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Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The January 2023 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Jeffrey Wachman

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A serial entrepreneur, Jeffrey Wachman is a night-life entrepreneur, an author, and an innovator in performing arts, digital marketing, and business development.

Open about his humble beginnings and past, he used a personal tragedy as a catalyst to clean up his life, further develop his sales acumen, and reapply it, which resulted in significant business growth for his several companies.

Jeffrey Wachman is a partner and co-owner of several companies such as Hunkomania Male Revue, Diva Royale Drag Queen Show, Booze N’ Brush Sip N’ Paint, and Red Velvet Burlesque entertainment franchises, just to name a few. He is also the co-owner and Chief Marketing Officer for My Eye Read Iridology, My Estate to Liquidate Estate Sales, Credit Roadrunner Credit Repair, Merit Laser Services Medical Laser Repair, and Next Destination Moving. A champion of growth-mindset thinking, Jeffrey learned from his life experiences and sought to inspire others to pursue their ambitions, goals, and dreams. Global Millionaire magazine recently sat down and talked entrepreneurship with Jeffrey, and here’s what he had to say:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always had the spirit of an entrepreneur; I used to buy candy, sell it at school, and enjoy the experience of commerce and the joy it gave to my schoolmates. Always looking for the next angle, I soon learned to purchase sneakers and clothing and resell it at a profit. These lessons taught me the power of being in business for yourself and gave me an early insight into the expression, “profits are better than wages.”

What did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

Before becoming an entrepreneur, I worked different jobs. I worked as hard as possible, always excelled at them, and made good money. But my hunger for success and constant growth fueled me to keep growing and moving forward to my career as an entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?

In addition to delighting the customer, making money is important, but even more importantly, seeing how big I can grow a company gets me up in the morning. Setting goals, applying focus and effort, and eventually achieving them is gratifying. However, I get even more enjoyment from setting stretch goals that challenge me to grow further in my understanding and capabilities.

In a word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why you enjoy it.

Exciting. My life as an entrepreneur has been exhilarating and will continue to be so because continuous learning and growth are never dull. From the start of a company or my jumping on board, it’s exciting to see where it can go and how my role will evolve, no matter how hard.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

My top three motivators for starting my business included not having a boss, being in full control of a company’s success, and seeing how much I could expand an enterprise without anyone or anything holding me back. These were and will continue to drive me forward every single day.

To what do you attribute your success?

My success comes from pure, good old-fashioned hard work, dedication, and sacrifice.

What are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?

I believe the three key elements for starting a business are:

1. Research: know your market, competitors, customers, and costs.

Always be prepared to spend more than originally budgeted.

2. Be prepared to work harder than anyone and harder than you ever have.

What you put into your business is what you will get from it.

3. Know every aspect of your business.

You want to understand each aspect in-depth to either be able to execute directly or delegate and oversee.

What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business, and how did you overcome them?

Some of the biggest challenges I have faced in growing my businesses include finding the right employees and not having enough time in the day. Staying vigilant in finding and hiring the right staff and learning from past experiences have helped me grow the businesses to where they are today and will continue to grow. Time management will always be challenging, but prioritizing and letting go of things that do not bring value to your success can get more important things done! Setting the right priorities and focusing your time on them is a fundamental key to success.

Does loneliness always accompany entrepreneurship?

I believe there is some truth to that, but it’s also an important part of becoming successful and a catalyst for personal growth. I stayed in many nights working until the wee hours while my friends and family were out socializing or at functions. I’ve often sacrificed relationships to get to where I am today; however, I believe it’s possible to have fun, but only after reaching a certain point of success that permits it. Let’s face it, no one likes to be broke, and I’m not the type of guy that would settle for less than being successful and financially well-off, so those sacrifices are important.

As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?

1. Respect, always be kind to people you encounter, and treat them how you want to be treated.

2. Honesty, whether it hurts or helps, I’ll always be honest, and that’s an important part of being a leader.

3. Be willing to do what you’re asking those under you to do. I heard a saying once, and it stuck with me, “I’ll never send my troops to fight a battle I would not fight myself.” Whether it’s my nightlife company, the restaurant I owned, or the iridology company, from cleaning the bathrooms to updating websites, your employees must see how far you’ll go to ensure the job gets done. Your motivation motivates them. It also allows you to say and genuinely mean when necessary, “No Excuses.”

What do you hope to happen in the near future for small businesses worldwide?

I would love to see small businesses worldwide become more successful by utilizing the ever-evolving marketing tools available today. While I love and support the mom-and-pop businesses of the world, I see more and more of them disappearing, partly due to them not evolving with the times, and failing to define and execute digital marketing strategies, for example.

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Is 2023 A Good Time To Invest In Sydney Property

Sydney’s property market is booming at the moment with many sellers and developments. Currently, an investor has many choices and a good price range. Regardless of the economic times, the property market is known to be the most predictable and stable investment out there. Sydney’s property market is unpredictable when investments are geared toward new innovations or products that may be obsolete a few years later. However, property will always be an asset being essential to every human on earth. It is the oldest type of investment, and it still stands to be the most steady and lucrative.

Why invest in Sydney Property? The reasons are endless…

There are many reasons to invest in property, which is the difference that makes it a good idea to buy property.

If the property is purchased for personal use

Currently, many First Home Buyer incentives and Government Grants are available – do your research, and you could find the perfect property for you.

Invest to rent out

Through PIA’s B&R Model (Buy and Rent), many of its investment properties attract a ‘Rental Guarantee’ – this means that you can accurately predict your rental income for the next three years.

Tenants will pay down your mortgage via rental income they give to the property owner, whether they are positively or negatively geared properties.

Investors using this type of investment can sit back and enjoy seeing their investment grow.

A Hefty Tax Return on Sydney Property

Sydney Property is considered an asset, and assets depreciate over time. This basically means that your initial investment will go through wears and tears of time and usage. However, this does seem like a negative, but there is a golden thread in this disadvantage. This disadvantage is tax deductible; it can be claimed from your taxes, and you will receive a hefty return. Also, because this is a long-term investment, there will always be the chance of your property being a disposable asset in the future when you wish to resell.

It’s Trending For a Limited Time – a buyer’s market!

Now, if we narrow it down to the Australian market, there are some very interesting trends at the moment that will slowly fade away if not acted on soon. The trends include many developments at the moment in Sydney Property and many of the larger cities. Therefore, the competition for sellers is large, so buyers’ prices are ideal now. Due to this insurgent amount of developments and property, there are many opportunities where informed investors have the ability to gear the investment amount to their advantage.

This is a good time to purchase. Investing in property is a long-term investment. Therefore, any changes that occur after purchase, even if it shifts to being a seller’s market, will be to the property owner’s advantage. This is because you can sit and wait for an ideal time to sell or continuously gain from the rental of tenants at a time when the property is too expensive for people hoping to be property owners.

Source: PIA

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Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Admits Giving Away His $100 Billion Plus Fortune Is “Very Hard”

Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos has revealed that it’s actually ‘not easy’ to give away his estimated over $100 billion fortune.

The Amazon founder revealed that he plans to give away ‘most’ of his massive fortune to various good causes. In fact, Bezos has already committed to giving $10 billion by 2030 to the Bezos Earth Fund to help combat climate change. He also recently gave a $100 million grant to country music superstar Dolly Parton so that she can continue her philanthropic work. Parton received the Bezos Courage and Civility Award from Bezos and Sanchez earlier this month. The award ‘recognises leaders who aim high, find solutions, and who always do it with civility’ according to Sanchez.

Bezos has also admitted that giving away his massive fortune is actually ‘very hard’. When he was interviewed by CNN, he said: “The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way.”

“It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work, a bunch of very smart teammates, hard-working teammates, and I’m finding – and I think Lauren is finding the same thing – that charity, philanthropy, is very similar.”

He further said: “There are a bunch of ways that I think you could do ineffective things, too. So you have to think about it carefully, and you have to have brilliant people on the team.”

Editorial credit: dennizn / Shutterstock.com

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Spotlight On Proxima: The Next Big Platform To Watch Out For In 2023

Thirty years ago, Justin Wang came to Australia to achieve financial freedom. However, he initially found it very difficult to make money in Australia. Even though the income is higher in Australia than in China, he could save only a few dollars.

He quickly found a way to remedy the situation. This was how PIA was born. Wang credits the realization of his dreams to his two-fold approach to prosperity: invest in a business and then advise others to do so. He feels that if he didn’t do that, he probably would not have achieved as extensive a portfolio as he currently holds today.

For Wang, a business owner’s priority always lies with the stakeholders. This includes all parties to the arrangement and the interests of society as a whole. This holistic approach is the cornerstone of Wang’s success and functions as a valuable lesson in entrepreneurial tactics.

Justin Wang is the embodiment of the self-made businessperson. From unassuming beginnings to life as a property magnate – he now personifies the paradigm for financial freedom. It always comes down to abundance as generated by collaboration.

Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Justin to discuss his vision for 2023, and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us about your vision for PIA in 2023?

I started the business in 2005 with a powerful mission, goal, and purpose: to achieve financial freedom. After 17 years of working hard, I eventually achieved that goal, so now I have new goals for 2023. My plan for 2023 is to keep the property management service in-house and integrate the agents from the PIA agency to the Proxima platform. We are managing 7000 properties in Australia which in hindsight is 5 billion worth in assets. I want to make sure our clients are looked after. I am also planning to set up the PIA school to continue promoting the PIA success formula to get more people to succeed. Even though many people already know the PIA concept, I still feel that you need someone to guide them and ensure they’re on the right path, and that’s what the school is all about.

Can you tell us more about Proxima? What’s this all about?

Proxima is an agent service platform that engages and promotes the PIA concept. I want hundreds, even thousands, of people to have their own businesses even though they still have their day jobs through this new platform. Proxima will take the hassle away from agents and will engage a large number of the broader community. Through this new platform, I hope to help the bigger community achieve financial freedom through Sydney residential property.

What are your personal goals for 2023?

I came to Australia in 1993. I was here roughly 30 years ago, and I’ve already achieved my personal goal of achieving financial freedom. To be honest I don’t have any more goals to achieve personally. Now my personal goal is about how many people I can help get into the property market. I want to teach as many people as possible on how to take advantage of the market and how they can benefit from it in the future.

What are your tips for people who will be affected by the high-interest rates next year?

Many people are hesitant to enter the property market because they feel that the high-interest rate will stop them from borrowing more money or won’t allow them to enter the property market. While everyone is so busy worrying about the soaring interest rates, people are forgetting that immigration numbers are high once again, so more people will be looking for a place to stay. Once supply increases, the demand will also increase. Yes, the interest rates might continue to rise, but who will bear the increase in interest rates? The tenants. Decade after decade, year after year, century after century – there will always be a time when the interest rates will keep going up. Still, if you know how the market works, you’ll keep the property you own because, eventually, you’ll be the winner when the interest rates drop. Do you want to think short-term or long-term? If you’re considering selling your property to avoid a higher mortgage, you’ve probably dodged a headache in the short term. But if you think long term, you have to keep in mind that rent will continue to increase yearly, so you’ll be the winner if you decide to keep your property.

Jeffr

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Get To Know The CEO and Visionary Behind Proximo Marketing Strategies

Courtney B. Riley is the CEO and visionary behind Proximo Marketing Strategies, an international marketing firm based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Driven by passion and a calling to serve, Courtney leverages her talent for innovative thinking with a genuine enthusiasm for seeing others succeed, to help her clients find and pursue their true purpose while also providing them with the necessary tools to position their brands in the marketplace successfully. She is an active and appreciated member of her community, serving as adjunct faculty at local colleges, educating students on best practices for marketing in the 21st century, and serving on the board of several non-profit organizations. A published author and recent recipient of the 40 Under 40 and Woman of Excellence award, Courtney Riley has been called “One to watch in the marketing world,” by Authority Magazine.

With a decade of success behind her, Courtney now focuses her efforts on helping other entrepreneurs, CEOs and visionaries employ the principles of the Love-Centric Business Model to not only achieve success and fulfillment for themselves, their employees, and their customers but to do it all on their own terms.

Of course, more important than any professional accomplishments are the blessings Courtney counts in her personal life – her husband, Matt, teenage son, Dominic, and toddler, Bella. Yes. You read that right – a teenager and a toddler! Needless to say, Courtney knows a thing or two about chaos and overwhelm and practices what she preaches not only on the job but also at home, recognizing that living a life of love has also meant loving herself enough to prioritize self-care. When she’s not helping entrepreneurs thrive and build love-centric businesses, Courtney can be found soaking up family time and sunshine in the backyard, relaxing with yoga or enjoying a quiet moment with God’s word.

Global Millionaire recently caught up with Courtney to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur, and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Nurturing relationships. Right now, as the world struggles to navigate a staffing crisis and heavy turnover, I’m investing time and energy into nurturing the relationships I have with my team and encouraging them to do the same with one another. Loving people that love our clients have a beautiful trickle-down effect! I’m also keeping the relationships we have with our current clients at the forefront of all we do, continuing to cultivate those relationships, and exploring how we can add even more value. 90% of our new business comes from happy clients that see what we can do, and share the impact with other business owners and leaders that they know. The best part about that? We get more clients like the ones we have (and love!). It’s a win-win!

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Honestly, it’s pretty ironic, but I’ll always be a grassroots girl at heart. Cultivating relationships that already exist, and investing time and attention to those around me, has had the greatest ROI. I genuinely want the people around me to succeed, and I believe they feel that. Naturally, when people they know need to experience that same love and support, I’m the person they refer.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Facebook, Instagram, and (recently) TikTok.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

Declining work. Good work, with good prospects, We are BUSY. And if that busyness gets in the way of us delivering what a new client deserves, I refuse to take them on. It’s tough when you support a team financially, and even tougher when the prospect is someone that you’d genuinely WANT to work with. But no amount of money is worth your integrity (or quality of service) taking a back seat.

How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

I hate to say it, but it’s been a season of growth, in a big part from the impact of the pandemic. For years, businesses did things the same way they had always been done. Conservative entrepreneurs, who had once been innovative leaders, had become complacent. The pandemic shook the boat. It pushed people to embrace change that they had shied away from for decades. Suddenly, people that had watched my team and I help our clients take their business to new places, from the sidelines, needed and wanted us to help them navigate the changes they were forced to implement. In short, the pandemic shook the boat and made space for us to help people navigate the turbulent waters of marketing.

How have you adapted your business operations in response to COVID-19 and its associated impacts?

Fortunately, we were virtual prior to the pandemic, so we felt minimal hiccups in that regard. The unprecedented growth we experienced, however, took quite a bit of navigating. In fact, it’s still something we spend intentional time nurturing. We have weekly team meetings, quarterly (if not more frequent) team get-togethers, and even brought on a team member to help co-shepherd our team with me. She spends time in leadership development, and personal and spiritual growth, and acts as a safe-zone sounding board for our crew. Learning to love in a way that makes this team unique has been one of the most impactful adaptations our team has experienced!

What have been some of the most important lessons you have learned because of this pandemic?

If nothing else, the pandemic reminded me how little control we truly have, and how IN CONTROL our Heavenly Father is. I heard an analogy recently about a farmer that worked diligently on his land; tilling, planting, and watering his soon-to-be crops. Just like him, we are called to work with excellence in all things that we are given to steward, including our businesses, clients, and employees. We pour into them, invest into them, and nurture them with all that we have. But at the end of the day, whether the sun shines, rain falls and photosynthesis happens is not within the farmer’s hands. Similarly, after all of the hard work we put into our career tracks, God Himself has the final say on what sort of fruit they produce. The pandemic has increased both my faith and my resiliency!

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

I hope people let their boats shake. I hope they embrace change as gracefully as they can, and above all else, I hope that they prioritize the PEOPLE in their corner. Their clients, their employees, and their families deserve to be loved fiercely, at all costs.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up a new business in this pandemic?

Surround yourself with a tribe of people that are willing to pour into you. You need people that will be brutally honest and cheer you on, all at the same time. Find the ones that have been in the trenches and are living a life that you aspire to have, then humble yourself and ASK. FOR. HELP. We were ALL where you are right now, once!

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Top 10 Most Influential CEO’s Of 2022

With the likes of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos making headlines in the daily, Tipalti wanted to discover which CEOs have the most influence on us. 
The study examined social media presence, TV appearances, net worth, fake news claims, and even merchandise to discover the most influential CEOs in 2022.
Introducing the ten most influential CEOs of 2022:

Rank

Name

Company

Twitter Followers

TikTok Views

IMDB Credits

Fake News 

Net Worth ($)

CEO Influencer Score /10

1

Elon Musk

Tesla

106.5m

12.1bn

158

59

$264bn

9.91

2

Bill Gates

Microsoft

60.4m

1.4bn

241

141

$114bn

9.60

3

Jeff Bezos

Amazon

5.2m

2.1bn

93

8

$142bn

9.20

4

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook

0

819.9m

124

21

$55bn

7.86

5

Tim Cook

Apple Inc.

13.6m

65.8m

33

0

$1.5bn

7.72

6

Reed Hastings

Netflix

109.8k

1.7m

16

2

$1bn

7.68

7

Mary Barra

General Motors

64.6k

244

13

0

$169m

5.63

8

James Quincey

Coca-Cola Co

0

33.1k

7

3

$48.7m

5.00

9

Bob Chapek

Walt Disney CO

0

10.1m

18

3

$7.7m

4.78

10

Karen Lynch

CVS Health

5.9k

131.1k

0

0

$25.6m

4.69

Elon Musk has been crowned as our most influential CEO with a near-perfect score of 9.91 out of 10. He has been incredibly successful as the CEO of Tesla since earning the job in 2008, and he just purchased Twitter.
Only two woman feature in the top 10 list of most influential CEOs; Mary Barra, who ranks 7th, and Karen Lynch, who ranks 10th. 
Further study insights:
  • Most CEOs on our list are in the technology sector, with Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook founders all in the top 5. 
  • Elon Musk had the most fan-created merchandise, returning over 25,000 results when searching for his name. He also has a perfect social media score of 10 out of 10, as he has the most followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok.
  • Bill Gates has the most TV appearances, with 241 IMDB credits. Over half of these credits are from talk show appearances and news interviews, where Gates was featured as a guest. Gates also has by far the fakest news claims associated with his name at 141. 

You can dig further into the data here
Editorial credit: dennizn / Shutterstock.com
This article was sourced from a media release sent by Emily Boswell of Digitaloft
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Meet The Woman Behind The Cover Of The November 2022 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Geena Davis

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By Allison Kugel

Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis has spent decades breaking down barriers for women with powerfully resonating on-screen portrayals transcending entertainment and inspiring seismic cultural shifts in how women are viewed in art and real life.

Davis made her feature film debut starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in the classic 1982 classic comedy Tootsie, and she went on to star in such films including The Fly, Beetlejuice, The Accidental Tourist, Thelma & Louise, Hero, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Stuart Little, and A League of Their Own.

From the quirky and offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, to her Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-nominated performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise alongside Susan Sarandon, to leading the cast of Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own opposite Tom Hanks; Geena Davis has portrayed characters who claim their own narrative and make us reimagine womanhood. Geena Davis’s roles have remained evergreen in their ability to reflect the human condition, brilliantly, long after their release.

In 2019 Davis was honored with a second Oscar trophy, this time the Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, in recognition of her work over the decades to achieve gender parity onscreen in film and television.

Ahead of her time, Davis also earned the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Dramatic Series for her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in the ABC television series Commander in Chief.

Geena Davis is the archetype fearless female who gets it done. Yet, to speak with her is to witness a soft-spoken and centered human being who draws you into her space with carefully cultivated wisdom that doesn’t need to shout to be heard. A world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer) and a member of Mensa, most recently, she is recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. Davis is the Founder and Chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentage of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media made for children 11 and under.

Allison Kugel: What are the three major life events that shaped the human being you are today?

Geena Davis: The first one would be having the parents that I did. Both of them were great, but particularly, my dad was very encouraging in a subtle way. Whenever he was doing something, like working on the car, shingling the roof, or whatever, it was he who would have me come along with him just as a matter of course. I grew up feeling like there wasn’t anything I wasn’t supposed to do, and also feeling very capable, which I’ve taken into my life. Another one would be getting to work with Susan Sarandon. She had the most impact on any person in my life, because I’d never really spent time with a woman who moves through the world the way she does. It sounds crazy to be 33 years old at the time and first experiencing a woman like that, but I really had previously never met a woman who didn’t preface everything with, “Well, I don’t know what you will think, and this is probably a stupid idea, but…”

Allison Kugel: Really? Interesting…

Geena Davis: Yes. She just lived her life and said, “This is what I think.” To have three months of exposure to that was amazing. And obviously, the third biggest impact on my life was becoming a mother.

Allison Kugel: Same here! I want to ask you, regarding Susan Sarandon, when you watched her move with such confidence, and I’m assuming this was on the Thelma & Louise set, how was she received by male co-stars, producers, writers, the film’s director (Ridley Scott)?

Geena Davis: As completely normal, which was also stunning to me. The way I was raised was to be extremely polite, to a fault. I was sort of trained not to ask for things and not to be any trouble to anybody, but she obviously wasn’t (laughs), so she just said things the way she wanted to say them, like, “Let’s cut this line,” or “Let’s do it this way,” or “This is what I would like to do.”  There wasn’t any reaction whatsoever from anybody of, like, “Wow!,” partly because she didn’t present herself as combative. She was always just like, “This is what I want. This is what I like. This is what I think.”

Allison Kugel: I love it, and I love the fact that you said your dad didn’t place any limitations on you.  Do you have brothers?

Geena Davis: I do. I have an older brother and he, of course, did all of that stuff as well with my dad, but I did it too! My dad didn’t seem to have the impression that I should just be learning stuff that my mom would teach me. It was very natural for him to include me in everything.

Allison Kugel: That is pretty awesome. To unpack your third major life event, motherhood, did you feel instantly reborn when you had your first child, or was it more of a subtle shift for you?

Geena Davis: I don’t know that I would say I felt reborn, but it certainly changes your life dramatically. I had my daughter first and very clearly started seeing the world through her eyes, and it has just been magical.

Allison Kugel: I want to talk about the Oscars and your Best Supporting Actress Oscar win for The Accidental Tourist. I think so many actors, and especially actresses, see an Oscar win as their ticket to being treated as an equal in the film industry. Like, if you get that gold statue, you are now an equal and you are going to be treated with a certain level of reverence and respect, and you are going to get substantial roles and you can exhale and just relax. Was that your experience, where you felt like, “Okay, I’ve arrived.”? Or did you still feel like you had more to prove?

Geena Davis: Well, I didn’t ever think, “This is my magic ticket to…”

Allison Kugel: Equality (laugh)?

Geena Davis: Doing everything I want to do, or like now I was at the top of the A-list, or anything like that. I didn’t think of it that way, but I did unexpectedly feel a tremendous feeling of having accomplished something. I thought, “Well, I got that out of the way. I never have to wonder if I’m going to get one of these things.”

Allison Kugel: They didn’t have the term “bucket list” at the time, but I hear you.

Geena Davis: Absolutely. I thought, “Well, I got this out of the way early. That’s cool.”

Allison Kugel: Very cool! I know, philosophically and humanly speaking, we can all fall into this mindset of, “When I get this, I’ll be happy.” Whether it’s getting married, winning an award, making a certain amount of money, becoming a parent; whatever it is for people. Are you one of those people that sees life that way, or do you believe in the journey as opposed to the destination?

Geena Davis: I’m more of a journeyperson. I haven’t, in my life, been clamoring for the next thing that will make me fulfilled. I get a lot of fulfillment from what I do and just living my life.  Speaking of winning the Oscar, does it change how people see you and everything? I had two directors, after I won the Oscar, who I had a rocky start with, because they assumed that I was going to think I was all that, and they wanted to make sure that I didn’t feel like I was all that. Without having met me or having spent any time with me or anything, they just assumed I was going to be like, “Well, now no one is going to tell me what to do.”

Allison Kugel: You kind of had to go out of your way to let people know you were down to earth.

Geena Davis: I just am.

Allison Kugel: I don’t think a male actor would have had to prove he is still nice and cooperative, and down to earth.

Geena Davis: Yes, and I think maybe because I was a woman, that the directors felt that way. And maybe it was even unconscious bias that they would maybe do it to a woman and not a man. But they didn’t want a woman to potentially cause them any problems. They wanted to make sure I knew my place, and maybe you’re right, it probably wouldn’t happen to a man.

Allison Kugel: We already talked about working with Susan Sarandon, but generally speaking, what did doing the film Thelma & Louise, and its subsequent success, do for you, both as an actor and as a woman?

Geena Davis: I had read the script for Thelma & Louise after it had already been cast. I thought, “Oh my God! This is the best script I’ve ever read. I wish I could be in it.” I ended up having a year-long pursuit for the role, because Ridley Scott was only the producer at that time, and different directors and different pairings of ‘Thelmas’ and ‘Louises’ were coming together and falling apart, and so for a year my agent called at least once a week to say, “Just so you know, Geena is still available. She’s still interested.”  Then when [Ridley Scott] decided he was going to direct it, he immediately said, “Yes. Okay sure, I’ll meet with her,” and I convinced him somehow or another (laugh).

Allison Kugel: Way to play hard to get Geena (laugh).

Geena Davis: (Laughs)

Allison Kugel: Let’s talk about male and female pairings in film. Normally, it’s very common to have a 50-year-old or even a 60-year-old leading man opposite a 30-year-old leading lady. That’s just kind of been the norm, although there are a few exceptions, and that is what our eyes are used to seeing. I know that kind of sucks, but how do you feel when an older woman is cast opposite a younger man?  Do you see that as a win for more mature actresses? 

Geena Davis: Let’s see… in Thelma & Louise they cast Brad Pitt to be my sort of…. love interest, and it wasn’t actually because he was younger. They didn’t purposely try to cast someone younger than me. He just gave the best audition and he was the best choice. But I thought that was pretty cool.  He’s only, like, seven years younger than me, but I thought that was quite cool that they did that.

Allison Kugel: We are all a bit societally conditioned to look at it sideways if the man and woman on screen are exactly the same age. If you put a leading man who is 50 with a leading woman who is 50 or even 45,  I feel like that would almost look odd to us, the audience, because we are so brainwashed.

Geena Davis: It’s very strange and so prevalent. A certain male actor that was making a movie said that I was too old to be his romantic interest, and I was 20 years younger than him. You know what it is? Women peak in their 20s and 30s, and men peak in their 40s and 50s as far as actors go. So the male stars of the movies want to appear to be younger than they are, or they want to appeal to younger people, so they always want a co-star who is really young. I guess it’s to make them seem whatever, but that is why that happens and that is why women don’t get cast very much after 40 and 50. It is because they are felt to be too old to be a romantic interest.

Allison Kugel: Tell me what inspired you to create the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media. Was it one thing or many things?

Geena Davis: It was one very specific thing. I had my awareness raised about how women are represented in Hollywood in Thelma & Louise, and seeing the reaction. It was so extreme if people recognized us on the street, or wherever, and it made me realize that we really give woman so few opportunities to feel like this after watching a movie, to identify with the female character or characters and live vicariously through them. I decided I was going to pay attention to this and try to choose roles that make women feel good. So I had a very heightened awareness of all of this, and then when my daughter was two, I sat down and watched pre-school shows and G-rated videos with her, and from the first thing I watched I immediately noticed there were far more male characters than female characters in a pre-school show. I thought, “Wait a minute, this is the 21st Century. How could we be showing kids an imbalanced world?”  I saw it everywhere, in movies, on TV. I didn’t intend at that moment to launch an institute about it, but I found that no one else in Hollywood seemed to recognize what I saw. I talked to lots and lots of creators who said, “No, no, no. That’s not a problem anymore. It’s been fixed.” That’s when I decided I’m going to gather the data because I think I’m really right here. I’m going to get the data and I’m going to go directly to the creators of children’s content and share it with them privately because I know this is unconscious bias at this point. So that is what we did, and that is what we have continued to do.

Allison Kugel: Did you think back in 1991, after the success of Thelma & Louise and the overwhelmingly positive feedback you received, that the barn door was blown open and you would see many more female driven stories now?  I remember when the movie Bridesmaids came out several years ago, and it was that same feeling once again of “this is it!” Universal didn’t even want to make Bridesmaids at first. It wasn’t until the success of the movie that they thought, “okay, maybe we’ll make another one.” You know what I mean? 

Geena Davis: Oh gosh, yes. What happened was, when it really took off and struck a nerve, the press, as one united body said, “This will change everything.” That was all the headlines. “Now everything is going to change. So many more movies starring women and blah, blah, blah…”  I thought, “Hot dog! I’m going to sit here and wait for this to happen.” Then my very next movie was A League of Their Own, and a similar thing happened where all the press said, “This changes everything. Now we are going to see women in sports movies.”  It was a very big hit. I’m thinking “Okay. Here is me being able to change the world!” (Laugh) or being part of movies that will change everything, and it profoundly did not happen. Then I started to notice every four years or so a movie would come out where they would say, “This one is going to change everything.” Like First Wives Club was very big where they said, “This changes everything. Now we’re going to see movies starring 50-year-old women left and right.”

Allison Kugel: And then… it didn’t happen (laugh).

Geena Davis: It didn’t happen, but I remember reading about when Bridesmaids came out, and the thought before it ever came out was if this fails it will destroy movies for women (laugh).

Allison Kugel: Damn, no pressure.

Geena Davis: No pressure. And thankfully it was a giant hit, but that still didn’t fix anything at all. People in Hollywood are still resistant to the idea, even though they know my institute found in 2017 or 2018 that movies starring women made more money than movies starring men. It’s been blockbuster after blockbuster starring women, and it’s about time to get with the program.

Allison Kugel: Yes, seriously. Tell me how you are getting your organization’s data into the right hands?  You’re gathering what I would call evidence-based information, so it’s not just anecdotal evidence. You’re getting science backed, evidence-based information and data. How are you going about getting that into the right hands?

Geena Davis: My thoughts from the beginning was since I’m in the industry I can get meetings with all the people I want to share this with so that I didn’t have to try to influence the public to rise up and demand this.  I could go in a very friendly way privately with my colleagues and share information with them.  The universal reaction when people first hear it is, they are stunned. Their jaws are on the ground, and they cannot believe it, especially the people that make kids’ entertainment. They can’t believe they weren’t doing right by girls. The combination of seeing the data proved that there is a big problem, and then realizing they want to do right by kids has been the magic formula in creating change, which is very exciting.

Allison Kugel: When I was watching a lot of children’s programming with my son, who is now 12, I definitely saw an interesting progression in content. Everything from the way girls are presented to the way interracial families are presented, to LGBTQ+ characters on television.  There is so much stuff that is being worked into the content to make a new generation of kids really open to the concept of equality and inclusiveness.

Geena Davis: There definitely is. In fact, we have met one of our goals which was to get more female leads in entertainment made for children and families. We have achieved that. In fact, we have achieved one of our goals, which was to get more female lead characters in children’s and family television programming and movies. Just last year we did reach that milestone of being 50/50 in male female in both of those medias so yeah, we are very thrilled about that.  We have other goals but that is a big change because in the first study we did way back in the beginning female characters where…. Female leads were 11 percent at that time and now it is 50 percent.

Allison Kugel: You told me you were raised to be extremely polite, but yet there is an interesting dichotomy there. You were raised with what I call “the disease of politeness” that girls in my generation and your generation, we were kind of infused with it. But at the same time you were also raised by your father who was quite inclusive with a lot of things that were traditionally male. In what ways are you raising your daughter similarly to how you were raised, and in what ways you are raising her differently from how you were raised?

Geena Davis: Well, it’s all been quite different. She was just born the way she is, which is very self-confident and poised. I tell her, “I will never be as poised as you are.” I wanted to be her popular culture literacy educator. That is why I started the whole institute, was because I realized when I first saw that first television program I thought, “Oh no. Kids are being raised from minute one to accept that men and boys are more important than woman and girls.  I can’t prevent her from growing up knowing that woman are thought of as second class citizens, but I’ll do everything I can to change that for her.” With her and with my boys, I did the same thing. I always watched with them. whatever my boys were watching, like you did with your son, I could say, “Did you know that there is only one girl in that whole movie?  Did you notice that?” Or, “Do you think girls can do what those boys are doing?” Or, “Why do you think she is wearing that if she is going to go rescue somebody?  Don’t you think that’s strange?” They became very savvy. Then they started noticing things before I did. So that was great.

Allison Kugel: What is really cool is that they were actually interested in the questions you were asking and receptive to it. I would imagine that you raised your boys to be very conscious young men in terms of how to treat a woman and how to view women.  Can you tell me a little about that?

Geena Davis: It’s not just for women that we need to show more women on screen. My goal is to have fictitious worlds reflect reality, which is ½ female and incredibly diverse; which is 40 percent people of color, 20 percent with different abilities. Forty percent are heavy body types, and the representation of people with different gender identities and all of that, it barely registers.

Allison Kugel: What is so interesting is that society kind of goes in a loop, right?  You’ve got reality, then you have art, then you have people looking at art and then incorporating that into their reality. It’s like a circle. Think about how many people are influenced by television, film, music, and then that influences how they show up in our culture, which then shapes our “reality.”

Geena Davis: Oh, absolutely. You think these are just harmless pieces of entertainment, but they cause tremendous change that we have measured. FOX asked us to do a study on the Dana Scully character from X-Files to find out what impact she had on women going into STEM careers. We found that 58 percent of woman who are currently in STEM jobs named that character, specifically, as their inspiration to go into a STEM career. That’s just one character on one TV show. It’s really incredible.

Allison Kugel: Mind blowing.

Geena Davis: In 2012, girls’ participation in archery shot up 100 percent and it was because Brave and The Hunger Games both came out in the summer of 2012, and girls left the theater and bought a bow.

Allison Kugel: Let’s talk about the recent study, Women Over 50, The Right to Be Seen on Screen. Can you tell me a little bit about that study and how that is being presented to the entertainment industry, and what you hope to accomplish with it?.

Geena Davis: I hope to accomplish getting more jobs (laugh). You can tell that there are very few parts for women over 50, but we found that characters over 50 are 20 percent of characters on screen, so that is pretty low.  How many people are over 50? But women are only a quarter of those characters. Woman over 50 are five percent of characters on screen in film and television. And those commonly cast as supporting characters and minor roles are less likely to be developed with an interest in characteristics or certainly to be romantic interests. We are using our same philosophy of working directly with the film studios and television networks to get them this information share it with them, and encourage them to make some changes. So I think this will be very impactful.

Allison Kugel: What has been the feedback?

Geena Davis: Great feedback, and again, people were surprised. They did not know it was unconscious bias, so we are looking to see some important change happen.

Learn more about the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and get involved at seejane.org. Follow on Instagram @geenadavisorg.

Listen to the extended interview with Geena Davis on the Allison Interviews Podcast at Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at allisoninterviews.com.

Jeffr

Is It better to buy an investment property or a home first?

Justin Wang is the embodiment of a self-made entrepreneur. From unassuming beginnings to life as a property giant – he now personifies the paradigm for financial freedom. He built PIA (Property Investors Alliance) when he realized the profitability of the Sydney residential property. His considerable charisma would spearhead a veritable empire of altruistic financial freedom. We recently caught up with Justin to ask him whether it’s better to buy an investment property or a home first; and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? What are your hobbies when you’re not busy with PIA?

My hobbies and passions are reading, writing, and practicing Tai Chi. When I was young, I found that most of my friends with similar passions spent 100% of their time following it religiously. I was concerned for them because I felt that focussing too much on their passion and hobbies meant they couldn’t maintain their jobs, so therefore, how can they keep their lifestyles and follow their passion?

Even though I had my hobbies and passion projects, wealth building has always been my top priority – I’ve always wanted to achieve financial freedom and accumulate wealth so that I didn’t have to worry about my future. At the end of the day, it’s all about maintaining balance in your life. You need to be able to balance your hobbies and true passion while at the same time working on building your wealth. It took me 35-40 years to finally find the secret to wealth building. Eventually, I realised that investing in Sydney residential properties is the key. So from 2004-2005, I started to promote my own experiences to the Chinese community – as a result, many of our young clients began to invest in their first property, then eventually their second, third and fourth. Seven years later, this move turned them into millionaires, bringing them passive income for many years to come. Working or making money for them now is just an option. Whenever they get into their hobbies like basketball and other sports, they are relaxed and happy knowing they don’t have to worry about their future since they are receiving passive income from rent and are millionaires. External factors such as things happening in the world do not affect them financially – they are all financially secure. That’s why whenever I talk to young people, I always remind them to enjoy life but to keep in mind that time passes by quickly. They need to consider what will happen to them financially when they’re older, like in their 50s or 60s. They need to think about property investment while they’re still young before it’s too late.

Most young people don’t own property and live with their parents or rent. Most haven’t explored the possibility of investing in property. What is your advice to them? How can they get started?

The majority of people prefer taking the easy path. They find that renting is more manageable, so they don’t have to worry about a mortgage or any responsibilities. They feel that renting is better than buying. Or staying with their parents – so they can enjoy life and buy nice cars. Your life may be easier today, but remember that more challenging times will come soon enough. Once you get hit by a financial crisis, rent will eat away at your income. The people who own properties will pass it on to you and you will feel the crunch. So don’t focus on just today; think about the future. People always think, yes, I want to be rich – but how can I start? Buying property is too expensive. I can’t afford the down payment or ongoing costs of running a property. For example, if someone grew up in a house in the Bondi area, their mindset is to buy a home in Bondi as well. Of course, that will not be affordable for them because prices in that area are too high.

That’s why I started to promote the “B & R” or “buy & rent” model – to buy their first property as their first investment. For example, if my client lives in a 1-bedroom apartment in Randwick – they can buy a three-bedroom unit in the western suburbs because the prices there are a lot cheaper, and tenants can cover the majority of the mortgage. Although the client may not be familiar with the area, they know that the property’s value will increase eventually, and they’ll be able to refinance in 2 to 3 years. The “B & R” model will allow you to buy in an affordable area and treat buying property as part of wealth creation, not just a hobby.

When’s the best time to get into the property market?

There are two ways people react to the property market. One is when everyone starts to believe that the prices of the properties have gone up – most people will think that the prices continue to rise. Another situation is when people believe that property prices are going down. If the property prices are rising, people may assume that’s a problem because they’ll think that the prices are going up too fast. If the property prices are going down, the same person will feel that’s also a problem because the property prices will go down even further. The problem is “fear” – it’s the fear of taking the plunge.

Right now, everyone is concerned about the high-interest rates; it’s all over the news – the prices of the properties in the top suburbs are taking a massive hit. Most people feel it’s better to wait to buy a property because the market is bad. But let me give you a scenario; if Woolworths suddenly declare that they are slashing the prices of everything at half price, is this good or bad for you? Of course, as a consumer, this is great news! Hence if the property market is “soft”, and everything is cheaper, most people believe that it’s bad for them to get into the property market when in fact, it’s actually good for them. It’s better to buy a property in a “stressed” market because you’ll be able to buy a property at a reasonable price. If the market is good and the prices of properties are going up, that’s when people tend to purchase properties. The problem is that if you’re not fast enough to take advantage of the opportunity when news breaks out about the market, you’ll miss your chance to get into the property market. Only a tiny portion of the population will be adept enough to take advantage of the situation.

Should people buy an investment property or a home first?

Australians are lucky to live in Australia because owning homes here is reasonably achievable. One side of the population is complaining that the prices of the properties are too high – the other side, on the other hand, has no courage to jump into the property market. Owning a “dream home” is not affordable today because people feel that renting is a lot easier and stress-free. The problem with renting is that renters will miss out on future capital gains from owning their own property and be victim to constant rent increases. So what’s the solution to this dilemma? It would be best if you found a place where the mortgage is cheaper, enabling you to save up for a deposit to buy a property and rent that out. Using the “B & R” model, the tenants will pay 70 to 80% of your mortgage, and you’ll get considerable tax benefits. Once you understand the concept of the “B & R” model, you’ll be able to buy 2-3 properties which will enable you to refinance in the future, and then you can buy your dream home.

What are the five steps to becoming a multi-millionaire?

1. Realise the importance of owning a property because this will affect your future and the future of your next generations. If you understand this, then everything will fall into place.

2. Owning a residential property is not just about owning a home; it’s also about wealth building and buying property as an investment.

3. You need to understand leverage – how to use the bank’s and other people’s money to make you rich.

4. Time is very important – buying a property is like raising kids; give the kids enough time, then they’ll all eventually grow up. They don’t grow up overnight! It’s the same with property investment; you don’t become rich overnight; it takes time to build wealth. It’s better to buy at an early age to earn considerable capital gains on your property. Don’t hesitate to buy a property; every time you wait, you miss out on the opportunity of becoming financially free.

5. Buy a property as soon as possible. The key to financial freedom is to buy, don’t shop around – if you keep shopping around, you’ll never start because you’ll never find the perfect property that will reach your every expectation. Just follow my advice and purchase a Sydney residential property – give it enough time, and you’ll end up the winner in life.

Jeffr

5 Critical Habits For Developing A Millionaire Mindset

Thousands of people worldwide dream of becoming a millionaire one day. It may seem too ambitious, but there is nothing wrong with having such a dream. However, as we all know, it is easier said than done. We can all dream of it, but only some can achieve it. Your journey toward financial success will be challenging, but if you know the formula, your goal will be possible. Here are five ways on how to develop a millionaire mindset.

Visualize and Claim It

If you want to be a millionaire, the first thing that you have to do is to claim it. It would be best if you were focused on your goal and visualize it. I can do it, and I will do it – this should be your way of thinking. It would help if you always stayed positive. Emphasize the things that will happen once you have accumulated millions of money. Where should I go? What should I buy? What business should I establish? Thinking about these things will help you not to lose track of your goal.

Surround Yourself with the Right People

Your external environment will also have a huge role to play. With this, if you are thinking of how to become a millionaire, choose your friends wisely. Be cautious about the people around you. Stay away from those who will drag you down. Be friends with people who will encourage you. Look for inspiration. By being surrounded by millionaires, you will be more motivated and gain insights that will help you achieve your dream.

Invest Your Money

This is one thing that may seem basic yet is ignored by many. To be a millionaire, you must know how to grow your finances. Do not just spend it on anything. Choose where to put your financial resources carefully. It would help if you were brave enough to take risks but make sure that every move is carefully calculated.

Never Stop Learning

Invest in yourself. Read books. Enroll in online courses. Attend seminars. These will provide insights on how to be rich, including financial strategies that can prove effective. Learn everything that you need to know about the market and economic fundamentals.

Rise Up From your Failure

If you fail, this should not be a reason for you to give up. If you want to be a millionaire, you should consider failures as opportunities for learning. Ask yourself about what went wrong, and more importantly, what can be done to prevent failures in the future.

Jeffr

Is Buying A House Still The Great Australian Dream?

In 2022 the once “Great Australian Dream” of owning your own home is looking more unrealistic than ever for many Gen Z’s and Millennials. Skyrocketing house prices and slow wage growth have led to a housing affordability crisis, with many young people struggling to save the necessary funds for a 20 percent deposit. Various governments have proposed their solutions to this crisis, for example, first home buyer grants, and the current federal government’s Help to Buy scheme or the NSW government’s Shared Equity scheme. However, while helping a few thousand people each year, these programs do not address the wider issue of housing affordability.

New research, commissioned by buyer’s agent and property investment strategists Aus Property Professionals reveals that a staggering 7 out of 10 (69%) of Australians believe that home ownership is out of reach for young adults without help from their parents to come up with a deposit. Of this group, 31 percent say that rising interest rates and high house prices are making purchasing your first home difficult. 25 percent believe the housing affordability crisis is due to rising rent prices and high cost of living, while 13 percent claim that Gen Z’s and Millennials want to live a luxury lifestyle and aren’t prepared to sacrifice and save a house deposit.

Some anecdotal comments from the survey highlighting the difficulties include:

It depends if you are purchasing the house by yourself or with a friend or partner. It is VERY difficult for single people to buy their own home unless you’re on a massive wage. Purchasing with a partner or friend is still expensive but more achievable.”

Anyone now starting work on the basic wage has no hope of home ownership unless they progress quickly to a far higher paid position. Most will find it difficult to pay rent, car payments/public transport, rising food costs to ever be able to save for a deposit let alone pay of a loan, particularly if interest rates return to the 4%-6% as was the norm for decades.”

Lloyd Edge, Founder and Managing Director of Aus Property Professionals, says “It’s a shame, but not surprising given the current circumstances, that many young adults feel this way about home ownership. I purchased my first property, a one-bedroom unit, when I was 28 on a teacher’s salary of no more than $70,000 per year. It’s even more challenging in the 2020s to save that first deposit, however, with the right strategy in place the ‘Great Australian Dream’ of home ownership is still possible, even if you need to start outside of the capital cities or ‘rentvest’ for awhile until you can buy your dream home.”

Since buying that first one-bedroom apartment at age 28, Lloyd has gone on to build a portfolio of 18 properties worth $15 million. An investment journey that he talks more about in his best-selling books Buy Now and Positively Geared.  As a buyer’s agent, he’s helped his clients purchase a combined $500 million worth of property (combined) all around Australia.

On a more positive note from the survey findings, of the 31 per cent of respondents who believe owning your own home is still achievable for the average young adult in 2022, 19 per cent say that there’s plenty of affordable housing in regional and rural areas, making the Great Australian Dream still within reach for Gen Z and Millennials willing to take the leap and purchase outside of the major capital cities.

For people interested in achieving their property goals, but don’t know where to get started, Lloyd recommends implementing at least one of these strategies:

  • Rentvesting: Rentvesting is a great way to get ahead financially and build wealth if you can’t afford to buy a home in your ideal place to live. By renting where you’d like to live and buying an investment property where you can afford to buy, for example in a regional area, you can get your foot on the first rung of the property ladder. By using equity from the investment property you can keep growing your portfolio and work your way up to buying your dream home.
  • Buying with family and friends: Buying with family and friends is another strategy that can get you ahead financially by entering the property market sooner rather than later. Teaming up with family and friends to buy property makes it easier to save for a deposit. However, with this strategy you must seek legal advice and make sure that everyone involved is fully on board with what to expect so the property doesn’t cause conflicts and relationship breakdowns down the track.
  • Living frugally: Living frugally is essential to getting started in property. Unless you’re a very high-income earner you’ll need to cut back on luxuries in order to save a decent sized deposit. Furthermore, lenders will look at you more favourably for a loan if you can demonstrate that you’re financially responsible and have a savings surplus each month. Living frugally will also set you up with some great lifelong financial habits and teach you how to manage money carefully.
  • Do your research: It is essential to do thorough research on the property markets to get an accurate understanding of the market value of the type of property you wish to buy. Look for similar properties in the same area that have sold recently, and the average days on market. Also, never purchase a property without doing your due diligence and ordering a building and pest inspection. If this all sounds overwhelming, a buyer’s agent can help you through this process with their expert knowledge of the property market and negotiation skills, and by doing all the due diligence for you.

Lloyd says “Even though getting into the property market is tougher than ever, young adults shouldn’t despair as there is still a lot of good opportunities out there if you’re financially savvy and implement the right strategy for your circumstances. My own success story is an example that with hard work, determination, and persistence it is possible to achieve financial freedom through property investing.”

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Kathlene Quere of Agent 99 PR

Jeffr

5 Surefire Ways To Motivate Your Team And Actually Get Results

Motivation and confidence boost is the essence of letting anyone do anything and acquire big goals that once seemed impossible. These are the core elements of forming a great team that doesn’t fret over any vast or small everyday obstacles at work.

When you are leading a team, and it’s on you to get the best out of them, you want to make sure that none of your team members sit idle or their skills go to waste. You want to make everyone bring their best out and give it to the core goal you all are working for.

So what are the ways to motivate your team?

1. Don’t ever underpay 

The best way to make people work the best and give their most expertise to the goal you want results from is to pay them enough. Always remember that they won’t give it their best if it is not their dream.

Nobody would work for free, and when reaching some goal in the proper payback to a few, others want enough money in return for them giving their bets. And it would help if you always kept this in mind. Pay your team members adequately, and when you are setting their salaries, you should be sure that the pay is consistent with the rest of the companies in your industry.

It would help to keep in mind that 26% of engaged employees say they leave their current jobs for only a 5% increase somewhere else. Do not mistake losing your people as you are underpaying them. Motivating your team will bring many health outcomes in a few days.

2. Offer them the environment to work 

You might already know that our external environments are often the most impactful factor in bringing our productivity out. Everyone wants to work in a stimulating and clean office environment, making them feel ideal instead of bad.

It would help if you weren’t spending a lot of money to make your office a perfect workspace but be sure it is pleasant and clean. Team motivation roots in the team lead to be motivated as well.

3. Offer opportunities for better self-development 

Your team members will be precious to your organization and themselves when they will have opportunities to learn better skills. Give your team everything they need to improve their careers and also e knowledgeable of their industry news and latest technologies. An improved team member will be giving his best to the core goal all by himself naturally.

4. Encourage collaboration within the team 

A team is as strong as its weakest link, just like a chain is. You must always focus on improving the inner relations of your team members and let them be the best of themselves. According to research, 39% of employees do not feel their input is appreciated by their peers.

It would help if you encouraged the team members to appreciate one another and give suggestions on improving their skill sets.

5. Do not punish failure:

We are human beings, and making mistakes is our nature. The primary key is not to regret your past mistakes but to learn from them and move on. Try your best not to repeat your mistakes, as that would mean that you aren’t learning anything from them. When your team members make honest mistakes, try not to punch them but encourage them to try again and be better.

These are some of the top ways to motivate your team and let them bring their best out. You will find your team members better at work when they know that they are always supported and given the best surrounding to work in. Having a daily team inspiration session of 10 minutes will make you more reasonable than scheduling it after every month for an hour or two.

Jeffr

4 Ideas for How To Start a Small Business at Home in 2022

By: 

With the rise of home-based business opportunities as a result of the pandemic, more and more people are discovering ways to become entrepreneurs with their businesses based at home. Generally, if you’re resourceful enough, you can easily start working on your business ideas from home using your existing space and means. People create many types of businesses to operate from home, and we’ll cover some of the most popular ideas here:

Virtual / In-Person Teacher

  • Music teacher: teach an instrument such as guitar, violin, or piano. Plan to offer your services on different teaching platforms and offer private lessons as well as group lessons.
  • Dance teacher: teach modern dance, ballet, or ballroom dancing. Offer different types of schedules for kids and adults. It is important you have all the proper equipment so your online lessons look highly professional.
  • Art teacher: teach drawing and illustration, painting, or sculpture. Define which are technique you are best at and create a schedule of all the different hours available you have.
  • Language instructor: teach Spanish, Chinese, Latin, or French. Be sure you completely dominate the language you are planning to teach.
  • Tutor: Tutor either elementary or high school students in subjects that you are degreed in, such as math, English, or chemistry.
  • Yoga instructor: teach virtual yoga and meditation techniques.
  • Blogging: Whether you decide to become a blogger and create new and rich content there are many ways to make money blogging. Creating your own blog can be a different and fun activity where you will be able to experiment with your creativity.
  • Freelancing photography: Consider the type of photography you want to do and what are the most popular requirements needed from your potential clients.

E-commerce Seller

You can operate an e-commerce company from your home. You can purchase products in bulk and sell them online. You’ll partner with a warehouse where your products will be shipped from. You can also perform all services related to e-commerce and expand as you need to. When choosing products, consider how much space you’ll need to accommodate this type of operation.

Homemade Products

Many home-based business owners sell products that they create, such as:

  • Candles: A candle company may be the best business for anyone passionate about wicks, soy blends, and achieving the perfect scent. You can offer soy candles, scented candles, beeswax candles, paraffin candles, and more.
  • Baked goods: Bakeries have been around for a long time, but recently they have grown in popularity. Entrepreneurs have taken their cakes, cupcakes, and cookies from home and open regular bakeries and restaurants, and even franchises that make. Creating cupcakes, artisan bread,  cookies, wedding cakes, and more could be a great way to start.
  • Jewelry: Making people’s personalities come alive through jewelry is a very fulfilling creative pursuit. Think about creating beaded bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings. etc.
  • Essential oils offer many opportunities for creativity and reward. Own a business or buy wholesale oils to resell on your own.
  • A lot of people know how to knit, but it’s generally considered a new fad or lost art. It’s not clear to them how to make money with it. You can start by creating hats, scarves, mittens, or sweaters.

Services

You may base your business on providing services to customers either in person or online depending on the services you offer, which might include:

  • Makeup tutorials: Teaching how to properly use makeup and providing some confidence tips might be a loving activity, not only for you but also for your potential clients. Even showing how to apply lashes properly would be a great way to get started.
  • Dog walking: Taking care of furry babies and just having a long walk outdoors could definitely bring you great benefits.
  • Personal trainer: While training for your own personal goals, you are also helping others to achieve theirs.
  • Virtual assistant: if organizing and scheduling your day is a passion of yours, you should definitely offer these services to people that don’t have that same passion or patience as you do.
  • Clients of personal shoppers usually buy clothing and accessories for themselves. A personal shopper may work directly for a client or their stylist; other personal shopper employment is available through boutiques and departments stores.
  • Housecleaner: This is a great opportunity if you are passionate about cleaning and decluttering. These services have a high demand.

A curious fact, Recently India has become the hotspot for foreigners for starting an Indian Subsidiary and Ebizfiling is a one-stop solution for a Company Registration in India by a foreigner. Know the benefits of starting a business in India.

Home Office Essentials

When developing your business, you’ll want to create a home office where you can ‘set up shop’ and manage all the important aspects of operating your business. Here are some home office essentials to consider:

Good Lighting

Be sure that you have good lighting so that you can work without straining your eyes. You may want to have better overhead lighting installed by an electrician. Or, you can add more lamps to the space to ensure that you have great lighting even on dark and dreary days.

Adjustable Desk

An adjustable desk is ideal for a home office. You can use your desk for various tasks that may be related to your business.  A standup desk is also a great feature if you’re concerned about fitness. You’ll burn more calories by standing up to work.

Comfortable Furniture

Try to invest in a quality ergonomic office chair. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home office, so be sure to have comfortable and supportive furnishings for yourself and anyone else who may be working with you. You may also need filing cabinets, a workbench, or other furnishings related to the type of work you perform.

Decor

Office decor may not seem essential, but it can enhance your mood each day. Remember, your office is your place of work. Decorate it in a way that inspires and motivates you to be productive. Although you don’t want to add much in the way of clutter, some thoughtful decorative pieces will add personal warmth to your office.

Plants

House plants can make your home office feel cozy and welcoming. However, that’s not all. Many houseplants feature air-purifying properties. Add plants to your office space like aloe vera or spider plants to keep the air smelling clean and fresh. Consider plants of various sizes to add a dynamic look to the space.

Equipment

You’ll likely need basic office equipment and may require other equipment or gear related to your products or services. For instance, if you perform sewing services, you will need a high-quality sewing machine. Typically, you’ll need office equipment such as:

  • Computer or laptop
  • Internet (consider business internet service) pocket wifi could also be a great option.
  • Business Phone
  • Printer
  • Copy machine
  • Headphones
  • Adding machine/calculator
  • Postage scale

These are just a few ideas. You’ll need to brainstorm to ensure you have all the equipment you need for your operation.

Quiet Space

When laying out your office, be sure to choose a space with an adequate room as well as an area where you can work without interruption. If you live in a bustling household, you’ll need a place where you can work without distractions. A quiet space away from children or the television room would be ideal.

Office Bar

Although you can always visit your kitchen, you might want to create an office bar where you have a coffee maker, healthy snacks, and even a small refrigerator to keep water or other beverages cold. This way, you can keep your work items separate from the household’s supplies.

Use these tips to create your home business. Be sure to give yourself adequate time to address each aspect of your business’s development. Once your business is up and rolling, you’ll also want to consult with an accountant to ensure that you understand your tax obligations.

Source: Porch

Jeffr

Expert Reveals A Growing Number of People Are Forgoing Buying Their Own Home Due To Housing Affordability Crisis

Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of Australia announced that interest rates would once again be rising by 0.5 percent, making the new cash rate 1.85 percent. This recent hike marks the historic fourth month in a row that the RBA has raised interest rates- increasing the pressure on homeowners already struggling under mortgage stress due to the recession and rising cost of living.

The interest rate hikes are also putting a hold on the plans of many aspiring first home buyers, who will no longer qualify for the loans they need to buy houses in the areas in which they want to live. After being priced out of the property market in major capital cities, one option which many Aussies are considering is ‘rentvesting’- the trend of renting where you want to live (to be close to work, family, and the lifestyle you like) and buying an investment property in an area where you can afford to purchase a property.

Lloyd Edge, Founder and Director of Aus Property Professionals, says that “Today if you’re making the average Australian wage of $78,000 a year and you decide to buy a $1.2 million house, that’s 15 times your salary. This shows the difference in scale between incomes and house prices in the 2020s compared to the eighties or nineties when the average house price was only four times the average yearly salary. Skyrocketing house prices and inflation have really changed things, so if you’re an average income earner and your big goal is to buy your dream home, you’re going to have work up to it through savvy investments.”

Adding, “Many of my clients come to me initially looking for their first home, however, after we have a strategy session and assess the full range of options available, often they’ll choose to keep renting and buy and investment property instead. With interest rate hikes and no foreseeable end to the housing affordability issue, rentvesting is a good choice for many people. A positively geared or cashflow positive investment property has multiple benefits, like helping you build wealth, generate income, and increase your borrowing capacity. With interest rates going up, it’s important to make sure you’re borrowing under your maximum capacity, leaving yourself a buffer for when rates rise even higher. You need to make sure you’re assessing your borrowing capacity each month, as your circumstances will change depending on what the RBA decides.”

Lloyd is also the author of the best-selling property book Buy Now: The Ultimate Guide to Owning and Investing in Property. In the book, he lays out the strategy for utilising rentvesting to grow your property portfolio and buy your dream home. Below are some of Lloyd’s top tips for rentvesting:

  1. Target high-growth regional areas: Regional areas are great for rentvesting, as the property prices are usually cheaper than the major capital cities, and the rental yields are higher. Look for areas that have a growing population and are supported by multiple industries. Other key things to note is whether there’s any increase in government spending in that area, any major transport or infrastructure being developed, or any universities or hospitals. All these factors will add value to your investment property and ensure the likelihood of capital growth.
  1. Have an exit strategy: To secure your dream home in the 2020s, you will probably need to build an investment portfolio and set an exit strategy, which will mean selling some of your properties to pay down the debt on others. Ultimately it will be your exit strategy that helps you secure your dream home.
  1. Look for a value-add opportunities: The trifecta we look for in investment properties is equity, cashflow and growth. To achieve this, we often recommend that our clients buy a property with some value-add opportunity, like a subdivision, development, or renovation. Buying an investment property with this sort of potential will help you build up your equity and afford a better home down the track.
  1. Clarify your goals: Investing without clear goals or a strategy is pointless, as different tactics will give you different results so it’s important to specify what you’re aiming for. Think not only about the short-term, but also the long-term and where you’d like to be in 5, 10 or 20-years time. This will influence where you buy and what your strategy is. For example, if your long-term goal is financial security when you retire, it makes more sense to invest in a number of properties than to spend all your money on one property, so you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Lloyd concludes “Many people are being scared off buying a property right now due to the current market, however with the right strategy it can be the perfect time to get your foot onto the property ladder through rentvesting, and use that as a way to purchase your dream home sooner.”

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Kathleen Quere of Agent 99 PR

Jeffr

Is 2022 The BEST Or WORST Time To Buy Property?

Justin Wang is the embodiment of a self-made entrepreneur. From unassuming beginnings to life as a property giant – he now personifies the paradigm for financial freedom. It always comes down to abundance as generated by collaboration.

Wang built PIA (Property Investors Alliance) when he realized the profitability of the Sydney residential property. His considerable charisma would spearhead a veritable empire of altruistic financial freedom.

Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Justin to ask him about the rising interest rates and whether now is an excellent time to get into the property market or not; here’s what went down:

How does the interest rate hike affect the housing market?

Now that the interest rate keeps increasing, there’s fear among first home buyers and potential investors because they’re not sure how this interest rate hike will affect the property market. Because of the interest rate hike, the price of properties has dramatically dropped, so if there’s a dip in the property price – should we buy now or wait?

Firstly, I believe the interest rate hike will not cause a dip in property prices – some people even predict the decrease to be as low as 20%. Keep in mind that the Reserve Bank is very cautious regarding the interest rate hike or how it can affect the property market. That’s because the property market, particularly Sydney Residential properties, involves a lot of families since many people, particularly parents, owe money to the bank.

But guess what? Despite the interest rate hike, people are still spending! So how can people keep spending even though there’s an increase in the interest rate?

Firstly, tourism is back – tourism is bringing money again to Australia. Secondly, there’s actually a low unemployment rate since people still have jobs. There’s also what I can refer to as “pandemic savings;” People still have savings because, for the past two years, people haven’t been spending that much due to the Covid restrictions. The government has given out over $200 billion in support to Australians due to the Covid situation, and this money is still sitting in people’s savings or offset accounts. This massive amount of money is definitely good enough to cope with the interest rate hike.

So for those who still believe that most people will end up selling their property for less than 20% of the actual price is wrong; they should not be worried at all due to the above reasons.

Buy or rent, which one is good for us at the moment?

Rent may be increasing at the moment, but I believe it’s still okay to get into the property market. Right now, the interest rate is going up faster than the rent is going up, so it might seem like it’s not a good idea to buy a property at this stage. For example, if you buy a $600k property, the mortgage repayments plus the ongoing costs to run the property will be much higher than what the rent can achieve – possibly 20% or even 25% or higher. Even if you use PIA’s buy and rent model, the rent might not be enough to cover mortgage repayments plus all of the ongoing costs.

So what’s the best thing to do? If you buy an off-the-plan property that will settle in 2-3 years, you’ll be able to secure today’s low price. We’re currently in the middle of a “buyer’s market,” which means that if you buy a property now that is due to settle in 2-3 years, you’ll skip over the high-interest rate period because, in 2-3 years, the interest rate will eventually decrease. You’ll be able to settle your property because your borrowing capacity should have increased by then. The rent may be able to cover your outgoing costs.

How should I act as a first home buyer in the current market?

If you’re a first home buyer, the best time to buy is now because the properties are cheaper, and due to the current interest rate climate, you’ll get special deals, rebates, and discounts from the vendors and developers. You just need to pay a 10% deposit for an off-the-plan property that’s due to be completed in 2 to 3 yrs, and this will enable you to secure today’s low price and skip over the current high-interest rate period. Your borrowability will increase when you eventually settle, and your rent may be enough to pay most of your outgoing costs.

When will the interest rate stop increasing?

I believe in 2-3 years’ time, the interest rate will stop increasing, and Inflation will also slow down – roughly around 2024.

Should we buy a property now or should we wait for a while?

If you’re smart, the best time to buy is now.

Right now, people are not buying properties because of the interest rate hike. If you buy later, when the interest rates are decreasing, you’ll struggle to secure a property because other people will also be rushing to buy properties. This demand will, of course, cause the price of the properties to be much higher. Therefore, getting into the property market now, while we’re in the middle of a “buyer’s market,” is the best way to go.

Jeffr

Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The September 2022 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Elton A. Hollis, III

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A veteran entrepreneur, Elton A. Hollis, III helps businesses succeed by utilizing his 25 years of experience in the Oil and Gas Construction field – he provides consulting, training, executive coaching, and all facets of safety management and compliance services to clients in the industrial, commercial and small business industries. In fact, he’s the co-founder of Small Business Friday! video podcast with his partner Joe Tant. It’s a podcast that helps small businesses to get their names out there at no cost. They currently stream on Spotify, Apple Podcast, TikTok, and YouTube.

Elton is the owner of Hol-Tech Resources, LLC – a full-service consulting service that provides guidance and training in the Safety, Quality, and Compliance realms. He also happens to be the General Manager of RT Technical Solutions LLC, where he helps lead their team to the forefront of the Industrial Electrical and Instrumentation fields. Besides his executive work, Elton is a Golden Triangle Industrial Group co-founder and Vice Chairperson for the Contractors Business Development Group.

A multifaceted business leader, Elton has held a wide range of titles, from Field Laborer to Executive Ownership, during the course of his career. His diligent work attitude combined with creative critical enables him to problem solve for his clients. He is well-regarded in the Safety and Training field for his Small Business training grant work in collaboration with Lamar Institute of Technology. Hence we’re not surprised he has been featured in several magazine articles such as VT Post (named in the Top 100 Entrepreneurs in Texas), Elitepedia, The Los Angelers, Refine Post, and The Global Celebrity. He is also a proud recipient of the 2022 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics Award for Microbusiness.

Elton is a highly sought-after mentor who coaches entrepreneurs across the country – he teaches and encourages entrepreneurship by conducting marketing meetings, events, and numerous mentor speaking engagements. He is also an author – in late 2021, he published his first book, “Creative Problem Solving,” and he has now published his second book, “Buy Into Yourself First,” which outlines successful business development tactics.

Global Millionaire recently caught up with Elton to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship, and here’s what went down:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

I had the opportunity to be involved in starting a company early in my career, at age 26. I can’t lie; I was scared to death. I almost turned the opportunity down and talked myself out of it. Instead, I took a chance, and from that first day and all the brainstorming we did, I was hooked!

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

The complete opposite of an entrepreneur, or so I thought. I was concentrating on just learning crafts in the field, making money, and raising my kids. I had no clue these basic things would be immensely important in forming a solid foundation for starting several companies.

As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?

I enjoy the new challenges every day. It’s never melancholy or boring; always a new problem to solve. Also, there is just something exhilarating and sometimes stressful about building a work family and watching it grow at your company.

What do you put your success down to?

Without a doubt, it’s been because I was taught to help people – even people I didn’t like or agree with. I learned from working with my dad that there is an art and satisfaction to making the person above you look like a superstar, even if they are not. People recognize that , maybe not a first, but always eventually.

What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?

Hard work, forgiveness, and thick skin. Hard work is the foundation for anything you do in life. Forgiveness, because you will be done wrong somewhere along the way and because you will also mess up, and both parties deserve forgiveness. Thick skin, because being offended or constantly feeling you are attacked keeps you on the defensive. Defensive units are built to stop things; Offensive units are built to advance. Entrepreneurship is all about advancing.

As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?

The top two business lessons I have learned are:

1. It doesn’t take a big person to carry a grudge. It really doesn’t pay to be offended in life, especially in business. I’ve learned the best thing to do is to really try and understand the situation and see if it may apply to you, no matter how it feels at the time.

2. Tough or difficult advice is sometimes just what you need. I call this “Brahma Bull Advice” because, just like a Brahma bull, it is usually:

a. Not always pretty.
b. Usually right up in your face.
c. Hardy and can withstand anything.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

I hope this trend of blossoming small businesses will continue to succeed. Seeing these owners take full advantage of state and federal resources is awesome. Also, I’m highly optimistic to see these owners reaching for any type of higher education they can find. Hard work and common sense have always been needed in small businesses, and I love seeing them become popular again these days.

Creatie Your Legacy
Jeffr

Is It A Good Time To Buy A Property Now In Australia?

Justin Wang is the embodiment of a self-made entrepreneur. From unassuming beginnings to life as a property giant – he now personifies the paradigm for financial freedom. It always comes down to abundance as generated by collaboration.

Wang built PIA (Property Investors Alliance) when he realized the profitability of the Sydney residential property. His considerable charisma would spearhead a veritable empire of altruistic financial freedom.

Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Justin to ask him about the rising interest rates and whether now is an excellent time to get into the property market or not; here’s what went down:

How does the interest rate hike affect the housing market?

Now that the interest rate keeps increasing, there’s fear among first home buyers and potential investors because they’re not sure how this interest rate hike will affect the property market. Because of the interest rate hike, the price of properties has dramatically dropped, so if there’s a dip in the property price – should we buy now or wait?

Firstly, I believe the interest rate hike will not cause a dip in property prices – some people even predict the decrease to be as low as 20%. Keep in mind that the Reserve Bank is very cautious regarding the interest rate hike or how it can affect the property market. That’s because the property market, particularly Sydney Residential properties, involves a lot of families since many people, particularly parents, owe money to the bank.

But guess what? Despite the interest rate hike, people are still spending! So how can people keep spending even though there’s an increase in the interest rate?

Firstly, tourism is back – tourism is bringing money again to Australia. Secondly, there’s actually a low unemployment rate since people still have jobs. There’s also what I can refer to as “pandemic savings;” People still have savings because, for the past two years, people haven’t been spending that much due to the Covid restrictions. The government has given out over $260 billion of extra pandemic savings sitting in people’s deposit and mortgage offset accounts in support of Australians due to the Covid situation. This massive amount of money is definitely good enough to cope with the interest rate hike.

So for those who still believe that most people will end up selling their property for less than 20% of the actual price is wrong; they should not be worried at all due to the above reasons.

Buy or rent, which one is good for us at the moment?

Rent may be increasing at the moment, but I believe it’s still okay to get into the property market. Right now, the interest rate is going up faster than the rent is going up, so it might seem like it’s not a good idea to buy a property at this stage. For example, if you buy a $600k property, the mortgage repayments plus the ongoing costs to run the property will be much higher than what the rent can achieve – possibly 20% or even 25% or higher. Even if you use PIA’s buy and rent model, the rent might not be enough to cover mortgage repayments plus all of the ongoing costs.

So what’s the best thing to do? If you buy an off-the-plan property that will settle in 2-3 years, you’ll be able to secure today’s low price. We’re currently in the middle of a “buyer’s market,” which means that if you buy a property now that is due to settle in 2-3 years, you’ll skip over the high-interest rate period because, in 2-3 years, the interest rate will eventually decrease. You’ll be able to settle your property because your borrowing capacity should have increased by then. The rent may be able to cover your outgoing costs.

How should I act as a first home buyer in the current market?

If you’re a first home buyer, the best time to buy is now because the properties are cheaper, and due to the current interest rate climate, you’ll get special deals, rebates, and discounts from the vendors and developers. You just need to pay a 10% deposit for an off-the-plan property that’s due to be completed in 2 to 3 yrs, and this will enable you to secure today’s low price and skip over the current high-interest rate period. Your borrowability will increase when you eventually settle, and your rent may be enough to pay most of your outgoing costs.

When will the interest rate stop increasing?

I believe in 2-3 years’ time, the interest rate will stop increasing, and Inflation will also slow down – roughly around 2024.

Should we buy a property now or should we wait for a while?

If you’re smart, the best time to buy is now.

Right now, people are not buying properties because of the interest rate hike. If you buy later, when the interest rates are decreasing, you’ll struggle to secure a property because other people will also be rushing to buy properties. This demand will, of course, cause the price of the properties to be much higher. Therefore, getting into the property market now, while we’re in the middle of a “buyer’s market,” is the best way to go.

Jeffr

Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The August 2022 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Tel K. Ganesan

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A serial entrepreneur, sought-after speaker, and mentor for young entrepreneurs, Tel K. Ganesan single-handedly built a multi-million dollar IT company expanding it into an empire that now encompasses film, music, wellness, and more.

Ganesan’s enterprises include Kyyba, Inc., Kyyba Films, Kyyba Wellness, Kyyba Fashions, and Kyyba Music. He is the founder of two non-profits, including TieCon (Talent, Ideas, Enterprise) Detroit – the global organization behind TiECon, the world’s largest entrepreneurial conference – and Kyyba Kidz, dedicated to uplifting underprivileged women and orphans. Throughout every venture, his guiding principle centers on entrepreneurship as an effort to make people happy by solving their problems. And according to Ganesan, “Only a truly happy person can spread happiness to others.”

While happiness is an emotion-based state of being, Ganesan is not advocating building one’s business based solely on emotions. Instead, he maintains that healthy growth is balancing happiness with self-control. In this paradigm, decisions are made during moments of composure rather than in the adrenaline rush of initial excitement. To help guide the introspective process, Ganesan asks himself three key questions: Will this make me happy in the long run? Am I helping others through my activity or task? What would be the aftermath of my decision?

Ganesan’s success philosophy is less about immediate gratification than long-term satisfaction. And just because an opportunity passes the happiness test does not necessarily mean it will be easy to achieve. In Ganesan’s view, the yin and yang of business are balancing happiness with aspects like hard work, strategic planning, knowledge acquisition, and surrounding yourself with the right team. (Then, making sure to empower your team to derive happiness from the process, as well).

Following this approach, Ganesan finds a powerful rush in doing things that others are afraid to attempt. But striving to achieve difficult goals means that setbacks are bound to happen even when all elements are in order. Earlier in his career, Ganesan purchased a handful of companies without proper due diligence and experienced a financial tsunami when the 2008 recession hit. What did he do? He leaned into more of what made him happy, managing his responsibilities while continuing to pursue creative ventures. In every setback, there is a lesson or two. And each challenge taught Ganesan to seriously consider the “worst case scenario” before making big decisions. That way, he could plan for any unwanted outcome while working toward the most desirable.

Global Millionaire Magazine caught up with Tel to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur, and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?

As a serial entrepreneur and movie producer, my closet is filled with many hats — all fun to wear. My journey started in the US when I came to pursue my master’s in mechanical engineering and landed at Chrysler in Motor City after that. With vast experience gained by working for over a decade, entrepreneurship stood as the guiding light.

At that point, it was a major life-changing decision to quit my well-paying job and secure life starting from scratch with me at the helm. I somehow managed to convince myself that the risk would pay off, and with all-encompassing enthusiasm, I dove head first into becoming my own boss. I took the initiative to invest in myself and all the knowledge, skills, and foresight learned from personal and professional teachings to kickstart the venture.

Kyyba Inc, a Michigan-headquartered IT company, became my launchpad with industry verticals in automotive, education, public services, financial services, aerospace and defense, insurance, transportation, technology, government, healthcare, and medical, manufacturing services, and oil and energy. Kyyba has newly adopted health and wellness through Kyyba Wellness and entertainment, giving way to Kyyba Films, a global film production, and distribution company. Portfolio expansion has grown my business to now having 700 employees plus working across the globe.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

I love the quote, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” My businesses are highly diversified, and I believe that networking, upskilling, and keeping up with current trends and industry developments are essential to pack a punch. I consciously employ and surround myself with highly talented people to which I can help guide and empower them to own their lanes of expertise. This methodology allows less intervention round the clock and enables them to become better decision-makers.

I always emphasize the importance of networking, as it helps everyone to sprout new ideas, gain valuable insight, and analyze newer market trends. I make it a habit to evolve my contacts, submerge myself in new business circles, and travel to new places that help me to think differently and spark fresh ideas.

I am also a firm believer in maintaining a strict diet of primarily vegetarian/pescatarian and intermittent fasting, prioritizing meditation, and taking an East meets West approach to whole body health that combines the best of both worlds. Good thoughts and positivity attract blessings and catalyze the perfect body/mind/spirit connection.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

I maintain a healthy mix of social media platforms to promote my brand and various businesses. Facebook owns a significant audience share and is best for promotion across geographies. Nothing outperforms LinkedIn when it comes to concentration on organic, professional connections. Twitter is quick, convenient, and gains faster reach, while our Instagram accounts are rapid-fire and often go viral. We have just begun integrating TikTok as Kyyba’s film, and music legs have taken off. Those audiences appreciate the fun factor and a less corporate feel to overall brand messaging.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

When I started my business, much of our communication streamed through the formula funnel of emails, calls, and meetings. Today, our in-house team for traditional and digital lead generation is heavily vested in email outreach, web apps, mobile marketing, content marketing, ongoing SEO/SEM campaigns, and other proprietary tricks of the trade. Also, social media is a must for any business wanting to compete in today’s working environment. I am very proud of our well-equipped, global team who initiates and handles most of our necessary tasks online. However, we schedule in person when it’s time to close the deal. Hands down, my vote goes to digital marketing! Brand awareness (marketing + public relations + social media) = sales.

What is the most challenging decision you had to make in the last few months?

Heading a company requires a lot of ongoing, strategic decisions of risk/reward evaluation. One such important one of last was implementing a hybrid working model with flexible working hours. We at Kyyba have employees working worldwide in different time zones, continents, and capacities. Earlier in my ventures, we had fixed office hours and centralized operations with weekly meetings and team discussions.

While analyzing worldwide, the trend of great resignation was peaking globally, and it was essential for all entrepreneurs to retain solid talent. It is also important to change the organizational policy to be decentralized. We continued the meetings online, allocated tasks, and supported them remotely.

This paid off for Kyyba as we have now connected all our team members through cloud activity. This flexibility has led to better team spirit and motivated Kyyba members to achieve their goals. The company is now in growth mode, expanding into more dimensions. My employees are happy with this model, and so am I.

What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

I believe “there is light at the end of the tunnel.” One has to be very patient when going through difficult times. The testing period is the best teacher you could ask for, as it will impart a depth of knowledge. It strengthens, liberates one from fears, builds character, and provokes the courage to try new things. My life was no different. I have run into many challenges and gained insights into every one of those bumps in the road. Today I implement the education and growth I’ve experienced along the way into my personal and professional life.

I would teach that the pursuit of life is happiness and to lead each day with self-confidence. If you do anything wholeheartedly, the result will be fantastic. When you love what you do, you can ensure that you are investing yourself entirely! Happiness is contagious, and as a leader, I want my employees to feel good about coming to work every day. I want those who meet with me to expand my business to walk away feeling my authenticity and appreciation for our shared time. You will achieve greater heights of success, too.

How different is it to have a business within the IT and film industries? And which one do you prefer?

In terms of creativity, dedication, and work, both industries are time-bound and require tunnel-vision, resiliency, and steadfast commitment to succeed. IT is exciting because of continuous technological advances, but it carries more of a traditional work environment feel. The film industry is by far edgier and more glamorous, with exclusive access where one can gain fame, exposure, and stardom quickly. My popularity meter began to rise after becoming a movie producer. My likeness is better now as a film personality than a techie, thanks to Kyyba Films’ success. Honestly, I enjoy working in both industries as they offer unique opportunities. I appreciate the different people and personalities attached, too. It’s always a win when I can combine my right and left brains.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Hands down, I would cast Regé-Jean Page to star as me. His body language, smile, and overall appearance share similarities. His aura is impressive, and I appreciate his on-screen presence. I’ve enjoyed many of his roles and OTT series.

What is the best advice you have ever been given by someone?

The best advice of my life came from a well-respected entrepreneur when I first opened my company. He emphasized the importance of investing the soul to the cause we believe in and leaving a legacy behind. And once we find our passion, we must work toward reaching the goals of success despite whatever hurdles are standing in the way. Entrepreneurship is like a ride on a catamaran on a mammoth, stormy ocean — the more significant the risk, the better the reward. We also must give back to society and shine our skills and knowledge on a good cause to support underprivileged people who are desperate for support.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

Entrepreneurship is about adding values and finding solutions for challenges people wish to do away with altogether. It is essential to research the field of interest and gain insight before diving deep. You must constantly be in tune with your industry’s advancements and stay at the forefront of its trends.

Discover and decode your keys to happiness. Follow your passion and seek joy in all pursuits. Make resilience and patience your best of friends, as there may be some rainy days that require a healthy blend of peace and perseverance. Once you find happiness in your work will feed your passion and zeal, allowing you to become your best self.

Jeffr

5 Ways To Take Advantage Of A Bust Property Market

Challenging economic circumstances, including rising inflation, steep interest rate hikes, and a looming recession ahead, have caused the property market to decline. The buying ‘frenzy’ of the pandemic property boom is over, and home buyers and investors alike are feeling wary about making the life-changing decision to purchase property in this economic climate.

Lloyd Edge, Founder and Managing Director of Aus Property Professionals, says, “Already property prices have fallen in major capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne, and we should expect to see the market slow by a further 10 percent to 15 percent in the next few months. For savvy property investors and home buyers, the declining market presents an opportunity to get better value for their money.”

Lloyd has recently launched his second best-selling property book Buy Now: The Ultimate Guide to Owning and Investing in Propertywhich includes practical tips for people looking to buy a house, whether in a boom or bust market and strategies for how to make the best of the economic circumstances that you’re in and use it your advantage.

Lloyd says, “I began my own property journey at the age of 28, buying a one-bedroom flat on a teacher’s salary of no more than $70,000 per year. At the time, I had no idea I was going to become a serious property investor. Fast-forward almost two decades later and I’ve grown my portfolio to 18 properties worth $15 million. I had to persevere and learn a lot of hard lessons along the way, and now I want to share my knowledge and help people find the same success in property as I have.”

For prospective buyers, particularly first home buyers or aspiring property investors, Lloyd shares his top advice from Buy Now that will help you to break into the market and get better value for your deposit:

  1. Look for below-market value properties: A buyer who pays under the perceived market value of a property will have made instant equity on the property, meaning that they’ve made a profit from day one and can use this equity to keep building their property portfolio. One way to find a below-market value property is to use a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent can help you buy under market value because of their negotiation skills, contacts with local real estate agents in their areas of expertise, and their ability to uncover off-market gems. However, you can also do it yourself by researching the recent sales of similar properties in the same area and seeing if you can negotiate a better deal with the real estate agent.
  1. Motivated sellers: So, how do you find a below-market value property and snap it up quickly for a bargain price? One way is to buy a property from someone in need of a quick sale. It could be because they’ve bought another house and need to close the sale on their current property quickly, or they could be a developer looking for a quick sale to pay off outstanding debts. However, this advice comes with a word of warning, as some sellers may want to sell fast because there is something wrong with the property, so it’s always advisable to do an in-person inspection and commission a full property report and pest inspection.
  1. Be willing to negotiate terms: In cases of motivated sellers, if you can be flexible on the settlement terms of your contract, this can put you a head above other potential buyers, as flexibility is a strong negotiation tool to bring to the table. Suppose you are able to settle in as little as 21 days instead of the standard 35 or 42 days or offer an unconditional offer with no cooling-off period at all. In that case, you could find yourself getting a much better deal on a property, and it will make your offer look far more attractive, even if you’re not necessarily the highest bidder.
  1. Be proactive with finances: Before you begin your property hunt, a mortgage broker is the first person you should speak to. A mortgage broker will be able to tell you what your borrowing capacity is and help you secure pre-approval on your loan- this will ensure you don’t miss out on properties while submitting your paperwork and waiting for the banks or brokers to get back to you. If your finance is ready to go, you’ll have the option of making an unconditional offer. You’ll also be aware of any other conditions the seller has included in the contract, so you can accommodate these for a greater chance of success.
  1. Be known to local agents: If you’re ready to go, reach out and get in touch with local real estate agents. Let them know your buying criteria and budget, and ask to be contacted with off-market opportunities and when new properties are listed. Ask to be added to their mailing list so you’re one of the first to know about new listings and to inspect a suitable property when it becomes available.

Lloyd says, “One of my favourite mantras is ‘No-one ever got ahead by waiting.’ Too often I’ll meet people who say they’re not quite ready to buy just yet, they’re waiting for property prices to drop or interest rates to go down. Meanwhile, while they’re waiting property prices start to rise again, and they’ve missed out on the opportunity to get better value for their money. My advice to people in this situation would be buy when you can afford to, when your finances are in order, and ultimately, you’ll be better off in the long run.” 

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Kathleen Quere @agent99pr.com

Jeffr

Meet Lindsey Carnett, The CEO & President of Marketing Maven

Lindsey Cartnett started Marketing Maven after working at a public relations firm in Los Angeles, being the Marketing Director for a Scandinavian publicly-listed biosciences company, and starting a PR division for a multi-million-dollar advertising agency in Los Angeles. After many hours on the road commuting, at 26 years old, she was fearless and started Marketing Maven at the beginning of the Recession. She wanted to bring accountability to the public relations industry the same way that direct response advertisers brought attribution to their media dollars spend. She announced that she was doing PR for DR, meaning Public Relations for Direct Response, and launched into the direct-to-consumer marketing world, which had been her work experience from the early part of her career.

Global Millionaire recently caught up with Lindsey to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Today, Marketing Maven looks very different than it did in 2009. When Marketing Maven was born, the service offerings included Public Relations only. We have since added social media marketing, digital advertising, influencer marketing, email marketing, event support, market research, and creative services, including copywriting, graphic design, and website development. Marketing Maven is now bicoastal, with its headquarters in the Greater Los Angeles area and offices in New York City.

Marketing Maven continues to grow because we practice what we preach. We contribute articles to noteworthy media outlets, speak at conferences, have award-winning campaigns, announce significant agency news, and establish strategic partnerships that allow us to advance.

We also put our money where our mouth is in terms of having the core value of a growth mindset. This means being lifelong learners- something of paramount importance in a constantly evolving industry. Marketing Maven allows for education time for each employee and even sponsors it, so we are investing in employee education to improve our skill sets, learn more about the industries our clients work in, and cross-train our fellow staff. Our emerging leaders are strategically placed in leadership development programs and acquire new skills that they bring back to Marketing Maven.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Marketing Maven uses LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to increase brand awareness. Each platform is important for current and prospective clients, new hire recruiting, and employee engagement.

What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?

Paid advertising only works if you have a solid strategy and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you’ve established to gauge success. It’s important to start with a competitive analysis, understand your target audience and know what’s going to drive them to convert into qualified prospects. It’s more than getting a lead to your website. You must have a plan to keep them, as a nurture campaign with a series of relevant emails that have a substance of value to ultimately convert them into a valuable client.

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?

Pre-pandemic, we’d walk tradeshows with clients, and they would do all of the selling for us. The best advocates are your existing clients who can show others the great work you’ve done for them. Today, we are working with our clients on case studies they are proud of that we can share with prospects to showcase our work. We are also submitting case studies for awards so we can highlight award-winning campaigns in our marketing efforts. It’s great for our clients and for us!

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Word of mouth is the best form of marketing that has worked well for Marketing Maven throughout the years. Most of our business comes via referrals, so LinkedIn connections, one-on-one consultations, and a customized approach have proven successful year after year. We often do unique direct mailers before trade shows to request appointments and express our interest in working with specific brands.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

The toughest decision I had to make in the last few months was about office space. It’s hard to predict the post-pandemic office environment, but I think the hybrid office is here to stay, at least during the next 5 years.

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?

When I started Marketing Maven at age 26, I thought it was bad to get a business loan, so I put all my expenses on my personal credit cards. It wasn’t until I got more education about business financing that I realized that was a big mistake. I received an excellent education about business finances through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

What new business would you love to start?

I have many ideas for new businesses in many industries. Some are service-based and others are product-focused.

If you could go back in a time machine to when you were just starting, what would you do differently?

I would have invested more money in seasoned industry veterans with proven success in my industry who weren’t already from my existing network. I think that would have accelerated our growth even more meaningfully. The flip side is I have many great memories with people who I know, love, and trust. And to know I helped them get started and trained in their careers is very rewarding.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I received was from my first PR boss. He told me that to be successful in this industry, I needed to have tough skin. I couldn’t let the little stuff get to me or it could eat me alive. I was to think of oil and water and just let anything negative roll off me. I still remember the pep talk to this day!

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

My biggest advice to a newbie entrepreneur setting up their first business is to ask for help. I didn’t realize the number of free resources for entrepreneurs until I was years into my business. There’s SCORE, SBDC, WEV, and the list goes on! Many entrepreneurs are too proud to ask for help, but I will assure you that there are many blind spots along the journey, and being humble will get you a lot farther than being proud. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. And to sit with that thought and being okay with it is the first step to seeking help from someone more seasoned with your best interest in mind.

Jeffr

Meet The Star Behind The Cover Of The July 2022 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA

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By Allison Kugel

As the leader of the legendary multi-platinum selling rap group, The Wu-Tang Clan, RZA, or Bobby, as he is known to close friends and colleagues, had a particular way of putting beats to razor-sharp lyrics that made you feel part of a song’s creative process. Fans feel RZA’s music, both from Wu-Tang and his solo and collaborative efforts, on a cellular level.

An urban-bred intellectual who expresses through a mic or camera lens, RZA is considered prophetic to his community and perhaps a unicorn to mainstream culture. With a penchant for Eastern philosophy, as is evident in the name Wu-Tang Clan and lyrical nods to Shaolin Kung Fu, RZA shared, “One thing I’m looking forward to doing in the near future… I’ve never been to India, and I have to check that one off,” referring to the top item on his bucket list. I recommended he connect with Indian author and yogi, Jaggi Vasudev, also known as Sadhguru, when he makes the trip. RZA is so well-read and well-versed; it felt novel giving him someone and something beyond his scope to Google.

As a film director, RZA paints complex portraits with colorful, multi-faceted characters that inspire engagement and empathy. His latest directorial effort, the allegorical Cut Throat City (streaming on Netflix) features an all-star cast. It examines the lives of people living in New Orleans’ economically depressed Lower Ninth Ward in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. The historically disastrous storm broke through poorly constructed levees, flooding out the city’s most vulnerable residents and leaving them with little hope or help from FEMA. Much like our current pandemic, Katrina shone a light on shameful racial and economic inequities. Though the film’s story is sobering and the lead character’s decisions are morally ambiguous, he insists the film portrays “a story of redemption,” with parallels to his own life.

“No one [in this film] is completely bad, and no one is completely good. They were all flawed. It exemplified their humanity, and it comes down to a choice. The theme of [Cut Throat City] examines the importance of dreams against a backdrop of survival.”

Reflecting on his early days in the spotlight, RZA denounces some of his youthful bravado as he recites a trademark Wu-Tang lyric for me, “Wu-Yang Clan ain’t nuthing ta fuck wit,” and laughs out loud at an ego-driven existence that took center stage early on. It’s now tempered, he says, by a need to serve something greater than himself. Throughout our conversation, RZA’s words are prophetic, culturally provocative, and spiritually centered. We talked about a life lived outside the matrix of material trappings; a topic he initiated and encouraged me.

Allison Kugel: Do you believe anything is possible or that circumstances dictate our destiny?

RZA: Wow, that’s a strong question. I think that persistence overcomes resistance. Therefore, every possibility is actually expressed in our children’s wishes. The things we wish for as young minds and things we thrive in our spirits for, I think they make that which seems impossible, possible. The whole Greek study of Icarus and the idea of men flying… that seems like it would be magic or some other thing. We fly every day now in many different variations of flight, for example, flights that leave our basic atmosphere and travel across the whole world. So, what seems impossible, I think positivity and possibilities are probably boundless.

Allison Kugel: What lessons can be learned from poverty, and what lessons can be learned from wealth?

RZA: Poverty and wealth are two very different circumstances, but those are physical circumstances. I think we have to be conscious to not have the physical circumstance truly shake our spiritual and our personality. I grew up in poverty, but I was never unhappy. Joy and love were in our household. My mother was a single mother, but joy and love made up for the lack of food and shelter. The point I make in saying that is, of course, in a capitalist society our freedoms are compartmentalized. Therefore, you could be physically free and not spiritually free. You can be spiritually and physically free, and not economically free. Since economic freedom is a requirement for proper food, clothing, and shelter, it can become something that transcends the physical, and bleeds into the spiritual. If life was simple, everything we want is already provided for us by the planet. There is nothing on this planet that we eat, ingest, take, dance with, fly with, that is not from the planet. It’s just that when you are dealing with certain [economic] systems, they take control over us. Even in some religious traditions they have ways of controlling what is naturally ours. I’m out here in New Jersey in the woods right now, and I just saw some deer walk by. A whole family [of deer] eating whatever they ate and they keep walking.

Allison Kugel: I had a similar moment when I looked at a family of birds outside my house, and they don’t need anything. They’ve figured all of it out for free, on their own.

RZA: Yes! There is a beautiful verse in the Holy Quran that speaks on that. I’ll paraphrase it. It says something like, “The birds and the bees are taking care of every day with no worries. Do you think Allah would do less for man, his greatest creation?” Everything they have access to, we have access to. It’s that we grabbed control over it and denied access to certain people. That’s playing into the theme of my film (RZA’s latest directorial effort, Cut Throat City, streaming on Netflix).

​Allison Kugel: Yup! That’s why I’m asking about it…

RZA: One of the biggest issues of the situation in this film that I hope the audience catches is that Blink (played by Shameik Moore) goes in with his wife (played by Kat Graham) and child for help from FEMA and they ask, “What is your salary?” She says, “About $32,000.” Not a bad salary and not a great salary…

Allison Kugel: It’s a hard salary. It’s a salary that would be very challenging to raise a family on. Would you agree?

RZA: Yes, I would agree. And within that salary she’s paying a third of that in taxes. Her tax money is paid into a system to protect her when the time comes that you need the protection. Now here it is, I’m in need of what I paid into and I’m being denied because of my community or because of my race. That is the equation we overlook in our capitalist society. The money that they spend every year is not their money, it’s our money that they are controlling.

Allison Kugel: After watching your film, Cut Throat City, which depicts the lives of people living in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward in 2005, post-Hurricane Katrina, I researched and read that in 1965 there was also a catastrophic hurricane in the area. Same thing happened, where the levees were not maintained properly and they broke. They already knew there was a strong possibility it could happen again, and yet they did nothing to protect these people.

RZA: The line that Ethan Hawke gives in the film, he talks about how it also happened in the early 1900s, but it was more intentional. They let the levees break so the water could flood the lower land and it wouldn’t spread up to the white districts. The thing about separation of people who are of color or [lower] economics, it has existed for a long time in our country and there is no relief and no delivery from the situation. Even if the Lower Ninth was built to be low income, as your city is growing and your tax dollars are coming into your city, those resources should be used to ensure everyone’s safety and security. In the beginning of the city’s history, I understand. I started in a small apartment when I left my house. I was nineteen years old and my mother said the time had come to go. I started in a small apartment and (Wu-Tang Clan member) Ghostface [Killah] was my roommate. We had another roommate, my cousin Rob. We lived there, three guys in a one bedroom, and we stayed there until we raised enough money to get a two bedroom (laugh). You know what I mean?

Allison Kugel: (Laughs) Yes! I do know what you mean.

RZA: We kept going, and it even got to the point where one of us could move out and one of us still stayed, and that lasted until we hit it big. The point is, it’s okay to start at the bottom and struggle, but when there is no relief from the struggle, that is when it becomes insidious, evil, and oppressive. Like I said, the money that FEMA was giving in 2005 for Hurricane Katrina Relief was the money that came from the people. It wasn’t [FEMA’s] money.

Allison Kugel: I’m assuming you spent time in New Orleans prior to directing Cut Throat City?

RZA: I traveled there many times and spent three weeks studying the city. This film wasn’t just about these four guys in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It was the fact that this was a story about what happens when your aspirations turn into desperation. That I know, that I’ve felt, and that I’ve lived. I come from a single mother household and so does my whole crew. Seven of the nine members [of Wu-Tang Clan] are that. In this film, Blink (the film’s lead character) was a nerd, in all reality. He was an academic and went to college. He had a talent, you know?

Allison Kugel: That is what is so heartbreaking about this story. Here is a guy who went to Tulane University, who has extraordinary talent for drawing and storytelling, and it’s wasted talent. It’s a squandered life. But then at the end of the film, there are two different endings. Explain that…

RZA: A lot of people have been tweeting about that and asking what’s going on. The artist in me left it up for interpretation. If you go back and look at the film closely, you’ll see that there is an egg in there that should answer the questions. Maybe people missed it, but the reason why I did that is because in life, very few of us get second chances. But, what happens if you give a man a second chance? I, myself, am a second chance-er. When I read this story, I felt the character Blink all in my system. I felt his pain. Then I realized I actually was an artist and a smart guy who got caught up in gangs and the streets, and ended up facing eight years in jail, but I won my trial. When I won my trial, I changed my life. I focused on study and making myself better, looking at my creativity, and I formed The Wu-Tang Clan. I became a success story, because I was given a second chance.

Allison Kugel: Sometimes a single decision can change everything…

RZA: And I wasn’t bad. A lot of people are not bad, they just made a bad decision. [I wish] the criminal justice system could look at it that way. Most of the guys in the Wu were the same. We were all arrested felons or something like that, and we had a second chance. I wanted to express that in this film. In the original screenplay, though, I have to be honest, he dies. But as a director I get to tell the story and I get to shape it. I wanted to shape it with optimism. I said, “I’m going to leave some optimism there and let the people who watch it decide, which pill would they take?” In the film the detective tells him, “A pen will get you further than a gun.” I’m living proof. It was a pen that got me further than anytime I was trying to do something foolish with a gun.

Allison Kugel: Speaking of which pill to take. You strike me as a guy who operates outside the matrix. I know you’re part of the Five Percent Nation. Do you sometimes feel like you don’t quite sync up with the everyday person?

RZA: No. I don’t feel like I don’t sync up. I feel blessed that I see the beauty of what I see. Whether anybody else sees it or not, it’s okay. It’s not like, “Man, wow, they’re missing it.” Even as a vegan and never having a yearning for steak, never having the idea in the back of my head of the pain I’m inflicting on someone else; it’s a very liberating feeling to not be the cause of pain and turmoil to any living thing. I actually feel more required to do what I’m supposed to do, so that if there is positivity in what I’m doing, may others see it. They’ll see it in their own given time, and I’m okay with that.

Allison Kugel: Do you want to explain what the Five Percent Nation is?

RZA: I’m going to tell you something they taught us in studying the lessons of The Five Percent, and it is sometimes misunderstood. What they are trying to say when they say, “Five Percent,” is they took a number of 100% and they separated it into the different types of people in the world. They say that 10% of the people know the same things that the five percent know, but the 10% use it to control other people. They know that there’s falsehood. They know it’s a game, they know the rules of the game. They aren’t playing it, but they’re making everybody else play it. They say 85% of people are easily led in the wrong direction. The 10% will lead them in the wrong direction even though they know the right direction. Then there’s 5% of the people who know the right direction and they strive to teach it. Scientists who deal with quantum physics and the measurement of space, they say all the atoms in the entire universe only represent five percent of the universe.

Allison Kugel: And the rest is space.

RZA: The rest is space. It’s a mathematical equation. They taught us that we should all strive for the Twelve Jewels of Life which is: knowledge, wisdom, understanding, freedom, justice, equality, food, clothing, shelter, love, peace, and happiness. If you have that, you’re rich. I honestly feel I have that, and to me, that is more valuable than anything that is out there. In my art, I try to express those qualities.

Allison Kugel: In the film who would you say was the most fun to direct, who was the most challenging, and who did you vibe with artistically?

RZA: Wow, it’s hard to separate such a great cast and great talents. Every one of us had our moments, like an all-star team. I can say that Kat Graham really shows that it’s not just beauty in her, but it’s her strength and expression. I’m glad that she became the anchor of that family, and she did it beautifully. She could have played it pretty and sexy. Even though she was beautiful on screen, it was natural. She was strong to go and fight for her man. Ethan Hawke, I felt like we were on a natural high working together with the way the ideas were flowing back and forth, and his choices of emotions. And as a fan, it was a joy to have Terrence Howard, Wesley Snipes and Isaiah Washington come and work in my film.

Allison Kugel: Did you originally think Kat Graham was too pretty for this role?

RZA: No, that wasn’t a thought. I got lucky to get Kat. We had developed her role for another actress who became unavailable about two weeks before we were shooting. Then our agent said that Kat Graham read the script and was interested, and would I be interested to talk with her? We did a FaceTime and she said exactly what I needed to hear.

Allison Kugel: Which was?

RZA: She said to me, “The strength of this woman is in the pages, Bobby, and I want to bring you that strength.” It wasn’t about bringing beauty; it was about bringing me strength. Then when you look at T.I., he totally shocked me and blew my mind. T.I. also came into the cast late. I had been developing the film for five years, and I always wanted Method Man to play the role of Cousin, but he told me he wasn’t into the bad guy roles right now.

Allison Kugel: What do you want people to take away from the film, Cut Throat City, beyond being entertained?

RZA: I would like to think the people who see these four main characters in the film as criminals can now understand that they are a victim of circumstance. If we can walk away and understand that some people who are in bad situations are victims of circumstances, we can prevent the circumstances. I don’t know if that makes sense to you.

Allison Kugel: That makes sense.

RZA: How do we prevent the circumstances? Before I started the movie, I met with a guy who was locked up and he told me he read an article about me and he agreed with what he read about me. I asked him, “Which article was that?” He said it was an article where I said I was a nerd. And I was like, “Yes, I am. I like comic books. I like video games. I like chess.” He said, “I loved reading that about you, because I’m a nerd too!” This guy was serving 15 years for armed robbery. He was saying that really, he is also a creator, but there was no outlet for him. So he got caught up in a hustle. There was another guy that was in the cell with him who ended up fixing all the computers inside the jail, but he’s in for murder. I’m not justifying a murder, but he said that he was bullied and bullied and bullied. He was forced to fight, and once he fought it was like he became a cowboy.

Allison Kugel: Here is the question I ask everybody. What do you think you came into this world to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach in this lifetime?

RZA: Wow, that is a beautiful question. What did I come to learn? One thing I am learning is humility. Even though I may appeared, on the surface, to have it, it was something that I think I lacked. I was pretty conceited, really coming up. If you listen to my old music, I acted like, “I’m the greatest and everybody else is beneath me (laughs).”

Allison Kugel: Well, you were in your twenties, right?

RZA: Yes..

Allison Kugel: Hello! (laugh)

RZA: Exactly. But it’s good to understand that there is a universe out there. You can be a sun, but there’s other suns. But I do think what I’m destined to teach, if anything, is that you can be a living example of your own ideas. Through my art, I’ll be able to inspire and that’s the best thing. I think I was brought her to inspire. I was born to inspire.

RZA Photos Courtesy of CAA, Film Stills Courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment/Netflix

Cut Throat City is currently streaming on Netflix. Follow RZA on Facebook and Instagram.

Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment and pop culture columnist and author of the book Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record. Follow her on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at AllisonKugel.com.