Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The January 2021 Issue Of The Australian Millionaire: Justin Wang

Justin Wang built PIA (Property Investors Alliance) 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.

Wang associates his accomplishments with always insisting upon his dream, despite his humble origins. He credits his grandmother with instilling the crucial discipline for fostering his innate abilities. His upbringing was greatly influenced by Chinese tradition.

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. 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 resigned from being a high school teacher and he decided to try something else and that’s when he eventually came to Australia – because he wanted to achieve financial freedom. However, he found it very difficult at first to make money in Australia, even though the income is higher in Australia than in China, he could still only save a few dollars.

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

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. This holistic approach is the cornerstone of Wang’s success, and functions as a valuable lesson in entrepreneurial tactics.

Justin Wang is the embodiment of the self-made businessperson. From unassuming beginnings to life as a property magnate – he now personifies the paradigm for financial freedom. It always comes down to abundance as generated by collaboration. The Millionaire magazine recently caught up with Justin to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

Could you please give us a brief background about yourself and how you became an entrepreneur?

I actually arrived in Australia back in 1993, before that I used to be a high school teacher in China. When I first arrived in Australia, life was very tough. I worked in restaurants, in manufacturing as well as in sales to get by – it was a struggle. I was earning around $30,000 a year at the time and I felt that I needed to earn more if I wanted to eventually achieve financial freedom. Australia is a rich and developed country compared to China so my plan was to come to Australia, make good money then retire in China forever and enjoy my life. I started the business back in 2005, at the time, the market took a downturn so many people believed that buying a property is no longer a good investment. But then based on my research and experience of buying my first property back in 1996 and then a few more properties later on – the experience taught me that investing in Sydney residential property is always a good move. So in 2005, I started to publicly promote my concept – the PIA concept to encourage other people to continue to invest in Sydney properties. The main reason I started my business is because I believed that everyone needs to find a way to achieve financial freedom. The second reason is because I truly believe Sydney properties is one of the best assets/investments that can help you achieve this goal. The third reason is because as an investor, I felt that I should share my knowledge and understanding. So in fact, I actually built PIA for other people’s benefit – to help people.

Photo Credit: Pedro Virgil

Can you tell us more about your business?

As you know, my business is called PIA (The Property Investors Alliance). When I first started the business, my biggest frustration was that I found the property industry in Australia was very backwards. When I say backwards, I’m talking about the structure. Normally the economy is market-driven; but for the Australian industry, it’s somehow product-driven. The developer would pay millions of dollars to build apartments but then they have to find a way to find buyers as well as establish a distribution channel. Traditionally in this industry, the purchaser/buyer doesn’t trust the agent, and the agent doesn’t trust the developer either. So I decided to build a system of buyer-agent -builder integration to establish trust within all parties involved. That’s the PIA business model, I built one platform to promote the PIA investment concept. Then I recruited a lot of young, energetic people to become sales agents. Our sales agents are different from the traditional real estate agents though. The traditional real estate agents’ approach to selling properties is to bring people to the showroom once there’s a vacancy, put out an ad somewhere, and wait for people to come. Our tactic is different; I’ve instructed my sales agents to go out there and mingle with people – educate them, and explain to them that buying a property is not just about buying a home, it’s also about wealth creation – it’s about your future retirement. I’ve also instructed my team to help people to address any concerns and train them to become professional investors. Once we’ve got clients then we can create demand and then we can present this demand to certain developers who will then partner with us. So the PIA sales agent’s job is not to sell properties like a typical real estate agent, but instead, provide education, service and create demand – that’s our main business model.

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business especially in this pandemic?

As we all know, this pandemic has caused major damage to the Australian economy as well as the property industry. Luckily, my company is not a typical company, PIA is more of a platform – an effective and efficient platform. So even during the pandemic, we still had a very healthy cash flow. Even in this current market, we have not lost our staff because our sales team is confident with the future of the industry. Our sales team is still actively seeking people and contacting people. We also have a very strong client base. Typically, new buyers have no confidence in this market. But the good thing is, our clients understand our concept so they have no fear of investing despite the pandemic and in fact, many of our clients have been continually taking advantage of this new market and buying more properties.

Photo Credit: Pedro Virgil

Why do you think investing in property is the best and most efficient way to become financially free?

This is a very good question. Personally, all my wealth is in Sydney residential properties. I’ve never had any interest in shares, I’ve never bought shares – this is just my personal opinion, by the way, I’m not providing financial advice. So why do I like property? The first reason is because property is real – it’s something you can touch and control under your name. It’s not like other investments that you can’t control. The second reason is, Sydney residential property is quite unique – it’s not affected by the state of the economy, instead, it’s driven by the true demand which is population growth. Even if you check the history of the Australian property market, the state of the economy can go up and down, and the interest can vary from high to low and vice versa but the value of Sydney properties and rental income will always go up. The population of this city always keeps going up, so as an investor, you’re a winner. The third reason is if you want to invest in other investments you need money upfront, while in this investment model you can actually borrow money from the bank to start your investment journey so you’re not taking money out of your own pockets. Even if you get rich from your business or investing in the share market, you still need to invest your money in the right asset – and for us, it’s always going to be Sydney residential properties.

Here are 3 reasons why:

1. Ownership: For most assets, there’s no guarantee of ownership which is very dangerous.

2. Passive income: Rent is a very good and stable passive income even in today’s economy.

3. Value: You need an investment where the value continues to appreciate. Sydney residential properties have proven time and time again that its value is always increasing.

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers?

Actually, I’ve never had a marketing strategy for PIA. I’m like a farmer, I’m happy to plant the seed and watch the tree grow from the seeds. Word of mouth is our main marketing tactic. The PIA brand has always been about word of mouth and customer satisfaction. Many people probably aren’t aware that PIA is such a significant business, we have thousands of investors, we have a massive office, we invest billions of dollars each year and we manage 6,000 to 7,000 properties annually.

What is the most difficult part of your business?

The world keeps changing too fast. That’s probably the biggest challenge for us because the client we’re facing now is a completely different client from 15 years ago.

Photo Credit: Pedro Virgil

Have you ever thought about writing a book?

Yes, of course. My background is Chinese literature. Actually, my original dream was to gain financial freedom then afterward write a book and become a professional author. Of course, I’m currently too busy with the PIA business, but eventually, I want to finish a book about my investment concept.

What do you usually do in your spare time if you’re not working on your business?

My life is very simple. My hobbies are reading and writing Chinese calligraphy and practicing traditional Tai Chi.

What advice would you give to a potential investor?

Buying or renting a property is not about buying a home – it’s whether or not you can continue living in this beautiful city in the future. Because we have an aging population – therefore, the demand for property will always be increasing but the land availability in the city will keep decreasing. Eventually, it would be almost impossible to afford rent in the city. Hence, you need to buy a property now before it’s too late.

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

So many people want to start a business because they want to make money. But before you even think about making money, you need to think about what you’re going to do for our society. You need to identify people’s needs first. If you find that there are problems in the society, the market, or a certain industry and you can find the solution to fix their problems, your business will definitely be successful. The money will always come to you as long as you think about other people’s needs first.

Photo Credit: Pedro Virgil


Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The January 2021 Issue Of Global Millionaire: Armand Peri

Photographed by: Macrae Marran

Styled by: Jeffrey Ampratwum 

American serial entrepreneur and CEO of New Age Public Relations Agency, Armand Peri, is set to release a new book titled “The Mindset of Success”, which will serve as a sort of sequel to his previous book “Unparalleled Success”, published in 2019, which shares the steps he took to breakthrough as an entrepreneur.

In this book, set to be launched in 2021, Armand speaks about his core thoughts for people that want business and personal success. Armand has walked the walk. He’s an authority and reputable resource personnel on creating entrepreneurial success. “Success is a long game. It’s the result of years and years of hard work and dedication. It’s a continuous effort never to lose focus and always keep a disciplined mindset. I started my company, Hunk-O-Mania, because I saw a market demand and a better way to do business. Growing the business into 19 locations and a dominant brand wasn’t luck. It involved investing the time in myself and the business”, Armand Peri said.

English writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley once said that “there’s only one corner of the Universe you can be certain of improving and that’s yourself”. Armand Peri shares a similar thought pattern. In this book, he shares tips on personal development apropos to entrepreneurial success. He also revealed proven systems based on years of experience complemented by mind-blowing secrets to creating impact in whatever business one wishes to venture into.

In an eye-opening excerpt from the book, Armand teaches that part of learning a business is developing a keen understanding of the average customer’s wants. “They’re looking for a product or experience that fulfills a certain need. Do you know how to present something that exceeds those needs? Successful entrepreneurs not only understand the customer pain points and journey but know how to respond,” he wrote.

Armand Peri is one of the world’s best experts on success and personal development. He believes that business and personal success is a fun and rewarding journey. The accomplished investor, artist, author, motivational speaker, and social media strategist has expanded his business empire nationwide, including Atlantic City, Chicago, Miami, Boston, and a host of other cities.

The Global Millionaire Magazine recently caught up with Armand to discuss his book and here’s what went down:

Can you please tell us about yourself and how you got started writing your book?

My name is Armand Peri, I am a former national champion bodybuilder, artist, and entrepreneur. The purpose of writing my book was to give back to society and inspire someone to awaken their inner power and purpose.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Just taking time out from my businesses to actually do it!

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? Always be original.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t waste any time, stay focused, I wish I had decided what I wanted to do with my life sooner!

What topics do you love writing about?

I love to write about self-help and self-improvement subjects.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? When I was doing sales.

How many published and half-finished books do you have? So far just one published book.


Can you tell us more about your latest book?

It’s a book about the power of positive thinking. You don’t need to have been born under a lucky star, or with incredible wealth, or with great contacts and connections, or even special skills… but what you do need to succeed in any of your life goals is self-discipline. Unfortunately, most people give in to the two worst enemies of success: they take the path of less resistance (in other words, they’re lazy) and/or they want immediate gratification: they don’t consider the long-term consequences of the actions they take today. My book UNPARALLELED SUCCESS shows you how you can achieve success in all major areas of your life:

1. Your personal goals.
2. Your business and financial goals.
3. Your overall happiness and peace of mind.

Each of the chapters in my book shows you how to be more effective in every aspect of your life!

What kind of research did you do for this book, and how long did you spend researching before beginning this book?

The research was from my own experiences. My journey has led me to believe that success requires certain elements and characteristic traits. These elements all work synergistically and without one the entire plan would fail. The following are the seven ingredients of success I have developed over the years which have led me to believe are crucial in one’s professional development. Focus on one without the other and you will lack the depth and knowledge needed to succeed. All seven ingredients work together synergistically to create a well-rounded individual with an aptitude for success. Make sure you internalize each one and determine how well each one fits into your life. The seven ingredients helped shaped my life and paved the way for my own success and I truly believe that it will be a strong guide for helping others as well. Take your time and go through each one in detail and determine which areas you are lacking in. Nobody is perfect from the beginning and nobody is perfect in the end, however, we can all shape each area of our lives to the best of our abilities to present ourselves in the best light possible. Below are the seven ingredients for success that changed my life:

1. Peace of Mind

2. Health & Energy

3. Loving Relationships

4. Financial Freedom

5. Worthy Goals and Ideas (Meaning and Purpose)

6. Self-Understanding (What makes you tick?)

7. Self-Act

Why did you decide to write this book?

The purpose of this book is to give back to society and inspire someone to pursue his or her dream as I did! Throughout my journey of becoming successful, I made a lot of mistakes but learned a lot with each setback and I am trying to prevent my readers to avoid these same mistakes I made!

What sample advice written in your book inspires people to be the best version of themselves in 2021?

It’s so important to decide what you want and what goals you want to accomplish! There are many recipes for success and if you were to ask 100 different people you would get 100 different answers. I do not claim to know all the answers but what I can do is provide the methods and techniques that I have used to transform myself from a life of poverty into the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company. There are no shortcuts in this book so if you are looking for a get rich quick scheme, please look elsewhere. The tactics, methods, and self-development that I have gone through took thousands of hours for me to formulate and develop. I only wish I had a guide like this for myself when I was starting out, it would have saved me countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We know that you’re a successful serial entrepreneur, will writing books be a new business you’d like to spend more time on?

No, the purpose of this book is not to make money or make it a profitable business venture but to give back to society.

What kind of research did you do for this book, and how long did you spend researching before beginning this book?

My own personal experiences dating back to my teenage years and the journey I made to achieve my own success made this book possible. I wanted to write a book that was short and to the point.

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

To bring value and originality to the marketplace and his or her success will be undeniable.

For more details about Armand please visit his official website on Armand Peri or follow Armand on social media via his social media accounts:

Instagram: lifeperiway

Facebook: ArmandPeriBodybuilder

Twitter armandperi

TikTok  armandperi


5 Reasons Why the Right Location Can Make or Break Your Business

When planning to start a new business, one of the first things to consider is where to launch it. Location, after all, is one of ‘The 5 Critical Elements to Make Your Business a Smashing Success’ — and for good reason. It can very well spell the difference between success or failure, and here are five considerations to show you why:

Access to the Right Talent

The geographic location of any company is important in attracting and retaining the right workforce for your business. For instance, it was a driving factor for Jeff Bezos to locate his second Amazon headquarters in Northern Virginia. The region was revealed to have the largest concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) workers in the country, and ranked as the top state for education, alongside Massachusetts. So, when deciding on your own business location, do some research on the current and future trends in the employment landscape in the area, and see how it can benefit your specific industry.

Business Requirements and Regulations

In choosing a business location, you’ll have to compare different state requirements and regulations, and determine which one would be the most favorable for your business. For instance, states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming don’t require new LLCs to submit the names of their members upon registration, which means they can be very good choices for those who want a little more privacy. Other states, meanwhile, can have extra requirements when registering. Case in point: The New York LLC publication requirement means that new businesses must publish a copy of their articles of organization in two separate newspapers within 120 days of registering. Although very much doable, it’s an extra cost that entrepreneurs must account for in the early days.

In terms of tax laws, Wyoming and South Dakota are the most tax-friendly states for businesses, as they have no individual income tax, corporate income tax, and gross receipts tax. Meanwhile, New Jersey is the worst state in terms of taxes, with the highest individual income tax rate in the country, along with high corporate, sales, and property taxes.

Cost of Living and Doing Business

A huge factor in choosing the right business location is its affordability. Real estate costs are the second largest expense for businesses, right after labor costs. Cities like New York and San Francisco are known for their expensive rent and food, so many entrepreneurs avoid settling down there if they can. Speaking to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index can help determine the most affordable states in terms of essential needs and real estate costs. For example, among the least expensive states in terms of housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, and healthcare are Arkansas and Texas.

Brand Visibility

Location can also influence the ability of a business to market itself and what competition it may face. For example, choosing a business address in Manhattan can change the perception of your business, as you’ll be able to tie your brand with the financial success and high growth commonly associated with the area. However, other key considerations like affordability and tax laws must be considered, too. So, it’s up to you and your financial plan to weigh up which factor will favor your business more.

Access to the Right Suppliers

Depending on the nature of your business, access to the best suppliers in terms of price and quality is another factor to consider when choosing the right location. Speed of delivery can have a huge impact on the productivity of your operations. This is why even though real estate and cost of living can be cheaper in smaller towns or cities, not every business is lining up to start operations there. The closer you are to the right suppliers, the faster your products and services can reach your intended markets — and the better it will be overall for you.

All in all, choosing the right location for your business depends on finding the right balance among these five factors. If some of them are conflicting, decide on which ones are more important to you and your business, and which disadvantages you can live with.


Meet One Of The Entrepreneurs To Follow In 2021: The Inspirational Ryan Evans

Ryan Evans is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, public speaker, and family man. In the early 2010s, as his first entrepreneurial venture, Ryan founded a technology company that he grew to multiple locations, employing dozens of people. After a successful executive transition there, he was appointed as the Global Operations Director for a billion-dollar multinational corporation where his focus and passion were on strategic planning, global growth, and training. He was successful in growing that business to more than three million global affiliates before leaving to start his next venture.

In 2017, Ryan founded Elamant International and successfully launched the company in more than two dozen countries, spanning five continents, including massive action throughout Africa and Asia. Today, Elamant is stronger than ever with revenues of more than $200 million and growing.

Ryan has been featured in multiple publications as well as online resources, video channels, blogs, and forums. He has spoken in person and virtually to millions of people around the world. Ryan has been married for 17 years and is a devoted father to four amazing kids.

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

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

Focusing on customer service, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. I listen very intently to what customers want and do not want and focus on continual improvement. If I don’t have customers, I don’t have a business.

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

Facebook has the largest reach with over 600,000 followers. Instagram and Twitter platforms have just recently been introduced. I believe in the power of word-of-mouth advertising. With Facebook, I keep my core members in a group called Elamant connect. This allows me to communicate with my company leaders, translating the given information to their teams.

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

I feel this works for some companies, but this isn’t our goal. We are by invitation only, so my goal isn’t to mass recruit. We want people to see value in our company, so the PPC doesn’t fit our business model.

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

We create an icon with our elephant.  Elamant is a combination word from the word’s elephant and element. Element means parts or pieces of something, while the elephant is the largest land mammal in the world. The idea is that all these elements will come together to make the elephant, which when positioned as a herd creates an unstoppable force. Having this icon or mascot rallies everyone behind our journey and creates forward momentum. There are a lot of good qualities of the elephant, such as having thick skin or not eating other people or animals. Like our business, we are not looking to devour other companies or compete with them, rather pioneer our path to success. When faced with a herd of elephants you have one of two choices: get out of the way or join them because there is no stopping them – getting people to get behind and become a part of our mission. From the element side, a piece of coal has little value, but it can be turned into a diamond with the right amount of pressure. So, an elephant with the right amount of pressure can create a diamond.

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

Branding has been very important to us. What value is marketing without a good brand?

When you look at Elamant you see black and gold. You see the logo, you know it’s Elamant. You see the mascot, you know it’s Elamant. If you have a good brand you become memorable, and when you become memorable you become sellable.

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

Letting people go who aren’t part of the same vision and journey. There are times when you have to be a friend and other times when you have to be a CEO. The CEO is like a shepherd; he looks after the sheep or the company and makes the best decisions on behalf of the customers, merchants, and future customers. If some pruning needs to be done for the plant to produce more fruit, you have to cut. It is difficult, but necessary.

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

Don’t get sold too quickly on what everyone can do for you. I remember starting Modern Technology and I had many different people and vendors saying if you spend money, we can market you here and save your business. Vendors wanting to sell me cheaper screens, but they ended up breaking easier, which created more work and more money spent. Looking at this company, I have already trusted so many different people that I have paid to do a specific job but failed to deliver. You must qualify, validate, and verify every decision you make.

 What new business would you love to start?

As an entrepreneur, you are continually looking for opportunities. One of the things I like to do is find talent in unusual places. I don’t like hiring someone who is merely polished on paper and a great interviewer, instead I hire for mindset and the ability to be cultivated. Looking at the array of opportunities, I’d like to stay in the tech space, such as OCR development and big data, which is what we are currently in.  With my current business, I am looking to create other companies and plug them all into the foundation business.

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 give myself more credit and cultivate confidence instead of always asking for help in the belief that others had more wisdom and experience.  Having the self-confidence to do whatever I want to do.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Eat all you can but chew carefully. There are times where you need to watch what you put in your mouth. You assume it’s going to be right for you based on the advertising, but foodborne illness is a real phenomenon, and food poisoning is even more real. Some have changed their entire diet based on a bad food experience. You need to put a guard in place to protect yourself from danger and filter out some negative contaminants. When starting a new venture, let everything that comes to you run through a filter. If you’re allergic to shellfish, it doesn’t matter how good it is or how good they market it, you still shouldn’t put it in your mouth. Even if it passes through all the filters, validate it by chewing on it. While chewing, if you decide you don’t like it, don’t swallow it, spit it out! Eating something terrible doesn’t mean you stop eating; instead, be more careful about what you choose to put in your mouth.  If you have been burned by love it doesn’t mean you stop loving; you just become more guarded and choose carefully who you let into your space. The same goes for trusting others, BE CAREFUL!

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

Be introspective.  Do some self-reflection and find out your motivators.  How bad do you want this? No matter what business you choose, it will be hard work! Success is simple, but the road to get there is far from easy. If I say quit smoking or quit drinking, it may sound easy, but achieving it is difficult. Success is simple: work hard, learn from your mistakes, stay the course, and never give up. You’re going to spend money, hire the wrong people, experience things never even thought about.  Some things are going to hurt, but you’ll figure out how bad you want it. If you want it more than your next breath, then you’re on the right track. Every successful person I have talked to has told me the journey is tough, but if you want it bad enough, you’ll make it.


Global Millionaire Magazine’s Top 12 Entrepreneurs Of The Year

It’s quite inspirational to look back at how some of the world’s most famous celebrities, game-changers, and entrepreneurs got started on their journey to success. While some get lucky by getting a good break, the majority of them had to work extremely hard to make their dreams a reality.

While most young people end up settling for a 9-5 job, others follow the road less taken yet amazingly succeed. There is no minimum age to become successful, as these inspirational entrepreneurs know firsthand. From organising high-profile events to uploading YouTube videos to growing their companies to a multi-million level, get to know these 12 entrepreneurs who made their mark in 2020.

1. James Purpura

Around 17 years ago, James had hit rock bottom – beaten down by life, with shattered self-esteem. His addictions had resulted in jail time. He was financially, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt. At the lowest point in his life, he met his future wife and business partner, Steph, and together they pursued a vision of becoming more.

Along their journey of personal growth and self-improvement, James and Steph saw an opportunity to disrupt an industry that ironically appeared to be perpetually stuck in the dark ages – the personal development industry. As a rag to riches, a non-formally educated, successful tech founder with a serious interest in philosophy, James recognized the uniqueness of his position to disrupt the personal development industry for the better.

Together, James and Steph felt an urgency to pursue their life mission to inspire individuals to tap into their unlimited potential and push humanity forward through a personalized combination of philosophy, science, technology, and community. They agreed it was time to launch their next venture, Powerful U, The World’s First Personal Evolution Company. James and Steph and their team have published a book, produced an award-winning movie, developed a game-changing personal perception assessment, and launched the Powerful Universe, a global platform for teaching and learning personal evolution. James has built strong international partnerships and an influencer network that already reaches over 50 million followers. Onstage and on camera, James is compelling, authentic, riveting, and has enriched audiences around the world.

2. Deven Powers

Around 18 years ago, Deven Powers had hit rock bottom. Beaten down by life, with shattered self-esteem – his past actions of breaking the law has lead to significant jail time. He was financially, mentally, and spiritually bankrupt. At the lowest point in his life, he eventually realized that a life of crime isn’t something he wants to do for the rest of his life. After months and months of contemplation, he finally decided to pursue a vision of becoming more. In 2003 he made the conscious decision that he’s going to turn his life around by becoming a successful entrepreneur one day – so he began studying and taking classes in business management and consumer science. While he was in jail, he managed to pick up several skills, and one of which is hair styling – he learned how to braid, cut, and style hair. He never in a million years imagine that this particular set of skills would eventually lead to a very lucrative business model.

Along his journey of personal growth and self-improvement, Deven saw an opportunity to disrupt the film festival industry – he somehow found a gap in an established market. There weren’t many festivals in Los Angeles that actually catered to African American Filmmakers at the time so he decided to create a film festival that not only screened independent filmmakers but also applauded them by giving them screening blocks.

Fast forward to today, Deven Powers aka “Mr. Hollywood” is now the CEO and founder of the Black Film Festival Los Angeles, Mr. Hollywood TV Show, Mr. Hollywood Blogs, Mr. Hollywood Magazine, and Discover My Music Radio. He has also been the host of the LA Live Film Festival from 2018 through to 2020. When Deven’s not gracing the cover of magazines or hosting red carpet events, he’s hosting the “Mr. Hollywood TV show” which airs on AT & T, channel 99 in U-Verse, and channel 32 in Charter Spectrum.

3. Chris Cebollero

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

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

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

4. Michael Smith

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

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

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

5. Uyanga Boldbaatar

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

6. Chris Graffagnino

Imagine if you had a crystal ball that enables you to see into your future – wouldn’t you use this crystal ball to avoid making any mistakes and use every possible opportunity to achieve success? Well, guess what? There is such a thing as a real-life crystal ball – and it comes in the form of a person you can turn to for solid advice about your business… that person is usually referred to as a “mentor.” Having a mentor is a must for any budding entrepreneur because they’re a valuable resource who have already experienced most of the challenges that you’re still currently going through. So in effect, they actually have a solution to those challenges.

Chris Graffagnino is one such mentor. Chris is a well known New York-born entrepreneur, business influencer, innovator, and avid traveler who is widely recognized as one of the most influential mentors in the world. A former law enforcement officer and combat veteran, he has used his experience in the security and risk mitigation industry and he has applied it to the business sector. With his unique skill set, Chris was able to develop a niche market in crisis management.

Chris was recently named as one of the ‘Top 10 Most Influential People in 2020’ by Yahoo Finance alongside big names such as Gary Vaynerchuk and Lisa A. Romano and for good reason. He has several accolades under his belt; besides being named as one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in 2020, he was also included in Yahoo Finance’s elusive “Top 10 Mentors to Follow in 2020” list. He has effectively developed several global businesses on and off Wall Street and he has several successful entrepreneurial ventures under his belt including a successful global risk solutions company. Chris actually specialises in business development and his passion is to help monetize a budding entrepreneurs’ ideas through his very own non-profit mentorship program “Settle4Success.” Through this detailed program, he’s helping emerging entrepreneurs develop their own businesses. He is helping them monetize and learn the ins and outs of the industry when it comes to business development and risk mitigation.

7. Vincent Zurzolo

Vincent Zurzolo grew up in Rockaway Beach, Queens in New York City. He’s always loved comic books as a kid. He decided to make a business out of something he loves so he began buying and selling comic books with a friend – he was 15 years old at the time. He started at the bottom of the ladder, he was even selling comic books on the streets of Manhattan. When he graduated in 1993, he was selling comic books part-time through school. Six years later he merged companies with his partner Stephen Fishler. After years of working hard, he eventually achieved success and he is now the co-owner of Metropolis Collectibles, the largest dealership of vintage comics in the world. In 2007 they started a second brand called which is the premier online auction company in the world and in 2015 they started Metropolis Gallery which is the only gallery in New York City that focuses on comic books and fantasy art.

8. Annie Liao Jones

Annie Liao Jones is the founder and CEO of Rock Candy Media, an advertising & marketing agency that is based in Austin, Texas – it has become one of the fastest-growing businesses in Central Texas. Under Annie’s leadership, the full-service content strategy, design, messaging, branding firm, and growth agency went from the ground up to grossing over seven figures a year.

9. Nellie Akalp

Nellie Akalp and her husband/business partners are self-made entrepreneurs based in Westlake Village, CA. They started their first business back in 1997 from their small apartment living room with just $100. The business, an online legal document filing service, was the first of its kind at the time and rapidly grew. In 2005 it was acquired by Intuit for $20 million.

The couple took a few years off to focus on their growing family (they have four children) but Nellie soon found herself bored so she decided to get back to work. In 2009, once their non-compete was up, they launched their current online legal document filing service, She found success at business the second time around as the company has been recognized on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately-held companies in America.

10. Brianna Rooney

Brianna Rooney was initially hired as a recruiter, a career she knew nothing about, yet somehow she managed to thrive in it and even enjoyed every second of it. Two years later, she came to a point where she didn’t feel that the company she worked for was doing her justice. Eventually, she decided to walk out of her job with no plan whatsoever because she just knew she wanted to do better, more quality work – and that’s how Techees was born. Techees is a team of recruiters that collaborate well together and help connect companies and candidates.

Today she’s 34 years old, she owns her own company called Techees, she also has three houses, as well as a  top 100 restaurant (

11. Mimi G

With over 2.1 million social media followers and 12 million website views annually, DIY Fashion Expert/Girlboss Mimi G has defied all odds to emerge as the most influential woman in DIY fashion, propelling herself into the ranks of Martha Stewart, Lauren Conrad, and Chrissy Teigen. began as a hobby, and has blossomed into the world’s leading DIY fashion/sewing online destination, where Mimi G models her original designs/patterns ranging from business wear to swimsuits that fit the everyday girl, create free tutorials of her on-trend sewing patterns (Turn Your Jeans into a Skirt, Refashioned Sweatshirt into Dress, Men’s Shirt Into Off Shoulder Button Up), personally answers every DIY sewing question (i.e. what fabrics to buy, what projects to start with, etc.), and so much more. She also created the world’s #1 online sewing school SewItAcademy that works for everyone from the first-time sewing novice to the expert seamstress. SewItAcademy helps fashionistas of all levels master the fundamentals of sewing, work at a pace that allows time to practice, learn the importance of specific techniques, break free from mundane methods, and create trendsetting clothing and accessories.

Mimi G has worked with celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Aniston, companies like Target, Revlon, and Google, and has been featured in People Magazine, Parade Magazine, POPSUGAR (to name a few) for making sewing hip and accessible.

12. Rafah Hanna

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

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

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

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


Fashion Brand To Watch Out For In 2021: The Incredible EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE

Recently, EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE launched the Black Collection of 2021 – a revolutionary trend of high-end wearable art. They are designed for the highly educated, masculine, extravagant, and forceful gentleman with a success mindset. The collection is made up of symbols and amulets that are inspired by different cultures, as well as motivational quotes – ingeniously charmed to attract a fulfilling life filled with abundant wealth, luck, and wellbeing.

Global Millionaire Magazine was interested in getting deeper into the story of the inspirational fashion trend of EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE and we recently had contact with Eliot Paus, the creative director. Here’s what went down:

What is your vision?

For the long term, to develop a complex luxury lifestyle brand for the highly educated, masculine, extravagant, and strong-minded gentleman with a success mindset. Symbols and amulets that are inspired by different cultures, as well as motivational quotes, charmed to attract a fulfilling life with abundant wealth, luck, and well-being. From my studies, I’ve determined that the colours of our clothes and accessories actually have a lot of influence on our overall mental state.

This looks like something more in-depth than your typical fashion brand, is your vision strategy made around the metaphysical powers?

Metaphysics should be incorporated into fashion. My research has shown that no other fashion brand goes deep into the philosophic level on the creation of what we wear. EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE is the pioneer. For example, the brand identity itself already has a very powerful symbol.

The U diamond pattern symbolises the Cup of Wealth in which you are the centre of all being attractiveness. The diamond inspires creativity, ingenuity, inventiveness, faith, endurance, and helps in manifesting abundance in all areas of life.

EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE has two collections per year – black for the fall, winter, and early spring, and white for summer.

Black represents people with a strong will, authority, and discipline. It provides comfort, protects your feelings, and hides your weakness. Wealthy and successful men don black as a testament of sophistication and confidence.

White means cleanliness, simplicity, and innocence. It should be worn by honest people who are receptive to new ideas, people who would want to be more aware of their own lives and understand them better. We view it as a blank whiteboard, allowing you to complement it easily with other colours, and put your creativity to the task. It is associated with pleasant thoughts and good luck, things that I would want to grant you.

Gold is the charming colour for EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE Black Collection of 2021. It symbolises extravagance, wealth, and excess, and is also associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic, and wisdom. The reflections of red and blue complement the gold.

What clothing items and accessories can we find in this collection?

I have strategically designed a line of masculine and forceful outfits made from genuine leather and other premium fabrics. They include comfort line suits, glamorous leather biker trousers, and jackets and golf caps, shirts, etc. There are also leather bracelets and genuine crocodile high top sneakers, many are charmed or custom made with authentic diamonds from my partner Amsterdam Diamonds.

Can we have a proper description of this collection?

I am pleased to offer you the comprehensive collection details:

1. Forceful Wealth

A stylish and luxurious jacket is functional for whatever mood and occasion. It features a wealth golden symbol characterised by a V shape and a series of lines intricately placed to attract spiritual development and abundance in both inner and external wealth. The finest quality sheep leather is soft and velvety to the touch. It is a slim fit design based on the Italian size chart. This item can be custom charmed by Amsterdam Diamonds with our authentic diamond set of a wide range of textures.

2. Chill Millionaires

Brilliantly charmed with the bag with the golden coins, this is a jacket that represents the ancient symbol for bringing fortune and financial luck into the wearer. It is a reminder that your vibe attracts your tribe. The jacket is embossed with a CHILL WITH MILLIONAIRES TO BECOME ONE golden imprint to draw attention to your vibe. You will turn the right heads and get invited to the right parties. This is a real sheepskin shearling that is a slim fit based on the Italian size chart. This item can be custom charmed by Amsterdam Diamonds with our authentic diamond set of a wide range of textures.


3. Sporty Lifestyle

EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE design inspiration from the boxing ring to develop this smooth, super comfortable, and sporty trouser is ideal for abounding occasions and weather and works to bring the spotlight to you. The pants pair exceptionally well with high top sneakers or boots and the CHILL MILLIONAIRES jacket. It follows the authentic sheep leather from the EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE statement and is slim fitting tailored on the Italian size chart. This item can be custom charmed by Amsterdam Diamonds with our authentic diamond set of a wide range of textures.

4. Glamorous Biker

EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE recreated the biker’s denim and revamped it into glamorous leather art trousers. Spotting exposed knee scaled pads that are golden and exquisitely reflective, this trouser offers protection and boost your confidence. It blends well with high top sneakers or boots, and the combination with EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE jackets is a sure way to look stunning. It is a slim fit design that is made from genuine sheep leather. This item can be custom charmed by Amsterdam Diamonds with our authentic diamond set of a wide range of textures.

5. High Top Sneakers – certified Crocodile or cowhide leather

With these high top sneakers, the world is on your feet! They are made of certified crocodile leather or genuine cowhide and are superbly comfortable fitting. You’ll be assured to make a statement with this luxurious appearance that can be custom charmed by Amsterdam Diamonds with our authentic diamond set of a wide range of textures.

6. Millionaire Mindset

This authentic finest sheep leather golf cap represents the millionaire mindset. The mindset that shows your life’s vision and attracts success and the right like-minded individuals. Be confident, stay smart, and classy. The cap can be custom charmed by Amsterdam Diamonds with our authentic diamond set of a wide range of textures. This accessory is perfect for the modern, stylish man proud of his social status opulent gentleman. It gives a sporty and sophisticated look depending on your outfit.

7. Executive Leisure

From homestay, travelling comfortably, up to jogging and walking in the park, stay classy and enjoy this luxurious suit. This design was created for our distinguished glamorous gentleman, tailored regular fitting, made from premium velour fabric.

Many more products can be found on my store online, including accessories and jewellery charmed with authentic diamonds, customisable for each client’s desires.

A message for Global Millionaire Magazine fans?

Gentlemen, stay classy, focussed on the millionaire mindset, and enjoy the EXECUTIVE LIFESTYLE.

To purchase items from my collection, or retail partnerships, access my store via this link: Executive Lifestyle


Model: Eliot Paus
Photographer: Gowan Genis
Hairstyle: Alessandro Molinardi
Concierge partner: Wonders of Luxury


5 Surefire Ways For Entrepreneurs To Stay Visible During the Pandemic

Starting out as an entrepreneur can be challenging, and with the current limitation toward social gatherings such as conferences, it’s even more challenging. As an entrepreneur, you have to be your own marketing department, PR team, and provide the product. Entrepreneurs should seek alternative ways to stay visible during the pandemic with the lockdown entering into its second year and a considerable skepticism toward physical meetups. In this article, we’ve suggested five ways to stay visible during the pandemic.

  1. Virtual appearances

What seemed strange only a year ago is the new normal for many. Conferences, meetings, and other work-related interactions have moved away from conference halls or meeting rooms into digitals spaces such as Zoom and Teams. Many companies and organizations have started offering digital conferences to stay engaged with their audience or clients, which provides a tremendous new opportunity for entrepreneurs to market themself.

Set out to make a list of companies that could be interested in hosting you on their virtual conference, reach out, and offer to hold a talk, Q&A, Webinar, or Livestream for their audience. This way, you can provide value to someone else in this challenging time and simultaneously expand your network.

  1. Be your own PR agency

Put your knowledge to use by pitching yourself to traditional media. Maybe the local newspaper would run a story on entrepreneurial struggles during the pandemic? Or your local TV station is looking for interview subjects for a case their running? Start out by offering your services as a source. You’ll help someone else in their job and gain free publicity in the process. Sign up for HARO (Help a reporter out), a free tool used by journalists to access sources and a great way to gain some publicity.

  1. Be the connector

Most are in the same situation during the lockdown. Home office or remote working has people feeling isolated and lonely. This can offer a great way to increase your network. Everyone is looking for a way to connect with people through new methods, reach out to your network, and be the connector. Check-in with your network and listen to what they are struggling with during the lockdown. Offer ways for people to connect, collaborate, or brainstorm new ideas. You’ll not only build a massive network but also stack up on some good karma.

  1. Seek out new ways to interact with your following

One of the main ways we market ourselves is through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. While these are frequently used for publishing content, they also offer great new ways to interact with your audience through live streams or webinars. What better time to go live than now that everyone is stuck in front of their computers? Try out new ways to interact with your following. Maybe live streams can turn out to be a vital part of your content schedule in the future!

  1. Help companies in the digitalization process

Entrepreneurs and startups often lead the way in digitalization. Use this as a marketing point and create content to help others adjust to a digital environment. Something that might be an everyday activity for you might be a huge adjustment for someone else. Put that experience into action and get marketing value for your brand at the same time.

The Bottom Line

Entrepreneurs need to be flexible and adjust when conditions change. While many might see it as a challenge, these adjustments also provide great opportunities to grow and expand in new ways.


5 Key Considerations To Find The Right Business Coach To Help You Reach Your Goals

When looking for a coach who is going to help you succeed in the business world, you want to make sure you’re making the right calls when choosing them.

You don’t just want someone that’s going to spew their beliefs at you, expecting you to follow blindly. During your search for the right person, remember to keep in mind your goals and values when approaching your business.

1: Expertise in the Field

Any business coach might seem to be the right fit, but what you really need is someone that is an expert in your given field. This way, they’ll be more than just knowledgeable—they’ll be able to able to consider your goals, values, and ideas, and apply them to specific scenarios within the field.

To further understand how knowledgeable and dedicated a potential coach may be, check to see if they’ve taken part in lectures, written any books on the topic, or have been interviewed for their experience.

2: Can Give First-Hand Expert Advice

In connection to expertise in your particular field, you want a coach that can give you samples and proof of their reputation. They can offer you this proof in the form of videos, articles, or even seminars.

This social proof, that took place out in the “real world”, should prove their capability.

3: Aligned Morals

There may be countless people claiming to be experts, promising you they can show you “how to get rich”. But what is the cost to these get-rich-quick schemes?

You need a coach that shares your values. While we can’t speak for your particular morals, there is no risk worth ruining your reputation. Money is earned and spent, but your reputation can breed fruitful everlasting success.

When deciding on your coach, choose one with the integrity that helps you further your goals in an honest manner.

4: Accessible For You

Before making your final decision, know how easy it is to reach your business coach. When interviewing a potential coach, you should ask them directly how much time they can dedicate to you and how many other commitments or responsibilities they have.

You want to ensure that your coach has the time to care about your problems, concerns, and struggles. Instead of wanting a generic, pre-designed plan, you want to know they can specialize one to suit you specifically.

5: Holds You Accountable

While a business coach will be everything listed above, and more, and do their best to encourage you, you also need one that will be realistic.

They need to be able to give you pointers specialized for your own projects, but then make sure you know when a mistake was made—and how to prevent that the next time around.

With the proper amount of encouragement and a leveled amount of criticism, your business coach will prove to care about your success and drive your ambitions.


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.


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

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

#1 Strength in the face of crisis

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

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

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

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

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

They said, “No. I’m excited!”

Mindset is everything.

#2 Forever upskilling.

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

Change. Change is what drives it.

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

So, isn’t this a point about technology?

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

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

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

#3 Diversity

“Diversity is a competitive advantage” –

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

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

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

#4 Choose your partners well

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

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

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

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

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

#5 Embrace technology

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

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

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


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

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

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

Be consistent in proper communication with your customers

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

Provide exceptional customer service

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

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

Be innovative and creative

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

Learn new sales strategies

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

Create sales metrics

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


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.







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What new business would you love to start?

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

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

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

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

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About East Meets Dress

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

You can find them at:

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


How To Manage Your Wellbeing During A Pandemic

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

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

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

Step 1: Wake up and make your bed.

Step 2: Eat a well-balanced breakfast.

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

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

Step 5: Put on your shoes.

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What new business would you love to start?

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

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

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

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

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

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

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


How You Can Ensure Your Investment Property Stays Tenanted

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

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

Why a reliable income matters so much for investment properties

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

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

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

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

1. Buy a new property

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Sign a longer lease

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

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

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

4. Use a proactive property manager

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

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

5. Consider furnishing your apartment

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

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

6. Get a rental guarantee

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

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

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


5 Tips For Recognising A Golden Business Opportunity

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

1. Your idea can solve a problem

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

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

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

3. There’s a niche market for your idea

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

4. You’re passionate about your idea

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

5. Staying realistic

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


5 Secrets Of Building A Successful Brand

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

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

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

Getting started

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

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

Let you brand colour talk

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

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

Digital presence

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

Build a strong brand personality

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

Superiority and Longevity

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

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

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

Find your Influencer

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