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Meet The Woman Who Reinvented Herself After Divorce To Become A Successful Entrepreneur

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Vanessa Rende is a Speaker, Writer, Entrepreneur, Consultant, and Podcaster. She is a former corporate consultant in the mortgage-backed securities industry, helping private, public and government agencies with risk, management, leadership, and business strategies.

When her career as a corporate consultant with a cushy paycheck, fat bonus and a false sense of freedom offered her an all-expense paid relocation to Denver, CO to work from a cubicle when she wasn’t traveling, Vanessa knew she wanted MORE. And she knew it was time to go all in.

A new homeowner and mom, she turned down the offer and launched her consulting firm in 2011 to help businesses and entrepreneurs with leadership, process improvement, marketing, business development, and other business strategies.

Using her 12+ years of experience, formal training, and life lessons, Vanessa is among the rare few business champions who is truly results and impact-driven. It is her mission to turn the hundreds she has impacted into millions.

The Australian Millionaire Magazine recently sat down with Vanessa to find out more about her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down.

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

I am a former corporate consultant who worked with the US Federal Government and hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs across the globe before turning down an all expense paid corporate relocation to Denver, CO in 2010 to start my own consulting firm. Within one year, my firm hit multiple six figures, but I let my mindset get the best of me and shut everything down to deal with a messy divorce, domestic violence, and even child abuse. I came “back” in 2015 and had dedicated my life and business to helping others climb out of the mental, emotional and financial hole I was once in. I have been featured in Fast Company, The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Fudding, and am about to have a spread in a popular entrepreneur magazine in Australia.

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

I started like a lot of people, with a comfortable corporate job that wasn’t giving me what I wanted out of life. I’ve been an “entrepreneur” since I was nine years old, helping a lady in the neighboring flea market spot market her items to kids my age. But I didn’t decide to take the leap and go all in until the false sense of freedom from my corporate consulting job came crashing down after my son was born. I love Denver, CO, but I wanted real time and money freedom, especially since I was a new nursing mom.

What is your main source of income?

I have seven streams of income, and my main ones are my consulting/writing/speaking business (mostly online and some offline) and my real estate business.

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

I am working on publishing two books this year. I am focusing on helping more people by collaborating with awesome media sources like you! I also blog for Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, and my own website. I have a podcast and live on Facebook and Instagram (for business, but I also love it).

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How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?

Same as above: the content I create is phenomenal. I don’t hold back when I’m sharing what I know, what I’ve learned and how someone can help themselves improve.

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

Great question! I trashed my 2018 business plans and burned my business model to the ground. I got caught up playing the online entrepreneur game, and I lost sight of the impact I’m meant to make. So I re-designed my business model, edited it extensively, removing anything and anyone who wasn’t conducive to the new plan and boom! Specifically, this meant closing down two paid group programs (that were full), and a free Facebook community I had been cultivating for over two years.

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

1) I started doing paid ads way before my business was ready. This left me struggling and more lost than I’d like to admit.

2) I fell into the online entrepreneur game. I became a launch queen, releasing one thing after the other to stay afloat without keeping my eye on the real prize: alignment. My new business design includes only what feels good, right and aligned with my purpose. If it doesn’t feel good, I no longer do it – no matter how scary it is to me or odd it may seem to the world that I don’t partake.

What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?

I have learned that wealth is a state of mind. I know money isn’t, but I understand now that I didn’t have to wait for my bank accounts to look fat to feel taken care of, wealthy and amazing. All of that started within myself, and if someone had told it to me, I would have attained it much faster.

What new business would you love to start?

I would love to open up a local yoga and juice shop! It may be selfish, but I want fresh juices and yoga every day, so why not offer it in my community where there is none of that yet.

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

I would have invested in a coach or mentor when I first opened my own consulting business. When I had to file for a restraining order and subsequent divorce, I closed myself off. I didn’t have someone to call me out on my bullsh*t and help me see that I was shrinking for no reason. I know that if I wouldn’t have tried to do it all alone, I’d be at multiple seven figures by now.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?

Vanessa, you think it’s about strategies, revenue, budgets and constant progress, but really it’s about something much bigger: loving, trusting and believing in yourself. The moment you decide that you matter more than anything, your life will change forever (and it has!).

Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

OMG, yes. I have read The Big Leap several times, and I highly recommend it to every business owner, creator, and visionary. I also recommend Think and Grow Rich, Blue Ocean Strategy and E Squared (Pam Grout).

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

It doesn’t matter what people think of you, what matters is what you think of you.

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

Before you start planning, plotting and thinking up strategies, focus on your mindset. Do it daily, do it first. Those other things can only take you so far. Your mind is what truly pushes you through the limits you have and will create for yourself.

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Meet The Stunning Beauty Queen Who Made The Leap From The Rat Race To Financial Freedom

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Have you ever heard of a stunning Beauty Queen who works in the Real Estate industry and owns two investment properties already??

Meet the beautiful Gemma White – she was crowned Miss Australia Continents in 2018 but her interest in property investment and building wealth stemmed from a very young age. Growing up, she remembers spending a number of school holidays and weekends at properties her parents would be renovating and that made her eventually realize that investing in property is the best and most consistent way of building wealth.

From the age of around15 years old, she started attending property seminars and reading property related books. The first book she read was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki and she also enjoys reading motivational and inspirational books, listening to podcasts, audiobooks and researching online.

She purchased her first investment property which settled in January 2017 and her second investment property in June 2018. Her goal is to own at least 3-4 investment properties within 5 years before starting her very own Property Development Company.

The Australian Millionaire Magazine recently sat down with Gemma to find out more about her journey towards financial freedom and here’s what went down.

1. Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your property portfolio? What encouraged you to start a property portfolio?

I grew up on the Central Coast NSW but moved to Brisbane QLD at the age of 20 and now live on the Northern Gold Coast with my family. I have many great memories growing up and value family time first and foremost.

At just 27 years of age, I have been working in the Real Estate industry for over 8 years and own two investment properties.

As soon as I finished school I completed my Real Estate license and Diploma in Property Services and started working in the industry. Over the years I have also completed a Cert IV and Diploma in Project Management.

My interest in property stemmed from a young age. Growing up, I remember spending many school holidays and weekends at properties my parents would be renovating… well, I mostly remember feeding bread to the ducks and taking my parents’ change to buy lollies at the corner store.

From the age of about 15 years old I started attending property seminars and reading property related books, the first book I read was Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. I enjoy reading motivational and inspirational books, listening to podcasts, audiobooks and researching online.

I think it’s important to have goals, be dedicated, ambitious and willing to work hard to achieve your goals. It is also important to keep learning and growing your knowledge at all stages of life. My life revolves around Property and Real Estate really, I simply love it!

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2. Can you describe your journey? When did you start?

I purchased my first investment property which settled in January 2017 and my second investment property in June 2018. The goal is to have 3-4 investment properties within 5 years before starting my own Property Development Company.

I love a challenge, creating opportunities and helping people into their dream home. Working in Real Estate has helped me understand the ever-changing property market and the key elements to consider when researching for my own properties.

3. What is your main source of income?

I work full time in Real Estate as a Residential Property Manager.

4. What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your property portfolio?

Save. Save. Save.

Whilst I have financial goals that I am constantly striving for, I believe life is all about balance!

I am always trying to improve my life in every area and live with an abundant mindset. I try to save as much money as possible, this often means I give up nights out on the town drinking or other costly outings but I certainly don’t feel like I’m missing out.

By living life in balance I am able to achieve my financial goals and grow my portfolio as well as do many things I enjoy that don’t cost so much or anything at all. For example, go to the gym, get outside for a walk, go to the beach, hike a mountain, walk to a waterfall, watch the sunset, read a book, listen to a podcast, go on a coffee date rather than for a full meal and spend time with family and friends.

5. What is your idea for wealth building?

I believe wealth building comes in many forms. We can start at any age simply saving a small percentage of what we earn with every paycheck. When I started my first job at McDonald’s at 15 years old, my parents made me save 20% of whatever I earnt (I started on a mere $7 an hour). This is something that has stuck with me through my adulthood and I still strive to reach this and more every week. Every dollar counts!

We can make small changes to our daily habits that will set us up for success when it comes to wealth building. I would suggest making weekly plans and budgets, cook at home rather than buy take out, ditch the morning coffee purchase, think before making the next rational purchase for that dress you don’t really need, make specific money or financial goals, pay off any debt (car or credit cards) efficiently and build your credit rating, spend time every day learning (this could be as simple as swapping music or the radio for a podcast or audiobook on your drive to and from work) and surround yourself with inspirational and motivated people who encourage you to do your very best.

When it comes to wealth building I believe ‘where focus goes, energy flows’ and ‘we have to give to receive’.

6. What challenges did you face trying to establish a property portfolio?

The biggest challenge I think many of us face when trying to establish a property portfolio is saving the initial deposit. I know it’s important to remain focused regardless of the challenges, hurdles, and adversities we experience.

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

The toughest financial decision I have had to make in the last few months was the decision to continue saving a deposit for a third investment property or to book a months trip to Europe with my girlfriends for mid-2019.

Whilst I am very driven and goal oriented I feel it is important to live a well-balanced life. Travel is something I crave, having already been to over 40 countries.

Although the trip will put me a few months behind on purchasing another property, I know I will achieve this goal with time.

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

I wouldn’t call it a mistake but would highly recommend to start investing as early as possible. In hindsight I would be much further ahead if I didn’t spend the deposit I had already saved on a 6-month backpacking trip around Europe in 2014, however, in saying this, I wouldn’t change anything. The experience, memories, and friendships I made on this trip are indescribable.

9. What new business would you love to start?

I would love to start my own Property Development Company within the next 5 or so years.

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

I can’t say that there is anything I would change at this point in time. I feel that we learn and grow with every step of the journey.

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

The best advice to remember when purchasing an investment property is to ‘think with your head, not with your heart’.

12. What advice would you give someone who wants to start building their property portfolio?

If you have thought about buying a property, there’s no better time than now! Do it. Don’t wait. Take action now!

It is imperative to do your research. I would suggest reading property books, attend property seminars and seek advice from those who are already in the property market. The most important decision you can make is to get educated and learn as much as you can to ensure you set yourself up for success.

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How This Man Made The Leap From Homeless To Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneur

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One of the most powerful rags-to-riches stories is that of Skyler Ditchfield, a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, who had a troubled childhood in rural Ojai, California. He grew up in a broken home and was bullied and beaten up at school but managed to rise above his difficult circumstances to become mega-successful.

Even though Ditchfield ended up giving up on school, he still landed his first job in Silicon Valley. He took his first real corporate job as a Network Engineer II at the Private Network Management Center (PNMC) of MCI Worldcom in Silicon Valley where he serviced high-level clients such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Quotron, Reuters, and more. Although he was the youngest technician in the office, he was quickly promoted to Network Engineer III because of his outstanding performance. However, when the company relocated to the East Coast, he was one of two employees that were offered a transfer. He declined the offer, and instead, he decided to return back to his hometown in Ojai, California.

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Over the next few years, he experienced multiple business failures that left him facing massive debt and ruined credit. He even tried to open up a local nightclub which didn’t pan out, and he also became homeless for a time. On top of that, his life-long battle with Chrome’s disease took a severe turn for the worse, placing him in multiple month-long stays in the hospital. His disease got so bad, that the doctors said he only had a few more years to live. Determined to outlive their predictions, he found an experimental course of treatment on the Internet which miraculously worked. Then came what Ditchfield calls his restart button – he found out he was going to be a father. With renewed health and an unexpected daughter on the way, he found a new sense of motivation for life. He regained his health and aggressively got back in the I.T. space allowing him to climb out of debt.

Fast forward to a few successful startups later, he ended up discovering GeoLinks with his cousin Ryan Hauf. Skyler bootstrapped what began as a 2-person business out of his weight room in 2011 to what is now a 9-figure (and growing) business. GeoLinks became the fastest growing fixed wireless ISP in the country and Inc. Magazine’s 2017 Inc. 5000 NO. 5 Fastest Growing Telecommunications Company in America. Under his leadership, Ditchfield has led the company to record more than 100% growth for six years straight and is on track for a seventh. Some of his recent accolades include World’s Top 5 Best Businessmen of 2017, Entrepreneur of the Year 2018, and Top 100 Innovator in Diversity and Inclusion.

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StarCentral Magazine recently sat down with Skyler Ditchfield to find out more about her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down.

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

I don’t consider myself successful yet, however, I feel I have traction and am on the right path. While I appreciate the recognition, success, in my eyes, would be to permanently change the lives of all my staff and others for the better. My journey was described earlier; it’s been long, grueling, and hard. I’ve calculated that I’ve put in about 20 years of normal work hours in the last seven years alone at GeoLinks. I’ve always imagined the path to success would come sooner, and I find it frustrating not being able to achieve growth even faster than we already are.

What is your main source of income?

My main source of income is the salary I earn from GeoLinks.

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

I look at new opportunities every single day. Currently, I am evaluating expanding our network into additional states, further diversifying our product line, and exploring more government project opportunities.

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

I face tough decisions every day. The most difficult decisions for me end up being when I have to walk away from exciting and big opportunities simply because I know (from experience) it would stretch our team too thin, or we lack the resources.

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

I’ll say this—learn your accounting and always double check your books. Even if you trust someone else to do it, still learn and keep an eye on what’s going on, because if you don’t keep track of your cash, you’ll be out of business.

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What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?

I am not wealthy in my own eyes… However, as perceived success grows, more and more people will mislead you, misrepresent themselves to you, and pretend to be your friend.

What new business would you love to start?

A health and nutritional products business—outside of GeoLinks and my family, health, and fitness have been lifelong passions of mine.

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

Be ready. Be ready for more challenges and perceived failures than you can possibly imagine. Realize and prepare yourself for the fact that the problems that lie ahead will ultimately become opportunities, and never fool yourself into believing that the road ahead will be easy. Master that mindset now, and you’ll be primed for pushing through all of life’s roadblocks.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?

Just start. Don’t procrastinate or worry about putting yourself out there.

Once you’ve had the courage to start, have the confidence to know that results will come.

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Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and No Man’s Land: Where Growing Companies Fail by Doug Tatum.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Cash is king, know your accounting!

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

If you can’t sell your own product, don’t start the business. Furthermore, there is definitely such thing as growing too fast. It’s easy to get wrapped up in accelerated success, and thus make misguided business decisions on projections rather than facts. It’s okay to dream big, but remember, in order to have a business or achieve a mission, you must remain in business. Another element that can be lost in quick growth is culture. In today’s modern workplace, culture is paramount in attracting and retaining top talent. Thus, it’s imperative to never forget that you’re only as great as the team you’re surrounded by. Finally, one word of advice I give to all Entrepreneurs who are starting out is to follow your gut and fire fast. Every single time I have ignored my gut or procrastinated on a “debatable” employee, it has yielded negative results. The world is full of opinions, master the art of creating your own and trusting your intuition.

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How This Woman Made The Leap From Business Attorney To CEO Of A Successful Company

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A former business attorney turned entrepreneur, Deborah Sweeney purchased MyCorporation out of Intuit in 2009 and has been successfully running the business ever since from its headquarters in Calabasas, California.

Deborah is currently the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best.

StarCentral Magazine recently sat down with Deborah to find out more about 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 grew up in Southern California and attended the University of California, Irvine for my undergraduate degree and Pepperdine University where I received an MBA and my Juris Doctor degrees. I am an attorney by trade and worked at several Los Angeles-based law firms before moving on to manage the MyCorporation division at Intuit as their GM in 2004. The country was suffering from a serious financial crisis in 2008 and Intuit was divesting small businesses with my division, MyCorporation, affected in the process.

During the economic slowdown, I began discussing with my husband the possibility of buying out MyCorporation from Intuit. We met with our bankers, I proposed the idea semi-informally to my boss, and I put together a presentation on how MyCorporation could thrive outside of Intuit. I met formally with Intuit leadership afterward where I made my offer to purchase the business out if they were interested in selling or divesting to me. Six months later, the leadership came to me to suggest that I present the options for divestiture — close the division, sell to another company, or sell to me. While I knew it was important to be as objective as possible, I knew that I wanted to buy this business more than anything else. I believed in MyCorporation, the customers, and employees and wanted nothing more than to receive the opportunity to grow and manage this private entity. About a month after I presented the leadership with more documentation on how I could make all of this happen in 2009, I received the greatest phone call of my life. Intuit offered to sell MyCorporation to me and make me the sole owner. I enthusiastically accepted the offer, and we were off to the races!

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

Transitioning from the corporate world to entrepreneurship was tough at first. Even though I had bought a business that was already established, I still needed to rebrand the business to better define who we were again. I needed to learn how to balance patience with ownership, knowing that not everything could get done right in that exact second. And even though I was an entrepreneur in the same industry where I spun my business out of Intuit (helping business owners incorporate or form LLCs), I had a limited knowledge of entrepreneurship since I had not done anything like it before. However, what I find has helped to make us successful is how we embrace what makes us unique. I embraced my unconventional educational background — especially the legal aspect — and it has served to be a valuable asset in business.

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

We place our customers first and focus on maintaining an ongoing relationship with them. When entrepreneurs form a corporation or LLC with us, they often ask us to do their annual filings, store their paperwork, and remind them when tax documents are due. We also work to identify partnerships with like-minded businesses. When we hear customers talk about needs that they have that we do not specialize in, but know a great business that does, we identify the business and work to establish a mutually beneficial partnership together that works for each company and its customers.

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

A combination of content, email, search, and word of mouth marketing has really helped us to grow and thrive over the years.

How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?

We pride ourselves on our personalized customer service. We encourage our customers to give us their feedback, and we really listen to what they have to say in order to improve their overall experience.

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

As our business continues to grow, both in sales and in employees hired, our challenge has been to grow the business without significantly growing our expenses too. I pay close attention to ROI with each of our expenditures so that revenue increases without a commensurate increase in expenses.

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

Early on in my business career, I spent an astronomical amount of money to build our brand without focusing on ROI. I realized a few years in that some of our marketing expenditures were ROI negative. We were focused on growth, but I wasn’t paying attention to ROI and on a significant amount of our marketing, we were actually losing money. Maybe we were expanding our brand awareness, but we’re not sure how much that impacted us! The experience taught me to pay attention to the ROI of my business. Know where you are spending your hard earned marketing dollars and how that investment is paying off.

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

I would tell myself to take your time when making big decisions. It’s easy to act quickly, but it’s much better to pause and take the time to think things through.

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Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I am a big fan of the book Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The theme of the book is that it’s all about thinking differently and not following the crowd, which is admittedly something that happens more often than one realizes in business. It inspires you to think for yourself and create an opening that others do not see. In doing so, you can create your own space rather than follow the space of others and march to the beat of your own drum!

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“Lead from within, not from out front.” This piece of advice emphasizes the importance of how to control a business without being controlling. If you try to run everything yourself, you’ll eventually crash and burn. It’s important to empower and trust your team to keep the business humming without you micromanaging.

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

Due to the nature of the work I do, I would advise that they get all of their legal ducks in a row first! Incorporate or form an LLC to legitimize your company, register your trademark, draft a business plan, get your business licenses, file for an EIN and DBA, and stay on top of your annual maintenance.

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Interview With A Millionaire: Introducing The Smart And Savvy Ilene Davis

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Ilene Davis put herself through college and eventually received a degree in Math in 1971. For several years after graduation she worked as a mathematician then she got married and worked in her husband’s business. She became a stockbroker in 1982 and ended up opening her own office in 1986 when the broker she worked for had significant ethical issues. Fast forward to today, her current net worth is sitting at a cool $4 million.

We recently caught up with Ilene Davis and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started making money?

I received a degree in Math in 1971. I actually put myself through college and started saving even then. By graduation, I had enough to buy myself a car. Once graduated, I worked to save enough in a couple of years to take a two month trip to Europe before I seriously got down to working for the future. For several years after graduation, I worked as a mathematician. Then got married and worked in my husband’s business. During that time I also earned a degree in Accounting, went to another company for several years until an opportunity came along (1982) to become a stockbroker. Having been investing for years, that was my true passion (and still is).

How did you get started in business? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?

I became a stockbroker (which is really a personal business even if you work for a Wirehouse because you are strictly on commission) in 1982 and opened my own office in 1986 when the broker I worked for had major ethical issues. As for imagining if I would become this successful financially: my first goal was to get to $1 million. Then to $2 million. Once I reached $2 million in investments, I continued to invest. Much of the wealth comes from those initial millions “doing their thing.”

What is your primary source of income?

I don’t really count my investment income because it remains invested, so my primary source of income is commissioning from being a financial professional.

Would you be willing to tell us your current net worth? How did you accumulate your net worth?

It hit $4 million before the recent market drop, but I expect it will be up and down for a while. I accumulated it by doing what I tell clients. Invest a portion of your income and leave it working.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your net worth?

I maximize my solo-K each year and otherwise do some trading but mostly leave the management to the mutual fund companies that I invest in and leave my own stocks to ride, sometimes buying on dips and then writing options to generate extra income.

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

The only thing of any challenge was last year when the Obama administration “Fiduciary Rule” was implemented and I asked clients if they were willing to stick with me if I stuck to a commission because the math I did said THAT was in their best interests, not fee-based. Fortunately, Trump won, and I’ve had a wonderful year.

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

PLAYING the market instead of investing long-term. I sold my Microsoft stocks too soon (I call that my $2 million loss), same with AOL. I still see stocks I owned years ago that have gone up significantly, but I really can’t complain. My other mistake was trusting a friend with a loan. Now I’m working to at least write it off as a loss.

What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?

The key, as Warren Buffet said, is time IN the market, not time OF the market. And to have a plan, don’t worry about what others THINK you should do. I tell clients the most expensive thing they can buy is “friendship”. Be happy with who you are, find contentment, even happiness, in living within your budget and building wealth. Believe you are worthy of being wealthy so you don’t sabotage yourself.

What new business would you love to start?

Already working with a new partner (with similar ethical perspective) on wealthliteracyinstitute.com and choosingwealth.com. My goal is to teach financial literacy and provide a tool that virtually anyone can use to create a path to wealth.

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

I would have gotten my CPA and done more networking.

Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I have DOZENS: Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) / Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach) / The richest man in babylon (George Clason) / The Millionaire Next Door (Dr. Thomas Stanley) / The Millionaire Mind / Stop acting rich and start living like a real millionaire / The E Myth Revisited / Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth / my own book “Wealthy by Choice: Choosing your way to a wealthier future” / 10 Distinctions between Millionaires and the middle class / Think like a Billionaire (Donald Trump) / The Purple Cow / any of Tom Peters Books / Any of the Spencer Johnson or Ken Blanchard (particularly “the One minute Manager”) and DOZENS more.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

You can do anything you set your mind to if you are willing to work for it (my dad, and mom)

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How This Man Made The Leap From Factory Worker To Multi-Millionaire

Justin Wang is the CEO of The Property Investors Alliance (PIA) and is a wealthy individual in more ways than one. This is in terms of both his financial acumen and his deeply philosophical base of personal knowledge – gained as an offshoot of his Chinese heritage and cultural influences.

He built PIA at the time where he realized the profitability of the Sydney residential property. His considerable charisma would go on to spearhead a veritable empire of altruistic financial freedom. Now that he is on top of his game and sitting pretty, Wang takes a moment to share his story.

From his humble beginnings as a factory worker when he migrated to Australia to his ultimate prosperity as a property mogul, what follows are some gems on entrepreneurial endeavour – ‘the teachings of wealth’ – direct from the man behind the success.

The humble beginnings

Wang associates his accomplishments with always insisting upon his dream, despite his humble origins. “I always believe as a child that if you have a dream, that if you can keep it and be ambitious, that you will eventually achieve it,” he says.

He credits his grandmother with instilling the crucial discipline for fostering his innate abilities. His upbringing was greatly influenced by the Chinese tradition. Speaking about his grandmother he recalls “she always taught me how to be useful and to accumulate good karma”.

It was this fortuitous and fruitful approach – of understanding the process of giving and receiving – that would prove to be of great importance in Wang’s professional life. “My success is measured in two folds – one is financial freedom and the other is helping people,” he explains.

Finding a calling

When Wang became a teacher, he noticed his colleagues struggling with money concerns. It was here that he found a way to ‘give back’ and to ‘find his calling’ – all in the one serendipitous instance. He was able to align his spirit of collaboration with his skill for finance to ‘break the mould’.

Wang explains that only ‘a few people work for fun’ whilst most work ‘for the bread and butter – for survival’. Luckily, in his lifetime he was able to transcend a mediocre existence for one that met loftier goals – but, it was an experience that was not without its fair share of trials and tribulations.

He elaborates “I resigned from being a high school teacher, I wanted to try something else and eventually I came to Australia – because I wanted to find financial freedom. However, I found it very difficult at first to make money in this country, even though the income is higher here than in China I could only save a few dollars.”

Making the dream a reality

Even though Wang initially felt frustrated with his lot in Australia, he quickly found a way to remedy the situation. This was how PIA was born. ‘Ever since I created this concept it has been going well,” he says with an easy sense of confidence.

Wang, once more, credits the realization of his dreams to his two-fold approach to prosperity. “To illustrate my definition, I invest in a business and then I advise others to do so. If I didn’t do that, I probably would not have achieved so big a portfolio as I currently hold today,” he divulges.

He always tells his staff to “make an investment yourself and then share with other people”. In this way, Wang likens the process to a turbomachine, or to an ecosystem. “By doing this information will spread quickly and it will leverage the property,” he says.

The wheels in motion

Now a firmly established enterprise, Wang’s business is a thriving entity built on three symbiotic branches. The keyword here is ‘alliance.’ “What we’re doing is all related to property for the investors. In today’s language, this corresponds to the concept of a ‘platform.’ I believe that the whole industry must be integrated,” he attests.

The modern digital world and its propensity for networking is the perfect facilitator for a collaborative environment – one that works greatly in Wang’s favour. “The more and more that individuals use the PIA platform to start their own portfolio and business, the more everyone wins.”

Wang adds “my business partners don’t actually work for me, rather they engage in the platform and set up their individual businesses. The internet provides and connection for everyone and it makes the connections almost feel physical.”

Entrepreneurial advice

For Wang, the priority of a business owner always lies with the stakeholder/s. This includes all parties to the arrangement, as well as the interests of society as a whole. He gives an example: “in looking after my real estate agent, I also must consider the investors and their client’s interests, aka the purchaser. It goes beyond this, extending to the developer and the entire community.”

This holistic approach is the cornerstone of Wang’s success, and functions as a valuable lesson in entrepreneurial tactics. “If we consider all sides then the business won’t encounter any undue difficulties. If you are not taking care of all sides, you would think that this would jeopardize one parties’ interest – and, then you would most likely find this would cause trouble for your business,” he elucidates.

In engaging his customers, Wang is very focused on listening to his people. This comes down to transparency. “We deliver the truth about the Sydney property market through the thorough knowledge that is easily digestible. We provide the best strategy to assist them with investing,” he says.

It’s also about anticipating needs, saving customer’s valuable time and ‘going the extra mile.’ Wang explains “in hiring a PIA consultant, you are provided a flexible service. We are prepared to go to people’s homes after hours, and we always handle things in an efficient and hassle-free manner.”

Concluding thoughts

Justin Wang is the embodiment of the self-made businessperson. From unassuming beginnings to a life as a property magnate – he now personifies the paradigm for financial freedom. It always comes down to abundance as generated by collaboration. “Life is not about yourself, your wealth and your fame. Sharing and inspiring other people is more fun than being successful by yourself,” he says.

Wang’s favourite quote? A line from a book by Zig Ziglar. “If you can help other people achieve what they want, you can achieve everything you want.” It’s certainly a poignant ‘teaching of wealth’ with many applications – especially for those seeking out their own future as an entrepreneur.

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How Months Of Unbearable Pain Led This Woman To Becoming A Successful CEO

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Tara Langdale-Schmidt hadn’t planned on being an entrepreneur. But after suffering from unbearable pain, numerous medical misdiagnoses, and several ineffective surgeries, she felt that she had no choice.

For four long years, Tara suffered from Vulvodynia, a chronic pain experienced by an estimated 15 percent of American women. Tara had sharp, stabbing, burning pain in her pelvic area, making it impossible to enjoy sexual intimacy with her future husband. The pain – physical emotional and mental – was agonizing and impacted her quality of life. After undergoing several surgeries and even having a doctor suggest she drink wine before trying sex with her husband, she had enough.

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From her previous positive experience using magnets to reduce back and neck nerve pain after a car accident, she had a “lightbulb moment” to add neodymium magnets into a vaginal dilator. With the help of medical experts and advisors, she turned her idea into a nonprescription medical device. That’s when VuVa Tech was born.

Her startup was not easy, she went three years without a paycheck and suffered some setbacks on the product design, but she knew she had a game-changing medical device that today has proven to help women relieve pelvic pain and sexual discomfort.

The dilator device has allowed Tara and over 7,000 women all over the world to live a more normal life and finally enjoying sex without pain, helped expand families and brought relief for the men who suffered along with them.

StarCentral Web recently sat down with Tara Langdale-Schmidt to find out more about her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down.

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

Many people know they want to follow the entrepreneur path from the getgo, but I was not one of them.

In fact, I never gave a thought to being a startup business entrepreneur. But after suffering from unbearable pain, numerous medical misdiagnoses, and ineffective surgeries, I decided I had no choice.

I am one of the millions of women worldwide who suffer from Vulvodynia, which causes chronic pain and discomfort in the Vulva region.

For four long years, I experienced sharp, stabbing, burning pain in my pelvic area, making it impossible to enjoy sexual intimacy with my boyfriend, Jason, who would become my husband. The pain, both physical and mental, was agonizing and impacted my quality of life.

For the first two years that I dealt with pain during intercourse, my OB/GYN told me to drink wine and take some Advil before sex. Some advice!

Searching for another answer, I went to a pelvic pain specialist who did not even examine me. Instead, he wanted to put me on an antidepressant for the pain. Can you imagine??

Finally, I had enough. I took my medical condition into my own hands. Searching for an answer went on for years until I ran across an article on vulvodynia and I realized that is what I had. From my previous positive experience using magnets to reduce back and neck nerve pain after a car accident, I had a “lightbulb moment” to add neodymium magnets into a vaginal dilator. With the help of medical experts and advisers, I turned my idea into a nonprescription medical device and startup business – VuVatech www.vuvatech.com – to relieve the pain and sexual discomfort experienced by so many women today. The dilator device has allowed me and over 6,000 women all over the world to live a more normal life and finally enjoy sex without pain. This device has also improved relationships, marriages and even helped couples expand their families.

Tara & Jason

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

The journey started when the pelvic pain began. I knew that making Neodymium Vaginal Dilators would work for others because they worked so well for me. There was no doubt in my mind. These women needed help, and I was going to be the one to do it.

What is your main source of income?

Our VuVa Magnetic Dilator product has been wildly successful. It’s been able to fund the company and myself.

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

We are working on making our vaginal dilators in different materials, a very exciting development. Also, we have just hired a new marketing company that will help open new doors and opportunity for the business. The ads will launch in the coming weeks. And we’ve been using a fabulous public relations professional, John Goodman, who has gotten us a lot of attention and awareness.

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

We are very active on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. All have been incredibly successful in creating awareness of our company and dilator products. We’ve received interest from all over the world, from Australia to the US.

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

We have found it very helpful and definitely has paid off. I like Google AdWords the best. We like to focus mainly on our patient outreach, public relations campaign and aggressive social media.

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?

Branding is everything. You must have a unique, recognizable logo and brand. Stay consistent with colours, fonts, and your story.

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

Word of mouth has been very helpful. We have the best reviews which are heartwarming. We’ve helped women regain their sexuality and, in some cases, have saved marriages. Also, some women have become pregnant after they thought they never could because sex was too painful. It is incredible that we have pelvic pain ambassadors all over the globe sharing their successful VuVa stories.

How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?

We are the only vaginal dilators with a patented magnetic sleeve inside to help reduce pain quicker and calm muscles. There are other dilator sets on the market, but ours are made right down the road from our office, and we know exactly what type of safe material that is being used. We also help women find doctors and pelvic floor physical therapists in their area, even if they are not a customer.

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

We are growing rapidly, so deciding on how much product to order from the manufacturer to keep orders flowing. I have a hard time spending money because I like to see the bank account grow, but you have to spend money to make money. I would say this can be a tough decision, but a good one to have to make!

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from?

If you can do something yourself, do it. We spent a lot of money on a marketing and branding company to make our site. I was very unhappy with it and created a new website in two days. Do not underestimate yourself. Now I do most everything myself, and Google is my best friend!

What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?

I’m hardly wealthy at this point. I have seen many entrepreneurs that define success by how much money they have in the bank, the car they drive and the house they own. I think differently. I define success by how many women I can help. My main goal is to help women overcome pain and resume normal, healthy lives; anything monetary will only be a bonus.

What new business would you love to start?

I’ve thought about this question for a while, and honestly, I would like to create another business where I am helping people and talking about a subject that people need help with but are afraid to talk about. Similar to VuVatech. But right now, I’m too busy to even think about starting another business! Helping women with pelvic pain is one of the most rewarding things I could have ever done, and I am beyond fulfilled.

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

If I could go back, the toughest lesson I’ve learned is always show contracts to an attorney. We had hired a company that was going to help us market our magnetic pelvic pain dilators to physicians and physical therapists. We mistakenly did not send it to our lawyer to review. The potential partner agreed to commission for sales but made a drastic change in the contract one month later. At that point, we informed our attorney, and he sent a termination letter immediately. But the situation could have been avoided if we had sent it initially to our attorney to review. Going forward, we now have our attorney review all contracts and business agreements in advance.

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If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t go to college. I am so happy I stopped going (which was due to medical reasons at the time). Student debt is a very big issue in our country, and I am making more than most college grads. I wasted time, but you live and learn.

Do you have any favourite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I love Gary Vaynerchuk. He is an amazing entrepreneur and motivational speaker. He doesn’t put up with any excuses, and that is a lot like me.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Do not believe everything you hear; there are a lot of people in the business that want a piece of your pie right off the bat without gaining trust or respect first.

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

You might fail, and that’s okay. It’s okay to throw in the towel. Do not waste money keeping a dream alive that you feel will never be successful. This is very important because every mistake you made the first time around will help you create something more successful in the end.

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How Months Of Puking Lead This Woman To Creating A Global Business

Romy Taormina always knew that she wanted to run her own business one day, but she had no idea that months of puking would lead her there.

She eventually discovered the positive effects of using acupressure wristbands to alleviate her nausea after experiencing numerous months of terrible morning sickness during her two pregnancies. Dissatisfied with the existing products on the market that she felt were drab and uncomfortable, she hatched the idea for Psi Bands – an FDA-cleared product that is both fashionable and functional for others who suffer from nausea. Psi Bands are drug-free wrist bands that act as a relief from nausea due to morning sickness (pregnancy), motion sickness/travel, chemotherapy, and anesthesia. With Psi Bands, those who suffer from the very common, yet debilitating condition of nausea can feel better – both in style and comfort.

Psi Bands currently sell at Target, Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, Babies “R” Us, REI, Meijer, Amazon, as well as hospitals, and even internationally. So far, approximately one million sets of Psi Bands have been sold globally. Entrepreneur Magazine calls Psi Bands a “stroke of genius” and it has also been featured as an “O Pick” in the Oprah Magazine.

StarCentral Magazine recently sat down with Romy to find out more about her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down.

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

Puking is what inspired me to take the leap of faith into the entrepreneurial stratosphere. I suffered from debilitating morning sickness during both of my pregnancies and was sick for more than a year. I found nausea relief through acupressure wristbands but was dissatisfied with existing products on the market, so I set out to create a superior product, both in form and function, to help those who suffer from nausea and vomiting. And that’s when Psi Bands® was born. Clinically proven Psi Bands are acupressure wristbands, a medical device, that relieves nausea due to morning sickness, as well as motion sickness, anesthesia, and chemotherapy.

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

Psi Health Solutions, Inc. launched in 2008. Psi Bands now sell at retailers such as Target, Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod, Meijer, H-E-B, Whole Foods, REI, Amazon, etc.; in hospitals; and internationally. Close to 1M sets have been sold. We are honored to help so many people who are suffering from nausea and vomiting.

What is your main source of income?

Psi Bands sell nationally and internationally.

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

In January, I visited Dubai, where I got to ride a camel! I applied for and was awarded a STEP Grant, a government grant that helps small businesses succeed in the international marketplace, and I was offered a turn-key exhibit space in the US Pavilion at Arab Health 2018, the largest gathering of healthcare and trade professionals in the MENA region. After exhibiting at this 4-day trade show, I am now working with some distributors to finalize agreements so that we can grow our export business.

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

Facebook and Instagram.

– facebook.com/psibands

– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/psibands/

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

We use sponsored ads on Amazon, as one example. We also do doctor detailing. That’s when a physician and medical teams can try the bands on their patients and see the positive results; these professionals are far more likely to recommend the product, which translates into more sales.

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

We have grown Psi Bands’ brand awareness through public relations and social media. Psi Bands’ press highlights include being featured in Oprah’s Magazine as an “O Pick,” on Shark Tank, and in Entrepreneur Magazine as a “strokes of genius.” Accolades include being a Huggies Mom Inspired Awardee, a STEP Grant recipient, and a Trailblazer from Wells Fargo and the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO). Our customers share their feedback and often include very special photos, about their positive experiences. When one can see a person wearing their bands, whether they are pregnant, on the deck of a ship, or in a very vulnerable hospital setting, we are humbled by their words of gratitude.

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

Public relations, social media, and doctor detailing.

Press highlights may be found here: http://www.psibands.com/press.html

How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?

Psi Bands are uniquely stylish (available in several fun colors); waterproof (no more soggy wrist bands); adjustable for a personalized and comfortable fit and so they stay static on the Nei-Kuan acupressure point, the point is clinically proven to relieve nausea; affordable; and drug-free.

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

It’s actually a personal one. My oldest son is a senior in high school and will be going off to college, likely in a different state, in just a few months. The process of “letting go” has been difficult for me. I have to work through my fears of letting go and to acknowledge that we (my husband and I) have done everything that we can to prepare him for the next chapter in his life. Over the years, I have often been reminded that there are overlapping lessons as a mom/parent and business owner. We all have fears and doubts. Fears can be limiting. However, if you honor the fear and give it consideration, you can use the fear as a beneficial tool to pave the way for more strategic decisions.

What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?

I believe we all define success and wealth differently. If you are wealthy, to me that means you are leading a meaningful life filled with people who you love and that love you. You have developed a personal foundation of love and support that helps you to celebrate, overcome, and share life’s experiences, together.

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

Celebrate the highs AND appreciate the lows. The lows are going to be the lessons from which you will gain perspective and learn and grow the most, both personally and professionally.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are doing the best that you can at the time. You will make mistakes. And they are learning opportunities.

Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s books (“Outliers,” “Tipping Point,” “Blink”), and “Quiet” by Susan Cain.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky

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

Be effective. Not Right. No one likes the blame game. Casting blame and throwing jabs are not going to solve the problem. And everyone likes solutions. Cut to the chase and offer solutions.

Keep one foot moving in front of the other. There will be times when you are tripping and falling. Get back up and keep those feet moving in a forward direction – pointed at your goal(s). It sometimes may be only one small step, but take the step and don’t just talk about taking the step. Do.

Love what you do. Ask yourself these questions: Does your company’s mission resonate with your core values? At the end of the day, does what you do fill your heart? And does it help others? It will be far easier to overcome challenges and lead to a far more enriching and growing experience/journey if you are able to answer yes to these questions. Your heart will be the driver you need to keep on going.

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How This Woman Turned Her Passion Into A Million Dollar Business

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Photos courtesy of Madame Methven

Kaila Methven is the brains behind possibly the world’s most expensive lingerie label.

Kaila’s family once upon a time owned The Rainbow Unlimited Chicken Company (RLC), which used to supply 90 percent of KFC’s poultry. After inheriting her family’s sale of RLC shares back in 1991, Kaila decided to step away from the fried chicken business and focus instead on a much sexier line of work: a luxury lingerie company.

At just 16 years old, Kaila interned at her first Paris Fashion Show and went on to earn a Master’s Degree from the International Fashion Academy – Paris. She completed advanced training at Polymodo in Florence.

Kaila has so far been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Maxim and she has dressed some of today’s sexiest stars including the likes of Demi Lovato, Katherine McPhee, The Kardashians, and more. Kaila has just released her new vivacious, ultra sexy lingerie and intimate apparel line called “Lady Methven” and it was created for the everyday woman. Combining childlike innocence, erotic playfulness, and female power, Kaila dares everyone to fall in love again.

We recently sat down with Kaila to find out more about the luxury lingerie brand the whole world is currently gushing about and here’s what went down.

How were you actually ‘discovered’?

The first person who discovered me was Jean Charles de Castelbajac. I was a student at IFA, and he was visiting the school at the time. I was designing a jacket that day, he saw it and fell in love with it. After that, he gave me an internship in his company.

What do you like most about being a designer?

My most prestigious reward is to see women fall in love again wearing my lingerie. It is an honor for me when I see them feeling empowered, beautiful, sexy and confident.

What’s it like dressing some of the most famous people in the world?

It is extremely rewarding that famous people recognize my talent and want to wear my designs. However, I try to stay humble, and a client is a client. I don’t treat my clients differently because their name is well known. Each of my clients gets the best service I can provide, no matter who they are.

What first interested you in style/fashion?

I was born in LA, grew up in Paris, and graduated with my bachelor at Esmod, masters at IFA, MBA at Polymoda. I interned as a makeup artist at Paris fashion week for Dior, and when I saw all those models walking down the runway, I knew my destiny was to become a designer.

What made you decide to make it into a career?

Originally, I wanted to be an entertainment lawyer. But when my mother passed away, I moved to France, and I was immediately inspired by the fashion and the arts, so I entered in design school.

When did your career start?

I began filling my business documents to become legitimate a year and a half ago. I then started my design process and brought it to fruition during the summer of 2017. It took my team and me about six months to make the entire collection.

What do you enjoy most about style/fashion?

The most rewarding thing to me is the creativity it brings to my clients and the smiles on their faces.

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We note that you have more than 500,000 followers on Instagram- what is your secret to gaining a lot of followers?

I always have new content. I don’t want my followers to get bored. Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms; it is important to provide new content, make stories, like other amazing influencer’s posts, etc.

What sort of marketing do you do to make your image and brand more appealing to the audience?

We do a bunch of stuff from social media, Amazon, Ads, Parties, and other PR work.

How active are you on social media?

I am extremely active on social media. I post almost every day.

What is your favorite social media platform?

Definitely Instagram.

Do you have a specific inspiration that keeps you going in your career?

There is one woman who always pushed me to accomplish my dreams, whose name I’ll keep confidential. As of today, we are still in contact, she is very proud of me, and I always turn to her for advice. Ultimately, I am impressed by many successful business women who started from the ground up.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned. This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!

Always believe in yourself, never give up on your dreams, and continue to work hard because hard work always pays off.

What are your plans? Inside your career or out of it.

Hopefully, I will have a store open, be an even better person, a better CEO with a very accomplished company, and have international stores.

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What This Millionaire CEO Can Teach You About Building A Wildly Successful Business

Timothy Trudeau’s earliest and fondest memory of getting a taste of the business world was hanging out with his father who was a successful business owner along with other successful business owners. While other kids were playing video games, Timothy was hanging around entrepreneurs and gaining powerful business tips. His first taste of success was when he sold his first beat to a Senior in his school who rapped back when he was in 9th grade. His foray into the business world started out at this early age when this Senior heard the beats he was making and decided to share an idea he had for a song. He immediately went home and used the equipment that he had collected through saving and bartering, and that’s when he first experience a real collaboration with an artist, and he officially became a producer. Eventually, his business grew, and he accumulated his wealth via his company Syntax Creative as well as rental income from the property that he owns.

We recently caught up with Timothy Trudeau and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started making money?

I remember clearly listening music while riding through the South Bay neighborhood of San Diego. Sitting in the backseat of my father’s car, I was nodding my head to songs that were well beyond my years. I may not have known it then, but I was planting the seeds that would lead to my love for music and the subsequent foray into business. No one could have predicted that an unassuming kid from California like myself was quietly developing the ability to create original music and the chops to build a business around it.

How did you get started in business? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?

Some of my earliest and fondest memories include attempts at launching small businesses. I loved “negotiating” with the adults around me and selling products to other children based off knowing what they wanted.

My Dad was a successful business owner and socialized with other successful business owners. While other kids were trying to play outside or manipulate pixels on a screen in make-believe worlds, I would jump at any chance to go with my Dad to hang out with him and his friends.

While I doubt I fully grasped the idea of success, I knew that I would one day be an adult and that it would remain that way for the rest of my life so I wanted to acquire as much insider information into this journey as possible.

The first memorable transaction I remember, that is most closely associated with what I do now, was when I was in the 9th grade and sold my first beat to a Senior who rapped. It started out because he had heard the beats that I was making and decided to share an idea he had for a song, I went home and used the equipment that I had collected through saving and bartering. I was officially a producer and had just experienced my first real collaboration with an artist.

Though not music-related, the earliest legitimate business operation that I launched was when I was in the 10th grade. It was a business where I sold and serviced pagers along with the monthly airtime charge, as well as accessories to customize an otherwise boring world. Because I was only 15, I engaged my brother, who was 4 years older than me, as a partner who could legally register the business.

Most of my clientele were other students who I would see every day. Like any small community, the word can travel fast so it was important to keep customers happy and for them to share their happiness with others.

What is your main source of income?

My main source of income is the salary that I earn at Syntax Creative as well as rental income from the property that I own.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your net worth?

While some may be sitting on their equity, others are using it to purchase jet skis or other fun items that will decrease in value the moment the ink is dry on your purchase contract. I have used the equity to purchase assets that increase in value or that I can make money from. The main one being, more real estate.

While I’ve dabbled in the real estate market of other states for over a decade, I ended up cashing out and focusing on the San Diego market. This is where I am blessed to live and a market I understand very well. Like Bitcoin or the Foreign Exchange Market, if you are strategically buying and selling, you can do very well for yourself.

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

Social Media is a double-edged sword. While there are definitely benefits to utilizing it well, using it well can be a full-time job. If I am regularly posting on social media to promote myself or my business and convince people to work with me, I’m probably becoming the type of person that you wouldn’t want to work with.

It’s better to use one well, than many on a mediocre level. Which is what I primarily see. For me, that one social network would be Twitter. Twitter is informative, short and sometimes funny. And as long as you can fit into that too, it’s a great place to get your message out.

The main thing for anyone to understand is that the first word in social media is social. I try to picture real live scenarios and how my engagement on those networks would play out. If you were at a party with friends and everything you were saying was a pitch, you probably wouldn’t be invited back. If you were argumentative, same.

Be polite and friendly, and as you engage with people, your message will naturally get out. No need to beat people over the head with advertisements. They get that everywhere they go, so if you are just more noise, you will be unfollowed or muted.

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

My main tactic is just to treat customers the way that I would want to be treated as a customer. I really can’t stand when I work with a business, and I can tell that the business doesn’t value me or my money and could not care less if I return to spend more.

Doing business this way has led me to build an entire company off of word-of-mouth marketing. I really haven’t spent a dime to market or advertise myself or my company. Instead, I sat on all sides of a deal. I’ve been an artist signed to a label, I’ve signed artists to a label, as a label I’ve signed to a distributor, and as a distributor, I’ve signed labels. So my goal was to create the kind of company that I would have wanted to work within any one of those positions that I had firsthand experience.

In doing so, people are happy to pay our fees. Even if they are higher than our competition. The fee isn’t the be all end all in negotiating, though many negotiate as if it is.

Most of our clients came from another client, and that puts on the pressure to perform well, which is not unlike the pager business I had where my customers were my fellow students.

What is the toughest decision you had to make?

The toughest decision I’ve had to make is to kill a business or a partnership. It’s easy to get emotionally invested in something, especially if you’ve been doing it for a while. There comes a time when you have to step outside of what you are doing and take a look at it logically and see if the numbers are adding up or not.

Even businesses with a great cause may need to be shut down. You are able to do much more for a good cause with a solvent business than an insolvent one.

And if you love your friend or family member but they are contributing nothing or dragging the business into the ground, they must not love you very much back. If the relationship dies because you want to kill the partnership, there was never a relationship, to begin with.

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

I hate debt. Like, HATE it. Because I hate it, I am always trying to pay it down as fast as possible. And at times, that has strapped my cash flow in a way that was unnecessary. While loans can certainly be a millstone tied around your neck, they can also be an incredible tool if used properly. Find your balance somewhere in between the extreme of no-debt-at-all and using credit cards to pay other credits.

What new business would you love to start?

Syntax Creative has a broad reach and has me working with people all over the world. This is a lot of fun and I love it. However, for my next venture, I want to do something really localized. I want to have some kind of small business that serves food and drink. One that gets into a community and becomes a part of it. I want to take those same principles I’ve learned about having peers as customers and friends recommending friends for marketing to a local establishment. I also love growing individuals, so the thought of hiring young people to help them learn not just how to do their job well, but how to think well and do all future jobs well. How to open their own business someday.

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

I would immediately go back to before time machines were invented and start a time machine business.

Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

The most important thing someone can learn to help his or her own business would be economics. One of my favorite recent books for this is The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution. Another fantastic book is On Writing Well: The Class Guide to Writing Nonfiction. This book has, of course, helped my writing, but it has also helped my communication. Communication is one of the main tools that I use when transacting with people. So the better that I can do that, the better the transactions will be and we are right back to word-of-mouth marketing.

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

Preparation is awesome. But over-preparation can be crippling. I coach a lot of young or new entrepreneurs and many of them have fantastic ideas. The first thing I think is, why aren’t they already doing this?

That initial plunge off of the cliff seems to be the part keeping them from doing anything other than making charts, graphs and spend time talking about starting something. There isn’t a failed business in my past that I launched that I didn’t learn something valuable from. Most successful entrepreneurs were first unsuccessful entrepeneurs.

You just have to go! Get started. You can’t possibly know everything up front and you can’t plan for all that will happen along the way. But you also can’t have a business if you don’t take that first step.

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How This Man Became A Millionaire Making Rubber Ducks (Yes, You Read Right)

Like most self-made millionaires, Craig Wolfe came from rather humble beginnings. His idea was to create rubber ducks that looked like celebrities. Since he was starting small, he did all his PR and sent press releases to everyone he knew. Fortunately, a newspaper on the other side of the country ran his story, and the vice-president of one of NBA’s top franchises loved the idea and had him create a duck based on their superstar. That was the big break he was looking for because, after that, people and businesses started contacting him from all over the country. Fast forward to today, his current net worth is sitting at a cool $5 million.

We recently caught up with Craig Wolfe and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started making money?

I became the largest publisher of artwork from television commercials creating the first ever animation art lines for Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, M&M/Mars, etc. I figured no one else was doing this so why not me! Eventually, I sold it all off to create CelebriDucks which was a whole new art form of celebrity rubber ducks of the most celebrated icons of film, music history, and athletics. They were voted one of the top 100 gifts by Entertainment Weekly and featured on hundreds of TV shows, magazines, and newspapers including The Tonight Show. We have sold millions of them, and we are known as the top custom duck manufacturer in the world. We do them for everyone from SeaWorld to The New York Yankees.

Then I had the idea to address the importance of bringing jobs and industries back to America by bringing the whole rubber duck industry back to America where the rubber duck was invented before the whole industry went overseas. We are now the only ones making them here and are doing them for companies and organizations such as Harley-Davidson and The Future Farmers of America. Our second US factory in Michigan is now making PVC Free rubber ducks out of food and medical grade materials which are considered the safest rubber ducks in the world for babies to teethe on.

I also just launched our new chocolate division, www.CocoaCanard.com, with our Spooning Chocolate, the only Dairy, and Gluten-free hot chocolate that can instantly mix up in a cup of hot water and you will never miss the milk. It is now the go-to product in that category and considered the purest and finest hot chocolate on the market and uses Fair Trade chocolate. I basically do things that inspire me, and fortunately, it has worked out for me.

How did you get started in business? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?

You know, with the ducks, I never expected it would get that big, but I did think it was a cute idea – rubber ducks that looked like celebrities. I did all my PR and sent press releases to everyone. Fortunately, a newspaper on the other side of the country ran my story and the vice-president of one the NBA’s top franchises loved the idea and had us create a duck of their superstar. When we got done with that duck, it looked more like him than he did! The promotion went great, and then people started contacting us from all over to have us create ducks for them. I eventually sold off the animation and became all ducks!

What is your primary source of income?

Funny enough, it is just making rubber ducks which proves that if you own your niche and have a decent idea, anyone can become a millionaire.

Would you be willing to tell us your current net worth? How did you accumulate your net worth?

5 million. It started with the animation company and then with the ducks, funny, whimsical characters made my money – who knew!

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your net worth?

I keep the business fresh and innovative; I never stay complacent. I’m always bringing out new ducks and fresh products. I don’t invest in the stock market, real estate and CDs. Bottom line, I invest in myself, in my business and thus, I am debt free with no outstanding loans – plus, I own the whole company 100%.

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

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…..we pretty much post on our company website regularly.

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

Actually. We find running on PR does the best marketing for us and the most cost-effective. Social Media is a game changer today and anyone can do it very cost effectively. We do have a great Amazon partner who handles that for us and they do campaigns for us which do very well and people love them.

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

Well, PR is key for us and of course, social media. But if you really want to stand out in the clutter, then you need to build a better mousetrap. Create a great product that is cool, fun, innovative, unique and different and then be so good at it, that you dominate your own your niche – that is the key to success. You really want to become the best in your niche and be focused like a laser in getting your message out, one you can make that happen then you can give people a reason to talk about you and tell others.

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

PR and social media.

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

I decided to terminate all our Amazon re-sellers. It was tough as we had so many, but we finally chose one major company to represent and protect our brand on Amazon, and it has worked out great. Now, we can control the look of the brand on there and also the MAP pricing.

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

Control your destiny. One of the biggest mistakes people do is give creative or financial control to raise funding to get their new venture off the ground. At one point, to expand quickly and take some of the burdens off me, I had a lot of my business pass through my manufacturer who took on more of the financial burden. But I did not like my loss of control, and after a bit of a struggle, I took it back. So you should never give up any equity or control unless you absolutely have to as no-one will ever run your baby and have the passion for it as you, the company creator.

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What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?

Never get complacent. And honestly, money is only as good as what you can do with it to make a difference in the lives of others. For me, the end game is about leaving it all to non-profit entities that can further be doing good in the world and helping those who have less.

What new business would you love to start?

I am actually already in the midst of that. Our chocolate company is just in phase one. We are writing a children’s book to go with it, and a whole lifestyle branding to bring the entire Cocoa Canard themed merchandising program to the market. Ducks, chocolate, children, fun licensed products, and a heart-warming message in a children’s book which is entirely different from what’s out there – what’s not to like.

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

Well, I think I would have been more creative in the kinds of properties I brought to market. But it’s funny, it’s like trying to be who you are now thirty years earlier. Who you are now is based on those thirty years of doing things both right AND wrong. So yes, our Costume Quacker line of celebrity parody is our best work ever. But it took us years and years of design and testing to evolve to this point. But I do wish I had thought of this a long time ago.

Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I love ALL the Trout and Reis book – Positioning, Bottom-up Marketing. They are not just brilliant, but so much fun to read and filled with so many interesting case studies.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“Never give up control and ownership” – Mom. She was right, well at least she was right for me. Everyone is different. But for me to feel creatively motivated and inspired, I need to have control of my baby to do whatever I have to do to bring it to life. I always said that when I wanted to return our whole industry back to the USA where it began, if I had a board of directors, I would have been fired, no doubt for ”not maximizing shareholder value in the short term!” But I always looked at the big picture. I knew if I did this we would own our niche and over time no-one could duplicate what we can do. I didn’t have to convince anyone as I owned the whole company and did just that and it really worked out in the end.

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

It’s not how much money you make; it’s how much you keep. Excessive overhead can bring down any business no matter how much you make. Lean and mean is the key to survival especially in the beginning before business gains traction.

Do not try and be all things to all people or you become nothing to anyone. Focus like a laser on your niche and be really clear on what you stand for.

Reflect your core brand ethics and quality in every marketing communication to the public.

Compete on the cheap end, and someone can always make it for less. Quality like the tortoise will ultimately win out or as I like to say, “live by the penny, die by the penny,” don’t compete on price alone. Quality is the hardest thing to knock off.