4 Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

Viewing the success of entrepreneurs from any generation in life often causes us to ask ourselves, what exactly did they do?

While The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen R. Covey was all the rage through the early 2000s, our focus goes beyond being effective: what we want to be successful.

From the traditional to the abstract, we’ve scanned our experience working with entrepreneurs (and the web) and compiled our top 4 Favorite Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs.


4 Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs

Rise with the Sun

Time is valuable, but just how far are you willing to go to make the most of one 24-hour day? For the successful entrepreneur, waking up early (sometimes really, really early) is common practice. Doing so not only gives you more control over your day, but you’ll have clearer insight to what you need to accomplish.

Shower Time

Everyone takes showers differently. You can use this time to reflect and project your day, clear your head or simply sing your favorite shower jam. New studies have shown that alternating between hot and cold water in your shower helps wake your body and energize your mind. And, to no surprise, the trend is catching on with young and successful entrepreneurs.

Be Punctual

If you can’t show up on time, what makes your future partner, investor or client believe that they can trust you? Being punctual not only requires you to take your time seriously, but it tells other people your time is worth their respect. Plus, many first impressions are based off of punctuality, and we mean it when we say the difference between a future client or a hard rejection can, and does, depend on your ability to be punctual.

Ask Yourself …

Before you go to bed, ask yourself this question: “If I lived every day of my life like I did today, would I be happy with the outcome of my future?” It’s as simple as that. You’ll be surprised at the impact this simple reflective question can have in your life.


The future rarely depends on one large decision; rather, it’s composed of small, habitual, everyday actions that eventually make up that big picture of our lives.

What habits do you have that make you a successful entrepreneur? Please share with us.

Tesla Gigafactory in Reno: What This Means for Reno's Economy

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, is a man with a vision. From pioneering the luxury car revolution to breaking ground on the forefront of space travel and hyperspeed transportation services throughout the world, he has already accomplished more in 43 years than many accomplish in a lifetime. On September 4, 2014, Musk announced that Nevada would be the new home of his $5 billion “gigafactory” responsible for producing high-tech batteries for his electric vehicles. The first (and largest) factory of its kind, its construction is estimated to bring tremendous economic growth to the Reno area, the factory's closest major city in Northern Nevada.

VAST HQ resides here in Reno, and now that the initial glamour and excitement over Tesla’s giga-announcement has settled, economists have analyzed the factory's expected economic impact on the Northern Nevada.


Tesla Gigafactory in Reno: What the Economists Say

Jobs: In the next five years, Tesla is expected to boost jobs in the Reno and surrounding economies. While the Reno/Tahoe area may already be well known among Tesla’s executives as a favorite for weekend getaways and vacation homes, an estimated 6,500 more employees (new and existing) will soon call Reno their home.

Economic Growth: Tesla’s new factory marks a major step in the right direction towards establishing Reno as the new high-tech city it’s striving to be. Over the next two decades, an estimated $100 billion economic impact is expected in Reno. According to the Governor’s Office for Economic Development, that’s about a 20% boost in 20 years.

Economic Diversification: Reno is no longer just the slot machine, shotgun-wedding town it used to be. With a revamped downtown area and Startup Row well underway, the Tesla move will only further Reno’s diverse economic makeup … which can only mean good things for the area.

In all reality, Tesla’s gigafactory has the potential to, and likely will, change the Reno economy forever. While some analysts say the economic impact might be overstated, there is no denying that big changes are on the horizon as Tesla’s gigafactory, and the other companies it attracts, set out to make Reno their new home.

Third Quarter Performance ... in 200 Words (or Less)

The last day of market activity for the third quarter in 2014 comes to a close this evening. Therefore, it’s only fitting to bring you the happenings of the past three months just the way you like it: short, simple and to the point.

Third Quarter Performance: 2014


The September labor report is expected to dominate this week’s headlines. Coming out this Friday, it’s estimated that at least 200,000 new jobs were created this month alone, ending the quarter on a positive note from last month’s upset with fewer than 150,000 new jobs.

Real Estate

New home sales rose 18% in August—over 504,000 new home sales across the nation. More growth around the nation prompts builders to believe our current rising real estate trend will continue.


Consumer spending rose over .5% in August, leading analysts to believe the rest of the third quarter will continue to see consumer spending on the rise.


46 economic analysts surveyed throughout August and September agree that the expected growth rate of the national GDP at 3% throughout the third and fourth 2014 quarters.

Stay in touch with VAST. 

(177 words - nailed it)

Amazon Local Register: New Sights on Retail

Amazon is expanding its horizons yet again, and industry competitors should (as usual) be concerned. Already dominating the worlds of online book sales, electronics and pretty much anything else that can be purchased, Amazon has set its sights on appealing to small businesses. How so? In a recent article by Forbes, the company led by CEO, Jeff Bezos, has developed a new product aiming to replace mobile point-of-sale systems offered by companies such as Square and PayPal. According to the article, “over 60% of Amazon transactions take place through independent small and medium sized merchants. This represents millions of successful merchants, many that operate retail stores.”


Amazon Local Register

Unfortunately for Amazon’s competition, many of these small and medium sized merchants give their loyalty to the company with the lowest price. Because Amazon is indeed Amazon, it can afford to offer prices-per-transaction that are lower than their competition’s. According to the Amazon Local Register website, their rates vs. competitors like Square and PayPal are as follows:





PayPal Here

Swiped Transactions

1.75% Limited Time Offer. 2  2.75%  2.7%

Manually Keyed

2.75% 3.5% + $0.15 3.5% + $0.15


As you can see, Amazon’s prices are significantly less than those of its competition. Even after their promotional pricing is over, they expect to set their price-per-transaction rate at 2.5% - the lowest on the market for any devices in the industry.

This is just one component of Amazon’s regimen to dominate the retail market like it did with the online market over the past decade. In addition to Local Register, Amazon offers one-step payment options for merchants. Plus, as the largest distributer of wholesale goods in the world, Amazon has the potential to further their relationship with these merchants far beyond in store transactions.

So, Square and PayPal should most definitely be concerned about Amazon’s moves in the retail market. This is just the beginning.

The New Guys: Our New Virtual Accounting Teammates

There are a few things we go absolutely bonkers for here in the VAST office: watching the clock strike midnight at the end of tax day, chai tea lattes from The Hub, puppies and new additions to the office. Although we don’t have the capacity for a CPO (Chief Puppy Officer) yet, we are happy to welcome our latest and greatest members to our team. The Virtual Accounting New Guy/Gal Roster

Debbie Page, VAST: Tech | Staff Accountant

As a staff accountant at VAST, Debbie is responsible for ensuring all things financial are attended to accurately and in adequate time. When she isn’t scanning your income statements or balancing your cash flows, you can find Debbie racing the streets as a part of the Reno Corvette Club, where she’s been a member for over 2 years.

She has over 20 years of accounting experience … AKA; she’s a bad hombre. But, don't let her extensive background in accounting (or Corvette’s) intimidate you. She also enjoys reading, traveling during the summer, skiing during the winter and donating to the Reno Sparks Gospel Mission in her free time.

Welcome to the team, Debbie.


Connor Estep, VAST: Intern

Much like the greats of classical music, this VAST Intern is all about the piano life. Currently an undergraduate student studying accounting at the University of Nevada, Connor hopes to obtain his CPA after graduation.

When he isn’t serenading the ladies with his Beethoven-like piano skills, he spends his time camping, working (and playing) on the computer and, like every other college student, studying.

Knowledge is power, Connor; prepare to learn from our team of the best virtual accountants in Reno (and possibly the universe).

VAST at Bob Proctor's Matrixx

As a small business in Reno that works on the forefront of the virtual financial firms, VAST has some of the best team members in the nation. Each year, we send a representative from our firm to attend a world-renowned professional conference hosted by none other than Bob Proctor.

Matrixx is a quaterly conference hosted in Toronto, Canada where leading professionals from around the world in various industries meet with attendees for a once in a lifetime training opportunity. Between August 18-23 of this summer, conference goers will have the chance to listen, learn and speak with industry leaders to better their professional repertoire.

While you may not recognize the name Bob Proctor off the top of your head, his professional accomplishments are nothing but spectacular. One of the primary teachers in the wildly popular film, The Secret, Bob Proctor has become one of the world’s most sought after professional and motivational speakers. As Doug Wead, former Special Assistant to the President of the United States so eloquently stated, "Zig Ziglar may be the master motivator, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul, the master storytellers; Anthony Robbins may be the guru of personal development, but Bob Proctor is the master thinker. When it comes to systematizing life, no one can touch him."

VAST is proud to have had their very own Tanya McCafferey invited to speak at Bob Proctor’s Matrixx for several times now, including the upcoming August Matrixx event. For more information on the Matrixx event and our involvement, please visit their website or contact us at VAST HQ today.

Entrepreneurship Tips: Staying Focused on the Pride of Owning Your Own Business

Simply said, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Staying motivated, keeping your business above water and living a healthy life outside of your business may not seem overwhelming on paper, but if you've lived it, you know it's enough to swallow you whole. The world of owning your own business can be the most rewarding endeavor of your life, but it can also be the most detrimental. While VAST handles the financial side of small businesses, we do so for the sake of small-business owners so they can stay focused on the heart of their business. We’ve picked our brains to come up with the following entrepreneurship tips to stay grounded when owning your own business.

Remind Yourself “Why”

On a regular basis we hear stories of individuals setting out to achieve their dreams and make a difference in their community through their business endeavors, but all too often they become consumed with the idea of a dollar. When the going gets tough, reminding yourself of why you started your business in the first place can be a breath of fresh air while keeping your morals in line.


Stay Grounded Outside of Work

Some of the most successful professionals understand that work is simply work. They are passionate about the work they do because they know the impact of their performance (in the community, at home, etc.), but their professional life is only a small piece of their life puzzle. Spending time with family and pursuing your hobbies--among so many other activities you find passion in--will keep you motivated and grounded inside and outside of the office.

Develop a Trustworthy Professional Network

As the owner of small business, it’s easy to feel lonely and discouraged because you believe you are the only person in your shoes. While in some ways you are, there are millions of entrepreneurs in this world who know your struggles first-hand. Develop a network of similar-minded professionals from all industries and share your successes and your struggles. It helps, trust us.

Entrepreneurship is so rewarding. But at the same time, it can be so difficult. Team VAST takes pride in the work we do for our clients, and we are happy to provide entrepreneurship tips for success. Keep moving and shaking, all you daring movers and shakers!

Stuff We Love: Swizznet

Swizznet - Cloud Hosting

These days everything is moving to the cloud.  But some cloud providers are better than others. Enter Swizznet – a top winner in the Stuff We Love category!

 Swizznet can host your Quickbooks on the cloud.  And I’m not talking about the stripped down excuse for an accounting system known as Quickbooks Online.  I’m talking a fully functioning, robust 100% complete Quickbooks platform.  If you have multiple companies, you can host them all under your user name.  And this comes with unlimited storage, continuous backup and free tech support all for one low monthly fee per user.  Interested in migrating your files to Swizznet?  At VAST, we offer a no charge Set-It-and-Forget-It package where we get you set up on Swizznet.  We transfer your files, set up your users and get you off and running.  Contact us today for details.

Talk about the Passion

cartoon-8-9-2011 Willy Wonka said “if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Wanna change the world? There’s nothing to it.”

Are you passionate about your work? I mean ‘drive ninety miles an hour across town and charge in the door with a flourish’ passionate? I know I am. Or at least I was. And it occurred to me recently that something had changed.

Now I’m generally known as an enthusiastic if not at times overly energetic person. And I have also been known to need to be peeled off the ceiling when energized by a particularly exciting idea. And I know that a lot of you are just like me in that regard…

But at some point recently in this “recession” or “depression” or whatever you call it, something had managed to pry my rose colored glasses off of my face.

But what’s the difference? Not much in my world had changed. True. I had clients that were hurting. And being married to a builder, I felt the sting of the free falling numbers. But professionally, my firm had faced its fair share of growing pains and struggles before and I had been just as passionate about my work at times when we had struggled more feverishly than in this new economy. I realized that I had to face my own paradigms about excelling in today’s business climate.

As an entrepreneur the passion and vision that you bring to your company is an art and your irreplaceable contribution to that organization’s pulse. Reinvigorating that passion while taming financial fear is something I talk to clients about every day – it’s something I myself try to stay focused on. Fear is the kryptonite of passion. It can undermine the greatest exuberance in a single blow. The challenge is to stare down that fear and maintain that passion to execute your purpose in this world.

What if Willy’s right? What if we really can change the world and the only thing missing is our passion? Well, I ask you then to go grab that passion. Because as Tori Amos says in her song, Crucify, “you’re just an empty cage if you kill the bird.” So go harness that passion, run with it and change your world.