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Meet The Soul That Connects With Crna Gora: The Minister of Culture in Government of Montenegro, Aleksandar Bogdanović

Aleksandar Bogdanović is a Montenegrin politician who is currently the Minister of Culture in Government of Montenegro and former mayor of Cetinje and representative of the Democratic Party of Socialists in Parliament of Montenegro.

Aleksandar was born in the Old Royal Capital of Montenegro – Cetinje. He attended a high school in California, and graduated from the Faculty of Management in Belgrade in 2000, as the best student of the generation. He completed his specialization at the Institute for European Policy in Berlin in 2003, while in 2004, at the invitation of the Secretary of State of the United States, he participated in the spokesperson training program in Washington. He started his career in the Ministry of Economy of Montenegro, where he worked as an advisor to the Minister and Spokesperson for the Ministry. In December 2005, he was appointed Advisor to the President of Montenegro in the field of economic relations, and in 2009 he took up the position of MP, the youngest MP at the time, in the Parliament of Montenegro. He performed the function of the Mayor of the Old Royal Capital of Cetinje from December 2010 to December 2017, when he was appointed Minister of Culture in the Government of Montenegro.

During his past engagement, he was also a member of the Permanent High-Level Group (PHLG) and a representative of Montenegro within the Athens Process. He’s an author and a co-author of several scientific-research projects and professional papers in the field of finance and economic relations. In 2006, he was appointed Youth Spokesperson for Millenium Development Goals in New York, on behalf of the United Nations System. From 2007 to 2011, he was a lecturer at the Faculty of State and European Studies in Podgorica, on the courses Public Sector Economics and EU Public Finance. He was also a guest lecturer at the University of Belgrade, the Diplomatic Academy, and the University of Sofia. Furthermore, he received several significant awards and recognitions, prominent among them being the prestigious award for the Best Mayor of the region in 2014, which he received at the ceremony for the selection of the best manager and the best company of the Southeast and Central European region. The President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, even awarded him the Order of the Knight of the Star of Italy in 2014, which is the most significant recognition awarded to foreign citizens for special merits in the promotion of the Italian culture. In May 2017, Aleksandar was named an honorary citizen of Miami Beach, Florida.

Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Aleksandar and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being the minister of culture of Montenegro?

To perform this responsible function is a great honour, a great responsibility, and, at the same time, a demanding task, which I was entrusted with by President and Prime Minister, who I am immensely grateful to for the trust they placed in me. The fact that I have the opportunity to contribute to the prosperity of culture in Montenegro with a team of exceptional associates, with my wholehearted engagement, ability, and creativity on a daily basis, gives me the greatest satisfaction in performing my ministerial function.

What has been the most memorable experience of being the Minister of Culture?

Creating conditions for the Montenegrin society to be enriched with culture is certainly an invaluable experience for me. The Montenegrin culture has a long and extremely rich tradition, and it has always shared the challenges and successes that our society and the country have gone through. In this context, the opportunity to be, so to speak, “on the spot” when it comes to implementing a successful cultural policy based on clear and highly valued goals of the entire Montenegrin cultural being, makes me extremely proud to run this department.

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

The past months have been and, unfortunately, still are, very difficult for the whole of mankind, as we are witnessing the relentless struggle of the planet with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has paralyzed all segments of society and human activity. At the global level, the pandemic has called into question the sustainability of many sectors, so the field of culture has not remained immune to these challenges. In order to protect human health, every day we witness that a lot of large and well-known world projects in culture are canceled, prolonged, or change their organizational and production form. The culture in Montenegro also shares the destiny of cultural events in the world, because we are in no way specific as regards the global epidemiological trends. In that context, at the end of March, in the first wave of the pandemic, in accordance with the recommendations of the National Coordination Team for Infectious Diseases, we were forced to decide to close the doors of theatres, galleries, museums, cinemas, libraries, suspend the implementation of projects. festivals … Although the decision was made in order to preserve the health of Montenegrin citizens, I must admit that personally, I find it very difficult.

To what extent were your notions of culture and cultural policy accepted by the rest of the government on an ideological and philosophical level?

From the beginning of my term of office, I have tried to affirm culture as a development opportunity for Montenegro – both in the field of further building the image of our country in the wider area, and in the fields, such as tourism. In that regard, I needed strong cooperation with all entities, especially with local ones, given that each part of Montenegro has unique cultural features that deserve wider recognition. In the implementation of such a defined vision of cultural policy, I had the undivided support and understanding of both the President and Prime Minister and the rest of the Government. In addition, on the philosophical level, as you say, we share the same notions of culture, which means that for the Government of Montenegro, culture represents much more than how most people experience it today – only through art. Culture is actually the most permanent foundation of the Montenegrin identity and collective memory of our country, one of the main pillars for building a more humane society at the general level, but also everything that makes us able to enjoy the complex diversity of human expression.

If you were to look back on your term and make an assessment, what were you pleased about and what left you disappointed?

In the almost past three years as Minister of Culture, I am primarily satisfied because we have increased investment in culture, improved spatial and infrastructural conditions in a number of institutions, but also detected potentials in the field of heritage that we have valorised in the context of cultural tourism, so now we have the first opened creative hubs in Montenegro in places that only yesterday were neglected buildings. Moreover, we have encouraged the development of creative industries, and in artistic creation, we have recognized the projects and authors whose creativity exceeds the local significance and whose poetics correspond to current artistic developments in the world. All this certainly represents a good impetus for even more dynamic and diverse development of the cultural and artistic scene in Montenegro. I believe that a healthy dose of self-criticism is a valuable driver to move forward, so I always think that things can and must be done better.

What kind of knock-on effects will the growth of the media sector have on the economy of Montenegro?

Any conversation on the topic of the media is naturally an adequate conversation on the topic of democratic organization of a society in which freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. Freedom of the media for the Government of Montenegro is the basis of a democratic society because only the free and independent media affirm what is a public good and the progress of civilization. In this context, the development of the media sector in Montenegro is a benefit not only for the economy but for our society as a whole. Since the field of media belongs to the Ministry of Culture, let me emphasize our direct contribution to the improvement of the media legislation in Montenegro. Namely, as a result of a well-thought-out media strategy, two media laws were adopted in the Montenegrin Parliament in August – the Law on National Public Broadcaster RTCG and the Law on Media, which represents a step forward in this area, since as an umbrella law, it guarantees the right to freedom of expression, freedom, and independence of the media in a pluralistic environment, and is based on the highest European standards and principles of transparency, inclusiveness, non-discrimination … I would also like to point out that in the past 18 years, since the last revision of the media legislation, Montenegro has been continuously evolving, in normative, institutional and democratic terms, on the path of creation and sustainability of the overall environment of media freedom, so the achieved level of media reforms and implementation of the European legal heritage, was generally assessed as a good level of legal compliance by international organizations.

What new actions are planned to further boost tourism in your country?

I believe that the health situation at the global level will stabilize soon and that we will all continue where we left off when it comes to tourism, because, as everywhere, the COVID 19 pandemic has had a negative impact this year on the tourist season in Montenegro. The recovery of the tourism sector is extremely important for the Montenegrin society because tourism is the most important component of the national economy. Given the existing potentials, especially natural ones, and the current level of development of the tourism industry, as well as the strategic direction of the development of Montenegro as an ecological state, tourism should be one of the most promising activities in the future economic development of Montenegro. The development of elite tourism, investments of foreign capital in infrastructure, intensive promotional campaign in foreign markets, and the entry of global brands on the domestic market have contributed to the positive trends in the tourism industry of Montenegro. To achieve even better effects, time and significant investments are required. The principles on which our strategy for further development of Montenegrin tourism is based are the highlighting of comparative advantages of Montenegro, differentiation of regions, standardization according to international standards, individualization of offer and differentiation of offering of each tourist resort, then increase in hotel accommodation capacity according to international standards of hotel units, which will satisfy the complex requirements of foreign guests. We have also recognized the great potential in further development in connecting the tourism sector with other economic activities, but also through cultural tourism, which the Ministry of Culture wholeheartedly advocates.

Deseasonalisation is one of the most important objectives for any tourist destination. Which segments and activities are helping to boost the number of visitors to Montenegro throughout the year?

Montenegro is a small country in the area, but it has an enormous wealth of natural resources: impressive mountain ranges and deep canyons, wide plains, fast rivers, Skadar Lake, and the magnificent coast of the Adriatic Sea alternate in just a few-hour ride by car. The coast and the mountains, due to their proximity to each other, are perceived as a single whole, and this is the main comparative advantage of Montenegro in the rich tourist offer among the competition, but also when it comes to deseasonalisation. Moreover, selective forms of tourism: nautical, rural, cultural, and eco-tourism, combined in a single tourist product, increase the number of visitors to our country throughout the year and, at the same time, contribute to the balanced tourist valorisation of all regions. In addition, Montenegro has a pleasant summer climate, similar to that on the Cote d’Azur, which makes it ideal for bathing tourism, while the winter in our mountains is characterized by excellent conditions for all kinds of winter sports.

Globalisation and new technologies have driven many of the changes in world tourism over the last decade. What other challenges will influence the future of the sector in your country?

In a relatively short time, Montenegro has proven itself in relation to competitive destinations in the Mediterranean region, owing primarily to the extraordinary natural beauty and favourable geographical and other climatic conditions, but also a prudent policy pursued by the Government of Montenegro in this area, as well as the efforts and achievements of tourism service providers. In this area, we have reached the international level of service quality, but also met expectations when it comes to valorisation and protection of natural resources, sustainability, and innovation. We are witnessing that globalization is rapidly changing consumer behaviour, developing transport and information technology, modifying forms of organization and labour, which all have a strong impact on tourism. In that context, the most obvious challenge of Montenegrin tourism in the future will be reflected in its ability to economically valorise numerous non-economic resources, but also in its generating and integrative function in relation to complementary sectors and non-economic activities. It is because tourism is defined today, in the global sense as well, by the desire to create partnerships in three sectoral levels (public, private and civil), with the goal of strategic development of the tourism industry and the use of resources for the economic growth of society.

Please could you also send us more information on Montenegro, in the following areas:

1) The most important places to visit.

The entire Montenegro is a genuine tourist pearl that you must visit. Beautiful mountain massifs, deep canyons of restless rivers, crystal blue sea with endless beaches, numerous lakes, but also the immense richness of its cultural heritage enable even the most demanding visitor to our country to find the best way to enjoy a quality vacation. In just one day, you can have a morning coffee on the Long Beach of Ulcinj, a tour of Kotor – a city from the UNESCO World Heritage List, lunch during a cruise on Skadar Lake, and finish it by a fireplace and with specialties of the national cuisine on the slopes of Mount Durmitor.

I hope you won’t mind, but I will also be a bit of a local patriot, so I will wish your readers, when they come to Montenegro, to visit its old royal capital, my hometown – Cetinje, located at the foot of Lovćen. The story of a town-museum, the centuries-old capital of Montenegro, and the origin of its spirituality and statehood has lasted for more than half a millennium, a town which, both with its cultural heritage and significance in artistic terms, transcends the national boundaries. Each stone of this small town has its own historical story or legend, and the patina of centuries deposited on the buildings of Cetinje carries freedom messages from past times, making it both great and famous. You will find evidence of this in the museums of Cetinje, which keep valuable testimonies of the centuries-old struggles of its defiant and proud citizens for freedom and for the rise of their own spirit through the written word and through tradition.

2) The main reasons and incentives for investors to invest in Montenegro.

Montenegro, as a small and highly open economic system, has the potential to flexibly fit into the global trends in FDI movements (Foreign Direct Investment), so it is continuously committed to improving its overall investment environment in this regard. Attracting foreign investments is one of our primary goals, taking into account their positive effect on the dynamization of production and the creation of new jobs, through the establishment of new companies. Here are a few reasons for investing in Montenegro – because of political, monetary, and macroeconomic stability; simple START UP; the liberal economic regime of foreign trade; favourable tax policy; international accounting standards; growth of economic freedoms and, above all, excellent geographical position and climatic conditions that make our country a rare gem in this part of Europe.

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5 Surefire Ways To Sculpt Yourself Into A Future-Ready Entrepreneur

In 2020 the future of business is in flux but as a well-prepared entrepreneur, the changing landscape can be fertile ground for your success. Here are 5 ways to sculpt yourself into a future-ready entrepreneur

#1 Strength in the face of crisis

Entrepreneurship has always demanded resilience from its leaders. It’s a rare enterprise that wasn’t built on the back of perseverance in the face of uncertainty, steadfastness against doubts, or tenacity in the wake of calamity.

But COVID-19 has given a whole new meaning to the word ‘crisis’. It has taught us that there is nothing that the world can’t throw at us and our entrepreneurial dreams.

It takes a special kind of person, with a special level of strength, to deal with the blows that beset the entrepreneur’s path. But, if you can ready yourself mentally, by accepting that you don’t know what is around the corner and create a plan for how to mentally fortify yourself against it, then when the worst happens you will be one of the few who is ready to survive and thrive.

I am reminded of a talk given by Simon Sinek. He spoke about the mindset of elite athletes…

Before their biggest events, their greatest performances for crowds of thousands, if not millions, almost every athlete responds to the question “Are you nervous?” in the same way.

They said, “No. I’m excited!”

Mindset is everything.

#2 Forever upskilling.

We live in a world where companies can go from a valuation of $0 to $1bn in under five years. Think of Instagram and Airbnb as just two examples of many. But what is it that drives this latest generation of growth?

Change. Change is what drives it.

Instagram saw the potential of modern smartphones to introduce a new-wave of photo-based social media, and Airbnb leveraged consumers’ burgeoning affection and trust in web-based shopping to create a new class of hotels seemingly out of thin air.

So, isn’t this a point about technology?

It goes further than that. In these cases, technology was the vehicle, and in fact, we will look at technology more in a minute, but what actually created the value was simply the ability of these companies’ leaders to learn about how the world was moving, and what these new resources could do for them.

The well-seasoned and well-financed veterans of the hotel trade had the rug pulled out from under them by Airbnb because they didn’t learn as fast as two graduates in their dorm rooms.

If we, as entrepreneurs, want to compete today, tomorrow, and next year we have to constantly learn. And, more specifically, learn about the areas we haven’t even heard of yet. Because otherwise, just when we think we are secure, these are the areas that two recent graduates will utilise to send us back to school.

#3 Diversity

“Diversity is a competitive advantage” – Forbes.com

If we commit ourselves to learning, we have to commit ourselves to diversity. Diversity of backgrounds, skills, age, gender, and culture expose us to everything that we could never hope to know by ourselves.

So, whether you are a solo entrepreneur, a partner, or a player in multiple teams, ensure you avoid the dreaded ‘echo chamber’ and instead draw eclectic groups of people to your side.

Even for the solo entrepreneur, there are many ways to expose yourself to the uncomfortable and challenging productivity-machine of diverse interactions. The people you hire, the mentor you choose, the friends you keep. Make sure they are as colourful and as diverse as the customers you want to reach.

#4 Choose your partners well

Many of the reasons why diversity is important apply directly to choosing your partners, whether they be shareholders or collaborators. The ability of a partner to cover your blind spots and level-up your decision-making abilities is crucial.

However, while it is easy to make the assumption that because a person or organisation has been successful with other people then they will be successful with you, it is often not a good assumption to make.

The real question to ask is whether or not they reflect what you want, and does what they bring to the table truly bolster your chances of success in the future?

Not only will a partner who is out of line with your goals fail to add the value you hoped for, but they will also actively detract value by pushing in a non-complimentary direction.

Ensure your partners don’t just give you what you want today. Ensure they are going where you are headed.

#5 Embrace technology

Until recently almost every new business needed at least a few staff. Even if just for general office tasks. Now some thriving start-ups with two successful years under their belts can be realistically run by one person, thanks to online outsourcing.

Technology has already revolutionised business, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Embrace every opportunity to utilise tech to your advantage and you might just be amazed at how far your streamlined ship can sail.

Even if taking on more employees is an inevitability then small and highly specialised teams will be the future. Your core team can be supplemented by outside contractors halfway across the world and, increasingly, A.I. Utilising modern tech and communications to cut costs, decrease waste, and expand your talent pool are going to be key factors in the success of the businesses of the future. And you can bet that even if you don’t do it, your competitors will!

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5 Demand Generation Best Practices to Boost Your Brand’s Awareness

Building a long-term relationship with your customers is as tough as keeping your product in demand. We are all aware that the industry trends come and go so as an entrepreneur so you need to be able to sustain this rapid change.

To be successful in your chosen field, you have to maintain your brand awareness no matter how many large competitors come your way. Following these five practices will help you sustain the challenge and succeed in the long run.

Be consistent in proper communication with your customers

Always be attentive to your customers. As soon as your customers start to express their thoughts about your business, you need to respond as soon as you can so that your customers can feel that their concerns are being heard. This will help you produce the right product that your customers need. A customer will feel happy and satisfied whenever he/she receives the exact product he/she ordered and it arrives without a delay. Especially when the order is packed neatly and every piece is in good condition. This will urge him/her to reorder again and refer you to his/her friends and family.

Provide exceptional customer service

Handling a simple customer query can greatly affect your customer’s decision to buy your product. Aside from this fact, doing an extra mile for the customer will also let him/her feel they are truly valued. To ensure the order arrives correctly, make sure you keep in touch with your customers so you can also check if they encounter any problems associated with their order.

By doing this, you can provide an effective resolution in the early stages. Providing good customer service is a continuous process because your customers may change their minds instantly if you are not able to meet their expectations before, during, and after your transaction.

Be innovative and creative

Both of these qualities can produce a brand that is always tempting to the eyes and attracts the attention of your buyers. Millennials are always looking for new things. From the product you first use at your startup, never be afraid to perform an experiment so you can discover new things to improve your brand. You can always use the same product because you have already built your reputation with that one. You just need to be creative to enhance it so it continues to stand out among other trends.

Learn new sales strategies

Offering tempting promotions can be one of the best sales strategies you can incorporate into your business. This is the traditional way most entrepreneurs are still using because it is proven to be effective. Just make sure the discounts you offer will still generate an income though. You can also use other marketing channels to get better results and maintain your status in the industry.

Create sales metrics

A sales report can help you evaluate the aspects of your product which still requires your effort and attention. This is a smarter method to help you analyze if your sales strategy is effective or not. Your sales metrics also allow you to determine the marketing channel which contributes more to your revenue and which one should be eliminated if it is not working effectively. This is also helpful when you have other sales plans to promote additional income for the company.

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Meet The Woman Behind The Cover Of The November 2020 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Abhijita Kulshrestha

Abhijita Kulshrestha, is a Senior Director, Astrologer, Life Coach and Astro Gemologist with Gemstoneuniverse. She is a PGA and GIA certified Astro-Gemologist with additional qualifications from prestigious institutions like SSEF.

She is a mentor to several successful entrepreneurs who get benefited from her sage counsel and applying her Sacred Gemstone recommendations.

Abhijita is a communication professional and holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism besides being an NLP Master practitioner.

Prior to her soul-level engagement with the world of Vedic astrology, gemstones, and association with Gemstoneuniverse, she had a long stint in ‘wordsmithy’! She’s had professional stints at Mudra institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA); RK Swamy BBDO, Bangalore, and Times of India. She currently contributes to Thrive Global, is a contributor at Huffingtonpost and Entrepreneur, and has been featured in several international publications of repute.

She is the author of two books – Cosmic Sutra, A Handbook of Healing (self-help/healing/spirituality), and Ambrosia Sides (Poetry) published by Har-Anand- A Leading publishing house in India.

She was the winner of the Ms. Super Brain of India contest 1999 conducted by The Competition Success Review.  Global Millionaire recently caught up with Abhijita and here’s what went down:

These are uncertain times and we would like to know about the most essential trait that businesses and leaders are talking about. How do you approach change?

When a business is established, there is always a vision behind it. I choose not to call it a dream, but a vision. Dreams are evanescent – they vanish. But visions are haunting and in a good way. They are more likely to stay until their manifestation. Good businesses are based on scalability and resilience, among other things. Basic as it may sound, it is the truth. Change is a constant and whether the founders or leaders do like it or not, it will happen externally- with paradigms shifting in terms of political, economic, social, cultural factors, etc. or through internal shifts on your personal trajectory – your own resourcefulness, age, maturity, circumstances, etc. will press on. At Gemstoneuniverse we understand the psychological and seasonal shifts that are inherent to all systems and beings, so there is relative ease in traversing changes. Of course, one cannot anticipate the nitty-gritties of the change but that there will be a requirement to change from time to time is understood well.

How has COVID -19 impacted your business?

COVID-19 has been a real eye-opener in terms of outlook – one’s own as well as what the customer wants and largely towards the environment and the superstructure that we function within. After these few initial tremors on the economic landscape, we pulled ourselves together – Gemstoneuniverse as a brand has been oriented towards providing a solution always – that is our core competency and that’s what we are known for. The very first thought was to care for our own team and I can say quite proudly that the entire team is still with us. We were not pushed into the zone of layoffs. In fact, we are in an expansion and hiring mode globally.

In fact, regrouping has been stronger and even as I say this there are initiatives afoot that will present a more responsive and empathetic team, along with consistent quality products, services and be the bankable presence that we always have been. There are efforts towards making the digital experience more rewarding for the customer, whether it is on the website or through online meetings /sessions. Gemstoneuniverse has been a consistent performer where exports are concerned, we are also looking at enhancing the experience of the local buyers as well, who now have to rely more on digital exploration and adaptation. It is all about the ease of the process and the seamlessness of it all.

Our esteemed mentor, Respected Guruji Shrii Arnav-the author of the magnum opus of Astro Gemology-The Secrets of Jyotish Gems has in fact laid the perfect example of turning adversity into opportunity by expanding into Thailand, a big gemstone hub globally. Truly, one can define reality by carefully choosing the meaning to give to the circumstances.

What are some of the key understandings that have emerged through this situation?

Amongst others, things that sound stand out quite emphatically are that loyalty, trust and credibility are irreplaceable treasures (if I may call them so) and these aren’t won overnight. You need to have the stamina to keep pushing through the years and a strong work ethic to earn them, along with a team that ensures no dilution of quality and promise. This has worked for us.

Two – People, especially clients don’t forget how you make them feel. No matter what the pulse of the time is, the experience that you provide to your customer including shared empathy, true concern, and compassion are never forgotten. This is what helps a business stand out and remain in the mind space of the customer, long after a crisis like this will have blown over.

Gemstoneuniverse is the biggest retailer of Gemstones Online and has attained the tag of Gold Standard. How do you maintain the pole position & what are some of the hurdles faced along the journey?

To have a business rooted in an ancient science like Indian Astrology/ Jyotish is a matter of pride for us and to be the pioneers of the Jyotish Gemstone Therapy an outrageously powerful system of healing with Jyotish Gemstones as developed by Guruji Shrii Arnav comes with a lot of responsibility.

We witness wonderful outcomes for people almost every day and this isn’t a one-off fluke. It is a consistent feature for us for the last two and half decades. However, we live in a world where people with half-baked knowledge or a skewed perception based on “rational/ scientific thinking” have only created confusion. In reality, if a person spends enough time studying – actually studying this discipline he or she will not be able to disprove or disregard it as they seem to, because of social proof or simply because they’ve had a bad experience with an unscrupulous person. As with any other choice, discernment and making intelligent decisions are always in the hands of the end consumer. For us, fortunately, we’ve had clientele we are equally proud of! However, shaking off the labels and perceptions takes time – the handiwork of centuries cannot be undone in a few years

The second challenge has been to have people understand the concept of precious gemstones and the value proposition that Gemstoneuniverse brings to the end consumer. The usual connotation of gems is in association with royalty or something that is typically out of reach. The gemstone industry especially the coloured gemstone market has little organisation and structure. There isn’t much knowledge and awareness about natural gemstones either when it comes to an average customer as well. We decided to put information out there – as comprehensive, open, and factual for anyone to be able to access it. To choose a precious commodity like a gemstone in a market where imitation and synthetic gemstones are aplenty, with sellers attaching impossible legends to trinkets in order to make a one-time fortune, with precedents of having been cheated in the past; buying a high-value item and investing highly valuable personal trust either, isn’t an easy job.

Gemstoneuniverse has educated, been consistent with its pricing, offered reliable, globally accepted certification by best labs and these are some of the factors that have managed to inspire confidence. The language of communication has remained consistent – this is the voice of trust and sincerity. Some of the transformations have been so dramatic that people with their official names and designations verifiable on LinkedIn & other social platforms have vouched for good changes on video!

You see it’s a slightly different business that hinges on privacy a lot, something like image consultancy – everyone wants it, takes help of it but wants the others to believe that one was born with it – the panache, success, and magnetism with no external aid in any manner. No qualms with that as customer privacy is an extremely high priority at Gemstoneuniverse.

As far as Gemstoneuniverse being the biggest source to buy Gemstones Online and being the Gold Standard in Planetary Gemology and maintaining the pole position is concerned we are constantly focussed on customer centricity, involved in relentless innovation & research, expanding our quality network to moving ahead in the Gemstone Supply pipeline so that our customers get the best quality at the least price. The philosophy of Respected Guruji Shrii Arnav is to make the customer win every SINGLE time. He says if the customer wins-we win and every single team member practices that philosophy in heart and spirit.

You are correct. The fact of the matter remains that fascination with gems and jewellery has been there in all human beings from as far back in time as we know. Can you explain this a little more?

It is no secret that all human beings are inherently drawn towards things that have beauty and those which have value to them. You can analyse your point of attraction vis-a-vis anything and these two will be the consistent factors that are invariably present in that equation. Gemstones are a delightful gift of Mother Earth that has both beauty as well as value and therefore it becomes a proposition hard to ignore.

Whether you have a luxury watch company or an exclusive phone maker or a couturier or any designer/ innovator looking at creating exceptional value in their product, they invariably use gemstones to enhance not only the visual appeal, commercial value, but also notional value and pride of ownership. Who wouldn’t feel pride in owning a real treasure!

How does one benefit from gemstones by using them in the way you seem to advise? Does it really enhance one’s luck and fortune?

There are several areas in which a person may be seeking help, a solution, or a breakthrough – professional life (gain of fame and popularity, business growth, partnership assessments, promotion, finding focus, battling odds, interpersonal dynamics, etc.); financial matters (trading, investments, increasing assets/ wealth, etc.), relationships in all their warps and wefts; health matters – (both physical and mental) and so many more things that come associated with the human condition and aspirations.

Vedic astrology helps in drawing up a map of human life that mirrors an individual’s life from womb to tomb – the horoscope or the birth chart. This in turn helps in arriving at an understanding of the planetary energies that will aid an individual and those that will play out the role of karmic teachers, whose lessons may not be easy. Planetary gem therapy is all about using natural, treatment-free jyotish quality gemstones/ Navratna Stones to harness the energy of planets that can aid us in our progress and growth. These are the top 2 percent gemstones in terms of quality.

Each of the nine planets has characteristic planetary energy and color transmitted through light, attributed to them. (Color is a component of light. A colour is energy of a specific wavelength and frequency.) Planetary gem Therapy works on the premise of the passage of light through the gemstone into the human energy system via touch. Natural gemstones are a powerful tool that helps harness the power of this solution. A person, when wearing the gemstone of an appropriate and powerful planetary energy can achieve all kinds of success.

What would you advise a person looking to create wealth?

Wealth is a very broad term and incorporates not just monetary wealth, but also one’s legacy, ideas, and human capital created and curated cautiously in one’s lifetime. In order to create true wealth, one has to have a vision – one must learn to think actively instead of being spoon-fed; must put a premium on one’s time and focus and most importantly invest in people. What also becomes imperative in terms of wealth is that it cannot be thought of without having a system that loops back into taking care of the environment we work within. Sustainability is the backbone.

Websie: https://www.gemstoneuniverse.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gemstoneuniverse/

Instagram:@gemstoneuniverse

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GemstoneuniverseIn/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gemuniverse/

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Meet One Of The Co-Founders Of East Meets Dress: A Successful Brand That Caters For Asian American Brides

Vivian Chan is one of the co-founders of East Meets Dress (EMD) – a company that produced the first modern wedding and fashion brand for Asian American brides. Vivian and her partner Jenn wanted to build a beauty and fashion brand that helped brides celebrate their culture but without compromising their style or modern aesthetics. They have been entirely bootstrapped from Day 1 and have grown their company to a 6-figure annual recurring revenue in less than 2 years while helping thousands of brides around the world.

The Global Millionaire Magazine recently caught up with Vivian to discuss her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

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

My name is Vivian and I’m one of the co-founders of East Meets Dress. We’re the first modern fashion company to bring more Asian-American representation and inclusion to the traditional wedding industry by combining contemporary cultural designs, quality craftsmanship, and dedicated customer experience.

The idea for East Meets Dress (EMD) originated from my co-founder, Jenn’s, personal struggles when she was looking for a modern version of the cheongsam (qipao), a traditional Chinese wedding dress. She wanted to wear a cheongsam for her wedding tea ceremony to honor her parents and heritage but finding a modern design that fit her aesthetics turned out to be near impossible.

At the time, her options were limited to suspicious online websites or stores in Chinatown with poor service and a narrow selection. Ultimately, Jenn resorted to custom making her cheongsam at a local tailor. I was her Maid of Honor and we both felt that Asian-American brides shouldn’t have to be confined to low-quality options or scouring Yelp to find the one tailor who could make a quality cheongsam from scratch. So we set out to create a modern brand and reinvent the cheongsam shopping experience for Asian-Americans.

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

Currently, given the circumstances happening around the world, which has greatly impacted the wedding industry, we’re prioritizing the things that are within our control and taking advantage of this downtime to build a long-term foundation that will help grow our business. This includes:

● Focusing a lot on SEO–we’ve tripled the number of blog posts we’re writing and publishing every week on topics that we know our brides are searching for. We’re focusing on becoming the go-to resource for anyone planning a Chinese-American wedding. Along with blogs, we’re also doubling down on creating more helpful landing pages, reviews on our site, etc which are all things that improve our SEO.

● Expanding our collection (new dresses, men’s, pets)–even though many weddings are being postponed or canceled during this time, we know that brides will still one day get married and therefore, while the demand side has slowed down a bit, we’re focusing on designing new dresses and launching new collections (more accessories and outfits for the groom, and even a pets collection!) so when brides are back to shopping for their wedding dress, they’ll have an even larger collection of designs and products to fall in love with.

● Offering virtual and in-home experiences–from 1-on-1 virtual bridal appointments where we showcase our dresses to interested brides and answer any questions they have to offer sample dress kits to try on at home, we’ve had a lot of success recently with these offerings.

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

Since we’re in the wedding industry, beautiful photos and visuals of our dresses are super important. This means that Instagram and Pinterest are our two most used social media platforms and the ones that we help drive the most brand awareness and traffic to our site.

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

Paid advertising definitely works in the beginning when no one has heard about you and you simply need to get the word out. We actually launched East Meets Dress over a weekend with less than $100 by running a simple FB ad to gather email addresses from interested leads.

We then leveraged FB retargeting ads (which has the best-paid ROI for us), Google search and shopping ads, as well as Etsy ads. We also tested Pinterest ads but found that it wasn’t very effective and our free unpromoted pins on Pinterest performed just as well.

So I would say that paid advertising definitely gives you faster results than SEO or organic traffic in the beginning though the latter is much more sustainable and is free!

We’ve also started partnering with paid influencers to sponsor Instagram posts and podcast episodes. For this to work, you have to really do your research on which influencers have your target audience. It can be a waste of money if you choose an influencer who has a lot of followers but whose audience doesn’t find value from your product. Don’t be afraid to ask them for more specifics regarding their follower demographics when you’re deciding.

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?

We’ve always stood out from the beginning with these three values: modern designs, quality craftsmanship, and customer experience you deserve.

From the start, we made sure our homepage and website really spoke to Asian-American brides since we were familiar with what type of pain points they were experiencing when it came to finding a modern cultural wedding dress or hosting a wedding tea ceremony. It was telling our story and our mission in an authentic way that made us stand out.

We also made sure that our UI and aesthetics were super modern and appealed to our target demographic–that’s one of the easiest ways to stand out in a more traditional industry since legacy brands tend to look more outdated.

Once we started to grow, word of mouth and positive reviews (i.e. social proof) from our customers became a big driver of growth for us.

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

SEO and content marketing is now one of our biggest traffic drivers and is essentially free marketing for us. Within our niche, we consistently rank on the first pages of Google for our specific product as well as a lot of related topics related to Chinese weddings, tea ceremonies, etc.

SEO takes a lot of time (months) to really see your efforts come to fruition but I would argue that it’s one of the best marketing strategies and worth prioritizing especially if you’re in a niche market.

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

Right before COVID hit, we had our very first pop-up shop that was successful and we received a ton of positive feedback from our brides who attended. We wanted to continue hosting pop-up shops in physical retail stores or spaces permanently across the country, but unsurprisingly, we had to cancel these plans.

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

Not being willing to spend money, in the beginning, was one of the biggest mistakes. Growing up in immigrant families, we were always taught to save more than we spend so at the beginning (and because we’re entirely bootstrapped), we were a bit more reserved when it came to spending on ads, paying for subscriptions, etc.

But we realized that you have to spend money in order to earn money. Time is also money and as a founder, it’s important to prioritize your time to be able to learn quickly from experiments and that often requires spending money to test out a new idea/initiative.

What new business would you love to start?

We started in the wedding industry but now that many of our brides are married, they’re planning the next phase of their life, which is having kids! We’d love to start a business that combines Asian-American culture and children.

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

When we first started, we were super scrappy and resourceful. We launched with just one dress design on our site and took photos of it at a local park with an iPhone X.

Our philosophy has always been to start small but start immediately, so while I wouldn’t change anything about the speed in which we executed our idea, I do think having at least 3 designs on our site at first would’ve been better than just launching with one. This probably would’ve allowed us to get our first sale much quicker than we did.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

One of my favorite books is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I love this book because it teaches you that success is the sum of small efforts, repeated.

Building a company requires a lot of discipline and the ability to consistently make incremental improvements (getting 1% better every day) even if you don’t see any immediate, visible results.

Over time, it all adds up and you’ll reach a tipping point that was only possible as a result of all of your past efforts.

Every time I feel like giving up or that nothing that I do is moving the needle, I remind myself of this graph from the book:

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

Start small but start immediately and you’ll figure out the rest as you go. Don’t try to solve for a problem (i.e. how to automate your operations) when you haven’t even gotten your first customer yet.

A lot of first-time entrepreneurs fall into the trap of wanting to have everything figured out before you start and easily get discouraged before they ever launch their business. If you told us we had to have 50 designs and a beautiful photoshoot ready before we launched, we would’ve given up before we even started.

About East Meets Dress

East Meets Dress is the first modern fashion company to bring more Asian-American representation and inclusion to the traditional wedding industry by combining contemporary cultural designs, quality craftsmanship, and dedicated customer experience.

You can find them at:

● Website: East Meets Dress
● Instagram: East Meets Dress
● Pinterest: East Meets Dress

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How To Manage Your Wellbeing During A Pandemic

The world has certainly been turned upside down over the last couple of months. These unprecedented times have tested people and the impact of the pandemic will be seen for a long time. This has, however, given people a good opportunity to get to grips with their physical and mental wellness. If you are someone who exercises regularly then you will understand how important it is to a human being’s stability. Our emotional status is often very closely linked with our physical state.

Think about it, if you have a stressful day at work it is compounded by any physical ailment you may be experiencing. Stress is exponentially increased when we are out of balance with our bodies and the current situation has led to a lot of stress going around. We need to make sure that we are keeping tabs on our physical and mental well-being. This article will give you 5 tips to maintaining yourself during a pandemic and hopefully teach you to deal with stress a lot easier.

Here are 5 steps to get you going throughout the day:

Step 1: Wake up and make your bed.

Step 2: Eat a well-balanced breakfast.

Step 3: Take a moment to plan your day (without using your phone or technology).

Step 4: Pick a time to put on your exercise shoes and do it.

Step 5: Put on your shoes.

You do not have to be lifting weight or going for 2 hour runs every day. Simple exercises with simple movements can have a massive impact on your health and mental state. A good rule of thumb is that you should aim for half an hour of exercise every day. Regular exercise has proven to increase your brains ability to process serotonin and norepinephrine. These are the hormones in your brain that manage your ability to deal with stress. Simple exercise and getting the blood flowing can have a tremendous impact on your mood and stress levels. Another vital impact of exercise is that it will give you more energy. It may seem like a contradiction but the more energy you use, the more you actually have. If you spend all day on the couch your body will become accustomed to that lifestyle and you will find it harder and harder to get up and get going. During a pandemic, it is absolutely crucial that you keep your energy levels up because it is hard enough to deal with lockdown in a normal state, doing it while feeling tired and lethargic is much harder. Give yourself the boost you need by training your body and your mind.

Maintaining a healthy mindset is so important at this time. Everyone is dealing with the pandemic in different ways and you will find that those who are able to cope with the hardships are probably those people who have regular exercise routines. Taking care of your body creates a positive atmosphere and you will find that your mental state improves with each day that you spend on the go. You do not have to become a world-class athlete; you just need to get your body moving. Even a simple walk around the block can have massive effects on your well-being.

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Meet One Of The Entrepreneur Influencers To Follow In 2020: The Beautiful Monica Yvette

Monica Yvette, the beautiful, charming, and mesmerizing model has established herself as one of the hardest-working influencers in the modeling industry. She initially got her foot in the modeling industry door when she was just 14 years old when she decided to sign with a modeling agency called Model Match. After just one interview she got signed straight away which proves just how much potential they could see in her already even at a young age.

She firmly believes that everybody is their own brand – brands are like personalities being experienced which is why brands can change dramatically in a blink of an eye and they can come and go just as easily as well. Her life philosophy is to always think outside the box – she’s one of those inspiring individuals who loves empowering people and seeking the truth in life.

As a model and brand ambassador, Monica has represented several top brands including BMW Motorcycles of Las Vegas, Straight Talk, Total Wireless, The Valentino Room, Gipsy, Ghostbar, Studio 54, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, Bubbly Pepsi, The Hair Lounge, Mac Cosmetics, Maybelline, and L’Oreal. Judging by her portfolio and her background, Monica Yvette is one stunning model who’s definitely destined to have a meteoric rise.

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Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The October 2020 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Michael Smith

A veteran entrepreneur, Michael Smith is the Toronto-based founder and Chief Executive Officer of MDS Media Inc., a disruptive integrated marketing firm. He has built a career solidifying his status as a Market Leader in Integrated Marketing – helping companies execute industry-leading content marketing strategies and achieve profitability at scale for more than two decades. He’s a savvy visionary who does so much more than lead a business – “he elevates the entire digital conversation”.

Throughout his career, Michael has earned many of the media industry’s top honours. In 2019, he received the GlobalTrend Video Awards’ Ascent Award as well as three Triumph Awards; W3 Awards for his work in Branded Entertainment, Health & Wellness, and Not-For-Profit Videos; a Davey Award for Best Social Campaign and two Summit Creative Awards. Michael recently received the highest honours at AMCP’s 2020 AVA Digital Awards in the Corporate Image and Social Campaign categories. Michael’s branding work is recognized alongside the work of globally renowned brands like Apple, Netflix, Disney, Google, and Pepsi. In 2020, Michael was recognized by MADCon as a Top 100 Global Leader in Marketing and Advertising, for setting standards for industry impact, innovation, and future-readiness.

Additionally, Michael is a frequently published Forbes contributor and Forbes Agency Council Member, where he leverages his experience and subject matter expertise to lead a global discussion about branding trends and best practices. He appears on several expert panels each year to share his insights on disruptive strategy, marketing, media, and agency-specific concerns.

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

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

Business is about conversations – with your network, with your staff, with your audience, with the people you want to help. Growth will always be about maintaining and nurturing those conversations. So, when I think about maintaining and growing my business, it’s all about connection.

On one hand, it’s about the value I can provide to all of these people. At MDS Media, we are constantly innovating our marketing models as a way of communicating and providing value to our audience and internal networks. But on the other, it’s about staying visible, letting people know that you’re available to help when they need you, and finding ways to communicate that aren’t necessarily grounded in business. These are uncertain times, and whether it’s a piece of content, an email, or a video chat, I make it a point to check in and acknowledge what’s going on.

There’s tremendous value in cultivating relationships, as you never know what those relationships will blossom into at a later date.

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

MDS Media primarily operates in the B2B space, and we have found LinkedIn and Twitter to be the most relevant platforms for what we want to achieve. Our clients spend the bulk of their time on these platforms, and if we want to be an active part of trending discussions, we have to be there. Additionally, both LinkedIn and Twitter are really tailored to thought leadership. There are several passionate, niche communities on both platforms, and making meaningful contributions to them pays dividends, not just in actual business revenue, but in brand awareness, authority within our industry, and the expansion of our network.

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

Paid Media and PPC campaigns work brilliantly if done the right way. I think where a lot of professionals run into trouble is expecting magic by simply running a campaign. A lot of the tools that are available now present themselves as turnkey easy, and it is quite simple to set basic parameters and get an ad going. But just like traditional ads, there needs to be a game plan, clear KPIs, and a goal. There are certain strategies and best practices that deliver results, and if you don’t invest the time in researching them, you can end up wasting a lot of money. So, for those business owners who feel like PPC and sponsored content campaigns are ineffective – this isn’t true. However, they do require expertise.

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?

My strength has always been in content. Everyone who knows any of my brands is well aware that we go the extra mile with content to be seen as an authority in the space. The entire Neon Cake aesthetic and value proposition is what drove an audience to a sold-out launch. We pride ourselves on content that separates us from the rest.

We take the time to understand our audience and the greater content landscape. Then we craft messages that not only stand out in every newsfeed but also stand out to the right people. My team and I really understand the power that great content wields, and we know that publishing a few random blog posts isn’t enough to garner attention. We build out comprehensive strategies, we run tests, we dive into analytics, and, ultimately, we take it seriously.

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

We have our own system we have developed over the years – it is a hybrid of content marketing combined with PR. Throughout our time as marketers, we found that agency and PR models were flawed. The way audiences discover content has changed considerably in recent years and continues to evolve at a rapid clip. The traditional models just couldn’t keep up with the speed of change, and that led us to create our own system. We have tested it with MDS Media, Neon Cake, and a number of Technology Experts, and the results have been incredible. We have had a wild amount of success with it.

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

In the last few months, I’ve had to let go of things that don’t serve me. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t take anything for granted, especially when it comes to the business climate. Time is limited, circumstances change, and it just isn’t useful to waste energy and resources on relationships or initiatives that drain me or my business. That realization was tough because I’ve had to let go of some projects that I was excited about. But I had to be realistic and cut my losses. I know that down the line this kind of decision-making will only make me, and my business, stronger.

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

If I could offer any advice, it’s to take your time and enjoy the process of building your business. A lot of entrepreneurs, especially new ones, are eager for growth. I think this leads them to spend too much money in general or waste it on things that they don’t need – to really focus on honing your product or service first, and once you have money coming in, be purposeful about where you spend it. Do you need a 20-person team, or can you go leaner? Does it make sense to expand into 5 new product categories, or can you refine your flagship product? Don’t rush toward success because it can lead you to make a lot of money mistakes that take years to recover from.

What new business would you love to start?

I would love to start an educational platform for entrepreneurs. I know that there are already nano degree programs and lots of individual classes hosted by successful businesspeople. But I’d love to create something comprehensive, that covers all the topics that entrepreneurs will encounter in their businesses and that’s presented from the point of view of someone who’s been there.

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

I think this aligns with my answer about money mistakes. I’d really take my time, appreciate the journey, and pursue growth more naturally. I’d scrutinize every cost and expenditure, and I’d find comfort in the slow, steady race instead of focusing on the sprint.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I’ve received was to pursue a purpose other than money. Sure, there are positive things that come from making a significant amount of money – you can buy nice things, and you’re recognized in your industry as a success. But if that success isn’t connected to something more meaningful, it gets tough to stay committed to your business when the times get tough.

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

Learn how to position yourself – the importance of positioning yourself to your market is the single most important thing in getting started. It needs to be crystal clear not just to you but also to the customer why you’re different. You need to understand your value, your differentiators, and the best way to communicate those aspects of your business to your target audience.

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How You Can Ensure Your Investment Property Stays Tenanted

Growing wealth is the ultimate long-term goal of most property investors. But in the short-term, it’s often the property’s ability to deliver a consistent, reliable income – in the form of rent – that matters far more to your day-to-day finances.

So how do you make sure your investment property remains tenanted and keeps producing income, especially at times when vacancy rates are high, properties are plentiful and renters are spoiled for choice? Let’s explore.

Why a reliable income matters so much for investment properties

Before we share specific strategies for making sure your property continues to produce income, it’s probably worth reflecting on why it is such a vital part of property investing.

The simple fact is that most early-stage property investors rely on leverage. In other words, they need to borrow money to fund their purchase – usually in the form of a mortgage or home loan. And so every week, fortnight or month, that home loan needs to be paid.

One of the great advantages of property investing is that a lot – and sometimes all – of the cost of this mortgage can be funded by the rent you receive. But if rent isn’t coming in, there can be a financial hole you need to fill.

So if you want to avoid that from happening to you, here are our 6 tips:

1. Buy a new property

In a market where renters have a lot of real estate stock to choose from, it’s often newer properties that hold the competitive advantage. That’s because they usually come with many of the features tenants’ prizes, such as open plan living, modern appliances, and tasteful fixtures and fittings. They’re also often positioned close to transport and large-scale amenities and tend to be more suited to a contemporary lifestyle, with landscaped courtyards or roof gardens, security, parking, lifts, and valued on-site amenity that may extend to gyms, swimming pools, childcare, and concierge services, plus many other features you won’t usually find in older style properties.

For this reason, new properties are also often easier to rent out, helping minimise the length of any vacancies, so that your income continues to flow.

2. Keep your property well-presented and up-to-date

Many buyers can overlook cosmetic problems in a property, confident in the knowledge they can change things they don’t like. A kitchen or bathroom can be renovated, the walls can be painted in a different colour and new carpet can be laid. Renters don’t have this luxury – they’re usually stuck with the property in its current form.

This means renters tend to approach a property search in a different way to buyers: they’re paying their money for the here and now, not the long-term. So if your property needs work or is simply out-of-date, you’ll find it harder to rent out.

Plus the old adage is true – ‘prevention is better than a cure’ – investing in preventive, regular maintenance of your property will help prevent serious problems before they occur. Maintenance is less costly than repairs.

3. Sign a longer lease

A longer lease – ie one for more than 12 months – can help reduce the amount of time a property is vacant and help guarantee income because the tenant can’t usually break it without having to pay a penalty.

Long leases can be a good strategy during a flat market when market vacancy periods for an area are high, or if you value the security of a longer-term, quality tenant. But in a strong market, long leases may leave you with less room to move, particularly in relation to rental growth.

You should always weigh up the pros and cons and assess the current market before taking this approach. Talk to your Property Manager about the best strategy for your property.

4. Use a proactive property manager

Good property managers do far more than simply collect the rent on your behalf. They act as a Property Management adviser, letting you know how much rent you should charge and when (and when not) to increase it. They’ll also help make sure your property is marketed correctly so that you attract the right tenants and host regular inspection to fill any vacancy as quickly as they can.

Then after securing tenants, a property manager can also manage the relationship once they’re in, answering their questions and requests and doing their best to ensure they’re happy and that you retain them for the long term.

5. Consider furnishing your apartment

The reality of today’s property market is that many good tenants come from interstate or overseas and one way to make sure your property stands out to these renters could be to furnish it. After all, furnished properties offer tenants the chance to move straight in, without having to worry about the expense of buying so many household goods. On top of this, they can also offer command a higher rental rate from tenants.

Just one word of warning though – because furnished apartments tend to appeal to renters from elsewhere, they can also experience higher turnover when a tenant returns home or moves on. On the other hand, they’re frequently easier to rent out when vacant.

6. Get a rental guarantee

One way to make completely sure your investment property continues to produce income is to purchase one with guaranteed rent. For instance, the PIA Fixed Weekly Rental Guarantee ensures you receive a set income for three years, regardless of whether your property is rented or not. This, in turn, means you have predictable cash flow for a set period and can plan your finances accordingly.

PIA’s Fixed Weekly Rental Guarantee comes standard with any off-the-plan purchase you make through PIA. In exchange, you’ll get peace of mind that the money will continue to come in and the bills can get paid.

Information from this article has been sourced from the Property Investors Alliance

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5 Tips For Recognising A Golden Business Opportunity

When you consider the statistics, including that only 2/3rds of business startups will survive 2 years in business, it makes the idea of starting your own business a little scarier. 30% of businesses will continually lose money, and that’s assuming that they have a stellar business idea, to begin with. However, your chances of success will be significantly improved if you have a golden business idea. Here are 5 tips that can help you see if you have a golden business idea in your hands.

1. Your idea can solve a problem

It doesn’t matter if your idea isn’t a new one; what matters is if it’s an innovative one. Every industry has their own flaws, but if you can solve a major problem that a particular niche has you will be more likely to succeed. Maybe you have figured out a way to be more efficient? Or maybe you found a way to offer those services for cheaper? By finding a solution to some weakness the industry has, you may have a great business idea in your hand.

2. You have an idea that people are willing to pay for

Ideas are one thing, but ideas that people are willing to pay you money for is another. If you have an innovative idea that can propel you to be the first business in that niche in the area, you need to be sure that you are starting a business people are willing to pay for. Any idea can sound great, but if you can’t convince a customer to buy it, then the idea isn’t obviously a good one.

3. There’s a niche market for your idea

If there isn’t a niche market that will be interested in your idea, you won’t even be able to get started on launching your business. If there is a market for your idea, then you will be in good shape as you launch your business, especially if you can solve a specific problem that niche is facing. To determine if there is a market for your idea, you need to do some market research that looks at the industry trends to find out if people are interested in your idea.

4. You’re passionate about your idea

Starting a business is time-consuming and stressful. There are a lot of things that you may need to overcome in the business to keep it going. If you don’t have any passion for your business idea, then you won’t be successful it’s plain and simple. Your passion will make sure that you dedicate the time that your business requires to succeed. This passion is what will help you keep moving forward even as obstacles stand in your way. You shouldn’t just pick something just because it will be profitable, otherwise, you won’t have any reason to stick with the idea when you face obstacles.

5. Staying realistic

Being an entrepreneur is about thinking big and following your dreams. However, you also need to be realistic. You need to stay grounded so that you can see any flaws in your plan. Maybe it isn’t as marketable as you think it would be. Staying realistic will keep you open to advice that will help you succeed or know if your idea isn’t really as great as you think it is.

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5 Secrets Of Building A Successful Brand

Today, there are millions of brands out there scampering for a piece of the customer’s mind. A branding exercise can be called a success if it can invoke a certain emotional response when mentioned in a room full of people. But it is also so easy to get lost in the ocean when building a brand. So how do your consumers identify you in comparison to your competitors?

That’s your brand. Rolex and Daniel Wellington, both sell watches, but what sets them apart is the way they choose to communicate their attributes and merits to their respective segments.

And of course, a ‘product’ is not just defined by its attributes but also on how consumers perceive it. How a healthy snack is packaged can set it apart from a fried wafer. The colours on the design and materials used on the packaging can be just as relevant to building perception as the product itself.

Getting started

Imagine you’re building a Bed and Breakfast business. Setting up a brand would require conjuring up images of convenience on the premise as well as on the website, friendly service, and a range of breakfast options, which comes with any BnB service and sharing the vision with your target customers every time they look up a similar service.

When coming up with a branding exercise it would be pertinent to consider the pointers listed below:

Let you brand colour talk

There is no stronger communication method than the right colour for your brand when it comes to driving recall. According to a report by the Seoul International Color Expo, 92.6% of consumers responded saying that the visual aspect is what makes them think of a particular brand.

Too much red on the cover and consumers would know that the product deals in and with passion. White could signify peace and purity like the Unilever soap brand ‘Dove’ whereas green would mean eco-friendly and organic nature of the brands like ‘Whole Foods’.

Digital presence

In the era we currently live in, consumers always want an open channel to engage with the brand. Make sure your digital presence is consistent with your brand image. The colours and the overall look and feel of the website should convey the same message as the brand. The same goes for social media. The offers, campaigns, or any other engagement should be planned to keep the brands’ core theme in mind.

Build a strong brand personality

A brand is more than just a product. It is a state of mind and it should be visible in its personality. When husband and wife duo, Jin Suk and Do Won Chang started Forever21, they built a youthful and vibrant brand for the young who aspired to look as fashionable as a luxury brand like Zara at a fraction of their cost.

Superiority and Longevity

The true purpose of branding is to become at the top of the mind recall for your customer. This can be achieved when your product or service is seen as superior to its competitors. Superior does not mean the best but consumers need to ‘perceive’ them as such.

Also, if consumers are convinced that you are going to be there for a long time, they start looking at you as a brand.

This has nothing to do with the quality or customer service but the emotional response that you can invoke within people’s minds.

Find your Influencer

In this exponentially growing digital world, Influencers are a recent breed that has amassed a following of internet users. People listen to what they have to say and believe in them. An influencer can reliably take your message to your target audience and create a perception in your favor. The best part is that the cost and time required is relatively lower than traditional marketing techniques.

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Five Inspirational Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch And Why

Let’s face it; who doesn’t love watching inspirational stories right? And what better story is there than a story about someone facing the struggles of trying to succeed in business and in life? There are actually several significant lessons entrepreneurs can learn from Hollywood’s version of entrepreneurship as displayed in these movies and below are five movies every entrepreneur should definitely watch because all of them have important lessons especially for budding entrepreneurs:

The Pursuit of Happyness

Besides being an iconic and inspirational real-life tale that will have an effect on most people, it is especially relevant for those in pursuit of their own dreams.

It’s about investing in your life and never giving up for the want of a better life.

Some of the real-life lessons you can gain from this movie include:

– Hitting rock bottom; things may become worse before they get better; the road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.
– Don’t be afraid to aim high even if the odds are stacked against you.
– Work for it as if your life depended on it. Success comes with working incredibly hard.
– Increase your chances of success by not wasting time and using your resources wisely.
– Get back up whenever you get knocked down.
– Don’t let people’s opinions stop you, even if you are constantly put down by others.
– Show no weakness in business.

These further 4 movies will inspire and teach other valuable lessons in life and business. Whatever stage you are at – there’s a lot you can learn from these entrepreneurial-minded show-stoppers.

The Godfather (Trilogy):

Possibly the ultimate feature film for entrepreneurs to watch. Not just thrilling and thought-provoking but it also prepares you for the business world. It highlights why relationships and networks matter as well as alliances, why helping people leads to good business and why understanding the competition and competitive up with effective strategies is the key to success.

Erin Brockovich

Based on a true story that beautifully illustrates why it’s not about how much you have at the start, you can eventually win in the end just by sheer guts, grit, and determination. The movie also touches on social responsibility and doing good when the odds are stacked against you, sustainable business models, and female empowerment and gender biases in the business world.

Catch Me If You Can

A classic film, it’s based on real events that personify a person’s entrepreneurial journey. This movie touches on important skills like creative problem solving, business vision, sales techniques, how something good can come out of something bad, the skill and mastery of good old-fashioned hustle, and how charisma can actually help you succeed in life. The lead character may not be an exemplary example of how to go about being the model entrepreneur but it certainly makes for resourceful watching!

Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire is a classic movie that everyone loves and some of the most important take-aways from this movie are:

– When you are following your dream, everything else will fall into place,
– Take care of your clients and the money will take care of itself and not the other way around.
– You can succeed again after losing everything. And the journey will be worth it.
– Values and virtues are important building blocks of business.
– Personal relationships are vital.

To conclude, whether you’re an established entrepreneur or an emerging one and you’re looking for something to lift your spirits up and give you more drive than watch these films with a vengeance and take notes.

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3 Ways To Keep Your Business Alive And Thriving Despite The Rising Competitions

Change is permanent in the industry and so are competitors. They are both associated with challenges, risks, and sometimes, failure. But fear not, if you can actually treat them as an opportunity to make your business grow and stand out. Surviving these dominating factors of the market will give you strength and flexibility whenever the worst things may happen. This will also help you get prepared if you are planning for a bigger business venture in the near future.

Through your constant engagement with your team, partners, and customers, you can consistently grow your business with focus. Competitors can be a distraction if you keep on focusing on what they can do – Why not focus on the bigger things you can do instead?

Even larger corporations have shortcomings and most commonly, some fail to provide the basic necessity of the customers. You can fulfill these shortcomings by starting on the very small thing that may lead you to the heart of your customers and that is customer service.

Green innovation

A continuous and green innovation can also be one of the keys which may help you throughout the business operation. Green innovation promotes environmentally friendly manufacturing process to prevent the harmful effects of pollution. This is also a cost-effective way to create your products and save energy to cut some manufacturing costs. Doing this strategy makes you a true leader and not just a business owner.

Build a brand of your own

You do not have to imitate what others produce. Use your product not just to gain profit but to influence your customer’s lives as well. Your influence will instantly connect you to them. If you are to use an advertisement for example, make sure the characters on the screen are not just compelling and attractive, but they should also emphasize a meaningful message. In this way, people will be aware of your own brand identity.

Collaborate with your team

Collaboration with your team will also ensure a good working environment. Accept feedback and learn to listen to your team’s suggestions. You may have talented employees who may have better ideas which can be helpful for your business. Collaborating with your team will lead to smooth-sailing business transactions and loyalty.

Build customer retention

Acquiring new customers is as important as retaining the old ones. You have already built the trust of your old customers so make sure to maintain this relationship. Remember, the word of mouth is also powerful. Therefore, ensure to keep your loyal customers because they can also contribute to additional sales revenue.

They can refer your company to other people who are also looking the same service you offer. It’s pretty much hitting two birds with one stone. You can maintain a long-term relationship with your customers while effortlessly adding new potential buyers.

Doing all these essential things will definitely keep your customers returning to you. You have also shown that being an entrepreneur is not just aboug making money for a living. You will serve as a leader because of your strong emotional engagement with the people around you while you maintain a safe and healthy environment.

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Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The September 2020 Issue Of Global Millionaire: The Amazing Rafah Hanna

A veteran entrepreneur, Rafah Hanna specializes in financial technology, property, and security. He has built a career creating locally and globally diverse group of businesses that creates solutions focusing on three core values: sustainability, quality, and innovation. Having built, run, and managed financial technology and information businesses with the likes of the London Stock Exchange Group, the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext, and Deloitte, Hanna has built a strong reputation for delivery, execution, and market knowledge, creating an extensive network of contacts across various financial and data industries. He also owns a highly respected property investment company called NED Capital as well as a security company called Abchurch Group – a company that provides a global response to local and international clients’ needs in the fields of security, risk assessment, special equipment procurement, and specialist training.

Born in Iraq to a Catholic family with Chaldean roots that speaks Aramaic (the language of Jesus Christ), he views his parents as visionaries. After his parents saw the tide changing in the Middle East, they decided to come to London in the 70s to invest, contribute to the community, and build a powerful legacy. He was educated in Switzerland and the UK which gave him the skills and knowledge that enabled him to kickstart all of his businesses.

Fast forward to today and Rafah is now a successful entrepreneur with several businesses under his belt. Hanna has founded companies such as NED Capital and the Abchurch Group and his data consulting arm now serves a global client base as it continues to grow exponentially. Their clients include banks, brokers, regulators, stock exchanges, and the biggest financial website in the world.

His property investment company, NED Capital, is a unique, non-leveraged property investment company based in London that is entirely self-funded. It’s currently building a grade-one portfolio of exclusive residential and commercial assets in the UK. The goal of this company is to continue to grow their grade-one portfolio of investments via their intricate knowledge of the UK property market and unique sales approach, utilizing their fully staffed in-house team of skilled contractors, leading to becoming a publicly quoted company. His security company Abchurch Group, on the other hand, has helped to significantly reduce maritime piracy in the past four years using their specialist maritime protection team and sought after proprietary patented technology.

Incidentally, Hanna’s wife, Dr. Mahtab Hanna, is a successful entrepreneur herself hence the reason why Rafah and his wife are so compatible together. She has built, run, and managed her jewellery business for over 10 years. Her creations have appeared in numerous films and worn by various celebrities and even royalty. With her extensive qualifications (an MA from the Royal College of Art and a Ph.D. from Central Saint Martins) and a unique design approach, she has built a worldwide reputation as a jeweller of conscience.

The Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Rafah to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

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

The business world is not run on “basics” anymore. It is all about innovation, evolution, and revolution.

I am spending time, effort, and money on highly specific marketing campaigns to engage prospects with the message that our trustworthy brands continue to lead their respective markets. We maintain our relevance and criticality in decision-making options and ensure that our quality shines through, not only in delivery, but in every email, video conference, and follow-up.

We have also taken a unique approach to delivery by slashing project times, as we look to act ever more in the best interests of clients. The faster we can deliver without losing any of our guaranteed quality, the sooner our clients realise the benefits of our services.

Two other practices remain vital: one, only hiring the best of the best, and two, even though the businesses are market leaders, acting like a hungry, prudent, and wise start-up.

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

Each business is unique and therefore needs thorough research and a detailed plan of action. I always correspond the marketing plans to a cycle of client behaviour, the cyclical nature of each business, discrete events, and budgetary matters.

The nature of my businesses does not depend on or utilise the power of social media. My focus has always been on growing businesses rather than engaging in social media.

Today, social media is an important and ever-growing tool in my companies’ brand awareness strategies.

For example, Instagram is driven by stunning visualisations and presentation and is, therefore, most suitable for businesses such as @mahtabhanna jewellery designs and collections.

LinkedIn serves to inform, educate, and engage, but it requires a more medium-term strategy rather than a short-term one.

YouTube is the perfect platform to provide a more in-depth story about a concept or business.

It is important for readers to understand that all these avenues need careful planning. Have a clear objective in mind and allow room for fine-tuning. Do not rush in and make the fatal mistake so many have made; namely, thinking that simply being “on” a platform guarantees success—the opposite is true.

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

Paid advertising is growing and will only continue to do so.

I passionately believe that one of the best ways to create a market and opportunity is to educate, inform, and offer products and services that would not otherwise be marketed in a traditional way.

Sponsored marketing works! The evidence on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn all support this assertion. These companies have grown to be some of the largest on the planet, and their revenues testify to it.

But we need to remember that their revenues are only part of the story. Paid advertising drives whole industries, fosters innovation, creates a better deal for consumers, provides massive tax income, and generates enormous employment opportunities.

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?

The core tactic is to NEVER lead clients but to always be on their shoulders, taking the same journey, developing what they need in real-time, fine-tuning, and evolving.

Another primary tactic is always to deliver quality. Delivering anything less is an offense to the client, to you, your brand, your name, and those that work with and for you.

Brand awareness has changed; we use a myriad of tactics to stand out:

• Be first to deliver and announce innovation; remain relevant and borderless.
• Invert traditional marketing strategy by ensuring that every briefing contains in-depth details regarding competitor offerings – market intelligence is the antithesis of marketing.
• Utilise current affairs to progress the story.
• Utilise known figures in the industry to win, gain credibility with, and retain clients by association.
• Inform clients of changes that benefit them and illustrate the differences between the previous and the new.
• Maintain the very highest levels of investment in staff quality and ongoing training.
• Make staff the cornerstone of innovation – offer incentives to develop new products, processes, and services and reward them for trying, even if it fails.

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

There is no “best;” it is all about context and effectiveness. Throughout history, the most effective marketing tools have always contained three distinct elements:

1.Timing
2. Word-of-mouth
3. Recommendations

Our various businesses have what I call different routes to marketing. There is no silver bullet, but we think long and hard about spend cycles and regional and cultural differences. The biggest change has been the precision of strategic versus tactical online marketing.

For example, we ask ourselves whether we actually need to “sell” to the client directly, or if it would perhaps be better to act as their advisors. Create the conversation you want the market to have.

We no longer need to spend large amounts on general marketing; we can now target and pinpoint the exact right client or prospect base to inform and have the privilege to serve. Marketing is also not about an online presence. It might surprise people to know that one of my businesses does not even have a website yet is the absolute leader in its field.

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

We have had the distinct privilege of not having to furlough a single member of staff or put stringent work practices in place. Instead, we have fostered a feeling and community of trust. I entrust the leaders of my businesses to be servants. They are the decision-makers, but they are also (and I never let them forget this) there to serve. To serve means to accept responsibility for outcomes, and therefore the risks and dependencies of those outcomes.

The toughest decision has been a family one; business is never what affects me most. As I read to my children at night, I always remember that their future is dependent on my decisions, not mine. You cannot go wrong doing the right thing the right way.

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

Mistakes are more important, in my view than success. You learn instantly from mistakes, whereas success leaves a memory you hold onto as you try to retain the emotional attachment of misplaced hope.

Mistakes provide you with an experience, whereas success over-feeds the ego in the short-term.

Thankfully, I had two of the world’s greatest advisors who have taken my raw thinking and morphed it into phenomenally successful global businesses and ever-evolving vision: my amazing wife, Mahtab, and my late father. Their honesty and clarity blew holes in those thick brick walls in the shape of a heart!

My answers should not surprise anyone. Many years ago my greatest mistake was arrogance: I knew better than anyone; no one knew better than me.

That attitude, until I recognised and tore it from my psyche, cost me financially and resulted in lost opportunities.

Another mistake I made was to invest a little in long-term things that won’t change instead of investing more in the short-term things that will change.

However bright your name shines in lights; you must always remember that lightbulbs have a lifespan!

What new business would you love to start?

My passion lies in creating opportunities that were not there, to begin with. The next opportunity that would pique my business interest would be creating a tradable index and fund to benchmark countries, sectors, segments, industries, and governments’ use of plastics.

This venture would deliver an inverted investment opportunity whereby humanity itself is both the investor and the investment.

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

This is a good question because we never remember the acts of kindness that got us here, but we remember the opportunities that got away!

I don’t have many regrets; every small and major decision I’ve made has spurred my personal and professional growth. I have been humbled by the blessings of life.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Do not dislike that which may be good for you, and do not like that which may be bad for you. This quote, for me, encompasses the essence of learning.

Fear and growth cannot exist in the same space. One has to leave in order for the other to flourish.

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

To a large extent, your mental habits will determine your success.

Build deep relationships with people who have accomplished the goals you want to accomplish. Protect your idea from the very start. Think about what could go wrong and how you will deal with it; plan for failure by not resorting to laziness, self-pity, or any of the mental defeatist tools that we all carry.

If you are selling innovation, be the first to market and create your own destiny. Learn from other fields and bring those insights into your own. Always be thinking about quality: implement it; deliver it. Once you reach that state of mind, you will never allow yourself to deviate from it.

One of the proudest moments of my career was when, sitting on a flight, I overheard two people mention one of my companies and described the service they received as “truly world-class.”

Research and know your market or segment as if your children’s lives depended on it. Make sure you recruit the absolute best candidates you can at every level, be it a janitor, a developer, a salesperson, or even a business partner—they will represent you in good times, and they will fight hard for you during the bad times.

Be proud of your mistakes. If we all said “no” to evolving, we would still be living in caves!

Finally, the greatest advice I can offer when it comes to business is this: it is impossible to imagine a business leader not looking after their health and families and still being successful. Your mind is where it starts; your body powers where it ends.

Part revolution, part evolution.

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Entrepreneur Of The Week: Meet Uyanga Boldbaatar – The Founder Of Cinderella Beauty Clinic

Uyanga Boldbaatar has always wanted to become a doctor since childhood and her mother has been by her side since day one helping her to achieve her childhood dream. To achieve this dream, she studied Oral and Maxillofacial surgery in Mongolia, Korea, and the USA, and in 2013, she finally opened her beauty clinic in Mongolia as the culmination of all her hard work. Fast forward to today and Uyanga is now the founder of Cinderella beauty clinic – a clinic that performs cosmetic surgeries and non-surgical treatments and is currently one of the top clinics in Mongolia. Besides being an accomplished entrepreneur, Uyanga also happens to be a model and in fact, she is one of the brand ambassadors for the luxurious OOGII brand.

The Global Millionaire recently caught up with Uyanga to discuss her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about being a surgeon?

Surgeons need good organisational ability and effective decision-making skills. We need to be intelligent, skillful, and wiry because we don’t have the option to fail. Usually, surgery is a male-dominated field hence I feel accomplished to be a female surgeon. My profession also makes people happy and self-confident – it’s just like giving them a new life every day and that’s why I love my job.

What is most challenging about what you do?

Plastic surgery is different from other types of surgeries. Usually, physically healthy people can get plastic surgery while people who are injured and functionally abnormal or have some type of congenital disease require reconstructive surgery. Sometimes, we feel bad that we can’t fully reach our goal because many factors can affect the surgical result, but these kinds of cases are few, this is more likely to happen after reconstructive surgery. That said, we’ve always tried to make sure that all of our patients are 100% satisfied.

What do you think is the appeal of surgical specialties as compared to medical specialties?

Plastic and reconstructive surgeons do restore function and normal appearance, as well as congenital deformities on the body. So this job requires medical knowledge and a sense of art from plastic and reconstructive surgeons.

What does it take to be successful and happy in your specialty?

When I make my patients look great and they end up looking exactly the way they’ve always wanted to look, I feel like I am the happiest person on the earth.

If you were to retire tomorrow, what is your most memorable moment as a surgeon?

What an interesting question! I’ve never actually thought about that because I am too young to retire (laughs). But I want Mongolia to be one of the top countries providing plastic surgery when I eventually retire.

How has your specialty changed in the recent past and where do you see it going in the future?

Plastic surgery is developing rapidly nowadays. It is associated with the development of the countries socio-economic growth, globalization, and the growth of the health and beauty industry. Nowadays we can choose any technologies, products, and surgical techniques that we want. It is an opportunity for a better tomorrow. I am quite certain that the things we can only fantasize about in the past will eventually happen in the future.

What advice would you give to medical students interested in your specialty?

Do not ever choose this profession based on your emotional dependency. Think well and plan early. Only consistent people become surgeons. Find out who you are first. Ask yourself if can you stand and take responsibility all the time in the operation room no matter how long the entire operation will be – after that, then make your choice.

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Inside The Mind Of Internationally Recognized Leadership Expert Chris Cebollero

Chris Cebollero is an internationally recognized leadership expert, bestselling author, Emergency Medical Services leader, and advocate who’s passionate about helping people chart a new direction, even in the midst of the most challenging of situations.

His professional history is showered with process improvement know-how. This knowledge provides executive-level support to achieve aggressive business and personal goals. He brings thought-leadership and over 25 years of organizational design success and his career has been defined by slashing costs and exploding growth in the healthcare arena. In fact, he constructed his healthcare management and small business consulting firm on that foundation.

Some of his key areas of expertise include executive coaching, leadership development, emotional intelligence, change management, Kaizen, Agile & Lean methodology practice, relationship building, business plan creation, organizational process improvement, motivational and keynote speaking, and healthcare/EMS transformation. He has been recognized for his strategic leadership as the Chief of EMS for Christian Hospital, he has been delivering inspiration to international audiences for over a decade as a highly sought-out speaker and he has also been writing bestselling books on leadership.

The Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Chris to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’ what went down:

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

The foundation of my career was spent as a paramedic in leading EMS agencies. Being able to manage multimillion-dollar organizations with hundreds of FTE’s gave me the ability to learn the finer points of leading successful and award-winning organizations. As my leadership experience grew, people were now reaching out to me to assist them in developing their leaders and teaching them the finer points of organizational process improvement. In 2014, Cebollero & Associates Consulting Group was started, focusing on Leadership Development, Organizational Process Improvement, and Individual, Group, and Executive Coaching. I am recognized as an International Leadership Specialists, Multi-Number 1 Bestselling Author, and a dynamic and engaging Motivational Teacher.

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

John Maxwell calls it the Law of Process “Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day.” One of the biggest mistakes is that we do not invest in our own business and professional development. I am always on the lookout to engage with my mentors, and industry leaders to hear their philosophy, understand their conceptualizations, and analyse the next sets of strategies and directions. In the current pandemic environment, it is paramount to be as fluid and dynamic as possible. We have to polish our processes, become risk-averse, and change with the times.

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

It really depends on the leadership product or service that is being offered. If I am targeting the Executive, LinkedIn is my platform of choice, for the newer leader, Instagram, and the middle manager, Facebook. It is truly paramount for businesses to have a strong social media footprint for new business, bit more importantly brand awareness.

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

I like the PPC model of advertising. Remember, people do no buy products or services. What they buy are solutions to their problems, and it is your products and services that are the solutions to their problem or needs. A big error is that we think the way we market is the way our clients or customers want to be marketed too. But the opposite is true, we have to find the marketing ad that resonates with their needs. If we put an ad online and it gets 5 clicks, we are not reaching our target market. This will cause us to go back to the drawing board and reinvent the wheel. PPC is a great tool for spot-on targeting to the ideal client avatar.

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?

I love offering free content to my present and future clients. I host the Ultimate Leadership Podcast. We have just over 100k subscribers and see 10’s of thousands of downloads. This is a great way to stay relevant and bring brand awareness. If you’re not a fan of the show come on in and join the discussion.

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

I love that we get a majority of our customers and clients through word of mouth. We are a company that develops custom solutions for our clients. It is this service that is appreciated by organizations. Of course, social media platforms are great to share free and paid content.

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

2020 has been an interesting year on many fronts. With the pandemic running rampant around the world, I lost over 50% of clients. When 2020 started, I developed a series of goals for myself and business. It was important to continue along these lines of completing the established goals. Many people are throwing 2020 away as a lost year. This is a big mistake, the businesses that will come out on top are the ones that have used this as a rebuilding, polishing, and setting a new course for future operations.

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

Everyone has a product and service to sell you. In my business and personal life is either investing in these resources that did not meet the caliber of quality they mentioned they would. I wasted lots of money trying to catch the net big wave. Pay more attention to where your investments and funds go.

What new business would you love to start?

I would love to develop a next-generation online leadership academy. In the current times we are in, we are leaning to a more online and virtual business. With that said, if we are to bring more live and virtual training to those who will need it will be a great future business.

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

This is a great question and one that I have tried to remember to share with clients just starting out. My advice is to gain as much knowledge and education you can along the way. This is not just about your job or career, but really becoming a student of business and leadership. One of the most common mistakes by business owners is they do not invest in their own professional development to ensure they are going the best upper hand possible.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

I have to be honest, when I was first starting, I was a wee bit egotistical. The belief of who I was and what I was capable of was blinding. A mentor took me aside and told me this one sentence that totally refocused my direction. Those magic words were, “you are not as important as you think you are. Shut up and listen more.” It was a rude awakening that I was replaceable and needed to earn my value to the team every day.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur?

Become a student of your craft, your business model, and the art and science of leadership. Opportunity does not happen by chance, and it is vital for your success that when the opportunity is presented, you are able to first recognize it, second, you are able to analyze it, third, you are in a position to take advantage of what this opportunity means to your business and future success.

if you want to find out more information or contact Chris you can go to his website via this link or email him directly at chris@chriscebollero.com.

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3 Deadly Oversights That Lead to a Lifetime of Debt

A lifetime of debt is certainly not something someone plans for. People go to work 8 hours or even more than 8 hours a day just to get financial security. Well, that’s probably what you’re thinking.
Some people go to work every day not to save up for the future but to actually pay off the debts of the past. And what’s worse is that it’s never going to be enough. They could work their whole life and still not be able to pay back the capital. That’s what you call a lifetime of debt.

Sounds terrible right? Yet, people easily get into this rat hole. Nobody forces them in! They walk directly, sometimes, they even run right to it. Note, with open arms! Now, who would want to run into a lifetime of debt? Nobody does but everybody does it! Such an irony.

However we enter that rat hole of lifetime debt, it’s still the same, we did and most of the time, it is always by our own doing. We enter into this “debt”-hole on our own. In fact, you could be walking directly into that rat hole right now!

Getting into Instant Money Schemes

How terrific it would be if, with one snap of your finger, you would be instantly rich. How amazing it would be to wake up and everything has changed. That’s really quite tempting. There are times that we get tired of waking up every morning, working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and getting just enough salary to make us survive for the month.

Sometimes, we just want to escape that reality. There are lots of instant-money schemes today where you would need to invest money and they will promise you that it will double or triple. Because of the idea, you instantly jump into the boat bringing all your savings with you.

What’s worse is that you don’t even know where the boat is heading. In a matter of seconds, you find the boat sinking and all your money going with it. Getting into instant money schemes is the best way to get into debt. You invest all that you have only to find it eventually gone.

Getting a Payday Loan

Now, this is a common scenario with many people. People have been warned about these easy-to-get payday loans. Still, people are patronizing it. In fact, more than 2 million people get payday loans every year.

What’s dangerous about these payday loans is that they have really high, I mean really high, interest rates! Plus, they get access to your bank accounts. What’s even worse, they are so easy to renew. When your payday comes and you don’t want a chunk of money removed from your account, you renew the loan and the cycle of debt begins.

Getting Things You can’t Afford

Sounds familiar? Maybe because you’re doing it right now. Trying to buy a house, a car or expensive things you think you need but still can’t afford? Well, that will surely get you to a lifetime of debt. The money paid for these things, plus all the taxes and other payments are more than what people can actually produce in a month.

The temporary solution, borrow, borrow, and borrow! That’s a lifetime of debt right there coming for you. You might have noticed by now that the easiest way to get into a lifetime of debt is wanting to get things easy and fast. Remember, if you want to avoid a lifetime of debt, plan ahead and practice self-discipline!

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Entrepreneur Of The Week: Meet Stefanie Parks – The Founder Of DermWarehouse

Stefanie Parks is the founder of DermWarehouse, a leading e-commerce site offering dermatological and skincare products. Stefanie’s digital marketing background and extensive knowledge of skincare products drove her to launch DermWarehouse – a skincare and beauty website, serving customers from around the country. DermWarehouse offers high-quality, professional-strength skincare, makeup, and hair care products as well as expert advice, information, and tips.

MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Stefanie to discuss her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

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

I studied marketing at the University of Maryland, and after a couple of years in market research, my brother and I decided to start a business together. The Media Captain is a digital marketing agency that has grown to be one of the largest shops in Columbus, Ohio, where we’re from. Our dad is a dermatologist who opened a practice in Columbus over 30 years ago. After working with many e-commerce clients for The Media Captain, we saw an opportunity to combine our dad’s background with ours and start our own e-commerce site selling skincare and beauty products. That’s how DermWarehouse was born. My brother, Jason, is now running The Media Captain, while my primary focus is on DermWarehouse.

Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?

We came up with the idea for DermWarehouse back in 2012. That’s when we purchased our domain name and started thinking about launching this new business. It wasn’t until 2016, however, that we started building our website. I was actually living in Thailand at the time, which allowed me the extra time that I needed to dedicate to launching the business. When you visit any e-commerce site, you never think about the work that goes into getting it set up. It took us almost a year to reach out to brands and start forming relationships, add all of the products to the site, and get the website ready to launch. In November 2016, we launched DermWarehouse and have been growing ever since. In the year and a half since we launched, we’ve added over 1,000 products and 60 skincare brands to our website, shipped to every state in the U.S. and have become a top 10 dermatologist-backed e-commerce skincare site. I never could have imagined what running this business would be like and I can honestly say that I feel like I’ve found my calling. It’s a pretty great feeling!

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

We focus heavily on advertising to bring new traffic to the website. We spend a lot of time building our SEO so that our site will eventually rank well organically. We are also constantly adding new brands to expand our customer reach.

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

I am very experienced with paid advertising. We primarily use Google shopping and PPC and this is currently our main source of traffic to our website. We have thousands of different ads running for all of the brands and products that we sell and are always working to optimize our ads and boost profitability. There is always work to be done in terms of optimizing the campaigns to make sure they’re profitable, but yes, the ads certainly do work.

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?

We are in a unique position because we sell brands that many people have heard of. So, even if someone doesn’t know about our company, they can easily find us by searching for the product or brand that they know and love. However, there are certainly other players in the market, so we definitely need to make ourselves stand out. First, our business is owned by a dermatologist. This is very important because anyone can ask a skincare question and get advice from someone who knows what they are talking about and has vast experience with all types of skin conditions. This also gives us access to many brands that not just anyone can sell. For many of the brands that we feature on our site, you must have a dermatologist on-board in order to be able to buy the products. In addition to that, we have excellent customer service. Our customers know that they can reach out at any time and talk to an actual person who is there to help them with whatever they need. Customer service is where we really excel and it keeps our customers coming back to us again and again.

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

Google Shopping and PPC have been the most profitable for us.

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

Since we launched, I was handling a lot of the order fulfillment. In the last few months, we made the decision to hire someone to help with that to free up a lot of my time during the day. It was very difficult to make that move and to let go of a little bit of this part of the job, but it has made a huge difference and allowed me much more time every day to grow the business.

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

With any e-commerce business, there is a lot of inventory involved. It’s tough when you have to order products that you may not know that much about or you’re not sure is going to sell. On the other hand, it’s hard to pass up certain products or brands because you don’t want to spend the money. I’d say my best advice when starting an e-commerce business where you’re selling products from other brands is to try to work with as many brands that drop ship as possible. This will lower your costs significantly and help you figure out what inventory you can move successfully.

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

I wouldn’t have waited so long to get started. As I mentioned, we purchased our domain name in 2012 but did not actually start building our website until 2016. I wish I had another 3-4 years under my belt!

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I’ve ever been given was actually by my brother. He told me to make sure that I’m doing something proactive to grow my business every single day. When you own a business, there is always so much going on and it’s easy to get caught up in all of the day to day tasks that you need to take care of. Now, I put aside a chunk of time per day (2-3 hours is my goal) to do something that I know will grow my business. Whether it’s going through our advertising campaign to see where we can expand or cut the budget, working on SEO to grow the business organically, or reaching out to new brands to add to the site, I know how important it is to make sure we are constantly growing.

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

As soon as you decide that you are going to launch a new business, start working on building your SEO. Paid advertising is a great way to get immediate traffic and new customers to your site, but nothing is going to be more profitable or pay off more in the long run than getting that traffic organically. Building up your domain authority to achieve top ranking on Google can take a long time and as soon as you decide that you’re going to start a business, you should begin working on this. When we first decided to launch DermWarehouse, we built a homepage and contact us page for our site. This was over a year before we sold a single skincare product. The reason we did this is that while we were getting the site up and running, we were able to begin building our SEO strategy. Over a year later when we finally did launch, we were so far ahead of the game!

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5 Highly Effective Success Tips For Entrepreneurs

Do you truly want to know how to be rich and successful in life? If so, then you need to be ready to change your daily routine. It goes without saying that even the slightest detail may determine whether you’ll succeed in life or not. There is a massive competition out there, and hence you must be prepared to do whatever it takes to stand out from the rest.

So what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Well, the answer is not simple. There are several steps you need to take to make sure that you achieve the success you are entitled to. Below are some of the essential tips that will help you in your path. These tips will help you grow your revenue and eventually reach the pinnacle of success.

Use your strongest points

First of all, you need to make use of your strongest points so you’ll thrive in business. It is true that we all have our weaknesses, but what you need to concentrate on are your strengths. What are you really great at? This is where you need to focus on, in order for you to become successful in your chosen field.

Adapt to new technology

Another thing you must incorporate in your entrepreneurial life is the use of technology in business. With the latest advancements in technology, there is a whole new world out there that can help you go up to the next level in your business. A whole world filled with opportunities for you to grab and take full advantage of.

Invest

If you want to become successful one day, then you must be ready to invest prudently. Find opportunities that require minimal risk and maximum profit margin. There are a lot of options for you out there if you simply analyze the dangers and separate the wheat from the chaff.

Be vigilant

Once you have found opportunities to invest, you need to be cautious and assess the dangers in what you’re entering. You should not rush into just any investment which might eventually be proven fragile. Instead, you ought to weigh all the pros and cons until you reach your decision as to the most viable investment opportunity.

Be bold

Do not be afraid to make a statement and be innovative. Do things your way, so that you can benefit from the outcome. If you are really certain about something, do your due diligence then go ahead and show the world what you are made of!

Keeping these things in mind can definitely help you spread your wings and reach your goals. If you implement these tips in your daily routine, you will be a successful entrepreneur before you know it!

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4 Common-Sense Ways To Shrink Your Credit Card Payment

An average person usually falls into the trap of having a bad financial status with credit cards because of unpaid monthly dues. And once you have fallen into the ploy, it is already hard to recuperate especially in the kind of economic status that we currently have. We end up paying the ever-increasing finance charges that make the bulk of our debt.

Our credit card, monthly payments can only go one way…and that is up unless we do something to address the ever-increasing debt balance. Every unpaid monthly balance would pile up in the form of finance charges that would yield to a higher interest rate being charged on our credit card accounts. And, if this cycle goes on and on, we will just wake up one day realizing that we can no longer pay all credit card dues and we’re stuck in a deep dark hole. The good news is, there are ways and means on how we can lower down our credit card payments, and here they are below.

The first thing we can do is make monthly payments that are significantly higher than the balance. If we can do this regularly for consecutive months, then, our credit card payments will definitely drop down.

Not only must we pay more than what is required from us; we should also pay on time to further cut the finance charges associated with late payments. Furthermore, we must control our urge to use our credit card for so long as there is still an outstanding balance that needs to be paid off.

Another equally wise alternative course of action if we are already caught with sky-scraping credit card payments is to tap the services of our credit card counseling organization. Apparently, major credit cards offer this kind of service to address the issues of delinquent payers. They participate in debt management programs that aim in lowering down the monthly payments and reducing the interest rates of clients enrolled in this program. It is to be noted though that our eligibility to participate in this program would depend on our relationship and standing with our creditors. The people behind the card counseling organization are ready to help people who demonstrate financial distress especially in dealing with the payments of their credit card balance.

Another good thing with the credit card counseling organization is the fact that credit counselors will provide a projection of what your monthly payment would be; consequently, they will help you come up with a workable budget that will make you pay off your monthly credit card balance and at the same time address all your daily expenditures. Furthermore, they will also tell you the amount of interest savings that you will be able to earn while on the program.
It is to be noted that the coverage of credit counseling organizations to lower down your interest rate will solely depend on the status of your account. Apparently, they prefer current accounts; however, they can still give a remedy to late payments through the wide range of re-aging benefits that they offer through the debt management program.

It is important to take action before our accounts get to be charged-off and referred to debt collection agencies because by then, it will already be too late because they don’t have programs that offer benefits just like the credit counseling organization and debt management program. You’ll just end u sinking even further in a black hole.