because they didn't do it. The loss you have taken financially due to overspending, and now you have maxed out all your credit cards. The comment your 6th-grade teacher made saying you will never make it in life. Hell, the iPhone you dropped now has a ding in the corner. These chips grow into significant cracks, and we end up paying a larger price because we didn't repair them when we had a chance. The next thing we know, we can't see straight and are downtown filing for divorce/ bankruptcy, walking around thinking we can never reach our potential, relationship hopping, taking a trip to the Apple store, or worse mad at the world. We jump to drastic measures because it feels like the easiest thing to do when the cracks appear in the same or different form. If we acted as soon as we noticed the issues, we could eliminate getting to the point of starting over. Unfortunately, the ugly truth is we have not addressed the cracks within ourselves, so when things happen, we can't identify that it's simply a chip. My mother always says, "Don't Major on the Minor and Minor on the Major, and I didn't get it until I got older. All she was trying to tell me is whatever issues come according to the current state, don't go overboard when it's minor, and don't take it lightly when it's major.


We will always face chips and cracks in our lives; however, they must be addressed. You can address them early on or wait, but you will have to at some point, even if it's with yourself!

I challenge you to these questions!


  1. Are you able to identify the chips or cracks in your life?

  2. Are you willing to address it while it's in a minor state, or you rather wait until it's major?

  3. Are you aware that, at some point, it has to be addressed?

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