Phishing Scam Targeting EIDL Loan Repayment

Attention Small Business Owners: Beware of Phishing Scam Targeting EIDL Loan Repayment

Small Business Scam Alert: Tips to Avoid EIDL Loan Repayment Scams, Tom Martin Coaching: Empowering Business Owners to prosper in business and thrive in life

Small businesses are currently under threat from a phishing scam aimed at collecting banking information and payments in exchange for a fake “SBDC Economic Injury Disaster Grant.”

This fraudulent email originates from: “apply@smallbusinessdevelopmentcenter.online” falsely claiming approval for a grant, but demanding a “tax clearance fee.” 🚨

It’s crucial to note that neither your local SBDC nor the US SBDC provides SBA grants or loans. The SBDC will never solicit your banking details or ask for payment for a grant or loan… ever!!

To safeguard your business from online threats, consider these essential tips recommended by the FTC:

✅ What to DO:

  • Obtain information regarding SBA loans directly from the official SBA website: sba.gov.
  • Seek guidance from your local UGA SBDC office if you receive a suspicious email: georgiasbdc.org/locations.

❌ What NOT to Do:

  • Pay upfront for information; all SBA grant and loan program details are freely accessible at sba.gov.
  • Provide payment in advance for a government grant or loan; no upfront payment is necessary for an SBA loan.
  • Disclose your information to unsolicited callers, emails, or texts. The SBA does not initiate contact to request information about you or your business, nor does it ask you to apply for a loan via phone, email, or text. Delete any suspicious emails or texts immediately.
  • Apply for a loan without verifying the lender’s authenticity. Only SBA-authorized lenders can offer loans, and you can verify lenders using the SBA’s tool.
  • Click on links or respond to emails or texts from unknown sources. Clicking on such links may expose your device to malware or connect you with scammers.

Stay vigilant and protect your business from potential scams by adhering to these guidelines.

Embrace the Power of One Word 365: A Transformative Approach to Goal Setting for 2024

Thirteen years ago, I was introduced to One Word 365 when I read the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life. And to say that the book lived up to its title would be an understatement.

It wasn’t just the intriguing title that captured my curiosity, but the compelling promise within the introduction that convinced me to make the purchase:

“If we could give you one thing that would improve your life in incredible ways, would you receive it? And if this one thing was so intuitive and easy to use that you would be crazy not to try it… would you give it a shot?”

As December of 2010 rolled in, I found myself in a challenging period. The year had thrown various obstacles my way, both personally and professionally. While the dealership was thriving, my battle with Merkel Cell cancer, which had metastasized, required three surgeries and over sixty radiation treatments. The toll it took on me was undeniable.

My instinct was always to power through challenges, but cancer brought a different kind of exhaustion. That’s when “One Word” entered my life, and, reflecting on my state, I chose the theme for the upcoming year – “Pause.” Little did I know that 45 days later, I would learn of my cancer’s return for the third time, now with a stage 4 diagnosis.

For me, the word “Pause” under those circumstances became synonymous with transformation.

Since that pivotal year, I’ve introduced the concept of One Word to family, friends, and interested business and life coaching clients.

The consensus?

Adopting a One Word 365 mindset brought clarity, purpose, power, and passion. All of which served as driving forces that kept their vision alive for the next 365 days.

But how can something so seemingly simple be so effective?

The answer lies in the power of words.

Words, when used thoughtfully and intentionally, possess transformative power. They inspire, motivate, and energize. Words can heal, encourage, and turn the seemingly impossible into the possible.

The magic of the One Word 365 mindset extends its impact to the core components of life, what I like to call the Six F’s:

Faith, Family, Friends, Finances, Fitness, and Fun!

And trust me… there is a word out there waiting for you.

Are you ready to embark on the transformative journey of One Word 365 for 2024? If so, download a FREE COPY of my One Word 365 Workbook which walks you through the process of selecting a word for 2024!

one-word-365-workbook-tom-martin-coaching

Want to learn more… check out this video and discover the potential that lies within a single, powerful word.

You see, when a compelling vision is combined with a single word that describes a desired outcome with laser-like focus… transformation occurs!

Here is a link to order your own copy of One Word That Will Change Your Life book! 

 

As you can see from the image above, I’m still contemplating what my One Word 365 for 2024 will be. That’s ok, sometimes it takes time! Check back next week, and I will post my word along with why it is important to me for 2024. 

And if you need some assistance getting started with One Word 365 for 2024let’s chat!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2024! 

Connected is My One Word for 2023

My One Word for 2023 is Connected, Tom Martin Coaching

Happy New Year to all of you, and I truly hope 2023 is off to a great start!

As I mentioned in my previous One Word 365 post, every year I choose a word to be my theme for the year. This word serves as a focus, a north star if you will, that helps me live next twelve months intentionally and with purpose.

Initially, I thought my One Word for 2023 would be “connection” … but as I worked through the action planner and prayed over the New Year it was clear that my One Word 365 for 2023 needed to be “Connected”.

I’m developing the game plan for how I plan to Live Out my word Connected. But I can already tell it will involve some planting and pruning.

  • The pruning involves removing certain things from my life that would keep me (the looking back in the action plan reveals this) from being connected to what matters most to me in 2023.
  • The planting consists of adding new disciplines and incorporating new behaviors which allow me to be connected to the people, the organizations, and the causes that matter most to me in 2023.

But know this…

Living out your One Word is a journey!

The One Word 365 journey is much like planning a trip to a place you have never been before. You start by asking yourself questions about the things you want to experience while you’re there. And continue to ask questions the more time you spend in that place.

For me the questions I’m asking myself at the beginning of my One Word 365 journey look like this:

Who and what do I need to be connected to at a deeper level than I currently am in 2023?

What are the things, and maybe even people, that I need to be dis-“connected” from in 2023? 

I will use personal, business, and spiritual goals and objectives as a guide to help discern what these are.

  • But I can already say technology is on my list. At certain levels and in certain cases technology is a great mechanism to do more and achieve much. But technology can also be an impediment that distracts attention, derails momentum, and can lead to isolation.

Speaking of isolation…

A high percentage of people these days are experiencing feelings of isolation, loneliness, and a lack of authentic community. And there are not any societal, cultural, or economic barriers to these feelings.

This can especially be true with business owners who hesitate to bring problems home to their spouses. They don’t want to share concerns with employees who look to them to have all the answers. And high percentage are hesitant to talk to fellow business owners when facing challenges for fear they may lose the respect of their peers.

Another question I’m asking is, how can I facilitate business owners being connected with each other?

  • Something that would end isolation, and open the door to conversation and collaboration in meaningful ways.

Giving Back…

Another area of personal interest and something I’m involved with and serve in, is men’s ministry.

At the church level, I have served as a Re:New mentor. This involves meeting with guys who are in the midst of a crisis, be it life, career, or faith. Or it can men on the other side of the crisis with questions about how faith and God factored into what they just experienced. I’ve also served as a small group leader for men’s groups and with my wife in couples’ groups.

At the faith-based organizational level, I serve on the board of One Thing Ministries. One Thing Ministries operates One Thing for Men, a weekly men’s group Bible study. We meet on Fridays in Alpharetta Georgia but we have a global reach with the One Thing for Men YouTube channel and the sharing of all our Bibles study resources.

A question I’ve been wrestling with is, why are those doing men’s ministry around Atlanta not “connected”? 

  • There would seem to be great value in being connected as brothers in Christ to facilitate the exchanging of ideas, possibly sharing or co-opting of resources, cross promoting each others events, and a host of other things. 
  • And if there already is some association, do I just not know about it? Is this something I might want to be connected to? Or is this something that should be created? I don’t know but check back and I share what I learn during the year.

Ultimately, for me in 2023…

Being connected is about relationships!

It’s about investing my time going deeper into the meaningful relationships I’m blessed to have. And it also about investing my energy serving in and creating environments where relationship can develop and thrive.

How about you?

What is your One Word 365 for 2023?

Leave your One Word in the comments and feel free to share why this word is your focus for the upcoming year!

One Word 365 for 2023

One Word 365 for 2023 image with picture of book cover to One Word That Will Change Your Life - Tom Martin Coaching

Twelve years ago, I read the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life, and to say that the book lived up to its title would be an understatement.

I think is it was the title that captured my curiosity. But it was the promise within the introduction that compelled me to purchase the book:

If we could give you one thing that would improve your life in incredible ways, would you receive it?

If this one thing was so intuitive and easy to use that you would be crazy not to try it, would you give it a shot?

It was December 2010 and I found myself in a bit of a funk. The year had been filled with challenges, both personal and professional.

The dealership was having a great year, but battling a rare form of cancer that had metastasized, three surgeries, and over sixty radiation treatments had certainly taken its tool.

My nature was to power through obstacles and challenges when they appeared in my life or arose in my career. So, when cancer was introduced into my world, I took the same approach. But in doing so, I was exhausted.

So, after reading One Word, and considering my current state of exhaustion, the one word theme I chose for the upcoming year was “Pause”.  But little did I know, some 45 days later I would find out my cancer had returned for a third time, with a stage 4 diagnosis.

The word “Pause” for me, that year, under those circumstances, was transformation!

Since then, I’ve shared One Word with family, friends, and in my coaching practice. And most would say that by adopting a One Word 365 mindset, they found clarity, purpose, power, and passion. All of which were driving forces that kept the vision alive for the next 365 days. 

How does something that sounds so simple, work so effectively?

Words are powerful!

When words are used thoughtfully and intentionally, they have the power. They can inspire, motivate, and energize. Words can heal, encourage, and make what seems impossible… possible.

The simple power of the One Word 365 mindset impacts the key components in your life. Something I refer to as the Six F’s: Faith, Family, Friends, Finances, Fitness, and Fun! 

There is a word out there for you!

If you’re ready to get started with One Word 365 for 2023… watch out this video!

You see, when a compelling vision is combined with a single word that describes a desired outcome with laser-like focus… transformation occurs!

Here is a link to order your copy of One Word That Will Change Your Life! 

A list of the words Tom Martin has selected over the years to kick off the New Year as part of One Word 365.

As you can see from the image above, I’m still working through the One Word process of deciding what my One Word 365 for 2023 will be. But check back next week, and I will post my word here along with the reasons why “this word” is important to me for 2023. 

And remember, if you need some assistance getting started with One Word 365 for 2023let’s chat!

Wishing you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2023! 

Information and Resources to Help Small Business Owners Navigate COVID-19

small-business-resources-covid-19

In an effort to support business owners, here is the latest news about COVID-19 as it pertains to small business and I’ve included an updated list of resources. So, how does the US Small Business Association (SBA) define a small business…

A Small Business Is Defined As:

Depending on your industry, a small business could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. They’re privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have less revenue than larger businesses.

For those of you in Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp announced yesterday that Georgia has received an official statewide disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This declaration will provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to impacted small businesses in all 159 counties in Georgia.

This opens the door for small businesses and nonprofits in Georgia to now apply for economic injury disaster recovery loans.  The loan can be up to $2 million per business to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

The application is now live, and Georgia small business owners can go directly to the SBA for assistance and to access the application.

Not in Georgia… no worries, use this link for information and the application for every state that has received the disaster declaration from the SBA.

Required Documents for SBA for EIDL loans: 

  1. Profit and Loss and Cash Flow Statements for 2019 and 2020 on annual basis and year to date basis.
  2. Tax returns from the past 3 years, both personal and business 

Loans are available for small business and non-profit organizations. While terms will be established on a case-by-case basis, many will have a thirty-year repayment term with first payments not due for up to twelve months. Businesses should expect to provide a tax transcript, financial statements, and a profit and loss statement. Interest rates will range from 2.75% to 3.75%.

In addition to the above, I suggest you reach out to your lending institution to see if relief programs are being offered during this time: delaying payments; interest only payments.  

To learn more about the EIDL program:


sba-small-business-roundtable-covid19

Join Small Business Roundtable with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and CEOs of the leading small business organizations. They will discuss the needs of small business owners during the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Friday, March 20th, 2020 at 2:30 pm ET

Click Here to RSVP

****This Just In****

(1:15PM March 20th) At this time, due to some last minute scheduling issues, we are working to reschedule this webinar for another day and time. Our goal is to have something next week. Timing might be better as we expect to know more about the next round of legislation.


empty-office-space-working-from-home-small-business

This is something every business owner should ask their staff who are working from home, before moving into the meeting agenda of the call. Discover what it is here


Learn How to Manage a Manage a Work-From-Home

  • TODAY – March 20: Learn from nationally recognized experts on How to Manage a Work-From-Home Workforce Teleconference with a FREE webinar. This resource is open to any business in the region and is hosted by Council for Quality Growth in partnership with Forsyth County Chamber. Register here.
  • Next Week: Georgia Commute Options is hosting a Telework Webinar Series to share information about managing objectives and deliverables while teleworking, collaborating through technology, supporting good working habits and more.

IRS Tax Relief information

The IRS has established a special section of the agency’s website focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by this coronavirus. Their page will be updated as new information is available.  

Guidance for Businesses and Employers with Regard to COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:


Well that’s it for now… 

But please leave a comment with any information and resources that you’ve found useful as you’ve navigated the COVID-19. And don’t forget to support the local small businesses in your area any way you can.

Is Everyone Working From Home?

man-at-desk-on-computer-working-from-home-tom-martin-coaching

Say goodbye to business as usual, most if not all your staff could be working from home as a result of Covid-19.

Do you think your company is ready?

With more people than ever working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, business owners’ leadership skills will be put to the test.

Maybe the better question is… are you ready?

Be mindful of what it is because what you say will set the tone and they will follow your lead when they are talking with customers, clients, and colleagues. 

With that being the case and so much at stake, it’s time to get personal!

Simply ask, “how are you doing?”

Listen, ask questions, be aware of concerns, worries, or fears. And you will have multiple people on the call, give everyone the opportunity to answer that question.

Communicate You Care

The very fact you asked shows you care and it reinforces the relationship you have with them and the team.

Remember, for many of them this is new to them. They are worried about how all this will work which adds to all the other concerns they have about how the coronavirus outbreak will impact their family and life.

I guaranty that everyone will be far more receptive to everything you have to say after you’ve inquired about how they are doing.

Ok, now your turn…

  • What are your thoughts, recommendations, and suggestions.
  • What are some of the things you plan to do in your business?
  • What will you say to your employees as your company navigates the all the unknown surrounding Covid-19 and its impact in the marketplace?

Leave a comment below so we can learn together and lead well in our community…

Here are 5 Things Business Owners can be doing which will have a positive impact on their employees, with their customers, and in their community! Lead Well…

What To Do When You Do Not Know What To Do

Three Practical Things You Can Do Today

what-to-do-when-you-do-not-know-what-to-do-tom-martin-coaching

Out of the blue, I received a call from someone in the financial services industry that I had that referred clients over the years. Her business expertise was in an area beyond the scope of work I did with my clients. And while we had collaborated on clients, we had never talked about her business beyond the services she provided to business owners.

The voicemail indicated she wanted to run something by me. But when we spoke, I quickly realized she was at the crossroads with a business decision and she didn’t know what to do.

Many times the coaching conversations I have with business owners concern decisions they had made at a point in their life when they didn’t know what to do.

Seeking advice or counsel is the wise thing to do

But either by design or default or because of ego or pride, entrepreneurs and business owners tend to go it alone. Sometimes the results are good and often not as good as they had sought objective feedback or utilized someone as a sounding board.

And while I won’t go into the details of the call, here is a decision-making model I used to help her get a better idea of what to do when she truly didn’t know what to do.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Charles Swindoll

 

Be Inquisitiveresearch potential solutions

tom-martin-coaching-be-inquisitive

• Search the internet – articles, books, blogs, podcasts, videos

• Ask friends, family, neighbors, or business associates if they know someone you should talk to who is familiar with the decision you are contemplating

 

 

Be Openseek counsel

tom-martin-coaching-be-open-to-counsel• Being inquisitive is getting ideas about potential solutions.

• Getting counsel is tapping into the wisdom of someone who has perspective about the decision you have to make.

• And if you can’t find someone with first-hand knowledge of the situation, review your notes from all the conversations you had with people you trust (mentors, advisors, friends, spouse) to see where there is a consensus. And when there is, move on to the next step. Just make sure the people you’re talking to will not only tell you what they think but also what you need to hear.

 

Be Stillponder, meditate, or pray

tom-martin-coaching-be-still• Evaluate everything you learned from being inquisitive and review the advice shared by counsel.

• Compare the advice shared by counsel.

• Stay still until you know what to do. Remember, no one knows for you…only you know for you!

 

A few final thoughts about moving forward after you make a decision about what to do:

KNOW THIS

Waiting to make a perfect decision means you’ll never make any decision! – Tom Martin

DO THIS

Forget about the ultimate outcome. Just focus on taking one step in the direction of the thing you decided to do.  – Tom Martin

REMEMBER THIS

Clarity comes when you move toward your destination and correct along the way.  – Michael Hyatt

Living Full Out

Radio Show Guest Appearance

I had a great time appearing with Nancy Solari on her nationally syndicated radio show, Living Full Out!tom-martin-coaching-living-full-out-radio

 

My Living Full Out episode, When You Believe You Can Overcome Limitations as You Live Full Out, originally aired on February 10th. Nancy and I discussed overcoming adversity and finding hope in the most challenging of circumstances. Plus we talked about the life lessons I’ve learned from battling merkel cell cancer three times and how this was a catalyst for me to leave the automotive industry and become a certified executive coach.

You can listen to the Living Full Out show using the Spreaker Audio player below. And you will find my two segments with Nancy starting at the 15-minute mark of the show. 

            

I share my story to share the life lessons I’ve learned along the way and even offer hope. You are not alone, and feel free to reach out with questions. You can learn more about my cancer journey on my blog and also in the Huffington Post feature, Voices of Strength – Stories of Survival  

Guest Appearance on Podcast for Business

Creating Raving Fans of Your Business

Recently I had the privilege of being a guest on the Podcast for Business show. The podcast is all about business conversations over coffee where the discussions focus on the journey of business ownership.

Tom-Martin-Podcast-for-Business-Guest

Podcast for Business is hosted by Diane Campbell who owns Gratitude Goodies, a specialty gift basket company. Being a business owner herself, Diane’s understanding of business and perspective as a business owner lends itself to compelling conversations with other small business owners.

Actually, Diane’s mission at Gratitude Goodies of helping corporations express their appreciation to customers in meaning and memorable ways set the stage for our conversation about how business owners can create raving fans of their businesses. You can listen to my episode of Podcast for Business using the audio player below. 

A Guide to Setting Goals You Can Achieve

5 Key Steps to Setting Goals and Achieving More

Have you thought about what you want to accomplish in 2018, by 2020, or maybe by your next birthday milestone?

Are you clear about what the key objectives are in your personal life, your career, or your business?

set-course-goal-setting-compass

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals, our focus wanes and our sense of direction is dulled. 

To accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Setting goals is a process that starts begins with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and ends after a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are series well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish.