Madonna’s Former Trainer Offers 7 Tips to Motivate and Energize You This Winter
Fall has arrived, and our attention has turned to warm layers and hearty soup recipes. But before we slide into full hibernation mode, let’s set our intention to keep active and fit this winter. It’s soooo easy to exercise when the weather is nice, but when daylight hours grow shorter, we need help to stay motivated and energized. So we called on Nicole Winhoffer, whose NW™ Method has shaped some of the best bodies in the entertainment industry, including Madonna, who hired Nicole as her personal trainer and coach to her tour dancers. The two co-created the “Addicted to Sweat” program for Madonna’s Hard Candy Fitness gyms, where Nicole was creative director. Today’s NW™ Method draws from all Nicole’s past experience as a Broadway dancer and backup dancer to artists like Shakira. It also uses her knowledge of the body, dance, sports science, anatomy and Eastern practices that focus on the chakras, acupuncture points and energy work. Here’s how Nicole stays motivated and keeps her workouts fresh.
1. Just dance. “Dance has always been my passion,” says Nicole. “It’s always been the athletic workout that allows me to express myself, release emotions and keep me fit.” And it’s fun. When you want to increase energy and motivation, turn on some music and dance, and the rest will follow.
2. Play the *right* music. The right music is music that speaks to you, moves you. Nicole is very selective about which song she wants to hear for each section of her workout. “You noticed that!” she laughs. “My 55-minute workout works every muscle in the body, each on the beat of a unique song. The playlist is different for every class.”
3. Turn out the lights. “When you work out in the dark, it’s a shock to the senses,” Nicole writes on her website. In the dark, you really feel your body and you lose that preoccupation with how others see you. “This shocks the body and opens the mind to connect with your personal physical power,” she adds. And that frees us from negative thoughts.
4. Set your intention. Setting a personal intention before you work out “introduces consciousness and presence into fitness, helping us find personal freedom and our voice,” she says. “My intention in creating the NW™ Method started because I want trainers around the world to have access to new ideas about fitness,” she writes on her website. Fitness is not just about the body. Nicole says, “Fitness is a feeling.”
5. Challenge yourself. “My training philosophy challenges the body, the muscles, the chakras, the skin, the breath, the mind and the spirit — it’s all connected,” says Nicole. “Accessing the meridians used in acupuncture, we focus on the arms, the waist and the hips and lower body, the seat of women’s sensuality and power.” We may call those problem areas, but Nicole points out the direct relationship to the chakras, which are channels for the body’s energy. “If the complaint is abdominal fat, that’s the third chakra — ego and self-esteem. If you’re storing fat there, you might be hiding and lacking self-esteem. That’s a big area of focus.” The NW™ Method works on the body, mind and spirit, and women see results.
6. Give thanks. As Nicole is winding down the workout, she takes a moment to reflect on what just happened and to acknowledge your own vulnerabilities. This is a key moment and one of the things that makes her workouts so popular. “Maybe you started out not wanting to work out today,” she says. “Maybe you were afraid to try something new, in front of people you didn’t know. You feel different now, empowered. Give thanks that you didn’t let fear stop you. You moved ahead and broke through, and now you feel great.”
7. Keep saying “yes” to the universe. This is Nicole’s mantra. “Say ‘yes’ to new things,” she tells her class, “even when your mind is putting up barriers and trying to shut you down. When you feel yourself pulling back, that’s out of fear, and it comes from being too much in your head and overthinking things.” And the way to break through that is through movement. “Movement brings us out of our heads and into our bodies,” explains Nicole. “And that’s where we achieve our most balanced, beautiful and best self.”
If you’re in New York City and would like to work out with Nicole, you can reserve a place at her class at The Standard High Line — but, word, they book up fast. Or check out #NWCHURCH, a live streaming subscription service where everyone can work out with Nicole from any place they are in the world.
What’s your fave song to dance to? Tag us in your pic @BritandCo!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com