Millionaire Spotlight: Get To Know Successful Entrepreneur & Record Executive Damon Dash

By Allison Kugel

In this eclectic interview, Damon Dash and fiancée Raquel “Rocky” Horn, take me behind the scenes and into their day-to-day life as parents to their one-year-old son, Dusko, their plant-based lifestyle, and even their son’s guitar lessons (yes, he takes guitar lessons.).

They share candid and unfiltered information about their intimate life, their long term engagement, how they’re raising their son, and why Damon chose to participate in the newly released documentary film, They’re Trying to Kill Us, which examines chronic illness and early deaths among underserved communities of color.

In the second half of the interview, Dame gets real about living with PTSD, his love of weed, and his thoughts on the recent Astroworld Music Festival tragedy that claimed ten lives and injured hundreds of other concertgoers.

Allison Kugel: Your son, Dusko, is the cutest!

Dame Dash:  Thank you. I appreciate that. He has brought so much joy to us, and my whole family.

Allison Kugel: Both of you have been on a plant-based journey for a long time. Who led the way on that?   

Dame Dash: We do everything together. There is nothing we do not do together.

Allison Kugel:  But who was it that said, “Let’s eat plant-based?”

Dame Dash: Rocky wanted to go plant-based for a while, but I ate very simple things at the time; cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, not very healthy. I was always disgusted by myself for that, so there would be times when she first met me, that I was a vegetarian.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: He never ate anything that looked like an animal, so there was never a meat on a bone situation. Never anything that looked or reminded him of an animal, so no seafood, ever.

Allison Kugel: It had to be in a nugget.  It couldn’t look like a chicken, right (laughs)?

Dame Dash: It was me not exactly addressing the truth, so after a while, she was starting to transition off of meat and she was cooking a certain way to transition me. She was sneaking it in because she is sneaky. We watched the documentary, What the Health, and that day after I saw the puss and the doo doo, and the cancer, and the diabetes; logically, I could not ever go back to even taking a bite [of meat] once in a while. I remember a week or two after I tried to take a bite at the farmer’s market…

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: No, we went to the Jamaican place and there was oxtail, and he just said, “I’m going to have to order a sample to see it.” He then went and threw up in the bathroom.

Dame Dash: I just couldn’t do it.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: We started this network called the Dash Diabetes Network. Damon is a Type 1 diabetic, and in my research learning about diabetes, I just started seeing that it was all going back to dairy and meat products. The information was everywhere, and all of a sudden What the Health came out and just confirmed it.

Dame Dash: We had just gotten a bunch of bacon, and I used to love bacon.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: We got rid of everything and changed our lives in 24 hours. From then on, we have had so many of our friends watch that film, and for us, it was just logical.”

Dame Dash: A plate of food and just a little bit of animal feces is on it, then I’m not going to touch that food. Or, like, if a rat runs over it, in the food industry there is a certain amount of tolerance for rat hair and tolerance for fecal matter in the food. I just can’t do i

Allison Kugel: Damon, you are a Type 1 diabetic as is my father, and that is genetic. But many people are living with Type 2 Diabetes or are what is called “pre-diabetic” due to poor lifestyle choices. What I found interesting in What the Health was when Doctor Neil Barnard said that Type 2 Diabetes is actually created when there is so much fat being stored in our cells that the sugar (glucose) which is our body’s primary source of fuel, can’t find its way into the cells, so the sugar builds up in the blood and that is Type 2 Diabetes.

Dame Dash: And what happens is your pancreas produces a certain amount of insulin to bring that sugar down, so if you have too much of it, then your pancreas is not producing enough insulin to cover all those simple carbs in your body and break that down. That is from eating meat and dairy.

Allison Kugel: When I spoke with you a few years back about your film, Honor Up, you spoke about losing your mother when you were fifteen.  Did she pass away due to chronic health issues?

Dame Dash: Yes, from asthma.

Allison Kugel: When you look back on that now, do you think diet or lifestyle and environment may have played a role in her condition?

Dame Dash: I don’t know, because she was actually pretty healthy. My mom went through different phases with her health, but she always had asthma and a lot of that is hereditary. That is why I have [Type 1] Diabetes. My mom was always conscious of our food, but I did eat some bullshit with her. I do think, the anxiety and stress of being a Black woman and alone may have added to it. But I remember her saying to me, “Don’t ever let yourself say you have it, or that it is yours (regarding inheriting his mother’s asthma). It’s not yours.” And I was too much of an athletic guy to be wheezing.

Allison Kugel: How did you get involved with this new film, They’re Trying to Kill Us (produced and directed by Keegan Kuhn, who also worked on What the Health)?

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: One of our friends is good friends with Bad Ass Vegan [John Lewis].

Dame Dash: A friend of a friend, John Salley, knew them.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: We had a friend who is really good friends with Bad Ass Vegan, and made the interview happen with Damon. From there, we actually got to interview both of them for my show, Health Is Wealth. So we flipped the cameras on them.

Allison Kugel: Damon, what are your thoughts on some of the conclusions drawn in the film, They’re Trying to Kill Us, regarding slavery and how a lot of foods and lifestyle choices that Black Americans consider to be part of their culture, are actually detrimental to their health and throwbacks to slavery? What are your thoughts on that?

Dame Dash: I think it is strategic. It’s brilliant that the enemy used that as warfare, and how long it has affected us. Now that we are aware of it, we should just break the program. [Corporations and politicians] know how to keep us in a place of distress and keep us unhealthy and arguing with each other and struggling. Keep us hating each other. They know how to keep making us eat to escape the life we hate. Look at what many of us eat while we come out of the church, while we are worshiping their God, in the name Jesus, which is a European interpretation of the name Joshua (or Yeshua). So they give us this food to eat after they have given us that religion, and that is the reason most people are depressed. Unless we are happy with being unhappy, why would we not change it? The only way to change something is to do it differently, and you have to make a change to be a change. So, what is the change going to be? If you want your circumstances different, you have to do it differently. Are you going to eat differently?  Think different? Love different? Are you going to love yourself different? It has to be different to have a different outcome.

Allison Kugel: The film also talks about urban areas devoid of healthy grocery stores, called “food deserts.” Neighborhoods are filled with bodegas, liquor stores, fast food, but no healthy options. Was that your experience growing up?

Dame Dash: There was always a grocery store. But that little quick fix was also always readily available.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: You mainly ate at the bodegas.

Dame Dash: Yes, I ate at the bodegas. That is my point and what I’m saying. I would go to the bodegas instead of going to the grocery store because instead of spending ten dollars, I would spend one dollar. I would end up buying fast food or potato chips and buying what I could get for that dollar.  It was those short fixes and it was unhealthy, but would get you through the day. That is still every day, all day, for a lot of people’s whole life.

Allison Kugel: Tell me if you guys agree with this, because I’ve been eating a lot more plant-based foods lately, and I find I am not as hungry, overall? You’re eating less calories, but you are eating more nutritionally dense food, and you’re not hungry as much. Is that true for you?

Dame Dash:  It depends. We are in the house a lot and we are next to a kitchen, so we snack a lot! But while I’m working, I also smoke weed all day, so I’m high.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: I do believe that the good food you eat makes your body feel better, and it also makes you feel energized. You have proper energy rather than empty calories from bad food.

Dame Dash: Good food and sex are important.

Allison Kugel: I agree (laugh), but food and sex don’t go together. You have to be on an empty stomach.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: Like, a full Thanksgiving belly is…

Allison Kugel: Right. Who wants to have sex on Thanksgiving? You can’t.

Dame Dash: But every other day, there has to be sex. We have sex in the morning now. It’s been a little challenging having a baby, only because he sleeps with us and he’s definitely monopolized the top part of her body, and he’s a hater.  He can sense me touching her. He doesn’t want another brother there. He says, “Mommy” all day. He’s the boss, so I do have a boss now. He’s my little CEO, and he’s better dressed than me. The whole house is him. I have to sing to him. We make songs together.  He plays the piano and the guitar.  He’s about to have a guitar lesson.  He’s stuck on The Beatles and he is very musical because I turned him into a rock star. And he’s pretty much been eating plant-based too.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: I wrote a book for him, that just came out, called, Dusko Goes to Space.

Allison Kugel:  Oh, that is so cute.

Raquel “Rocky” Horn:  Yeah, it’s about him and his best friend, Governor, traveling, and they are about two. His whole [nursery] is space-themed, like his book, with all of the planets.

Allison Kugel: Do you want Dusko to go into the music industry?

Raquel “Rocky” Horn: I don’t mind it. Whatever he wants to do, I just want him to be creative.

Allison:  Are you and Dame going to get married?

Raquel “Rocky” Horn:  At some point, after Covid ends. I want to show you the engagement ring I gave Damon. I gave Damon an engagement ring. I had been wanting to give him that.  Damon’s birthstone is emerald, and I love emeralds.  I’ve always loved emeralds since I was a little kid, so it was a really special thing. I thought, “Why do girls always get the engagement ring?  So I got him one, too.

Allison Kugel: Dame, what did you think of Rocky giving you an engagement ring?

Dame Dash:  I loved it. It was beautiful.

Allison Kugel: That didn’t throw you off?

Dame Dash: We’re pretty strategic about what we do, so it was just the timing of it all. She had already accepted my engagement. We’ve asked each other to marry each other so many times and my tax problems were in the way, so we are almost there. We have a baby, and we are so in love that we don’t even know when or what, but it just goes without saying.  It just represents how fly our relationship is.

Allison Kugel:  Weird question: Do you consider weed part of a healthy lifestyle?

Dame Dash: I think it’s different strokes for different folks.  I’m a stoner. I really believe weed is healthy, cannabis. I’m part Anunnaki, and I know the Anunnaki’s brought weed to this planet.

Allison Kugel: Can you function and think clearly when you are not smoking?

Dame Dash: Yes, but I have more patience when I’m smoking. I’m easily triggered because I think the rest of the world is dumb. They’re slow, and I just don’t have time for it. Not many people are cut from the same cloth as me. I can’t judge people, because they are not as evolved. I just have to stay away from them.

Allison Kugel: Would you say you are outside the “matrix?”

Dame Dash: I think I’m more aware.  I don’t know why, but I’ve had a heightened level of awareness of self-worth since the day I was born. I know I come from a royal lineage, and I just know I’m meant to be a king and treated like one, and a real king fights for his love. What comes with being a king is not just reaping the fruits, it’s fighting for it.

Allison Kugel: What are your thoughts on what happened with the Astroworld Music Festival tragedy? Do you think that would have happened in the music business of twenty years ago?

Dame Dash: It did happen twenty years ago. It happened with Puff at the CCNY Charity basketball game put on by Puff and Heavy D in 1991, and I was there. Seven people died, they got smothered. I saw that happen. I actually lost friends in situations like that. I don’t know the homeboy (Travis Scott), and I can’t blame anybody because I don’t know enough about it, but those things have happened, yes, and I’ve been a part of those kinds of tragedies. I’ve seen what it looks like to see people get smothered in the confusion and the chaos that comes with it. I actually know what it feels like to be in that situation, but I was up in the stands, so I got in early, but they all got stuck in the staircase and shit. I lost my friend. Her name was Dawn and she died at that basketball game. Life is so unpredictable, how something that is supposed to be a dream turns into a nightmare. That is why you have to be conscious of things. I would not have had children there. I would not have brought my kids to that festival, that is one thing I would not have done. When I hear about children being there, I think, “Why was a nine-year-old there in the first place?”

Allison Kugel: I know, but I feel so terrible to put shame on a parent that is already grieving the loss of a child. You know what I mean?

Dame Dash: I’m not putting shame. No shame. Nothing but compassion, but at the end of the day, please don’t take your children, during Covid, to a concert where there are a bunch of adults you know who are going to be getting high. That doesn’t make logical sense. I feel sorry for every single person that had to experience that. What happened thirty years ago still sticks with me. Whether I got affected or not, I got affected. I lost people and I saw people lose their lives.

Allison Kugel: Would you say you had PTSD from your experience?

Dame Dash: I still have it. I have it from a lot of things. That is why I talk to a therapist and I have a show on my network called Healing is Gangsta. I have had a lot of trauma that I had to deal with. Being from this culture is traumatizing. Being a woman in this culture must be doubly traumatizing.  People think it’s normal, and it’s not. You can’t let your normal be unhappy or being uncomfortable. For me, if I’m bothered, I want answers right now.  I’m not internalizing anything, because it causes cancer.  If we have stress that we are internalizing it is going to make us sick inside. I couldn’t imagine not having enough courage to speak exactly what I’m feeling honestly, every time I feel it. If I had to hold everything in that I’m feeling, I would be miserable. That is the reason I’m so happy because there is nothing but honest words coming out of my mouth.

Listen to the extended interview with Damon Dash on the Allison Interviews Podcast at Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and watch on YouTube. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at

Watch the groundbreaking documentary film, They’re Trying to Kill Us, featuring interview commentary by Damon Dash about communities of color and health. Tune in to Dame Dash Studios content streaming on Fox Soul every Saturday at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT. Follow on Instagram @duskopoppington and @raquelmhorn.


Entrepreneur Spotlight: Meet Master P, The Founder Of One Of The Biggest Independent Record Labels Of All Time

By Allison Kugel

Sitting among carved mahogany wood paneled accents and with displayed awards gathered from an unrivaled multi-hyphenate career, Master P began our conversation by allowing me to take the floor. Not surprisingly, he is a master delegator with a brilliant sense of when to shoot the ball and when to pass it. One of the greatest minds to emerge from the 1990s hip hop pantheon, Percy “Master P” Miller transcended a childhood of poverty in New Orleans’ Calliope Projects, to become a beacon of generational wealth, divested business interests, and ownership in an industry once notorious for exploiting its artists. From music, movies and real estate, to the food and automotive industries, his portfolio continues to grow.

A true gentleman who prefers to remain above the fray of controversy and relishes sharing the spotlight with those around him, Master P’s example and mentorship has guided artists from Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Wayne, and 2 Chainz, to his eldest son, rapper, actor and entrepreneur, Romeo Miller. Master P understood the power of ownership long before Instagram and the age of celebrity branding. Romeo Miller credits his father’s example as the driving force in his own life. He tells me, “Growing up watching one of the best and most powerful businessmen to ever do it guided me to be the man I am today. And according to Romeo, his father’s lessons went well beyond material success. “The biggest lesson I learned from him was to simply be a good person. Owning a business and brand doesn’t matter if you aren’t giving back.”

Master P’s latest project is the upcoming film, #Unknown, a creative collaboration with his son and co-executive producer, Romeo Miller; and the film’s producer, writer and director, LazRael Lison. Lison describes the film as, “a mystery thriller that gets pretty intense, and great for this Halloween season.”

Master P plays the mayor of a town in a string of alleged unsolved murders, as a local novelist abandons his second book to attempt to solve the mystery of these crimes; his own life unraveling in the process.

When it comes to directing the man who is used to calling the shots, LazRael Lison sings his praises, recalling, “Master P went over and beyond,” adding, “it’s always so cool when you can see the Executive Producer also be a student. As a businessman, P wears so many hats and that requires flexibility. As a director I’m always flexible in a sense that I can write it on paper, but when you give a soul to that character, it’s all you. Watching P bring [this role] to life, when people see him, they’ll think, ‘Wow, I really enjoyed that!’”

Allison Kugel: What are the top three things that have shaped the person you are today?

Master P: I would first say God, my kids, my family, and just being able to be blessed.

Allison Kugel: But is there anything in your life that was a turning point, that completely transformed you? 

Master P: I started realizing that we don’t have to dwell on our past, that it’s okay to move forward; it’s okay to better yourself.  It’s ok to have faith. Nobody is perfect. That’s what it was for me.  I feel like once I started having kids, I realized I have more to live for and I wanted to be around to watch them grow up, so I had to start making the right choices. And I want other people to say, “If P can do it, I can do it. It’s okay to better yourself.” One thing my grandfather always told me was, “If you want to better yourself and you want to live longer, mind your business and stay out of other people’s business.”

Allison Kugel: Growing up where you did, what gave you the power of belief that you could become everything you ultimately became? 

Master P: It was my grandfather, but it was also knowing if you don’t have anything, you can still make the best out of what you have. I think a lot of people don’t realize that just having life, even with what we are going through now, through this pandemic, you never know when somebody is going to walk out that door and you’re never going to see them again. When you live in poverty, you know the only way is up. That’s what pushed me and motivated me, and I think we shouldn’t want to be around people that hold us back. Even in poverty, I started realizing that if I’m going to be successful, I have to cut the negative people around me off. Everybody has 24 hours. A lot of people are mad at other people and judging what other people have. That hate ends up being more important than the positive. It becomes more important than you making it out or bettering yourself. So, I started celebrating people. When I was living in poverty, I started looking at other people who had a nice car or a nice house, and I started being happy for them. When you can be happy for somebody else’s success, blessings will start coming to you. Everybody wants to get to the bag, but you are never going to get to the bag being negative, envious, and jealous. Pride took the devil out of heaven, and he took three fourths of the angels with him. We have to stop that pride, put that to the side and say, “Let me invest my time into something positive, and into me being a better person.”

Allison Kugel: You started off as a basketball player. Was music your Plan B?  

Master P: I was good at music, but I didn’t know I was that good until I actually got into it when I got [injured]. You might think you’re going in one direction, but God will put you in another direction. When I got hurt playing basketball in college, I felt like I had failed everybody in my family. I was supposed to go to the pros, and I’m thinking I’m on my way and I’m about to take care of my family and get them out of the ghetto. But then I got hurt. I always tell people, let your failures take you to the next level and let your failures make you great. I remember my grandfather saying, “Look son, don’t sit around here and just keep worrying about what happened.  You gotta go make something else happen.” I had to find something else that I loved, and God opened up a bigger door. Most of my friends that played basketball at the time I played didn’t make that much money in the NBA, and what I was able to do [with music] was just unheard of.  And I could have easily just been in the music business, but I went to college and educated myself. Without the right education, I don’t think my mindset would have been the way it is today, and the way I was thinking about business.

Allison Kugel: Everybody I asked about you said the same thing, that you were never owned by a record label; you’ve always owned your own music.  Was that also part of the plan?

Master P: It happened with my grandfather. He was in the war, and when he came back home, they were supposed to give him ten thousand dollars to buy a house, and they never gave it to him. He always said, “Grandson, you need to start your own business. Start your own army.” That’s where No Limit (the name of Miller’s record label and production company) came from. My grandfather instilled that in me; “You’re not going to make it in their system. We have to create our own.” I always went against the grain. I knew I couldn’t just work for a paycheck, because I was living in the projects with sixteen people in a three-bedroom apartment. I had so many people and so many mouths to feed, and I couldn’t do that with a regular paycheck. I had to own it, and I’ve always kept that mentality, to where, when you look at African Americans and Latinos, we don’t own anything. My mindset was to change that narrative, to be able to own my own masters, to be able to build other executives. That’s where education and knowledge come in. We search and seek and pray for money, but we don’t search and seek and pray for knowledge and information. That’s what’s going to get us to our destiny.

Allison Kugel: Yes! I love that you said that. I pray every night with my son, and we never ask for things. We say, “Thank You,” and we pray for wisdom, knowledge clarity, health, and so on. Gratitude is what attracts things to you.

Master P: When you bless others, blessings will come. My most important job is to be a servant.  It’s not about being a boss. It’s about being a servant and being able to serve my community, to serve underprivileged kids, being able to serve the elderly, and being able to educate the next generation.

Allison Kugel: Early on in your music career, you were Tupac Shakur’s opening act. What was that like?

Master P: It was crazy, because everyone was there to see Tupac. They didn’t care about me  (laugh).  I was happy to have just one person [in the crowd] jump up. One guy was just going crazy for me in the audience. And being on the road with Tupac, I said, “I’m going to turn that one fan into millions.” To then be able to sell 100 million records is just incredible. Knowing that if you believe in something… and you don’t have to be the best, because I wasn’t the best at first. I had to get into the studio and work hard. I was living on the West Coast, and I had this Southern slur in how I talked, so I had to become better. They say the best way to do that is to stay in the gym, which was the studio. I wasn’t afraid to outwork everybody. I outworked those guys. While Tupac and all those guys were partying, playing, and just having fun on the road, I was in the studio working.  I said, “While they sleep, I’m going to be working.”

Allison Kugel: What did Tupac think of your music?

Master P: At first, he didn’t understand it. Then they started seeing as we are getting into some of the southern markets, how people were gravitating to my music. They started listening and saying, “This is alright.” In the end, Tupac really started liking my music, and that was a blessing, because he was the biggest star in the world of hip hop at the time. To have him jamming to my music, I knew I was on my way.

Allison Kugel: Considering history and what happened to him and Biggie, what are your thoughts on the feuds going on now, like with Kanye West and Drake. Kanye posted Drake’s home address on social media, and Drake’s fans vandalized Kanye’s childhood home. Things start becoming public and crossing the lines of safety.

Master P: I don’t think people realize they have all of these fans that might even be crazy and take things into their own hands. We have to watch what we do. There’s a lot of selfish people out in the world, and there are a lot of snakes in this world. I think when you are at this level and you are making this type of money, even with some of these young artists that were losing their lives in hip hop, which is sad, we have to be thankful and take this as a blessing and grow. I think it’s the people around them. You have to have people giving you better advice, and you have to hold yourself accountable. I’ve always had self-accountability. And start thinking about what you say or what you do, and how it effects and hurts other people, and how you wouldn’t want that to be happening to you and your family. A lot of this is self-hate. I would rather sit in the sewer and eat cheese with rats than sit at a nice restaurant and drink champagne and eat lobster and steak with a snake, and I think that’s what a lot of us are doing. When you get to that level of the game like some of these artists, why lose what you have?  Once you get killed or go to jail there’s no turning back.

Allison Kugel: If you could travel back in time and alter any famous historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change? 

Master P: The Martin Luther King shooting. I feel he left too soon. I feel like that guy was on to something incredible. I have so much respect for him, and sometimes I imagine what would have happened if somebody had told him not to go to that hotel. He didn’t have that much security with him, and it just didn’t seem right. I feel like we just had so much more to learn from him.   This guy was nonviolent, and he wanted to bring people together: blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos… I’ve never seen a person like that.  I’m not saying he was perfect, because nobody is perfect, but it’s what he stood for when he brought people together. It’s the reason why we are able to have our freedom today and be able to work with each other, and not be judged by color.   I think that is what I would want to be a part of.

Allison Kugel: Wow!

Master P: He was a dreamer, so being able to have somebody dream like that is incredible.

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

Master P: I came into this world to be a student of the world. I’m constantly learning every day and getting better, and I also realize I came into this world to be a father to my kids. When I use the word “father,” it’s different from being a daddy. I have a lifetime commitment to my kids, and as a single dad you have to stay focused on your kids. My kids mean everything to me.

Allison Kugel: How many kids do you have?

Master P: Altogether, I have nine.

Allison Kugel: No way (laugh)! Damn, okay! 

Master P: I don’t drink or smoke so (laugh)

Allison Kugel: (Laughs) That’s a much better hobby. That’s funny. What is your philosophy for raising happy, well-adjusted kids?

Master P: You have to deal with [each kid] as their own individual. Some kids you have to scream at, some kids you have to talk to softly, and some kids, you have to take them to the side and nourish them. I think basketball prepared me to be a father. When you are on the court with certain people, it’s all these different personalities and it’s the same way with raising kids. Some kids want a lot of your attention, and some kids want to go off and do their own thing, so you have to know that and be prepared to sacrifice. My life is not about me anymore. I’ll do anything for them, and I think a lot of parents are not prepared for that. They still want to go off and live their best life, but if you have kids, you don’t get a chance to do that anymore.

Allison Kugel: One hundred percent. What’s something you have yet to master?

Master P: I have yet to master technology. It just keeps changing. Every time you think, “I got this,” something else new is coming out, which is a good thing. We are growing and constantly getting better. In a couple of years, we are supposed to be flying in automobiles. It doesn’t even seem right, but you know it’s going to happen.

Allison Kugel: I read in Black Enterprise that you’re backing the launch of a new car called Trion SuperCars (

Master P: I didn’t create the car. It is actually a guy that has been working on building this car for a while, and I was able to get behind the project. It’s great to have a guy who’s been working with so many other car companies (including Tesla) create this supercar, and me being a part of helping him market and promote that. That’s what it’s all about for me, to be able to help people like that and bring their dreams to life, so it’s a blessing.

Allison Kugel: What makes it a supercar?

Master P: What he is creating and the technology, and that he knows about building cars. What makes it a “supercar” is that it’s able to compete with all the other supercars out there and has just as much technology.

(In a recent statement, Miller dubs Trion SuperCar “the first black-owned supercar manufacturer in America.” He credits the soon-to-be-launched car company with “adding diversity to the automotive industry, which will offer a high-end line of models and a line of affordable luxury vehicles.” Miller calls the fledgling automotive company, “history in the making.”)

Allison Kugel: When will Trion SuperCars hit the market?

Master P:  I think in two years. I can’t wait until it’s done!

Allison Kugel: What is still on your bucket list?

Master P: Being able to put together a superhero movie that is owned by us, and not by Hollywood. When you look at Black Panther, that movie made more than a billion dollars, but it wasn’t owned by us. It looked like us. I want to change that narrative. That is a real bucket list item of mine.

Allison Kugel: You don’t think the success of Black Panther made big budget, studio backed movies with an all-black cast that much more marketable and in-demand? 

Master P: See, but think about this, right… after the movie was over, we went back home, and nobody really benefited. Chadwick Boseman, his salary was $500,000, and he ended up making maybe two or three million dollars from a billion-dollar movie. Robert Downey Jr. makes $70 million when he does Iron Man, and [Black Panther] was way bigger. I’m just saying, to be able to put money back into our culture and into our community off of our own work, I think that is a game changer.

Allison Kugel: Your hand is in so many different things these days, and your movie #Unknown will be released next month. What is it about acting that appeals to you? 

Master P: When you get to a certain level, you want to bring projects to life. For me, it is almost like being two different people. I can go be a businessman on this side and come back and utilize my acting skills and my fanbase, and just feeding them. It’s connecting to the audience and letting people see me in different ways.  In this movie I play the mayor, and it’s a suspense thriller. It’s about being able to let people see me in different ways. In my next movies, I want to go beyond what you think you would see me doing in a movie. I’m even thinking about, like how Arnold Schwarzenegger played his role in Kindergarten Cop. I want to do a movie like that, set in an elementary school, playing a teacher or a principal. It’s fun to be able to portray other people and to bring a character to life.

Allison Kugel: Tell me about the plot of this movie.

Master P: #Unknown is a suspense thriller, but it’s also about a relationship and about trust and faith in somebody. The main character, his girl doesn’t believe him about what is going on with all these murders that happened years ago in this town. The movie has a great plot to it, but at the same time, throughout the story your mind is constantly trying to figure out what’s true, and did this happen, and when did it happen? I think it’s also about a couple trying to figure out if they can trust each other. Is this guy who he says he is? This film asks the question: in life, do you really believe in the person you are with?

Allison Kugel: And do you ever really know somebody?

Master P: Exactly, that’s what it is. That’s the unknown.

Allison Kugel: You’re used to being the boss, and on a movie set, when you are playing a character and you are working with someone like filmmaker LazRael Lison, who produced, wrote, and directed this film, are you good at taking direction from someone else?

Master P: It’s all about being a team player. When you are making a film, you have to know that we are working together to bring something to life, so it is never about me. I learned that from playing sports, there is no “I” in team. We had a great group of people, and everybody was professional, and everybody did their job. When I get on a movie set it is not about me being a boss or an executive producer. If I’m an actor, I have to play my role and you have to let the director play his role, and everybody else in the cast has to play their role if we are going to win. To be a good teacher, you have to be a good student. I’m constantly learning how to get better. I know I’m on my way to doing some great things and bringing some great projects to life, because I want to keep getting better and you have to put in the work. Even when you look at somebody like a Samuel Jackson, he didn’t get stronger in his game until he was older. This is about growing for me. I don’t compare this to my music or my business or anything else I’ve done. I take acting seriously, because I want to constantly keep growing and getting better.

Allison Kugel: So many films are now being released, simultaneously, in theatres and on streaming services, because of this pandemic. It’s re-shaping the entire movie industry. What are your thoughts?

Master P: I think it’s great, because people are able to enjoy these movies and get a chance to see it when they want to see it. Streaming is so important, and we are focusing on that. You’ll be able to go to Amazon Prime to see this movie, #Unknown, and it’s incredible. It’s the new way, and a lot of people want to be safe during this pandemic, so this is a great way to put movies out now.

Allison Kugel: Do you think a movie release can be as exciting of an event, and be profitable, when the majority of people elect to watch it at home instead of in the theatre?

Master P: We’re going to have to adapt to the times. People have a choice. Some people still want to go to theatres and see films, but some people are more comfortable at home right now. This is about safety, right now. A lot of these movies are not going to make the money they normally would make, but when you look at the streaming right now, those numbers are about to start going up, so it’s just a new way.

#Unknown, starring Master P, Judd Nelson, Tom Sizemore, Denise Boutte, and Hal Ozsan; and produced, written, and directed by LazRael Lison, premieres October 1st, exclusively on Amazon Prime. Follow Master P on Instagram @masterp  and follow filmmaker LazRael Lison @lazrael_lison. Watch the trailer for #Unknown.

Listen to the full conversation with Master P and filmmaker, LazRael Lison, on the Allison Interviews Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at


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 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
Photo Credits: Todd MacMillan, Jeremiah Sullivan, Harmony Books/Random Hous

Inside The Mind Of Brian Rehg: The CEO Of Blue Stingray

Brian Rehg has learned that behind every successful software solution is a team of strong engineers. Since launching the company in 2009, Blue Stingray is dedicated to always employing best coding practices and providing solutions that follow the latest industry standards. Brian continues to bring his more than 25 years of enterprise cloud solutions experience to provide the vision and strategy for continuous growth. Under Brian’s direction, Blue Stingray has won countless awards, given back to the community, started a free tech school, developed an extensive client base, and surpassed $10M in revenue.

Global Millionaire Magazine recently caught up with Brian 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?

I started my business the day after being laid off from a company that was struggling to stay above water. A large percentage of employees were laid off in an attempt to make the company financially secure.

I had worked for several companies in a row that had failed for various reasons — and really, that experience is equivalent to earning an MBA at an Ivy League University. I saw firsthand why businesses failed, and I knew how to avoid certain mistakes. Of course, owning a business is all about making mistakes, and I made plenty in my first few years, but I was able to hit the ground running.

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

Since I was 19, I’ve had side businesses. I’ve always felt the need to keep moving. Even when I worked 55-hour weeks and spent my free time taking classes and remodeling my home, I was doing odd jobs that were related to my field. I don’t like to waste time. To me, work is rewarding — I enjoy it in the way that other people enjoy leisurely activities.

In a sense, I didn’t see it as work, and I think that mindset was helpful when I made my business my primary source of income. There’s an old saying among business owners; we “work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40.” There’s truth in that, but if your business is one of your top priorities, the “work” becomes enriching.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

I was a family man, and I still am. I had many career successes throughout my life, so I was financially secure. That meant my risks were limited — nothing I did would have compromised my family’s comfort, as long as I analyzed those risks correctly.

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

As I mentioned earlier, hard work is rewarding for me, but that’s not the only reason I do this. I love watching my team members grow. We’ve had green, inexperienced people become members of our executive staff. I’ve seen people who were there from the beginning buy new homes, go on amazing vacations, and support their family members.

Money was never my motivation, except when that money allowed me to hire interesting people and help them succeed.

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

“Rewarding.” I have never felt more rewarded in my life. And again, it’s not the money — it’s about developing as a person. You feel it in your spirit.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

I like hard work. I love helping people grow, and I love being able to give back. At this stage, I’m able to devote time and resources to charitable causes and mentorships, which is exactly where I’ve always wanted to be.

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

First, you need to have the right mindset: Stay calm, cool, and confident, even when everyone else is panicking. Second, you need to be great with people. You need to be able to build a team, and the CEO needs to be able to sell by building relationships with other business people.

You also need a passion for what you are doing, and you need to be able to share that passion. You need to be proactive, honest, and loyal to your staff. You have to learn that you work for the employees — not the other way around.

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

We have consistently grown, and we’ve faced serious growing pains; we’ve frequently encountered situations where we didn’t have enough employees to keep up with cash flow. We’ve addressed that by developing training programs to grow and build a team of senior-level engineers, and we learned to spend little to no money on overhead.

Second, we’ve learned to be aware of client behaviors. Some larger clients take advantage of small vendors in an attempt to get high-quality work for little to no pay. That can be devastating and costly. We qualify potential clients now, which just means saying “no” to many companies or individuals within companies that display red flags. That doesn’t matter if they’re Fortune 100 companies or small businesses — if they’re not willing to pay for quality work, they’re not worth the effort.

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

We don’t have a sales team or a marketing staff. I was amazed by how quickly the company grew via word of mouth — we simply treat clients fairly, and we do great work at a fair price. When you fill a niche and you’re proud of your work, your business grows, period.

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

Establishing a team of diverse, capable individuals takes a unique set of skills, and I’ve learned how to do that through trial and error. Leaders should know that every team member has specific goals and needs. You’ll need to meet those to help them to do their job efficiently. Learning about those needs and goals takes time, patience, and hard work.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

It’s an old one, but it’s great advice: “Keep your eye on the ball.” That means staying hyper-focused on the task at hand, especially during difficult times. If you are in a burning building and you see the exit in front of you, stay focused on that door. No matter what happens around you, keep moving forward — even if you have to crawl.

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

Dip your toe in the water before you dive in.

I started my company with an old laptop from my kitchen table. I used contractors when I needed them. My website was bad, my marketing was bad, and I didn’t have a plan, but I made a good profit the first year — I knew I had something, so I dove in. I made sure to grow my business slowly, in a way that I could (mostly) control. Many companies in our industry failed by growing too quickly, without clear goals. We’re still going strong. We’ve had record sales every year, and that’s because we thought carefully about every step forward.


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.


Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The July 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Kamran Karim

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Kamran Karim is a progressive and result-driven entrepreneur with 13 years of professional experience in mobile app development, software development, and deployment building strategic alliances, branding, product life cycle completion, digital marketing, and internet promotions. He’s an inspirational individual who has been a crucial part of brand development and click monetization projects of several Fortune 500 companies.

He has founded several companies such as Tech Whizards – a global company that provides innovative digital solutions for businesses. He was also the founder of Yacht Rental DXB – a luxury yacht rental company applying Uber’s digital business model for clients to rent yachts and spend time with their friends and their loved ones. On top of that, he is also the founder of Binary Geeks – a software house that provides innovative products for the global market.

Kamran has several exciting upcoming projects under his belt such as a YouTube channel named “She Inspires,” where they will be interviewing women who have gone through struggles and overcame all the obstacles life put them through. He’s also planning to launch another YouTube channel called DefiGeeks which is catered to the Pakistan market where they are planning to post weekly episodes about cryptocurrency and the hype surrounding it. Lastly, he’s also in the process of launching a private jet rental company called Jetify in UAE, where users will be able to follow the Uber business model and rent private jets, similar to their Yacht initiative.

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

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

I actually had a humble start in my journey; I belong to a traditional middle-class family but I received good education though because my father was determined to give me a better future. I started working with startups at an early age but it wasn’t until I reached Dubai that I realized that the better future that my father had hoped I would have could be obtained by having my own business rather than by working in a 9 to 5 job.

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

The nascent seeds of entrepreneurship must have always been there for me because honestly, I hated those conventional jobs that I had. I did not think I had the ability to conform, and that problem led me to develop my own thing.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

Life before being an entrepreneur was “traditional”, “conventional” and in short “unchallenging”. It was simply something every other person could do and was doing, I was cut out for going with the crowd sort of thing.

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

Not knowing what is coming next, the challenges that every day throws at me, and also my passion for tech, is a major driving force.

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

“Majestic” – yes I will use the word majestic because I am the king of my own world, I make my decisions and I rule over myself (along with own my team).

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

Well hmm.. let’s see, having your own business enables a person to implement what they always thought should be done, that is a great deal of independence one deals with. The biggest motivation is obviously that you can’t let your business fail, it is like your baby and you never want to fail your child. The third motivator is that having my own business enables me to actualize my vision.

What do you put your success down to?

Persistence, the only word I can use to define the reason for my success. You need to be persistent.

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

Know what you are doing, have a vision, stick to the vision, be persistent, and don’t give up, all big businesses were small once upon a time.

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

Finding good employees is a major problem when the business is in its initial stages, I was lucky to have my brother as my support in this regard.

Does the loneliness of the entrepreneur really exist?

Yes and no, if people around you understand and appreciate your vision, then you won’t be lonely but often that is not the case.

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

Taking the hard decisions like firing someone or shelving an idea; these are the minuscule things that lead you to develop leadership skills. The most important thing I learned was that sometimes, you just can not be soft-hearted, people will take advantage of you and that is not good for your business.

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

I think the pandemic has made it clear that there is a great future for small businesses around the world, especially in the tech industry.


Entrepreneur Spotlight: Get To Know Millionaire Entrepreneur Khatib Ali

Khatib Ali is a millionaire entrepreneur, author, and transformational speaker. This sales expert, mogul, and military vet has endured extreme lows that provided lessons to propel him to extraordinary highs. Everything from landing in prison and raising a daughter with cerebral palsy, to gracing stages with legendary philosopher Bob Proctor – he is now a millionaire who is helping others to take charge of their destinies through his book ‘Cows vs. Rhinos.’

Cows Vs. Rhinos is based on a scientific study indicating that 97% of the human population follows the herd and settles for what is before them – like cows. The other wealthy 3% establish visions, set goals, and attack them with full force like rhinos. Khatib Ali has helped over 500 people create six-figure incomes and his mission is to help others to recognize their inner power and become rhinos in life.

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

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

I was a military brat born on the Fort Benning Army Base in Georgia (United States). We moved around so much that I never truly felt at home and I always had to attend a new school and make new friends all over again. But, because of that, I developed the ability to meet people from different places and establish relationships because I had to do it so often. Eventually, I went into the military and traveled the world. When I returned, I worked in the automotive industry and I became extremely successful at it. During that period though, my first daughter was born with cerebral palsy. I would have to constantly go back and forth between working at the car dealership to visiting her in the hospital. It was very stressful. One day, someone introduced me to this product that would make it so she didn’t have to be in the hospital constantly, and I researched the product non-stop and fell in love with it. I told myself that I was going to enter the MLM industry and sell this product like crazy and make so much money that I would always be able to take care of my daughter. I discovered my WHY at that point. It was my daughter. She is the reason I entered entrepreneurship. Her condition, combined with all of my experiences traveling, building relationships, and being very successful in sales placed me on this path and I have been on it ever since.

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

Right now, I consult with multilevel marketing companies and automotive groups like Berkshire Hathaway. I am working with a company in Utah, helping them to get their products positioned across the globe. Currently, they are based in Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines, and several countries in South and Central America, such as Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Most of my growth is coming from establishing relationships with companies and helping them to fatten their bottom line, especially during the pandemic. I am doing a lot of work on the health and wellness side.

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

My social media platforms of choice are Facebook and LinkedIn.

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

Paid advertising and sponsored content campaigns work for many of the companies that I consult as far as helping them to position their products and services. To be honest, the vast majority of my business comes from word of mouth because it is all based on personal, interactive relationships. I focus on that far more than advertising because it is more natural as opposed to artificial.

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?

Videos. I do a lot of videos and I just focus on being myself and educating people on who I am, my thoughts, and my experience. I do a lot of personal motivation videos and a lot of zoom calls. A company will bring me in for public speaking on their company zoom calls and conference calls. Every business has their thing that works for them. For me, video communication is key and we have been doing that since 2015. My business stands out because I take a very personal approach when helping companies as well as advising people on how to grow and improve their lives. This way, we get to the core of people’s hearts.

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

The bigger thing for me is word of mouth. What I can say is that PR has been very good for me with my publicist Ivan Thomas (intrigue Media Group). Having a good PR team is very good because it helps me to get the word out and build that brand awareness which is so important. I would say those are the two things that help my company the most.

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

One of the biggest decisions was pulling away from a company that I had helped get into 15 different countries. The owner was too involved and too arrogant. So, one of the toughest decisions I had to make was pulling away. I won’t say the company’s name, but, we started off extremely well, but the owner wouldn’t get out of their own way. It was very disappointing, but a decision that had to be made.

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

Not focusing on my business income-wise and not putting more money into my business such as investing in PR, marketing, and branding. I had to learn that sometimes you move too fast and sometimes you move too slow and you procrastinate on financial decisions that need to be made. You have to invest the money into your business until your business starts to pay you. If your business isn’t paying you, you have to put more money into it. That is a lesson I had to learn.

What new business would you love to start?

One of my biggest future goals and a passion of mine is opening my own cigar lounge. I want to start it in Cuba or Colombia, and then eventually bring it to America. Cigars are a very important pastime of mine. Going back to when I was 21 years old in the car business, every time I accomplish something I light a cigar and enjoy it with some cognac. One of my first jobs I worked was at a cigar bar in Charleston, SC and it was called the Tinder Box. I learned that a lot of business happenes in cigar lounges and on the golf course. I like to think of myself as an aficionado. There is a gentleman’s aspect to it.

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

I usually tell people all the time that if I went back in time there is nothing I would do differently aside from reading more and doing more professional development. I would not be the person I am today without the experiences, even the negative things that happened in my life, so I wouldn’t change those. But, I would definitely do more personal development, starting real young at like age eight. I didn’t start personal development until I was about 21.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

I was told a long time ago – God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. I would say that is the best advice I was given. It is not all about what you know or what you have accomplished. If God has a place that he wants you to be and calls you to do something, he will equip you with what you need to carry out your purpose.

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

I would tell them to write down their business plan. It doesn’t have to be something crazy, but write a business plan starting with identifying your WHY. Your WHY is something you would jump in front of a bullet for. If you can’t jump in front of a bullet for it, it is not worth it. Also, I always teach people how to get an EIN and how to lay the structure for their business. The main thing though is getting a good logo. When you set up your logo, it intensifies your passion and your vision because it is a symbol of what everything you are doing is all about. Every major brand is defined by its logo, from Coca Cola to Apple. You know exactly who they are. That is brand awareness. If your company name and logo are not strong, you are going to flop.


Entrepreneur Spotlight: Get To Know Grammy Award-Winning Producer Brian Malouf

Brian Malouf is a multi-platinum American producer, engineer, and mixer who has worked with Michael Jackson, Queen, Madonna, Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, and other world-known artists. Also serving as an executive at several major record labels over the years, his work has amassed a total of 53 gold, platinum, and double platinum records to date. Brian is a senior judge and co-founder of Djooky and owns Cookie Jar Recording in Sherman Oaks, California, and runs his practice as an independent producer.

Andrew Dakhovskyy is attributed as one of the founding fathers of the music industry in Ukraine, having been a true champion in promoting licensed music consumption. For years, Andrew represented Universal Music in Ukraine, becoming the first global label’s licensee in the country. In 2017, Andrew became a co-founder of the world’s first community-based music label based on the blockchain technology Younk. Andrew is passionate about promoting the idea of the borderless and inclusive world of music.

The idea of Djooky was originally fostered by our founder Andrew Dakhovskyy who is a music lover and supporter of creative individuals, and specifically songwriters. His thought was to provide a gateway for talented individuals who were gifted at the art of songwriting but were having trouble getting their music heard. And in the world of technology, they could provide that gateway: design a website and create an infrastructure for people in the industry. So together with Andrew, they adopted this idea and they developed Djooky for people to demonstrate their talent and get others to listen to their music.

Global Millionaire Magazine recently caught up with Andrew and here’s what went down:

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

Djooky is a platform that is already helping thousands of artists around the world to reach out to new fans around the world.

We are constantly designing and adding new features to help emerging talent turn their passion for music into a professional career. The Djooky Music Awards presents an opportunity for artists and songwriters to showcase their original music to a global audience and to win great prizes that help to boost their careers. The demand for this sort of platform is tremendous. In less than a year we have managed to grow the competition from 55 countries in the first season to more than 100 countries today.

We are also working on developing engaging features for fans and music lovers. The HitHunter feature of the Djooky app allows users to prove their skills to identify potential hits by allocating virtual Hit Points to the songs which they believe will move up to the top in our song charts. .The top HitHunters in our Hithunter ranking are also being rewarded with cash prizes on a weekly basis.

Another important aspect of our growth strategy is to form strategic partnerships worldwide with local partners that will help artists to get exposure and support in developing their careers.

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

Social media platforms play a vital role in our communication with our audience. We use various platforms to make sure we are always connected to our audience. These include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. Most recently, we have also created an account on Clubhouse where we host rooms with independent musicians and hold Q&A sessions with artists.

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?

Social Media Marketing has worked really well for us. We have managed to draw attention through our unique offering in times of pandemic. We have been very open and transparent with our followers and ensured that no query was left unanswered. After the first season of the Djooky Music Awards, we started looking out for Djooky brand ambassadors who were instrumental in reaching out throughout the world. We maintain and develop a global network of advocates who share our values and have a vested interest in bringing more artists to the platform from their country or region.

Testimonials from former winners and participants also worked well. This is the best sort of advertising one can get.

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

Being a start-up our marketing efforts are concentrated on building awareness using various mainly online media channels. We have partnerships globally that enable us to reach out to artists from around the world. At Djooky, we made it our priority to be authentic, value-driven, and artist-centric in our products and communication.

We also carefully listen to the users’ feedback and continuously improve our product and services, which has helped us in getting quite a few user endorsements on their social media channels.

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

With the global pandemic raging across the globe, we have had to postpone inviting our winners to the Capitol Studios in LA which constituted the biggest part of their award. With a heavy heart, we have made a decision to wait until international travel resumes or becomes safer before our winners can take a trip to record a song with an all-star team.

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

Luckily, we can say we have managed to avoid any major mistakes and this is due to the very frugal approach to fiscal discipline which we have adopted since the inception of Djooky. One piece of advice we could give to other entrepreneurs is to stay really focused without deviating from your course of action. Temptations will come along the way but you must stay on your chosen path to deliver on your set goals and commitments.

What new business would you love to start?

Right now, there is no other business on our mind and I dare say it will occupy us for many years to come. Djooky as a platform in itself offers plenty of opportunities for spinoffs and ventures which complement the core business and add further value to our users.

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

Nothing really. It’s been quite an exciting ride with Djooky and so far everything developed very well. We were also very fortunate to avoid the negative effects of the Covid crisis even though we were right at the peak of the first wave of Covid-19 when we launched Djooky with the start of our first season in April 2020 when many in the music industry all over the world were struggling enormously.

I suppose this is also due to the fact that Djooky´s vision to create a digital world of music with equal opportunities for all artists on this planet was also very timely, as it gave artists a unique opportunity to show their talent to a global audience, right at a time when many live events were being canceled thus offering excitement and hope to the artist and music lovers in otherwise very challenging times.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

As trivial as it may sound, trust in your own ability is crucial for success, both in business and in music. I’ll give you a recent example. A couple of months ago I was talking to an artist who I invited to join the platform. His response was doubtful. He felt this was too high of a summit for him to reach. I insisted and he finally registered. He was completely blown off his feet when his song won in the weekly round climbing up the charts to bring him immediate cash rewards. The moral of this story is simple: sometimes just believing in yourself comprises 50% of success.

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

Start with an honest inventory identifying your strengths and weaknesses, what you can offer and what is missing to turn your idea into reality. Get experienced advisors and mentors to join you and learn from their mistakes. It is much cheaper than making your own.


Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The June 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Steven Harold Jorchen

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Steven Harold Jorchen alias “Jorchen Borjigit” is a 36th generation heir of the Borjigin dynasty – a dynasty that was started by Emperor Genghis Khan in the 13th century. He immigrated to the United States in the 90s and with more than 20 years of experience in the USA, he has learned the American way of life. He has been an active member of various American social activities. He is the Chairman of the World Peace Commission, he’s also the CEO of Asia-USA non-profit organization alliances as well as the deputy of the New York Chinese Chamber of Commerce. On September 24, 2015, he held an audience with H.E. President Xi Jinping and other top Chinese politicians and leaders.

Steven has established close cooperative relations with the United States, China, Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, and he plans to deploy specific cooperation projects related to it. As a community leader and a world social diplomatic activist for many years, his image has long been deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. The fruitful results of his nearly two decades of continuous hard work have given him special influence and appeal in the community. His power is increasingly valuable; along with his prestige, fame, and even his name. Hence the reason why he has such a good relationship with senior Chinese leaders and senior leaders in Russia, West Africa, North Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Furthermore, he has even participated in several banquets and galas held by President Bush, President Clinton, President Obama, as well as President Trump.

Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Steven to discuss his life as a 36th generation heir of the Borjigin dynasty and here’s what went down:

Tell us about a time in your life that you wanted something so badly that you were unstoppable in pursuing it. What obstacles did you overcome to get there?

My life was generally easy. I was brought up under the legacy of my family, so my earlier years were pretty much assured by some kind of political arrangement. My main obstacle was to start a life that’s decided on my own terms. You see, my dream was to be a world leader, not just confined by my birth in Kangba (SiChuan), the Chinese Tibetan autonomous region. I think that’s why I gave up my pre-destinated roles in China and came here to New York.

Tell us about a time you experienced what you perceive to be an injustice.

I have opened a museum in the 90s of the Tibetan culture here in New York with a partner. Later, due to the collection of a Tangka that is made of human skin, I was arrested. Tangka is a Tibetan religious relic often preserved to honor the Buddhist deities or Buddha. Often in ancient Tibet, people offer their bodies as a will after death. This is to show their confidence in the Dharma. You see, Tibetans, like the Indians (and unlike the Chinese) have a tradition of leaving human bodies out to be eaten by vultures. And they even hack the bodies to pieces; in some cases remove the skin.

However, the Americans have no understanding of such, and due to cross-cultural ignorance, I was arrested. I think people have to learn more about other people’s cultures. Particularly in the new world. I also think many of these countries have not grasped the old traditions. European cultures are very sophisticated, but the people of the new world have forgotten that, I am quite sure it is the same situation in Australia.

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

That’s a good question. In the past few months, I was forced to decide if I still needed to carry on the noble mission of re-establishing the Borjigin legacy. You see, sometimes this can be a tricky endeavor. The DNA offspring of Genghis Khan has amounted to around 16 Million worldwide. But no one has seen this fact as a cultural asset. However, I see there’s a force behind these warrior people. Genghis Khan is known for war, but at the same time, his treatment of the captive women and children was very much mild and compassionate. I see the need of promoting global peace through both women’s and children’s welfare globally. I know there will be political obstacles in my work, in particular some fraction of different egos and interests. But I also know that someone has to do this in order to revive the inner spirit of Genghis Khan. The core of assuring world peace is actually to re-unite the Euro-Asian landscape.

Who is your role model, and why?

I put all my faith in Buddha, the enlightened one. What Buddha taught us was to maintain our own minds with peace and compassion. I mean, how else can we contribute to the world if our own minds are not tamed right?

I see life as a mirage of our own merits. There are certainly injustices and miseries of this world. But a lot of these are caused by our own wrong-doings. Cause and effect is the golden principle of life. In the popular sense, you can call it the law of attraction or whatsoever. You need to cultivate good deeds, so those good things will return to you.

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

With the rapid technological advances, our ways of life are also changed. The way how we run a business is transformed or you can say unrecognized sometimes for people of my generation. The material success of many nations has reminded us what is important for our future. I see more and more small businesses are now considering the social responsibilities. This means we are now more and more focused on our inner beings. In the new ventures in many places, I see there’s the trend of offering organic products, non-GMO to also assure healthy lifestyles that promote spiritualism. This is very good! I am sure we are entering into a new page of human evolution. That is also why I always stress the culture. We as humans, by the end of the day, need to deal with our inner-self. Culture forms that inner being in many ways.


Meet Bryan Legend: The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The May 2021 Issue Of The Australian Millionaire

Cryptocurrency veteran, Bryan Legend is an Australian self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, and the founder/CEO of Clever DeFi Pty Ltd.

For the 8 years that Bryan has been in Cryptocurrency, he’s mastered the art and craft to near perfection. An embodiment of strategic planning and execution, he has hit gold in this field with his innate Crypto-oriented mindset, the evidence of which can be seen from the successful start-up companies he has created from scratch, complemented by his estimated net worth of roughly 6.3 million dollars.

With widespread attention from interested parties scattered from around the globe, Bryan’s company, Clever DeFi Pty Ltd, is into Decentralised Finance, and it intends to shake things up in the financial industry. His Decentralised Finance concept though a relatively new concept, has been gradually gathering recognition from various financial institutions.

Broken down for the layman, Bryan’s Clever DeFi is a revolutionary Blockchain Defi Protocol that automatically distributes set interest payments of up to 11% per fortnight to all token holders of Clever Token (CLVA). Simply put, Bryan believes that Clever is the new way to store wealth with a guarantee of a greater interest rate, which apparently trumps the typical interest rates obtainable in the traditional banking system.

Speaking about his creation, Bryan said: “Clever Token (CLVA) is designed to primarily suit anybody who is looking for a safe, reliable place to store wealth at a high yielding interest rate instead of the comparative ‘store money in a general savings bank account’ with practically no interest accruing at all. CLVA also suits any investor looking to start or expand their investment portfolio or even looking to de-risk themselves into a fundamentally sound asset.”

Bryan has been in Cryptocurrency for the past 8 years, with his formative niche in Blockchain where he initially gathered an amazing wealth of experience, before branching to a more Decentralised approach. One of his most admirable qualities is the fact that he walks the talk. “I know full well that both delivery and execution are the two fundamental challenges any business will face. Many companies are promising the world but underdelivering and falling short by not meeting their goals or objectives. I make sure any company I build encompasses a brand image that speaks for itself”, he said.

For the Crypto-inclined, several mechanisms constitute the Clever Protocol; chief among them, the Decentralised Distribution Mechanism or DDM for short which works on a pre-programmed routine cycle schedule over 888 cycles – each cycle lasting 14 days with the very last cycle ending after 34 years. It appears to be an innovative architecture in the financial industry.

Clever DeFi is distinct from other Crypto projects with its CLVA minting starting at Zero supply. This implies that Bryan and his team hold no tokens at all – a relatively new concept in the industry. “CLVA is by far one of the safest tokens to hold as a store of wealth and due to a restricted total supply and forecasted increased demand, the token is sure to prove its worth,” remarked Bryan.

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

Why would you recommend Cryptocurrency to a potential investor?

Crypto in general is still in its infancy when looked at from the road ahead and brings with it a fairly new industry tied around Blockchain. For geeks, they love the tech and for investors, well, they love the ability to make money hand over fist during a bull market.

Timing is everything when investing and anyone can make money during a bull market and due to the inherent volatility within the Crypto market, it offers more upside versus traditional assets.

Which Cryptocurrency intrigues you the most?

There is an astonishing number of different Cryptocurrencies available to pick from, most of which being scams, unfortunately. The way to navigate the Crypto waters is to always do due diligence yourself and never just jump in blindly without knowing every nook of detail behind the project you’re investing in.

With any investment there are risks and the bigger the risk, the more potential there is for your investment to be returned to you multiple times over. One of the less risky but sustainable Cryptocurrencies right now in my opinion is Clever DeFi (CLVA) which delivers guaranteed interest payments every fortnight and is an easy choice for investors to watch their money grow without anything else needed.

What’s the biggest scam you’ve ever heard of in the Cryptocurrency World?

Probably the most well-known scam was released back in 2016 which was called Bitconnect that was an illegal financial Ponzi Pyramid Scheme that eventually collapsed and stole over 250 million from investors.

For anyone interested in Cryptocurrency – can you provide a checklist to follow?

Only invest what you are prepared to lose. The Cryptocurrency industry is unforgiving and most have to learn the hard way. Do not get drawn into FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) as this is a sure way of losing money by buying at the top of an already saturated asset. Only invest in solid projects with fundamentals that can be shown and proven. If it sounds too good to be true, 99.99% of the time it most certainly is.

What is Clever DeFi? Can you tell us more about it?

Clever DeFi is a Decentralized Finance Protocol that distributes automatic interest payments to all native CLVA Cryptocurrency holders on a pre-programmed routine cycle schedule over 888 fortnightly cycles taking exactly 34.15 years to complete.

The Clever protocol was designed, deployed, and implemented over many months in the making since its release last year in 2020, and as such it is the protocol itself which given Clever DeFi it’s underlying value. All an investor needs to do is buy and hold the CLVA asset to be paid interest payments guaranteed of up to 11% each fortnight.

What would you suggest to people interested in trading in Cryptocurrency but whose country does not support Cryptocurrency yet?

First of all, I do not condone illegal activities or in any way shape or form encourage people to go against their country’s restrictions or governmental policies. With this being said, people have been known to circumvent the system by using VPN software to conceal their IP location which allows them to use Cryptocurrency exchanges that do not require personal information about the individual.

This is probably the easiest way to go but on the other side of the coin, if you are using any Cryptocurrency exchange that does not require KYC information from you as a client, this in my eyes throws caution to the wind as a very risky play indeed.

What are some of the biggest challenges that lie ahead for the Cryptocurrency world?

Mass adoption and Regulation with both of these things being quite tied to each other. In order for mass adoption to be achieved on a global scale, there needs to be protection in place for the people and policies in place to prevent illegal market activities from taking place through regulative bodies in order for the large institutional money to enter into the space.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

That’s a tough one indeed. I am sure that most of us being asked that very question would have a vague idea at best although the best way to answer it would be from a directional perspective. The direction am I following is to capitalise on industry trends over the coming years ahead and of course this will mean staying part of the Cryptocurrency scene in a big way. My goal over the next 5 years is to make as many millionaires as possible within Crypto and I will be following the industry closely with the progress it makes in order to make my goal a reality.


Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The May 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: The Incredible Bryan Legend

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Bryan Legend quit school at the age of 20. Yet today, at the age of 37, despite quitting school at an early age, he still ended up becoming an inspiring self-made millionaire. His against-the-odds persistence enabled him to make a name for himself in the Cryptocurrency sector and beyond. Starting with Blockchain, which he studied for years, learning the fundamentals of it, he was able to master the art and craft of Cryptocurrency to near perfection. This culminated in the versatile entrepreneur climbing the ladder up to becoming an expert in that niche – with the creation of Clever DeFi, showing the results of his hard work.

One of the potential benefits of a short-long term investment strategy is portfolio diversification. This is a concept that Bryan understands very well. His first stint in the entrepreneurial sector was back in his marketing days. Today, with this concept of short-long investment strategy, Bryan’s success can be seen through the number of tentacles his brand is spread to, among which are online marketing ventures, becoming a pioneer in SEO, SMM, and SEM. Not to mention there’s also TWILX; a digital advertising firm he created from scratch. Then, of course, there’s Clever DeFi, which he believes is the future of financial investment.

Bryan is also a firm believer in branding, a concept on which his business success is built upon. He believes that the way people perceive your company is a direct reflection of how they will engage with you.

The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder. According to Rick Warren, the greatest tragedy in life is not death but life without purpose. Bryan seemed to take this quote to heart, for, in his early twenties, he discovered he was a gifted negotiator. Right there and then, he realised that his purpose lies in the business world. He subsequently developed his skill set in business negotiations, which would later pave way for him as he reached his way to the apex of the business world.

Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with the inspirational Bryan Legend to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

Can you please tell us something about yourself and what your business is all about?

I am a born entrepreneur and I have a passion for making a difference in business, namely in the Cryptocurrency space by introducing fresh ideas and concepts to the market in order to help and evolve the industry as a whole.

Clever DeFi is a Fintech company primarily focused on delivering decentralized finance applications within the Cryptocurrency industry. It supports a second choice for those who do not trust traditional banks, nor like the fact that they are receiving a complete cop-out toward extremely low-interest payments on their capital. The versa is to hold CLVA Cryptocurrency which delivers a much higher competitive interest yield.

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

In my school years, I never found myself compelled to learn and instead saw myself just breezing aimlessly without care to study at all. After dropping out 3 years before year 12 graduation, I entered the labour workforce and then progressed into sales where it did not take me long to work out that the blue-collar lifestyle was not for me and that I needed to get out of the rat race.

This is where I began to take deeper interests into self-development and knew wholeheartedly that the only way to get ahead is to do things myself without relying on anyone else, nor working for anybody else. I chose to learn the basics of business and expand my skill set through a hands-on approach combined with true hunger and determination to break through the resistance barrier.

Through years of persistence and numerous successful small internet e-commerce business startups I founded, I gained more knowledge and learned from mistakes made. I turned this into a cocktail for success by always going one step up with every new business I headed up. The world of Cryptocurrency presented itself to me as a fantastic opportunity to be a part of as I recognised there to be a lot of untapped possibilities.

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

What motivates and drives me is the attainment of a new goal through my persistence, tenacity, and focus on what needs to be done to meet my objectives. I treat any startup business I have started as a new birth coming to life that needs to be nurtured until it is strong enough to work on its own. Just like Elon Musk, I don’t let one-second pass by where I am not thinking about ways to improve, and as such, I believe personal growth, as well as the growth of a company or business, is a continued effort. One word I would describe life as an entrepreneur is “freedom.”

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

1) The desire to solve the problem of low-interest rates for consumers paid by traditional banks for savings accounts.

2) The knowledge of how Blockchain can be used in order to facilitate this.

3) Confidence in my own abilities to be able to deliver to market what is promised.

What do you put your success down to?

The ‘never give up and hard work’ angle may seem cliché but it holds true time and time again for all accomplished individuals in any industry of business. Nothing comes from nothing so what you get out of something is in direct proportion to what you put into it. The more time and energy you spend on improving your idea or business, the more success you will benefit from it in the long run. There is no secret to success other than completing the actions required in order to achieve your entrepreneurial vision or personal goal.

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

Solving an actual need though adds a unique value proposition that your business offers by focusing on your customers’ interests first and of course securing ongoing revenue streams with an effective cost structure and strong marketing initiatives and reward system.

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

I personally believe we are nearing the tail end of a current bull market with the end more than likely aiming to take place at the end of the year. With this being said, there is much hype and foolish money entering the market from retail investors who really have no clue about what they are actually buying at all. They are new to Crypto and just go with the Fomo crowd. There can be money to made in the interim but for seasoned veterans that have been through these cycles, it will more than likely end in tears for most that are not smart enough to know when to get out before losing it all in over-hyped risky altcoins.

What I would like to see happen is the complete disbandment of all those scam projects and Cryptocurrencies with no use case or utility behind them to disappear and clear up the way for the actual legitimate ones to stand tall. There is way too much money being “invested” into Cryptocurrencies right now like Dogecoin which was created as just a meme without any fundamentals or development. We need to see useless Cryptocurrencies leave the space for good.


Entrepreneur Spotlight: Introducing Anjan Pathak, Co-Founder and CTO At Vantage Circle

Anjan Pathak is a Co-founder and CTO at Vantage Circle – an Employee Engagement Platform. He is an HR technology enthusiast, very passionate about employee wellness, and actively participates in the growth of the corporate culture.

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

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

The foundation of Vantage Circle was set way back in 2011. Partha and I were two school friends who had a fledgling dream of starting our own company, and the manifestation of our efforts resulted in launching Vantage Circle.

With Partha and I, having worked in the IT and technology industry for almost two decades, we were confident that it was where we could benefit from utilizing our expertise while achieving the goals that we had set for ourselves. We were able to create, launch, and reach the success that Vantage Circle has today due to the right opportunities, guidance, and ideas implemented at the right time.

We started out as a deals and discounts program for employees at the start of our early days. However, as we progressed with time, we stumbled upon the concept of employee engagement programs which the Indian corporate culture was lacking. The main idea was to equip HR professionals with a channel through which they could manage the intricacies of providing a stellar employee experience.

We, at Vantage Circle, understand that managing human resources efficiently, satisfying their necessities, and surprising (not shocking!) them is a humongous task. To overcome any deviations in these tasks, we provide an integrated platform to the corporate community with a variety of options of unbeatable perks and engagement activities for their employees. Corporate discounts on exclusive and online deals and unique Vantage Points are the highlights of our platform.

2. When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

It was back in 2003 when I came from the United Kingdom to India to set up a business. I recruited several software developers within a few days and also leased an office room. Sadly, though, things didn’t turn out as expected.

In the year 2011, I founded Vantage Circle along with my friend Partha, back in our hometown of Assam, over the years with more experience. I believe it is with time and practice that entrepreneurial skills are created. What stuck up for me was that, after my first loss, I didn’t give up.

3. How did your life look before being an entrepreneur?

I spent my initial 17 years of my career brainstorming, designing, and architecting multiple e-commerce applications. The knowledge, experience, and insights that I have gathered over the years have been invaluable in eventually doing what I really wanted to do in developing world-class HR technology solutions.

I have over two decades of experience in building and deploying cross-channel web applications.

I have spent a significant part of my career, 15 years to be precise, working in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.

As a fitness enthusiast, I am incredibly passionate about the need for corporate wellness. I believe that health & wellness at the workplace will be the primary differentiator companies will be ranked upon in the coming years.

In my spare time, I am always preparing for the next marathon or triathlon that comes my way. I have recently been introduced to two newer fields of wellness- meditation and yoga- and have been taking baby steps to improve every day.

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

A happy and content workforce builds up a healthy work environment. Seeing the employees happy doing their job are the best motivators for any employer and it is a peerless asset for an entrepreneur.

We have taken less than 1 Crores in external funding from like-minded people who believed in our goals. Witnessing the journey to becoming one of the top cloud-based employee engagement and benefits platforms in the world, encourages me to strive more. Vantage Circle has achieved over 1.5 million users’ support in the present day and is serving some of the world’s top MNCs. Surely a matter of pride and honour for a bootstrapped company like Vantage Circle.

5. In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why it’s fulfilling.

I had 20 years of experience in the multinational technology industry before Vantage Circle. I have always had this dream to bring all my experience to my home country and give back. Today, we have managed to return through our business by establishing an employment channel. It is what drives us and keeps us motivated every day. So, yeah, it is a very fulfilling experience.

6. What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

1. Creating employment opportunities in my hometown
2. Health and wellness has always been my priority
3. Developing a product company in a service provider dominating sector

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

Let me answer this question in two parts. The key elements of starting a business are more or less the same for all. One needs to be very sure about the company that they want to start. In the beginning, your business’s passion and belief help you take risks and stay motivated. But it does not mean that you should not design a solid business strategy. That must be followed with the right marketing plan. The next important thing here is the experience. Every entrepreneur has some level of business acumen and lots and lots of experience. Use the experience in building your business.

For running a business, one must know the bits and pieces of people management. Or just say, have to understand the employees, to build a culture where people love to contribute happily. And it takes time and effort. If your workforce is not happy, you cannot sustain your business.

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

– Not choosing the right tools for mobile app development: Choosing the appropriate tool at the right time would have helped us be more user-friendly and accessible to a fast-paced audience.
– Ignoring the inception of the marketing team: It deprived us of reaching our core audience as efficiently as we could have through implementing the correct marketing tactics.
– Not streamlining the tasks of the sales team: The third big error was not to streamline the sales team’s tasks in a more strategic way and under a successful sales leader.

But I believe, making mistakes is an important part of how I have learned and ultimately accomplished a steady pace of continuous individual and professional growth.

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

A major part of our marketing strategy has been inbound marketing tactics and focusing on a more organic approach. I am happy to say that these measures have played a principal part in us getting over 1 million monthly users to the Vantage Circle blog.

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

If you ask any entrepreneur or anybody in a leadership position, you would get more or less the same answer. People who are in a leadership position, do not control but lead. And leading your team means directing them throughout their journey. To understand their perspective by putting yourself in their shoes. It is a responsible job. You might be having a bad day or feeling low, but you cannot pass it on to them. Also, staying humble is so important. Humility may not be the forefront trait of leadership, but for me, it has always been a great trait. You must be willing to accept your mistakes, give credit, appreciate and learn from everyone in the room. Also, one must trust and be accountable when it comes to leadership. These are the few lessons that I have learned over the years.

11. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

A sleeping fox catches no poultry: Since childhood, my mother has always told me this quote that a sleeping fox catches no poultry. She likes to suggest that if I don’t take the gamble, someone else will. I won’t have anything if I don’t work for anything. I have been inspired by this proverb to wake up early and start my day early. I assume our bodies conform to the period of the sun. Synchronizing with the disciplined time to sleep and wake up helped me to find and use more time for my company. I don’t say that you need to compromise your sleep over this. To work properly, everyone needs to have enough sleep of a good 8 hours every day. I always believe that a healthy mind in a healthy body is a key to success.

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

Having experience of co-founding and operating three separate businesses, one in London and the other two in India, over a span of 10 years gave me the cognizance of how to make the most of the minimum resources that you have.

Another thing I have gradually discovered over the years is that if you do not plan the financial aspects on a priority basis, you don’t win in business (especially start-ups). Note that the sole emphasis should be on increasing (and sustaining) the company at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey.


Entrepreneur Spotlight: Introducing Vid Lamonte’ Buggs Jr., The Founder Of VLB/VBJ Enterprises

Vid Lamonte’ Buggs Jr. is the founder and owner of VLB/VBJ Enterprises, LLC, and 4-U-Nique Publishing. He is also a bestselling author, a speaker, and a consultant. A modern-day “Renaissance man.” Vid is a man of diverse interests who directs his many talents towards bringing people together, encouraging them to look past their differences to unite to make the world a better place.

VLB/VBJ Enterprises, LLC. was created as an umbrella or a series for companies like 4-U-Nique Publishing. Vid wanted to establish a company that ventured into real estate; Public Speaking; Investing, Building Businesses, and Consulting. He patterned VLB/VBJ Enterprises’ mission to building communities up while delivering positive messages and helping others reach their potential and accomplish their goals.

4-U-Nique Publishing, LLC is a publishing company whose focus is on providing authors with a quality publishing service and allowing them to keep their publishing rights and provide them with higher royalties than other publishing companies. Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Vid to discuss his journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

I was in 6th grade when my entrepreneurial flair first revealed itself. A friend and I decided to sell candy and gum before, during, and after school. We figured out pretty early that we could buy a bag of Blow Pops for 3 dollars. We could sell an individual Blow Pop for 25 cents. Out of one bag of Blow Pops, we make close to 20 dollars. A profit of 17 dollars off of one bag of candy wasn’t bad for a 6th grader.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

Before becoming an entrepreneur, I was a basketball player who played at a high level (pro and semi-pro leagues). My life wasn’t stable at all. Although I received multiple degrees in college, I knew I wasn’t a person that would “waste” my many talents behind a desk. So, between basketball, writing my first book, and figuring out what job would fit me best, I was bewildered about where my life was taking.

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

What motivates and drives me as an entrepreneur is that my businesses support others’ dreams and goals. My companies help give a voice to those who feel they are voiceless. I have to keep pushing because so many people are counting on me each day.

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


I’m a black man from Hampton, VA, who has been excluded countless times. However, each time others have counted me out and even myself, I have been blessed with a blessing. These blessings have come in the form of inspiration, a mentor, a business opportunity, a new client, a new service, an interview feature, finances, or a new staff member. Each of these blessings has helped me and my businesses to continue to grow.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

1). The Most High. God has directed me to start my businesses. Before I started my businesses, if you told me that I would create an enterprise or a publishing company, I would have said you were crazy. However, the spirit of God led me to do what I am doing now. I know a lot will relate to what I am saying. And a lot will think I’m crazy for saying this. However, Glory goes to The Most High.

2). Helping others reach their potential so they can accomplish their goals and dreams.

3). To give a voice to the voiceless and articulate their story. Everyone has a story to tell, and they need a platform to speak their truth

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

The key elements for running a successful business are patience, focus, determination, goal-oriented, caring for your customers, time management, and a positive attitude. You have to be a student in the industry and understand your weakness and strengths. You got to know your target customers and humble yourself to lesson to what you are doing right and wrong.

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

1). One of the biggest challenges I have faced growing my businesses was getting the necessary capital to help fund my businesses’ growth. I have one thing that stood against me, and that is my race. Time and time again, it is proven that financial institutions discriminate against minorities when loaning money. I overcame my challenge of gaining capital by creating other income sources, and my best friend invested in my businesses.

2). Trusting others to help grow the businesses. Having a business is like having another child. You become protective of your business. Being protective over my businesses, I was hesitant to allow others to help me grow the companies. However, when I realized that I was being stubborn and selfish and that the ultimate goal was to help others, I allowed others to grow the businesses. Knowing my weaknesses and hiring others who had strengths in areas that I am weak in permitted growth.

3). Knowing when to say “No”. I’m a stern person, but it is no secret that I wouldn’t say I like to disappoint people. However, I had to learn when to say no. Saying no to some opportunities was a challenge to me, but I knew that to grow a business, I would have to say no to specific requests.

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

The best form of marketing that has worked well for me has been word of mouth; what better way to recommend service by those you trust and have dealt with a company firsthand. When you provide quality service or product, it will become personable with your clients and customers. Therefore it brings a higher value to the company.

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

1). Understand my weaknesses and strengths.

2). Hire those who have strengths that complement your weakness. For example, selling and marketing isn’t my strong suit, so I hired a marketing manager and a sales expert.

3). Trust and have confidence in who you hire until proven otherwise. Do not micromanage; this is healthy for a business atmosphere and staff morale.

4). Ask for and let others help you. It’s common for new entrepreneurs to wearing several hats when they are starting their new business. However, as the business grows, it is essential to hire and seek help. A company will not succeed when its leader is running itself thin by wearing too many hats.

5). Time Management. As a business grows, more responsibilities will arise and call for attention. It is essential to prioritize your time.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice that I have been given is “Fire Fast, Hire Slow.

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

You want to have a sound business plan, and you want to know how you target customers. Draw up a strong marketing plan to reach your targeted customers. Keep your finances in check by hiring a bookkeeper or accountant.

Please make sure the branding and trademark are on point and you want to make it stand out. Make sure you have a business lawyer on the dial. Once you set up everything, tell all your friends, family, and everyone you know to support your business and spread the word to everyone they know. Much success to you and your business.

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Entrepreneur Spotlight: Introducing James Hunt, Famously Known As The Celebrity Credit Guru To The Stars

James Hunt is affectionately known as “The Celebrity Credit Guru to the Stars.” This multi-millionaire entrepreneur is responsible for helping the nation’s top celebs, athletes, and thousands of everyday people with their credit and finances. He also teaches young men how to become six and seven-figure earners through his company, THE HUNT. Formerly homeless, James has thrived not only due to the mastery of his industry, but his style, marketing, and persona continue to draw tons of people to him who also desire to be extremely successful.

With the year 2020 taking its toll on entrepreneurs all across the nation, James Hunt’s business continued to soar despite COVID-19. Among his high-powered clients are people like Kanye West, Akon, Tyrese, Ryan Seacrest, Shaq, Taraji P. Henson, and hundreds of other athletes, business leaders, and Hollywood figures. He maintains that ATTENTION brings MONEY, and all business owners who aspire to attain massive success must understand the sweet science of luring in clientele during any climate – anchored by results and an attractive brand.

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

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

I am originally from Chicago. 8 years ago I was homeless. I used to walk up and down Lenox Road in the Buckhead community of Atlanta seeing the Bentleys and Rolls Royces and I told myself that one day that would be me driving one of those cars. I bought myself a cheap laptop and started my business in a Starbucks during the day, and I built a relationship with the local Fed Ex and worked out of there at night. When I got my first celebrity client and cleaned up his entire family’s credit, that helped me to grow my business and the word started to spread about who I was and what I did. From there, things really took off.

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

It was always there. I remember back as early as when I was in the 8th grade. I had my mother who was a seamstress to design this jumpsuit that I wore for the 8th-grade luncheon and I wanted it in a very specific way – something that no one ever had before. I was stressed about it being identical to how I wanted it. That is as early as I can remember. I was about 13. I always had a vision for how I wanted things to be and I was very serious about my expectations.

How did your life look before being an entrepreneur?

I saw life as looking through a glass ceiling, like employees that are at the graces of their employer who decides your salary, who decides the hours you work, and who decides whether you are hired or fired at any moment. You have to work hard but you don’t have real freedom. Entrepreneurship is about freedom. Looking back on it, that experience was worth it. Now, even though I own my own company, I still work 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

Shattering new glass ceilings and goals. Taking on new ideas and accomplishing goals is something that I set out to do on a daily basis. That daily challenge to get up and accomplish what you set out to accomplish for that day is literally what drives me that day. And tapping into what is inside of me. Discovering what is inside of me and being able to project that to the world.

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

Relentless – Because I understand that I cannot give up. I understand that failure is not an option and so I absolutely have to be relentless in my pursuit of every avenue that I have set out to accomplish. For me, it is not enough to just be successful, and the goal is to reach the top. If there is one word to be described, it is being completely relentless in my pursuit of success.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

1) Financial independence.

2) The ability to be able to help the people who will become my clients. To offer a real service that can help them in their pursuit of new homes, new businesses, new cars, and understanding the power of credit.

3) Recognition/ validation. I think there is nothing more rewarding than being validated by the people you look up to. 8 years ago everyone in credit repair was better off than me. They were my mentors. Today, to come full circle and become mentors of the people who mentored me is validation that I have chosen correctly and I have worked my way all the way to the top.

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

Identifying what your product is…what you bring to the table. Then, once you discover that, the next question is, is that product in demand? Is there enough of a demand to become successful in it? If the answer is yes, how can you maximize every day to make yourself a success in that particular field? Also, identifying who your competition is. If you don’t know your competition, you can be run over in your business. You should know why they are successful and what you can learn from your competition that can make you even more successful. Know their flaws. If you understand that, you would understand what drives their clients to you and how you can elevate in your industry.

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

1) Starting. Starting is always the biggest challenge. Many people will say they want to do something and because they never pull the trigger on it, they give themselves an excuse. Starting was like starting my company in Starbucks when it seemed like it wasn’t going to work or when I couldn’t even get one client.

2) Refusal to give up. The challenge was that the option of giving up was always in front of me. It was always door #1 or door to keep going or #2 to give up. I was given the temptation to give up but I chose door #1.

3) Once you gather a certain amount of success and you have outdone yourself and you don’t have any more competition, it is a challenge for an entrepreneur to not relax or take your feet off the gas. But, you have to press the accelerator and go further because you are in uncharted territory. Getting to another level that no one else is doing is also extremely challenging.

There are many times where I am challenged. Whenever I get overwhelmed, I go back to that same Starbucks and sit at that same table where I started and talk myself into success – because if I did it from the bottom level I can do it from another level. It’s about having a place of accountability. You should have a place where you can go to that is yours where you can hold yourself accountable for getting to the next level.

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

I did not go the normal route of marketing for years. In the beginning, I never pursued social media. I went the old-fashioned way of word of mouth. When you saw you had to get to the next level you saw that you needed to do word of mouth. When the celebs came along, then I figured out how I could utilize that to go to the next level. When we helped Tank (singer) and he put up a social media video on Instagram about his new house on Christmas, it took us to a level where our phones rang nonstop from Christmas day to January with a flood of new clients that we weren’t really prepared for. Every entrepreneur needs to be cautious because if you are not prepared for it, success can actually drown you.

Social media has really helped me. I use it in a way to showcase a lifestyle of success that credit brings with it. I show the celebrity clients we help who are purchasing cars and homes and showcasing that luxury lifestyle. That has opened up all kinds of doors. The phones just ring, all you have to do is get up. I think you have arrived when you no longer seek to chase clients or money, but the money and the clients chase you.

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

Learning who to fire and who to hire. Understanding how to motivate your team and keep them upbeat with you. I have learned that you are no greater or no less than the team that you put in power around you.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

It was from John H. Johnson, the founder of Ebony and Jet Magazines. When I was 17 years old, I went on a tour of Ebony and Jet and he was talking about the fact he always gave his employees free lunch. We were curious as to why he gave them free lunch. He said when you feed them that shows your employees that you care about their well-being. When they know you care about their well-being, you will get a better day’s work out of them. So, since starting my business, I have always fed my employees. That includes bringing in personal chefs or treating them every day to make sure they don’t have to worry about breakfast or lunch. Treat them the way you want to be treated yourself.

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

Never give up. No matter how dark it seems. No matter what the naysayers or haters have to say about you. If you really believe that you have something that the world needs and a real product that is in demand, then you have a responsibility to not give.


Entrepreneur Spotlight: Meet Brian Rainey, The C.E.O. Of Production And Logistics Company Gooten

Brian Rainey is the C.E.O. of Gooten, the globally distributed production and logistics company transforming how online brands manufacture and fulfill merchandise to their customers. As a “big picture” thinker, Brian elevates the organization through pivotal leadership and strategic direction while aiding in the expansion of financing, hiring, and global initiatives. Rainey previously served as a chief financial officer at Buzz Points, a fintech company, and held positions at Deutsche Bank and Deloitte. He provided accounting and audit services to startups preparing for potential I.P.O.s, private sales, or capital raises. Rainey, a licensed C.P.A, received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from James Madison University and an M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

I have always been an entrepreneur. Since I was 12 years old, I assisted in running a baseball card shop. That spirit has been with me even when I was working more traditional jobs – I always saw things as an entrepreneur. After college, I worked for a finance and accounting firm to audit VC-backed startups. As part of that role, I had to look at what made these companies successful or not. I saw how they operated, and it made me hungry to want to dive in and build my own business. As an entrepreneur, you develop and create a business versus just trying to drive process improvement at a larger company. As an entrepreneur, you look at what can be improved globally and attack that problem. When I thought I have the right idea, I want to go and do it – and not let corporate politics get in the way. You see a future state, and you believe in it so strongly that you want to commit all in to go and bring it to life. I believe in my vision for Gooten and wish to execute on it.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

I want to be an entrepreneur and never look back to my days in finance. I did not fit into the corporate world. I went against the things that go with working in the corporate setting. As an entrepreneur, the best idea wins, and there are no politics. I love the instant feedback loop that exists as an entrepreneur.

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

The thing that motivates me is that I surround myself with the people I get along well. I want to work with similarly minded people – but with skills that complement my own. Working or running a startup has entrepreneurship running across the whole business. Being surrounded by ambitious people is a fantastic feeling because they are always highly driven and want to succeed.

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

The word that I would use is “unexpected”. Plans constantly change; every day is different. No matter how much I plan, new things always come up – and that is fun and exciting. It challenges me and keeps me on my toes. You also have to challenge your own beliefs and take in feedback from your team, your board, and your customers, and then find the path forward. I would also add that being an entrepreneur is ” rewarding”. I am excited about the opportunities that come my way. I find fulfillment in overcoming challenges as we grow as a business.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

I took over Gooten from an original set of founders, and it needed a path forward. So with that in mind, the following three motivations that come to mind are:
1. With Gooten, I saw that there was an inherent need that existed between 2 groups – that neither could solve on their own. Manufacturers need brands to fill their machines with orders, and brands needed high-quality global manufacturing. I saw the opportunity to be in the middle of these two groups and create the marketplace.
2. I had a desire to build a high power team with the best people I knew to solve this marketplace challenge
3. I wanted to know and feel that I was working for myself – instead of just working for layers and layers within a corporate world.

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

For me, it comes down to 2 things:

1. Act as if you are going to succeed. It would help if you planned to scale. Most startups plan for failure. My thought process is to focus on building the most successful business you can with a complete plan for scaling it out – if it fails, I know that I gave it more than 100% of my effort and skills.

2. Make sure that you are the right person to solve the problem/challenge that you are seeking to take on – assuming that you are the right person to lead the charge, then focus on who is the next priority #1 and #2 hires to complement your skills to address the needs of the business.

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

The biggest challenges that I have faced with Gooten are:

1. Learning how to hire: People are what makes and breaks a company. I have to focus on attracting the right talent and retaining my staff to grow my business. part of the challenge here is that you do not always know who/what you need in a role – so you have also to be nimble to make the required changes as the business evolves and as you learn more of the needs.

2. Make sure to challenge my assumptions – I don’t like to have one idea and stick with it forever. I constantly challenge my thoughts and push myself to be open-minded. I have to reinvent a business strategy based on new data, new interactions, new market requirements, etc…

3. Building a marketplace is extra hard: Initially, you do not know how to start. The challenge is always to overcome the hurdles of convincing businesses to work with you when you do not have the other side figured out. I had to figure out how do I sell a product that I cannot source. At Gooten, this challenge led me to work closely with the manufacturers first, genuinely understanding their businesses and how they interact with brands.

A bonus challenge I want to mention is that you have to be willing to kill your darlings, meaning you might have adjusted and re-adjust what already works for you. It is hard in business, but you have to continually assess if you are doing the right things for your business’ future. And be willing to stop doing the things that you do not see value in the future. It’s challenging because you have to let go of things that already generate a tremendous amount of revenue, but sometimes, you might have to cut back before you grow bigger.

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

Content and SEO have always worked best. At Gooten, we make sure that we are the experts. The best way to do this is via content. I love to write bylines for various publications and have extended this practice across the team. The key with content is to engage with customers in a friendly manner where you are imparting knowledge and inviting them to deepen their relationship and engagement with you. Often, especially here at Gooten, we must sell our industry to potential customers before selling ourselves.

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

The three most important lessons for me have been:

1. Learning to hire people with the right skills for the right roles.
2. Trusting my team all of the way 100% – if you hire someone to do a job, you have to have faith and confidence in them to do that job – you cannot hire them and proceed to micro-manage them. Why did you hire them in the first place then?
3. Be transparent – this is hard as you may feel that you want to shield people from various things going on within the business – in the end, this proves more difficult. If you are transparent with your team and then extend that to partners and customers, everyone will respect and appreciate your decisions. And they cannot come back and say that you misled them or otherwise.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I got was from a fellow entrepreneur – it is DROOM = Don’t run out of money. Pretty straightforward.

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

The key is to make sure that you are building a career as you are building a company. My advice is that you need to invest in the long-term. Take the lessons that you will learn along the way and understand and appreciate them. Make sure not to cut corners especially falls into the bucket of not having ethical lapses. Always be happy with who you are and do not become a different person.


Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The April 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Mohanad Alwadiya – The Wolf of Dubai Real Estate

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Mohanad Alwadiya is the founder of Harbor Real Estate Dubai and is considered by many as one of the property industry’s most dynamic practitioners. He is an award-winning real estate professional and entrepreneur who, as the CEO of Harbor Real Estate, has set new standards in providing real estate investment and management solutions to Harbor’s clients, and has led to Harbor Real Estate’s winning the highly-coveted title of “Best Agency for Property Management” in the Property Times People’s Choice Awards 2015.

Mohanad’s achievements have emanated from his success in developing the industry-leading capabilities of Harbor, resulting in exceptional results for the multibillion dirham portfolios held by clients such as National Bonds Corporation, Investment Corporation of Dubai, Al Thani Investments, Daman Investments, Tadhamon Islamic Bank, Amlak Finance and Global Investment & Development.

Mohanad is also considered to be one of the most candid, insightful, and eloquent commentators in the UAE property market, whose extensive experience makes him a reliable industry resource. He is renowned for his professionalism, incisive analyses, and astute observations.

Global Millionaire recently caught up with Mohanad 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?

I am fortunate and thankful to have grown up in the UAE, a land of boundless opportunities. People talk about the American dream. Well, I have lived the UAE dream.

I guess I realized what my personal possibilities and opportunities were when I was completing my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double concentration in Marketing and Advertising from the American University in Dubai. I remember those days very well because I really felt that the world was truly at my feet.

I started my career at Leo Burnett, a Chicago-based multinational marketing services group of companies with offices throughout the Middle East and I’m proud to say that I became the most-awarded Communications Director during my seven years there. This period of my career really prepared me for success because of the vast amount of learning that I received from, not only the Leo Burnett organization, but also from the excellent clients from various industries that it was my pleasure to work with. Those were happy times!

However, having descended from a real estate family, I soon realized that my passion was real estate so I launched my real estate journey and was soon Head of the Projects Marketing and Sales Division for the global real estate arm of Dubai Holdings. Once again, the knowledge that I absorbed and the experience I gained from being part of this great organization really gave me the confidence to start my own business launched as Harbor Real Estate Dubai.

Over the last 20 years, I have also obtained a master’s degree in property management from the University of Salford, published two books about real estate and one of them became the best-selling book in the Middle East, and hosted the top-rated radio and reality-TV property shows in the Arab World.

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

I won’t bore you with a dissertation of the global economic carnage that COVID-19 created but in March of 2020, our initial objective was pretty basic … to survive in an environment with a set of dire circumstances that nobody in the industry had witnessed before!

We quickly realized that everybody was in the same boat and, in order to survive, we needed to maintain our competitive edge in the area of customer satisfaction. We knew our clients would require our assistance and that any recession, whether generated by a pandemic such as COVID-19 or by a financial crisis such as that in 2008, is all about being able to survive. It was tough and there were many sleepless nights during this period.

At Harbor Real Estate, we currently manage real estate portfolios with a total value of around AED 14.8 billion. So, there are lots of clients with lots of money invested that are relying on us. We take this responsibility very seriously indeed.

Obviously, we needed to adapt. This required a brutally honest assessment of our capabilities as individuals and the capability of Harbor Real Estate to continue to provide the services that our clients required during a pandemic and resulting economic turmoil on a global scale.

Thankfully, the country’s leaders showed great wisdom and resolve to enable businesses such as Harbor Real Estate to navigate their way through a very awkward period.

We realized early on that needed to make sense of the chaos and we determined that we required new solutions to meet new challenges and I think this is the greatest lesson that we learned at Harbor Real Estate during the Global Financial Crisis. Innovation and the ability to learn relevant to circumstances will always prevail regardless of what the circumstances are. This is the first time any of us had experienced a globally crippling pandemic and our experience, innovation and adaptability allowed us to keep serving our clients.

I recall the executive team discussing the Great Depression of 1929 whereby the first mistake that many companies made was to downsize their client servicing workforce. This action essentially compounded their problems because it affected service delivery and strangled revenue generation. This was one thing that we at Harbor Real Estate refused to do and during the course of the pandemic, we have actually grown our workforce by 38% and consequently managed to grow the portfolios we manage by more than 30%.

On the cost side, it was important to modify the business to reflect a more variable cost structure. Fortunately, we had always been conscious of overheads, particularly those that were fixed in nature and re-structuring the business to minimize those fixed costs was not too difficult to achieve. So, the focus was really on revenue generation complemented by realistic cost control measures designed to enhance productivity, not strangle operations.

Finally, it was about people. To develop and maintain a competitive edge any business must have a team dedicated to providing the best they possibly can for their clients. This includes not just generating the solutions but executing and delivering on promises as well. Harbor’s success can be attributed directly to the efforts of its people and I am so thankful to the Harbor Real Estate Team for their resilience and commitment during this difficult period.

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

I am active on all the key social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tiktok, Linkedin, and Youtube. I’m glad that my efforts in producing relevant content for my followers consistently have paid off and today I have over 2.5M followers across my official verified social media accounts.

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

There are so many variables that must be considered to determine whether a particular advertising approach is successful or not. What works for one organization will be totally different from what works for another organization. There are no set formulae for success.

At Harbor Real Estate, we believe that to really get to know our brand, you must meet it face to face. That’s why, in addition to my social media platforms and attendance at a wide variety of live seminars and conferences, we introduced the television program MEMAAR.

MEMAAR was the first-of-its-kind property reality TV show in the Middle East. The show is broadcasted exclusively on Dubai TV, part of the Dubai Media Incorporated and viewers can also follow the show online through

The show was created to provide insights into the machinations of Dubai’s Real Estate industry in an entertaining yet informative way. We all know that Dubai is a preferred Real Estate investment destination with celebrities, successful entrepreneurs and the business elite from all over the world. The show allows the average viewer to appreciate the considerations, opportunities, and eventual decisions required to make a sound and lucrative purchase as the journey from the initial idea or need to the eventual purchase is captured on film and presented to the viewer in an engaging and entertaining format.

Even though the show features celebrities or high net worth individuals, it is interesting to note that many of the challenges and concerns that arise and are dealt with on the show are shared and relevant to the everyday property investor as well, whether they are a potential owner occupier or landlord in the making.

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

It’s all about credibility, consistency, and constancy. My favorite 3 C’s.

I have said many times that I believe my value as a professional who has built a strong communication platform is in the field of Real Estate. I am not going to profess to be an expert on cars or fashion. That would not be credible.

In addition, I must be consistent. There are principles that I conduct my business by and I must abide by them at all times. I must be consistent in that what I recommend to people is based upon my best judgment, not what I believe my audience wants to hear.

And I strive to be ubiquitous or omnipresent. I want to be there when my clients or potential clients need me. I will not be a friend only for the good times, but I will be with you during the bad times as well. In this way, constancy will enhance my credibility and consistency.

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

Digital marketing including social media would be the obvious answer, but satisfying my clients and having them be advocates for Harbor Real Estate is by far the most valuable marketing medium that I have ever invested in.

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

Surprisingly, there haven’t been any particularly tough decisions. There have been many decisions and many challenges but, with great support from the executive team, decisions have been relatively straightforward once we applied logic and common sense.

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

The biggest mistake I made regarding money in the early days was actually worrying too much about money. This can be debilitating and stop you from thinking creatively and logically.

Put simply, if you fully focus on understanding the problem, identifying the right solution, and implementing it properly, the money will take care of itself.

What new business would you love to start? 

I’m so in love with real estate which is why I’m always investing and expanding across various geographies and asset classes in the field of real estate. On the other hand, given the major improvement in technology that the world is witnessing, I have been investing in tech companies and I’m in the process of launching a real estate focused Fintech firm.

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

SLOW DOWN! I know it sounds strange but the overwhelming urge when I started out was that everything had to be done in the next hour!

With experience, you realize that every issue, challenge, or roadblock needs to be carefully considered and there is usually time to do that. Sometimes, to ’sleep on an issue’ resulted in much better solutions.

Also, I learned very quickly to explore multiple solutions to a problem. There will always be a logical ‘first’ solution. I learned with experience to try and come up with multiple solutions and either choose the best or see if a hybrid solution might work better.

 What is the best advice you have ever been given? 

Listen actively. If you are talking, you are not listening.

Empathy is key in my business. If people are looking to me for leadership or counsel, I must truly understand them and their situation. I can only do this if I listen actively.

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

The most important thing to do as a young entrepreneur is to be yourself.

Be yourself and be confident with who you are and what you can achieve. I believe that every entrepreneur must develop his or her own style to be consistent with who they are as a person and what they stand for. It’s virtually impossible to copy or emulate somebody else and maintain your credibility over the medium or long term. People are generally very astute at detecting someone who is not genuine.

I try to learn continuously. No person, entrepreneur or otherwise, is the encyclopedia of all subjects. I can learn from anybody as long as I am willing to. While I try to learn from others around the world, I recognize that the true assessors of my capability and success are my clients. It is their opinion that really counts.

Of course, there are fundamental personality traits and behaviors which must always be observed … honesty, transparency, consistency, good communication skills. But I still maintain that being yourself is your biggest asset.


Entrepreneur Spotlight: Meet Nick Ron, The CEO Of House Buyers of America


After studying Business, Economics, and Information Systems, Nick Ron began a successful career at CACI Marketing Systems, where he sold software and marketing systems. Out of a team of 12 salespeople, Nick brought in over half of all new business after only three years of being with CACI. His success at CACI gave him the confidence to launch into his next venture. Nick founded House Buyers of America in 2001 and has been running the company as CEO since it began. House Buyers has succeeded beyond Nick’s wildest imagination by leveraging tech, marketing systems, and operational excellence. House Buyers of America buys, renovates, and resells a high volume of homes, offering homeowners a way to sell their houses quickly and hassle-free. House Buyers has always been a high-growth company, going from $0 to $50 million in annual revenue in its first three years of business, and it is currently experiencing double-digit growth. Nick won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and continues to reinvent the residential real estate industry with the latest technology and innovation.

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

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

From a very young age, I learned the importance of being my own boss. I was one of four children, and my family was extremely poor – financially speaking. If I wanted to go to the movies or game-room, that extracurricular cost was my responsibility. At age nine, I started collecting five-cent cans. I did whatever it took to get those cans, even dumpster hopped! My business brought in $10-$20 each trip, and it was tax-free! At age 11, I started delivering newspapers before school at 5 am. Then I moved onto a landscaping business, and by college, I was waiting tables.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

Before I was an entrepreneur, as an adult, I worked for CACI, selling software. In my third year at the company, I brought in half of the new business on a 12-person team. I did not anticipate starting my own business until I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert T. Kiyosaki. This piqued my interest in real estate. My success at CACI built up my confidence in my ability to lead and run an organization. My degree in economics and technology from George Washington University gave me a good baseline for using tech in business. In 2000, I began studying real estate and immediately dove in. When you grow up on welfare living in section 8 housing, you quickly learn that your hustle determines your survival.

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

My wife and four children motivate me through and through. Failure is not an option; I could never let them down. If I need to work 80-hour weeks, then so be it. Additionally, I will never give up on my church and Compassion International’s philanthropy work, where we sponsor children internationally.

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

Innovation – My entrepreneurial journey began with technology and the desire to reinvent an outdated market. Every day I think about how I can innovate traditional real estate tasks and industries beyond this market. Innovation brings the future into reality.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

Initially, my motivation was simply to buy rental properties for long-term wealth creation. Then as I navigated the industry, I realized two things. One, I was really good at doing real estate deals. Two, there was a huge need in the marketplace to offer a better alternative for homeowners to sell their homes. When I founded House Buyers, we wanted to be the Amazon of real estate. This meant fundamentally changing how real estate was traditionally conducted by offering an innovative alternative and leveraging technology. Our purpose was to make the process quick and easy for buyers and sellers. We always remained energized and focused on our vision by continuously upgrading our technology and studying the market to better serve our customers. Now, 20 years later, we are more focused than ever on making buying and selling homes easier and faster than ever for consumers by using the latest technology.

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

These are my top three key elements:

  1. I learned early on that you cannot be a jack of all trades and excel at everything. To be the best, you must hire outstanding people that specialize in the areas you do not. I have seen many real estate investors and business owners who become overloaded with trying to do it all. They never excel in the core functions of their business because they are spread too thin. Recognize your weaknesses and hire smart based on those inadequacies.
  2. Building your network of advisors is another key element. Your trusted advisors will become those you turn to for advice in areas of the inexperienced trade. They will save you from pitfalls and pull you through inevitable tough times. Gain wisdom from those who have been down the same road and do not try to reinvent the wheel.
  3. Always maintain healthy margins. Every day watch your costs and keep tweaking your process to maximize efficiency. If you operate on tight margins in a healthy market, you will never survive a downturn. Therefore, operate with extreme efficiency and always maintain healthy margins!

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

When I first started House Buyers of America, our first challenge was the lack of experience, which often caused mistakes. While the errors were painful and sometimes costly, we took them as growth opportunities. We would closely analyze the specific experience and develop a preventative system. You never want to make the same mistake twice. The second action we took to overcome inexperience included hiring industry experts in the areas that we lacked knowledge of.

The second challenge we underwent was the 2008 Great Recession. That time-period could not have been worse for real estate. Challenges included everything from housing inventory to financial constraints across the board. We literally went through two years of hell and do not ever want to go through that again. We learned all we could from this experience. We operated on sound principles that helped us get through future downturns with flying colors.

One of the biggest lessons learned through this period of time was to be conservative. Always apply Murphy’s Law when it comes to finances. There was no crystal ball to predict a market crash, and there is not one that will indicate the next one. You must keep your debts low and have healthy cash reserves to be well-positioned before the downturn to weather the storm. Always be cautious and conservative. Do not get into debt or try to invest significant amounts of money in unproven ventures. The second lesson learned was to always strive for excellence and continuously improve your business. If you do not improve your technology, your systems will become outdated, and you will lose customers and employees. They will see that your company is not evolving into the future.

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

We have always run a combination of marketing campaigns throughout the years, including TV, digital – social and Google Ads, direct mail, and even billboards. We realized that we could make many advertising mediums successful over the years, but we needed to test different ads and track, track, and track constantly. We diligently track the results of each campaign and constantly tweak them. We also regularly adjust how much to invest in each marketing medium. Each medium has a different point of diminishing returns, so you don’t want to overinvest. You must find out what that point is in each medium for your business. We analyze each campaign and determine how customers are responding. Each market has different consumers; therefore, the performance of each campaign will vary greatly. Success is seen when you analyze your ROI data and conduct multiple campaigns throughout the year. Do not put all your eggs in one basket because all consumers do not live and shop on one platform. Reaching consumers will vary based on market conditions, and your marketing techniques must evolve with consumer habits.

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

  • Remain Humble and Always Ask for Advice

Pride comes before the fall. Know your limitations and realize you have blind spots that can only be corrected by getting advice from others around you and outside counsel.

  • Conduct Low-Cost Tests

The first few years in business, I over-invested in unproven ideas. This resulted in wasted money that could have been avoided had I done low-cost tests. Entrepreneurs are creatively optimistic at heart. Before you invest in a new idea, conduct small tests until the concept is tried and proven. I continue to be an idea maker today, as entrepreneurs always should be, but I have the experience now to learn from my earlier mistakes.

  • Persistence & Adaptability Pay Off

When the market crashed in 2008, some peers went back into IT sales or switched to commercial real estate. They had to start over in a new career and go after a completely different customer base. The grass often appears to be greener on the other side. These people had the mindset that when the tough get going, it is time to quit! This never made sense to me. Long-term, real estate is a promising industry if you adapt. I knew it would eventually recover. If you jump to an industry because it is hot right now, realize that ultimately, that industry will have a down cycle as well. Do not give up, instead be persistent and adapt your systems to consumer needs. Always be willing to try new things. Run multiple tests every quarter to see what works and what does not work.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

I once learned from another real estate investor that you want to get your business model down to a science, so it almost becomes boring. Then at this point, you can expand. What keeps me excited about this business is that we can quickly scale our real estate business and launch into other markets because we have our system down to a science. We could get bigger by purchasing bigger properties like office buildings or buying other commercial real estate. But I’d have to learn a whole new game, and I wouldn’t be the best at it. So, I decided I could grow quicker by just buying a larger volume of houses in multiple markets rather than investing in different property sectors in one market.

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

Get your network of advisors in place! In January of 2001, when I started my company, I lined up my title company, attorneys, real estate brokers, contractors, and home inspectors. You do not need to know everything when you get started. However, you do need your network in place to help you through the process. Take the time to find the best people and learn from them as you go along!


Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The December 2020 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Daniel Goodman

Daniel Goodman is a Los Angeles-born successful real estate investor, stock market trader, soon-to-be life coach, and husband to celebrity real estate agent, Julia Jolie.

Daniel Goodman’s story is not that of rags to riches; rather, it borders on self-discovery, consistency, and battling addiction. Daniel is a progeny of an award-winning investigative reporter and a mum who is into television production. His maternal grandfather was a successful, and revolutionary merchant in furniture while his paternal grandmother is endowed with incredible wisdom. All figures had a meaningful impact on his life while growing up.

Having done many odd jobs in his twenties, Daniel’s sojourn as a real estate investor when in his very early thirties has opened his eyes to a lot of invaluable lessons. “The main lesson that I’ve learned in real estate, is to take your time before investing in a property. If it’s for long-term hold and income property as well, then hold onto it as long as you can,” he remarked.

Daniel, a successful day trader, started that venture in the summer of 2016. “Daytrading is a job. You get up in the morning and trade whatever stocks have the most volatility. Of course, it’s not only stocks; you could trade options, commodities, futures, cryptocurrency, ETF’s, etc. There are many ways to trade. Anyone with an Internet connection can daytrade. Anyone can trade,” he explained.

However, for all his success in real estate and stock trading, Daniel considers his greatest accomplishments as quitting drugs and alcohol. Daniel was addicted to alcohol for a good 17 years of his life. It was a daily struggle which he finally overcame 6 years ago. Having a lovely family means everything to Daniel. He has already achieved quite a lot and he sees himself in the next 5 years teaching and mentoring more and more people about real estate, the stock market, and life lessons.

Global Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Daniel to discuss his journey as a real estate investor and stock market trader and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started in property?

When I was an early teenager, I eventually found out how much the house was worth that I was living in, and I found out how much my parents bought it for. That’s when I realized real estate goes up over time, no matter what. So right away I knew that if you’re going to invest in real estate, it’s not so much the price you get it at, it’s where you buy it and can you hold onto it for a long time.

For example, my house was in Venice Beach where I grew up, and I quickly found out that beach property holds its value and goes up much faster than a property somewhere in the Midwest. So that’s what basically intrigued me and lit my fire and got me started in real estate investment.

I found it fascinating that you can invest in something that pays off in three different ways: it provides shelter for someone, they pay you to rent which of course pays for your mortgage, monthly expenses, and a profit, and at the same time it increases in value. It’s a beautiful thing!

I also started quickly learning about leveraging by using equity in real estate. Meaning, if your house has plenty of equity in it, you can borrow off of that and buy more real estate. However, I learned that that’s only for a long term investment. That can be a dangerous plan for the short term. I found all of this very interesting!

What was the process for you to finding what you wanted to do?

Not until I was about 30 years old did I know that investing in real estate and being in the real estate business, was something that I wanted to do. It may not be the most exciting career or way of making money, but it’s extremely stable and if done properly, it makes you guaranteed money over time. Throughout my 20s I worked odd jobs, and all different fields, but mostly in sales. I worked at Best Buy, worked in the family business selling furniture, worked with my father selling semi-precious stones, worked in over the phone sales, worked in the legal field as a process server, and eventually went back to school in my late 20s. Basically, My 20s is when I figured out what I wanted to do. In my opinion, in your 20s is when you should try different things and by the time you’re around 30, you should have a good idea of what field you would like to be in. And also, there’s nothing wrong with changing your field again.

What has been the most memorable experience of being a real estate investor so far?

I bought a property in 2014 when everybody thought prices were not gonna go any higher. I sold it years later for a 100% return on my investment. Not only was that exciting, but once again it showed me the power of real estate! The fun part was not only watching the price go up and up every year but having people tell me you need to sell immediately if the prices are going to drop. I didn’t listen to them, and I’m glad I didn’t. However, would that property be worth more today than what I sold it at, yes a little bit? There’s nothing wrong with making a profit and reinvesting it.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’m lucky to have grown up with a very close family. And even luckier that the people in my family have been not only interesting but role models. My father was and is, an extremely interesting powerful person in my life. He was in the army, an avid hunter and fisherman, one of the countries best investigative reporters of all time, and my hero as well. My grandfather on my mother’s side started a furniture business called Levitz furniture, which revolutionized and changed the furniture industry forever. My mother working in television production always kept my interest in that field as well. She was another strong person in my life. She cared about other people, and always wanted to help people that were less fortunate than her. She shows me about caring for others. My grandmother on my father’s side, who is not only interesting but had wisdom that could stop you in your tracks. The way she lived life, was like no other person I’ve ever met. Happy every day, and could handle any curveballs that life is thrown at her.

And last but not least, my wife who is not only my soulmate and life companion is extremely interesting. She grew up in Russia and made her way over to Los Angeles where we met. Her story keeps me challenging myself and of course, she constantly challenges me! (laughs)

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the real estate industry?

The main lesson that I’ve learned in real estate, is to take your time before investing in a property. If it’s for long-term hold and income property as well, then hold onto it as long as you can. Keep generating the income from it. If it’s a short term investment or a flip, be as cold as ice when it comes to the negotiation process. For short term investments, the initial price that you buy the property is extremely important! That will determine your profit margin, and give you as enough cushion as possible. Because when flipping a house, lots of things can go wrong and the clock is ticking! And of course, it’s all about timing! We all know timing is everything, but it’s very crucial in the real estate market. If you buy a house to flip in a hot market, and it takes you too long, and the market gets Lukewarm or cold, you might be stuck holding that house for a while. And last, the more love and care you put into a home, the better it will sell or hold its value! Remember, this will be somebody’s home for possibly the next 10 to 20 years.

We also note you’re a day trader, what is day trading, and who can do it?

I started day trading in the summer of 2016. I’ve been doing it for over four years now, and it’s my everyday job. Daytrading is a job. You get up in the morning and trade whatever stocks have the most volatility. Of course, it’s not only stocks; you could trade options, commodities, futures, cryptocurrency, ETF‘s, etc. There are many ways to trade. Anyone with an Internet connection can daytrade. Anyone can trade.

How much expertise do you need?

I started daytrading with zero knowledge and zero experience of the stock market. I only knew the simple rule, “Buy low, sell high.“ I knew nothing about daytrading. So anyone can start trading with zero experience.

What are the advantages of day trading over other means of investing?

The advantage of daytrading over other types of investing, is that daytrading will give you an everyday income. We all know investing in the stock market for the long term, gives you fantastic returns over a 5 to 10 year period. Sometimes it can be much faster, like the last three or four years we’ve had in the stock market. The returns have been insane! But you need to have a career or regular job to bring you a paycheck every week or two. So you can pay your rent, put food on the table, etc.

Can you give us a little Day Trading 101?

If you are a day trader, the most important rule is to cut your losses immediately. It’s not about making big profits, or lots of profits consistently in the beginning, it’s about cutting your losses immediately and staying above water. And most importantly, you should trade on a simulation platform so you can get a feel for what it’s like to day trade before you use real money. I didn’t do this, and I got crushed! I highly suggest any beginning day traders to start with “fake money“ before using the real thing. However, don’t stick with fake money for too long, because your emotions are not the same trading with simulated money, compared to real money. You have to dive in eventually

What are some best practices for newbies?

For newbie traders, the best thing that they can possibly do, is take profit off the table no matter what. Consistently taking profits and build your account or consistently put money into your checking account from trading, it’s extremely important! I can’t stress this enough, take profits!

There’s an old saying, “you can never go broke taking a profit.“ every newbie gets FOMO, and they think that there’s never going to be another amazing trade to take after they have just exited the one that they are in. Do not have FOMO! There are thousands of stocks to trade every single day.

How much of an investment do you need to make to get started?

Well, you need $25,000 in your account to make unlimited intra day trades. That means, there is no limit to how many times you can buy and sell in the same day with stocks, options, and ETFS. If you have less than $25,000, you need to hold your trade overnight for at least one day.

However, the amount of money one needs to start with is irrelevant. If you are a retired multimillionaire, and you want to start day trading, obviously putting in $25,000 or more is no big deal. If you are a broke college student, $500 might be a lot of money to you. You can start with enough money to buy one share of a dollar stock. So don’t get scared if you only have $200 to start trading. Because You can grow that $200 into $25,000 very quickly if you are NOT greedy and have the patience.

What do you think are the most common mistakes novice traders make?

Again, I think FOMO and not taking profit are the most common mistakes beginning traders make. They buy a stock, it skyrockets, and sell it. And then they jump back in because they have the fear that they’re not going to get another trade like that again anytime soon. And that’s definitely incorrect! There are many many many stocks every day that can be traded to give you a nice profit. And also they become greedy very quickly. They make $100 in their trade, and they quickly want to start shooting for $300 or $500 for the next trade. Baby steps, one day at a time, an empire is not built overnight.

What kind of money management skills should you have before getting into day trading?

You should know exactly what your financial goals are before starting to day trade. How much money do you need to make and how much can you afford to lose. Before daytrading, you should have discipline with money. If you don’t have any discipline with saving your profits, then you should learn that discipline first. However, you can definitely learn it on the way. That’s what I did. I was not smart with my day trading profits, or the amount of money I lost. I really had to learn everything the hard and painful way. But the most important money management skill that you need to have, is not to be greedy! It’s The hardest thing to conquer in daytrading. Because the whole game is about money. That’s what took me the longest to conquer, but once I did, everything became easier and grew faster. If you can’t buckle down and be extremely disciplined about being greedy, your first couple of years of day trading are going to be hell! So work every day to conquer greed.

Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.

Ever since I was 14 years old I was heavy into drugs and alcohol. For the next 17 years that was my life. I struggled with it day in and day out. I just turned 37 years old, and I’m almost 6 years sober. This has been one of my greatest accomplishments! My other most important accomplishment, that will be ongoing for the rest of my life, is being a loving husband and father. I have learned over the last 5 years, to be a better father every day. To be more patient with my children, my wife, and my family. I continue to learn more about my children and myself every day, and every day that I am patient with my children and happy around them is a priceless accomplishment! Because naturally they learn to be patient, and they are happy!

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice that I constantly return to, is taking life one day at a time. I’ve heard that from all of my role models and heroes In my life. All we have is day. So keep your focus on today’s issues, challenges, goals, and happiness.

Not taking life too seriously, has also been advice given to me over my entire life. Mainly from my dad‘s mother, Lillian, or “Lakey” as her husband called her. My grandmother always told me not to take life so seriously, and make a joke about your problems. She would always tell me to accept what life gives you, and keep moving forward. Don’t live in the past.

What takes up too much of your time?

I think what takes up most of my time, is actually overthinking situations. One might not realize it, but overthinking is not a good thing. Take enough time to make a decision, and once you’ve made it, stick with it. Do not go back unless you have to. If I overthink the situation it could take hours, days, weeks of space in my head. And that turns into wasted time, and of course, wasted energy! Staying organized is extremely important to me. If I become unorganized, or my office gets messy, that takes up a lot of time to re-organize it. So staying on top of my organization is a key factor for keeping myself stable.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I see myself teaching and mentoring more and more people about real estate, the stock market, and life lessons. Life coaching is something that I would love to get into and help others as much as possible. And of course, not knowing where I’m going to be in five years is also very very exciting! It’s good to plan ahead, but DON’T forget to live in the present! As long as my family is healthy and happy, everything else will follow.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) The most important places to visit.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How has COVID -19 impacted your business?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What would you advise a person looking to create wealth?

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