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Meet Lindsey Carnett, The CEO & President of Marketing Maven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What new business would you love to start?

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

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

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

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

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

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

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

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It’s Official: Rihanna Is Now The Youngest Female Self-Made Billionaire

Rihanna is now officially the youngest person at 34 years old on Forbes’ 2022 list of self-made female billionaires in the United States amassing a whopping net worth of $1.4 billion.

Back in March 2019, Kylie Jenner held the title of youngest self-made billionaire after signing a distribution deal with beauty retailer Ulta for Kylie Cosmetics products. Forbes reported that this move helped increase Kylie Cosmetics’ estimated worth to “at least” $900 million, making Kylie a billionaire. However, in May 2020, Forbes published an article saying that their staff “recalculated Kylie’s net worth and concluded that she is not a billionaire,” but rather a “more realistic accounting of her personal fortune puts it at just under $900 million.”

Rihanna⁠ (co-owner of Fenty Beauty and holder of a 30 percent stake in her Savage x Fenty lingerie line⁠) also happens to be Barbados’ first billionaire, according to Forbes, as well as the only woman under 40 on this year’s list of female billionaires in the U.S.

Rihanna⁠ has been teasing that she has new music in the works, so her net worth may soon go up once her new music hits the music scene.

“I’m looking at my next project completely differently from the way I had wanted to put it out before. I think this way suits me better, a lot better,” she told Vogue. “It’s authentic, it’ll be fun for me, and it takes a lot of the pressure off.”

Editorial credit: Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com

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Elon Musk Reveals He Doesn’t Even Own A Home Despite His Billionaire Status… Yes, You Read Right.

Screenshot from TED’s YouTube account

Elon Musk has decided to finally address the ongoing issue about his billionaire status in a new interview with the head of TED, Chris Anderson.

As most people would know, Elon was recently declared by Forbes magazine the richest person on the planet, with an estimated net worth of more than $200 billion. He’s the CEO of Tesla and the founder of the rocket company SpaceX. Elon is also the founder of an infrastructure and tunnel construction services company called the Boring Company and co-founder of a neurotechnology company called Neuralink.

In the interview, Chris pointed out the criticisms surrounding Elon’s massive wealth. Many people seem to believe that billionaires are “unethical” given the fact that a massive chunk of the global population are living paycheck to paycheck, and homelessness is still a major issue across the globe.

“There are many other people out there who can’t stand this world of billionaires,” Chris stated. “They are hugely offended by the notion that an individual can have the same wealth as, say, a billion or more of the world’s poorest people.”

To which Elon responded, “I think there are some axiomatic flaws that are leading them to that conclusion.”

“For sure, it would be very problematic if I was consuming billions of dollars a year in personal consumption. But that is not the case.

“In fact, I don’t even own a home right now,” he surprisingly revealed. “I’m literally staying at friends’ places — if I travel to the Bay Area, which is where most of Tesla engineering is, I basically rotate through friends’ spare bedrooms.”

Elon further revealed that he doesn’t even make any massive luxurious expenses. “I don’t have a yacht, I really don’t take vacations, so it’s not as though my personal consumption is high,” he added. “I mean, the one exception is a plane, but if I don’t use the plane, then I have less hours to work.”

Chris further asked how Elon feels about criticism of his and other billionaires’ status in this day and age. “How upsetting is it to you to hear this constant drumbeat of, ‘Billionaires, my god. Elon Musk, oh my god.’ Do you just shrug that off, or does it actually hurt?”

Elon simply responded, “I mean, at this point, it’s water off a duck’s back.”

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Billionaire Elon Musk Reaches Game-Changing $44 Billion Deal To Buy Twitter

CNN confirms that Twitter has decided to sell itself to Elon Musk, the world’s richest man in a whopping $44 billion deal.

Musk apparently made an offer to buy Twitter (TWTR) and take it private, believing that the company needs to be “transformed.” He recently purchased 9.2% of Twitter stock making him the largest shareholder in the company.

The mega-deal, which was reportedly approved by Twitter’s board, is expected to get finalised this year. Musk revealed last week that he has $46.5 billion in financing to acquire one of the world’s most influential social networks, which apparently forced Twitter’s board to seriously consider the offer. T

CNN confirms that under the terms of the deal, shareholders will receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter stock they own, matching Musk’s original offer and marking a 38% premium over the stock price the day before Musk revealed his position in the company.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a recent statement. “Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Twitter stock was reportedly up by nearly 6% following the announcement of the mega-deal, floating around $51.84. The deal is pending approval from shareholders and regulators.

Editorial credit: Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock.com

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Billionaire Elon Musk Once Lived On Just $1 A Day

 

Do you think you have what it takes to sacrifice like a bonafide entrepreneur?

If you think you have what it takes, then try limiting your spending to just a dollar a day for an entire month- because that’s exactly what Elon Musk once did when he was a 17-year-old college student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Talking to Neil deGrasse Tyson in a 2015 interview on the podcast StarTalk he said, “My threshold for existing was pretty low… So I figured I could be in some dingy apartment with my computer and be okay and not starve.”

The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla tried this experiment to determine whether he could really live spending so little on food. Turns out, a $30 CAD monthly grocery budget was enough to get by.

“You sort of just buy food in bulk at the supermarket,” he stated, though he admits that “you get really tired of hot dogs and oranges after a while.” So he started getting into Pasta and green peppers as well.

Please note that this experiment happened a while back, and Musk warns against trying this experiment in this day and age. “I would not encourage anyone to live on $1 a day,” he told Business Insider. “That would not be super fun. Also, I did this back in 1990, so a dollar went a lot further back then. Would be much harder to do that today.”

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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5 Surefire Ways Property Managers Help Add Value To Investments

Some new property investors get tempted to scrimp on property managers, shopping around for the cheapest option they can find or even trying to do it all themselves. But almost all seasoned and successful investors agree that a great property manager is worth their weight in gold.

In this article, we explore what it is that a property manager brings to the property investing equation and how they can protect your asset and help you maximise your returns over both the short and long term.

Why use a property manager?

A common misconception is that a property manager’s duties are limited to simply collecting the rent on your behalf. While it’s true that rent collection is one of the fundamental tasks they perform, it’s really only a small part of what they do.

The reality is that property is an active investment and one that involves ongoing management and involves some degree of risk. A property manager helps alleviate some of the burdens by making sure the day-to-day is taken care of and that risks are minimised.

Here are some of the ways they do just that.

1. Property managers will work to keep vacancies to a minimum

One of the main responsibilities of a property manager is to find tenants whenever the property is likely to become vacant. This includes advertising the property, holding open inspections, screening applications, and negotiating terms with tenants.

But the best property managers take don’t just do the minimum here. They do everything they can to make sure the property is leased, holding inspections outside of regular hours, and longer inspection times if they need to, to make sure as many prospective tenants see it as possible.

Finding the right tenant for your property can be an onerous job. Done well, it can also be a skilled one. That’s because there’s more to it than simply securing any tenant. You need to secure the best tenants – the ones most likely to take care of your property, give you the fewest headaches and pay the rent on time for the long term.

A good property manager will be well attuned to the signals and context and will do the right research to know exactly which tenants are best for your investment.

2. Property managers are strategic advisers

Speaking of which, there may be times when you have multiple rental offers on the table. So which do you choose? A property manager will be able to advise you based on their research, their knowledge of the market, their experience with tenants, and the reference checks they perform.

But a property manager’s strategic advice doesn’t end when they’ve found your tenants. They’ll also advise you on what type of lease to sign, what conditions to include, how long your lease should be for, and – most importantly – what rent to ask for. They’ll do this based on their knowledge of the market and where it’s headed so that you maximise your income and minimise your pain.

They can also advise you on depreciation schedules and even help you put together a long-term property plan.

3. Property managers will help maintain your property

In an investment property, small maintenance issues, if not resolved, can accumulate over time and have a big impact on your finances. A good property manager will help notice these and correct them before they get out of hand. For instance, a small leak in a bathroom may go unnoticed by your tenant but could eventually lead to water damage and mould problems.

A property manager who knows what to look for is likely to spot the problem early, saving you thousands in the longer term. They’ll also usually organise the trades you need to repair anything efficiently and with a minimum of disruption to your tenants and your income.

Through regular inspections, a property manager will also help make sure that your tenants are looking after your investment. And, if they’re not, they can help rectify that, using their negotiation skills to let the tenant know what’s expected of them and how they need to improve or resolve any issues.

4. Property managers guide you through the rules and regulations

There are many rules and regulations governing the landlord/tenant relationship and getting them wrong can be an expensive exercise. For instance, a tenant has certain rights when you give notice of inspections or increase the rent. On the other hand, landlords have rights too, especially when it comes to the tenant ending the lease and the condition in which they need to leave the property.

A property manager can help you make sense of these so that you avoid unnecessary risk.

5. Property managers help you maximise your return on investment

Cashflow management is one of the most important factors in property investing, especially for first-time investors. At a minimum, you need to make sure you’re covering your mortgage each month and that your investment doesn’t result in ongoing financial stress.

But to really grow your wealth you also want to be confident that you’re maximising your returns and minimising your outgoings. A property manager can do both. Helping make sure your investment delivers a strong yield in both the short and long term so that your cashflow runs smoothly and your rental return remains high.

If you’re looking to grow a property portfolio a property manager can also advise you on your next move, using their knowledge of the market to single out properties with potential for capital growth. They can also advise you on the right time to consider acquiring a new property and help you understand what it means for your day-to-day finances as well as for your future wealth.

In short, a property manager can save you time and money, helping you make the most of your current investment while using their expertise in the property market to ensure you do everything you can to maximise your wealth in the long-term wealth too.

Source: The Property Investors Alliance

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Get To Know Brock Murray, The Co-Founder Of Digital Marketing Agency Seoplus+

Brock Murray is the co-founder of Seoplus+, a Canadian digital marketing agency serving clients globally. He started the business in 2012 as a web design and online marketing firm that evolved into a full-service digital agency.

Brock also kicked off Seoplus+ with a friend and business associate, Eddy Abounehme. They had worked together previously in IT, and they partnered up to create a web design firm. They didn’t know where it would go, but with Eddy’s mentorship and advice and Brock’s digital marketing skills, they saw the potential of growing their business to be a leader in their industry.

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

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

Since I was a young child, I remember having an entrepreneurial spirit. I come from a family of entrepreneurs – my aunt, uncle, and grandfather all had their own businesses. This gave me the insight and opportunity to help them in their business, all the while setting the stage for me to do the same.

Even at the young age of 9, my sister and I created AMBRO’s community newspaper (Amanda + Brock). She would write articles about anything from the Spice Girls to the Ottawa Senators to book reviews, and I would go door-to-door around the neighbourhood to sell issues and pitch local businesses to have their business cards included in our issue. 

Coincidentally my sister Amanda is the General Manager at seoplus+, so we have continued the trend of creating content and helping local businesses in our community.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

Before being an entrepreneur, I worked for many businesses in various roles. I did everything from telemarketing (cold calling), media (cameraman and audio technician) for local sports teams, for a local IT firm, as well as doing freelance web design for customers in various industries. 

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

The thing that motivates me the most is helping people. Nothing is more rewarding than hearing from a business owner or marketing team that I have helped them grow their business. That ties directly into our company mission to make life better for our team and our clients.

In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.

Growth.

It’s all about growth – both personally and professionally. You need to grow as an individual, looking for ways to improve and keep up with trends and opportunities. As a business, if you aren’t growing, you are dying. At times it can be uncomfortable, but this is when you are truly growing. So be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

My top three motivations for starting a business were: 

(1) Following my passion. I love digital marketing, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

(2) To be my own boss. Being a Leo, I am a natural leader, and I always wanted to lead a team.

(3) Control my destiny. I always envisioned being a part of something big, which would give me freedom later in life.

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

The key elements for starting a business are:

  1. Have a plan. Conduct market research and be real about the opportunity, so you don’t fly blind.
  2. Build an amazing team. Have a strong vision, mission, and values that your team can get behind. Build a strong culture and get buy-in to ensure company success.
  3. Know your strengths and leverage them. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, so be sure to look for ways to make the most of your strengths and have others care for areas where you aren’t as strong.

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

The three biggest challenges I faced in growing the business were:

  1. Building predictable revenue. Initially, we launched as a web design firm. This was a challenge as web projects are typically a one-time/project-focused revenue model versus recurring. We wanted to create a predictable, recurring revenue model that would allow us to grow consistently while having the cash flow to fuel that growth. So we pivoted to create a new brand and service offering that allowed us to do just that.
  2. Creating demand. When I started the business, I had very few connections – my business network was very small. I had to find a way to create demand for a service (SEO) that many businesses didn’t even know existed. They most certainly didn’t have the budget for it. I started by leveraging any contacts I did have, attended networking events, got involved in the community, and bit by bit, was able to get bigger and bigger clients by being a trusted resource for businesses.
  3. Building a strong culture. Roughly five years into the business, we had a rough patch with staff turnover. For a company of approximately 15 people, we lost about 5 in about a month. At first, I took it personally. Where did I go wrong? What did I do? The biggest thing was the lack of clarity and communication around our mission, vision, and values. We then clearly defined these, lived them out daily, and included them in everything we did. I committed to leading by example – day in and day out. This was a turning point in our business, and we haven’t looked back since.

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

What is beautiful about our business is we practice what we preach. Our core service offering is SEO, so we led with just that and dominated locally first (for terms like “SEO Ottawa”) and eventually ranked for national terms (“SEO Services”, “SEO Canada”), which generated countless business opportunities for us. At this point, we generate a ton of referral business – where our clients refer their associates to us. We care deeply about our clients, and we always go the extra mile.

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

The most important leadership lesson I learned in business is always to evaluate challenges with the “people versus process” question. If there is ever an issue, problem, or challenge, always ask: was the issue related to a (broken) process or people (problem). Typically managers/owners tend to look at the people first versus asking how we can fix the process to protect the employee and the customer. When you make incremental improvements to your processes, this helps improve the customer experience, enabling you to scale your business and helps protect your employees.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I ever received in business was to read Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling

The book taught me to win business by being a trusted expert, network myself, the business of being a thought leader and around personal branding. It’s not who you know; it’s who knows you.

This helped push me to deliver presentations at industry events and attend networking events, which took a ton of energy but has paid dividends over the years.

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

The advice I would give to a newbie entrepreneur setting up their first business is to follow your passion. Being a business owner is a rollercoaster. The highs are high, and the lows are low. When you are following your passion, this helps you through the tough times. I am a huge fan of the quote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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7 Self-Improvement Tips To Get your life Back On Track

Always remember that as long as you are alive, you can change your ways and succeed in life. You have the power and the opportunity to do what you want and be the person you want to become. If you want to improve yourself and achieve your goals, you should follow these self-improvement tips.

  • First and foremost, you need to take full responsibility for your self-improvement. You need to know your true self, the things you’re interested in, and how you’re going to actively pursue them. If you don’t have any idea where you should go, you’ll probably just end up where other people want you to go.
  • You need to set realistic goals and stick to these objectives as well as find ways to achieve them. Such a thing, however, is not enough.
  • Learning continuously is also important. There are skills and techniques that you can adapt to improve your life. Never stop learning. Many people know how important this tip is. You need to continue learning in order to succeed.
  • Look for effective ways to learn new things and improve your skills. Realizing the power of learning can encourage many people to become better in various ways and achieve what they really want. Remember that if you learn new things enthusiastically, you’ll achieve self-growth and succeed in living a more content life. You will become happier and live the kind of life you have always wanted.
  • You also need to change your bad habits. There are many times when a person’s life is dominated by bad practices. If you really want to become a better person, you need to change these habits and stick to the positive changes you’ve made.
  • Being persistent is also important. Some people give up too easily. Always remember that your perseverance will serve as the driving force that will encourage you to do things you think you cannot do.
  • When you focus on a goal, it is important to keep your mind on it. Don’t let yourself get distracted by other goals. Many people cannot focus on anything related to work for a long period of time. It is difficult to do especially since our culture is full of reasons and distractions that force us not to bother a lot with attaining real success.

There are a lot of excuses that we can say so that we don’t do anything productive. If you want to improve yourself and achieve your goals, you need to prioritize every action. Even when you’re not seeing any major progress, you should keep going towards the completion of your goal.

Keep at it and you’ll reap the rewards in the end. There are self-improvement books that provide life-changing ideas and advice that you can integrate into your life. Discover and learn things that can benefit your pursuit of self-improvement. Always remember that learning new things can do you a great favor. Continuous education will certainly help you succeed.

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

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Meet The Shepreneur Behind The Cover Of The December 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Dr. Roya J. Hassad

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Dr. Roya J. Hassad is a premier, award-winning physician, educator, speaker, and the founder of Hope, Life, and Dream Centers, the most prominent Anti-Aging medical centers in New York.

The anti-aging market is a booming sector, valued at approximately USD 44,124 million in 2020, which is set to maintain an upward spiral. Dr. Hassad is spearheading this sector with her innovative first-class services in anti-aging medicine.

From a tender age, Dr. Hassad has always had a burning passion for everything health, beauty, and wellness. Everything she has done in life has been streamlined to achieve this purpose – a professional who transforms the lives of others. She originally hails from Iran, where she managed to earn a degree in medicine from the prestigious Iran University of Medical Science. After migrating to the U.S. in the early 1980s to pursue her dream, she continued her medical education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and St. Joseph Medical Center of Family Medicine, both of which are based in New York.

With longevity comes experience; with experience comes greater expertise; Dr. Hassad has put in the work, and today, the results speak for themselves. Due to her influence, there’s a palpable difference in how people view age prevention practices such as hormone treatment or facelift surgery. The idea that anti-aging treatments should come at one’s nether years has been challenged by the good doctor, which, she believes, should be a holistic lifestyle – women should practice whenever they desire.

“I am passionate about all things anti-aging and regenerative medicine, which is something that I have held near-and-dear to my heart since I was very young,” said Dr. Hassad. “I don’t believe we should have to accept premature aging and visible signs of wear-and-tear on our skin and our faces. I knew there had to be alternative options, which is why I have dedicated my life from a medical perspective to championing the anti-aging movement.”

True to form, Dr. Hassad has treated thousands of patients with hormone deficiency disorders related to aging, such as menopause or diabetes mellitus. She has also developed innovative treatments such as Bioidentical Hormones, which incredibly mimic hormones found in the human body.

Dr. Hassad is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the medical field. She is the medical director of Advanced Medical Health Services. She is also affiliated with some of the top medical institutes, such as Mount Sinai Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. She is a board-certified anti-aging specialist and has extensive experience in anti-aging and regenerative medicine. In fact, Dr. Hassad has been recognized as one of the top family practice physicians in the U.S.A. Her practice center, Advanced Medical Health Services, is the premier medical and health clinic on Long Island. She was also selected as a top family physician in 2016 and 2017.

To sum it up, there is no doubt that Dr. Roya J. Hassad has built a fantastic reputation in her field. Renowned for her medical practice, particularly regarding wellbeing and anti-aging – it’s no surprise that she has been a leader in the field of anti-aging for decades. With the way she’s going, there’s really nowhere else to go but up.

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Inside The Mind Of Mathew Knowles: The Founder Of Music World Entertainment

By Allison Kugel

Music Executive, artist manager, entrepreneur, activist, lecturer, author, and cancer survivor, Mathew Knowles brought the world multiplatinum-selling girl group Destiny’s Child, singer-songwriter Solange, and multi-hyphenate megastar Beyonce. He’s worked with music legends, Chaka Kahn, the O’Jays, Earth, and Wind & Fire, and sold more than 450 million albums, worldwide.

A devoted academic who earned his MBA in Strategic Planning and Organizational Culture and his Ph.D. in Business Administration, Knowles currently mentors and teaches emerging entrepreneurs and artists with courses like his most recent, The Music Industry in the Digital Age, through Point Blank Music School where he holds a professorship; Knowles additionally holds professorships at the University of Houston, Prairie View A&M University, and The Art Institute.

Most urgently, Mathew Knowles is on a mission to help get more Americans in underserved communities vaccinated against Covid-19 alongside the National Minority Health Association’s Flex For Checks program, which can be learned about at thenmha.org and flexforchecks.com.

Allison Kugel: What is the National Minority Health Association, and how did you get involved with their Flex for Checks initiative?

Mathew Knowles: The National Minority Health Association is working with brown and Black communities on various health initiatives. For example, when we look at Black men and we look at the percentage of Black men in America, we lead in mortalities in every category, Allison, except for breast cancer and suicide. Black women lead in mortality rates for breast cancer. Why is that? Because of a lack of awareness in our communities. It’s about lack of early detection. The National Minority Health Association’s specific program, Flex For Checks, is about increasing awareness about getting vaccinated [against COVID-19]. You register, you get a shot, and once you’ve proven that you’ve gotten the vaccination, you then receive $50.

Allison Kugel: That is once you’ve gotten your complete vaccination, meaning two shots, with the exception of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single shot?

Mathew Knowles: Every time you get a shot, regardless of if it’s one, two, or the booster, you will receive $50.

Allison Kugel: At this point in time, you can pretty much walk into any CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, any clinic, or vaccination site, and get your COVID-19 vaccine. You don’t have to pay for the vaccine, it’s free for all Americans and readily available. So, when you say “lack of access” or “underserved communities,” is it more about getting people the correct information regarding the vaccine?

Mathew Knowles: It’s both. We are almost there with 70% of the U.S. [vaccinated], but there is still that 30% [that is not vaccinated]. So, what do we have to do to convince and incentivize that 30%, of which there is a high minority rate? We are giving a financial incentive. I know it sounds sort of absurd that I have to give you a financial incentive to save your life, but if that is what it takes, then that is what the National Minority Health Association is willing to do, with a grant they have received. It’s to incentivize people to go and get vaccinated.

Allison Kugel: Is there, in your opinion, a skepticism of government and a skepticism of the medical establishment, among many people of color?

Mathew Knowles: There is, and I happen to have this sheet that I pulled up which talks about the myths. One of the myths is, “the vaccine hasn’t been tested on people like me,” meaning people of color. The truth is the clinical trials for all three vaccines have taken all kinds of diversity into consideration. Pfizer: 30% people of color. Moderna: 37%. Johnson & Johnson: 35%.  So that myth is busted. And there is a myth about the side effects of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. The truth is, while there are some mild side effects, and I got the Moderna vaccine as well as the booster, and did have soreness in my arm for two days, but the risk/reward of me having a sore arm versus having a ventilator down my throat. Let me weigh that out.

Allison Kugel: I think some aspect of vaccine hesitancy is, simply, fear of the unknown. People might be thinking, “What kind of side effects will I get?” 

Mathew Knowles: I have a cup of tea in front of me right now. I’m going to drink it. I have no idea what all of the ingredients are in this tea. I have no idea if this cup will give me any side effects. That is true for so much of the food we eat, medications we take, and so forth. We have to put this into the proper perspective. We never really truly know every ingredient we put into our bodies. But we have to have trust in the science and in the research. I haven’t heard anybody say what I’m about to say, but I think a lot of people haven’t gotten the vaccine because of a fear of needles. There are a lot of people that are traumatized by a needle, and nobody is talking about that.

Allison Kugel: You might be right. It’s a common phobia. I actually made the woman who gave me the vaccine hold my hand, because I was such a baby (laugh).

Mathew Knowles: Well, I mean, it’s normal, but no one is really saying that. I really truly believe that a lot of this is just a phobia of getting a needle in the arm.

Allison Kugel: Which, by the way, you really don’t even feel. It’s just two seconds. You blink and it’s over.  

Mathew Knowles: I didn’t even know. The doctor was talking to me and the next thing I knew I’m asking, “When are you going to give me the shot?” He said, “I already did.” I said, “Wait, what (laugh)?!”

Allison Kugel: Sadly, we just recently lost Colin Powell to complications from COVID-19. Something came out in the news that was confusing to many people. His loved ones stated the following, “We want people to know that he was completely vaccinated.”  That statement then gave rise to more skepticism of, “See? He was vaccinated and he died from COVID complications.” But it is important to note that he had been battling cancer of the blood, which significantly compromised his immune system, and it also made the vaccine less effective.

Mathew Knowles: People will use that as a reason not to get [the vaccine]. However, this is based on the information in the last 24 hours that I have listened to and read: he had a compromised immune system, and [allegedly] he had not gotten the booster shot yet, is what I also read. Again, this is not necessarily all accurate, I’m just citing what I’ve read and heard. I have a compromised immune system, and I understand that getting a COVID shot doesn’t necessarily 100% mean that I’m not going to get COVID. What it’s supposed to do is not have me in the hospital with a ventilator down my throat, hopefully. For that reason, I was one of the first to get it, and I think it’s very unfortunate, but we have to understand there were other underlying conditions.

Allison Kugel: How do people get financial compensation after they have gotten vaccinated?  How does the process work?

Mathew Knowles: You can register for the program by calling 877-770-NMHA, or you can go to flexforchecks.com. Registering is the first step. Then you get the shot at one of the many locations in your community, and we identify those for you. You then upload proof of your vaccination to your Flex For Checks profile. Once you upload your proof of vaccination, we will automatically mail you a check. It’s that easy.

Allison Kugel: Perfect. I’d like to go into some of your personal history. You grew up in Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s. I would imagine you lived through your fair share of racial discrimination. What was your first-hand experience?  

Mathew Knowles: I’ve written five books, and one of those is Racism from the Eyes of a Child. My mother went to high school in a small town in Alabama, with Coretta Scott King. Also in that class was Andrew Young’s wife. My mother then moved to a larger town in Alabama, and she took up the torch of desegregation. Imagine, I was born in 1952, so from 1958 to 1972 I went to all-white schools. Think about that.

Allison Kugel: All white schools, meaning you were in the significant minority…

Mathew Knowles: In my junior high school, there were 6 Blacks and 1,000 Whites. In my high school, there were maybe 20 Blacks and 3,000 whites. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga had 14,000 whites and maybe 50 Blacks. Then I transferred to an HBCU, Fisk University in Nashville, which was my first experience in a Black educational environment. I was one of the first [students] with desegregation. I had been beaten, I’ve been electrically prodded, I’ve been spit on, I’ve been humiliated, all sorts of trauma. I had to go to years of therapy to overcome it, no different than for a woman who has been sexually assaulted. Racial trauma is the same. It just doesn’t get the attention that it should. It’s unfortunate that a woman can speak of being sexually traumatized 30 or 40 years ago, but you can’t be Black and say that. Nobody cares.

Allison Kugel: Any recent stories regarding racial discrimination?

Mathew Knowles: I always love what Michelle Obama once said about President Obama. They asked her, “Are you frightened that your husband is going to get assassinated?” She said, “You know, my fear is that my husband could get shot by the police, pumping some gas.” The point she was making is that when you are Black there is no determination that says, “Hey, I’m the president,” you know? For example, with me, if you are in your neighborhood and you’re dressed normal, when you’re Black everyone doesn’t know who your daughter is, nor do they care. Just recently, I’m on a plane putting my bag up in first class. The flight attendant comes over and says, “I’m sorry, sir. You need to put your bags in the back, in coach.”  I said, “Do you say that to all of your passengers?” She says, “Yes, I say that to all of my coach passengers.” I said, “So you just assume I’m flying coach, huh?” Those types of things still happen today.

Allison Kugel: How did you eventually make your way to Houston? And do you think the success that your daughters, Beyoncé and Solange, have had in the music industry, and the success you’ve had on the business side of the music industry, do you think that could have been possible had you stayed in Alabama? Or would there have been no ladder to climb up?

Mathew Knowles: It was more from my educational path, from getting a proper education. I was in Nashville, Tennessee and I chose Houston because of all the industry. At the time, you had affirmative action and you had quotas that these major oil companies and all the other companies that were successful because of the oil initiative in Houston, had to fulfill. So at that time in Houston, it was very easy being Black and getting a really good job. That is why I went to Houston, Texas from Nashville. I grew up in Gadsden, Alabama, where we had a Goodyear plant and we had a public steel plant, real blue-collar. Chances are I would have ended up working at one of those types of facilities had I stayed in Gadsden. My parents had encouraged me and my vision was much broader than that, so I wanted to go and get the academic knowledge, and then I got 20 years of corporate experience.

Allison Kugel: You’re working in Corporate America for Xerox. What gave you the power of belief to make the leap from a stable corporate job to pursue the music industry, with Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé, and then for Solange? Was it blind faith?

Mathew Knowles: I call that the “Jedi Mind Trick,” Allison. Unfortunately, that is the story that the media has painted and it’s not accurate. It’s not even close to being accurate. I worked at Xerox Corporation for ten years. For eight of those years I worked at Xerox Medical Systems. We sold diagnostic imaging for breast cancer detection. Because of my success, being the number one sales rep worldwide for three years in that division, I was able to then go with Phillips Medical Systems to sell CT and MRI scanners. After 6 years of having success, I had headhunters calling and I went to Johnson & Johnson as a neurosurgical specialist. Then because of managed care, I was told by a neurosurgeon that he couldn’t use my instruments because of the cost associated with them. It was a defining moment and I had to decide what career path I wanted. As a kid I did things like deejay for my parents, I was in a boy band, and I had this passionate love of music. There was this young man in Houston who had asked me a couple of times to manage him. The first artist that I got a major record deal for was not Beyoncé. It was not Solange. It was a rapper named Lil’ O. MCA records was the number one urban record label at the time with Puffy, Mary J. Blige, and Jodeci, so you see how inaccurate that story is?

Allison Kugel: You got your foot in the door with MCA Records, managing rapper Lil’ O, prior to launching Destiny’s Child. We’re busting apart the myth right now. 

Mathew Knowles: Yes (laughs). I also went back to school, because I believe knowledge is power. For 15 years I’ve been a college educator, and so I went back to college and took three courses. I went to every seminar I could. I began to build every relationship that I could. You have to understand, skills are transferable. I was able to transfer my skill of being the top salesman in corporate America to the music industry.

Allison Kugel: That’s important. People may not realize that whatever their skillset is, that experience is transferable and can be used to pursue additional opportunities or careers.  

Mathew Knowles: If you talk to anyone that worked at Xerox or Phillips and knew me, they would say, “I’m not surprised he was successful in the music industry.”  Then, of course, I had this amazing talent to work withLet’s not leave that out of the equation (laugh).

Allison Kugel: Yes, you did. I don’t know if anyone has ever asked you this before, but did Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Solange, or you for that matter, ever experience any racism within the music industry? 

Mathew Knowles: Yes, absolutely. In the ‘90s, record labels had their urban division, or sometimes it was called the Black music division. There was segregation inside of these major record labels. Because I also managed white artists, I got to see all of the budgets. There was a great difference in a Black artist’s or “urban division’s” marketing budget from that of a white artist’s budget and the regular pop music division’s budget.

Allison Kugel: What is the best advice you have ever received?

Mathew Knowles: When you live your passion, you never work a day in your life. Find that thing that motivates and inspires you. Find what adds fuel to your excitement. That is the thing we should be working towards. Not what our parents want us to be, or what society wants us to be, or what our husbands or wives want us to be. It should be that thing inside of us that we are passionate about. Normally, that gives us success, not an overnight success, but over time. If you follow your passion, every day you wake up you will be excited.

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

Mathew Knowles: It would be to educate and motivate people. I grew up poor, yet I never knew I was poor until I was in my mid-20s. My parents were such great parents that they never made me feel less fed than any other kid. I had wonderful parents that motivated me and supported me. I come from a family of entrepreneurs on both sides of my family, so I had that foundation. I have always wanted to educate and motivate people. That’s why I think I always did so well in sales and marketing because I understood how to motivate and educate with knowledge. I love coming from a place of knowledge. I don’t shoot from the hip. My dad made $30 a day driving a produce truck and convinced the company he worked for to let him keep the truck. He would then go tear down old houses and he would sell all the copper and metals. He would buy old cars that were abandoned and sell all the parts. My mother was a maid and she made $3 a day. She convinced the white woman she worked for and the woman’s white girlfriends to give her all their hand-me-downs, and on the weekends, she would make these beautiful quilts with two of her own girlfriends. My parents made six to ten times more on their second jobs than they did on their day jobs, and so I watched that. I watched them being entrepreneurs and thinking outside the box.

Allison Kugel: By the way, there is a strong connection between financial empowerment, a belief in one’s future, and the desire to look after one’s health, which I am sure you know.

Mathew Knowles: Health is number one. Without that, you actually become a liability to everyone. You can’t be the best family member, you can’t be the best friend, without having good health. I’m sitting here today speaking to you because I understood early diagnosis and early detection, and I was able to find my cancer early at stage 1A. Not everyone has that opportunity. This is about early detection, knowledge, and understanding of health. Believe in faith, but also believe in science. Put them together; not one by itself.

Allison Kugel: Aside from the Flex for Checks initiative, in what other ways is the National Minority Health Association reaching out to communities of color to help people look out for their own health?

Mathew Knowles: All of the things we are talking about today. They are less than a year old and they have just gotten their funding, which takes a while to get. They are now ready and geared towards early detection and health information, especially in the Black and brown community. A lot of our challenges are just because we simply don’t know, and also the mental health that people don’t want to talk about, especially in the Black and brown community, and the effects of mental health, or the lack thereof, on our overall health.

Allison Kugel: Do you think cultural competency among healthcare providers is an important ingredient when it comes to healthcare, whether it is mental health, early detection screenings, or getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

Mathew Knowles: I think that falls into the entire gamut of society. If we were able to see more doctors and more nurses that look like us, if we were able to see more police that look like us in our communities; I think we can even take that to corporations. Yes, absolutely. This is my second year going to Harvard for the summers. I took this summer [course], Cultural Intelligence. We just don’t want to talk about the differences in our cultures. Black people are culturally different than white people. That is not saying one is right or one is wrong. That simply says that the way I might approach a problem could be different than the way you approach a problem, based on my culture and my background. I just think we need to understand cultural intelligence, understand how we are different, and accept that rather than thinking that everybody has to be the same. Well, no, we don’t have to be the same.

Allison Kugel: Let’s talk race versus socio-economic status, and healthcare. As a person moves up the economic ladder, do you think race is still a major factor in the healthcare someone receives?  

Mathew Knowles: There is a bill that is about to come in the next six months in the House of Representatives from a California Congressman that is going to address just that, race in the medical system. Quantitative research with doctors and with hospitals makes it very clear that race does matter in terms of those going into emergency rooms, and who gets to get the diagnostics like the CT scans, the MRIs, and the extra care. Race does matter.

Allison Kugel: Even as you move up the economic ladder?

Mathew Knowles: I think it’s certainly reduced as you go up the economic ladder, because what happens is, as you go up the economic ladder, normally, your new knowledge base also goes up.  As your knowledge base goes up, you begin to understand that this doctor who I looked up to as God, instead it’s the knowledge that you are going to see a physician and as a patient you have the right to say, “I want this procedure done,” or “I have the right to do that, because I’ve researched and I want you to perform that test or that procedure.” I think as you move up economically your knowledge progresses.

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

Learn more about the National Minority Health Association’s Flex for Checks program at thenmha.org/flexforchecks. Join the fight for health equity at thenmha.org/donation. Follow Mathew Knowles.

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos Donates A Whopping $100 million To US Charity

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has donated a whopping $100 million USD to the Obama Foundation as per ABC. Former US president Barack Obama’s foundation confirms that it has received $US100 million from Bezos which happens to be the largest individual contribution it has ever received from anyone.

According to The Obama Foundation, the gift from Mr. Bezos was intended “to help expand the scope of programming that reaches emerging leaders” in the United States as well as around the world.

According to the foundation, The donation is in honour of Congressman John Lewis, who happens to be a hero of the US civil rights movement of the 1960s who passed away last year.

“Freedom fighters deserve a special place in the pantheon of heroes, and I can’t think of a more fitting person to honour with this gift than John Lewis, a great American leader and a man of extraordinary decency and courage,” Jeff Bezos said in the statement released by the foundation.

“I’m thrilled to support President and Mrs. Obama and their Foundation in its mission to train and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”

ABC confirms that the construction of Mr. Obama’s project is expected to cost about $US830 million and roughly be completed by around 2025.

Since quitting his role of CEO in Amazon this year, Mr Bezos has turned his sights to focusing more of his attention on philanthropy.

Last year he promised to spend $US10 billion by 2030 to enhance climate change efforts through his Bezos Earth Fund as per ABC. Similarly, a medical center affiliated with New York University called NYU Langone Health revealed it had received $US166 million from Mr Bezos and his family. NYU Langone Health revealed that the donation would be used to help “with the health and wellness of diverse populations” in Brooklyn.

Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

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Elon Musk Becomes A Record $25 Billion Richer In Just One Day As Tesla Shares Soar

Tesla CEO Elon Musk just made another whopping $25 billion as Tesla joins the trillionaire club alongside other powerhouses such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is not just the richest person in the world but is also now worth as much as billionaires Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg combined.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk’s net worth is sitting at $289 billion as of 26/10/2021, Gates sits in fourth place with $134 billion and Zuckerberg is No. 6 with $123 billion.

He was already the richest person alive, beating Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in September, but it looks like there are no signs of him slowing down anytime soon.

Last Monday, Hertz announced it was going to buy 100,000 Tesla Model 3 sedans to add to its rental car stockpile, causing Tesla’s share price to skyrocket.

According to the Herald Sun, Tesla stocks jumped by US$25.6 billion (A$34.1 billion), a rise of 13 percent, its biggest day ever.

The stocks were priced at $1,024.86 by market close and the company’s market capitalisation exceeded $1 trillion.

Hertz said in a statement that the first load of Tesla’s Model 3 sedans will be available to rent from Hertz in major US and European markets from early November.

“Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we’ve only just begun to see rising global demand and interest,” according to Hertz CEO Mark Fields.

“The new Hertz is going to lead the way as a mobility company, starting with the largest EV rental fleet in North America and a commitment to grow our EV fleet and provide the best rental and recharging experience for leisure and business customers around the world.”

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The October 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Guruji Shrii Arnav

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Guruji Shrii Arnav, considered the Father of Astro Gemology and a mentor to Statesmen and Millionaires, is an internationally acclaimed spiritual Guru who uses techniques based on spirituality, Astro Gemology, and modern management methods.

The author of the Magnum Opus” Secrets of Jyotish Gems”( translated in 6 languages), he is the mentor of the world’s largest E-commerce portal to buy natural Gemstones online (Gemstoneuniverse.com) that has a mind-boggling reach of 4 million monthly users and has been around since the early days of the internet since 1996.

We are quite certain our readers would love a no holds barred conversation with a major thought leader so they can benefit from Guruji Shrii Arnav’s insights about entrepreneurship and business in general. Global Millionaire magazine recently had the good fortune of meeting and interviewing Revered Guruji Shrii Arnav during the Gemstoneuniverse Founder’s Day and here’s what went down:

What are your standards for success? Is it a certain dollar figure?

For me personally, I was never into numbers. My singular philosophy since I believe in the theory of Karma is that every single person engaging with me should benefit from me or by my enterprise.

And that happens when customers vouch for you by word of mouth, give you referrals, and sometimes raise concerns as if they were family and they own the enterprise as their own.

And at Gemstoneuniverse we see that happening all the time. Since 1996 we have had such a loyal base of patrons (I do not like to call them customers) that till today we have not had the need for any kind of advertising of any sort.

Also to have industry leaders from Google, HP speaking about you on video is a huge takeaway and speaks of standards. Those are feedback and testimonials that money cannot buy.

What do you think made you successful in business?

Even though I am a spiritual person I like the word business which means transacting and all of us are business people since the world moves by give and take and by a transaction.

I think having clear-cut goals, delighting our patrons, and being attached to the greater cause of serving people and solving their problems by spirituality, gem therapy helped me in achieving a reasonable degree of success and recognition.

My life philosophy revolves around the Gemstoneuniverse Motto of – Deo Amabiles Et Hominibus which means Pleasing to God and To Men- and it’s in that order that has helped me.

What inspired you to develop your idea?

More than inspiration it was a necessity. In 1996 we reached around 11,000 people in a year and by 1997 it was 40,000.

I will be upfront and honest with you – no single patron ever asked me the price of any Gem. They would say you know better- please do what is best for me.

So five things here: Firstly, I was not in a humanly position to speak with every single person. Secondly, when customers were buying Gemstones without taking a look at the product just based on trust – that was creating a huge pressure on me. Thirdly, I wanted the patron to choose a Gemstone in the privacy of their own environment without any kind of pressure. Fourthly, the intention was to serve the people with the powerful science of gem therapy that delivers phenomenal results and fifthly, bring some kind of organization in a vastly unregulated market.

Real Natural Gemstones form only 2% of all world stock so you can understand the rarity and importance.

With Gemstoneuniverse the patron is assured that the best in the Gem world work assiduously to make them win and that we are on their side.

What were the main challenges you faced at the early stages of your business? And do you still encounter them to this day?

People, Problems, Possibilities, Potential, Product, Price are all words that start with P ( Smiles). There are three more P words that will solve the entire jigsaw but I would not like to mention them here.

Since the start of mankind, these 9P’s are responsible for all complications and solutions. If whatever information listed on the search engine is true then there should be no problems on the planet (Hey, another P word!).

If whatever has been written in the religious scriptures is interpreted correctly then any problem will cease to exist.

So as we continue to grow and evolve, problems will remain due to lack of quality information, incapacity for correct decision making, and resistance to change.

You can motivate and change these 3 core issues within yourself but you cannot do that for the people who work for you neither can you do it for the people interested in you with 100% quantitative compliance.

That is why I love to be in the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen and also motivate my team to be in the state of Kaizen at all possible times.

My own interpretation of Kaizen is that that there is nothing at any point in time that cannot be improved. So we are always striving to improve and be in the perfect state.

What keeps you going even in hard times?

The opportunity given by the almighty to serve and the appreciation we get for it. You will be amazed that during this COVID era both I and the organization attained personal bests.

There is an interesting parable from the life of Lord Shri Krishna. Once the great warrior Arjun asked the Lord- Krishna, write something on the wall that after reading will make a happy person – sad and a sad person -happy at the same time.

Krishna took a piece of chalk and wrote – “This Too Shall Pass”. I believe in this philosophy. What is in my hand is the right action, why worry about things that you cannot control.

What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship for young people especially in an economy where jobs are harder to find?

COVID and the currently prevailing circumstances have proven that what was conventional is not essentially the right path and in fact, some people shone brightly by using innovative ideas and proved that humans have a wonderful ability to adapt and improvise – these are the two qualities in humans that have made us the alpha species.

I think it will be wonderful to have young energetic people join the entrepreneurship bandwagon and they in turn will create new and fresh jobs.

However, I can suggest some things – always put a priority on niche specializing, always keep learning, don’t put yourself under pressure to be the next Elon Musk, work harder than anybody else and as you grow stay humble and have fun. No work is good enough if it does not give you joy!

What strategies did you first use to market your business?

To be honest with you I do not believe much in traditional marketing or advertising.

Your biggest marketing assets are your people and your product and nothing beats word of mouth.

To cut a long story short, I wrote articles about spirituality, gem therapy, astrology, and gemstones because I was appalled at the pedestrian impotent fare that was pedalled in names of these subjects which was causing more harm to people than benefiting them.

I think what has benefited us since the inception is sharing of good quality cutting edge information in form of quality articles, media resources in form of high-quality gem pictures and videos. Over a period of 26 years, there are 3500 articles on Gemstoneuniverse which are highly informative and give something to a user or solve a pain point. I think you can call it our marketing strategy if you will. Creating and sharing good quality content has been our only strategy.

I did my first Facebook live on the Gemstoneuniverse Facebook Page on 29th August 2021 and now it’s nearing 300K views already.

How have your priorities changed from when you first started?

More success comes with more responsibilities and there are other ramifications and responsibilities when you are touching lives on an epic scale. You need to be future-ready and beware of copycats that may be out to dupe people riding on the coattails of a successful enterprise.

Another thing to mull upon and work on is supply change management. The demands and numbers at Gemstoneuniverse are huge but the earth’s natural resources and the human resources we have in for of trained consultants and practitioners is limited and we have to do all this while ensuring that the Gemstones we use and supply are ethically mined, responsibly sourced, conflict-free and traceable.

Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?

Not a thing and I am just starting!

What two pieces of advice can you give to someone who wants to become an expert in their chosen field?

Another of my favourite P Word – Practice and Fail early and Fail Fast.

Failing gets you a PhD. in experience in record time provided that you learn from failure. If you are afraid of failure, to be honest, the chances of doing something noteworthy are very minuscule and at best, life would be normal, predictable, boring, and ordinary. That does sound SCARY to me at least.

What is the last ‘one word’ advice you will give to our readers when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur?

Niche, Niche, Niche – Do what you love and be the best at it. I wish all the readers health, happiness, and abundance.

You can follow Guruji Shrii Arnav and Gemstoneuniverse via their official social media pages:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gemstoneuniverse
Instagram: @gemstoneuniverse
Website: www.gemstoneuniverse.com

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Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The September 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Deepak Chopra

 

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By Allison Kugel
 
Deepak Chopra has been a mentor of mine from the day of my first interview with him more than a decade ago. I will never forget the day in 2008 when I asked him to explain such existential concepts as the distinction between the brain, mind, and soul; the concepts of space and time, and how meditation benefits our physical and mental health. His answers then were clear and precise and without hesitation; on my end, it felt like waking up from a dream and setting about on a continuous path of discovery.
 
He and I sat down once again, this time to unpack the pressing issues of isolation, anxiety, and depression and the growing epidemic of suicidal ideation and suicide, which has taken a sharp incline over the past eighteen years. Deepak Chopra is now part of a team spearheading the Never Alone movement, a grassroots movement that aims to create community-led organizations around the world to help people in emotional distress who need community support. Never Alone is being funded through a GoFundMe campaign that has already surpassed its original goal.
 
In tandem, Deepak Chopra has released his latest book, Metahuman (Harmony Books/Random House), which delves into the true essence of our nature when we break free of societal constructs and embrace a higher level of consciousness and greater zest for living on this planet.
 
Allison Kugel: The subject matter we are about to discuss is an uncomfortable one, but one that needs to be addressed because we are losing too many people. I looked at some World Health Organization statistics that report there has been a 60% increase in suicides over the past 45 years, with a 30% increase since 2001. My first question for you is simply… why?
 
Deepak Chopra: We are living in a culture that aggrandizes narcissism and the whole idea of a separate self. People are constantly engaged in social media, and in general media as well. All of this leads to performance anxiety in a sense. Am I relevant if I’m not being noticed? On the one hand, social networks are supposed to increase our connectivity. In one sense they do because we can communicate more effectively. But it also increases our isolation if we don’t get noticed. Young adults, in particular, are at a very delicate stage of their life where they’re beginning to wonder about their identity. As young children, we never wonder about identity. We are just happy, without wondering about self-esteem and all those things. As we enter adolescence, identity becomes an issue and we are still forging our identities. Today our identity is all about, “Am I important? Am I relevant?” It’s not even about knowing who we are at a fundamental level. 
 
Allison Kugel: I remember seeing my son, up until about the age of three, exhibit this pure unadulterated confidence and joy that emanated from his being. I have a video of him at the age of 15 or 16 months, where he’s running through a field and cracking himself up for no reason; just happy to be running in the grass. Why do we lose that joy and that feeling of wholeness, of being enough just as we are, as we get older? 
 
Deepak Chopra: You are very right in your observation. The poet Rabindranath Tagore is quoted as having said that “every child that’s born is proof that God has not given up on human beings (paraphrased).” Children are naturally joyful and loving and have empathy and compassion and playfulness as their innate traits. The rest is the hypnosis of social conditioning. Unfortunately, it gets recycled through every generation and now it’s getting worse because of our ability to communicate our self-importance. Self-esteem is natural, in our natural state. We are confusing [self-esteem] with self-image, which is the ego-bound identity. Self-image constantly needs validation or else it feels very fearful.
 
Allison Kugel: I’ve noticed a pattern in the 21st century where we are being pushed to the brink in so many ways. We have extreme weather patterns, mass shootings, more chronic illness, more narcissism, and certainly more anxiety and depression. And we have more people who are medicated than ever before. What is all this pushing us towards?  And what is the spiritual reason for it all?
 
Deepak Chopra: A lot of what you are seeing is the mental health of a collective mind, or a collective humanity, that has created a world with all the things you mentioned. We’ve seen extinction in every other life form, but now we’re ready for our own extinction. The last extinction was sixty-five million years ago as a result of a meteorite hitting the earth when dinosaurs were wiped out. We learned as a result of that extinction. But now if we have our next extinction, it will be as a result of human behavior. If this is not collective insanity… If we don’t acknowledge it then we are decreeing our own insanity. We need to understand our personal role in this collective insanity. Suicide and depression are symptoms of our collective conditioned mind. We treat hate to be normal. We treat the psychopathology of our everyday existence as normal. So numb have we become. And so immune have we become to the cruelty that happens every day in the world. 
Allison Kugel: What if you’re an empath, and internalize everything, and you’re in a constant state of feeling the pain of everybody and everything?
 
Deepak Chopra: We can resign ourselves and say the human experiment has failed; that the human species was an interesting idea on behalf of nature’s evolutionary impulse, but it didn’t work. We can resign ourselves and wait for our collective extinction where we just go to the bar and get a drink, which will numb us even more, and which people are doing with drugs and alcohol and other addictions. This is mostly linked to this massive epidemic of suicide and depression. Or, we can do something about it and hope for the best. What I have discovered through careful observation and as a physician, is that when people support each other in anything, and it doesn’t matter what it is, it is healing. When we support each other, the outcome of whatever that condition is that a person is struggling with, it does improve. This is what has led me to the opportunity to create, both, online and real-time communities where people can support each other for a more peaceful, just, sustainable, healthier, and joyful existence. Ultimately, this is the purpose of life, to experience our innate joy. That comes automatically through empathy, which leads to compassion, which then leads to the desire to relieve another person’s suffering.
 
Allison Kugel: For all the empaths out there, including myself, the answer is to not just feel the pain of the world, but to take loving action towards solutions where and when you can.
 
Deepak Chopra: Right, because compassion leads to love, and it leads to love-in-action. Love-in-action leads to healing. Love without action is irrelevant. And action without love is also meaningless. This is an opportunity for us to create a self-sustaining ecosystem where people support each other and help each other. Helping each other is the best way to help ourselves.
 
Allison Kugel: You’re a part of creating the Never Alone movement to provide support communities around the world, which we hope will prevent suicide and help people feel connected to real support systems. How will the Never Alone platform work, and will it be accessible to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and geographic locations? 
 
Deepak Chopra: Right now, the Never Alone platform will be run by GoFundMe. We are helping create an advisory board for the GoFundMe campaign. Our goal is to create self-sustaining grassroots movements across the world because even in very impoverished parts of the world, people now have access to wireless technology. In wisdom traditions, a healthy community has three things: people dedicated to serving the community; spiritual practice of reflective self-inquiry, and getting together with other people in the community. Today we can do that online, but we can also do that by creating our own localized communities and centers. This is not a Deepak Chopra campaign or anyone’s campaign. It should be a totally grassroots, self-sustaining campaign where we create an ecosystem for helping each other in [times of] distress.

 
Allison Kugel: With the film The Offering that you’ve recently raised funding for, this is not a documentary, correct? This is a work of fiction that is based on real stories about suicide? 
 
Deepak Chopra: The actress Gabriella Wright, her sister was a very accomplished musical artist in Europe who committed suicide at the age of 28 or 29. This is a film for awareness, in which actress Gabriella Wright is playing the role of a mother whose son commits suicide. We hope to use the film as a tool for bringing awareness to this cause, and to the Never Alone movement. When you give facts alone, some people are moved by the facts, like you were moved by the statistics. But by themselves, facts can be very dry. When they are linked to an emotional response, people feel compelled to look at the facts in a different way. We are hoping that The Offering will be a film that will bring some insight to the epidemic of loneliness. The film is only one aspect of this movement. After that, the goal of the Never Alone movement is to encourage other people to produce videos and films, and to share stories to increase awareness and create their own communities both offline and online.
 
Allison Kugel: I have a question that could be construed as controversial, but it’s been on my mind. Over the last 15 to 20 years the veil, so to speak, has been thinning in terms of more people becoming aware that our souls are eternal and that there is a spiritual dimension to which we go on; the concept that we were alive before we got here and we will be alive in spirit when we leave. Do you think this information can be a double-edged sword in the wrong hands, and that people might then see suicide as a viable option because of this? For example, the thought could be, “I don’t want to cease to exist. I just don’t want to be here.” I would hate for that to be the case…
 
Deepak Chopra: I hesitate to answer that because I don’t really know that that’s one of the reasons for the increasing epidemic of suicides. Many people do not have insight into the true nature of their soul. In the past, if you spoke about the soul or the spirit, a lot of people considered themselves scientists and secular, and they would roll their eyes and look away because you’re not talking science. Right now, there’s a big discussion among scientists about what fundamental reality is. Is fundamental reality physical, or is fundamental reality non-perceptual and in the realm of what you and I would call the soul? Scientists are now struggling with a good physical explanation for what we call “consciousness.” There’s no biological explanation for consciousness. Right now, as I’m speaking to you, all that’s going to your brain is an electrical current. You are experiencing the sound of my voice, and not only that, you are interpreting that into meaning. Where is that happening? Science has no idea. So, there are some cutting-edge scientists now that are addressing this. What we call the physical world is an interpretation of perceptual connectivity in our own consciousness. The only thing that is eternal is what you just referred to as the soul, which is not in space or time. It will take a long time for science to catch up to this idea. In the meantime, we have to deal with everyday reality. And some everyday realities, at this moment, are very depressing and it’s our own collective projection. We need to change it. 
Allison Kugel: For somebody who is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, what does it take to bring them back from the brink and to move their energy back into a space of embracing life once again?
 
Deepak Chopra: It takes a loving, compassionate, caring being to be present for them. And that’s all it takes. I think there’s no situation that is so desperate that love and compassion and presence and caring can’t alleviate it, with any kind of desperate situation. But we now need to create the platform for that.
 
Allison Kugel: Have you, yourself, at any point in your life had a suicidal thought or feeling, and if so, how did you work your way out of it? Or has a loved one of yours ever experienced something like that?
 
Deepak Chopra: I have personally never experienced this kind of extreme ideation. But when I was in active practice as an internist and an endocrinologist and emergency room physician, I saw it all the time, several times a day. And then I looked at my own family; cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts. And I don’t find a single family, including my own, where this type of extreme desperation has not resulted in a suicidal act. From my medical school days to my internship and residency, I have witnessed these kinds of ideations and this kind of outcome of extreme desperation, which we call suicide. It’s never been out of my awareness, not even a single day since I became a medical student. And I do remember also in my early growing up years, becoming aware of relatives in my extended family who have done that, so it’s a daily reminder that we need to do more to alleviate everyone’s suffering. Our own personal happiness is dependent on the happiness of others. In fact, all the data shows that the most effective way to be happy is to make someone else happy. The easiest way to make someone happy is to give them attention, which means to listen to them, not advise them, but listen to them. You don’t try to change another person. It’s hard enough to change yourself when you want to. But if you listen to them and you are there to support them, then they change, especially if you care.

 
Allison Kugel: Let’s touch on your new book, Metahuman. Does the book delve into teaching people to tap into the quantum field?
 
Deepak Chopra: The book is about what is fundamental as opposed to what is a social construct. War, terrorism, socio-economic circumstances, injustice, climate change are all because of false constructs. The falsest construct that human beings have created is that we are separate; the subject and object of experience are two different things. Right now, for example, I believe that I am the subject of this experience and you are the object of this experience. You think you are the subject of the experience and I am the object of the experience. This is an artificial divide. Unfortunately, our science is based on that, so we end up using science for diabolical purposes and ultimately risk our extinction. My book is saying that you should wake up from the dream which has now become a nightmare. And the dream is that we are separate beings. We are actually part of a holistic process and when we embrace that wholeness then we are holy, and we are healed. Wholeness, holy, health and healing go together. Everything you mentioned about mindfulness and meditation, these practices give us that experience of wholeness. When we go beyond our skin-encapsulated ego-identities, that is what the book is about.
  
Deepak Chopra’s book, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential (Harmony Books/Random House), is available wherever books are sold. Learn more about the Never Alone movement at GoFundMe.com/NeverAlone. Follow Deepak Chopra @DeepakChopra and tune in to his podcasts Infinite Potential and Daily Breath for your regular dose of Deepak, wherever podcasts stream.
 
Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment columnist, author of the memoir, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record, and owner of communications firm, Full Scale Media. Follow her on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at AllisonKugel.com.
 
Photo Credits: Todd MacMillan, Jeremiah Sullivan, Harmony Books/Random Hous
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The Big Reason This Successful Crazy Rich Asians Star Still Lives With An “All I Need Is $500/Month” Mentality

Last year, Awkwafina became the first Asian-American to win the Golden Globe for best actress for her lead role performance in the musical or comedy category in the 2019 drama “The Farewell” which solidified her status in Hollywood.

The talented rapper, comedian, and actress also appeared in two box office hits in 2018: “Ocean’s 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” Thanks to her big roles in these movies, she has an estimated net worth in the millions.

But even though she’s got money to burn these days, Awkwafina still plays it safe when it comes to handling her money. She told guest host Lisa Ling on an episode of “Death, Sex & Money” that she doesn’t “splurge on literally anything,” and that she’s quite frugal when it comes to buying clothes: “I’m literally wearing Target pants.”

She also still lives in the first apartment she moved into after college as per CNBC – which happens to be a railroad apartment in Brooklyn, New York, that she discovered through a friend.

CNBC further confirmed that her philosophy about money came from her grandmother, who helped raise her in Queens after her mother died when she was just four years old. Unfortunately, her grandmother’s restaurant went bankrupt, which forced her grandmother to work four jobs to generate income.

Awkwafina also told Ling that her grandmother used to constantly worry about money. She said, “she would lie awake sometimes, and we’d be next to each other, and I asked her, ‘What is your only wish, Grandma?’ And she was like, ‘Just being able to pay my bills this month.’ … It was something that ate at her and I remember as a kid thinking that we don’t have money.”

This is the big reason why Awkwafina still lives like she can go bankrupt anytime even though her career is now well and truly established. In fact, she told Wealthsimple that “if I get a big check, I try really hard to just put it in a savings account and not touch it.”

Editorial credit: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com

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The Big Reason Former NBA Star Shaquille O’Neal Rejected A $40 Million Sneaker Deal

Former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal has revealed how an old woman cursed him out which led to him walking away from a massive $40 million deal with Reebok.

According to the New York Post, Shaq recently appeared on the Full Send podcast, wherein he decided to share what he considers as his “best” business story.

The four-time NBA champion explained how he was approached and confronted by a foul-mouthed woman over his pending Reebok deal.

O’Neal said, “I’m leaving the arena one day, and this lady, she’s ripping me a new a – ‘You motherf***ers, charging these babies all this money for the shoes.'”

“So I had like, $2000 in my pocket, and I was like, ‘Ma’am, I don’t make the prices, here you go’ – and she smacked the money out of my hand.”

O’Neal then explained that the woman responded by angrily saying: “Why don’t you motherf***ers make a shoe that’s affordable?”

Somehow, this abrupt interaction with the woman made him question his decisions in life.

“I was like, ‘You know what, she’s right.’ So that day, I cut ties with Reebok and started my own brand,” he quipped. “I said, ‘Keep the money. This ain’t right. I’ll still wear the shoes I wear during the season, but I’ll be looking to do my own thing.’ So, I started the Shaq brand.”

O’Neal further said: “I went to my favourite store, Walmart, and we did a deal. I was in all stores and my price point for the shoes was $29-$19 and since then we sold over 400 million pairs… It’s not kids that don’t want to wear $20 shoes, they don’t want to wear shoes that look like they cost $20.”

Editorial credit: Ron Adar / Shutterstock.com

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Get To Know Entrepreneur And Best-Selling Author William S. Matthews

William S. Matthews is a passionate modern-day renaissance man with big dreams and even bigger ambitions. Being a best-selling author, world-recognized public speaker, and successful real estate investor, was never William’s goal. Ever since he was a young boy in his native Houston, Texas, William had one dream – to be successful and enjoy life to the fullest. Even if it meant stepping out of his comfort zone or going the extra mile.

Today, William is still actively pursuing his childhood dream every single day. From project management to workshop facilitation, and from keynote speaking, to fundraising millions, William’s detail-oriented, energetic, and dynamic personality allows him to lead and take part in multiple projects for both nonprofit and corporate entities. But that is not enough.

He is the author of two best-selling books “Everything I Need to Know about Life I Learned from an Event Planner” (On Demand Publishing, 2013), as well as “Everything I Need to Know about Money I Learned from My Broke @$$ Friends” (On Demand Publishing, 2015) that have touched and inspired thousands to change their mindsets.

People who have worked with William will describe him as a charismatic, charming, and energetic change maker with an impeccable sense of style, but in his mind, he is nothing more than a go-getter.

His background in real estate, event planning, and corporate community relations, has shaped his signature approach that combines his entrepreneurial alter-ego with his uncompromising personality and philanthropist mindset.

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

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

My name is William Matthews, and I am from Houston. I have spent over ten years working with many of Houston’s top social, corporate, and non-profit institutions, and my work has included community outreach, project management, workshop felicitation, fundraising, and keynote speaking. For the past five years, I have been a public and community affairs professional with a substantial knowledge base in the areas of corporate relations, civic engagement, and real estate development. Additionally, I have written guides to personal finance and event planning, and I just released my third book, “Everything I Needed to Know About Corporate America.”

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

Growing up in Houston with parents who were real estate brokers, I spent many hours surrounded by entrepreneurs of all types, which I think helped inspire me toward my future career. But my mother was always my biggest cheerleader inspiring me to pursue my career, follow my passion, and stay true to who I am. Starting from a very early age, I saw how she maneuvered all of her responsibilities- from managing a business, taking care of her family, to being a member or board member of a variety of organizations. My mom proved to me that as long as you have passion and drive, you can do everything that you aspire to do professionally and still be an amazing parent. One of her favorite quotes is “Quitters never win, and winners never quit,” which I still live by to this day.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

My background in real estate development, event planning, and fund development has shaped my signature approach that combines my entrepreneurial alter-ego with an uncompromising personality and philanthropist mindset. I strive to resonate with my audience at each speaking engagement with my sense of humor, wit, and descriptions of the challenges that I have faced. Growing up, I had a major chip on my shoulder after being kicked out of five schools and told by many I wouldn’t amount to anything. Since then, I have achieved two degrees, written three books, raised millions of dollars for organizations, and completed a leadership program at Harvard University.

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

The freedom to go at your own pace and work with your own team is one of the greatest benefits. I look at it as you are the director of your own movie so you get to select your supporting cast, your budget, your script, you get to do everything. It’s completely different when you are just hired to be an actor or an extra when you work for someone else. It gives you the freedom to be your own director.

In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.

Renaissance. That is the word that I use to describe myself because I think as an entrepreneur you’re not just in one field; I’m an author, public speaker, I’m in real estate, and more so I think it all goes back to my brand of being a renaissance man. I think that one word cultivates and says a lot about being an entrepreneur.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

My parents for one, because they were entrepreneurs so it was constantly instilled in me. That was a big motivating factor. Also, going back to a previous question, you get to go at your own pace. You get to decide who you work with, what projects to be a part of, you get to say no to someone, instead of someone just handing you something and saying go and do this. I can choose what I want to be a part of and make sure it aligns with my brand. Another motivating factor is just the freedom and flexibility it gives you, which is something that most entrepreneurs love. Especially this year and being able to work from home. You don’t have to go to the office and put yourself at risk in this pandemic. If I wanted to, I could go work in the Dominican Republic for an entire month and no one would even know.

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

Knowing your audience for one, whether you are selling a product or giving a service, or whatever case, you really need to know who your audience is. I think that is the first thing that you need to do. Secondly, you need to make sure that you have a strong sense of community around you to help guide you. One of those could be a financial advisor, another one could be an accountability partner or just a person you vent to when things aren’t going the correct way. They say it takes a village and I truly believe that, so you need to have your village lined up before you decide to embark on your entrepreneurial journey. Lastly, I think it’s important to have a mentor that is in your field, and a mentor that looks like you, as well as a mentor that isn’t in your field and doesn’t look like you to help guide you.

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

Getting the word out there is always the difficult part for a lot of entrepreneurs. It is also getting people to give you a chance and an opportunity as you are trying to build your portfolio, your brand, and your client base. Everyone has to start somewhere and what happens to new people is that no one really wants to give them a chance because they want to work with experienced people. Everyone needs a start, so just start with family and friends first, or reduce your price the first few times, or take a free gig until you build your portfolio, your reputation, and your brand. And then you can go out there and charge what you are worth. You know your worth, but competition is tough and for people to want to take a chance on you, sometimes you just have to play the game until you can really write your own rules.

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

Utilizing social media is a really great form of marketing. Also using word of mouth, reaching out to family, friends, and any other connections you have, is also extremely important. It really goes back to the old-school marketing methods. Sending out email blasts to family and friends or sending text messages to all of your contacts. It is so important to reach out and catch up with people, especially during this pandemic, and with that, you can also have a way to talk about your business and what you have been working on. They can support you by spreading the word even more. Posting about your services or your product on social media pages, or writing positive reviews is so helpful. It can be time-consuming, but if you just stick to it, it will pay off.

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

There is nothing worse than a leader who does not listen and claims to know everything. The best leaders surround themselves with people who challenge them and add value to the overall team. I have been the most successful with supervisors who had an open-door policy, and who always greeted me with a warm smile and offered me constructive feedback. While my ideas were not always accepted, they were encouraged, and that is what gave me the confidence to continue sharing my thoughts and made me proud to be a part of the team.

Furthermore, any good leader should be comfortable with being uncomfortable, because that is when they are growing the most. Comfort and growth do not go together!

Finally, another component of great leadership is to refrain from compromising your morals or beliefs to fit into the “status quo.” One of the best pieces of advice a former boss shared with me was: “I’ll give you my opinion, but my beliefs are not up for debate.” In other words, don’t sacrifice who you are to get a seat at the table. Your beliefs and experiences are what make you valuable to a team, and as such, it is critical to retain these in everything that you do. I try to live each day by this quote, as it helps me remember who I am as I lead my team.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

There has been so much advice that has been important to me. There is a quote that my mother had in her office that said “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” For the longest time, I didn’t even know what that meant. It wasn’t until being in high school, I understood what that meant. There was another one that my mom would always tell me and write down in letters and cards which was “Keep your eye on the prize.” Those are the two that I think are really beneficial for entrepreneurs. I also think if you go into anything with money as the motivating factor, you won’t get the results that you want. I know it’s hard to say and hard to do, but don’t go into it with a money mindset. I don’t write books or do speaking engagements or get up every day for money, that’s not a motivating factor for me, that’s not how I live my life. I think that has allowed me to be successful and most importantly, happy.

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

I’d recommend a few things! First, don’t let anybody tell you who you are. I always try to live by the phrase, “Know who you are as a person, and don’t do things to fit in.” Whether you’re in the music industry, politics, or the corporate world, these words are essential to live by. Many times, especially for people who are just starting with their first job, everyone around you will try to tell you who you are. While it may be difficult to live by these words at first, ultimately, doing things just to try to fit in does more harm than good. It’s important to find this for yourself and then stick with those values throughout your career. What type of leader are you? What values are important to you? Don’t sacrifice these important qualities for a seat at the table- other great opportunities will come.
Next, surround yourself with people who hold you accountable, and who don’t simply agree with everything you say. My top five friends are what I call my “Board of Directors,” and they make sure to both hold me responsible for my actions and also celebrate my wins!
Finally, make sure that you read a lot of books on entrepreneurship and leadership, and find a mentor in your chosen field. Also, remember comfort and growth do not go together. When you feel uncomfortable, that’s you growing as a person.

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Reese Witherspoon Just Became The World’s Richest Actress

Actress Reese Witherspoon has just sold her five-year-old media company Hello Sunshine for $900 million and according to the Wall Street Journal, the buyer is a media company backed by the private equity firm – Blackstone Group Inc.  This makes the Reese the richest actress in the world according to Forbes.

Witherspoon in a statement as per Complex, “today marks a tremendous moment for Hello Sunshine.” She further said, “I started this company to change the way all women are seen in media. Over the past few years, we have watched our mission thrive through books, TV, film, and social platforms. Today, we’re taking a huge step forward by partnering with Blackstone, which will enable us to tell even more entertaining, impactful, and illuminating stories about women’s lives globally.”

Hello Sunshine centers on stories by and for women. The company has produced films such as Gone Girl and Wild and TV shows including HBO’s Big Little Lies, Apple’s The Morning Show, and Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere. “I’m going to double down on that mission to hire more female creators from all walks of life and showcase their experiences,” Witherspoon said in a statement as per Vanity Fair. “This is a meaningful move in the world because it really means that women’s stories matter.”

The yet-to-be-named media venture Blackstone will be run by former Walt Disney Co. executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs. They said in a statement as per Complex, “We are thrilled to partner with Reese, Sarah, and the entire Hello Sunshine team.” They also said, “Hello Sunshine is a perfect fit for our vision of a new, next-generation entertainment, technology, and commerce company. We seek to empower creators with innovation, capital, and scale to inspire, entertain, and delight global audiences with engaging content, experiences, and products. Our platform will foster a uniquely creator-friendly culture that gives elite talent the resources they need to create and capitalize on their best, most inventive work. We look forward to backing Reese, Sarah, and their world-class team as they continue to produce and identify dynamic, engaging content for years to come.”

Editorial credit: Ga Fullner / Shutterstock.com

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Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The August 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Agus Dinata

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A hardworking entrepreneur, Agus Dinata specializes in cryptocurrency and the tech industry. Originally hailing from a humble background, Agus’ parents were strict and disciplined when it came to education. He was always taught to be independent and not to cause any trouble for others. His parents also taught him to live a disciplined life, regularly plan for the future, and always be punctual. He truly believes that he grew up different from other young people because of his parents’ guidance. He didn’t party nor did he play too much when his friends were having the time of their lives. Instead, at the age of 16, he was already business-minded; his entrepreneurial mindset has always been encouraged by his family, especially by his parents who always encouraged him to be an independent person. At the age of 20, he decided to join his parents and help out running their business. It was also at that point when he was also thinking about establishing his own business.

Agus has always been interested in starting a business within the technology space especially something that’s related to web and mobile applications. In 2010, he started getting into cryptocurrency which was very new at that time – most people still did not know what cryptocurrency was. Eventually, he decided to try running a business within the cryptocurrency industry. Without much preparation, he just jumped straight into the crypto world through various companies that at that time, launched crypto-based projects. Then finally in 2019, he initiated a fairly massive business in Indonesia with an established loyal community that consisted of thousands of people. The business was called “Smart Ecosystem,” Agus, along with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs created this smart contract-based ecosystem that in the future can disrupt the technology industry; specifically when it comes to creating utilities that can benefit many people in the long term.

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

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

Education and internalization of militancy or leadership values are my backbones when it comes to developing a cryptocurrency-based business that opens up opportunities for others to participate in the market and make profits through the affiliate system the I am currently working on, i.e., the “Smart Ecosystem.” The type of business with an underlying asset such as crypto is indeed unique because you could say that marketing or customer acquisition is not the most important part of the business. Similar to many other digital businesses, there are more crucial things to look into such as community management, community education, and project management. With good community management and education, we can create numerous loyal customers which we currently call the cool “Smart Army”, this is a community of people who are loyal to this smart ecosystem business. Besides marketing, we also provide education about crypto fundamentals, DeFi, as well as promote the spirit of leadership to the Smart Army.

Additionally, my team and I constantly develop the business by conducting seminars both online and offline in various cities in Indonesia since 2019. Even though we are currently facing a massive challenge due to the ongoing pandemic in Indonesia, we are still trying to continue to grow by investing in research and development, especially those related to smart contracts and AI (artificial intelligence). Finally, after a very long preparation, we are about to launch the latest sub-products and systems of the Smart Ecosystem, namely: Smart Academy, Smart Living, Smart Utilities, and Smart Wealth. Several sub-products of the Smart Ecosystem have contributed to each other to provide more benefits and income opportunities to the Smart Army.

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

Twitter and Youtube. They have become the favourite social media for cryptocurrency enthusiasts because on Twitter there are numerous tweets from influential people from all over the world who support the cryptocurrency existence and its development globally. We also frequently use YouTube as a medium for interaction with the community to increase community engagement.

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

Talking about our experience in using paid advertising, we always do trial and error and various experiments before we determine a paid advertising channel that is suitable for a typical niche market business like ours. In the end, we decided on some of the most suitable paid advertising channels, i.e., advertising through social media such as Twitter, Youtube, and several websites specific to the crypto industry that are frequently visited such as Coinmarketcap, Coinecko, and so on. The impact of paid advertising is huge if we do the right analysis beforehand such as being attentive to the factors of traffic, visitor personality, good copywriting, and one more thing, an eye-catchy animation-based promotional video content, so that makes it easier to deliver marketing content more emotionally and ultimately convert visitors into buyers.

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?

Brand awareness and customer engagement are the two most important elements of product management we created. We took several strategic steps to ensure that our brand continues to be the leader in the market even though we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We do cross-selling through the sub-products we launched, and provide additional benefits beyond the main benefits. So that our customers can continue to automatically engage with our business longer while providing them with a platform to gain income through a Smart Ecosystem called Smart Wealth. Smart Wealth is a decentralized platform that allows the Smart Army to contribute to smart token sales and Smart Army licenses. So, we can also make efficient customer acquisition costs due to the very large contribution from the Smart Army. Through these strategies, we firmly believe we can build and continue to maintain brand awareness of the Smart Ecosystem.

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

Marketing by influencers and the affiliate system which is a sub-product of the Smart Ecosystem, namely Smart Wealth, has become the main strategy of our marketing and sales division. Apart from it, we also carry out various marketing strategies such as digital marketing, paid advertising, copywriting, video marketing, and so on.

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

The toughest decision I’ve ever made in the last few months was to lay off some staff due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is very hard for us to do this because we have a corporate culture that emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and mutual understanding on issues between divisions so that we can maintain a very close relationship between colleagues in the company like a family.

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

A money management mistake I made a few years back before I started my Smart Ecosystem business was that I didn’t realize the importance of portfolio diversification in multi-product financial management. I used to think that some products could be managed through centralized organization and financial management. However, it turns out that this has actually backfired because there is a conflict of interest between the interests of one product and another. It has really been my biggest lesson and I have now diversified a good portfolio of products from the Smart Ecosystem.

What new business would you love to start?

Financial products, such as E-Payment. In fact, I have prepared this for a long time and it is designed as a long-term goal that I can achieve together with the Smart Army community. We design e-wallets like Alipay and Google Pay, but it is backed up directly by one of our tokens, SMT cash. In the future, we will name it Smartpay, the one and only e-wallet with underlying crypto where the underlying SMT cash is designed as an absolute deflationary token or non-inflation-able token.

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

I would have started a Smart Ecosystem business back in 2010! Unfortunately, this brilliant idea came to me in 2019 and it got further improved this year. If I worked on this idea even earlier, its value would be much bigger now.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

In the past, when I first started a business, I was always thinking about how I can increase personal wealth through business. And it affected the business; the business was unable to develop properly and management fell apart. Until one time I got advice from a person (I can’t mention his name) and this person said “Don’t even think about starting a business so you can have a lot of money. Instead, start a business so you can make a difference in people’s lives.” I continue to take this advice to heart up to now so I can be in this position.

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

My advice for newbie entrepreneurs who are starting their business is to never have a mental block when it comes to starting a business and initiating a business based on trends. Expand your relationships, and learn about the industry you’re interested in deeply and seriously. Don’t invest in a business you don’t understand.

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One On One With Jeremy Stewart – One Of The Co-Founders Of The Award-Winning Animism Studios

Jeremy Stewart is an award-winning animator with over 20 years of experience in the film industry. Prior to Animism Studios, he was an animation supervisor at Double Negative, a 5x Oscar-winning Visual Effects Studio. He has also held Supervisor and lead roles at several other top studios. His long list of credits includes MarveL’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, Pacific Rim II, Jurassic World, Star Trek: Beyond, The Thing, X-men, Happy Feet, Charlotte’s Web, and many more.

With fellow founders Victor Barbosa and Stephen Kelloway, they have built a Visual Effects VFX company that creates stunning visuals and animation for movies, episodic series, commercials, and more. The company started as 5 artists and quickly grew to 30 prior to the pandemic slowdown. This boutique studio employs some of the world’s top VFX artists. The studio has won numerous awards and its clients include; Netflix, Apple TV, MGM, and Paramount.

Global Millionaire Magazine recently caught up with Jeremy to discuss his journey in the entertainment world and here’s what went down:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

My parents are entrepreneurs, so I think I inherited their entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic. From when I was 11 years old I always had some little side jobs like mowing lawns, a paper route, or washing cars. Shortly after I started my career as an animator I realized that I was more like a sole proprietor than an employee. In this industry employment is project-based, artists like myself are offered contracts for anything from a few weeks to a few years. Most animators crave the security of full-time employment. However, I was always more interested in finding the next opportunity that would offer a new challenge where I could learn or improve.

How did your life look before being an entrepreneur?

As an employee, I was an intrapreneur and focused on my career goals. I’d take on extra responsibilities, learn new skills in my spare time, or take on side projects to build up my portfolio. Now as an owner my focus is totally on the company and the success of our
employees, not me or my career.

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

What motivates me is a desire to grow. Before co-founding Animism Studios I felt I was near the limit of how far I could go as an employee. So it was only natural that when I met the right people we would start a company together. Now we’re building something much bigger than what we could as individuals.

In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.

Rollercoaster. Because the ups and downs seem to happen when you least expect them which makes it an exciting ride.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

It seemed like a great opportunity. It was a chance to be much more than an animator, a chance to take my creative talents and leadership skills to the next level. As I mentioned I was raised by entrepreneurs who were always encouraging me to start my own business. However, it wasn’t till I connected with the right people who had the same ambitions that starting a VFX business seemed possible. Full credit goes to my fellow co-founders. So it was a combination of timing, ambition, and meeting the right people that motivated me to leave a good job and take the risk.

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

In our case, it all comes down to the people in our organization. Without my fellow founders, our employees, and our network of supporters we would not be in business, let alone successful.

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

The other founders and I are well established as VFX artists but not so much in business, so the formal side of building the business has been challenging at times. My personal challenge has been sales, but I seem to be getting the hang of it. Surviving the slowdown caused by COVID-19 has been our biggest challenge so far. We overcame all these challenges thanks to our great team, strong networks, and a lot of hard work.

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

We have a good presence on Linkedin and social media. However old fashioned word-of-mouth networking seems to be giving us the best results.

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

Work with people based on their reputation, not their resumes. As a leader, you need to protect your team from external problems. So never make their lives (and yours) more difficult by bringing someone into your organization that is not a team player. We all make mistakes, so the moment you realize you’ve made a hiring mistake fix it right away.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The company comes first. I have plenty of personal goals and ambitions but they all come second to the success of the business and the team. This may sound a bit cliche but when the company succeeds we all succeed.

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

Figure out your “Why”. Why do you want to be an entrepreneur? Your “why” doesn’t need to be anything deep, you just need something more than money to motivate you to put in the long hours, push past the setbacks, deal with the frustrations, and all the not-so-nice stuff that comes with setting up a business. The other good bit of advice I got was “build your network before you need it”. I’m amazed and grateful for the help I’ve been given from the people in my network. In my opinion, the best way to get help is to give help. So if any of your readers could use my help please feel free to connect with me on Linkedin.