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Interview With A Millionaire: Meet Kelly Bagla, Esq.

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Kelly Bagla, Esq. is a highly successful professional and entrepreneur. As an attorney, she is considered the Queen of Business Law and has been shattering glass ceilings for 16 years. She is a dynamic powerhouse with an amazing business and professional track record of success. Kelly is the founder of three successful businesses, as well as a best-selling author of Go Legal Yourself.

The Global Millionaire Magazine recently caught up with Kelly Bagla and here’s what went down:

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

I knew at the age of 5 that I wanted to be an attorney. I became the first attorney in my family and started my legal career with the largest international law firm in the world. Working for that law firm and learning from some of the brilliant legal minds, definitely allowed me not only to sharpen my wits and become a top attorney well versed in the law but particularly well versed in many areas of legal specialty. Due to the knowledge and experience I gained at being at one of the largest law firms, it allowed me to start my own law firm. Today, Bagla Law Firm, APC., is a successful firm that helps hundreds of business owners with setting up their business for success. I am the creator of the Business Legal Lifecycle® and the author of, “Go Legal Yourself!” which is specifically written for business owners, showing them how to legally protect their business in every phase, be it startup, to growth, or established to exit.

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

Following my passion has been the secret to my success. All I ever wanted to be was an attorney but not just an attorney, one of the best that made a difference to her clients. Attorneys have such a bad reputation that I knew I wanted to be the attorney people wanted to call. I provide hands-on service and I actually care about the success of my clients. Repeating this service and always providing solutions became constant at my firm and before I knew it, my clients were referring me to their family, friends, and associates. It took me 5 years to climb the ladder of success and become a trusted name in law. My clients affectionately refer to me as the “Queen of Business Law” and I wear that title with pride. I have also been recognized as one of the Top Women Entrepreneur, by LA Dreams magazine.

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What is your main source of income?

As a successful business owner, you are always thinking outside the box and therefore, always thinking about another way to make money. I, too have created other revenue channels and some of these revenue sources are my law firm, my Go Legal Yourself business, my book sales, my speaking events, and the royalty stream I receive from my invention.

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

You never give up or stay stagnate in your business. I constantly think about ways to make my clients lives easier and as a result, I founded my second business called, Go Legal Yourself where I sell Startup Essentials Kits, for people that want to start their own business. Currently, they have two options, one is to get their legal documents from a law firm, which can be very expensive, or do it your self online, but the problem with that is you don’t know what you need or have the time to research. That is why Go Legal Yourself was born to provide everything a startup needs for one flat rate.

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

There are multiple social media platforms out there and some people think it’s important to be on all of them. As a busy business owner, you don’t have time to waste. I have found LinkedIn and Facebook to be effective when creating awareness for your brand.

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

As business owners, we don’t have money to throw ways on advertising that does not work. Paid advertising can be a great tool to use but it depends on your business and your target market. Do your homework first to find out if your clients can be found by these types of campaigns.

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

Branding is everything today because that is the only way you can stand out from your competition. My favorite quote comes from the Guru Granth Sahib: “Why blend in when you were born to stand out,” and this is how I have lived my life. Be yourself and stay consistent as this is what people remember. As an attorney, I am supposed to be conservative, dress in a plain suite, have a traditional plain name and logo for my firm. Well, these are things you will never see me follow. I stand out because I have branded myself as the “Queen of business Law” with a memorable logo, and clients love to see things that are not traditional or boring. Clients are more likely to connect with someone that is genuine rather than someone that blends in.

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

The only true form of marketing that has worked well for me is being consistent with my services. By providing excellent service and treating each client as if they are your only client goes a long way. Your clients become your marketing tools and word of mouth is the highest form of marketing any business owner should thrive towards.

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

I can honestly say that there is no other attorney that is marketing themselves like me. I have always looked outside the box or created my own box when it came to competing with my competition. There is a certain level of risk involved in making decisions that are not your industry standard, but that’s why not everyone can own their own law firm or start their own business. Don’t follow your competition, create your own path to greatness.

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

Running a successful business requires you to make difficult decisions and one of those decisions is to hire the right people. When it comes to hiring make sure you hire slow and fire fast because having someone on the team that is not a team player can be draining on your business. You should always look for people who believe in your brand and are willing to represent it willingly.

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

Be wise with your money when first starting out. You are going to need a lot of things for your new business but make sure you prioritize. I made the mistake of hiring people before revenues started to flow in and I was constantly dipping into my savings to pay for them. Never hire anyone if they cannot produce is the lesson I learned.

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

Rome was not built in a day, neither will your business. If you are determined to become successful stay true to you, your brand and your customers, the rest will follow. Never give up on your dreams as others will tell you that it’s a bad idea or it will never work or there is too much competition. Love the competition as it says there is a need for your services or products.

What new business would you love to start?

I have a very creative side to me and I have taken full advantage by putting it into practice. The second business I have started is called Go Legal Yourself, as my passion is truly to help entrepreneurs succeed and by providing them the right legal tools to start their business I’m helping them lay a solid legal foundation from where they can build their 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 have been practicing business law for over 16 years now and I have had my own law firm for 8 years. As any business owner would relate to, when we first start out, we make mistakes because we didn’t know any better. But if I had the chance to do it differently I would use my time wisely in connection with networking and joining organizations. I would also have saved enough money to spend on marketing and created by the brand earlier. As the saying goes, better late than never.

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

As business owners, it is critical to continue to gain knowledge so you can always be redeveloping yourself and becoming better than the day before. The best way to do this is to read a few easy books that are geared towards helping you become a more knowledgeable business owner. Here are a few of my favorites: The Birth of a Band. Launching your Entrepreneurial Passion and Soul, by Brian Smith, How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, Make Your Bed. Little things that can change your life …and maybe the world, by Admiral William H. McRaven, and Go Legal Yourself, by Kelly Bagla, Esq. I would be remised if I did not mention my upcoming book called “Go Own Yourself,” which will be available on Amazon in June 2018.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever been given was by my father – If you want something, make sure you want it from your heart, otherwise, don’t bother. I have lived my life by these words and that is what has lead me to success.

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

Before you consider starting your own business make sure you have a business plan, which addresses questions such as, what kind of business do you want? where are you going to find your clients? how are you going to market your products or services? and the biggest question you need to answer is: how much money are you going to need for the first year? Remember to stay true to yourself and go get it with your heart!

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Interview With A Millionaire: Introducing Kyle Golding – The CEO Of The Golding Group

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Kyle Golding is a born entrepreneur who started his first business as a teenager. Over his 30 year career, he has owned and operated businesses in multiple industries. Golding has positioned, marketed and managed musicians, start-ups, small businesses, corporations and nonprofits to local, national and worldwide success. He is the CEO and Chief Strategic Idealist for The Golding Group, an award-winning think tank of strategy, business process management (BPM) and marketing integration experts with offices in Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. Golding specializes in the activation of data for successful business strategy, tactics and measurement.

Golding is also the CMO of a Medtech startup VORTTX Training and Testing, which provides online virtual tabletop exercises for healthcare facility emergency response training. He owns Share Furniture, was a former partner (purchased 2017) at 1219 Creative Co-Work Space + Art Gallery and has invested in and consulted for numerous start-ups and venture projects. Kyle is quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine about “what it takes to be a creative entrepreneur”.

Known as a dynamic public speaker, Golding delivers business advice and motivation via his No BS style of communicating as the host of the Beers And Branding live events, co-host of The Golding Group #NeoMarketing podcast and his #SaturdayMorningHustle social media videos.

We recently caught up with Kyle to talk about his company and his entrepreneurial journey and here’s what went down:

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

Over my 30 plus year career, I have owned and operated businesses in multiple industries. I have positioned, marketed and managed musicians, start-ups, small businesses, corporations and nonprofits to local, national and worldwide success. Most of my time is spent as CEO and Chief Strategic Idealist for The Golding Group think tank with offices in Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. The Golding Group provides strategic, sustainable growth through business process innovation & marketing integration. We build organizations from the inside out by providing expertise in all phases of operation, specific to each of our client’s needs. Our focus is providing expertise to increase income, decrease cost and improve overall efficiency for our clients.

Along with being a partner in The Golding Group, I also own Share Furniture, a partnership in 1219 Creative Co-Work Space + Art Gallery (sold in 2017), Co-Founder and CMO of VORTTX Training plus invested in and/or consulted for numerous start-ups and venture projects.

I started The Golding Group for two main reasons: I was tired of working for people who had no idea what they were doing and I knew there was an opportunity for a new way of providing valuable services to clients other than the current industry model.

Since 1998, I worked in corporate marketing. I started at the bottom as a junior graphic designer. I moved up the ranks by adding skills and experience. Eventually, I worked my way to the Director level. This allowed me to be watch top-level decision making, but not influential or participate in the process. My frustration began when I realized almost everyone above me on the corporate ladder had not earned their way to the top (the way I had). Most didn’t know what they were actually doing other than keeping their boss happy. No one was actually trying to create products, processes or actions that would create value for the company. Ultimately, I was stuck working for people who were not smarter or more talented, had no ambition to actually do what was needed for company success and were simply there to collect a paycheck. This is what motivated me to consider taking the risk of going out on my own.

The second half of the equation was my frustration as the client dealing with advertising agencies and PR firms. The MAR-COM industry mostly works in a traditional model of billable hours and media buying commissions. Campaigns are created to make work for the creative team and scheduling media the agency can bill the client for and get a commission from the provider. Too much of this work is based on making the client feel important, with flashy creative work not based on market conditions. The behind-the-scenes marketing work of research, strategy, and positioning is not sexy at all but the most effective way to create real value for a business. I knew this lack of attention to this important work is where my opportunity was. That was the idea for what would eventually become The Golding Group.

Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful? I started my first business at 15, even though I didn’t know I was starting a business. I definitely didn’t know what it meant to be an entrepreneur. From 15 to 30, I worked in music production and promotion. This included studio and tour engineering, producing and management. When I decided to exit the music industry, I utilized my technical and promotional experience along with my college degrees in mass communications to transition into business marketing. First, as a graphic designer and then marketing director and creative consultant. This all culminated in 2011 with the formation of The Golding Group with my current business partners.

I had a great deal of success in the music industry, and at an early age. So current success isn’t a surprise. The journey to this point is not what I expected it to be. I still have plenty of lofty goals I expect to achieve in the future. Confidence and motivation to constantly move forward are vital to success. I have a lot more tricks left up my sleeve.

What is your main source of income? Consulting. The Golding Group has a small but mighty roster of full-service clients we provide a variety of services to. Each situation has different needs and focus. We do not have a system or preset package clients are forced to pay for. We provide our clients exactly what they need, when they need it, on a retainer basis. We also occasionally invest in select business deals, collaborations like 1219 Creative and companies such as VORTTX Training.

We do have the other businesses and investments, but the majority of income streams from The Golding Group work.

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

Content marketing, CEO level networking and a strong referral program. We have a robust marketing program utilizing our content creation and aggregation abilities to present The Golding Group partners as the strong, decisive business leaders they are. We let our expertise, award-winning work examples, and client references create our future client opportunities. It’s not about flash, but what we can and have achieved for other clients that open the door to our next client. Each new partnership is bigger, stronger and more robust than the last. We do a good amount of community work as well. We engage our local professional groups, civic organizations, chambers of commerce and teach a pro-bono marketing class for adults for the vocational training system in Oklahoma City. We host create events like art shows and non-traditional marketing talks like Beers and Branding from a local beer brand’s tap room.

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

We have a presence on most top platforms, both for The Golding Group plus all the business partners and our associated businesses VORTTX Training, 1219 Creative and Share Furniture. We have The Golding Group #NeoMarketing Podcast featuring myself and business partner Pritch Pritchard on iTunes, YouTube, Spreaker and Soundcloud.

Each company has a different audience, so a different approach to each social media channel as well. The Golding Group is very focused on Twitter and LinkedIn with a secondary focus on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. VORTTX is very focused on LinkedIn, but we have found a few hashtags that work well on Twitter. Since the 1219 Creative space was purchased late 2017, we’ve been pivoting that brand to more general creativity and community activity on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Personally, I’m all about Twitter. That’s my jam! I have been enjoying Instagram for the last year as well. I do a 1 minute Instagram video every week called the #SaturdayMorningHustle. I like working on Saturday mornings and I toss out a helpful tip or inspirational quote for all the hustlers in the office while everyone else is sleeping in. This video series has resulted in more person to person conversations about work ethic and motivation than almost all my other social media efforts combined. People really connect with it. I’m also on SnapChat but the platform has never really connected with me and is moving further away from my interest.

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

It can work, but it’s not as easy as everyone pretends it to be. We have a lot of powerful content created for The Golding Group so sponsored content campaigns do pay off for us. Not so much with PPC because our key terms like business development and strategic planning are oversaturated. Mostly by a bunch of wannabes. We have had success with PPC for certain clients. It works very well for non-profit organizations tied to causes. The biggest drawback is the amount of time and A/B/C testing needed to find the right combination to work well. Most clients do not have enough patience to do PPC correctly. For sponsored content, LinkedIn has been great for us.

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 utilize a mixed media approach to delivering our brand message. We are specific in what we offer such as strategic planning, business process development, and communication integration along with service types we do not offer like traditional paid creative/media buying advertising or “Yes Man” consulting. This tends to turn off some people who still want to run their business like the “good old days” and we’re fine with that. We strive to attract the right client who understands how success happens in 2018, not 2000 or 1988. We break stereotypes of what business development is and can be. We don’t think outside the box, we refuse to acknowledge the box even exist.

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

We utilize a mix of content and influencer marketing. Our business offers services based on the partner’s expertise and experience. This lends very well to content marketing. We demonstrate our expertise via blogging/vlogging, podcast, social media, digital channel advertising, PR, media quotes, community relations and speaking at live events. We discuss theory, answer questions and demonstrate real-world examples of successful execution. In the past 18 months, audio and short-form video have been highly successful for us. We keep a consistent disruptor brand voice on all channels. We push boundaries and show what’s possible when you get outside old, tired ways of doing business.

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

We started by telling people that The Golding Group was not an ad agency or PR firm. We are not accountants, HR or a law firm (even though one of the partners is a licensed attorney, it’s not a service we offer). We create a space for business development and strategy between purely creative advertising, traditional sales and compliance management. We work from the center of the spectrum out, providing creative ideas that match sustainable business concepts. We streamline the internal process to create efficiency and focus marketing on the best, most specific target audience. No one else takes this approach to business profitability. Our niche is more like a subset of a small section of a niche.

We set ourselves apart by being consistent and focused on business growth. There is no “weird trick” to success. A business that is growing is moving in the right direction. We demonstrate our expertise daily, we challenge traditional ideas and we back it all up with examples, case studies and client testimonials.

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

Ending working relationships with good clients who kept us from being available for the next level of clients, doing more of the type of work we want to move into and less of what we had been doing before. It’s the growing pains of maturing a business model. It would have been easier to keep those clients, both financially and personally, but that was holding back our collective success. Now, I wish we had done it sooner. But, you know what they say about hindsight.

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

When we started in 2011, The Golding Group took on clients but also projects and subcontracting. We stuck with that “safe” approach for way too long. Our least successful relationships have been project only. Now, we create full-service relationships with our clients. This allows us to offer them everything we have, without reserve. This works better for our clients because they get services beyond what was expected and answers to questions they didn’t even know to ask. Saying no to project work seemed hard at the time, but our slow resolve to that model change definitely cost us time and money. We also tried to manage too many clients at once, in fear of losing potential work opportunities or strangling top-line cash flow. Dropping the bottom half of our client roster provided much-needed attention to our top clients.

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

Wealth is not based on how much money you have in the bank. Sure, economics is part of it but real wealth is being able to make things happen that need to happen when they need to happen. Short money is the fastest route to failure. Never take today’s dime that keeps you from tomorrow’s dollar. Patience and consistency are how you create success. Wealth comes from managing your success for more than just yourself. You stay wealthy by creating opportunities for others to find their success. Thus adding to your assets.

What new business would you love to start?

I want to turn the music business on its head. The record label business model is bad for artist and fans. New technology has changed the business, but not enough. There are a hundred billion opportunities in that space. If I get a chance to make some waves in the music industry, look out. The old models will not stand a chance.

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

Be even more niche in our approach. We built The Golding Group initially on clients who knew of my marketing creative services. But we wanted The Golding Group to be something different. We were slow to make the pivot, mostly because we didn’t think our potential clients would understand what we brought to the table at that time. We utilized existing relationships and reputation in creative marketing to attract client attention for too long. It made the pivot harder and more confusing in the short run. If I could, I would shorten that process.

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

Shut up! I like to hear myself talk. Often way too much. It’s ok now that I have 30+ years of business experience, but when I was younger I rubbed people the wrong way. I’m sure I made the journey harder than it needed to be with my rookie ego and big mouth.

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

Lately, I’ve been recommending the combination of Simon Sinek “Start With Why” to find the proper inspiration for what you’re trying to achieve and then “Crushing It” by Gary Vaynerchuk for execution and motivation.

What is the best advice you have ever been given? Always accept your mistakes or failures in person. Do not call or send an email when you’ve let someone down. Go, look them in the eye, own up and then find a solution to their problem. Anything less is not enough.

If you start having some success, that doesn’t mean everything will be easy. Pay close attention to the How and Why of early success. Don’t assume you will always understand what worked and what didn’t so write it down. That will serve you better than your memory.

Don’t be afraid of others having success around you. Their wins don’t take away from yours. Jealousy is a waste of time and effort. Let them hate on you, but don’t return it. Keep focused on your goals.

Find mentors. Real people you can talk to on a regular basis with a level of trust, people in your community you can admire and maybe work with/for someday and national figures that you can aspire to be or learn from their advice, mistakes, examples, etc….

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Interview With A Millionaire: Introducing Second-Generation Entrepreneur Lane Mendelsohn

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Lane Mendelsohn is a second-generation entrepreneur and he’s an artificial intelligence (AI) expert. He’s had incredible success despite not having a college degree because he grew up entrenched in AI at VantagePoint Software. As a boy, he started doing the smallest menial tasks at his father’s company and has grown to be highly successful because of his ethics, hard work, and ability to seize opportunities.

We recently caught up with Lane to talk about his company and his entrepreneurial journey and here’s what went down:

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

I’m Lane Mendelsohn, 38 years old, and a second-generation entrepreneur. My father started our trading software company, Market Technologies, LLC, in 1979 when he broke ground as the first person in the world to develop trading software for commodities traders that did backtesting and optimization. Today, our software (VantagePoint) remains truly unique.

I’ve built on the strong foundation my father started. I started getting heavily involved in running the company in 2004 and have been fully dedicated to it since then. I love our company and have a strong affinity for commerce on a global level. From an early age, I’ve witnessed how our customers use artificial intelligence for stock trading and their incredible success created a passion in me to carry on this legacy.

When I was a child living in the suburbs of Tampa, Florida, I took in our next-door neighbor’s empty garbage cans from the curb on garbage collection days for a dime a can. After our family moved further from Tampa to a private horse ranch my parents bought, I raised all kinds of pets on the property including chickens and goats. I began selling fresh chicken eggs to neighbors and teachers at my elementary school. I also milked our two prized Nubian African dairy goats each morning and evening, and sold their milk for more than $8.00 a gallon! Basically, I started doing whatever I could to make money by providing products and services that I knew that other people wanted and needed.

In elementary school, I started a small business selling pencils and school supplies to fellow students. I bought supplies in bulk and marked up the prices to make a profit and kept my prices below the school’s student store. Free enterprise, right? Until one day the principal called my parents to tell them I had to shut down my business because it was undercutting the school’s business. I look back with amusement on this episode, but it was very formative for me. It’s clear that even at that young age, my entrepreneurial spirit was emerging.

As I got older, my dad opened an IRA account for me and paid me to take out the trash, vacuum, and clean the office. This gave me the valuable opportunity to come into the office and interact with my dad and other employees. He also allowed me to accompany him on business trips to industry conferences and trade shows. These experiences really exposed me to the satisfaction and success that can be achieved as an entrepreneur.

I think my dad knew all along that this was his way of getting me to become passionate and excited about the financial markets and his software company. As an inexperienced youngster, I wasn’t quite capable yet of seeing beyond making a few dollars. But, as I matured and continued to rub elbows with some of the top leaders in the commodities markets and overall financial industry (many of whom I still have now business relationships with), the more I realized I had been exposed to building the professional and social capital needed for great success.

To this day, I still think back to those childhood experiences and realize how important they were in shaping me into the businessman and entrepreneur that I am. Now I have two young daughters and they come into our office when they’re off school. They listen to customer calls and do little tasks around the office that give them that same exposure and opportunity I had when I was their age. Of course, the company has grown significantly now with more than 60 employees and operates from our state-of-the-art, 10,000 square foot office building just a few miles from our ranch.

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

I didn’t have preconceived notions about how successful I’d be, or how big and successful the company would become. I did know that I always wanted to work with my dad. As a child, I would carry around my lunch box and say, “This is my briefcase. I’m going to work.” I’ve always just had that sense about it, and that excitement. I never set a bar that I wanted to be this successful by a certain time. I simply always did the best that I could do. I give 100 percent every single day, and at the end of the day, I measure success by asking myself if I gave my all. If I did, then I was successful. If I look myself in the mirror and say, “No, I didn’t give my all today,” then I know tomorrow I must make up for it and may need to readjust or recalibrate.

Lane with Kevin Harrington

What is your main source of income?

A base salary is my primary source of income. I also receive performance incentives from managing a financially successful business that generates millions of dollars through sales of VantagePoint Software. Our sales are very successful because VantagePoint creates significant wealth for our customers, and their lives are truly changed.

We’ve developed and licensed VantagePoint mostly to stock, commodities, Forex and ETF traders in over 140 countries. These traders benefit greatly from VantagePoint, which uses artificial intelligence to make highly accurate short-term forecasts of global financial markets. Because of the company’s success, we’re then able to sponsor a lot of culture-building events for our employees and also give back to our local community in terms of charitable donations. Our company’s financial success also allows us to pay 100 percent of our employee’s medical care and has allowed us to partner with Shriners Hospitals for Children to raise money for this very worthy organization.

I’m also an investor in the stock market and have been since I was 11 years old when my father first set up my IRA account. In addition to that, I have several real estate investments, both commercial and residential, that provide me with another stream of income.

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

We are continuously doing many things to grow and maintain the business. In terms of maintaining, it’s a matter of having quality staff members who perform well. It’s also a matter of continuing to excel with our application of AI’s machine learning and neural networks to the financial markets and providing software upgrades and enhancements to our customers, ensuring that they are getting the maximum benefit from our product. VantagePoint is an extremely powerful, analytic tool, but if we don’t continue to perfect it, as well as provide our customers with world-class training, then they won’t be able to gain the maximum benefit of its full potential. To keep our customers engaged with VantagePoint, we do more than simply sell them the tool. We continue to guide and assist them on an ongoing basis to ensure they are as successful as possible in reaching their investing goals.

We invest heavily and continuously in R&D. Our research and development team, known as the Predictive Technologies Group, is constantly testing new ideas and possible improvements to the software’s forecasting accuracy which is now up to 86 percent accurate at forecasting market trend direction up to three days in advance. The result of trying new ideas and discovering the ones that work best makes it worth it. You can’t maintain your business without continuously working toward growing and improving it. if you’re not moving forward, you’re going backward. There’s no such thing as standing still when it comes to business.

There will always be trial and error, and there may be many things you try that don’t work. It’s important to remember that we learn a lot from failure. You accept what doesn’t work, heed the lessons, and then try again with a new approach.

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

We’re selling trading software to traders who are typically between the ages of 40 and 80 years old, so we utilize LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter because those platforms resonate with our demographic. That said, we’re always contemplating the future and technology changes very quickly. Things will look different in five, 10, or 20 years from now.

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

Everything we do is digital because that works for us. Any type of paid digital advertising you can think of, we’ve probably done at some point. Digital marketing is a great way to reach a large audience while also being able to easily target and reach a specific demographic. If you’re going to invest money into advertising, it’s important to choose outlets that will reach an audience motivated to buy your product or service. Digital campaigns can be very effective. We tend not to invest in print media or other types of marketing strategies that are less targeted.

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 do a lot with digital marketing. My father started our trading software company back in 1979 and was the first person in the world to develop software that performs strategy backtesting and optimization, which he released in 1983. A few years later, he was the first person in the world to combine the power of artificial intelligence, global market analysis, and predictive technical indicators into trading software.

Vantage Point, our flagship product, was developed by him in the late 1980s and released in 1991. He’s been a prolific writer in the financial industry since 1983, having written dozens of published articles on technical analysis, collaborated on numerous books on the subject, and authored several others on his own in which he addressed the globalization of the financial markets and the need to develop innovative approaches to finding and analyzing the hidden patterns and effects that markets have on each other.

My father was interviewed live on CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg television over the years. He’s recognized as an inventor, trading software pioneer, accomplished author, public speaker, and business entrepreneur. Just a few months ago, Marquis Who’s Who awarded him their
Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the financial industry over the past forty years.

What really makes us stand out is that we’ve got longevity. Next year will be our company’s 40th anniversary. Our software has industry credibility because we have so many customer success stories that we share with other traders. We stand out because we’ve been an industry leader for nearly four decades – and that’s not something you can buy with advertising.

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

Online and digital marketing works best for us. We do go to trade shows and meet people face to face, but I think that’s slower lead generation. While it’s advantageous to see your customers face to face, our customers are in 140 countries around the world and we’re located here in Tampa, Florida. We don’t get to see our customers often so we sponsor Power Trader seminars in Tampa twice a year for them. This gives us the opportunity for personal interaction and helps build strong relationships with those who attend.

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

We were the first and are still the only trading software company to have a patented, fully-trained, artificial intelligence-based forecasting software that has harnessed the power of machine learning neural networks to global financial market analysis. We’re inherently a standout.

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

The toughest decision I made in the last few months was the discontinuation of one of our sister companies. It was focused on providing free education and news to traders and investors. The problem was that the time and effort being put into it outweighed the ROI. As an entrepreneur and business owner, you must be diligent and wise with time management and financial resources. When it became evident that this company was no longer a good use of our resources, we redirected our focus on developing higher quality training tools and videos for our software customers to instead expand our Power Trader seminars to twice a year.

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

Over the years, I’ve made a few mistakes with some large investments in technology that later became obsolete. Technology is tricky because it’s advancing at such a rapid pace. For example, we invested in a technology that archived emails and data. Within about a year, that technology was phased out because a newer and better performing technology was created. I should have exercised more caution, but hindsight is 20/20. Those kinds of risk exist, and you have to be willing to keep trying.

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

Always remain humble and always be open to learning more. You should never reach a point in your life where you reflect on your success and say, “Look, I’ve made this much money, or I’ve achieved this level of success, so I’m done learning.”

Some people reach a certain level of success in their life or career and start to believe that they have nothing to learn from other people who have not been as financially successful. That is not true. You can always do better, and you never know who can teach you something you didn’t know before.

Always keep an open mind. Regardless of someone’s income or status, everyone has something to offer, bring to the table, or teach you. This is a very important lesson everybody can learn from.

What new business would you love to start?

Frankly, there’s no new business that I would love to start because we have such an established and successful software company. Instead, I want to focus on creating new divisions and income streams within our current business. There are so many different avenues with great potential for us to pursue. I will focus on the implementation of some of those.

A few years ago, we decided to start doing in-person training events for our existing customers. Now, we do it twice a year and customers fly to Tampa, Florida from all over the world. The event helps them boost their trading skills and teaches them how to become power traders. What started as a concept has become a solid part of our business that’s both profitable and beneficial to our customers. I hope to continue turning new initiatives into reality. It’s all about building upon what we already have built as a foundation.

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

I’m 38 years old and when I was just starting out working full time in the business, I was about 15 when I developed the company’s first internet website. If I could go back to that time, I would spend more time thinking about long term goals and thinking ahead 10 years down the road when making business decisions. That would have been more helpful in terms of forming a vision. I know it is easy to think only about what it is happening at the moment, especially while you’re young, but if I should have focused more on the future.

I wish I’d spent more time thinking about the “what ifs” and had the strategic perspective of looking years ahead, not just into the next week or the next year, and considered the bigger picture. If you know what your long-term strategic goals are, you can assess each of your short-term tactical decisions to ensure that they align with your longer-term vision.

Thankfully, my dad is a true visionary. We applied artificial intelligence to financial market analysis nearly 30 years ago when almost no one was even thinking about AI and its applications. Now, AI is becoming prolific and is reshaping and transforming industries and ultimately life as we now know it. The world is on the cusp of a transformative change. Some call it the fourth industrial revolution, in which AI is going to play a pivotal role. I’m very glad to know that our company will continue as a leader and help traders all over the world to improve their lives, build wealth and be more successful in the financial markets.

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

I would have told myself to be more open-minded when it came to learning from others. There are so many people who have much to offer, but when you’re young, you tend to think you already know it all and aren’t as open to listening to other people’s perspectives. My advice would be to seek out different perspectives and other people’s advice while truly taking it to heart. This is great advice not only in business but life in general.

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

I highly recommend The Instant Millionaire by Mark Fisher. I’ve read it several times and even listen to the audible version when I’m on the go. It gives great perspective I never considered before. I listen to the book occasionally because it’s a good refresher and keeps things in perspective. If you ever feel like you’re not on track, or you’re in a lull, it can really help reinvigorate you. The book reminds us to think big, set goals and expectations for yourself, and not be afraid to ask for help if needed. All of these things are critical to being a successful person, and, of course, a successful entrepreneur.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I’ve received is from my dad. He’s given me a lot of great advice throughout my life, but there’s one piece that comes to mind: He said, when you’re negotiating a deal with somebody, whether it’s a partnership or business agreement, make sure that it is truly a win-win relationship where both parties are getting a benefit out of the arrangement. If you ever make a deal where the other party walks away not feeling fulfilled or unsure, it won’t be a long-term, successful relationship. I’ve turned this advice into a standard operating procedure and make sure that whatever I’m getting, I’m giving a little bit more. This is why we have many valuable, mutually beneficial relationships that last decades.

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

Before you start anything, you must ask yourself one very simple but very important question: Will the product or service I’m providing add value and help people to solve a problem? If you have a “cool” product, but it doesn’t solve a problem and it doesn’t help other people accomplish their goals, your business lacks the potential to be successful. Regardless of the industry, make sure whatever product or service you’re providing is adding real value for people, helps them change and improve their lives, and is something that solves a problem or fills a need that they have. That’s exactly what we’ve done in our business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your primary source of income?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What new business would you love to start?

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

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

I would have gotten my CPA and done more networking.

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

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

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your primary source of income?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PR and social media.

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

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

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

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

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

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

What new business would you love to start?

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

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

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

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

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

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

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

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

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

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

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

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