Tax Exempt Bonds and the 4% tax credit

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Preston Byrd

Business Training
A project financed with tax exempt bonds typically qualifies for the 4% new construction/ rehab tax credit. This is because tax exempt bonds are a kind of federally subsidized financing, and the 9% credit may not be used in such cases. If the project is located in a Qualified Census Tract or a Difficult to Develop Area, it is able to use the 130% basis Boost. (Like any other project, it also qualifies for the 4% acquisition credit if it meets the standard acquisition tax credit criteria.)

One important advantage to using tax credit bond financing is the fact that the project does not need to compete for its tax credits. They are allocated to the project “as-of-right” once bond financing is awarded to the project.

However, the full amount of the project’s tax credits will be awarded only if certain very specific criteria are met:

• At least 50%…

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Don’t Fear Failure

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Preston Byrd

Nobody likes to fail. Failure can be embarrassing, humiliating and emotionally upsetting, so it’s no wonder we’re naturally inclined to avoid the risk. Unfortunately, the fear of failure can also be paralyzing, which is why—as a leader in my organization—I strive to give myself and others permission to make mistakes. Without it, how can we make progress?

Let me share an example from early in my career when I heard negative feedback about a person who worked for me. His clients called him indecisive and were frustrated that he wasn’t answering their questions in a timely fashion. As it turns out, he was paralyzed by the fear of making a wrong decision. I remember him telling me, “The client wants one thing, but I believe the right solution is something else. And I’m afraid that if my recommendation makes the client unhappy, you’re going to hear about it and be…

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Finding your voice again

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We all go through this journey trying to make the best of it. Even the greatest of us can loss our way from time to time. Sometimes it takes a minute for us to find our balance again after being knocked down. But learning that we are not defined by the trials and tribulations that you go through but how we come out of them is the true definer of who and what we are.

Your voice, your story, your experiences are invaluable and should be embraced by you and shared with others. For it is your voice that encourages, strengthens, and enlightens. It is your voice that gives courage to those that may be on the edge of letting go. It is your voice that will lead others back to their journey’s path again.

So spread your wings and fly again because you’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

~Preston Byrd

Don’t Fear Failure

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Nobody likes to fail. Failure can be embarrassing, humiliating and emotionally upsetting, so it’s no wonder we’re naturally inclined to avoid the risk. Unfortunately, the fear of failure can also be paralyzing, which is why—as a leader in my organization—I strive to give myself and others permission to make mistakes. Without it, how can we make progress?

Let me share an example from early in my career when I heard negative feedback about a person who worked for me. His clients called him indecisive and were frustrated that he wasn’t answering their questions in a timely fashion. As it turns out, he was paralyzed by the fear of making a wrong decision. I remember him telling me, “The client wants one thing, but I believe the right solution is something else. And I’m afraid that if my recommendation makes the client unhappy, you’re going to hear about it and be upset.”
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He feared the consequences of making a wrong decision, so he made no decision at all. And, as it turned out, his lack of a decision resulted in his clients being unhappy—exactly what he was trying to avoid! Once I realized what was happening, I reassured him that I’d back him. I believe that it’s important for leaders to empower their team members to make decisions, even if they’re not necessarily the same decisions we might make. And if the decisions turn out to be incorrect, it’s important to learn from the mistake rather than try to hide it. The way I see it, unless you’re taking steps to move forward, you’re falling behind.

Though it hasn’t always been easy to overcome the fear of making a mistake, I remind myself of the things I tell my colleagues:

1. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Unless you’re a surgeon, most decisions you make during the course of your day aren’t a matter of life and death. Don’t lose perspective. If your well-thought-out decision doesn’t work, the consequences are rarely as damaging as you might fear.

2. Delaying your decision won’t make it easier. In fact, quite the opposite can happen. When you procrastinate over making a decision, anxiety builds. And before you know it, a relatively insignificant decision may—in your own mind—take on monumental importance.

3. Do something. It’s better to make a decision and change it than to make no decision at all. It’s much like what I learned when I studied chemistry in college. If you stay static, the environment will change around you, and you’ll become obsolete. In life, if you become paralyzed by the fear of failure, you’ll be left behind.

I also believe strongly in the need to reframe the discussion around failure. The very word—failure—sounds so heavy. Instead, I encourage people to think of it this way: If a decision you make turns out to be the wrong one, you didn’t fail; you just didn’t make the best decision. Pat yourself on the back for taking a risk, and learn from it. Nobody’s perfect. In most cases, getting it right 80 percent of the time is good enough—and it’s certainly better than taking no action at all.-Joann M. Eisenhart

~Preston Byrd

Seth Meyers’ Top Interview Tips

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To get the most out of your interviews, follow the Late Night host’s lead.

With 240 celebrity interviews under his belt as the host of NBC’s Late Night, Seth Meyers knows a thing or two about getting people to open up. (That is the gig, after all.) In the latest installment of BuzzFeed Brews with CBS This Morning taped Monday, Meyers sat down with BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti to share his key tips for celebrity interviews.

Jeff Bridges might not grace you with his presence anytime soon, but the tips Meyers offered will come in handy next time you meet a power player like Saeed Amidi. Here’s how Meyers does it:

Start With a Compliment
Peretti was clearly nervous about interviewing the former host of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, so he jokingly asked Meyers for a great opening. “Anything where you can start by saying, ‘I saw you in ‘blank’ and it was great,’ that’s really good,” Meyers quipped. It also helps to remember the subject’s name and credentials. Lead with a compliment–and sound informed–and you’re sure to put your subject at ease.

Do Your Homework
When you’re trying to make a point or land funding, it never hurts to jot down what you’d like to say. “Everyone who’s a guest on talk shows is a different kind of guest,” said Meyers. “I was a certain kind of guest when I was on talk shows. I always wanted to know what I was gonna say. I wrote it out beforehand. I wanted the host of the talk show to ask me very specific things to set up either stories or jokes that I wanted to tell.” Asked whether that was working this time, Meyers smiled and said he’d hit all his talking points.

Encourage Them
Whether you’re meeting a matcher or someone who merely thinks they are, encourage them with a real compliment. “With [someone like] Jeff Bridges at the end, you say ‘thank you so much for coming,’ because you know, you feel as though he’s graced you with his presence,” said Meyers, “whereas with [lesser-known talent like the folk-comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates], it was really important for me to say, ‘you guys were outstanding–that was a really great interview.'” A little confidence-booster will make someone more comfortable.

Be Smooth
Awkward moments are inevitable, but try your best to limit them–at least on your end. “I don’t mind if it’s the guest is making things awkward, because there’s a certain charm to that,” Meyers said. But when it comes to the interview itself, “I should be better at it than them, because I get to do it so often.” Know what’s expected of you in an interview, and play that part–just like Meyers does every night.-Jill Krasny

~Preston Byrd

Move with Purpose

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In Physics, there is a law of motion. These sets of laws were developed by the great scientist Issac Newton called, “The Laws of Motion.” These laws developed the basic foundation for mechanics and they consist of three laws. The first law: is an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force. The second law: The acceleration of a body is directly proportional to, and in the same direction as, the net force acting on the body, and inversely proportional to its mass; and The third law: When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body.

I found that the Laws of Motion can be used as a blueprint for business. When applying these laws, one must understand that every action has an equal positive or negative reaction. Every action exerts a certain amount of force on the second object. That object in return is going to exert a force equal in magnitude. If you are going to make a move from point A to point B it is wise to make sure that there is a purposeful connection between A and B. A lack of awareness or objectivity can play a major role in your businesses sufficiency and will determine the direction of the force you use. When making a move, timing and taking into consideration the business environment and economic environment can add the edge you need to be successful at gaining a solid foundation for your decision making.

No company operates inside of a volt. Outside factors play a role in determining whether an individual business succeeds or fails. A business must first acknowledge the outside impact of business and economic trends and move in consideration of these factors accordingly. A business must identify with these elements. Purpose is the absolute value and the calculated reaction to your decision. Moving without purpose can have an opposite and negative impact on business objectives, production, social responsibility and ultimately the bottom line. How are you making decisions in your business?

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~Preston Byrd

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Hey you! Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!!

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Remember the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” This quote is one that has been passed down for generations and growing up I use to live my life by this quote. Why sweat the small stuff? It’s only the big stuff that matters! Right? …Wrong! As I began to mature in business I realized that it was actually all of the small stuff that really mattered.

Instead of only focusing on the final goal, it is imperative to set benchmarks that leads to achieving the ultimate goal, (all the small stuff). Paying attention to the details is very important when building a successful business so that things that are relative are not missed. Paying attention to the details is as simple as recognizing that small adjustment to your presentation, or making that follow-up call to say thanks for the opportunity. These are the kinds of attention to detail that will set you apart from your competitors.

Imagine having a bike with no pedals. Small it my seem but without the pedals, the bike becomes just a frame with wheels. Something as small as the pedals missing on the bike has a huge impact on your ability to produce forward movement.

This same concept is relevant in business. Attentiveness to the small benchmarks in business in return will produce the kind of results needed to help you reach your final goal. So next time, remember to slow down and give the small stuff the attention it deserves.
 

~Preston Byrd