Category Archives: Entrepreneur

How To Make Money With Airbnb Without Owning Property

10 Ways To Make Money With A Pickup Truck

Five Ways to Make Money with 3D Printing

This is a great opportunity for selling your 3D printed designs and making real money from your work. If there is one sector that is taking over the internet market with designed products, it is 3D printing. If you are trying to figure out the challenges of getting a share of the market, here are just a few ways you may find handy.

Getting exposure is one of the means to get going. This starts with finding an avenue for exposure, which you can register with companies that are offering an opportunity for 3D Printer owners to get into the business. With such a possibility, you can get to connect with consumers, business owners and even engineers who might need your help in some cases. Getting in touch with local customers could be your way to success.

3D Hubs and MakeXYZ are some of the options you can register with to get started. Online presence matters a lot when it comes to advancing your 3D printing into a business. You can create a store on Shapeways, where you can showcase your 3D designs and models, and then you can print-on-demand for consumers who like your work. Besides having all you need to market your design and templates, Shapeways have gone an extra mile to include a tool that helps with better customization of design known as the CustomMaker.

Since you are only building your small business, Shopify is the way to get started. Here, you only create your 3D designs, have them printed on any of these sites, or at a local bureau, and you start getting customer orders to print. For printing services that are engaging in renovation contractors and a home building where you can get clients with homes that require unique productions, and do work for them.

A good example is what Aztec Scenic Design is doing in Florida, if you hone your skills, this could be a great way of making money. You can advance by working together with electroplaters around you. If you can get someone who is ready to work with you, then you can chip in and start coating your products in gold, silver, nickel, and several others, which might bring you even more money.

Similarly, you can work with a Computer Graphic expert or animator to create better products from the characters they have, which can help you attain a significant milestone. There are a lot you can achieve owning a 3D printing business. All you need is to enhance your productivity to attain the standards that would impress your customers, and get out there.

The market is growing, and with it comes a very significant opportunity for 3D printing designers to make an income from their work. If the situation necessitates collaborating with others, then go for it and broaden your opportunity for better earning.

3 Ways to Boost Your Affiliate Commissions Overnight

The ideal world of affiliate marketing does not require having your own website, dealing with customers, refunds, product development and maintenance. This is one of the easiest ways of launching into an online business and earning more profits.

Assuming you are already into an affiliate program, what would be the next thing you would want to do? Double, or even triple, your commissions, right? How do you do that?

Here are some powerful tips on how to boost your affiliate program commissions overnight.

1. Know the best program and products to promote. Obviously, you would want to promote a program that will enable you to achieve the greatest profits in the shortest possible time.

There are several factors to consider in selecting such a program. Choose the ones that have a generous commission structure. Have products that fit in with your target audience. And that has a solid track record of paying their affiliate easily and on time. If you cannot seem to increase your investments, dump that program and keep looking for better ones.

There are thousands of affiliate programs online which gives you the reason to be picky. You may want to select the best to avoid losing your advertising dollars.

Write free reports or short eBooks to distribute from your site. There is a great possibility that you are competing with other affiliates that are promoting the same program. If you start writing short report related to the product you are promoting, you will be able to distinguish yourself from the other affiliates.

In the reports, provide some valuable information for free. If possible, add some recommendations about the products. With eBooks, you get credibility. Customers will see that in you and they will be enticed to try out what you are offering.

2. Collect and save the email addresses of those who download your free eBooks. It is a known fact that people do not make a purchase on the first solicitation. You may want to send out your message more than six times to make a sale.

This is the simple reason why you should collect the contact information of those who downloaded your reports and eBooks. You can make follow-ups on these contacts to remind them to make a purchase from you.

Get the contact information of a prospect before sending them to the vendors website. Keep in mind that you are providing free advertisement for the product owners. You get paid only when you make a sale. If you send prospects directly to the vendors, chances are they would be lost to you forever.

But when you get their names, you can always send other marketing messages to them to be able to earn an ongoing commission instead of a one-time sale only.

Publish an online newsletter or Ezine. It is always best to recommend a product to someone you know than to sell to a stranger. This is the purpose behind publishing your own newsletter. This also allows you to develop a relationship based on trust with your subscribers.

This strategy is a delicate balance between providing useful information with a sales pitch. If you continue to write informative editorials you will be able to build a sense of reciprocity in your readers that may lead them to support, you by buying your products.

3. Ask for higher than normal commission from merchants. If you are already successful with a promotion, you should try and approach the merchant and negotiate a percentage commission for your sales.

If the merchant is smart, he or she will likely grant your request rather than lose an asset in you. Keep in mind that you are a zero-risk investment to your merchant; so do not be shy about requesting for addition in your commissions. Just try to be reasonable about it.

Write strong pay Per Click ads. PPC search engine is the most effective means of advertising online. As an affiliate, you can make a small income just by managing PPC campaigns such as Google AdWords and Overture. Then you should try and monitor them to see which ads more effective and which ones are to dispose of.

Try out these strategies and see the difference it can make to your commission checks in the shortest of time.

How to Shoot Etsy Products

Just because you are not a professional photographer or cannot access a photography studio does not mean that you can’t have amazing photos. Use these tips to take great photos outdoors or create your own photography set up at home. Prepare for the shoot; know the various aspects that you are trying to capture on your products and how you can highlight them.

This makes it easy to come up with an order for the session and choose the perfect equipment. Photo shoots can be draining and time consuming but shooting several items at once will speed up the process and create consistency. If a session goes well, note the time of day, date, lighting conditions, and weather so you can always replicate the conditions in your future shoots.

Gather Your Materials

Photo shoot Checklist

Essential

  • Camera or smartphone
  • Lighting (natural or artificial)
  • Hard surface/Table
  • Tripod
  • Background

Recommended

  • Light reflectors
  • Shutter release cable
  • Props
  • Camera lenses
  • Clips for securing background
  • Back-ups: spare batteries, chargers, memory cards, etc.
  1. Choose Your Background

Simple and orderly backgrounds draw attention to the product and not the surrounding. Clean light-colored walls, smooth fabrics, or seamless rolls of paper make for great backgrounds. Consistent backgrounds for all your shoots are also good for your brand and shop.

Using A Seamless Background

Hang your background material behind your product. You can hang it from a backdrop frame or attach it on a wall or cardboard. Let it flow down and extend it on your surface (table or floor), then place your object on it, a few inches from the curve. 

Using Outdoors Backgrounds

Outdoor backgrounds enable you to portray the context of your commodities through lifestyle photos. Use outdoor photos for context and indoor shots to give customers a closer look. 

  1. Light Your Shot

Good lighting and good photography go hand in hand. Always avoid harsh light; camera flashes, a strong fluorescent bulb or direct sunlight. 

Using Natural Light

Diffuse The Light: Use indirect sunlight. For outdoor shoots, a cloudy day ensures no harsh shadows. For indoor shoots, place your products several feet from the window. Take photos when you have plenty of light, but not too bright. 

Use bounce cards: a bounce card focuses light on your product on cloudy days. Make your own DIY bounce cards if you do not have any. 

Do not mix the light: do not mix artificial and natural light. 

Using Artificial Light

Invest in box lights: three soft box lights are enough to illuminate your product.

For small items, use a tent or light box: a light tent or light box streamlines your shoots with consistent light source and background.

Be careful with flash: avoid using the built-in flash in your camera and opt for an external flash instead. 

  1. Steady Your Shot

Anchor Your Camera

Place your cameras on a solid surface or tripod stand because if you hold it with your hands you might move and cause blurry photos.

Use Autofocus

Turn on your camera’s autofocus function for sharper images. 

Be Careful With Slow Shutter Speeds

Slower shutter speed leads to blurry images especially in a low light environment. 

Get the right Equipment

Use a macro-lens or shutter release cable to enhance focus.

  1. Frame Your Shot

Choose The Position and Angle

How would you like to position your image? Do you want to take a vertical or horizontal shot? Using the “rule of thirds” will also guide you. 

Eliminate Potential Distractions

If an object does not highlight your product, it should not show in the frame. 

  1. Test Your Setup

Take a few test shots and view them on a large monitor. 

The right equipment will help you get fantastic shots of your products. In this chapter, you will see the advantages and disadvantages of various cameras and learn about accessories that will make your photos stand out. You will come across four major types of cameras when shopping.  Smartphone cameras are pretty good and they keep getting better.

With a decent photography setup, good lighting, and of course practice, you can take great photos of your products with your mobile phone camera. Pros: smartphones are small and portable. They help you save time when you need to snap your products on the go. What’s more, you can edit and list the photos wherever you are.

Cons: unlike high quality cameras, smartphone cameras do not use a lens for optical zooming. If you zoom while taking photos with your phone, it will be low quality. Moreover, smartphone cameras are not the best for low-light environments. Compact/Point-and-Shoot Cameras come in a wide variety of styles. They can either be limited when it comes to manual settings or have fully automatic settings. Pros: they are small and portable.

They are easy to use as they have more presets (built-in settings) automatic modes. They are cheaper than premium cameras. As long as a point-and-shoot camera has a macro setting and at least 10 megapixels, you can take decent photos. Cons: the automatic mode on a compact camera limits your control over the shots. Since these cameras also have built-in flashes, they may not be the best for product photography.

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras have a lot of options for manual settings and interchangeable lenses. These expensive cameras are more complex than the point-to-shoot cameras and they take outstanding photos. Pros: These premium cameras are versatile. They are easy to use and take perfect pictures even in low light. Their large image sensors absorb more light resulting in larger pixel sizes and sharper images. Cons: they are a little expensive.

They are bulky and not fun to carry around. For someone who does not know much about cameras, learning the manual settings can be a challenge. Instead of using a mirror, light just goes through the lens, then to the image sensor and the image is relay to the rear screen. Pros: They are light. They have more functions and manual capabilities. They might be easier to use for a beginner than DSLR cameras. Cons: a little pricier than compact and smartphone cameras.

They have less functionality than DSLR cameras. Older models might not take great photos. With camera lenses, you can take crystal clear photos of your product. Always consider “minimum focusing distance” when buying a lens. A specialized macro-lens enhances your camera focus when the object is close. Tripods help you take a steady shot and are available for technically any camera type.

Get one with extendable legs so you can adjust the height of your camera. While taking photos, pressing a button may cause the camera to move. A cable release or remote control takes care of this problem. Seamless Backdrops/Sweep are usually a fabric or long sheet of paper flowing from the wall to the floor, with no creases. The continuous background makes your products pop. 

Lighting Tools

Good lighting is paramount for flattering features.

Bounce cards and reflectors

Soft box Lights

Light boxes and light tents

External flashes 

Flash diffusers

Substandard product photography, be it overexposed images or blurry close-ups, can really hurt your online sales. The following five photography mistakes are very common among new online sellers. Learn how to avoid them.  When the light is less than enough, your camera lengthens the exposure to try and compensate for that.

The result may be a grainy or blurry image. Shoppers love a clear photo of the product they are buying. So even though you are selling outstanding goods, dimly lit photos will turn away potential customers. How to fix it: conduct your photography by a sunny window and also use a reflector (a piece of white poster board will do) to focus more light on the product and eliminate shadows. 

Sometimes when you are shooting indoors, you might be tempted to use the built-in flash in your camera to make things a little brighter. What you do not know is that flash can cause shadows, mess with the colors of your product, and create unflattering glares. How to fix it: when you want to shoot your items and there doesn’t seem to be enough natural light, try using soft box lights or a light box to illuminate the product and avoid harsh glares.

Out-of-focus photos portray un-professionalism and buyers will highly doubt the quality of your products if they are considering it. If they cannot see the photos clearly, it is unlikely they will make a purchase. How to fix it: play around with focus settings. A lot of digital cameras are prompted to create a new focal point when you hold the camera’s shutter button halfway down. Likewise, for smartphones, you can tap the screen on the spot you want focused on before taking the shot.

For close up photos where you need to bring out the details of an item or for small products like jewelry, enhance focus using the macro setting on digital cameras. It is usually represented with a flower symbol. Setting your camera on a stack of books or a tripod also makes for crispier photos. Too many props in a photo leave potential customers wondering what exactly is being sold. This can happen when shooting items in a context environment like a pillow on a bed. Although it helps buyers envision the product in their lives, it can be confusing. How to fix it: avoid backdrops and too many props as they can overwhelm shoppers.

The item on sale should be the center of attention. If you are not sure, use a simple and solid backdrop to take photos of your product by itself. For you to sell your products, online buyers need to assess all the important details of the item from your photos. They should be able to tell the size, color, and other details. Otherwise, you will lose them. How to fix it: include photos taken from several angles in your listings. If there are damages, capture them as well. For items such as clothes, shoot them on a model for the shoppers to get a clear image. High quality photos and enough information will attract and keep customers. 

A Successful Start on Etsy

Starting your first ever-online business can be frustrating; with learning new terminologies, concepts, and other things that seem so complex. To be fully prepared for the first few months, it is advisable to plan ahead and figure out how everything works before jumping in. If it is your first time setting up an Etsy online shop or you aspire to have one someday, these steps will guide you.  Gather all the major building blocks in advance.

This way, the shop opening process will be fast, easy and manageable. Prepare all-important things such as photos, your bank information, and item prices. Choosing a business name is not as easy as you might be misled to think. Sometimes you might come up with the perfect name for your business only to be told that it is not available when opening your shop. This can be disappointing but do not lose hope, go on and open your shop.

If you encounter this setback, add your initials, location, “boutique” or “shop” at the end of the name. Before you open your shop, you have the option of changing the name as many times as you want, until it feels right (go to Your Shop > Shop Name). However, after you have opened the shop, you are limited to changing the name just once.

It is normal to have big goals and dreams for your shop. Creating a task list and strategies based on one huge long-term goal can burn you out. Instead, set smaller milestones that will lead you to attain your ultimate goal. Achieving these smaller milestones will encourage and keep you going. Make sure the milestones are small and realistic.

When a buyer comes to shop at Etsy for a specific product, they will type certain phrases or words into the search bar. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Which words or phrases are they likely to type while searching for your products? Brainstorm and come up with as many words and phrases as possible.

After writing them all down, underline the strongest ones. Now go to the listings editor and incorporate those phrases and words into your item titles, product tags, and the beginning of your product descriptions. Each week check your stats to see which keywords are effective and remove those that are not.

Your photos should be simple, illustrative, and sharp. Consider studying a little photography to learn which camera, setting, and angle will work for you. In this case, a lot of practice is needed until you get it right; so do not give up.

You have definitely come across a shop that was so well designed and organized you felt like buying everything. Implement that into your Etsy shop. Encourage customers to buy multiple products and come back. Do not wait until everything is right—just start. Everyone has to start somewhere and grow from there, don’t hold back, just do it.  

Etsy is an online retail community just like eBay only that it focuses on vintage or handcrafted commodities. Most of the goods sold there are in the jewelry, arts, crafts, housewares, artisan candies, baked goods, or paper-goods categories. For an item to qualify as vintage it has to be at least 20 years old and can be anything from photos, costumes, housewares, jewelry, and clothing.

Etsy provides a great avenue for you to sell your homemade goods—but that’s not all. You can find a limitless number of items on Etsy that will help your home business.  For instance, if you use The Happy Planner, Filofax, or Erin Condren to schedule and organize your life or business, there are downloadable stickers and inserts that you can buy and use in your planner.

If you need promotional items that have your logo on them; there are a good number of Etsy sellers that can make custom swag for you. They will not only make coffee cups and pens, but also cosmetics, jewelry, bookmarks, and pretty much everything with your logo and name on them.

For a very long time, a majority of artisans and craftsmen sold their commodities at open markets, fairs, and on consignment. Although the Internet widened their market, most craftsmen did not want to go through the trouble of creating their own ecommerce platform, website, or credit card processor just to sell goods online. Sure, eBay and maybe other e-commerce DIY sites might have helped with the situation but Etsy offered a platform designed specifically for craftsman. 

Etsy makes it easy for each seller to create an online “shop” with total e-commerce capabilities with the easy-to-use setup wizard. It is a simple, affordable, fast, and convenient way of reaching customers. Creating an Etsy storefront will cost you $0.20 for every item listed. For instance, if you sell handmade baskets, and you list four of them (of the same kind), the cost will be 4 x $0.20 = $0.80. In addition, you will be charged a 3.5 % transaction fee. If you decide to use the “Direct Checkout” feature, you will be charged a 3% fee for each transaction.

If you compare the total cost of creating a website that has a shopping cart and acquiring a merchant account (which also involves processing fees), Etsy is way cheaper. Decide what item you want to sell. If you deal in crafts, you might already have an idea of what you want to sell. You can sell multiple products. However, it is advisable to start with one type as you learn. Set up an Etsy account.

The first step is coming up with a username. Make sure it represents your product and at the same time remains open in case you decide to expand your product line. Set up and stock your shop. When adding your products, remember that great photos and product descriptions are important. Price your items wisely too. Provide excellent customer service. You want the buyers to leave nice reviews. When a product is in demand, keep the supply steady to build a lucrative home-crafting business.

Habits of Rich People

These habits define rich people. If you adopt the habits below, you will be on the path to a wealthy life as well.

Junk Food

Unless you feed yourself properly, you will not feel well and, in turn, you cannot think well. Focus on healthy fats, protein, vegetables, and fruit. 

Gambling

The lottery is otherwise known as the Fool’s Tax. You can never become rich if you use a significant amount of your income for gambling. 

Singular Goals

Wealthy people set a single clear goal and set out to achieve it. 

Exercise

Exercising and eating well go hand in hand. Exercising boosts your energy and mood. Find something you enjoy like walking or running.

Audio Books

When you are taking a walk or commuting to work, listen to educational or inspirational audios—feed your brain.

To-Do List

Before you go to sleep, create a to-do list for the following day, even for small things. When you cross them off you will feel motivated!

Non-Fiction

To enjoy non-fiction books, look for subjects that you find interesting.

Volunteer

Volunteering increases happiness. Another thing, you can make valuable connections while volunteering which may prove helpful in future. 

Happy Birthday!

People with close social relationships tend to be happier. The happier you are, the more successful you are likely to be. When you remember your loved ones’ birthdays, you foster the relationships. 

Write Goals Down

Writing your goals down increases your chances of achieving them. When something is written down, it remains at the forefront of your mind.

Read

Reading should be a part of you. Find books that teach you something.

Bite Your Tongue

Learn to pick your battles. You do not have to speak your mind every time. Sometimes you must be quiet even when someone is being difficult.

Network

Who you know matters! Your next big job can come from anywhere. Attend Meet Ups and industry events.

TV

There is almost nothing good about watching TV.  Instead of wasting time, do something beneficial such as visiting a friend, reading a book, or making a healthy meal.

Reality TV

Watching TV can be justified but watching reality TV is just dumb. This cannot be said nicely. If you watch reality TV, you need to be better.

Wake Early

Early hours are quiet and peaceful. Use this time to be productive because you have no one to interrupt you. Waking up early also allows you to start your day calmly.

Teach Habits

This is more about adopting good habits so your children can copy them and less about teaching them.

Opportunities

Many wealthy people believe that if you have good habits, you will have better opportunities.

Bad Luck

When you foster bad habits, be prepared for bad outcomes. For instance, failure to floss may lead to gum disease and, in turn, expensive dental work.

Be Learning, Always

Never stop learning. Take a dancing class, learn new skills—just learn something.

Love to Read

The importance of reading cannot be emphasized enough.

Many successful people will tell you that reading has partially contributed to their success. Before Elon Musk became Tesla CEO, he read for 10 hours every day. Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO, completes one book every week. 

Warren Buffet

Buffet spends 5 to 6 hours daily reading newspapers. He makes sure to read five different ones. He also goes through 500 pages of investment documents and recommends this to all investors. According to him, knowledge works like that. Like compound interest, it builds up. Everyone can do it, he says, but not many won’t do it. 

Bill Gates

Formerly the CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates says that he reads 50 books a year. This roughly translates to one each week. 

Most of the books he reads are non-fiction and deal with science, business, engineering, disease, and public health. Occasionally, he reads a novel. However, he is more interested in books that make him more knowledgeable about the world. 

Mark Zuckerberg 

In 2015, Mike Zuckerberg revealed in a Facebook post that he intends to read a new book each week. He said that he was interested in learning more about technologies, histories, beliefs, and cultures. He said that books cause you to explore something fully and get deeper into it. 

Oprah Winfrey

The talk show host has been encouraging her viewers to read since 1996. She says that reading is her path to freedom. For her, books allowed her to see a world beyond her grandmother’s house. They opened her eyes to possibilities that went beyond what was acceptable at the time.

Mark Cuban

Mark is the owner of Dallas Mavericks. He is always saying that you should treat your business like a sport. That means looking for the competitive edge in every possible way. For him, it means three hours of reading each day so he can learn about various industries. Mark asserts that this was very fruitful when he was starting his career. All the things he read were public. The books and magazines are accessible to anyone. The information he acquired can be accessed by whoever wants it. However, he says, many are not interested.

David Rubenstein

Rubenstein is the cofounder of The Carlyle Group. He reads about six books every week and almost eight newspapers every day. He attributes this extraordinary ability to his laser-like sense of focus. David says that he has always been driven from an early age. 

Phil Knight

This Nike founder had a library at the back of his executive office. He kept it sacred and asked anyone who entered take off their shoes and even bow. 

He stepped down as the CEO, but he says that the library still exists.

Elon Musk

Musk co-founded PayPal and is now the CEO of Tesla. However, before all that, he dedicated 10 hours each day to reading science-fiction novels. That is how he became knowledgeable about rockets. You have come across people who look like they have it all together.

They happily and successfully manage their responsibilities, careers, and families. How do these people manage to juggle so many things with ease while you can barely do one thing without getting frustrated? These are the same people that win the race, get promoted, never appear stressed, and everyone admires them. This is their secret. They get enough sleep. People who sleep properly are happy, focused, and successful.

Sleep helps recharge your body and brain. When you are feeling tired, you will jump from one task to another without clarity. You, like everyone else, want to be the best version of yourself in parenting, your career, or whatever you do. The modern life is so busy, and sleep is a luxury for many people.

You always hear the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” often. This is a mistake. Sleep is an important factor if you really want to achieve your goals. Poor sleep habits will wear you out. You will begin to break down. You become moody and irritable.

If you continue depriving yourself of sleep, you may experience anxiety and hallucinations. You will be emotionally flattened, and your relationships will take a blow. Your ability to remember will lessen, causing cognitive delays. You may get into substance abuse. You may start getting micro-sleep. 

Sleep Don’ts

Avoid eating right before bed. Eat three hours before you go to sleep. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol may make you drowsy at first, but it can cause you to wake up many times during the night. Use your bed for sleep only, not TV, not work; just sleep. Turn off the lights. Bright lights repress melatonin, the sleep hormone. Avoid sleeping too much. Oversleeping does more harm than good. Eight hours of sleep is enough for an adult. 

What to Do

Meditate: stress is the leading cause of sleeplessness. Learn to turn off your mind.

Positive thinking and organization: before bed, write down all the positive things that happened during your day. Also, make a to-do list for the following day.

Exercise: do this late afternoon or early morning. It makes you feel better and aids sleep.

Hydrate: stay hydrated all through the day.

Relaxation tea: the aroma itself will relax you and get your body ready for bed.

Wake up early: this is a key factor if you want to be successful. It makes you start the day in calmness without rushing.

Maintain a sleep schedule: have a routine. Sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day.

Keep your room cool: 650F is perfect according to research.

Life goes on: solve what you can and don’t worry about what you cannot solve.

Laugh: humor and laughter make you stress less and become more likeable.  Have your goals somewhere at your bedside table: When you wake up, it will be the first thing you see every morning. 

How Successful People Think and Operate

Successful people do not see the world like everyone else. It is not because they are perfect or because their version of life is easier than yours. However, in one way or another, they always appear to bounce ahead. It does not matter the obstacles they face, the problems that come their way, or how loud their critics sneer—they always come up with a way to emerge victorious.

How do they do this? They have a few beliefs that they hold on to. These beliefs make a difference in the way they fight for success. They do not view the beliefs as some random motivational quotes from a book. What they believe in impacts every aspect of their daily life. 

These Are 18 Things That Successful People Believe

  1. Everything is possible if you are prepared to put in enough effort and time.
  2. If you make up excuses to get out of doing something, that ‘something’ is exactly what you are supposed to be doing.
  3. The people who do not like you much are the ones that will give you the most truthful advice.
  4. Whoever wants something the most is the one who will eventually win it. 
  5. Whatever it takes is exactly what it takes to achieve your life desires.
  6. If you want to keep losing, surround yourself with negative people.
  7. Gratitude, action, fear, and worry are choices that you make. 
  8. If you are not prepared to master all the details, you have very slim chances of winning.
  9. Apathy is a hindrance to achieving something fantastic.
  10. Just because you failed last time does not mean that you should stop trying. 
  11. It does not matter how bad you have it; if you want to make, you will.
  12. No one is responsible for making your decisions. You get to make all your decisions.
  13. If you have been yearning for a second chance, today is your second chance; make use of it.
  14. Your effort’s intensity determines how fast you progress
  15. Be prepared to listen and acquire knowledge; otherwise, you will never get better.
  16. Your actions in private determine your course of development. 
  17. Just because your critics are loud is not reason to believe that they are on the right.
  18. If a solution is easy, guaranteed and fast, it will probably not be useful in the long run. 

In Their Heart of Hearts, Winners Believe That Nothing Is Impossible

In most cases, they have no idea how they are going to win. But even then, they truly believe that they are going to find a way. According to them, the great equalizer is effort. When they have no idea what they should do, they take time to learn and even perfect it.

The things you believe will bring change in your life. This is a good time to pause and seriously think about what motivates you. What are your beliefs? Do you think that life is not fair?  Do you constantly believe that you have it harder than everyone else? Do you blame everyone but yourself?

“Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.” 

-Napoleon Hill

The Secret to Living a Fulfilling Life

Everyone wants a full, satisfied life. Many people do not necessarily want a long life; just a fulfilling one characterized by happiness, achievements, and zero regrets. However, this seems like a fantasy to many. People around you may throw some discouraging comments your way, saying how a ‘fulfilling life’ is for the rich.

While that may be partially true, you will be relieved to know that financial freedom is not necessary for a full life. Living a life of fullness begins with a willingness to learn. Every working professional remembers the time when they were in school.

The morning lecturers and the exams were not so fun, were they? You wished to be done with it and begin working. Now that you are working, there are days when you miss being in school. College life may not be very stressful compared to your current life. There is a lot that you need to experience and learn. With your social life, business, family commitments and everything else, time is a limited resource. You must find new ways, every time, to absorb new stuff efficiently.

When you gain new knowledge and learn new skills, you get solutions and answers to your life problems and in turn, a higher sense of fulfillment. Formal education and qualifications are important if you want to secure a good job. However, going to school is not the only type of learning there is. You learn in many ways and the experiences help you grow. You can acquire knowledge and develop skill sets anywhere.

Nonetheless, lifelong learning involves having a positive attitude towards learning, both for professional and personal development.  A lifelong learner develops and learns because they have made a choice to do just that; it is a voluntary and deliberate act. When you become a lifelong learner, your understanding of the world is enhanced, your quality of life improved and you can access better opportunities. People are now retiring later in life, thanks to increased life expectancy. As a lifelong learner, you have better chances of having productive working days.

You will experience profound progress and a sense of wellbeing. A knowledgeable and highly skilled employee is considered an asset in a company. This means faster promotion and, of course, a salary increase. With more expertise, a worker adds value to customers as well as employers.

Expertise is also considered a major quality of effective leaders. When you keep on amassing knowledge, you will have an advantage over those that do not think lifelong learning is important. People change career paths all the time. You can always start afresh in life, no matter how old you are. When you educate yourself and learn new things, your opportunities widen. You will have a way out if what you are currently doing is not fulfilling. 

Richard Feynman was a physicist who won a Nobel Prize for quantum electrodynamics. However, there is something about him that many people have no clue about: he was a safecracker, a good one. One time while he was in the New Mexico Desert in 1940, Feynman got bored. He was focusing on the Manhattan project which birthed the atomic bomb. He decided to have some fun by pranking his colleagues. He knew that many of them were not careful when dealing with top secret document safes. Feynman started leaving them notes such as: “I borrowed document no. LA4312 – Feynman the safecracker.”

He became very good at these pranks and the Colonel in charge advised the people to change their lock combination if Feynman came anywhere near the safe. Feynman tells this and many more of his stories in his autobiography: Surely, You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!  One of the most admirable things about Feynman is his deep curiosity on things, such that he only committed himself to that which he found interesting. Obviously, he was a focused person; however, he was guided by an orienting impulse that was beyond simple ambitions and goals.

He was interested in going past the known. Goals are common in just about every pursuit. People look ahead, try to predict what may give them a happy future and then narrow down to a specific thing. What if that is the wrong way? Is the Answer Living Goal to Goal? An orientation is necessary when you are dealing with the future. If you do not have one, you will be shaped completely by randomness and luck. Goal setting is taught very early on in life so people can keep up. Later, when you join corporations, you find even more goals, encouraging the tendency.

Whether you are setting personal or SMART goals, without a framework or with a framework, they are all common in that they are concrete. Goals are important and having one may be better than having none. Some people are genetically predisposed to be more satisfied in in an accomplishment than others. However, living goal to goal can be problematic. First, it tries to predict the future which is unpredictable. Life changes, you change. Second, it builds an anchor. Your expectations of contentment and happiness are bound on a singular thing and you may forget other joyful experiences.

The solution? The pursuit of interestingness solves the problem of goal setting. It is nebulous and vague enough to honestly consider the unpredictability of the future but keeps you from getting lost in randomness and pure luck. Interestingness is taking on a random project because it might teach you something new about yourself. It is viewing someone you just met as an individual who might lead you to new dimensions and not as a potential partner or ladder to something. If interestingness becomes your goal, your actual goals become fluid. The best things in life come randomly, not when you are striving for virtual perfection.

SMART goal setting is an efficient method trusted by high achievers. Perhaps, there is something you have always wanted to achieve but you just cannot seem to be successful. If you do not approach your goals with seriousness and a great attitude, you will barely achieve them. SMART goal setting is your key to get to where you have always wanted to go. This is a method of setting goals that takes into consideration certain factors about the goal relative to whoever is setting it. The factors are the five letters in the acronym. The goal setting is relative to the specific goal setter because people are different. This is what the acronym stands for:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Realistic

T – Time bound

What is so special about this goal setting metric? 

The Long-Lasting Impact of SMART Goals

SMART goal setting is partially responsible for the success of people such as Steve Jobs and Stephen Cooley. Here are the impacts of SMART goal setting: Clear your goals: this goal setting method allows you to understand all the phases of the goal. You will always be asking the relevant questions as far as your goal is concerned. Motivates you: SMART goal setting breaks down your goal into smaller ones or milestones.

This makes the bigger goal appear less intimidating. Saves time: when you have a strategy, you are likely to achieve more. Being strategic means that your goal is SMART. If you look at your goals and you cannot see any of these features (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound), know that you may not go far. You become more motivated when you write down your goals.

Enhances self-discipline: everyone should try self-improvement regularly. Setting SMART goals will help you realize that effort is required on your side to achieve them. Specific: vague goals are not advisable. You may not even realize when you have achieved them. For instance, a goal like “start planning for retirement” is not specific. Go ahead and outline how exactly you plan on preparing. A specific goal has clear components and it will be easier to work towards.

Measurable: a goal such as “save millions of dollars for retirement” is not measurable. It would be better to set a goal for saving a specific amount every month towards retirement. Achievable: is your goal actionable? You must resonate with your goal. Make sure you have the resources (not necessarily all of them) to achieve the goal. The time frame is also an important factor to consider. Realistic: are you willing to sacrifice all that is required to achieve your goal?

Time bound, you must write the start and end date of your goal. Once you have done that, break down the goal into milestones, chunks, or phases. Deadlines will motivate you to act. Over to you now.  Go for your dreams. What is a meaningful and fulfilling life? There are tons of answers to this question on the internet. They may all seem to be great ideas, but they are directionless and vague. A better answer would be a list of goals to lead you to a fulfilling life. 

These goals are divided into four categories:

1 – 8: concentrate on long-term happiness

9 -15: nurture deep relationships

16 – 23: tap into your potential

24 – 29: live a life driven by purpose

  1. A gratitude journal: this basically means writing down four things that you are grateful for every morning.
  2. Make a life plan: a detailed life plan will give you an idea of where you want to be and what you want to achieve.
  3. A healthy exercise routine: exercise boosts energy levels, your mood, health, happiness, and much more. 
  4. Give back: not only does volunteering improve happiness, but it is also fulfilling.
  5. A creative hobby: everyone has an innate creative ability. Look for a way to express yours.
  6. Become mindful: teach yourself to live in the moment.
  7. Be kind: share kindness with strangers even when you do not feel like it.
  8. Pursue personal growth: you cannot live a fulfilling life unless you grow as a person.
  9. Get away from bad relationships: only focus on the relationships that matter; not those that drain you.
  10. Be with people you admire, you will become like the people you surround yourself with.
  11. Routine phone calls: set a regular reminder to call your loved ones.
  12. Something new once a month: if you are trying to be closer to someone (spouse or friend), find a new activity to do together every month.
  13. Volunteer together: volunteer with your loved ones regularly.
  14. Deep, vulnerable conversations: being vulnerable builds trust and deepens relationships.
  15. Do not talk about yourself for one evening: this will help you learn more about someone else.
  16. Do something scary: try doing something that you fear.
  17. Take a risk: this could mean starting a business.
  18. Personal development books: these books teach you so much about yourself and the world.
  19. Get more responsibility: ask your boss for greater responsibilities.
  20. Find a mentor: mentorship is powerful, and you will get to higher levels.
  21. Mentor someone: you will learn so much as you teach.
  22. Embrace failure: take failures as an opportunity to learn.
  23. Know yourself: what are your weaknesses, strengths and personality type?
  24. Discover your dreams: set time to imagine your future and do not hold back.
  25. Define your values: know what matters and focus on that.
  26. Be authentic: be true to yourself every day.
  27. Try new things: explore and seek excitement.
  28. Pursue your dream career: apply tirelessly for your dream job.
  29. Defend your dream: do not take your eyes off your goals. Say “no” if you must.

101 of the Greatest Insights and Actions for Work and Life

20/20 hindsight: the “hindsight” bias or “I knew it all along phenomenon” is when you think you had the answer the whole time or that it is common sense. The problem with this is that it creates false confidence. 

Try a new thing for 30 days: drop a habit, take up a new one or learn a new thing for 30 days straight. This is a great way to broaden your skills and increase your capabilities.

80% of your results are from 20% of your efforts (80/20 rule): with this rule in mind, only focus your energy on the most important things. 

Make change a sense of urgency: change is not easy for many people. To get over this resistance to change, make it seem urgent. 

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” in the long-term: you will forget the negative things and only remember the positive ones.

Only absorb what works for you: you can draw inspiration from anything and anyone but only get what suits you. Tailor what you collect to fit your circumstances. 

Look for the surprise: you easily remember whatever surprises you. Did you learn something that surprised you or a fact that was unexpected? 

Agree and compare to create a relationship: when opinions differ, compare. Contribute when key pieces are left out by others. 

Instead of telling, ask: a wandering mind is more motivated and goal-directed than that which declares its objective. Try, “will I achieve this?” instead of “I will achieve this.”

Ask, “how is this useful?”: to make the most out of information, always ask yourself how you can use it. This helps you make insights actionable.

Ask yourself if it is effective: you may often find yourself trying things that do not work. Asking yourself if something is effective may seem simple but it can lead you to your desired results.

Learned helplessness is dangerous: when things do not go your way, watch how you give yourself an explanation. Avoid making it pervasive, personal or permanent. Questions like, “why me always?” are no good.

Balance conviction and connection: connection refers to how you connect to others while conviction refers to your rigidity or flexibility as far as your beliefs are concerned. Empathize, encourage, validate and be open to new ideas without being too accommodating. 

Be-do-have rather than have-do-be; avoid holding off or having your life on wait mode. “BE” what you want, and you will “DO” according to your beliefs, leading you to “HAVE” what you want.

Careful what you wish for: the grass will always appear greener on the other side but that is not always the case. 

Lead by example: this approach gives you power to act. You will not find yourself blaming others and playing victim. Set your own example of what you consider good and influence others.

Take note of specialization: specialization is great; until things change. Adaptable people get the victory in the long run. 

“OCEAN” personality traits: the OCEAN (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeable and Neuroticism) refers to the Big Five framework. It is meant to understand how personality relates to behavior. 

Black swan theory: some events are unpredictable but there is a way you can prepare to exploit the positive ones and persevere the negative ones. 

Blink: snap judgments may tell you a lot. If correct, a little input is more useful than a lot of input. Train your senses and mind to focus on what is right and you will make great snap judgements.

Blue oceans: stop competing where there is too much competition. Look into an untapped market space if you must. 

Blue zones: blue zones are the healthiest spots in the world. They teach people how to live longer lives.

Change the question, change your focus: changing your question will change your focus. Ask yourself, “what is right here?” instead of “what is wrong here?”. 

Change your perception or change your procedure: skillfully change your emotions. You can get over any negative emotion in a moment. You can do this by changing your solution or changing your way of experiencing it. 

Change your “How” or your “Why”: sometimes, the “what” is out of your control but if you change your “how” or “why” then you may achieve motivation. You will no longer depend on motivation from outside. 

Begin by changing yourself: it may be difficult or impossible to change someone else but changing yourself is instant. This may include changing your views or how you do things.

Avoid “Have-To” and go for “Choose-To”: choosing to do something will make it more fun. It is empowering and you will not be the victim.

Cognitive dissonance: Wikipedia defines cognitive dissonance as a discomfort brought about by having conflicting cognitions (values, beliefs, ideas) simultaneously. When one is having cognitive dissonance, one tries to change beliefs to achieve a consistent system of belief. 

Delayed gratification: are you “present-oriented” or “future-oriented”? A future-oriented person delays gratification and according to research, navigates through life better.

Deliberate practice: Malcom Gladwell, the author of Outliers: The Story of Success, says that to be successful, you must practice the task for about 10,000 hours. You become experienced by repetitively practicing a skill, tracking your performance, assessing your effectiveness and listening to feedback.

Delphi method: this technique involves using experts to predict and forecast information. A facilitator asks experts to give answers to specific questions anonymously. The collective answers are then used to conclude.

Do it daily: to get into a new habit or get out of an old one, you need to do it daily. Create a habit and condition yourself to do it.

Causational vs. correlational: when two things happen simultaneously, it does not necessarily mean that one caused the other. They may just be correlated. Knowing the difference will make you better suited to get to the root cause.

Stop waiting for inspiration: begin by acting, motivation will come.

Doublethink: learn to think twice. Focus on both the negative and the positive. When you imagine the two sides, you can visualize effectively. 

Dream big dreams: small dreams are not very inspirational. Big ones stir your blood and inspire your mind.

Emotional intelligence: EQ may hold you back or propel you forward. It is defined as the ability to point out, analyze and control your emotions and that of others. 

Energized differentiation: be different with vision, dynamism and invention. 

Enjoy the journey: take a moment to smell the roses. Come up with ways to have fun in your journey. Sometimes, your journey is all you have.

Errors in value and errors in odds: according to Dan Gilbert, people make poor choices because they fail to estimate odds well and they are also not good when it comes to estimating value. 

Relationship before influence: a relationship helps you know the concerns and needs of the other party. It also builds trust.

The third alternative: do not get into a win-lose situation. Find another option because it is always there.

A first impression is a lasting impression: you only get one chance to create a first impression. If you blow your chance, you can change their perception. Let the other person assess you in a new context or situation.

Fortune cookie effect: you can rationalize whatever you want in your mind. You take actions that cause something to come true. 

What you can control over what you cannot: not everything is under your control and this should not be a reason for you to give up. Control your actions, attitude, approach and response. 

Gambler’s fallacy: just because an action or event has not taken place for some time, does not mean that its chances of happening now are high. 

Groupthink: two heads are better than one—this statement is not always true. A group may exaggerate decisions, making the final decision too conservative or too risky. 

Remove the unessential: according to Bruce Lee, it is daily decrease over daily increase. 

Halo effect: sometimes you assess someone globally and apply that to a specific trait. For instance, you may think someone is likeable and, consequently, assume that they are friendly and intelligent. 

The end of the story: the ending of a story is more important than its beginning. 

Measure your life: the best way to measure life is regarding the number of people you touch.

Informational power: information is an impermanent form of power and holding on to it is an even weaker form of power.

Evaluate your thinking: everyone’s mind is flawed. Your thinking has traps and pitfalls. Challenge your thinking and eliminate poor thinking patterns. 

Extrinsic motivation vs intrinsic motivation: find out what motivates and drives you. Do this by connecting your job to your values. 

Irrationality: always treat each decision as crucial if you are looking to make a change. 

Energy management over time management: everyone has 24 hours in a day. The only thing that is under your control is energy. If you manage your energy, you will do more with less effort.

Jigsaw technique: if you want people to overcome their prejudice, pair them up. They will realize, as they work on the project, that they are all humans with vulnerabilities, feelings and basic needs.

Job satisfaction: to make your job more enjoyable, focus on feedback, autonomy, task significance, task identity and skill variety.

Johari window: know yourself and show yourself. This way, you will find it easier to share information that matters and enhance communication. 

Learning style: is your learning style kinesthetic, visual or audio? 

Less is more: less here refers to more focus. 

Linchpin: work towards being indispensable. One way to do this is to always go above the call of duty. Give your all, do more art and break rules to tweak the game.

Link to good feelings: a new habit will be easier to adopt if it is linked to good feelings. You can barely do things that do not feel good. Reframe the meaning of the action.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Maslow suggested that there is a set of needs commonly shared by people. Understanding this concept will help you know more about what drives you and others. 

Mentors are short-cuts: with a good mentor, you will avoid pitfalls. A good mentor shows you what you should focus on and hasten your journey to success.

Micro-expressions: this is a very quick involuntary facial expression. It is hard to hide this type of expressions, regardless of how much you know about them.

Mindstyle: do you prefer sequential, random, concrete or abstract? Understand how you prefer to grasp information and order it. 

Mirror cells: everyone has mirror neurons that mirror the feelings or intentions of other people. They can help you explain empathy and imitation.

Flexible people are favored by nature: survival is not for the most intelligent or the strongest, it is for those that adapt very well to change.

Similarities bind; it is true that opposites attract but people attain a special connection at the values. Shared values bring people together.

Parkinson’s law: assign less time to something if you want it to be done faster. Work will expand to fill the available time.

Pygmalion effect: what you expect is what you get.

Reciprocity of liking: people like those that like them. If you do not like yourself, you will not like the people that like you.

Return on luck: Jim Collins suggests leveraging luck by seeing it as an event rather than an indefinable aura. Aim at achieving a high return on luck (ROL). 

Satisfice: to make decisions faster, experts satisfice. They look for the first solution that is perfect for that situation. 

Self-efficacy: one’s self-efficacy beliefs will determine a person’s behavior, motivation and thoughts. 

Dispositional vs situational: did the situation cause you to do that or is it just who you are? 

Get small, think big: small is a key to flexibility, increased effectiveness and more efficiency. 

Social loafing: when people are more, they work less hard. People put in less effort when they are working in groups. 

Speak to the communication needs of people: communication needs include appreciation, approval, accuracy and action. People will give you clues on what they need to hear.

Start with why: you should communicate, act and think in the same way. Start with the thought, from the inside out. Begin with why, then how and finally what.

Synthetic happiness: learn to create your own happiness; it is just as good as genuine happiness.

The effort effect: effort is what makes a difference, not talent. Your effort, in turn, is facilitated or limited by your mindset. Another thing: reward your efforts.

The long view: you cannot predict what will happen in the future. You can, however, play the “What-Ifs”. Use forecasting to prepare for what may happen. 

The paradox of choice: the more choices you make, the poorer your decision will be. You may not even be able to make the decision. 

The power of identity; be rooted in something that will last while enjoying your growth journey at the same time. 

The power of regrets: if you reflect on your worst, you will be motivated to unleash your best. 

The principle of contrast: you can easily lose perspective. Compare with something worse. This principle of contrast is useful when changing perspective, explaining value or negotiating fees.

The progress principle: small progress can significantly make your day. Perfection is not what matters, progress is. 

The “Good Life” secret: learn to allocate more time to your values. Ask yourself how you can do more of the things you love at work.

The two happiness questions: “How happy are you with your life?” and “How happy are you?”. 

Thoughts that work for you: think thoughts that will serve you better.

“To-Date” vs. “To-Go”: if you commit yourself to a goal, you will focus on what is left (and will be more motivated). If you are not that committed, you will concentrate on how much you have accomplished. 

Important vs Urgent: you will achieve your long-term goals if you spend time on the important but non-urgent matters.

Befriend stress: anxiety is a cognitive response while stress is a fight-or-flight response. Stress can be useful while performing physical tasks or simple tasks.

Willpower is like a muscle: you can strengthen willpower through practice, just like a muscle. Know that you can also fatigue it; it is limited.

Yerkes-Dodson human performance curve: do not stress yourself beyond your capacity. You will start producing less with more effort.

You are the company you keep; friends can help you grow or hold you back. They will influence your actions, emotions, attitude and thoughts.

Your strengths facilitate your growth: focus on your strengths if you want to accelerate your success. 

Thoughts shape feelings: shift your focus to change your feelings. 

Zeigarnik effect: to overcome procrastination, convince yourself to do something for “just a few minutes”. You will be motivated to finish what you have already begun.

“Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it.” 

-Napoleon Hill

What Makes Great Leadership

Leading a team of young, vibrant, and enthusiastic individuals might prove to be a daunting task, so that it is often difficult to make successful leaders of everyone. And while not everyone is built to take up leadership positions, there is always that one, or more, member of your team you feel is set up for the inevitable eventually.

Those members of your team who mirror certain potentials of everything you possess as a leader, and that it is only a matter of time before they become one. But leadership is like fine art; it takes a lot of time, persistence, learning and unlearning, to become successful at it. And here’s the question, how do you make the best leaders out of such people and make them better versions of yourself, bearing in mind that there are certain inadequacies of yourself you do not want to transfer to them too?

There are different arguments on whether leadership is an innate ability or a thing that can be nurtured. The answer to this is irrelevant when you are trying to make new leaders of your team. No one starts to succeed at leadership immediately.

Think Walt Disney and Henry Ford. Good leadership requires a lot of qualities, many that require you to learn them. While there is no singular way to raise new leaders, the following tips should help you make the best of raising a competent leader in your team.

Pragmatist or Idealist: Creating A Balance

Many teams and organizations contain different kinds of people and from different backgrounds. Some of which makes us unique in how we make certain decisions. As a leader, you already know that members of your team are either pragmatic or idealist (which is good for your team as there’s no one way to get work done). But which category do your potential leaders fall into?

Have they shown tendencies to become pragmatic leaders who believe in making decisions on the practical, rather than theoretical aspects of goals or objectives? Or an idealist leader who is more likely to float with “what happens in the end is all that matters” and that all goals can be met. In this case, as a leader, who is also a mentor now, you should make serious efforts to creating the best of leaders. He or she must realize that life is not a one-way lane and that compromises must be met sometimes.

It may be dangerous to be on the extreme in whatever school of thought they belong to. And this is what Pravin Gordhan, a South African Politician and its former minister of finance, echoes when he says about leadership and the world requiring special kind of leaders, “…who balance romantic idealism, which is important, with pragmatism that converts idealism into reality.”

Results indeed matter to a leader, but special and great leaders must be able to create a balance in whatever frameworks they have laid down to reaching a set goal. The journey to be a great leader is a tiring one, as you, the leader, already knows. And occasional failures, sometimes many, are major ingredients of what makes it so weary. But it is what births many great success stories. It won’t be surprising, however, to find some members of your team unreceptive to failure.

You must therefore make your prodigy(s) realize that failure is an inevitability if they want to be successful leaders. A great leader is someone who has failed in one capacity or the other before. Robert F. Kennedy, before he died, once said, “Only those who fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Now, this is not to excuse failure, it is to help emerging leaders have a consciousness of the reality of failure and that they would encounter it more than once when they become leaders.

It is true that no one wants to fail, but it is also true that we fail, so that we may succeed most times. In the same vein, you must help those by discussing whatever failures they have had. The why? How? What should be done? questions must be asked and discussed among members of the team. No one should feel inadequate for making mistakes or failing blatantly.

It is okay to want to oversee everything that goes on in your team in a bid to see that things are properly done. But sometimes, when raising a new leader, you just need to sit back, relax, and watch them do everything they’ve been asked to do, on their own. Independence is important in leadership, as much as teamwork is revered. You do not want to raise a leader who cannot stand on their own.

Emerging leaders are not supposed to be babysit all the time; they are future babysitters and must learn the art of looking after others and doing it on their own. They must learn how to handle pressure, carry it in its heaviness, and deliver positive results under its harsh conditions. Sometimes, they would need to imagine you aren’t there, and you imagine you aren’t there either.

This teaches self-confidence as effectively as other methods you might have on your list. When you allow emerging leaders to do things and make certain decisions on their own, it gives them a sense of responsibility and trust in their own abilities. What this essentially means is that leaders must first learn to lead themselves before they are able to lead others.

Michael Hyatt in his book, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, made it clear that, “how we lead ourselves in life impacts how we lead those around us.” While Isrealmore Ayivor, author of The Great Hand Book of Quotes, furthers, “Those who distrust their own abilities are being too wicked to themselves…if you are good at discouraging yourself, you can’t be a good leader, because leadership is built on inspiring others to face challenges.” Too much babysitting may therefore be a shell for enclosing the potentials of emerging leaders.

Giving them considerable freedom to do certain things would help you realize those that believe in themselves and those who mistrust their abilities. In the case of the latter, you will therefore need to set remedial plans in motion. Building emotional intelligence is the sixth sense of any leader; the ability to manage emotions. You must help emerging leaders realize this, as well. It is a core in leadership that extends to both the leader and members of his team.

You cannot afford to have a team whose emotional wellbeing is oblivious to you. Emerging leaders must be able to tell when they, or their team members, are having a bad day. The success of any collective endeavor is an exponent of your emotional radars as a leader, which must always be active. It doesn’t have to be immediately perfect. You are a leader, but human. It can be built over time, especially in your formative years as an emerging leader, by being self-aware. Followers become confident of a leader who shows a lot of care and affection towards them.

Theodore Roosevelt amplifies this by saying, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Empathy is a great asset every successful leader must possess. There is a phase of project management, based on the Prince2 framework, where members of a project come together after a project, or each milestone, and discuss lessons learned from the work done.

The team listens to members of the team share experiences, successes, and failures inclusive. This is not done because they just want to have a sit-down. It helps to avoid members making mistakes that have been made before. In the same vein, this means two things that can be applied in other teams. Firstly, as a leader, tell your story often, so that your followers and potential leaders get a hang of things to do when they hit a roadblock in their endeavors as leaders too.

Secondly, as an emerging leader, you must be a religious listener. The experiences, good or bad, of others might serve as the light for you to become a successful leader in the future, shaping the decisions you take when you hit similar snags. It’s been said several times that Rome was not built in one day. Leaders are not built in a day, as well. Mistakes will be made, and lessons will be learned.

And as a leader who wants to birth another leader, it is your duty to create the best atmosphere for development. That an emerging leader didn’t turn out like they were supposed to must not be your fault. However, an emerging leader in their formative years must realize that they are ultimately responsible for the type of leaders they become. Willingness to learn and hard work and following the tips above are major ingredients for growth.

Steps for Building a Habit Stacking Routine

Will Durant said that you are what you repeatedly do. Habits have been proven to be efficient in creating positive change. The challenge is breaking the bad one and adding new habits. You can set yourself up for success by habit stacking or stacking habits. This involves taking small actions and linking them together to form a routine. Habit stacking allows you to make small changes which in turn lead to huge changes in your life. In habit stacking, performing the routine is key. The routine should consist of habits that flow simply. Repetition helps you build habits. The 8 steps below will help you create a habit stacking routine.

Choose a Time and Location

A routine is built around a specific time of day, location, or both. Here are a few examples:

  • At home in the morning
  • While working out at the gym
  • While traveling
  • During your lunch break

One Routine at a Time

You will be more motivated if you take on one routine at a time. Build one for a month then you can make whatever additions or changes you want. 

Start with “Small Wins”

Where can you reap benefits from small wins? These areas can be divided into seven categories:

  • Leisure
  • Health/physical fitness
  • Spirituality/well-being
  • Organization
  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Productivity

Come Up with a Logical Checklist

A small checklist of actions and habits will help you accomplish individual habits. The habits should flow seamlessly and work together. 

A Reason “Why”

Behind every action, have a good reason to keep you from quitting. For some people, habit stacking techniques help create time for their families.

Be Accountable

Doing nothing is easier than doing anything. Experts recommend letting other people in on your progress for accountability.

Have Small, Enjoyable Rewards

Award yourself when you complete a month, week or even a day of routine. The rewards should be small and have a positive impact. 

Focus on Repetition

When you repeat a routine, your muscle memory grows. Focus on repetition especially on the first 30 days.

Dealing with Habits Stacking Challenges and Disruptions

Expect slipups, disruptions and setbacks. What will you do when they arise? How quickly can you get up and get back on track? Check out these awesome strategies that can help you tackle your disruptions and go back to habit stacking: Have an if-then plan you cannot avoid disruptions. When these triggers occur, you need to have a plan. Do not allow them to discourage you. Forgive yourself and get ready to go on. Know your triggers: for you to create the plan, you must know what triggers you. Triggers include your bad habits and distractions that cause you to slip up. Reduce your expectations: when you exert too much pressure on yourself, you can have a negative reaction. Focus, instead, on the minimum while still concentrating on the most important habits. Start small (again): it can be discouraging to start over. However, that is what success is all about. 

 “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
– Walt Disney

Marketing Drone Photography Business

The arrival of drones and the internet seems to be perfect timing for the technological world, especially for photography enthusiasts. If you love everything photography, you can build a business online using your drone and make the best of both worlds. This may sound a bit complicated, but it is the easiest type of business that you can start with the least capital requirement. 

Use Social Quant

This tool helps you increase your presence on Twitter, depending on your keywords input. The Quant scans twitter automatically, searching conversations with the input keywords. It then analyzes the profiles to determine their worthiness. Besides, the tool will also automatically follow the profile owners, in which case some of them are likely to follow you back. But if they do not follow you for some time, it will unfollow them to keep your follower and following ratio at optimum. 

Emailing

Email is essential in the digital world, having been around for a number of years but still valuable. It is still one of the best ways of connecting with others and can be helpful if you want to get in touch with several people. You can use cold emailing to build your online business by bringing potential clients your way. These can be realtors, golf courses, hotels, construction companies, and resorts to mention but a few.

LinkedIn

This platform is among the best places online to bring businesses your way, especially in cases where you engage a business to business approach. Most drone pilot pros use this trick, and it can work for you as well. It all starts by ensuring your LinkedIn profile reflects what you do as well as why you do it. Also, remember to link your account to your other sites and contact information to keep your prospect clients well-directed. 

Facebook ads

Most business owners do not seem to recognize the power of Facebook in growing their enterprises. This platform is among the most important areas you can advertise your content to your target audience with impressive results. The best thing about it is that the audience here is well detailed. So you can target people according to their particular occupation in a certain city, state or country or several areas all at once. You can also target people on what they like, whether it’s a hobby, food, games, magazine or such. 

Craigslist

When it comes to some of the best sources of online classified ads, this has to be one of them. Craigslist is useful if you are looking to attract new potential clients effortlessly and passively. All you need to do is put up a Craigslist ad to promote your service.

In today’s world, technology has seen significant developments to the realization of small unmanned aerial systems in the public markets. This has seen much innovation as well. At last, the two can be useful together, and with a high level of performance in photography. However, drones have also been used for other purposes as well. But when it comes to using them for commercial functions, these machines have proved reliable, and enterprises are taking advantage of the opportunity to the fullest.

Aerial surveys have dominated in topography, cartography, archaeology, and feature recognition as well as GIS applications. It has been reliable in helping get a clear picture on terrestrial sites, which is hard to measure from the ground. And while this sector has been dominated by piloted helicopters and planes, drones are proving to be a match for the task and becoming a darling for many.

 With these machines, many operators are making a breakthrough in digital photogrammetric mapping as well as photography services. This is all thanks to the drone’s cost efficiency and ability to descend to lower altitudes that are not possible with the heavier crafts.

Aerial photography involves the capture of photographs on the ground surface from an elevated/eye in the sky to earth (bird’s eye view) position. Usually, in such a setting, the photo-taking device is not hinged to any ground based foundation. Equipment used for the eye in the sky photo sessions are inclusive of helicopters, light fixed wing planes, drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), hot air balloons, helium balloons, kites, dirigibles and blimps, sizable rockets, specially trained birds, parachutes, self-standing telescopes and auto-mobile mounted poles.

Drone utility is rapidly growing around the world outside the renowned confines of the military sector. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are remotely controlled and used majorly by the military in battlefronts for ambushing the enemy’s camp by dropping bombs or other improvised explosives. The military also utilizes drones for surveillance purposes to collect intelligence on their adversary.

The military could also use particular drones to deliver food to troops on the front lines in warring times. The lightweight UAVs come in handy in case of difficulty and risk tasking if the warfare operation is too dangerous for the soldiers.

In the past, however, civilians and corporations have gained traction in developing and using drones to wade through non-combat applications such as surveying vast terrain of farm land (plantations and ranches), photography and motion picture film-making for commercial interests.

There is a lot involved that anyone should consider and understand about UAVs technology before deciding to venture into unmanned aerial vehicle photography. In such, if you have made up your mind to invest in an aerial drone photography enterprise, you must gather all available literature and know how to have access regarding drone technology and thoroughly understand the pros and cons.

Just like every other business, there is the possibility of emerging obstacles now and then regarding being an amateur or not having prior knowledge in the field. Competition in the industry could also prove a hindrance, but if the drone operator remains focused and disciplined to the course of growing and expanding the firm, the chances are high in achieving success. If you are deliberating on establishing an aerial photography company, you must remain dedicated, willful and focused towards ascending the enterprise towards a set goal.

The industry to which drone photography business falls into is indeed very fast. This coupled with the fact that it is still an expanding field of expertise and very much alive and dynamic in the United States of America, South Korea, Russia, China, Germany, Japan and even most recently in the developing continents of the world, including Africa.

Despite the fact that the UAV photography industry seems fragile and young, there is a positive prospect for the sector especially when it cascades to leveraging the emerging trends in tech-knowledge. Encouragement is accorded to potential investors to go into the drone photography field because of the vast opportunities available in the industry. The industry is, in fact, a growing and profitable sector especially if it is adequately set and promoted. An aspiring entrepreneur could start on a relative scale working for just a private company or could go full blown on a mega-scale working for both government establishments and big corporations who are into research and such fields of work.

If interested in starting a drone photography company, you may carve a niche per your custom specifics. Whatever niche you venture into, you must ensure to research your market and survey to ascertain that indeed you are capable of attracting enough profitable contracts.

Popularity and actual accessibility of drone technology have opened up unlimited possibilities for aviation enthusiasts and videographers in equal measures. Mastering a tactful takeoff and landing, and skillful maneuver of drones through a series of drill accords give you the basic command needed to translate a UAV flying hobby into profits as an entrepreneur.

Regulations could usher in unprecedented obstacles to a fledgling enterprise, but, if catered to cautiously, you could generate extra income on the side transacting above head clips of weddings, real estate, and other scenarios regarding demanded aerial footage.

Below are some vital considerations to make while assessing a startup in drone technology video coverage on a commercial basis.

The highest costs you will encounter in drone-entrepreneurship are the legal fees involved. UAV enterprise is to date a relatively novel entity, and authorities tasked with streamlining such as the Federal Aviation Administration (or FAA) are continually developing dynamics meant to deal with the establishment.

If you wish to venture into flying drones around covering photos and video (profitable enterprise) in events and for maintenance, or for security services, you must go through an approval process that in turn allows them to apply for and obtain a Section 333 Exemption. The process will be undoubtedly demanding. This legal aid is critical. A drone law specialized team will come in handy when you fill out needed applications; collect, assembly of, and submission of all the required documents. They will also assist in following up with the regulators once your paperwork has been received.

To prospective drone-entrepreneurs some of the costs would prove too steep, however not all is lost. Other avenues like repair and maintenance services or training other individuals interested that are viable for exploration and engagement.

Regardless of the drone-related enterprise, you want to invest in; it’s vital to ensure you are on the safe side with the stipulated regulations to avoid boisterous fine slaps. Listen to an expert legal aid, and take the time to ensure this is the right thing to do.

Drones are different shapes, sizes, and pricing. The reality of cost could be anywhere from one hundred dollars to several tens of thousands of dollars. 

One of the biggest cost denominators is the camera mounted to the UAV. To capture professional studio-quality images, you will need a drone with a 4K camera. The 4K camera ensures that the videos shot will be of a horizontal resolution of around 4,000 pixels.

The drone selected is one of the most prime decisions in establishing your drone enterprise, and thus you must deeply deliberate soberly before making any decisions. It is a prerequisite to finding a drone that is convenient to fly and is assembled to your specific comfort level. 

You need to go into your venture prepared for any event of accidentally damaging the drone. Drone liability insurance protects not only the hardware, but also from any liability in the unfortunate occurrence you crash your drone into something of value or happen to injure someone. Note that as the regulations around drones shift, insurance requirements will as well. Keep a keen eye on emerging policies to be sure.

Introduction to Commercial Drone Business

In the Information age, drones have risen to serve a range of vital purposes in a variety of fields regarding work, trade, and business. Unmanned aerial vehicles or simply UAVs, as drones are technically referred to, have become of common interest across all walks of industries today. Not only are they efficient in time conservation but also come in handy when you pinpoint existing pockets of concern, thus enabling easy and accurate targeting. 

So exceptional are the UAVs their popularity has exploded to every corner of the globe, fitting into both start-ups and established enterprises. The following are some of the most sought after applications for drones in the world today. 

Most businesses utilize drones for video and photography (media) coverage today, more specifically for marketing applications. However, there are other employments of the dynamic UAV technology that could astonish prospect users. 

From farming to internet capacity enhancements, UAVs come in as multispectral tools offering the capability to rethink many (if not all) of the most advantageous mannerisms of human operations. Whether it’s with the inspection or maintenance of network towers, for instance, or the hi-tech bird’s eye view of media coverage. Ever since the Federal Aviation Association clarified on the legal setting for drone usage in work and business, industrial utilization of UAVs has seen notable growth.

The FAA’s regulatory regulations ease the process on how to operate a drone for commercial purposes within the law. Entrepreneurs are optimistic that the changes are a step forward to streamlining the expansion of commercial drone operations. Changes included in the rules will relax some standards for pilots, which were previously mandatory and cumbersome for commercial engagements.

An operator can now use a drone less than 55 pounds in weight within eye sight distance by using a certified ‘remote pilot in command’ at a maximum altitude of 400 feet. Privy to the novel guidelines, an operator had to hold a pilot’s license to operate an unmanned aircraft. Many enterprises were then unable to hire a pilot to fly a drone specifically. The easy certification requirement by the FAA swung open doors for establishments to apply unmanned aircraft technology for their operations.

This technology can be employed to do a wide spectrum of jobs, but caution is paramount. The most efficient and safest manner to flying a drone is via training and adequately training personnel who will be operating in all airspace where traditional (manned) aircraft revolve.

Farmers using the UAV technology cite agriculture as an enormous landscape for drone application. Drones are saving farmers by assisting in rapid earmarking of weakly plants or animals as well as livestock and crop inventory. The machines are also applied in mapping and study of farmlands and possible irrigation systems. Such applications of drones allow the process to speed up, rather than a time-consuming project. 

Drones can be modified or enhanced to transport and spray fertilizer, water or pesticides on plants across a given distance. For livestock, drones can also be employed in monitoring the stock behavior and to quickly collect and follow important information regarding animal wellness and numbers.

Concerning the metropolitan and cosmopolitan settings, a business can utilize drones for making deliveries in a split second. Drones could also be applied to the mapping or tracking security and emergency occurrences in the dense populations that throng the city and its suburbs. If by now your business is still locked in those archaic bike messengers, a drone will undoubtedly boost your profit margins.

Litecoin Introduction

Charles Lee created Litecoin in 2011, and it is now the 2nd or 3rd largest digital currency after Bitcoin.  For those already using Bitcoin, Litecoin has a few surprises for you. The main desktop application is an enhancement of Bitcoin-QT Client, and you can download it from Litecoin’s website—you can also use it as a digital wallet. 

Litecoin is different from Bitcoin in some ways. To begin with, the cap for Bitcoin is 21 million coins while the cap for Litecoin is 84 million. 

Litecoin has begun with a mining reward of 50 coins for every block just like Bitcoin. However, the award for Litecoin halves every 840,000 blocks which is larger than the set 210,000 for Bitcoin. 

The Litecoin transaction fee is slightly higher than that of Bitcoin, but again, one Litecoin is worth 0.019BTC. 

Where on earth can you get Litecoin? If you are not a miner, you have to purchase Litecoin from one of the few;

•    BitBargain UK

•    Bittylicious

•    Bitfinex

•    BTC-e

•    BTER

•    Kraken

•    Cryptsy

•    Vircurex

•    CoinMKT

Litecoin is still very far from matching Bitcoin’s standards and getting merchants to accept this digital currency is not easy. 

The algorithm that Litecoin uses as “proof of work” is entirely different from the one that Bitcoin does. Bitcoin uses SHA256 hashing algorithm, and Litecoin uses Scrypt algorithm. In simple terms, the Litecoin system only favors systems with a very high RAM (which is very costly), and it is a kind of “Memory Hard Problem.” Apart from that, transactions are conducted just as in Bitcoin. 

The Litecoin mining process is very much similar to the Bitcoin mining process. Same with other crypto-mining, in Litecoin mining there are mining pools that increase rewards for miners. 

Whether you plan to solo mine or join a pool of miners, use cgminer—it is the best mining software. 

Just like cryptocurrency in general, Litecoin is not for everyone. Charles Lee in an interview said that most will use Bitcoin for expensive purchases and Litecoin for micro transactions.

What is a crypto currency wallet? It is a software program for storing public and private keys and interacts with different blockchain to allow users to send and receive online currency and also monitor their balance. 

Although there are so many people that use digital currency wallets today, there is still a lot of confusion on how they work. As opposed to traditional wallets, online wallets do not store currency. These currencies are neither stored anywhere nor do they exist in any physical form. It is only the records of transactions that exist and are stored on blockchain. 

When someone sends you cryptocurrency, they are signing off ownership of those coins to the address of your wallet. The private key in your wallet has to match the public address the currency is assigned to if you want to spend the coins and unlock funds. If the private and public keys match, your digital wallet balance will increase while the sender’s balance will decrease. So do not expect a real exchange of actual coins. The proof of the transaction is its record on blockchain and the change in balance in the wallet. 

Various types of wallets offer different ways to access and store your online currency. There are three distinct categories of wallets; paper, hardware, and software. Software wallets are online, mobile or desktop. 

How secure your wallet is, depends on its type (hardware, online, desktop, mobile, paper) and your service provider. It is riskier to store currency on a web server compared to offline since offline wallets cannot be hacked.  However, regardless of the wallet you are using, you should be careful because if you lose your private keys, you lose your money as well. In another case, you can be scammed. 

1.    Backup your wallet. Only store small amounts online and keep the rest in a highly secured environment.

2.    Update your software regularly (both on your mobile and computer).

3.    Add extra security layers. 

Multi-currency Wallets

Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, but many others (altcoins) have come a long way. If you would like to have a variety of digital currencies, you can do so without having a different wallet for each one. There are multi-currency wallets that allow you to have several currencies in the same wallet.

Some transactions require you to pay a fee while others don’t. Alternatively, you can set your fee. Either way, the fees are usually too small. 

Wallets are pseudonymous. Your wallet is tied to your identity, but your identity is not public. However, your wallet address can trace back to your identity.

There are many options for you. But you need to know how you are going to use it first before making a decision.

The following are examples of great wallets that you may want to try out.

•    Bread wallet—it is available on Google Play and the Appstore.

•    Mycelium—this one offers you total control over your bitcoins.

•    Exodus—still new and only available on the desktop.

•    Copay—it provides a multi-signature feature and you people/partners can fund.

•    Jaxx—for people looking for a multi-currency wallet.

•    Armory

•    Trezor

•    Ledger Nano

•    Green Address

•    Blockchain (dot) Info

Many people like to refer to Litecoin as the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.” By market cap, it is ranked as the third largest digital currency after Bitcoin, with Ripple taking the second place. 

Litecoin was founded to act as a Bitcoin alternative to make up for its perceived shortcomings—it was developed to be “lightweight” and be more plentiful than Bitcoin. Moreover, its proof-of-work algorithm is Scrypt which was incorporated to make it immune to ASIC mining. However, a few companies have voiced their plan to launch Scrypt ASIC miners soon. 

Processing blocks on Litecoin’s network is fast, a maximum of 84 million coins can be produced, as opposed to Bitcoin where the maximum is 21 million. 

What you should know before buying Litecoin;

•    Litecoin captured the attention of more speculators in November 2013 after Bitcoin’s price surged, but since then prices have been dropping in parallel. The prices of these two digital currencies are likely to move towards the same direction, even if Litecoin’s value is much lower compared to Bitcoin’s. 

•    Veteran Bitcoin investors should find it easier adapting to Litecoin as opposed to amateurs who might have a hard time because the infrastructure is not as established as in Bitcoin. 

•    You can alternatively gain Litecoins by using standard computing equipment to mine them.

•    Research extensively before you invest and risk only the amount that you can afford to lose. 

If after your research you have decided to invest in the Litecoin market, you need to be aware of several potential issues and pitfalls.

Buying Bitcoins is straightforward, not so with Litecoins. This, of course, is not surprising because Litecoin infrastructure is less developed. Buying Litecoins with Bitcoins is one of the simplest ways of purchasing Litecoins.; it is also the fastest and the cheapest. 

If you have Bitcoins, you buy Litecoins with them easily on several exchanges;

•    BTC-e

•    Kraken

•    Cryptsy

•    And several others that you can find on the Litecoin Wiki

Currently, exchanges are not willing to deal in Litecoin which is one of its biggest issues right now.  Most of them allow BTC/LTC conversions only. Bitfinex, BTC-E, Kraken, and Crypto-Trade sell Litecoins for dollars, rubles, and euros but again, their availability will depend on where you are. 

Purchase Litecoins for fiat on the following exchanges;

•    BTC-e

•    Bitfinex

•    Kraken

•    BitBargain UK

•    Bittylicious UK

Even buying Litecoins through money wire transfer via an exchange is not so straightforward, since it can be strenuous. For example, Coinbase and BTC China do not deal with Litecoin yet they are major Bitcoin exchanges. And also, the transaction is not as fast. 

To make it easier, purchase Bitcoin locally and save yourself the trouble of wiring money abroad to convert it to Litecoin.

Although several exchanges have online Litecoin wallets, they are rarely helpful. Many investors prefer to have secure cold offline wallets. Luckily, Litecoin has a built-in encryption feature that can help you keep your wallet safe in a few clicks. 

There are not many Litecoin wallets for you to choose from as Bitcoin. The two primary ones are Litecoin-Qt and Electrum. Carefully read the fine print when selecting a wallet since most of them charge for almost everything including storage.  

Litecoin has been making headlines. As Bitcoin and Ethereum prices declined amidst panic concerning Bitcoin’s future, Litecoin surged. It went from $40 to $55 in June. This quick increase in price has attracted the attention of investors, and they are now re-examining Litecoin. Its main weakness is that it is quite similar to bitcoin, but this might help it grow in value. 

History has led us to believe that Bitcoin is powerful enough to control the rest of the online currency market. Bitcoin’s price sunk following a 28% rally after people hoped the “Bitcoin Civil War” was coming to a stop. Shortly after, Ethereum price went streaking down following Bitcoin’s. However, even when other cryptocurrencies followed Bitcoin, Litecoin appeared to be immune to that siren call. In other cases, Litecoin price continued to rise when Bitcoin’s remained stagnant. 

Looking at the two cryptocurrencies from a technological point of view, Litecoin has the upper hand because of two reasons; its mining ease and transaction speed. Litecoin takes only 2.5 minutes to produce blocks for its blockchain while Bitcoin takes 10 minutes. Because of Litecoin’s ability to perform transactions faster, investors focusing on utility will prefer it over Bitcoin. 

Litecoin’s algorithm is very simple compared to Bitcoin—mining Litecoin takes less time and effort. With time this may change, but until then, investors will always run to Litecoin when Bitcoin’s scaling issues frustrate them. 

Another big score for Litecoin is its cohesive community. The Bitcoin community is always frustrated, with so much chaos over the upcoming “fork.” Bitcoin’s community could not come to a consensus, but the Litecoin community found common ground. This will attract investors that want stability because Bitcoin’s divided community might end up tearing it apart. 

All the above factors give Litecoin an advantage over Bitcoin. However, investors must not decide that Litecoin is the best, by considering these factors alone. Because then, they will be missing one major point; Bitcoin still possesses the first-mover advantage. It is almost ten years old and had enough time to attract investors and take control over the market—an advantage that Litecoin does not have since it was only launched around six years ago. 

Smart investors know that “a healthy investing portfolio is a balanced portfolio.” Based on that logic, it is wise to invest in several cryptocurrencies. Some investors will not agree with this because they always believe that only one online currency will triumph. However, with more cryptocurrencies in the market, and a majority of them offering fantastic utilities, it is very likely that most of them will still be there in the future.

Analysts think shortly, several cryptocurrencies will be operating in the global economy. Therefore, when an investor is evaluating Litecoin, they should focus on the characteristics that set it up to become a success in the global economy. Also, they should analyze and see if those features will help it survive its rivalry with Bitcoin. Of course, it does not have to be stronger than Bitcoin, but it should stay relevant in Bitcoin’s world.

Secrets to Facebook Success

Facebook is one of the leading social media sites globally with over 1.28 billion users who log into it daily.  Mark Zuckerberg one of the Facebook co-founders is deemed to be among the most successful people. He realized some of the top secrets in establishing a growing social media site. Here are some of the secrets of Facebook success;

1. Moving Fast

Zuckerberg did not have a business plan on Facebook.  He simply built the application software during his free time at Harvard. He did not seek advice from business people and his friends; he simply implemented his project. Unlike most of the entrepreneurs who conduct market research for their products, Zuckerberg built the Facebook application and launched it on the market.

2. Ideas are about execution

 Since the inception of Facebook, there has been a legal fight on whom the real owner of Facebook is.  Two Harvard seniors claimed that Zuckerberg had stolen their application. Ideas need to be executed. 

3. Simplicity

The infrastructure used to build Facebook is simple. Instead of sophisticated products that take a lot of time to grow, build a simple product, and it will function in the shortest time possible.

4. Creativity

With the growth in access to the internet worldwide, there was no product similar to Facebook in existence.  Zuckerberg created a new product.

5. Identity

Twitter at some point competed with Facebook in popularity. However, Facebook prevailed since there are few pseudo accounts as people use their real names, unlike handles. 

6. Identifying pitfalls

One thing that could bring Facebook down is its infrastructure.  Several social media sites had sprung but failed in holding the user’s population. Zuckerberg started by adding small groups of people until he was certain Facebook could manage multiple registrations.

7. Focus on the product

 Despite the income generated through advertisements on Facebook, Zuckerberg has focused on the Facebook sole purpose, socialization.

8. People

 The strength of Facebook lay in the great team of workers. A good company depends on the kind of people that are hired and also fired.

9. Maintain control

Any successful company has to maintain the control of customers, employees, and shareholders. There should be a balance of the interests of these three groups of people.

10. Cultivate a team of advisors

From the beginning, Zuckerberg was the CEO of Facebook despite having poor leadership qualities.  Later on, he built a team of advisors who helped him develop CEO qualities.

11. Ignore Critics

Not all critics are healthy for business development. Learn to put up with the people’s critics.  Zuckerberg was criticized for being a bad leader.   It never derailed his quest for growth and advancing in his passion.

12. Ignore most of the would be partners and deal markers

Some people are out to make an impact through a change of your agenda.  Ignore the input that can take you off your vision. However, look out for potential business partners.

13. Aim on the Long-term

 The main goal of any business idea is crucial. Despite the up and downs during the business developmental stages, focus on the ultimate goal for many decades.

The thirteen secrets helped Zuckerberg build a strong team of workers. With Zuckerberg as the CEO, Facebook value continues to grow as it serves its core purpose of connecting people.

Most people use social media platforms for connecting with their friends. Did you know that Facebook generates a lot of money? During the first quarter of 2017, Facebook generated a whopping $7.01 Billion. Still, marketers use other social media platforms in making money. 

Here, we are going to show you ways in which you can make money with your Facebook account, from creating advertisements, custom making fan pages and the creation of applications.

1. Facebook Shop

It has two versions free and paid applications. Create an e-store where you can sell your products.  Basically, you will own a store on Facebook.

2. Magic Moments

Café Express created Magic moments to enable users to take a picture or a video of their products and effectively sell them online. The platform is mainly for artistic work such as customized mugs.

3. Garage Sale

The garage sale is an application connected to buy. Com. It enables someone to sell used items and make extra money virtually.

4. Zazzle

Zazzle application has got a neat feature “my merch store.” You can use it to sell items through connecting it to your Facebook page. 

5. eBay

You can promote your eBay listing on Facebook and make sales. 

6. Easy social shop

The easy social shop is a free application.  It enables one to import all your products from the application store to your Facebook page. Once the product is on the Facebook page, you can market it to millions of Facebook users.

7. Facebook Marketplace

People think of eBay as the only online shopping place. However, you can still sell your products on the Facebook marketplace. The products may vary from baby items, toys, and even furniture.

8. Affiliate Marketing

Links are an important way of informing family and friends on the items you are selling. However, do not send multiple links that make people suspect it for scamming.

Affiliate marketing requires that you sign up on a marketing site such as Purchase junction. Search the marketplace for a product to promote. Acquire your distinct link for marketing and then share it with your contacts on Facebook.

9. Publish a Facebook Kindle E-book

 Not all people are techno-savvy. People still rely on e-books to guide them. Consider publishing a book on how to use Facebook or any other interesting title.

10. Facebook Blogging

Create a Facebook blog and update it on a daily or a weekly basis. On the blog, you could run advertisements or offer services such as custom making fan pages. In this way, you will earn revenue.

11. Develop your own Facebook Application

 If you can code, an application is a great way of earning revenue. The app features will help users, and you can sell it.

12. Do sponsored Likes and shares

People like and share posts to earn income.

13. Marketing expert specialist

If you are an expert in marketing, you can sell your skills to earn income.

14. Sell Likes and Shares

Sites like Fiverr allow anyone to place a gig and sell their likes or shares on a specific Facebook page.

15. Custom made fan pages

Create Unique Fan pages and sell them to customers.

The fifteen strategies enable one to choose the best way to earn money online. Also, there is a variety of options if one method fails.

Lion Mindset

You wake up, super hungry, looking for the next meal. This is how you are supposed to think every morning when you wake up. Today, there are countless losers in the world, accompanied with losing mentalities.

The losers in question have no desire to see you become successful. Most human beings are not happy when someone, other than himself or herself, succeeds. This is harsh, but it is the cold reality. Many people will never bother taking the next step to make their lives better or improve the lives of future generations.

The fact that you have stumbled upon this book means that you want change. The chapter will give you tips that will help you have a better life; and it starts with your mindset. When a lion rises in the morning, he does not care what other animals think about his actions.

He is driven. He has a goal and nothing can stop him until he attains it. He will pursue it relentlessly until he achieves victory. This is the same approach that you should have in your life. Do not stop to worry about what other people are saying about you.

This will waste precious energy that could otherwise be used to pursue your life goals. They talk because you have decided to make a change, something they cannot do. Before you go to bed, focus on the tasks that you have to complete the following day. This begins your hunger for the next morning.

When you rise up, the first thing you think about are the goals to be hunted for the day. Make a clear list of the next day’s goals and make sure you crush them without compromise. When you wake up, do not lie there feeling sorry for yourself because of a bad knee, headache, or because your spouse is mad at you.

Leave that for losers. In whatever time you have given on earth, manifest the purpose to achieve all you have set your mind to. Do not let anyone’s opinion stop you. Goals are where you either win or lose the battle. If you do not have any goals, you are headed nowhere and you will remain in the same situation that you have always been in.

Keep negativity at bay, because just like excuses, it will slow you down and mess up your mindset for the entire day. Many people like to make excuses, but they will never take a step forward, walk out of their comfort zone, or start a business.

This right here is the reason why many people are comfortable being average. To rise above this, you have to be willing to do what others would not dare.

When a lion is facing a cape buffalo, he knows he will destroy it even before he takes the first step. Your future generations are dependent on you just like a lion’s pride is on him. Use this same approach when faced with life’s huddles. Never have doubts, develop unshaken faith. 

Outline your goals before you go to sleep.

Go after your goals relentlessly.

Stop listening to people.

Get out of your comfort zone.

Have your future and everyone dependent on you in mind when it gets tough.

Be a lion. There are enough sheep in the world.

Travelling Solo – An Entrepreneurs Mindset

Everybody loves to travel but their motivations are different, their meanings and ends are different and most importantly their experiences are vastly different. Travelling is always thought of as a way to enjoy with friends and family; take an ensemble of friends and just relax and be oblivious to the nature around you. This is not the trip which a Thought Entrepreneur should fancy.

Entrepreneurs are Go-Getters, they talk, they explain, they convince, they motivate, they dream and they do anything they can to promote their business but who is the most important entity of every business; the Customer. Who is your customer? How do you talk to them? How do you make relations with them? How do you nourish the relations? This is an important step for every entrepreneur.

Only when you Bend will you be able to touch the ground and subsequently leap forward with greater vigor. Travelling Solo will help you to get away from all the world’s inhibitions. You are alone and you take your own decisions, you talk to people for directions, you ask people about the place, its importance, its history, to learn more about the place. In all this, it is not about what history you learn, what food you eat, what souvenir you collect, it is the experience you garner, and it is the tiny things you learn from such solo trips.

The man is a social animal and when you feel the need to talk, you have the people there to talk to, to share your experiences and learn about their experiences. A Solo Travel is one thing which every Thought Entrepreneur must definitely try, as this stage will allow you a leave but once you become a full-time entrepreneur there is hardly ever a time to complete your daily activities forget about traveling to new places (at least at the start where you are very much required 24/7).

Try Solo Travelling to close-by places and simple one-day travels. Once you get yourself used to such traveling then you can extend the duration of your trips. Learning a new skill was pretty difficult till a few years back. But now with so many Edu Startups we have a vast knowledge skill set available in our hands at the click of our mouse and you can start learning immediately. We have apps to teach us, online courses which even give us certification in various fields.

These courses are completed in various durations and within a matter of a few months, you are equipped with a knowledge which you, probably, would have never even tried to gain in your lifetime. Video tutorials are available to teach you. These are non-certified but will help you learn certain things on a personal level. Even a skill like cooking can help you feel relaxed and give you a joy you never experienced. I learned cooking and cook my own meal sometimes. The joy when the food is cooked, after all, the effort you put in, is just wonderful.

From learning infographics, coding, crafts, cooking, entrepreneurship, finance, negotiation skills, social sciences, languages, etc. almost anything and everything can be learned online. Another important aspect is to listen. It is said, “To be a great speaker, you first have to be a great listener.” We usually don’t like to listen to people as many of them talk about things which don’t matter to you. So the best thing to do is to listen. But listen to what? Listening to Audiobooks can be a welcome relief and an added bonus of being able to learn so many new things as you travel.

Audiobooks are now available on almost all topics. Famous books are also being converted to audiobooks. If you are not that much into reading or sometimes get bored of reading, listening is the way to go. Search online and you will find numerous audiobooks free to download. Just listen to your favorite books and I guarantee you will never go out without an audiobook in your smartphone. When you set out to do something, you may find many obstacles that hold you back way before you start. The unfortunate thing is that most of the time, it is not nobody who drags you back but yourself.

This is why motivation is a very essential aspect of self-help, especially with achieving set goals. Motivation is most important in helping you find pleasure in whatever you are doing, even if you don’t feel like doing it at first. Here are a few ways in which you can build your motivation. Positivity is imperative in self-help; ensure you keep thinking positively throughout. Do not look more into what holds you back, rather, count your success and build on that to get better results.

Making sure to flood your mind with positive things everyday can help. This reduces chances of negative thoughts taking a toll on you and crushing your will power. If possible, try not to see the obstacles that you may come across, but look deeper to see the end even before you start. That way you will stay focused and motivated to get to that far end. Smart goal setting is very useful in helping you see the possibility of whatever you are doing. It is usually wise to set large, but realistic goals, which gives you the spirit of wanting to do more every time.

This makes it easier for you to achieve better results every time. Once you have your goals set, you will feel the obligation to realize them, which can give you the drive you need to get going. Very useful nothing is that a simplified task is easier to achieve, not because it has been lessened; only that it appears easier than when looking at it as a whole. Try to break the task before you down into sections.

Simplifying your task is very useful in making every bit seem simple and achievable, which gives you the urge to go for it. Getting started with the task ahead of you may be very intimidating. However, if you give it an intelligent approach, you will find yourself at the other end in no time. You can start with doing the tough tasks first, which boosts your confidence in doing the rest.

Alternatively, you can give it a smooth take off by starting with the simplest tasks, then creating a flow into the difficult parts. Quite often, the time may slip away before achieving what you had planned. However, even if you are lagging behind time, do not bully yourself into putting additional efforts, since this may lead to a lack of interest. Keep going with the pace that you can afford, but make sure you create a habit of timing yourself to avoid the tendency of being always behind time.

Getting yourself motivated can be that simple, it all depends on how you think high of yourself and believe in your ability to achieve. Whether it is a single day task, a long-term goal, or about that purpose, you want to make it in life, depending on how you weigh your strengths against your weaknesses. More importantly, how you don’t let your downsides get the best of you is all it takes in self-help.

The Disadvantages of AdSense

As AdSense becomes the most popular publisher program for Price per Click advertising, flaws and disadvantages still exist. Since its inception advertisers have chosen to advertise in search because they felt that visitors would be less targeted. This is a genuine concern and one that makes perfect sense. If you are visiting a website and notice an advert, then the chances are you are not particularly concentrating on its content.

AdSense has also become so popular that people can distinguish them from other adverts. Therefore, people may choose to ignore them without even paying them a thought. This has been a hot topic discussed by Bloggers and one that could contain a lot of truth. Many have blamed Google for this, and their decision to include text that says ads by Google beneath the advert.

Many publishers also fail to ever gain the revenues they anticipated when starting the program. Those only gaining 30 to 40 visitors a day to their website would be unlikely to earn even one dollar a day. Many advertisers talk of rates such as 1.5%- 5% for traffic to click conversion, whilst only gaining around $0.10 per click. The math’s doesn’t work out great, but you can hardly blame advertisers or Google if you are not bringing enough traffic. The key is to bring targeted traffic to your website that are likely to click on adverts, however it is said that it may be easier on other programs which allow figures such as 75% share of advertising revenues for publishers.

Another disadvantage in AdSense is that it has almost become tacky. Its appearance on websites that generally appear to be designed in a DIY fashion has led people to associate them inextricably. This can only be tackled through AdSense evolving to be more attractive to the bigger brands, whilst those who currently use AdSense are restricted.

Google AdSense also must tackle the issue of click fraud which is anticipated to count for over 15% of click through rate in content. This has meant that advertisers who have been particularly affected, have moved away to other programs or have restricted their advertising to search.

This has meant that there is less competition in content and therefore smaller revenues for publishers. Publishers who previously had high yielding ads, are now having to alter their content to ensure they get any adverts at all. This has largely been the fault of the publishers themselves however the issue is one that; if not addressed could bring AdSense to its knees.

Google AdSense also has the disadvantage of not paying enough for their search program. Other similar programs pay higher rates, and if publishers decide to go elsewhere then problems will occur for advertisers and publishers alike. Although Google fail to pay enough for search another major problem with AdSense is that it does not have a powerful database of graphic adverts. Many advertisers prefer showing graphically drive advertisements, however this has yet to materialize. As several other programs exist for PPC graphic distribution problems could occur.

Whilst this may not be a problem for all publishers, many complain that the adverts within their site do not change, so their repeat visitors fail to see fresh adverts so therefore fail to visit them. This is a problem which could be addressed through making adverts rotate. However, if adverts rotate then how will that be linked with advertisers paying a rate per click? These are all problems which Google must address to ensure that AdSense remains the market leader.

AdWords on the other hand also has major advantages and remains the best in the market. Its CPC rates can be chosen by the advertisers so that even when they feel that they are not getting the results they expect they can lower their prices whilst still using the service.

Whilst many issues remain with AdSense the program remains the most popular amongst publishers, whilst Google AdWords remains the most popular amongst advertisers; with a database of over 140,000 AdWords will remain on top for the time to come.

Why You Need A Business Entity

When starting or expanding a business, many owners wonder if they should form a business entity and, if so, which one they should use. There is a wide variety of information and “pitches” being made on the Internet regarding the benefits of certain entities versus others. When you cut through the flak, however, the primary reason for forming a business entity is to create protection from personal liability arising from your business activities.

It is well established that up to eighty percent of businesses will fail in their first two years. Many of these businesses, and probably yours, carry a high level of personal risk for their owners. If you are not using the correct entity for your business, you are going to be personally liable if the business fails. Do you want to expose your home, car, and other assets? How about the assets owned by your spouse or their paycheck from a regular job? Selecting the correct entity for your business prevents such nightmares from occurring. More importantly, you can sleep at night knowing that the worst thing that can happen is losing your investment in the business, not your home.

Business Structures

There are several business structure options that exist in the modern corporate world. Following is a short explanation of the most common business structures.

Corporations

Corporations come in two basic forms, a “C” corporation, and an “S” corporation. There are a variety of differences, but the central one is a tax issue. Briefly put, “C” corporations are taxed on their revenues and you are then taxed separately on any money you take out of the corporation. An “S” corporation passes through all taxes to the shareholders with the information being reported on your personal tax returns.

Regardless of the tax classification, a corporation is considered an independent entity from a legal standpoint. This independent status acts as a shield between the activities of the business and your personal assets. As a practical example, Kmart recently filed bankruptcy. The individual shareholders were not required to file bankruptcy and lost nothing more than their investment in the stock of the company. Forming and using a corporation for your business activities will have the same effect, to wit, your personal assets will not be wiped out if the business fails.

Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company, or “LLC” as it is better known, was a very popular entity choice in the early 1990s. LLCs are similar to corporations but can be taxed as a partnership. In California, the LLC can have either one owner or two. Regardless of the number, these owners carry the legal title of “member. The LLC provides a shield for your personal assets just like a corporation.

Partnerships

In my opinion, it is better to have died a small child then be in a partnership. Unfortunately, many business owners form partnerships and don’t even know it. This occurs when they go into business with another person. If no business entity is formed, the law considers the business to be a partnership and treats it accordingly.

Partnerships are dangerous for one primary reason: a partnership does not provide any protection from liability and, in many ways, invites personal liability. Under well-established law, most partnerships are classified as “general”. This simply means that all the partners are contributing to the administration and running of the partnership business. This classification can have grisly results.

In a general partnership, each partner is jointly liable for the debts of any other partner arising from the business. For instance, you and your partner go to a business dinner with a client. Your partner has a drink and then a few more. They then get into an accident on the way home. Each of the partners is liable for the damages claimed by the injured people. That means YOU! Even if you were not in the car, did not rent the car, never saw the car, and don’t drink!

Partnerships are a recipe for disaster. Stay away from them whenever possible.

Limited Partnerships

Limited Partnerships [“LP”] are perhaps the most misunderstood business entity. A limited partnership is like a general partnership but allows several the partners to limit their liability by being limited partners. It is critical to note that these limited partners are restricted to simply making a capital [cash, content, equipment] contribution to the partnership. They cannot be involved in actively running the business. If they are, they lose any protection from partnership debts. Many limited partnerships end disastrously. If you are married to the idea of pursuing a limited partnership, you must do so in combination with corporations. That strategy is well beyond the scope of this article, but feel free to contact me if you wish to pursue a limited partnership.

Business owners should protect themselves by forming entities for their business activities. The real issue is identifying the structure that is best for your situation.

How To Grow Your Email List

Did you know that your email-marketing database depreciates by approximately 22.5% each year? Your subscribers’ email addresses keep changing and you should take it upon yourself, as a marketer, to add fresh contacts to your list. 

Using Email

  1. Create outstanding email content. People will stay subscribed and even forward your emails to colleagues, family, and friends if the content is remarkable. 
  2. Encourage your list to forward and share the emails. “Email to a friend” and social media sharing buttons are effective if you want to access a fresh network.
  3. Conduct an online contest. This could be a giveaway where interested parties enter by submitting their email or signing up for the email list. 
  4. Create a number of email subscription types in order to send targeted content to relevant segments of your email subscribers. 
  5. Revitalize your stale email list by having an opt-in campaign. Is your list too old? Send an interesting opt-in message to the old list and encourage them to re-opt-in. 
  6. Incorporate a link to employees’ signature leading potential subscribers to a landing page for them to sign up for your email-marketing list.

With New Content

  1. Come up with a new lead-generating offer. This could be a free ebook where interested readers have to provide a valid email address to download the book.
  2. Have a free resource or online tool. The users will then be required to sign up with their email to access the tool.

Using Social Media

  1. Use Twitter to promote your lead-generating offer. Promote a free resource like an eBook on Twitter and have followers give their emails to redeem it. 
  2. Promote an offer on your Facebook page that requires followers to submit an email address. 
  3. Somewhere on your Facebook page, include a call-to-action-button, preferably at the top. The button should link to a landing page which people access using their email addresses.
  4. Have links to premium offers published on your LinkedIn Company page. 
  5. Promote offers where users sign up using email on Pinterest. 
  6. Utilize your YouTube channel, if your company has one. Include URLs and CTAs in your videos encouraging viewers to sign up for your email list.
  7. Use your Google+ page for promotional offers. 

On Your Website

  1. Throughout your website have links that lead back to offers that need email sign up. Subscription options should be sprinkled all over the website. 
  2. When guest blogging, incorporate a CTA and links for readers to subscribe and join your list.

With A Partner

  1. Running a campaign on a partner newsletter or website will help you reach a new audience and it is a fresh source of addresses. 
  2. Join a partner and host a co-marketing offer like a webinar or ebook. 

With Traditional Marketing/Advertising

  1. Offline events such as trade shows are great places to collect email addresses. Later, send them a welcome email to confirm their opt-in. 
  2. Host offline events such as conferences, educational panels, and meet-ups, among other events, where you collect email addresses during online registrations. 
  3. Encourage prospects to opt out of traditional marketing campaign and opt in email communication.
  4. Host webinars online and collect emails during registration. 
  5. Utilize paid search ads and link back to a landing page.
  6. Include a QR code in your print marketing collateral for people to scan and join your email database. 

A 2014 survey found that email marketing has the highest ROI compared to other marketing channels when it comes to web-based businesses. Given the results of that survey, instead of wondering whether you should build an email marketing list you should be asking yourself how to create one right now. Content upgrades are the difference between a 6% and a 60% conversion rate.

This is how you do it: create a new blog post, write in-depth content, then offer your readers the option to access upgraded content when they provide their email. Take advantage of their interest in the topic. Send blog posts to your list in the hope that you will get click-through to your site and generate traffic. Although having multiple links may cause less clicks on the one you want, if they click on the share button you are likely to get clicks from several visitors (even if your subscribers do not click and read your blog themselves).

Engaging people more increases the likelihood of having them subscribe to your email list. Ensure that the prize is appealing and have value to your audience. Offer bonuses for referrals and guaranteed incentives for those that will not win, maybe a free resource. Almost all high-traffic websites have opt-in incentives.

It is usually a white paper, eBook, resource list, a free software tool or just any content. All these are incentives for giving up email addresses. Tests and experiments have proven that pop-ups cause a steady increase in subscribers even though they can be annoying. They are very easy to implement and their results are insane.

Social proof is a powerful tool. 63% of customers are more likely to buy from a highly rated site. It is more influential than saving money. In social proof, bigger numbers are more impressive. To make a bigger number, add the number of your email subscribers to that of Twitter followers, Facebook, and any other platform followers, then throw in the total number somewhere whenever you need to make a statement.

When you name drop big names, even people who are new to your area of expertise will not need to know anything else about you. They will assume right away that you are a guru. Strive to have just one credible name and work with it.

If your customers are happy and satisfied, they will want to spread the happiness to their friends and colleagues. Instead of just asking them, offer them a bonus they cannot resist. Why are celebrities paid crazy rates for endorsements? There is a lot they can do to drive conversions. To partner with the big shots you can:

  • Use the poster boy method 
  • Fill a need for a fee
  • Work with tomorrow’s influencers

Speeding up your site should be a top priority. 40% of visitors are likely to leave your website after two seconds of load time. A great webinar might only take 15 minutes to record. They are way more captivating than the usual videos because of their limited run time. 

Auto Industry Jobs That Will Be Lost To Automation

Auto manufacturers have realized that automation will be cost-efficient than human labor in producing automobiles. Robotic technology means no paying wages and accompanying costs like sick leave, health insurance, and taxes. Billions of dollars will be saved, and this is a proposition that many companies cannot decline. 

At the moment, robotic machines are already in place to manufacture parts and assemble vehicles. Some of the most recent technology in the manufacturing sector is computer-driven software which operates from blueprints that are pre-programmed. There is still a demand for machine operators, but the jobs are not the same. 

Below are some of the jobs that are likely to die when automation takes effect entirely.

1. Production Line Workers

The Toyota Company gives a clear insight of how automation will take jobs from humans. Companies are adapting robots to produce crankshafts, axles, and auto chassis parts. These robotic assembly lines are reducing the demand for workers significantly. 

Quality of work done by robots is far much better than that done by humans (fewer defects and less waste). It will only take a short time for robotics to be perfected and fewer workers will be needed. 

2. Assemblers/Fabricators

This job involves putting parts together to create sub-components of vehicles on an assembly line in a manufacturing plant. Very soon, automated machines will take over these jobs. With minimal training, these entry level jobs pay around $21 per hour. 

3. Welders, Solderers, and Brazers

Automation makes it possible for robots to perform most of these welding tasks. Brazing, soldering, and welding jobs are becoming less each day as technology advances in the industry. New job descriptions are going to emerge, and they will require additional knowledge of the machine being used in the automated process. 

4. Machinist

CNC machinery is now able to create any part, flawlessly and in bulk with the pieces being identical. With this kind of technology, metal fabricators will barely have work to do. 

Auto Industry Jobs That Will Be Lost To Automation

5. Automotive Marketers

Marketing jobs will no longer require humans, but they will rely on automated systems involving internet technology. People can now order vehicles online via automated ordering systems. 

6. Automotive Diagnosticians

Newer automobiles have incorporated a computer system to generate error reports. When connected to a diagnostic machine, error codes can be read and hence diagnosis of the problem via a computerized system with sophisticated software.

7. Mechanics

The demand for auto mechanics will never be at zero. However, most of the tasks they perform today will be automated. Just like a diagnostician, there is software capable of resetting the error code in a vehicle when a diagnostic has been run. 

8. Automobile Tester

Automobiles are occasionally tested via automated systems to analyze their performance capacity and general quality. Computerized systems provide readouts of data for future analysis. Test drives are no longer necessary as analysis can be performed in the factory.

9. Taxi drivers

Self-driving vehicles are coming. Human drivers will become a thing of the past. Taxi drivers and Uber drivers will be forgotten in a few decades. 

10. Truck Drivers

Delivery services will be replaced by self-driving trucks. The jobs that will probably be available are those of freight handlers. 

Automation is slowly taking over. Although it is still far from perfect, there is steady progress, and it will not be long. Very soon, about 2 billion jobs will be lost worldwide to automation when it finally takes over.

Artificial Intelligence and Automation

When asked how he tells his kids to prepare for the future of working with artificial intelligence, Peter Norvig said, “I tell them… Wherever they will be working in 20 years probably doesn’t exist now. No sense training for it today. Be flexible,” he said, “and have the ability to learn new things. 

Future of work experts and AI scientists believe that in the future there will be less full-time traditional jobs that require a single skill set, less routine administrative tasks, and less repetitive manual tasks—many jobs, then, will be all about “thinking” machines. 

From managers to janitors, everyone will adopt new ways of doing their jobs with machines in the next 20 years or so to come. One issue that is not clear, however, is whether the technological revolution will create more employment opportunities than it will destroy. 

According to Al Toby Walsh, copying (Al computer) code costs almost zero and takes as much time. He goes on to say that whoever thinks technology will create more job opportunities than it will destroy is lying to themselves because nobody knows for sure. The jobs that AI will create will be different from the ones that will be destroyed, and they will require entirely different skills. 

Hamilton Calder, CEO of Committee for Economic Development Australia, thinks that everyone should learn to code. However, Mr. Charlton disagrees strongly. He is confident that you need not compete with machines to be successful in the future economy. Professor Walsh argues that, even though machines will be far better coders than humans, for geeks, there is a great future in inventing the future. 

It is time that people stopped encouraging the young generation to work towards a ‘dream’ job, says CEO of FYA, Jan Owen. Nobody should focus on an individual job. Instead, people should aim at developing a transferable skill set which includes; digital and financial literacy, project management, collaboration and the ability to carefully evaluate and analyze information. 

Robert Hillard, a managing partner at Deloitte Consulting, believes that future work will be divided into three categories;

•    People who will work for machines like online store pickers and drivers.

•    People who will work with machines like surgeons who will be using the help of machines to diagnose.

•    People who will work on machines like designers and programmers. 

The human-machine teams will unite AI algorithms with human skills like emotional intelligence and judgment. According to Mr. Hillard, jobs will increase, but they probably will not be better. Those that will be working for the machines will have the most difficult time. 

Yes, being human is a skill that you could leverage for income. Computers barely have emotional intelligence. The social jobs that need emotional intelligence (marketing jobs, being a nurse, being a psychologist) are safe. 

In the future, being human could be a job by giving services that machines cannot give—services in the caring economy, such as being empathetic. Some of these unpaid volunteering jobs could become “service jobs of love” in future. 

Computers are not creative or imaginative. Surprisingly, some of the oldest jobs ever like being an artisan or a carpenter will be the most valuable ones. People would rather see something carved by a human as opposed to a machine. 

Even with all the preparedness for future work, Mr. Dawson thinks that everyone should plan for themselves. Develop the skills that will be needed and always pay attention.

Elon Musk and Universal Basic Income

During the World Government Summit in Dubai, Elon Musk brought up crucial ideas on the future of humanity. According to Musk, Universal Basic Income (an economic idea that suggests everyone receives a paycheck from the government for personal spending) is among the few solutions for robotic automation. 

When automation becomes widespread, everything will change.  People are referring to it as the coming of the “post-scarcity economy.” In simple terms, in future (a future that is fast approaching), money will not be a big deal, and all economies will completely collapse. 

Post-scarcity is one of those things that everyone should try to understand. Traditional economies are still functional because things are hard to come by. For instance, food is limited; otherwise, it would be free. You cannot possibly charge for what is infinite like the sun, can you? 

With replicators, which are technically magical boxes that can create anything out of anything in the blink of an eye, things do not have inherent value. You cannot even influence the demand and supply of anything since the demand is not definite and the supply is limitless. In a system like that, the traditional economy is useless and powerless. How would you even draw the demand and supply curve for such a circumstance?

Humans are nowhere near replicators, obviously. And a total post-scarcity system will not be possible for a long time. However, great advancements are about to happen. The number of jobs that robots will grab from humans is significant. Take self-driving cars, for instance, that alone will render about 20% of employees unemployed. 

That is hardly the only industry that will be shaken. So many jobs can be automated easily and eventually cause millions of Americans to become jobless. It might take twenty years—or even thirty—but the truth is that no economy can withstand that.  

   Plans for universal basic income suggest tax robots. This aims at replacing the revenue that will be lost from the unemployed and alternatively created from the robots. Businesses will still gain—money will keep coming in for people to continue spending. According to some conservative estimates, the robots might even pay for themselves several times over. So companies have nothing to lose. 

At the moment (and if nothing changes), this is the only productive solution. Most markets and corporations will remain intact while working with the complicated reality of robots for labor. So somehow, Musk is right. Take time and learn, know the possibilities of the future—because no matter what your job is, it is not safe.

A new study by PwC shows that 40% of jobs in the U.S might be replaced by robots in 15 years. The other developed economies do not face this risk since they have fewer jobs that can be replaced. In the United Kingdom, only an estimated 30% of their jobs face the threat of technical improvement in automation from robotics and Artificial intelligence. For Germany, it is 31% while the estimated percentage for Japan is 21%. 

The reason why so many jobs in the US are threatened by automation is that a majority of the employees in the US work in positions where the tasks are routinized, like filling out paperwork. The industries that face the highest risk of the technological revolution are those related to retail, manufacturing, and transportation. 

How did PwC come up with these estimates? They broke down all the types of tasks of jobs in various industries. The researchers then used an algorithm that put into consideration the “automat ability” of all those tasks and the attributes of the employees hired to do them. 

A good example of how jobs in the US are prone to replacement by automation than those in the UK, as per the research, is in the financial field. Despite the fact that these two countries both have identically service-dominated economies, jobs in the financial service sector in the US are a little bit more routinized and retail oriented. Financial services jobs in the UK, on the other hand, are occupied mainly by professionals who work in international banking. Their jobs are very difficult to automate, and they require higher educational levels.

A bigger portion of Germany’s workforce is employed in the manufacturing sector compared to the U.K’s, which are exactly the kind of jobs that robots will be created to do in the future. This explains why it has a bigger percentage of jobs that faces the threat of replacement by automation. 

Compared to the U.K, U.S, and Germany, Japan has the lowest percentage of jobs that face the risk of automation. Partly, this low percentage is due to the fact that the jobs that are highly replaceable by robots are not so many in Japan. Take retail, for instance; it requires skills and far much more training in Japan—the workers have more organizing and management tasks compared to the same jobs in other economies that were studied. Also, Japan already has widespread automation. The researchers recommend several policy interventions that may be used to address job losses that might accompany automation. One of those policies is workforce retraining programs or the much discussed universal basic income scheme.

Why Do Startups and Small Companies Need to Attend Trade Shows

Many people who are running a one man show businesses or even a small business believe that exhibiting at a tradeshow is out of their league because of financial considerations, because the large companies have large marketing departments with large budgets, because a tradeshow booth is not affordable, because they just don’t have the vision on how to design a booth, how to transport and assemble one, how to work a tradeshow, etc.

Except for the budgetary considerations of renting space on the tradeshow floor, everything else is untrue. In this article, I will show you why are tradeshows so important. I am writing this from my own experience, as someone who worked on designing trade show booths, set up trade show displays, worked the tradeshow floors as an exhibitor and as a visitor.

Here are some of the reasons why it is important to attend and exhibit at trade shows, even if you are just starting your business or running a small company:

1. Get competitive intelligence

As an entrepreneur running a small company, it is very hard to get competitive intelligence, that is knowledge on how do you compare to your competitors, how do they do things, what makes them more successful that you or less successful than you. Don’t forget to put some focus on the less successful scenario also, because you also want to have a list of all the mistakes others make, so you can avoid them.

At a trade show, the easiest possible thing you can do is gather hands-on competitive intelligence. It really does not get more hands-on than that, as you have your competition at the tip of your finger. On the surface, they all seem to be extremely confident through their sales pitches and the flashiness of their marketing gimmicks, but they are in a tremendously vulnerable position, as they are giving everything they got and are also worried about *their* competition, which believe it or not… is you!

Take advantage of this incredible position. The best thing to do is to walk the trade show at the very beginning – that is, before everybody gets to know everybody among exhibitors – and ask questions, ask many, many questions.

Here are some of the things you can get from a simple walk around the exhibit hall:

– A four pound synopsis of your market that you can review at your leisure, from the comfort of your couch that most likely includes a sacksful (literally) of literature on suppliers and distributors in your very targeted and unique field, the trade press.

– New market concepts.

– You can also have yourself put on mailing lists, participate in market surveys, and earn complimentary subscriptions to a handful of journals.

– More coffee mugs, promotional mints, candy, pens, laminated business cards and free golf balls than you will ever need.

2. Learn about what your competition thinks about your product or service

Again, this is something to be done at the very beginning of a trade show and works best in larger exhibiting halls.

Introduce yourself as someone else, interested in the product or service offered by you and your competitors. This is a perfect time for you to use your flirting techniques. Get creative, remember you have nothing to lose, you are in control and the ball is in your court.

Get a complete review of your competitor’s product line. You can then ask what they think of your company’s products and services. Since they do not know who you really are, they will tell you what they really think. It is quite enlightening to hear what your competition really says about you to prospects; remember you are acting as one of their prospects.

This is competitive research as its grittiest and the trade show floor is the best place for it. Studies show that companies are more eager to open up and talk about their competition at a trade show than in any other environment (sure you could just call, but you will not get the same effect).

At this point, if you are still reading this, you are probably wondering why, in the name of everything rational, I am talking about spying on your competition instead of the obvious reasons why trade shows exist, which is promoting a product or a service? Well, analysts and trade show gurus say that investigating the competition is what these shows are about.

3. Meet your buyers

Show your product or service to people who are hyper-qualified as buyers. Why? Well, because these are the people who have gone through the trouble of attending the show and are really interested in your type of business. You also get to meet current and potential customers and get real feedback and a feel for how is your product or service perceived, how it is really performing and what you can do to make it better, that is, more appealing and more useful for your customers.

4. Meet the press

Meet with people from your industry’s trade press. They always attend those events, and you will probably never get a better chance to speak one-on-one with the top editorial staff.

You also have a great opportunity to connect with distributors, with wholesalers, with brokers and others in your distribution channel.

5. Sell

You can also sell your product or service, right there, on the spot. Just make sure you have everything you need to do so in place.

Plan and allow for the opportunity for serious business. Most people who come to your booth will be tire-kickers. They will grab a handful of pistachios, check out your promotional pens (or USB memory drives loaded with your marketing multimedia presentations – hint, hint), cherry pick your printed materials and move on to the next booth. But occasionally, you will bag a live one. Know how and where you will talk to this person at length. Will it be a spot in the rear of the booth, a nearby conference room, a table in the concession area, a later meeting at your company suite? Folks trust me on this, a wishy-washy “we’ll get back to you” attitude will lose the sale. You have to be prepared, if they see you are not ready to close the transaction right there, on the spot (even if in this day and age the trend continues to move away from on-the-spot order writing on trade show floors), they’ll leave.

6. Generate leads

This is the meat of attending a trade show – creating a follow up mailing list. This is what could (and should) potentially bring return on the major investment you made by attending the trade show. Whether you just collect business cards, write names down on a piece of paper or use the more modern trade show techniques such as scanning people’s tags, you must build your mailing list and actually follow up immediately after the show is over, while your marketing effort is still fresh in people’s minds.

It really makes a good second impression if you follow up promptly, whether by just a call or sending additional literature and information. Your handling of requests for additional information will show potential clients you value their time and provide quality customer service.

Wholesale Drop Shippers Scams Revealed

If you want to acquire products to drop ship or wholesale, where do you look? There are all kinds of wholesale and drop ship list for sale on eBay. There is likely to be lots of decent companies, right?

Not true, according to Chris Malta, the Product Sourcing Editor for eBay Radio:

When you see all these Incredible lists and books and packages of wholesaler suppliers and drop shippers for sale on eBay and the rest of the Internet, for anywhere from $5 to $50 or more, what you’re seeing 99% junk.

There are thousands of scammers, snake oil salesmen and con artists on the Internet who are just lying around waiting to AMBUSH you when you begin looking for REAL wholesale suppliers to do business with. Believe it or not, there is a whole niche industry built up on the Net around this kind of scamming! The folks who run these scams have all the moral fiber of a box of hair, and the only reason they even recognize the word Scruples is from the TV ad for the party game.

You may have even fallen prey to one of these con artists, selling you their “insider” wholesale/drop ship list of suppliers. Me too. I have purchased so many lists that I cannot even recollect how many. I do not know why, but I tend to find the “good” in people, and I was “sold” by these marketing schemes time and time again, even after being scammed by the latest one. Finally, after so many disappointments, I had HAD ENOUGH. I decided to get to the bottom of this appeal we all have with wholesale/drop ship companies and find out if there really were any LEGITMATE drop shippers for purchasing hot consumer goods at great prices.

I literally contacted the administrator of every wholesale drop shipping website I could find. Posing as an investor, I managed to persuade the owners that I was seriously interested in purchasing their entire website and business. That way, once the cartoonish money bags flashed in their minds, they would grant me free access to their member’s areas to examine what I would be “buying”. Well, I was appalled with 99% of what I found. Many of the owners bragged about how many people purchased their useless subscriptions. I repeatedly found:

*outdated lists

*non-working links

*links leading to other sites that asked for more money

*no help sections

*no real email support

*no refunds

I quickly realized that these so-called wholesale/drop ship lists were totally pointless. And the owners knew it, yet they were laughing all the way to the ATM machine! I did not respond when they asked if I was still interested in purchasing their websites. Surprisingly, while sitting through all the scam artists websites, I was able to locate a group of individuals that ran legitimate programs.

The owners were common folk like you and me that found a way to earn extra money working from home on their computers. Their membership areas were impressive, with an impressive amount of quality information on how to make $100-$200 per day on your computer doing a small amount of work. I even chatted with a few of their customers in several online forums, and they confirmed that they were earning extra money using the information that the websites had provided them with. It was like I found a few diamonds in the rough. But do not take my word for it, you can drop by the over two dozen sites I found. See what you think.

They do charge a minimal fee for access to their program, which is to be expected for any legitimate enterprise that has people on staff who are dedicated to helping you get earning online. What a warm group of people! Anyway, if you do decide you are interested in any of the two dozen companies, I advise you to join post-haste, as the owners have informed me that they are getting so many new members by word of mouth referrals that they will be blocking off membership completely by months end. (By the way, you did not get this news from me!) They do not have a large enough staff to welcome many more people, and they are driven to providing excellent service to each person. Well, my quest to find legitimate Drop ship companies has come to an end. I have to mention I was thoroughly disappointed with most of what I found, and I strongly urge you not to take any chances doing business with any companies other than the twenty four I will share with you.

Whatever you do, I hope for you and everyone you love a healthy and prosperous year.

Take care and I wish you all the best.

Why A Business Advisor Is So Important

The simple answer to the seemingly complex question of who needs a business advisor? is everyone responsible for operating a business.  That is right. The Fortune 50 CEO to the one-person show needs an advisor.

The CEO of a public company has mentors as well as a board of directors to turn to.  They often don’t have a choice of who their advisors are, but small business owners do.  Unfortunately, with this choice of advisors comes another choice that is often made instead.  That choice is to not get any help at all.

Not getting any help at all is very often the cause of the business failure statistics we hear so much about.  The small business owner will often claim that they do not have the time or money for an advisor.  Think about that comment.  How can you not have the money to get help from someone that can potentially save or make you more money since you obviously are not getting it done on your own?  Or how about that time you are lacking?  Maybe if that owner sat down for an hour with an advisor, they would be able to see why they don’t have time and do something about it with the help of someone who has already been in those shoes.

A coach or advisor gives to small business owners something most of them don’t have; a sounding board and a board of directors to turn to for advice. These are two great resources to use when trying to avoid trial and error decisions and processes.

I’m not knocking trial and error as the way to learn things.  I’ve personally used that method and fared well in many cases.  But that is a case-by-case basis, not for on-going daily concerns.  Do not forget that this method is also very costly and time consuming.  Why not ask someone who has probably already faced the problem?

What many business owners do not realize is that they rarely go through any trials and tribulations that someone else has never dealt with.  Not to mention that about 70-75% of their business is the same as every other business including HR, finances, sales, marketing, and funding.  The other 25-30% is industry specific. 

Small to mid-sized business owners take away much more from an advisor than big businesses.  This, if for no other reason, is the case because the smaller companies have owners that wear a lot of hats.  Many of those hats take time away from the things the owner needs to make a priority to see their company succeed.  Things they should be doing that they do not have time to get to or things they are taking care of that they have no experience in doing.  These situations take away from them doing what they do best.  That is a problem. 

The question now is how to find an advisor.  There are many types of business advisors out there.  Some are purely coaches and others are true developers and implementers that will roll up their sleeves with you when asked to.  It’s up to you to pick the type of person you want or need.  Here are a few things to think about:

Do they click with your personality?  There are many good advisors out there but if they don’t click with you as a business friend, don’t bother with them because you will end up fighting them even when you agree on the advice.

Have they owned a small business before? Gray hair does not equal business ownership knowledge.  I promise you that the ex-CEO or Senior manager from a huge company knows little about successfully operating a small business.  These are two significantly different worlds.

Don’t worry if a potential advisor doesn’t know your specific industry.  Remember that a lot of your troubles have nothing to do with your industry.  It would help though if the advisor had contacts/resources for you in your industry for when specific problems are addressed.

Look for flexibility.  A potential advisor that pushes for more than 20 hours a month of your time from day one is probably out for money.  Until they start working with you, there is no way of knowing that they need that much time per month to meet your goals and timelines.  A good advisor will understand that you have made a commitment to get back on track just by the fact that you are talking to them.  They should not need to try and get a ridiculous time/money commitment from you if they want to help.

Make it a local thing.  This suggestion is a two-part issue.  First, the advisor should agree that when face time is needed that they come to you.  Second, there is absolutely no reason why a small business with locations in one state needs a business advisor that must fly in or travel more than 2 hours to see them.  These companies somehow find suckers to take their so-so advice and huge reports full of fluff and pay for travel costs.  There are plenty of advisors local to every company in this country.  Yes, even in Hawaii.

Once you made the intelligent decision of getting help in making your business a success, keep a few things in mind.  You should really commit to working with your advisor for a good 6 months.  Nothing gets fixed overnight.  Also, since you are paying for it, please do yourself a favor and be open to suggestions, bring important things to your advisor for help in making a decision and make the use of your time with the advisor a priority.  Do not forget that an advisor or coach should never decide for you. It is your company; they are there to make suggestions and guide you.

Working with an advisor can be a very enlightening experience.  You will start to see the forest from the trees and not feel like you are the only person on the planet going through tough times as a business owner.

All business owners eventually need help.  The successful ones put aside their pride and desire to be at the center of all aspects of the company and get the help. Do yourself and your company a favor and be one of the tremendously successful business owners.  Get an advisor and get all you can out of them.  If your advisor loves what he/she does for a living as such as you love what you do, you can’t go wrong.

How to Find A Business to Buy

You dream of owning a business and experiencing its many benefits freedom, power, wealth, and fulfillment. But you do not want to start a business on your own.  There is too much risk and uncertainty.  Plus, you do not know what you would want to do that could be successful. 

Instead, you want to find an existing business or a proven business idea that you can operate successfully.  But the million-dollar question is: Where do you find it?

There are several methods of finding a business to buy, and each has its own benefits.  Here are some options to consider:

Word of Mouth

This method of finding the perfect business to buy is very much chance-based and consists of someone telling you about, or you drive around and seeing, a business that is for sale.  Due to its nature, you are exposed to a limited number of businesses.  And unless you are lucky that one of the few discovered in this fashion is exactly what you want, this method is not highly effective at finding the perfect business to buy.

Classified ads in the local newspaper

The old-fashioned method of finding a business to buy is to look in the classified ads in the local newspaper and see if any catch your eye.  This is a difficult way to find a business to buy for several reasons.  One, the number of businesses-for-sale listed in the classifieds is small compared to the overall universe of businesses that are for sale at any time.  Two, classified ads typically present you with only three lines of cryptic text to give you background on the business.  And three, classifieds do not have a search function, so you must spend a lot of time looking through all of the classifieds to find those businesses that interest you.  While classifieds can serve a purpose in buying a business, they are not very efficient or effective.

Business Brokers

Business brokers are typically very professional and knowledgeable in the art of buying and selling a business.  Plus, they are skilled at helping sellers sell their business.  But therein lies the rub they are contractually obligated to help the seller sell the business. They are not obligated to you as the buyer.  Therefore, brokers will usually look out for the seller’s best interests first, which means they will often only show you businesses that they represent.  This severely limits your exposure to the number of businesses that are available for sale at any one time, which makes it an inefficient method of finding the perfect business to buy.

However, more common these days are Buyer Brokers.  These business brokers represent you, the buyer, in your efforts to buy a business.  This can be remarkably effective because the broker knows how to navigate the process of buying a business.  However, you often must personally pay the broker to help you buy a business, which increases your costs.  Therefore, it is often best to conduct a search for a business on your own, and then hire an attorney or experienced broker to guide you through the purchase process.  But where do you search for businesses on your own?

Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces typically contain an exhaustive list of businesses that are for sale.  Plus, it is easy to search these thousands of businesses instantly to find only the ones that meet your criteria.  This makes online marketplaces the most effective, efficient and comprehensive method of finding the perfect business to buy.

There are many online marketplaces to choose from, but they are far from equal.  Some have inadequate search functions, others are just interested in collecting listing fees from business sellers, and others do not offer the buyer tools to help make your search process easier.  As a result, selecting a good business-for-sale marketplace is critical in your search for finding the perfect business to buy.

You want a site that allows you to search its listings for free and has a strong search function to help you do it effectively.  In addition, you want a site that allows you to save your searches and be alerted via email anytime new businesses are listed that meet your search criteria.  This saves you the time and effort of continuously searching sites everyday looking for the right business.  Instead, the site does the work for you and presents you with businesses that are of interest to you.

Finally, you want a site that puts its money where its mouth is, one that charges sellers based on performance and not on a pre-set monthly fee.  These sites are dedicated to helping match business buyers with sellers while lowering the cost of selling a business.  As a result, these sites are highly effective for both buyers and sellers.

Bitcoin Is Changing the World

 Bitcoins’ success has brought in many aspects in which digital money can change the world.  It changes the way we bank and conduct transactions. Also, it has changed the perspective in which we view the world.

Each person earns money through transactions and sells. Likewise, Bitcoins can be earned as a form of payments, exchanging currencies and mining Bitcoins.  Earned and purchased Bitcoins are securely put in Bitcoin Wallets which are an online secure Bitcoins storage.   Every Bitcoin transaction is recorded in the Bitcoin network (block chain) which authenticates each transaction.

Not all traders have accepted Bitcoins as a form of payment.  Its valuation is speculative. Bitcoins usage in illegal trade such as drugs and gambling makes people doubt it. Availability of cheaper options such as the dollar in trading, place Bitcoins in a less favorite position. Still, the potential growth of Bitcoins comes from the largest volumes of trading, increase in the number of wallet holders, large corporations such as Microsoft accepting it as a method of payment.

The combination of its underlying technology and finance, Bitcoins framework is impressive.  Bitcoins strength is not being free from political interference and high valuation.  Rather, it is in its underlying infrastructure, secure transactions, and record keeping which could change the global financial system.

Transacting using digital money eliminates the third party charges that financial institutions such as banks charge.  The growth in mobile money may promote the usage of Bitcoins in transactions over vast areas with no extra charges.  Bitcoin secret lies within the blockchain. It’s a secure digital ledger that keeps track of all transactions.

Thus, it facilitates agreements between two parties on the number of Bitcoins each owns.  Each Bitcoin wallet holder has a replica of the blockchain transactions.  Apart from recording transactions, the blockchain can be used in recording details such as transaction charges that can be used as a public record.

The cryptocurrencies concept has facilitated the development of virtual currencies such as Ethereum.  Just like eBay and Facebook has profited through advertisements on their users, Bitcoin block chains can increasingly become profitable through their users.  The network enables peer to peer transaction on the network.

Bitcoins do not operate from a single location. It does not have digital directors. The company shareholders are the Bitcoins holders and pay its employees the miners. Theoretically, it’s possible to run the company without directors since the block chains are pre-programmed with specific models to run and operate in.

Bitcoins has developed as a cryptocurrency on a background of the strong and resilient network. The scripting language is vulnerable to third party attacks.  Technological advancements can lead to the security of Bitcoins.

In conclusion, Bitcoins has a great underlying technology. Just like Torrent and Nester, the block chains applications offer social, economic, technological and legal problems. With time, people will gain trust with it as a mainstream currency.

Eight Steps to Earning Bitcoins

There are many ways in which someone can trade bitcoins and make money. Each of the following ways enables the users to earn.

  1. Accept them as a means of Payment
    If you run any kind of business whether wholesale or retail, earn through accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment. There are various steps in which you can register to earn from Bitcoin. First, register for an online Bitcoin wallet from Coinbase. Second, display a QR base on my wallet section to allow you to add or receive funds. Lastly, include the Bitcoin accepted here logo in your online business.
  2. Complete tasks Online
    Most websites offer free bitcoins from people visiting their sites. Once you get to their sites, before earning the free bitcoins you will get to see adverts or a music clip. Still, there are sites where you complete analytical tasks while on others free bitcoins is an additional gift on some kind of purchase made.
  3. Earn from interest on payments
    If you already have some bitcoins you can earn through lending them out and earning interest. Still, you should be careful to whom you are lending to avoid losses.
  4. Bitcoin mining
    Mining refers to the process where bitcoins are generated. During mining, each new transaction is recorded in a block chain where the old and new searches are stored. Mining hardware is expensive having most creators to join a mining pool. Here, you do not need to earn your new mining area.
  5. Earn Bitcoins from getting tipped
    Earning through tips is similar to earning while one is receiving payments. Open a Bitcoin wallet, a QR code with your bitcoin address on it. People potential to tip you need to know your bitcoin address. One can be tipped through their online shop or a blog. Since there is no substantial amount of tipped bitcoins, a QR code is sufficient for knowing what transaction took place on a specific day.
  6. Earn through trading
    Arbitrage trading is a way in which various traders can earn money. A trader spots an opportunity for purchasing an item in one location and selling it on another location at a higher price. Bitworld trading comes with its set of difficulties. It is not easy to find trading opportunities. Yet sometimes when the opportunities are available they are not open to everyone. Traders need to keenly look into each opportunity.
  7. Earn Bitcoins as a regular income
    Just like other forms of monetary payments, if your organization allows you can be paid by bitcoins. Still, there are only a few organizations that can accept payment through bitcoins. Freelancing is one way in which someone can be paid through bitcoins. Jobs for bitcoin on Reddit are a good platform for freelancers to work on.
  8. Earn through gambling- not suitable for all
    Despite the cons of gambling, there are many bitcoin gambling sites where someone can earn money through gambling.
    The eight listed methods are a sure way of earning through bitcoins. Some methods are simple while others call for skillful users to succeed.

Fear of Failure – Let It Go

What happens when you want something bad? Sometimes it feels like an ache or a hunger. We find that we are not satisfied until we have gotten whatever it is that we desire. What happens when we finally get what we want? Are we finally satisfied, or do we find that our desires have moved on to bigger and better things?

Have you ever heard the saying, “be careful what you wish for”, when describing to someone what it is that you want? This implies that there will be a negative outcome if you get what you want. This saying is a phrase that is steeped in fear.

Over the centuries there have been many stories written about people who wished for something and when they got it bad things happened to them. The unfortunate thing about these stories is that they are mostly circulated when we are children. We are told stories about people who wished for things that when they got them, the bad things started to happen. So let’s dissect a theory on where these stories may have had their origin.

Have you ever noticed that the desires of children sometimes seem to be insatiable? When you take a child to a grocery store, they always seem to ask for something. When they watch television, the commercials that they see are created to arouse desire within them to have the products that are advertised. You can often find yourself in a relentless battle with children telling them that they cannot have everything that they want. So, what would be an easy way to say no without using the word?

Please do not bail on me until you read past the next two paragraphs, I am going to tell a story as an example here….

One way would be to tell them the story about the little boy who wished for everything. One day he found a rock laying by the side of the road that seemed to be glowing. He cupped his hands around it to provide darkness and indeed it glowed in the dark. He put the stone in his pocket and headed home. When he arrived at home, he went to his room and removed the stone from his pocket. As he looked at it, he wished that he had a nice wooden box to keep his new treasure in.

Suddenly a wooden box appeared on the bed beside him. It was inlaid with ivory and fine wood. He picked up the box and stared at it in disbelief. He opened it and inside was a special place where the stone fit exactly. As he began to place the stone in the box, suddenly a small bird crashed into the window of his room.

He went to the window and looked at the small bird lying on the ground writhing in pain. He did not realize yet that the bird had been hurt as payment for his wish.

And on and on….

A negative consequence for a positive gain. Do you ever wonder why you feel anxious when a large deal is pending, something that you have been wanting bad? Could it be that as a child you were programmed to believe that if something incredibly good was to happen, that something bad would follow?

Could this be the reason that as we begin to reach the successes that we have always dreamed of that we sabotage ourselves and prevent them from happening? We begin to suffer from the “what if’s” and the “unknowns”. We begin to worry that if we achieve the success that we seek, that something bad is going to happen.

When you begin to experience success in any form, it is important to be prepared to experience the fear of failure, or the fear of something bad happening. When you are getting close to success you should try to notice the voices from your past that tell you something bad is coming and ignore them. You might even say out loud that it is not true, that nothing bad will happen if you succeed.

Reviewing positive attitude materials can help you in this process. In the same way that therapy helps us to overcome personal issues, positive attitude materials can help us to overcome our career issues. Listen to or read something motivational on a regular basis. Attend a seminar at least twice a year dedicated to overcoming limiting beliefs. It is important to exercise your abilities to fight against fear, just as important as it is to exercise the rest of your body.

By learning to overcome your fears you empower yourself to succeed and each success leads you to another and makes you more able to overcome more fears. Practice this regularly and you will find yourself achieving things that you never thought possible.

Understanding Blockchain Technology

As the use of blockchain gains popularity, the system has seen its fair share of hype over the years, and more research has been directed at looking into the appropriateness of this technology. Thanks to the creation of authorization and authentication of different processes in the digital world, it has ruled out the need for the use of centralized administrators.

This efficiency has eventually created an upsurge of digital relationships, hence leading layers of the internet ideal for the performance interactions and transactions of values. The new tech, also known as the “internet of value” is apparently overriding the “internet of information” that has been in place for the last few decades.

However, this new internet layer does come with several downsides as well, which will make cryptographic keys, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies an unfavorable option eventually. So where is the line between which of the two models is the best? 

Well, the use of paper has been efficient, thanks to the fact that it is hard to counterfeit with all the seals and appearances among other factors. But this can be a difficult approach when you consider a constant and regular flow of transactions, since the method may not be ideal if someone wants to keep up the pace. Besides, manual data entry comes with its challenges as well.

The flexibility of blockchain, as well as the ability to cater to the wide range of parties writing entries, can be beneficial. In most cases, third-party participants play a vital role in taking care of authorizations and authentication of transactions. This can be useful if security is the focus, but when the privacy of the data outweighs all else, there is no need for connecting it to any network for security reasons.

This is where blockchain come into play, offering the ideal security for the digital identity that would otherwise be impossible.  In case a database has to support lightweight financial transactions, blockchain can be rather useful.

Another inevitable consideration is the transaction speed. If speed is the key, in which case transaction should be carried out in milliseconds and yet with high performance, a centralized system will be the way to go. The drawback for blockchain is relatively slow and storing the data comes with a cost. But with the centralized data systems that feature a client-server operation, speed is attainable, and they are not expensive.

This gives the centralized models an upper hand over blockchain. The bottom line is that as much as the potential of blockchain is yet to be fully unveiled, it is clear that most of the areas that have been confirmed to be useful so far include the aspect of securing as well as managing digital-based relationships.

This can benefit as a system record, but slightly fails when it comes to the performance and speed in carrying out transactions. But with these systems developing by the day, only time can tell when they will become a cutting-edge solution. For now, only the participant can decide on what is best for them in carrying out such transactions.

Better yet, the tech is also packing enough potential up its sleeve to transform the conventional business model in multiple sectors. Essentially, these chains work in a similar idea with large digital spreadsheets that all members in a decentralized network can access. The great thing about blockchain is that although it is well known for its use in bitcoin transactions, this technology has other uses as well.

And with the increasing value of bitcoin and its dominance in several mainstream sectors, companies offering financial services are stepping into the action. One of the things that make cryptocurrency a darling for most people is the currency’s ability to cut back on the costs incurred in the transfer of funds especially when it comes to sending money across borders.

While some investors are opting to stockpile gold and wait for the value to skyrocket, you can take advantage of the potential increase in the price of bitcoin. Although bitcoin is not as tangible as gold, the investment principles for both are similar. The supply and demand balance is the key here, and with the two being rare, you can step in on the opportunity to invest. 

Pure blockchain tech play is gaining traction by the day, with numerous companies taking part in this sector becoming increasingly popular. One of the widely known companies, BTCS, is renowned as the premier “pure play” company in the US to focus on the use of blockchain technology. It works through unique verification services for transactions to make blockchain secure. Another company that is also gaining popularity is Global Arena Holding, which is enhancing blockchain technology in the potential of the tech for enabling voter verification.

Angel funding has been around for a while now, but the idea of using startups in blockchain is giving it a completely new outlook. Bitcoin has become popular, and everyone is looking into getting a share of the action, but this comes with funding.  Well, with angel funding, you can be able to venture into the technology and stand to benefit from the innovation that it has to offer in the future.

Another interesting idea for blockchain is with penny stocks, which include other types of cryptocurrency like Altcoins and Litecoin. Most of these coins were designed to help in ways where bitcoins are not applicable but were primarily meant to pose a healthy competition for the popular cryptocurrency.

If you are looking into raising capital for any investment, there is no better way to do so than with the use of crowdfunding, which has become the primarily used and popular method for this purpose. You can use this to invest in blockchain, thanks to the use of alternative coins, or altcoins, which are pre-mined and sold in an initial coin offering, also known as ICO.

This is carried out before the public launching of the network. Among the most popular methods is the use of bit shares. With these options at your disposal, only your choice matters now. However, it is worth to consider risk as well and make sure you minimize risks to the lowest levels possible.

If there is one certain thing about blockchain, it is the fact that these are revolutionized systems of records. Since the time it was invented as the world’s premier decentralized and permanent ledger-based records, entrepreneurs have understood its implications.  But blockchain have also seen its fair share of speculations as well, considering that the idea is applicable in virtually anything to do with records.

Not forgetting, this concept is ruling out the need for authorities to oversee transactions since cryptography gives individuals the power to do this all by themselves. The hype about these chains is centered on the probability of high-level use circumstances where blockchain tech can be applied. Digital identity can help as a system of records with the use of cryptographic keys, which allows individuals to have the right and means to form digital relationships with others.

This comes from the fact that the concept doesn’t rely on accounts or permissions related to accounts, the security in managing identity in the digital realm is relatively secure. And it is all thanks to the fact that one is not exposed to sharing excessive personal information that can be compromised.

Another means in which this technology proves valuable is when used as a platform. This usually comes down to some of its top-of-the-line aspects like its use for automated governance and smart contracting. Besides, it can also help with streamlining clearances and settlement in stock trading. Another area where this tech is applicable is in automation of regulatory compliance using the code form in governments’ legal systems.

Data management also plays a major role in gathering and collection of information for governments. This usefulness has seen governments develop an interest in three components of the technology. One of the things that make it ideal is the rights associated with ownership, generation, and revocation, replacing or losing the cryptographic keys.

There is also some interest associated with the aspect of who can participate in any chain, as well as interest in protocols based on blockchain when it comes to authorization of transactions. As such, many blockchain developers believe that regulatory compliance offers a potential business opportunity.

The use of paring items with their corresponding digital tokens also comes in quite handy for authentication of particular physical items. Therefore, tokens can be used to bridge both the physical as well as the digital sides. As such, tokens are used in the management of supply chains as well as control of intellectual property, fraud detection, and anti-counterfeiting detection.

Banks, as well as other financial institutions, usually rely on client-server infrastructure to run individual accounts. But keeping it secure from hackers can be a daunting task, especially with the risk of hacking at any given time. With blockchain technology, however, these institutions can create an automatically developed record of who can access records or information. Besides, they can also take control regarding permissions to access information.

What Is Ethereum?

In essence, Ethereum is a platform in the cryptocurrency market, which was launched in 2015 and helps create applications that are operated on blockchain. Although Ethereum popularity rose and declined within a year after its launch, it still holds the second position in the market after Bitcoin. But Ethereum comes with several factors that make it significant despite the changes, and here are some of the reasons why it is doing so well in the crypto market.

One of the things that make Ethereum stand toe to toe with the competition is that it is decentralized, just like Bitcoin, but the currency has the potential to be even more successful. The fact that it is decentralized makes it waterproof, since every participant doubles as both a server and a client, giving it resilience and security. This keeps hackers at bay, as well as ensuring no downtime in case technical difficulties. 

Besides, another aspect of blockchain that makes Ethereum strong is the integrity of data. In this case, anyone can access records of any transactions ever made on the network, and locate the sender and receiver. Not forgetting, the records cannot be altered, making them safe all the time. This strategy makes it impossible for someone to use coins that they don’t have, which makes it ideal for payment protocol.

However, some developers have noticed this efficiency is not only about an instance of one simple use since keeping a registry comes with added security and efficiency of blockchain. This comes down to domain names, business contracts, and records of ownership among other essentials.

Although developers have already tried producing new apps using the blockchain theory, both have proved inefficient. At first, the idea was to create an app on top of Bitcoin, but the script is incapable of solving problems that other programming languages would otherwise solve with ease. This means developers have to improvise to get the desired results. Another idea was to develop, launch, and promote an alternative chain, which means missing the opportunity to use the significant power that Bitcoin network has up its sleeve.

Hence, the option of running blockchain remains the only resort, but this is costly and cannot work for every app. Despite all the downfalls, Ethereum has apparently come up with an answer through the integration of proper and multi-purpose programming language to its blockchain.

This way, anyone can figure out any application, and all they have to do is code it, and the ETH network will execute the remaining process. The system will verify the output as well as distribute value between the participants, all by itself.

This simplicity but effective power makes Ethereum a decentralized and powerful server that can be used across the globe. The application is thus operating on a transparent basis since there are no central authorities offering the input, thanks to smart contracts that can get the job done instead. Better yet, the network packs enough power that is only limited by the level as well as the power of the computers connected to the network, which means there are no limitations to the entry.

As such, Ethereum can be considered to be a worldwide computer that can excel at creating cryptocurrencies with ease and other unlimited potential uses as well. There is a lot that can be done with the network; only the required results can determine how far participants can go. And it is in this aspect of endless opportunities where the promising future of Ethereum lies.

According to some, the idea of Ethereum was born in 2009, when Bitcoin became the first practical solution of decentralization. Undoubtedly, the success of Blockchain greatly influenced Vitalik Buterin, the man behind Ethereum. However, 2012 would be a more particular date. That is when Vitalik left the University of Waterloo to travel the world while participating in various cryptocurrency innovations. While on this trip, Buterin conceived the Ethereum idea; a crypto economically secured platform for creating any kind of decentralized application.

After that, Vitalik started drafting the Ethereum Whitepaper. The document justified the idea of a new crypto technology, stated its main principles, and possible applications. The whitepaper was published in 2013, and a month later, Buterin announced the beginning of Ethereum project during the Bitcointalk forum.

In his post, Vitalik said that he was working with Jeffrey Wilcke and Dr. Gavin Wood as principle core developers. Wood took the main part in Ethereum creation after Vitalik. His Yellow Paper (the formal specification of Ethereum Virtual Machine) was published in April 2014. Coding its very first practical implementation in seven programming languages, this was the development of the first prototype of Ethereum platform.

Just like Ethereum, Bitcoin is based on Blockchain technology, but this means nothing if it is not backed by the most powerful network in history.  Investors channeled millions of dollars into Bitcoin, using the money on trading, mining equipment, and technologies. Launching a network like that demands the same amount (or more) of effort. To kick-start a group of investors, miners, and developers, the Ethereum foundation chose to carry out a pre-sale of more than 60M digital tokens (Ethers). The campaign ended up being a major success.

Buterin, Wood, and Wilcke set up yet another legal entity to direct and oversee the Ethereum development process.  To maintain momentum, they released several enhanced Proof-of-Concept versions of the software. DEVCON-0 was the first event that was dedicated entirely to Ethereum, and it was conducted in Berlin by ETH DEV, in November 2014.

That is when Ethereum developers from all around the globe met to talk about the network’s scalability and security. Final, pre-launch preparations have started with the release of Olympic—the ninth and latest version of Ethereum Proof-Of-Concept code.

The developers have taken advantage of this opportunity to conduct a final security inspection of the network. They have contacted several companies to perform an audit of the code. More importantly, developers have announced the Ethereum Bounty Program: whereby, whoever finds any weaknesses in the Ethereum software will receive significant Bitcoin rewards.

What is a Notary Signing Agent and How Do You Start a Business?

A Notary Signing Agent is a Notary Public who has acquired a familiarity and understanding of mortgage loan documents either via experience or training. This individual will work as either is hired as an independent contractor for signing agencies, or as a self-employed person receiving assignment through his/her own marketing and advertising efforts.

The job consists of ensuring that real estate loan documents are properly executed by the borrower(s), notarized, and returned promptly for processing to the title or escrow officer. This is an important and vital service for borrowers and closing agents, without which a mortgage loan transaction would not be able to be consummated.

The Statue of Frauds and the Patriotic Act seek to maintain integrity of a signer’s signature to authenticate a document, and to identify the borrower for tax reporting and anti-money laundering regulation. This is significantly role for a notary important, now that so many more transactions are being conducted online or by telephone.

A Notary Signing Agent will travel to the customers home or office at their convenience to execute loan documents instead of having the borrower interrupt their busy schedule to drive to the title company, or escrow agents office.

This convenience allows all parties to the transaction be more productive and, in any cases, reduce the settlement cost. Closing agents have discover this is a much-preferred means of doing business, allowing the borrower to review the documents in the privacy of their home or office while increasing the volume of loan a closing agency can handle.

Your primary duties will include answering phones, customer service, some filing, notarizing documents, networking and marketing your services. You will be required to pass a test or exam sponsored by your state’s governing agency to obtain a certificate or commission. At times being a Notary Signing Agent can be fast-paced and require flexibility and patience.

To really be successful as a Notary Signing Agent you must be reliable, honest, willing to learn, a good communicator, work well with others, enjoy dealing with people, and be somewhat computer literate. Being multi-lingual is a great advantage, as it increases the population of people you can serve.

One of the biggest challenges beginning Loan Signing Agents face in getting their business up and running is marketing. There are just too many tasks involved in setting-up, managing and marketing a new business. The list of tasks seems daunting and never-ending.

This is what stops most beginners, the amount of time, energy and effort and needed to develop the business and start getting regular clients that pay well and promptly. One of the easiest ways to get your practice off to a good start is to promote your service online through a high-traffic notary portal. Title, insurance, mortgage lenders, medical related industries, traffic schools, auto dealers, bails agents and the public depend on these sites to find notaries daily for loan signings and other general notarial related work.

This is the quick means to marketing your notary practice and giving your business a jumpstart, while you work to develop long-term business relationships. Plus, you get a webpage as part of the price.

Bitcoin for Small Businesses

If you are a small business owner, you can use Bitcoin by promoting and accepting it as a means of payment. This is most suitable for business owners dealing with goods and services regular currency who wish to add Bitcoin to their way of payment for their customer. Besides, it is also essential noting that it is best if you are willing to pay tax on your Bitcoin income.

This digital currency has become one of the ways to carry out anonymous transactions as well as competing with the traditional currency. This has seen many small business owners uncertain about the best way to accept it, and whether it’s legit as well as concerns over tax payment and such. Not to worry, here are several ideas on how to use it.

The Bitcoin merchant solution is very convenient to use, especially if you are selling goods or services on your website. Then you can convert your bitcoins to the government currency through several available services.

Using tablet or Smartphone

This can work best if you use a QR code that your customers can with their device to make a payment.

Accounting

 In this case, when a customer makes a purchase, you can credit their account, like a discount. However, it is worth considering whether this will disguise the transaction in any negative way. You can also give a discount for Bitcoins, and then sell them for American currency, which will probably turn out that your income overall will reflect a benefit, but you may need to consult your accountant on this one.

Gift cards business

If you deal with the sale of gift cards or certificates, you can accept Bitcoin for the purchase of the card, and then have the card only used for a real purchase of goods or services. This is yet another place where the accounting comes in very handy, which you can also use to track sales.

Mail invoice

If you usually send invoices to customers, you can boost Bitcoin’s economy as well. You can add it among the other payment options. This may necessitate your customers to call or email to pay, but it will be a great addition to your business. If you can generate Bitcoin addresses, it will be wise to generate a different one for every invoice and have it printed on it. This way, you can sort the invoices as they arrive.

Dealing with fraud

The risk of fraudsters can prove a challenge, especially if you do not know how to confront it. Fraudsters can take advantage of your customers, luring them to their Bitcoin address and taking your money. It is an urgent matter of whether or when a fraudster finds out about your customers, this can be detrimental. To prevent this menace, you can ensure people do not type your Bitcoin address off your payment stubs. You can also manage it by making sure they get your full address from your website, and use a secure SSL.

Bitcoin is becoming more popular than ever before, and its price is on the rise, making it a challenge for many to buy. If you are interested in a share of this digital gold, several options can help you get there.  First, a Bitwage can come to your rescue. Bitwage is a bitcoin’s payroll that converts your payment into this digital currency, bitwage will also send you this a day after deposit.

Just like the popular freelancing platform, bitcoin freelance comes with its share of advantages. These benefits include receiving payments faster, the ability to save on your traditional banking fees and, in most countries, save on taxes too. Some of the best places to check out for these are jobs4bitcoin, subredit, and bitcointalk, although you will have to find an escrow or entrust your employer.

How many items do you have around that you never use? Well, those can make you money with bitcoin. Since you no longer need them, the best way is to exchange them for something of value, and this is one of the best ways to do it. You will most likely find someone out there who needs what you have, and exchanging them for bitcoins is the best way to cut back on chargebacks and intermediaries fees.

Most small tasks available don’t necessarily require experience or particular skills to accomplish. These can be completing surveys, pay to click ads or social promotions as well as solving captchas.  Here, you can count on cryptocurrency excel for the micro transactions that come with such micro jobs.  Some of these jobs include Faucet, which is available in many options. However, most faucets involve solving captchas for ads, although the payout can be very little, they can be done by virtually anyone. You can also try the Bitcoin.com’s birds, which involves retweeting paid tweets for money. As payment, they send you Bitcoins to your address.

If writing or art is your kind of thing, then you can make it more than just a hobby. With many writers trying to succeed with censorship from sources that sometimes do not live up to their promise, you can take a different course and earn Bitcoins. One of the best opportunities is the Steemit, a block-chain platform where you can get their cryptocurrency, Steam.

The reward you get is determined by the popularity of your articles, with the payment process being automated to be paid out based on someone’s up votes from others. Besides, if you curate content on the platform, you can earn as well, and then convert the altcoins you get to Bitcoin with the help of ShapeShift.io or any other online exchange platform.  The best thing to do is determine which of the options available is ideal for you and go for it. Earn Bitcoins while doing what you love most.

There is much information on the IRS tax guide on virtual currencies; very few have done an analysis on Plethora of the record keeping and enforcement on the challenges that arise from the decision to treat Bitcoins as a property rather than a currency.  Various bitcoins stakeholders such as traders, consumers, merchants, and miners must grapple with the new tax filing requirements. There is still need for the various changes and clarifications on the filing procedures.

The ruling placed on bitcoins is regarded as a property and not a currency. This is favorable given the bitcoin ruling to investors in its current stellar performance.  The accrued long-term gains and losses shall be taxed according to the taxpayer’s applicable capital gains interest rather than ordinary income rates. This constitutes larger marginal difference among early investors and bitcoin miners. Still, active traders that have short term gains still will pay taxes at ordinary income rates.

Investors that have long trading losses are not favored with the ruling.  It is hard to write off bitcoin bets now that they are considered more of a property than a currency. The IRS has set a limit for both married and single filers for losses at $3000, an amount that has remained static since 1978. Trading losses may need to be carried forward for even years before laying claim. Also, this affects the small traders. It would be better if they could have written off foreign currency against ordinary income taxation. This is the basic application of the IRS guideline.

 The following are some of the tips for traders in compliance with the Internal Service revenue service and avoiding gray areas;

1.    Mining

The various bitcoins miners need to keep daily transaction of the manner in which the transactions occurred.  Record each block reward that you received as part of solving algorithms. While giving out the bitcoins subtract the income and output to get the long-term financial gains.

2.     Minting

This is a different way in which digital currencies are created.  At the date of minting the value stands at zero, at ordinary income values. Mark the date of minting as it will be useful for filing returns.

3.     Earnings

Most people trade using Bitcoin.  The fair market value records this as an income.  Record the details of the earnings. It will help win filing short term or long term trading returns.  If you have earned bitcoins as a result of trading services or purchase of goods keep the details of the transactions.

4.     Trading

When you are engaged in bitcoins trading, there are no immediate tax returns. Record all the transactions for the long term and short term financial returns.  The taxable event comes during disposition regardless of whether you earn or sell it.

5.    Spending

 Some companies record bitcoins transactions as a form of payment.  This is treated like selling bitcoins and should be recorded.

 In conclusion, everyone should learn the operations of an excel finance sheet to gain the necessary insight on the IRS guidelines.

7 Proven Principles of Business Success

The 7 Proven Principles to Business Success will overcome whatever limitation you have. Think of it as a recipe for success in business. All you must do is first learn what the 7 principles are, and then apply them, in order. When you follow this recipe all your challenges will fade away.

Why do you own a business? Isn’t it because you want a LIFESTYLE? You did not intend to work long hours, be stressed, have little time off and be hassled with staff and customers, did you?

Isn’t it time you made some changes for the better? After all, if you want to change some things in your life, you must change some things in your life. If you are ready for a change here is the magic recipe you need to follow…

Principle 1: Work on yourself to understand people.

Business is all about people isn’t it? You have them as customers, you employ them, but few people have realized the absolute key to success is understanding people at a much, much higher level. Your sales and marketing skills are determined by what you know about people. Your leadership skills with your staff to get them to perform as well as you do is determined by your knowledge on people.

So, what is the best way to learn about other people? Easy, learn about yourself! You are a people and the more you learn about yourself the more you automatically learn about other people.

Principle 2: Learn business success principles.

There are so many principles to business success, but I will emphasize just a few. One is, you are in business to make a profit, not just turnover. Turnover is a job, whereas profit gives you a LIFESTYLE. Your aim should be to increase your net profit percentage of turnover, as this allows you to grow and pay yourself whatever you desire.

Net Profit percentage comes from improving everything you do, not just doing more of what you already do. How you answer the phone, how you greet people face to face, how you write your ads, improving your communication and leadership with your staff. All of these are areas to improve.

Another principle of business success is cash flow. Cash flow means having the cash in your bank account that should be in your bank account. If customers cost you money before you get any back, that’s negative cash flow, if you get cash before you incur a cost that’s positive cash flow. The better you get at getting money up front with deposits and getting people to pay on time the better your cash flow.

Principle 3: Set goals and have a plan to achieve them. Until you set a goal you do not have a reason WHY you will improve your business, therefore the HOW does not matter. People must know why, before how. You will want to know how to grow your business once you have set a written goal.

When you have a goal, it is time to look at the relevant strategies for your business. I know of over 300 strategies, but most people can only think of about a dozen. Strategies are like tools. If you go to build a house with just a hammer, a saw and nails you will be building it for a long time. Business is the same. When people do not know what strategies are available or suitable to them how can they effectively grow their business?

A Business Growth Plan is simply the order of implementation of those strategies beginning with the highest priority strategy. When you have documented goals for 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months with a list of strategies in order you have a Business Growth Plan that makes growing your business EASY!

Principle 4: Turn your staff into a TEAM.

Unfortunately, business owners are trying to do it all on their own. They often do not train their team regularly with team meetings or one on one allocated time every week. I believe you have one role as a business owner, to be a great teacher! Your aim should be to teach everyone in your business how to do everything you currently do, better than you do! And what does that then make you? Obsolete! When business owners think no one can do my job as good as me, they are digging a big hole for themselves they will never get out of. Then they wonder why they are stressed, tired, work long hours and this happens more and more as the business grows. TEAM stands for Training Everyone Achieves More!

Principle 5: Build foundations for growth.

If you want to build your business to provide a great lifestyle you need to put foundations in, just like building any building. If you do not intend to really increase your profits, then you do not need foundations. If you want to seriously increase your net profit percentage (even without increasing turnover) you must have strong foundations. When they build a skyscraper, they do not build up, they dig a big hole down.

The foundations in business are 2 things. First, having documented systems. A system is just a best way of doing something that everyone knows and uses that has been identified and written down. It helps consistency and efficiency and as you grow people are accountable to the systems, not to you the owner. That means you save time checking on everyone. Systems only work when you have worked with your staff to turn them into a TEAM.

Secondly, measuring everything is part of building foundations. If you have not measured your Key Performance Indicators how will you improve on them? Increasing Net Profit percentage of turnover comes from improving everything you currently do, remember?

I could write a book on measuring, it is so important, I cannot emphasize it enough. When you have measured all your KPI’s you are ready for…

Principle 6: Implement EFFECTIVE Sales and Marketing.

Everyone in business is already doing sales and marketing but how effective is it? You know when you have effective sales and marketing, here is how: you will not get so many price shoppers as your marketing already has “sold” them on buying from you. Your marketing is so effective you only must run it a third as much because you cannot handle the increase in customers it brings you. And you will know your sales and marketing is effective because you put your prices up 20% and increase your conversion with the price rise!

People in business do not take responsibility for their sales and marketing and as a result they do not get the results they desire. If you learn sales and marketing by paying a professional for a few months, it will be the best investment you ever make. Once you learn the principles of success you can then add to them yourself, but often you need an expert to get you started.

Principles 7: Manage the business.

Unfortunately, businesses are not managed at all well. You can tell by these examples… decisions are not based on numbers, there are not documented systems, regular weekly team meetings are not happening nor is weekly one on one team training.

Management is all the above; it is making decisions on numbers. e.g. you measure how many customers you serve in a week for each team member and measure the number of new customers each week and then work out your team can service 5 customers each per week. That means if your marketing can produce 5 new customers and if you are at maximum service capacity you need to be thinking about getting a new team member very soon.

This is what management is, training your team weekly, documenting systems, measuring numbers, making decisions on numbers, setting goals, and helping your team to achieve their own.

When you dedicate time to learn and then follow all 7 Principles, in the order above anything is possible. I have had clients increase their monthly turnover by 1,000% in just 5 months when the business was not growing at all and the owners did it with ease and grace, no stress at all!

What is your growth potential? Are you realizing it yet? If you are not growing at 50%-100% a year you’re possibly not growing as fast as you could!

Think and Become Successful

Success means a different thing to different people. Some may think that to succeed you must be a good parent. Others will think that to succeed means that your bank balance is a million dollars or more. While others have a much simpler approach, they think that if they wake up still breathing, then they have succeeded.

Regardless of what your definition is for Success, they all have one thing in common they first began as a thought.

Every human striving for the elusive Success Experience all imagined what success needs to be for them. They chose at a subconscious level what it will take for them to feel that they have succeeded in their life.

At this point most of us stop using our minds to picture Success and start using it to figure out a way to get there. The tragedy is that to get there, you must continually use your mind to see the result.

Here is an example. You are a professional sports player, and all your life you have wanted to be the person holding the trophy at the end of the season, having worked with your team to beat the other players in the competition. The idea came to you when you were 9 years old. And since then, you have gone to bed each night imagining yourself holding that trophy and seeing yourself having completed the task that will make you a Success.

Well, at least one (and most likely thousands more) famous athlete did just that. Michael Jordan thought constantly about winning the NBA championship, and this set him on a path that saw him become one of the most dominating players in the basketball game ever seen.

Turning on the power in your brain to see what the result is that you want to achieve is the fuel that will drive your actions.

Not only does visualizing your ultimate result in your mind give you the energy to chase after the goal, it prepares yourself for the eventual outcome of success. Because you have thought and worked and strived toward your ultimate goal for so long, when it eventually comes your way, you know in the very depth of your being that you deserve it. You have every right to enjoy the money, accolades, compliments, and praise that your successful result will bring.

Instead of reacting to your success with shock the What Do I Do Now Syndrome you will accept your success as totally normal. After all, you have seen yourself achieving this result for years, so it is about time, right?

So, how do you work on visualizing your success? The good news is you already do what is needed for this to work. You daydream. Sounds a bit weird, I know, but spend time imagining yourself doing the thing or having the thing that you have determined to equal success. If it is having a wonderful family, you imagine that – the peaceful home environment, the well-adjusted children, and the confident and assured parent that you are. If Success for you is running a large organization, see yourself in your office (or favorite beach), your staff members working hard and happily on their tasks, with happy customers and clients calling you about how they enjoy your service immensely.

By spending time each week seeing in your mind yourself reaching the Success you want, you are mentally preparing yourself for that event. And in doing so, your body reacts to it in the only way it can it starts to act out what the mind wants. It will start to find ways that it can achieve this vision in your mind, because the body and mind are two parts of the same coin. What one wants, the other must as well.

So, even if you don’t believe in any of that mind-body stuff, it is fun seeing yourself doing what you so desperately want to do (or be, or have), and will help to motivate you to achieve your goals.

Vending Machine Business Ultimate Guide

Ads for vending machines for sale are not something that you would regularly find in the classifieds. However, there are many of opportunities to buy different types of vending machines available online. Some of these even have established routes, which means that you can literally walk into an established vending machine business. The seller will also give you the details on where and how to get the supplies you need. By looking over the financial records you can see briefly how you can make money when there are vending machines for sale.

When you want to buy vending machines, you should look at the used vending machines for sale. This will cut down substantially on your initial investment. If you buy the machines from a person retiring from the vending machine business, more than likely you will need to have all the money upfront. If you buy the vending machines from a company, there is a good chance that you can lease the equipment or make monthly payments. Then you have the money you need to purchase the vending machine supplies you need to make a second income.

Most people that get started in the vending machine business do so to generate a second income. With a few vending machines, you can set up a route so that you visit the machines on weekends of even after work. You will need to find a supplier that can sell you the supplies you need in bulk and at a price with which you can make a high profit. Vending machine supplies are relatively inexpensive, but you may need to have a part of your home that you use for storage. Used vending machines for sale offer the best way to get started, but you do need to make sure the machines are working properly so that you won’t have to spend money in costly repairs.

Contact a vending machine distributor to see what vending machines he/she has for sale. This will give you a good idea of how much money you will need to buy vending machines. All the machines are in different price ranges. For example, candy vending machines for sale are a lot cheaper than snack or beverage vending machines. The distributor may or may not be able to sell you the vending machine supplies, but he/she will certainly be able to recommend places where you can buy your supplies.

When you see vending machines for sale, the ones that appeal to you will depend on how you want to proceed in the vending machine business. If you only want to generate a small income on the side, you might only buy vending machines for dispensing candy. As you get used to the business, though, you will probably expand and buy several larger machines. Usually the companies that sell the vending machines also sell the vending machine supplies or you may be able to work out a deal with a wholesaler in your area. Whichever machines you decide to go with, there is no doubt that you can make money when you find vending machines for sale.

Vending machines are extremely popular. There are also photo booth vending machines, which are quite a hit amongst the youngsters. You can buy snacks and beverages, as well as newspapers from vending machines. This newspaper machine is also called a Vending Box, where many identical newspapers are piled up. Once a sale has been completed, the door returns to a locked position on its own. You can just open the box and take all the newspapers or leave all the newspapers outside the box for others. You may also put the door to an unlatched position slowly or block the door from fully closing. This machine is set up assuming that the customers are honest and pick up only the newspaper they have paid for. Hence, the name “Honor Box”.

The items sold in vending machines depend on country to country. Some countries do sell alcoholic beverages like beer, where in some countries this is not allowed. Even cigarettes were sold on a large scale in the U.S before, but now we rarely find them due to concerns about under aged buyers. You can only buy when you insert a pass in the machine to prove your age, though in some European country’s cigarette machines are still common.

Types of vending machines:

Some of the popular ones are:

– Bulk candy and gum ball vending machines: These machines are completely mechanical, where you can get candies, a bouncy ball, or a small toy or jewelry, for one or two coins. The items you get would be purely by chance, as the items may be unsorted. The machines are cheaper compared to soft drink or snack machines. Many operators, to save the money to pay for the locations, they donate a percentage of the profits to charity.

– Full line vending machines: Here you can buy cans or bottles of soft drinks and snacks. As the demand for drinks and snacks are high, these machines have the advantage that many locations contact a vending company themselves, and request for installation of a machine.

– Specialized vending machines: These are the machines that you find in ladies restrooms to buy pads or tampons, and in men’s restrooms the most common is condoms, though in some places you can also find medicines and dispensing cologne machines.

Maintenance:

It is advisable to periodically clean refrigeration condensers, lubricate mechanical parts, and adjust the machines to avoid any problems. In case the machine breaks down, vending machine repairers fix the obvious problems, like loose electrical wires, malfunctions of the coin mechanism, and leaks. However, if it’s a major problem, then testing devices such as electrical circuit testers are to be used to find defective parts, and the defective part is either fixed or replaced. While servicing, a circuit board or other component is only replaced. These repairers employed by small companies, fill and fix machines on a regular basis. They collect money, fill coin and currency changers, and repair machines when necessary.

Who owns these machines?

These vending machines in the U.S are mostly operated either by store owners or by individuals, who buy the machines or rent them. They stock the merchandise and share a certain percentage of the profits. The vending machine businesses operated by these individuals are broadly categorized into two; bulk candy, and soft drink/snack vending. There are also other machines like U.S. Postal Service machines which are maintained by governmental or quasi-governmental entities. Whatever the type of independent vending operation, the entrepreneur must play the active role of a salesman in persuading locations to accept the machine.

You can find a vending machine supplier for just about any product under the sun that you want to sell through your vending machines. When you are getting started in this business it is best to try to find a unique product that you know customers want to buy. Cold food is one of the hottest items on the market today because people like to get something quick from a vending machine when they don’t have time for a sit-down lunch. Cookies are another option that you can keep in mind when looking for a vending machine supplier.

A vending machine supplier usually has a vending machine program from which you can learn the basics of getting started in the vending machine business. In such a program you can learn about the pros and cons of the cold food vending machine or whether you should start off with something small, such as a candy vending machine. You can opt for full service when you buy a vending machine. Cold food vending machine suppliers will assume the costs of the machine and servicing for a monthly commission.

You can also buy or rent your cold food vending machine from a distributor and then look for a vending machine supplier for the products that you want to sell. You can even do this yourself if you sell cold sandwiches, for example. It will require more work on your part, but you can make the sandwiches yourself for the vending machine. Cold food sells well where there are places where people often pick up a sandwich from the vending machine as a snack to tide them over until mealtime.

A cold food vending machine has a glass front so that the customers can see the full range of products inside. It is about the size of a refrigerator and needs electricity, so you do need to have a large area available when you want to place this type of vending machine. Cold food that you can look at including in this type of machine includes sandwiches, but there are many other types of cold food that you can buy from a vending machine supplier. These include such things as cookies, donuts, fruit juice, small containers of fruit and even yogurt.

A vending machine supplier sells in bulk. In general, you need to buy cases of the products, so this means you need to have a cooled area in which you store them. When you visit each of the cold food vending machines on your route, you should have a sample of all the products with you so that you can restock the ones that have sold out. It is important to check these vending machines on a regular basis so that the cold food is always fresh and not out of date. Therefore it is important to buy your products from a reputable vending machine supplier that has a best before date well in advance of when you make your purchase.

A vending machine manufacturer is the company that makes a specific type of vending machine. You will not come across manufacturers of several different types of vending machines, such as gumball machines and drink machines. Therefore when you want to get started in the vending machine business, it is best to work through a vending machine distributor. The distributor purchases the machines you want from each vending machine manufacturer to offer you a selection of machines for your route.

Most people start out in the vending machine business start out with one or two gumball machines. This gives them an idea of whether they can survive in this type of business and the kind of money that they can make if they decide to expand. You will need to find a reputable vending machine manufacturer that makes coin-operated gumball machines. A gumball machine manufacturer usually has several different designs of machines for you to choose from.

Doing an online search is the easiest way to find a vending machine manufacturer with the type of machines that you want for your business. Usually a gumball machine manufacturer also has vending machines for selling all kinds of candy, small toys in bubbles and dried fruits and nuts. You can choose a gumball machine that dispenses one bubblegum, one candy or a handful of candies. You can also get these machines from which you can sell packages of candy.

The gumball machine manufacturer you choose can preset the vending machine to whatever price you want to charge for your product. When you purchase the machine from a vending machine manufacturer, you also get a warranty for a specified period of time so that if anything goes wrong, the repairs won’t cost you any money. Along with the purchase of a vending machine, the manufacturer will provide you with an instruction manual so that you know exactly how to refill the gumball machine and how to make any minor repairs on your own. The warranty is something that you do have to really look at when you are investing in vending machines.

Although it is best for you to deal with a distributor, you need to do your homework about the vending machine manufacturer to make sure that this company does make good machines. The distributor will also help you install the vending machines, so you are not left completely out in the cold when you are trying to get your vending machine business off the ground. A vending machine manufacturer only makes the machines it will not help you get the best locations. That is also an important step in having a successful business.

Vending machine distributors are an especially important part of getting started in the vending machine business. Distributors are the people from whom you can buy the vending machines. A distributor buys the machines from a vending machine manufacturer and can be a single person or a large company. This is another way that you can get started in this type of business by becoming a distributor. Vending machine distributors can also make a lot of money, but the investment needed is much higher.

Distributors of vending machines work in close conjunction with vending machine manufacturers. This allows them to form close relationships so that a vending machine manufacturer distributor has access to the latest models of vending machines that come on the market. Vending machine distributors deal in all types of machines and if they don’t have the specific one you want; they have the means of getting the machines you want available to them. It is a lot easier to work with a vending machine distributor to get the machines you want than to try to search for each type individually.

Since vending machine distributors are important to manufacturers, the manufacturers of vending machines go out of their way to accommodate a distributor that has become an important client. You benefit from working through a vending machine manufacturer distributor because you reap the savings through getting a better price on the machines. Distributors sell both new and used vending machines, offering you different price ranges. These used machines are refurbished, which means that they have been completely overhauled and are as good as new.

When you are looking for vending machine distributors, you do need to look at how they conduct their business. A vending machine manufacturer distributor that doesn’t seem to be organized probably would not be the best one to deal with if you are new to the vending machine business. Distributors of vending machines do need to have a complete account of what machines they sell and should be able to offer you valuable advice about how to succeed in this business.

Vending machine distributors often sell the bulk products that you need for your machines. You can take advantage of a combination package by buying the vending machines and the products in a package deal to save money. Quite often the distributors of vending machines can put you in contact with a person who is selling an established route. This means that the vending machines are already in place. Vending machine distributors will also be able to give you advice about the best locations for you to place your machines.

How to Earn Money Through Bitcoin

Since the introduction of digital currency, Bitcoins have become popular there has been an emergence of ways through which someone earns money with bitcoins.

1.      Bitcoin mining

Despite the bitcoins mining tools requiring a lot of energy to run, still, there is an advantage of creating bitcoins. The profit margins for single bitcoin earners is not very high; therefore mining pools where many people mine bitcoins is a cost efficient tool.

2.      Faucets

 For people who do not mind getting involved in small tasks, various websites reward people on solving captchas through awarding bitcoins. Faucets do require a lengthy amount of time to get a substantial amount.

3.      Mobile games

Mobile games such as Oh Crop reward players by bitcoins. Players get to remove evil plants in the crop. Players get reimbursements upon watching advertised videos. Some games like Multiplayer PVP players earn through referrals.

4.      Read books

Here is another way of earning through performing a given task.  PaidBooks.com is a site where a variety of books are available and users earn through reading books. The sites pay higher bitcoins than faucets.

5.      Earn through watching short videos

There are various sites such as Vidybit where all someone needs is a bitcoin account or a Xapo account.  A few minutes after watching the given video, a payment is issued. Vidybit is a single site that offers instant payment. It provides numerous videos and different channels where anyone can watch and get paid daily.

6.      Earn bitcoins as a regular income

Just like other currencies are used in making payments, bitcoins can be used. If it is acceptable in your workplace, you can get bitcoins paycheck. Apart from working in an enterprise, anyone can get paid through working online on freelance sites such as Bitcoins vacancy. Freelancing will allow anyone to work from home.

7.      Play dice

Sites like free dice enable one to play dice with the minimal balance in their account. A user having a considerable amount of time can turn the small amount into a huge amount through playing dice.

8.      Earn through online trading

Despite the fear of hackers stealing funds, there are many sites where anyone can trade bitcoins with other digital currencies and earn income. That person just needs to have basic speculation skills to determine when the rates are high and sell the bitcoins.

9.      Earn as payment or getting tipped

Earn bitcoins through accepting them as a form of payment and getting tipped by customers. All you need is a wallet and a QR code with your bitcoins register. Bitcoins act as a means of exchange in an online shop as well as tips from blog pages.

10.    Programs

Several programs enable the users to earn bitcoins. For example, TryBTC take users through the process of wallets, addresses, transactions and gives free bitcoins to users.

Anyone can earn money using one or more of the listed strategies. However, the amount of income generated from each method may vary.

Introduction to Bitcoin

Bitcoin can seem complicated if you are trying to understand the concept behind the whole idea of online currency transactions. However, things may appear difficult only if you do not know what to look for and what it takes for Bitcoin transactions that may not feature in most other conventional ones. If you are having problems trying to understand the whole concept, do not worry, here are some of the basics.

As much as the whole idea of Bitcoin is based on online transactions, it can be viewed from a physical transaction perspective for a better understanding.

Look at it this way; you are sharing something with someone, this could be money, fruit, books, you name them. Then, it is only the two of you. You do not need to involve another person to witness it, nor do you have any concerns over the authentication of the transfer of ownership.

The state of property shifts permanently from one person to the other, and the second owner can further transfer the ownership to yet a third owner. Well, Bitcoin operates similarly.  

The only difference is that in most cases, Bitcoin operates on digital money. Now, here is where several issues come up. Unlike exchange in real life, the digital one can come with its fair share of challenges.

One of this is determining how the exchange of ownership can be confirmed and whether or not the previous owner had shared it with someone else or in public. This raises the concern of double spending, which has been a challenge yet to be solved.

Well, some measures such as digital ledgers can be used to counter this problem. In such a case, a third party will have to be involved to oversee the transactions carried out.  However, this comes with its downside as well. The person responsible for tracking the sales can interfere with the process by creating more bitcoins.

This issue can be avoided by making the whole process public, where such a ledger can be shared on everyone’s computer. The process will involve the use of open source codes and rules that will help achieve a more secure and improved surveillance of the transactions and monitoring of the entities in question.

This remedy comes in handy, thanks to three crucial aspects. One of them is the main idea that everything is in public domain, where everyone knows the number of pieces available, which is the amount in the case of Bitcoin.

Secondly, upon a transaction, anyone will understand that the transfer of ownership has been completed, as the public ledger will update and verify the process.

Lastly, with the ledger shared by all, there is no need for a third party to oversee your transaction, the owner cannot sell it twice or more, just as it would be the case in a physical setting. 

 Bitcoin involves a simple process that does not have to be complicated. Despite people finding it difficult to understand, looking at it this way makes things easier and clear.

Eight Steps to Earning Bitcoins

There are many ways in which someone can trade bitcoins and make money. Each of the following ways enables the users to earn.

1.       Accept them as a means of Payment

If you run any kind of business whether wholesale or retail, earn through accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment. There are various steps in which you can register to earn from Bitcoin. First, register for an online Bitcoin wallet from Coinbase.  Second, display a QR base on my wallet section to allow you to add or receive funds. Lastly, include the Bitcoin accepted here logo in your online business.

2.       Complete tasks Online

Most websites offer free bitcoins from people visiting their sites.  Once you get to their sites, before earning the free bitcoins you will get to see adverts or a music clip.  Still, there are sites where you complete analytical tasks while on others free bitcoins is an additional gift on some kind of purchase made.

3.       Earn from interest on payments

If you already have some bitcoins you can earn through lending them out and earning interest. Still, you should be careful to whom you are lending to avoid losses. 

4.       Bitcoin mining

Mining refers to the process where bitcoins are generated. During mining, each new transaction is recorded in a block chain where the old and new searches are stored. Mining hardware is expensive having most creators to join a mining pool. Here, you do not need to earn your new mining area.

5.       Earn Bitcoins from getting tipped

Earning through tips is similar to earning while one is receiving payments. Open a Bitcoin wallet, a QR code with your bitcoin address on it. People potential to tip you need to know your bitcoin address. One can be tipped through their online shop or a blog. Since there is no substantial amount of tipped bitcoins, a QR code is sufficient for knowing what transaction took place on a specific day.

6.       Earn through trading

Arbitrage trading is a way in which various traders can earn money. A trader spots an opportunity for purchasing an item in one location and selling it on another location at a higher price.  Bitworld trading comes with its set of difficulties. It is not easy to find trading opportunities. Yet sometimes when the opportunities are available they are not open to everyone. Traders need to keenly look into each opportunity.

7.       Earn Bitcoins as a regular income

Just like other forms of monetary payments, if your organization allows you can be paid by bitcoins. Still, there are only a few organizations that can accept payment through bitcoins.  Freelancing is one way in which someone can be paid through bitcoins. Jobs for bitcoin on Reddit are a good platform for freelancers to work on.

8.       Earn through gambling- not suitable for all

Despite the cons of gambling, there are many bitcoin gambling sites where someone can earn money through gambling.

The eight listed methods are a sure way of earning through bitcoins. Some methods are simple while others call for skillful users to succeed.

How to Choose A Private Label Rights Website?

How to choose a good PLR website is always a difficult question for a web publisher as they have started to increasingly depend on Private Label Rights sites or PLR websites for their website content.

If you are a web publisher and if you are serious about the success of your web publishing business, then you need to necessarily rely on populating your website with quality content. One way of doing it is creating the content yourself. It is, indeed, a very time-consuming e…

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How to choose a good PLR website is always a difficult question for a web publisher as they have started to increasingly depend on Private Label Rights sites or PLR websites for their website content.

If you are a web publisher and if you are serious about the success of your web publishing business, then you need to necessarily rely on populating your website with quality content. One way of doing it is creating the content yourself. It is, indeed, a very time-consuming exercise.

Having your website content written by high quality writers is another option. Even though, this option will yield unique articles and content for your website, unless you have a very deep pocket, it will work out to be a highly costly affair.

The third alternative that many of the web publishers are opting for is becoming a member of a few good PLR websites. These sites create PLR content and distributes them among its members who are allowed to use these contents as their own. In other words, the members can publish these contents and claim author credit for these contents. Normally, a monthly membership fee is charged by these PLR websites from their members.

Now, the question is that what are the criteria by which you would judge the quality of these sites. You, as a member, are not getting your money’s worth unless you are getting the expected quality of content and service from these sites.

1. Subscribe to their mailing list:

When you opt-in to subscribe to the mailing list of the PLR website, they normally offer a few PLR articles or a PLR product as a goodwill gesture. This will give you a chance to look at their product quality and judge them. There is every possibility that they may offer their best of bests just to impress you. But, all the same, this will give you a fair idea about their capabilities and quality of content. So, you know what to expect from them.

2. Read the Sales Copy carefully:

Before you subscribe to the PLR website, you need to read the sales copy very carefully. Be clear on the following:

a) Is the sales copy professionally created or is it a shoddy job?

b) What is the content that is being offered on a monthly basis?

c) Would you have regular use for these contents?

d) How long has the PLR website been in existence?

e) Do they offer a 100% money back guarantee within a certain time period, say, if refund requested within 30 days?

f) After the initial guarantee period, what are the conditions under which they allow cancellation of memberships?

Let me give an example of a PLR membership site whose conditions of cancellation are extremely strict. If you wanted to cancel your membership, then you would be required to pay two extra months membership fees as penalty if you want to legally use the previously downloaded content. If you do not pay the two months extra fees, then you are not legally allowed to hold on to the previously downloaded content. And, the monthly fees that they were charging was also comparatively much higher than the other good quality PLR websites.

3. Check Prices:

In case they are offering PLR articles, for the purpose of comparison, you need to have a benchmark pricing.

If you engage an article writer to create a good quality article exclusively for you, then it would cost around $10 – $15 per article of 400 – 500 words length.

Since, the PLR website offers every article to around 350 – 500 members, so the per article cost should not be more than 20 – 25c per article.

Of course, the price would go up if the PLR website is also offering add-ons like sales letter, graphics for header, footer, background, etc., along with the main product. Or, they may also offer a package deal per month like, a full AdSense website or a eBook with audio, etc. Then, the pricing would vary accordingly.

4. Tryout The PLR website:

During the 100% Money Back Guarantee period, try out all the features of the site. Understand what is being offered. Sometimes, a few of the negative aspects of the site or even certain adverse conditions may be suppressed in the sales copy. So, go through each aspect of the site thoroughly including terms of use, privacy statement and other conditions of use.

If you find that certain aspects of the site or certain conditions may adversely affect your business interests either in the present or in the future, then communicate your apprehensions with the PLR website owner. If you are uncomfortable about the condition even after getting a response from the site owner, then it would be better to cancel the membership immediately.

5. Understand Future Plans

From the sales copy or from the membership site once you join, clearly understand what the short term and long terms are plans the site owner has for her/his PLR website. Communicate with the site owner, if need be, and understand their business plans pertaining to that site.

This should give you a fair idea about the intentions of the site owner regarding his/her PLR website. Is (s)he planning to grow the PLR website business? What are the new features or functionalities that (s)he is planning to introduce and within what time frame?

In fact, I know a few very good PLR websites that have stood the test of time and quality parameters. The above analysis will help you to choose and stay with the best of the PLR websites in existence today and get the best benefits out of it for your content creation needs.

Four Women’s Clothing Brands to Sell for Profit on eBay

Clothes sell a lot on eBay. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Easy to find: there is a wide range of pre-owned clothing from different sources.
  • Easy to buy: the clothes are expensive and, in some cases, free.
  • Easy to resell: there are so many people who need clothes.
  • Easy to store: you will not need much room.
  • Easy to ship: packaging is not labor-intensive, and clothes are not breakable.
  • Easy profit: there are brands that sell for more than $100 (used).
  • Consumable: clothing must be replaced every now and then.
  • Customers buy multiples in most cases.
  • Wide range of items to sell.

What brands should you focus on as a seller?

Study, a lot. You never stop learning on eBay. New trends are always coming up and some brands become more popular.

How to know what’s hot:

  • Open an Instagram account and follow fashion leaders.
  • Read fashion magazines to see what is advertised.
  • Check the completed listings on eBay.
  • Use Terapeak to identify popular categories and hot products.

As an eBay seller, you can always count on change. The best way to arm yourself is to be knowledgeable. The more knowledge you have, the more you will sell. Focus on how much your item can sell for, as opposed to whether it will sell. Any product will sell if it is priced at 99 cents. However, that will not make sense if you bought the item for $9. Before you buy to resell, look at the possible profit. Lucky for you, there are eBay calculators that can help you determine your profit. The profit you will make depends on how much you paid and what you will sell for. Anthropologie is a store with trendy, stylish and comfortable clothing. It is found in malls. It is expensive and although millennials love it, they can barely afford it. If you want to make money with this brand, know the labels of the sub-brands. Anthro items do not have “Anthropologie” on the label. Use the eBay mobile app to know if an item is an Anthro item. Alternatively, look for the RN#.

A few sub-brands include:

  • Tracy Reese
  • Elevenses
  • Girls from Savoy
  • Sparrow
  • Free People
  • Olivia Grace
  • Field and Flower
  • Tabitha
  • Isabella Bird

St. John

This is another popular brand. Some of its items have Marie Gray on the label. You can sell this brand for over $1,500. Best selling items include:

  • Tops
  • Swimwear
  • Sweaters
  • Suits
  • Skirts
  • Pants
  • Outerwear
  • Dresses
  • Cardigans
  • Blazers/Jackets

Eileen Fisher clothes are gorgeous and easy to wear. When selling this brand, focus on clothes that are comfortable. They should be versatile too. The retail price for this brand can be high, especially linen jackets. Ralph Laurel clothes come in different levels of price and quality. The cheapest is the Green Label and the most expensive is Black Label (for women). This brand is very expensive and valuable on eBay. The items may be hard to find but they are worth the trouble.

The 7 Virtues of Bushido

The Bushido was made up of seven virtues. They were the cores of the Samurai. Not only was it their way of life, but also who they were. You need to understand the Bushido first in order to understand the Samurai. Although it was not formalized and was just an unspoken code, Bushido became so popular that some elements were made into law during the Edo Period.

Bushido made its way into America around 1900 through a book, Bushido: The Soul of Samurai or Bushido: The Soul of Japan. Nitobe Inazo wrote the book. He was a Japanese scholar, author, agricultural economist, politician, and diplomat.

The book has received criticism for romanticizing a non-existent chivalrous age. Some Samurai were landowners and political figures who abused their power. Most Samurai, however, were strict followers of Bushido. So, what is Bushido and how can you apply it to your modern life? You do not have to practice martial arts to follow Bushido.

But you have to be fearless and ready to make huge sacrifices for a higher purpose. Morality/Rectitude: this is the ability to make choices and behave according to accepted moral standards.

The upper part of the kanji “Gi” represents a sheep. In ancient China, that was the symbol of beauty. The lower part is the ‘I’ character with a slanting stroke, which represents a halberd. This character can be translated to “understanding (sheep) after conflict (halberd).”

Courage: this is the quality of spirit or mind that gives someone the ability to face danger, difficulty, adversity, or pain without fear. To some people, it is synonymous to bravery. However, the two are noticeably distinct.

Bravery is the ability to face a tough situation without fear while courage is choosing to do something difficult despite the presence of fear.

The kanji “Yuu” stands for courageous. It is usually written as “Yuuki”. “Ki” is energy. Together they make courageous energy. Benevolence: this is the desire to do and be good to others. The Samurai had the physical and legal power to kill. They controlled their powers with mercy and benevolence.

On the left side of the kanji “Jin” is the human character and on the right are two horizontal strokes, representing the number two. The Jin is akin to the golden rule. Rei: this can be defined as respect or politeness.

The Japanese are known for their respectfulness and politeness.

Rei dictates your actions towards other people in a society.

The character symbolizes ceremony or rite but generally means respect. Honesty: The Samurai were so honest that they never relied on written contracts since that would signify doubting their word.

The kanji “makoto” means veracity, truth in action and in word, to truly adhere to the law of the universe.

Honor: Samurai were known to live and die by their honor. They strived toward fame and not knowledge or wealth.

“Meiyo” comprises of two kanji. “Mei” stands for reputation and “yo” is to admire or to praise. “Meiyo” is to find joy in a good reputation.

Loyalty: in the Samurai era, loyalty was of more value than life.

“Chuugi” is made up of two characters. “Chuu” is to be loyal or sincere. “Gi” means right duty or action. “Chuugi”, therefore, is to be loyal or act in faithfulness. All the virtues are interwoven together.

Everyone must embrace and practice the Bushido virtues consciously until they become second nature.

“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.” -Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Growing Your Business with Private Label Rights and eBay

A lot of Internet marketers use private label rights (PLR) products and eBay to grow their businesses.

Some PLR memberships come packaged with keyword lists. Use these along with other research tactics to find popular selling items in your niches. You can use the free eBay Pulse section or eBay’s research paid tools to see which products are popular sellers / hot items: check out the auction prices, win info, digital photos, auction sales copy, and specials or bonuses, etc. The goal is to see what you think prompted shoppers to place bids and compete.

Find good PLR products to sell. Check the rights you have with your license to make sure you can sell your PLR on eBay. Some may require minimum pricing or minimum changes to the original content first. Then package some PRL content into small reports to sell at low cost as lead generators. And package other PLR content as upsells eBooks, guides, etc. These can be sold either through high-priced auctions and / or off eBay through your own website, ezine / newsletter or blog.

Set up a basic plan to tackle the following, automating what you can and systemizing the rest for optimum results with minimal effort, time and money:

– Packing and branding your PLR content.

– Adding money-making avenue streams to your packages and PLR content: affiliate product ads and links, banner ads, graphics links to sales pages, etc.

– Uploading the electronic files to your delivery area, setting up automated delivery systems.

Start with baby steps. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on the best video, audio, photo, word processing, automation and other software, for example. Take it easy and proceed slow and steady. Ask on Internet marketing and other forums to see which types of software are available for free or cheap and which have free trial downloads. Automation and other shopping cart systems also offer trials at no charge. So, surf around and tire kick. Then slowly grow as sales close, maybe partnering with a friend to co-create packages or getting creative other ways with joint venture opportunities.

Test different PLR package combinations, automation and delivery set ups, stats, your ad copy and other aspects of your business and operations over time. Then as you find good items and systems that work, repeat them. Thus you’ll have your own systems and won’t need to waste more time, money and effort on these aspects of our business.

Invest in your business with advanced Internet marketing training, eBay tools and training, your own niche training, etc. Don’t get lazy. Stay in tune with the marketplace.

Keep trying. Don’t let a failure hold you back. Re-brand something, re-package it, revise it – -and try again. No one is successful 100% of the time. Hang in there. Encourage others and they’ll encourage you in return.

Put these tips to work for your business. Join a lot of Internet marketers who use PLR products and eBay, and grow your business, too.

When you are at all into internet marketing, chances are that you have put some thought into choosing a Private Label Rights membership site, although you may not know just how to go about doing so. It is all too easy to go about just choosing any old PLR site and deciding to submit your information for Private Label Rights membership, but just as it is with any other project it is important to know that not every PLR site is the same.

First, it is important to know just what a private label rights membership is. Private label rights membership sites give you access to content that has private label rights attached to it. The catch is that you get the opportunity to modify the content that you gain access to and make a profit for it. Good, rich content from private label rights membership is one of the best ways to make money on the web and without that rich web content it is difficult to gain any internet traffic at all, making it rather difficult to make a tidy sum by managing your site like you would probably like to.

Of course, not everybody is an effective writer. In this case, private label rights memberships are the way to go. Let’s face it: not everybody has those skills, but private label rights membership sites give people the opportunity to gain access to content that can help make their content much easier to come by. Rewriting or modifying PLR articles to make original content is a great way to save some money on web content, and many people can do that even though they may not be able to write great keyword rich articles otherwise.

Just as any other product out on the market, every PLR membership site is not as good as the next PLR membership site, and there are certain factors that any internet marketer, aspiring or otherwise, should take into consideration before paying any money for a private label rights membership.

How Widely Will My PLR Content Be Distributed?

While some PLR sites restrict the number of times that their content can be distributed to a mere few, still others disperse content to just about anybody who asks for it. This is not the best thing to do, as it makes the likelihood of duplicate content penalties even more likely and that is never good for you. As an internet marketer you must protect your search engine rankings as vigorously as you can, and you should keep this in mind when choosing a private label rights membership site.

Just because a PLR site has hundreds of members does not mean that they distribute the same content to all of those members, but you are goi8ng to have to read their terms and perhaps even contact the private label rights membership site administrator to find out for sure.

Can You Obtain Niche Content from The PLR Membership Site?

Private label rights membership sites go about various ways of distributing their content while others just distribute it in any manner, they deem the most fitting. Your best bet is to find a PLR membership site that distributes content in a niche, so that you can rest assured that the content you are getting is relevant to the site you are working on. Some people have many niche sites, so the content subject matters less than for those who manage just a few sites and need content on skin care, aging, pets, or health.

A good private label rights membership site maintains niche related content and limits the number of times that a certain site of private label rights content can be distributed.

How Often Is Content Updated?

While there are a lot of private label rights membership sites out there, not all of them keep their content updated. Some of these sites tend to recycle content time after time, and while that may not always present a problem a good internet marketer wants as original content as they can possibly have. For this reason, it is important to make sure that the private label rights membership site out there updates their content and gets new content in daily.

A good way to tell this for sure is to see whether they allow you to subscribe for new packages. If they are willing to send you PLR packages on a consistent basis, chances are that their content is updated a lot more often than many of the sites that require that you visit the site homepage to request more content.

If content is updated on a consistent basis, it is much easier to have a consistent working relationship with your PLR membership site, making life much easier for you in the end. If you belong to one private label rights membership site, you should not have to belong to another one. If you are unable to get everything that you need in one private label rights membership site then they are probably not the site that you want to invest your money into and risk having unoriginal content.

Private label rights content is a great way to make some extra cash using the internet without having to go through the pains and strains of creating original content for yourself, but just as it is with any other service there are things to consider that you should keep in mind. Make a good choice in PLR sites and you will see the dollars flowing in from the rich, original content you have placed on your site.

How to Make Money with Private Label E-books Resell Rights

In the past, whenever a reader wanted to pick up a book they often went to their local library or bookstore.  Now, more readers are getting their books online. These books are being marketed as e-books.  E-books come in a format that is easy to read off the computer, but they can also be printed.  If you are an experienced writer, you may be able to make money by creating your own e-books.

If you are interested in taking part in this money-making opportunity, you will first have to find a topic that will inspire readers to purchase your material. This can easily be done by using the internet.  You will want to look for popular topics that are being discussed online. It may also be a good idea to see if any e-books are already available, especially those with the topic that you intend to write on. You can still write an e-book on a popular topic, even one with numerous e-books already available; however, it may be more difficult to sell your completed e-book.

After you have found a topic and completed writing, you will then have to make an important decision. This decision may not only have an impact on how much money you make, but how much work additional work will be required. That decision is whether you want to sell your own e-book or have someone else do it for you. As you may assume, there are several advantages and disadvantage to each. To select the best option, you are advised to fully examine the advantages and disadvantages.  Doing so will allow you to make a more informed decision.

If you decide to sell your own e-book, you will find that it not only takes time, but money as well. Customers cannot purchase your e-book if they do not know that you have created one. For this reason, you will have to effectively market your e-book. This may involve the creation of a website and multiple informational articles.  You will need money to design and develop your own website.  If you are unfamiliar with web design, you may even need to hire the services of a professional website developer.  If time and money is something that you do not have, you may want to examine private label resell rights.

Private label resell rights are how many individuals are making money nowadays.  If you make the decision to have someone else sell your creation, you may want to take this route.  In a way, you will be giving away your e-book, for a fee of course. The person who purchases the resell rights to your e-book will then be able to sell it to the general public. This person will likely to be experienced in product advertisement. In addition to being experienced, these individuals are will likely have the time to market your e-book, whereas you might not.

When it comes to offering your e-book resell rights for sale, you will have several different options. There are many authors who allow their resell rights purchaser to alter their material and then claim the creation rights; however, this is not always the case.  By creating your own contract or user agreement, you should be able to stipulate what you want and do not want done with your e-book.

The individuals who purchase the right to resell your e-book will make an unspecified amount of money off the sale.  Many times, the amount of money they make will depend on how much work they put into marketing the e-book.  While you may be interested in pocketing this money yourself, it is important to understand how resell rights work. When offering your e-book resell rights for sale, you can put any price tag on it that you would like. This means that that you can control how much money you make. 

If you are interested in creating e-books for the purpose of offering private label resell rights, you are urged to start examining your options. As the popularity of private label resell rights increases, you may soon find that so does the competition. To make money off of this opportunity, you are encouraged to act fast before someone else creates an e-book just like yours.

How to Use Google AdWords to Drive Traffic to your Website

Highly targeted traffic is one of the most important entities in the internet universe. Any website owner or administrator recognizes the importance of driving traffic to a website. The success of any website does not rely entirely on the site itself. You may have a terrific idea for a website, offer an excellent product or service, or have an exceptionally designed site with superb content, but if you do not use the right strategies to advertise, your site would not attract the high traffic you need. Attracting targeted traffic is a task that should be taken seriously for any site to succeed or make a profit. Fortunately, there are internet-marketing tools that help the website marketer to drive traffic to his website. One of the most significant, and effective, of these tools is Google’s AdWords. AdWords is one of Google’s advertising services.

How does Google AdWords work? Google is the largest search engine on the web receiving over 200 million queries each day through its various services. As Google is the most popular search engine today, webmasters are keen on having their websites achieve a higher ranking in the search engine results it provides. A high ranking can mean high traffic for that website. The search engine results page is also a great venue for advertisers to promote a product or service through ads and links. Consequently, Google launched its AdWords service, as a way for businesses to advertise products and services to a targeted audience. Google Adwords can guarantee instant traffic. In this service, Google displays relevant text-based ads within its search engine results page termed as “Sponsored Links”. Whenever a keyword is searched on, these relevant links appear in a separate section giving excellent exposure to the sites listed.

How do you use Google AdWords? First, you must open an account with the Google AdWords Service. Then, you should indicate your target language and country. This is important because you would not want your products advertised in countries where your product or service cannot be sold. Afterwards, you should now create an ad group. This involves designing the ad, selecting keywords and determining maximum cost per click that you are willing to spend and defining bid amounts. The most important step in creating a successful AdWords campaign is selecting an effective title tag that will catch the attention of your target audience. The title tag, generally a short phrase, is the most important part of your AdWords campaign so make sure that it is attractive and catchy. You should describe the website clearly and accurately. The most effective advertising conveys a clear message to the target audience. With a clear message, you will be attracting qualified leads, which can eventually convert to sale. Thus, the importance of selecting the right keywords cannot be overemphasized.

There are keyword variations you can adapt to reach more prospects. Using these varieties, misspellings and derivatives can help increase the chance of your ads being served. Broad match is targeting keywords in a loosely defined manner. Here, the ads appear based on the keywords that have been queried by other users as opposed to exact match, which calls for the keyword to match the query exactly. Meanwhile, a keyword phrase set to phrase match will only appear when the exact phrase is searched on. A negative keyword is helpful in filtering unrelated pages.

After you have decided on what title tag to use in your ad, you must now define a budget in order to maximize exposure. Google AdWords recommend a daily budget for each campaign. However, you should determine a budget that is suitable and affordable. You should also determine the maximum cost per click. Google will offer a recommended cost per click, but you do not have to stick with this. Usually, a number one position is not ideal as it can also attract unwanted traffic and useless clicks. A number two position is more preferred as it can filter useless clicks and provide traffic with a higher conversion rate.

To conclude, Google AdWords is an excellent strategy and tool in giving your site maximum exposure. Nevertheless, Google AdWords should not be your sole advertising campaign. It will help you find the all-important, highly targeted traffic you need.

How to Use Classified Ads to Sell Your Private Label Product

The internet is filled with millions of business opportunities.  Many of these opportunities are legitimate, but others are not. One of the opportunities that you may found online involves the buying of private label resell rights. Unfortunately, there are too many individuals who mistakenly believe that this business opportunity is a scam. The reality is that it is a real, legitimate way to make money.

If you are interested in purchasing the resell rights to a private label product, you will first have to find a product to purchase.  There are several different products available; however, many of them are either for e-books or software programs.  Once you have found a product that you would be interested in obtaining the resell rights to, you will then have to find a specific product to purchase. For instance, if you are interested in purchasing the resell rights to an e-book, you will have to find an individual who has their e-book resell rights available for sale. This can easily be done by using the internet.

Once you have found and fully examined an offer, you will need to purchase the resell rights. The amount of money you need to pay will all depend on the person who is selling the rights to their product.  Resell rights typically cost a few hundred dollars.  While this may seem like a large investment, it is nothing compared to what many other business opportunities require. It is also important to note that you can easily recuperate the costs. This is because once you have obtained the resell rights to a product it is yours to alter and to sell.  You can get some great free tips on private label products at http://www.plrtips.com where you can download a great 2-part audio course at no cost to you.

When it comes to selling a product, in which the resell rights were legally obtained for, many individuals do not know where to start.  There are several different ways that you can go about selling a product, whether you created that product yourself.  One of those ways involves the use of classified ads. If you are interested in using this method, you will want to learn how to make the most out of classified ads.

When many individuals think of classified ads, the local newspaper is what often comes to mind.  Local newspaper classified ads are a great way to market and sell a product; however, they may not be as effective with software programs or e-books. This is because these types of products are most marketed to internet users.  Since internet users use the internet, it is important to do your marketing online. This can be done by using online classified ads.

With online classifieds, you will find that most are free to use.  That is why online classifieds are a great way to market your private label product.  Unlike many other advertising methods, they do not require any additional expenses.  If you are interested in finding a free classified website, you can easily do so by performing a standard internet search. That search should produce several results. Those results should be links to online classified websites. 

Your first impulse may be to place as many free advertisements as you can; however, you may want to rethink that thought.  By taking the time to research the market with the best potential, you could save yourself time.  For instance, many online classified websites only allow you to post local ads. This means that you must select a specific city for your advertisement to run. When doing so, you will want to pick cities that are not close to each other. This is because many residents not only search their local ads, but others as well. This will prevent your ad from appearing as spam.

As previously mentioned, you will find that several online classified websites are free to use; however, not all are. In your search, it is likely that you will come across classified websites that want you to pay them for running your advertisements.  It is your decision as to whether you want to pay that expense, but it is important to remember that you can do the same thing, elsewhere, free of charge.

Private label resell rights are an amazing opportunity, but you need to know how to make that opportunity work.  By keeping the above-mentioned points in mind, you should be able to make money by selling a product that you didn’t even create.

Seven Ways Writing Articles Can Help Your Business

In today’s highly competitive internet universe, the importance of attracting highly targeted traffic to your website cannot be overemphasized. Routing web traffic to your site can be your only means of survival, especially in the cutthroat world of ecommerce. Getting a high search engine ranking can be very difficult. Fortunately, there is plethora of website promotion strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website.

There is a wide variety of strategies you can adapt, from paid advertising to affiliate marketing. However, most of these techniques require payment. Nevertheless, there are ways to promote your website and increase your web traffic without spending anything. Writing articles is one of the best web site promotion strategies you can use, and they can be very effective. How, you may ask, can writing articles help improve your web traffic? Here are the top seven ways in which it can help explode your business.

1.Reach more people

When you write good articles, it would be a shame not to share them with other people. You can post your articles in your website or you can submit them to other sites such as e-zines and online publishers. By submitting your articles to these sites, you give exposure not only to your ideas but also to your website. Simply include a link back to your site or include your information in the resource box. With this, you get exposure and free advertising as well. Submit your articles to popular e-zines and take advantage of their popularity. Other sites who find your article relevant may also link back to you. Thus, you increase your link popularity, which is one of the most important strategies in the internet world. Remember that most people are looking for information online and by filling this need with your quality article; you may reap the benefit of more exposure and higher web traffic.

2.Free Advertising

Submitting your articles to other websites presents an opportunity to advertise your website without paying exorbitant fees. Although you should avoid marketing language in your articles and make it informative and useful to your readers, you can always include your site’s link in the resource box. In addition, by making your article relevant and helpful to your readers, you are making a good impression for your website, which could ultimately lead to a visit and hopefully a purchase. Good quality content in an article is far better and more effective than a few lines of ad space. You have a very special opportunity to presell your product or service to your prospective customer.

3.Gain High Search Engine Ranking

Create a new web page for your article in your website. Optimize your article to make it search-engine friendly. Use top-ranked keywords and Meta tags that can give your website a high search engine ranking. As soon as you upload your new webpage to your server, search engines will spider through it and you can gain an increase in search engine ranking. Remember that search engine optimized content is a very effective strategy to gain a high ranking in search results.

4.Increases Link Popularity

Instead of looking for other sites who would want to establish reciprocal links with your site, you can simply submit an article to other sites. Just do not forget to include a link to your site in your resource box. When these websites pick up and publishes your article, you automatically get a link partner. Try to get as many link partners as you can. Link popularity is one of the factors used by search engines in determining search engine rankings. Make your article especially useful and appealing, so that more websites will be encouraged to publish it.

5.Optimizes your site for improved search engine ranking

By making your site keyword rich, you can greatly improve the search engine ranking of your site. Remember that keyword density is one of the most important factors that search engines use when determining the search engine ranking of site. However, you should always provide relevant, useful and pertinent information. Avoid the temptation of overusing keywords just to gain a high ranking as this may turn off most web surfers. Relevance and quality is still the most important things to consider when writing articles and it will be doubly useful to your site if you make these articles search-engine optimized.

6.Establishes a Good Impression and Reputation

By writing excellent, original and relevant articles, you not only give your site exposure, you are also creating a good impression on your prospects. Encourage more people to visit your site and do business with you by establishing an impressive reputation through your articles. Be an expert in the field and your will ultimately gain more customers eager to do business with you.

7.Enhances your credibility through references and testimonies

Certainly, your articles are going to receive feedbacks and testimonies when you publish them in e-zines and free article sites. Record these positive feedbacks and comments and use them as promotional material in your website or in any of your advertising efforts. Your credibility will be greatly enhanced by these feedbacks, as it will create a good impression on your prospects as well as your existing customers. In this highly competitive world, excellent credibility and trust may be the only things you need to attract new customers or make loyal patrons out of your existing customers. Original, relevant, useful and pertinent articles are important tools you should utilize to improve and explode your business.

The Benefits of Private Label Resell Rights

In the United States, many individuals are making money through a process that is known as private label resell rights.  Private label resell rights are a special type of business opportunity.  It is an opportunity that has a lot of potential; however, to be successful, you must first know what you are doing.

Private label resell rights are available on a wide variety of different products. Despite the wide variety of different products, e-books and software programs are the most popular. With private label resell rights, the original product creator either does not have the time or the money needed to market and sell their product. Instead of selling their product to prospective customers, they sell the rights to someone who has knowledge and the time to sell their product. There is a good chance that you can be that person.

The first step in taking part in this opportunity is to find a product with available resell rights. As previously mentioned, this product is often an e-book or a software program. Before agreeing to purchase the resell rights to a private label product, you are advised to know what you are purchasing.  Not only will you want to make sure that the product is a quality one, but you will also need to make sure that it is one that will sell.  Since you will be purchasing the resell rights to this product, you will not want to waste your money on something that you cannot use. 

As soon as you purchase the resell rights to a product you may be able to begin selling it; however, additional steps may need to be taken.  For instance, private label resell rights often require you to change the product, which you just purchased the resell rights to. This change is often minimal, but it is sometimes required. The last thing that you may want to do is alter a perfect product, but in a way it may be able to help you. After this alteration, you may be able to claim the product as your own. This means that you could officially be the author of an e-book or a software developer. 

Once the additional steps, if any are required, are taken, you can then begin to sell your product.  Unfortunately, this is where many individuals go wrong. The only way that you will make money is if the product sells; therefore, you need to find and use an effective selling method.  There are several methods that you can use; however, you may find your own website to be the most beneficial. This website can not only be used to provide information on your product, but it can also be used to purchase it.

When it comes to developing a website, there are many individuals who are unfamiliar with web design.  If you are one of those individuals, you will have several alternatives. One of those alternatives includes the assistance of a professional website developer or designer. For a fee, you should be able to have a professional design your website for you. If you are looking for a low-cost way to develop your own website, you are urged to choose a web hosting plan that includes a free site builder.

When building your website, you will want to add information on the product in which you are selling. If you are selling an e-book, you may not only want to give a description of your book, but a few samples. These samples, also often referred to as inserts, will allow your potential customers to determine whether your product is worth the buy. In addition to adding product descriptions, samples, and pictures, you will also want to add a shopping cart. This feature, provided by most web hosting companies, will allow you sell your product right off your website.

For a small amount of money, you will have a way to not only sell your product, but market it as well. After you have created your website, you will find that customers make their way to you, thanks to search engines.  In time, you should be able to sell your product and make a substantial profit.

At any given moment in time, there are a number of individuals who are searching the internet in hopes of finding a legitimate money-making opportunity. Many of those individuals are at-home parents, others are retired, and some just want to find a better opportunity. If you are interested in making money, in a relatively easy way, you are advised to further examine private label resell rights.  It may very well be the opportunity that you have been searching for.

Private label resell rights are typically offered by the products creator.  Although these individuals may have the time and the knowledge needed to create new products, most do not have the time or the knowledge to sell those products.  Instead of selling their own products, many rely on others to do the selling for them.  When you obtain the resell rights to a private label product, you are buying the rights to resell that product.  These products most commonly include software programs and e-books, but they are not limited to just those products.  After the transaction has taken place, you will then be responsible for selling the product. In fact, you will make money from each sale that you successfully process. 

If obtaining the private label resell rights to a product sounds like an amazing business opportunity, you may be right.  However, with all other business opportunities, it is important to remember one thing; not all opportunities work for everyone. This means that although someone you know may be able to turn a profit buying the resell rights to an e-book or a software program, you may not necessarily be able to.  Before investing in a private label product, not matter what that product is, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of private label resell rights.  This step is important to determining whether this business opportunity can help you make money online.

The biggest advantage to private label resells rights is that you get to make money selling a product that you didn’t even create.  In some cases, you are even allowed, and maybe even required, to alter the work, but then you can claim it as your own. This means that overnight you literally could become a freelance writer or a software developer.

Another advantage to private label resells rights it the flexibility you will have.  Each time you sell the product, which you have acquired the resell rights you, you will make money.  The amount of money you make will all depend on how many hours you work. These hours could be as much or as little as you want.  In fact, many private labels resell buyers are able to make money selling their products with only working a few hours a week. 

While there are advantages to obtaining the resell rights to a private label product, there are disadvantages as well. To make money, you must able to find a product that will sell. Unfortunately, too many resell right buyers do not research a product before buying it. Those individuals usually end up losing money because they purchased a product that was poor in quality or one that couldn’t sell. Of course, this disadvantage doesn’t have to be one. You can learn some great tips on how to find and resell products at http://www.plrtips.com where you can download a 2-hour free audio course on the subject. All you need to do is research each product before agreeing to purchase it. This research should enable to make money, not lose it.

The above-mentioned advantages and disadvantage, to buying private label resell rights, are just a few of the many. Even though there are additional advantages and disadvantages, most people find that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages; thus, making this a profitable business venture.  

Self-Publishing on Amazon

So many people desire to write a book someday in their lifetime, even though they do not regard themselves as writers. The best time to write that book is now. Self-publishing is no longer stigmatized, and there are numerous success stories of first-time authors who are making a name for themselves. They accomplish this by publishing their ebooks on Amazon.

Forget everything you know about Amazon for a minute. It’s not just an online shopping web store or cart. Ask yourself why people like Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki publish exclusively on Amazon. It is a big deal.

•    Amazon is the largest paid search engine globally.

•    Amazon has dominated the book industry.

•    It’s review system is an authority metric even when people plan to buy elsewhere.  

•    It is a marketing machine when you start selling a given number of copies, it will refer your work to users who do not know about you. 

•    It is easy.  There are only a few sites that can get your book online and published in a matter of hours.

Step 1: Write

The first step to publishing an eBook is to write it, of course. You can do it in three drafts;

•    The “Outline Draft”. This is self-explanatory in that, you “Outline” on a blank page. Here you write a rough idea of the Table of Contents; outlining every chapter, jotting down your thoughts, stories and scenes. It does not have to be pretty; just make it.

•    The Review Draft. Develop your story and how you want to tell it.

•    Editorial Draft. Here you have to get a professional editor to help your story structure and style elements.

Step 2: Format and Design

Once you like what you have written, do this;

1.    Format your book for Kindle. You can do this for yourself by using Amazon’s easy tutorship. Or hire someone. 

2.    Design your cover. Hire someone. 

3.    Double check. Get friends to check for errors.

Step 3: Publish

Do not be intimidated, this part is not as scary as most people think. Just sign in to kdp.amazon.com (make sure you have an Amazon account).

Step 4: Promote

Before you start promoting your book, get reviews. Ask friends to leave a review of the book. 

Step 5: Launch

Every launch should be unique but some of the tactics that work include sending an email to friends, family and fans, offering incentives to those who will buy the book, marketing on social media and sharing your book with book directories and online forums among others.

Considering the effort and time you put into writing, editing and designing your book, it is only normal you find it priceless. However, if you are looking to sell your book, you have to price it reasonably. How do you know if the price you have set is too low, too high or just right? 

That said, you must come to terms with this one fact;

Selling Your EBook Will Not Make You Rich

Hurtful, but it is the truth. Very few authors have become rich selling e-books. The demand for e-books is on the rise, but the market is extremely saturated, and the prices are quite low, you can barely make a profit. 

Kindle Direct Publishing has parameters in place for ebook pricing depending on the size of the e-book. Amazon’s parameters can hardly help you price your ebook correctly, and it may end up on the worst-selling list. A wise thing to do would be to ensure that you meet the minimum file size requirements. 

The genre is probably the most important factor to consider when pricing your ebook. Is your book poetry, nonfiction, or fiction? Is the sub-genre well known? Make sure to have a look at other e-books in your genre and compare the prices. $2.99 is always a good starting price. 

Your book’s page count will determine its price. File size may be the primary concern when it comes to Amazon’s parameters, but the page count is what tells the buyer how much content they will get. In most cases, books with a page count of 400 and above are always priced higher ($4.99 and above), and those with 400 pages and below are priced lower (below $4.99).

Comparable titles are a great deal. Do a lot of research and find out how authors with similar books have priced them. These books will be your biggest competitors, and you need to price yours competitively. If you go with this advice, you may have to price your ebook lower (or higher) than you expected. But you have to get the price right. 

The same way you researched books identical to yours, now you must study the authors that are similar to you. Research the writers who have a catalog of work like yours (this is easier if you only write for a single genre). 

You may notice that your book is not selling yet you have promoted it tirelessly on social media, a fantastic website and other active campaigns—then you should consider lowering your price. 

Every time you raise or lower your price, check your competitors’ books and ensure that you are within the price range. Pricing your books high may benefit you because of “perceived value” but increasing the price too much will make buyers prefer your competition’s work over yours. Make a point of always pricing your books just right.  

Choosing the Best eBook Publishing Platform

There are so many digital publishing platforms that authors can use to publish their ebooks. New services are mushrooming to enable self-publishers and publishers to distribute their books all around the world. There are so many options for an author who is contemplating publishing an ebook. Lately, e-books have significantly flooded the market, especially in the US with English as the primary language. 

It is safe to say that e-book publishing is the best choice for every self-publisher due to the following reasons;

•    EBook publishing is cheaper compared to print publishing. 

•    EBooks’ are less risky due to the low cost of publishing.  Self-publishers have no problem taking a chance on them. If the book does not sell much, you will not have wasted a lot of money. 

•    The digital market is growing very fast with each passing day. The people that read eBooks in the US are almost as many as those that read print books. By 2018, eBooks will be more popular than print books.

What Should You Consider When Choosing The Best Platform For Your Book?

1.    Royalty. Whatever platform you choose, you should know that they have to take a cut of the profits. It varies depending on your choice. Do as much research as you can before committing. 

2.    Pricing. Some publishing services have set price limits. For example, a new author on Amazon cannot offer their book for free and in other cases you are not given any control over the price. This is not necessarily bad but you may not want to be in a situation where you are not comfortable with the price and there is nothing you can do. Always set a price for your eBook so that you can choose a service that can allow it. 

3.    File format. Other platforms out there offer file formatting in addition to their publishing services, although many authors prefer to do it by themselves. If you decide to do your formatting, be cautious because it is not easy. You may want to use formatting software like Vellum and Sigil. 

4.    Exclusivity. A publishing platform may insist on exclusivity, like Amazon’s KDP. If you have several books you can have some of them exclusive to Amazon while leaving others available through open publishing. 

5.    EBook retailers. The top five retailers include: Amazon, iBooks, Apple, Google Play, Nook Press and Kobo. A majority sell all over the world either through their websites or affiliates. Apart from these five, there are so many others that you can choose to work with. 

Publishing Your Books Effectively To More Stores and Gaining Global Distribution

Some platforms refer to themselves as ebook aggregators—they stand between an author and a retailer like Amazon. To put it simply, they are companies that accept your book, and convert it into several formats and make it available to multiple distribution channels. Not only do they aggregate and distribute books but they also offer services like cover design, ebook conversion, print-on-demand and editing. 

Finding a publishing platform is not difficult but you have to know what you want. Once you have evaluated your preferences, search for the service that best suits your needs.

Kobo Writing Life

Kobo Writing Life was launched in 2012 as the self-publishing branch of Kobo. When authors submit e-books, they are stacked together with titles from renowned publishers. The director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations, Mark Lefebvre, gave a status update to Good e-Reader and revealed some of the exciting deals they have.

A majority of new authors are not knowledgeable about the Kobo ecosystem and they have no idea how Writing Life can benefit them. Mr. Lefebvre gave a highlight of the benefits of the platform to indie authors. “In a nutshell, KWL offers you a place to publish your eBook for free to Kobo’s catalog. You keep 70% for any title priced $2.99 or higher. There’s no CAP on that 70% which means authors who publish high value box sets of multiple copies of their books, can offer their readers a good deal without having to give up on margin. (Kindle drops the royalties to 35% if you price above $9.99).”

“Also, via Kobo Writing Life, you’re not dealing with a faceless corporation. Yes, we have automated tasks and efficiencies so that authors can easily DIY their way all through the publishing process. But if authors need to contact a real human, they can. We’ve re-launched a new ticketing system that has allowed us to be more efficient than ever before and offer more personalized responses to authors’ concerns. We also have a new community and forum where authors can easily find answers to popular questions.”

The KWL team does not only aim at helping authors with their publishing but also to inform and educate writers on the business and skill of publishing. They offer free publishing tools and also ensure that authors perceive the economics of business, great practices for authors etc. to accomplish their goals. They have partnered with reputable companies to give the best author services for editorial support, cover design, purchasing ISBNs at discounted prices, audio book production among others. 

Kobo Writing Life is a great achievement for the company and 550,000 titles have been published over the past six years. 1,000 to 1,500 titles are published every week.  Writing Life keeps on getting better and in the last couple of years they have included a pre-order system, a feature for tracking free downloads and author pages. Kobo tries to avoid adding paid services because “of the history of some other companies out there who seem to exist merely to exploit authors and sell things they don’t need.” KWL is working to being the ultimate trusted service for authors.

KWL is still trying to optimize and iterate their dashboard according to the KWL user feedback they are getting. The company also launched a survey to their most active users to find out what they do not like, what they like, what they would want to see more, and what new things they would find more valuable. The results of the survey enable them to prioritize their 18+ month backlog of upgrades/tasks and updates that they plan to implement. Mr. Lefebvre added they are BETA testing a new print-on-demand feature for US and Canadian authors.

The Way of Happiness

There are key happiness tactics and strategies that have shown to increase happiness. To be happy requires skills. 

Happiness Is Not Supposed to Be Elusive

Happiness is not supposed to be an abstract ideal. Instead, it should be readily available wherever you go. 

7 Principles of Happiness

  • Focus on fulfillment
  • Dedicate more time to your values
  • Set a personal happiness level
  • Drive from happiness
  • Avoid the “if-then” trap
  • Increase frustration tolerance
  • Concentrate on purpose

Core Concepts

There are three primary concepts that are important in your happiness journey:

  • Happiness is personal.
  • Happiness is not static; it is a verb.
  • There are two happiness questions: “How happy are you with your life?” and “how happy are you?”

Bonus Tactics

Strategies are effective but you need practical tactics for things to work out:

  • Keep your eyes on the greater good.
  • Act “as if”.
  • Cultivate happiness under you.
  • Find your best happiness quotes.
  • Look for a better metaphor (e.g. life is a dance).
  • Adjust your questions for different results.
  • Adjust your thoughts.

Take a closer look at the principles.

Focus on Fulfillment

When you focus on living life meaningfully, you will be more careful while making choices and creating moments. To do this, you must decide who you want to be and the kind of experiences you would like to create. If you want to focus on fulfilment, set your eyes on the greater good.

Dedicate More Time to Your Values

Living out your values helps you add happiness into your daily life. For people that spend the better part of their day working, try linking your job to your values. If excellence is important to you, make the work all about excellence. When more time is dedicated to your values, the journey becomes more enjoyable.

Set a Personal Happiness Level

Everyone has a personal happiness level. Embrace your level and begin from there. Look for simple ways through which you can improve your happiness level gradually. Avoid comparing your happiness levels to that of others.

Drive from Happiness

Happiness must be a decision. 

Here, you must look deep within you and answer some very tough questions. What would you like to make more time for? What is it that makes you happy? What do you want to do? Instead of doing what everyone else expects of you, look for what makes you happy.

Avoid the “If-Then” Trap

Your happiness should not depend on an event that you expect to happen in the future, such as a relationship, job, etc. have your happiness “right here” rather than “out there”. Have fun with the journey. Work with what you have.

Increase Your Frustration Tolerance

A higher frustration tolerance can translate to a higher happiness level. This insight works instantly. You just need to decide not to be frustrated with the little disappointments of life.

Concentrate on Purpose

What you focus on is what you get. Start focusing on better scenes and see what happens. Human beings set goals and do everything within their power to chase after them. They either attain the goals or drop dead. Once one goal has been achieved, they set another one and it goes on and on.

This is how people are wired. America is in a time of abundance—much more like never in human history. Basic needs are generally met for everyone and, therefore, you think the only goals left to set are money goals. You aspire to earn a certain amount of income, build investments, and savings to a certain level and create a passive income stream. You set these goals so you can live the lifestyle of your choice and spend some time with your loved ones.

You also want to be financially independent. To put it simply, you are trying to be happy and according to you, more money means happiness. Now, suppose you have all the money you desire in your bank account. You have finally achieved financial independence. You have enough time to spend with the ones you love, and you can go wherever you want—money is unlimited. Will you be happy? Sure, initially.

However, once the ecstatic stage of travel, binge purchases and whatever else is over, you will be bored to death. You may find yourself lonely and depressed—something common to many famous and rich people. Why the unhappiness? Everyone wants to succeed, but success feels better when it is earned instead of undeservedly handed out.

To be truly happy, you need to pursue and attain your lifestyle goals. This is common sense but how true is it? Some people pursue their goals, become successful but they are still unhappy. What is missing? You have a need to overcome your obstacles, accomplish, and achieve your goal. For human beings, the pursuit is the end, not the means to an end. Without it, you will be rich yet miserable, well-traveled yet depressed, financially independent yet bored.

The lifestyle you seek reflects the connection you yearn for. For example, experiences are only full when shared with loved ones. To be happy, you need to integrate and balance your drive for pursuit and connection. Your love for the chase should be anchored to the reason for the chase. However, is that all there is to it? If you are successful in what you do and have healthy connections, will there be anything eating you up?

Yes. There is one more piece to the puzzle. Once your basic needs (pursuit) and psychological needs (connection) have been fulfilled, the missing piece is self-actualization. To achieve total happiness, you must achieve your full potential and use your talents to the maximum. Calogero from a scene in A Bronx Tale says that: “the saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.” 

“The majority of men meet with failure of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” 

-Napoleon Hill

Finding a Niche as a Self-Publisher

Finding a profitable niche is no easy task for any aspiring self-publisher. Many new authors think they can just write a book about anything and they will make money. Too bad this is never the case. 

If you are looking to make money from your book, you have to tap into potential readers’ interest. Find out what people would like to read. What information or answers are they actively seeking? You may write a great book, but if nobody is interested in the topic, it will not sell. 

The advantage of writing something you are passionate about is that you are likely to write a great book since you are interested in the topic and you are conversant with it. However, the downside of this tactic is the subject may not appeal to readers and it ends up not selling. If no one likes the topic, it doesn’t matter how good the book is or how much effort you will put in marketing it. 

If you publish a book on a topic that is in demand, its chances of success will be high, and the launch is very likely to be a success. Take your time and find out what books are selling well. Know what the readers want, what they are looking for and what they are interested in. You are likely to get a profitable niche this way. 

1.    Find Best Selling Lists

Visit sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or even just Google and search for best selling lists. Go through the lists and try to find a pattern or correlation. If you find a certain topic dominating in the top one hundred, for example, diets and weight loss, then you know that people are interested in that niche.

 It is wise to narrow it down further to a specific category or a specific book. Amazon lets you look at how well (or not) individual books are selling and they rank the books. So you will know what might sell and what might not.

2.    Go to Bookstores

Not many people try this, yet it yields results. Bookstores will always place their best sellers at the front. See if there are similar topics on display. Going to a bookstore will also help you choose a topic because you can copy one. 

Another tip is to hang out at the store and see what book attracts people’s attention and what section most people frequently visit. 

3.    Go on Viral News and Media Sites

These viral news sites often post articles about almost everything. By visiting them, you can see what topics get the most reads and clicks. If people read about social media marketing, then probably it is a subject they are willing to spend money on. They will appreciate a great book on that particular topic. 

These are the main ways to find readers’ interests. Visit book retailing sites and see what is selling the most or go to bookstores and see for yourself what people are most interested in. Finally, you can visit viral news sites and get the hottest topic. You will have an idea of the topics that are likely to sell and those that are likely to be a total fail.

Writing an average-length non-fiction book is no easy task, much less writing a great one. You will need to be a conversationalist, psychologist, observer, talented weaver of words and poet— all at the same time. A lot of skill and discipline is required. The following tips are tried and proven; they will guide you on how to write a book that readers cannot resist. 

1.    Know Your Target audience

Not everybody is your audience. You have to narrow down and focus on a particular person and know how to make them happy. You cannot target everybody since people have different tastes and preferences. If you narrow down to a precise audience, the chances of your book being successful are higher.

2.    Know Your Competition

Most probably, your eBook idea is not unique. Similar books will always be there. Present your book in a relatable and understandable way, use your unique voice. Find the gaps that have been left by the eBook’s in your niche and fill them.  A niche may seem overcrowded, but you have a chance if you present your eBook nicely. Moreover, too many books in a particular niche mean that it is a “hot” industry. 

3.    Try Real Life Examples

Readers love a book that relates to them. Use examples of people who applied your advice and succeeded and examples of people who failed at certain things and even your life examples. Let them learn from you and your experiences.

4.    Read More Than You Write

Reading should be one of the biggest parts of an author’s life. Read to get inspiration, to research and to study your competition. Buy books similar to yours (especially those that have been recently published); this will help you fill in the gaps they have left. Read to learn about various writing styles and improve yours at the same time. Go online and read about what people think about your topic.

5.    Monitor Your Market

You need to observe your market. What are they saying about the books in your niche? Maybe the books being released are all giving the same old information. Maybe they need new content or a unique perspective. Visit Amazon and read reviews of the books in your niche. Use the negative reviews to help you give the readers what they want. 

6.    Be Courageous With What You Do Not Know

It is nice to write about what you are familiar with. However, once in a while venture out of your comfort zone. If you decide to write about something you are not entirely comfortable with, it is okay to ask potential readers for advice and experience. 

7.    Make Use of Humor

No matter how dull or dry your content is, humor will always make it relatable to your audience. It will make the boring parts livelier, relieve tension and make your readers happy. 

The above tips are a sure way to write a great book that readers will love. Always have a specific audience and aim at satisfying them. Read as much as you can about everything; you can never have too much knowledge. Have courage getting out of your comfort zone and finally, never underestimate the power of a joke.

If you are expecting some magical ways you will be disappointed. It does not work like that. You can only gain die-hard fans a few at a time and establishing the bond will take time and effort. 

Building a relationship takes time. Consistent writing is the best way to find readers and make some of those readers your true fans. It is not what anyone would like to hear but it is a fact. You have to keep working for a long time and never give up. One book is not enough for you to live on and your footprint will be far too small. 

With every book you release, your power multiplies. So keep writing more books; each book will keep adding more readers to your fan base. 

Word of mouth is a money machine that works even when you are asleep. It may not earn thousands at first but those pennies are valuable too. Ask any avid readers around (and that should include you as an author, you have to be an avid reader) when was the last time they got a book recommendation from a friend. Also, when was the last time an advertisement convinced you (or any other reader) to read a book?

More often than not, people get book recommendations from family and friends. Ensure that your books are worth sharing to get the word out. 

Goodreads is like a word of mouth but better, people are diligently looking for awesome titles and reviews. Get an author account and claim your books—they may already have great reviews and top ranking. Even better, add your photo, bio and a link to your blog. 

Use Goodreads correctly, do not seem like an illegitimate author by posting spam or salesman. Try talking to readers in small groups or one on one. Remember to be respectful, polite, with an intriguing personality and release great books after another. 

One more thing, the rating scale on Goodreads is different from that on Amazon. A 3-star rating on Amazon is not good but on Goodreads it means something. 

At this point you know there is no quick way to gain followers. They all require commitment. Well, this last method is no different. Should you use Twitter for your business? Sure. But remember using social media is a tactic, not a strategy. And you must never put tactics before strategies.

For example, if you are using Twitter, the strategy is to find someone who might be interested in your work. Using automated direct message movers and follow programs is a tactic. Though the tactics may change, the strategies won’t. 

Finding readers that will love your work is no easy task. You have to work hard, be patient and never give up even when things don’t seem to work. Keep writing as many books as you can to cast a wider net, write interesting books so readers can spread a good word, join Goodreads and make use of social networks. Keep going until your dreams turn into reality.  

How To Make 6 Figures As A Loan Signing Agent

The first step in becoming a successful notary loan signing agent is to have an active notary license (commission). The best part about being a notary public loan signing agent is you don’t need any degrees or experience. You simply need an active notary commission from your state. Some states don’t even require a test to get your notary commission… you just fill out an application.

How to Self-Publish

Do you have a great book idea but you do not know where to start? Or perhaps you have begun writing, and you would like to self-publish it, and you have no clue. Well, this book will give you a thorough understanding of all the processes involved in materializing your book. From writing to publishing and marketing it. 

Before you even finish your rough draft you need to research extensively on your target market. Establish the genre of your book, whether nonfiction or fiction. Learn the market for that particular genre and your sub-genre (self-help, mystery, fantasy, and sci-fi). Familiarize yourself with the current trends in that subgenre so that you do not flood a saturated market. Look for what is missing and fill the gap. Take a look at existing books that are similar to yours and try to make yours a bit different. 

Before you consider anything else, you need to complete a rough draft of your book. You will need to put in hard work and discipline. It is advisable to set a schedule from the beginning and stick to it. Be patient as this process may take months or even years.

Try to look for advice from experienced authors even if it is online. In the end, the script may not be perfect but you will know what to do next.

Finding an editor is important if you want to create a great book. A professional editor will correct any mistakes in grammar or plot holes. Use the criticism to make your book even better. You can get an experienced content and copy editor on most of the reputable freelancing sites online. 

This is where you utilize all the correction and criticism you got from fast checkers, readers, and your editor. Aim at creating a perfect final draft.

You cannot do everything alone. You may be a great author, but you are not a good editor or designer. Create a team of professionals to help you come up with an excellent book.

When you have reviews, the chances of your book selling are higher than when you do not. Find reviewers in the genre you are writing about. Usually, the reviews will appear on the back cover of your book and maybe on retailers’ websites. 

For a reader to pick your book from the shelf, the cover has to be compelling. Find an expert designer to create a cover for you. A great cover should convey the content of the book and convince the reader to pick it. 

8.     Retail

This involves publishing the final copy to start selling. You can choose between self-publishing and a traditional publisher. If you opt to self-publish, do not overlook design and distribution. Give these two aspects enough consideration. 

9.    Promotion, Marketing, and Distribution

Having your book in the market is one thing; ensuring that it sells is another. One secret to selling your book is to have it ordered by a leading distributor like Amazon. You can hire a professional marketer to market your book and also promote you as an author. 

10.    Keep Going

The whole process of writing and publishing a book may be cumbersome but never give up. Keep going.

Having your book out in the market and selling is not easy, but it is doable. Be determined and go through the above steps thoroughly. Do everything right and enjoy the process, the next best seller might be yours.

Self-publishing is whereby an author publishes their book or any other media without involving an established publisher. If a book is physical, it is referred to as privately printed. The author is in charge of every process including the design of the interior and cover, formats, distribution, public relations, price, and marketing. The author may decide to do all these by themselves or include companies that issue these services. 

Self-publishing is not a new concept. The Joy of Cooking was self-published and printed in 1931. Fifty Shades of Grey, a best-seller by E.L James was also self-published due to public demand. 

A while ago, authors had to spend a lot of money self-publishing since they had to purchase so many copies of their title and then find somewhere to store the inventory. Today, the ebook and print on demand technology enable authors to print a book or deliver it digitally when an order is placed.

Technology has brought a lot of improvement when it comes to books. Some of those advancements include;

•    Online stores. Now readers can purchase books without physically visiting a bookstore.

•    Tablet computers and e-book readers enable readers to have multiple books on a portable device.

•    Anyone can access global distribution channels through online stores. 

•    The print-on demand technology produces high-quality products.

Every book should have an ISBN to uniquely identify its title—unless the author sells it directly to the public. It is advisable to obtain an ISBN and copyright rather than use one that belongs to a vanity press. Each book edition will require a separate ISBN. 

    Electronic (e-book) Publishing is the most popular among authors because the e-books can be created without upfront or per-book costs. There are also ebook formats and tools for creating electronic books. Some of the platforms that publish e-books include Smashwords, Pronoun, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Blurb, and Papyrus Editor among others. Ebook formats include PDF, Mobi, Epub, etc. 

    Print on Demand includes printing high-quality books on order. Self-publishing authors consider this method to be economical, instead of printing so many books all at once. Blurb, Amazon,  Createspace, Llumina Press and Lulu offer single books printing services at a fair cost—almost the same as the amount charged by publishing companies. 

Publishing companies pay authors a fraction of the sales made from a book. Therefore, they only published books that were more likely to sell. It was tough for upcoming authors to get a contract. This led to the mushrooming of vanity publishers. They would publish any book, but the author had to pay upfront. Also, the author did not own the final book version and had no say in its distribution. 

Self-publishing authors undertake all the activities surrounding the publishing. However, to be referred to as self-published, the author does not necessarily have to do all the work by themselves. The author can decide to outsource some of the activities to companies or freelancers.

The LinkedIn Insight Tag: What It Is and How to Use It?

You can use LinkedIn for many things, other than looking for your next job. 

The platform has 675 million monthly users. By use of the LinkedIn Insight tag, you have the perfect audience for targeting. 

The Insight tag, otherwise known as the conversion pixel or the tracking pixel, can be quite beneficial.

The LinkedIn Insight Tag: What Is It?

It is a JavaScript code installed on website pages. When people visit your website, it leaves a cookie in their browser. So if a LinkedIn user visits your site, you will be able to target them later on LinkedIn. 

The Pixel can also track conversions when potential customers get to your site via LinkedIn ads. 

Do You Need the LinkedIn Pixel?

Data is extremely important. But how do you collect it if you haven’t set up tracking?

With the LinkedIn Insight tag set up on your website, you will know who visited your page. It tracks events and conversions, letting you know what methods are working and which ones aren’t. 

You can track website interactions and retarget lost purchases and leads. 

This information also comes in handy when you’re optimizing. 

How Do You Create and Add LinkedIn Pixel to Your Website?

  • Log in and go to LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
  • Click Account Assets then Insight Tag.
  • Select Install My Insight Tag.
  • Select Manage Insight Tag and select See Tag.
  • Choose “I will Install the Tag Myself” to see the code.
  • Copy the tag code.
  • Paste the code on the backend of your site before the end of the </body> tag. Do this on every page’s global footer.

Now to see whether it is working. 

  • Go to LinkedIn Campaign Manager and select Accounts Assets.
  • Click on Insight Tag.
  • Your site name should be under Tagged Domains.

It will be “Active” when a LinkedIn user visits your site.

If you don’t see anything happening after 24 hours, contact LinkedIn support. 

Creating Website Retargeting Lists Using the LinkedIn Pixel

Other than knowing which LinkedIn users are visiting your site, you can target demographics for a specific marketing campaign. 

  • Go to Campaign Manager.
  • Select Account Assets, then Matched Audiences.
  • Click on Create Audience (at the top right) then select Website Audience.
  • Name the audience and enter the URL you want to retarget.
  • Click Create.

When the segments generate 300 members, you can set up specific campaigns to reach a specific audience. 

Setting Up LinkedIn Conversion Tracking Using LinkedIn Pixel

The Pixel also allows you to track conversions generated by your LinkedIn ads.

  • Go to Campaign Manager.
  • Click Account Assets then Conversions.
  • Select Create a Conversion. 
  • Name your conversion.
  • Input your settings:
    • Conversion type
    • Conversion value
    • Conversion window
    • Attribution model
  • Check the campaigns you want monitored.
  • Choose the conversion method you prefer (the Insight Tag) and enter the site URL. 
  • Specify exactly what counts as conversions using the Boolean rules. (This step is optional).
  • Click Create.

Check the analytics after a while to see how the campaign is doing. 

How Does the LinkedIn Algorithm Work?

The updates made to the LinkedIn algorithm over the last two years have caused a 50% rise in viral activity. 

The product management senior director, Pete Davies, says that the mantra is, “the people you know talking about the things you care about.”

This is a simple principle, both in practice and theory. And you can use it to your benefit. 

How Does the Algorithm Work?

There are two primary goals:

  • Promote engagement
  • Prioritize relevant content

Relevancy is prioritized over recency. The homepage feed shows you “top” posts by default. But you can choose to see “recent” posts. 

This update encourages small accounts to create content and increases engagement. 

The Top Three Ranking Signals

These are the three signals used by the LinkedIn algorithm to filter and then rank posts.

Personal Connections

Following people on the platform doesn’t mean that you know them personally. 

To determine personal connections, the algorithm considers explicit and implicit signals. It checks your recent interactions and the information on your profile. 

Interest Relevance

You may not like the content that all your personal connections post. So LinkedIn assesses your interests based on the hashtags, pages and people you follow, as well as the groups you have joined. 

Engagement Probability

When it comes to this component, there are two stages. 

First, LinkedIn evaluates how likely you are to react, comment or share a post based on what you have interacted with in the past. It also checks the people you interact with the most. 

Secondly, how quickly a post starts getting interactions also matters. Posts that get feedback quicker are more likely to be shown in the feed. 

Beating the LinkedIn Algorithm: 8 Tips

Be Relevant

Know your audience. That is very important. Check your competitor’s audience and use analytics from your other social media platforms to build a persona. This will help you understand what your audience likes. 

Be sure to include images and videos too. Those get more engagement that plain text. 

Promote Posts

Include relevant hashtags and keywords. And don’t forget to tag relevant members and companies as well. Create your own branded hashtag too.

Encourage Engagement

Ask your audience questions and let them share their insights and opinions. Once they share, reply to their comments.

Go Niche

Niche ideas and posts inspire better conversations. So instead of focusing on something broad, narrow down. 

Know When to Post

You want your posts to get likes and comments quicker so they can be favored by the algorithm. You should post when users are online. Research extensively on the right times to post, depending on your location.

Build Your Network

Complete your profile and add connections. Create a group or join existing ones. Be sure to interact with people on the platform as well. 

Use LinkedIn Analytics

This lets you know what posts are performing well and why. If something works, use it again. 

Be Personal

Use a friendly and approachable voice. Avoid excess corporate jargon. Try to appear genuine and relatable. 

19 eBay Secrets for Your Success

Gaining success through the eBay selling business may not be as complicated as you think. You only must know where to find free eBay secrets that count. Once you get hold of free eBay secrets, start applying them for you to put up a successful eBay selling business.

No need to look high and low for free eBay secrets, we’ve got them compiled here for you. You can use these free eBay secrets to create a booming business on eBay.

Once you decide to become an eBay seller, choose the user ID you will have to use, carefully. Choose a User ID that represents your business or the items you sell. Your User ID automatically becomes your eBay identity to potential buyers.

Look up the How to Sell Tour and watch the eBay selling demonstration video. Then learn of free eBay secrets in starting up at the eBay Learning Center.

Get your ID verified by using the ID Verify option when setting up a Seller’s Account. This gives you an ID Verify icon in your feedback profile thereby giving the eBay community more confidence to buy from you. Don’t let this free eBay secret go unheeded.

Make sure to get computer backup disks for you to store up valuable data. A free eBay secret of using accounting software will help you know how your business is doing so you can make it more profitable.

Look for a good place where you can put your inventory and shipping materials. It’s a free eBay secret that they need to be in a safe, dry place nearby. Writing a daily To-Do List will help you organize your schedule. It is also the free eBay secret for you to manage your time on normal tasks and follow up on opportunities that aren’t part of them.

Taking eBay’s fees into account may be the free eBay secret you need that’ll guided the pricing of your items.

Find the best category where to list your products under. This free eBay secret is probably known by everyone. From eBay’s home page, click the Buy button, and browse the categories to find categories that apply to your items. Another free eBay secret that’s necessary for your products success is checking where competing items have been placed. It’s a good idea to choose two categories for your listings to reach more buyers.

Even if you must pay additional fee, spotlighting your title is a practically free eBay secret that’s guaranteed to grab buyers’ attention when they search for listings.

Hiring a Trading Assistant can free up the time you need to let you focus on the more important aspects of your eBay business. Constantly monitor My eBay for your listing’s performance and other activities on the site. Keep track of your eBay correspondence by using My Messages. Surely, this free eBay secret will be a great help.

Attending trade shows is not only a free eBay secret advice it is also a great opportunity where you can get product trends preview and connect with manufacturers and discuss the opportunity of selling their products on eBay. Make sure to bring your business cards and be ready for discussions/

Protect yourself from potential fraud. Be wary for unusual buyer requests and consider it as a fraudulent sign if such requests come to light.

eBay consultants are available for advice and even free eBay secret tip offs. Once you know how to sell on eBay and checked out the eBay Community, your head will be buzzing with new business ideas.

Subscribing Chatter may get you not only feature articles, tips, helpful links and member interviews but maybe also free eBay secrets to success. Signing up for the Powerup Newsletter can get you advanced notice of upcoming events and promotions. You’ll get to know free listing days, feature discounts, seller sweepstakes and more.

There’s nothing wrong in promoting your eBay store. In fact it is another free eBay secret that you design marketing materials to promote your store.

Once you made a final sale price, donate part of it to a Nonprofit Organization of your choice. Remember that the ultimate free eBay secret to success is passing on the blessings and knowledge you acquire!

12 Easy Ways to Maximize Your eBay Product Photos

It’s a fact. Clear, high-quality photos will greatly enhance your chances of selling your products on eBay. Here are 12 simple tips that will help you make the most of your eBay product photos.

1. You don’t need an expensive, high-resolution digital camera for your eBay photos. You just need a digital camera that will produce a 640×480 pixel image (which includes just about all digital cameras on the market.)

2. Before you buy a camera, handle it to feel how comfortable it is in your hands. Make sure the camera controls are logical, and that it’s easy to transfer photos from the camera to your computer. The camera should be able to focus within four inches or less.

3. When taking a photo for your eBay product, generally select the cameras smallest photo size. If you are going to crop the image or upload it to eBay’s picture services, however, select at least a 1024 x 768 image size.

4. Disable your cameras built-in flash when taking a photo. The built-in flash produces a glare on the photo and makes your products look two-dimensional.

5. Use your cameras Macro Focus feature to take close-ups of your product. (Macro Focus is usually indicated by a tulip flower symbol.)

6. The key to effective product photography is lighting, and the key to effective lighting is control. You can control the strength, size, position, color and number of lights you use. And each of these controls changes how the subject looks. Review your cameras manual to understand your cameras white balance symbols (i.e. a light bulb for indoor shots with incandescent lights, a sun symbol for outdoor photos, etc.) You’ll use the white balance control to get accurate colors. You can preset the white balance to match the type of light you’re using (daylight, shade, tungsten, fluorescent).

7. Use the Exposure Control (EV) to correct light and dark photos. A plus number lightens the image, a minus number darkens it.

8. Use a tripod when taking pictures of your product. The tripod stabilizes your camera and eliminates blurry photos.

9. Photograph your products at an angle.

10.Take more than one photo of each item. For example, if you are selling clothing, take one full-length photo; one photo of the tag showing size, fabric, content, brand; and one or more close-up photos showing the texture of fabric and any details or flaws.

11.Use photo-editing software to make final adjustments.

12.Host your pictures on your own website. You will save money and be able to use as many pictures as you need to adequately show eBay bidders your products. It’s simple, and yet 70 percent of eBay sellers don’t do it.

Adding high-quality product photos that enhance your eBay listings will greatly increase your sales. Try it today!

10 Ways to Save Time and Money with Shipping On eBay

One problem with eBay is that unless you are careful you can end up spending far too much time on routine tasks such as packing and shipping. Not only is there the time spent wrapping the items, but also when you take them to your local post office to have them weighed, stamped and posted. As someone who never seems to have enough time, I have adopted some time saving measures which frees up my time to do other things.

1.Buy Stamps in advance.

Many of the items that I sell are similar, CDs, audio tapes and books. Therefore, I know exactly what the postage is for these items and I buy in advance a quantity of stamps for the various denominations that I use. I can then pack, stamp them and just drop them into the post box without the need to wait at the post office counter.

2.Get a set of scales

Of course, one helpful piece of equipment is a set of postal scales. Not only does this save you time by allowing you to pre stamp packages but it is also very useful when you are listing an item. You can quickly and accurately calculate the exact cost of postage for each item. This can save you making those errors of underestimating the true cost of posting an item or having to make a special journey to the post office just to find out what it will cost to post.

3. Buy packaging materials online

A thriving industry has grown on eBay offering packaging materials. It really is a case of selling spades to miners, but as a result the competition in this field is very fierce. This means that you can make considerable savings if you go to the Business, Office and Industrial Category and look in Packing and Postal supplies. Also, many of the major stationers such as Staples and Viking offer a good 24-hour service and often have some attractive special offers or gifts to make an even better deal. Most offer free postage for orders over a certain quite low amount.

4. Whenever possible use padded bags.

If it is suitable for your products one of the great time savers is the use of padded envelopes. They come in a big range of sizes and thickness and are suitable for a wide range of products. It is much easier and quicker just to pop something into an envelope and seal it than putting something in a box, put in padding and using tape to seal it. Also, these days padded envelopes can work out cheaper than other forms of packaging.

5. Hold a stock of Post Office Forms

These days forms control our lives and it is no different with the postal authorities. Normally if you are a regular postal user your local post office will be happy to supply you with a stock of the forms that you might need. The ones I keep handy are customs declarations, recorded International and national forms and supplies of airmail and fragile stickers. Completing these and applying them to your packages before you go up to the post office can save considerable time.

6. Use Rubber stamps

I also have a selection of rubber stamps with First Class Mail, Do Not Bend, Small Packet Rate, this saves the time rather than writing these phrases over and over again.

7. Preprint return labels

I would never send out a packet without a return address on it. Over the years that I have used eBay I have had about 5 parcels come back to me because they were undeliverable for one reason or another. If I had not had a return address label on them, they and the contents would have been gone forever. You can of course order a pack of name and address labels from the local printer but I have found the most cost effective is to use the sheets of plain labels such as Avery, the 65 labels to a sheet are ideal and print them off as required a sheet at a time. I then just stick one of these on to every packet I send out. And of course, it also makes you look a little more professional with your packaging.

8. Pick the time that you go to the post office

There are always sometimes in the day or days in the week when your local post office is liable to be busier than others. If you ask the counter staff, I am sure they would be happy to tell you when these times are likely to be. Also, they would also be able to tell you the times they would expect to be less busy. If you use this information you can cut down the time you spend waiting in line at the post office.

9. Copy addresses from PayPal notification.

Whenever you get payment notification from PayPal it will contain the name and address of the buyer. I always highlight and copy this and using my labelling software I paste this into the label template this saves having to write or type the information in. I always print my labels on the AveryL7160, 21 labels to a sheet paper.

10. Compare prices

There is plenty of competition to ship larger items and it is worth comparing prices for the various shippers and couriers to get the best deals. In my experience with smaller items it is difficult to beat the Post Office but for items that need to be shipped fast or weigh over 2 Kgs (4 1/2lb) it is worth looking for the best deal.

10 Steps to Selling On eBay

So, you want to be a successful seller with your own eBay business, do you? Here’s a simple, ten-step path to eBay enlightenment.

Step 1: Identify your market. Take a while to sit and watch for what sells and what doesn’t out of the items, you’re interested in. Any market research data you can collect will be very useful to you later. You’ll probably see the sweet spots quite quickly those one or two items that always seem to sell for a good price.

Step 2: Watch the competition. Before you invest any money, see what the other sellers in your category are up to, and what their strategies are. Pay special attention to any flaws their auctions might have, because this is where you can move in and beat them at their own game.

Step 3: Find a product: Get hold of a supplier for whatever it is you want to sell, and see what the best rates you can get are  don’t be afraid to ring round quite a few to get the best deal. If the eBay prices you’ve seen are higher than the suppliers, then you’re set.

Step 4: Start small: Don’t throw thousands at your idea straight away get started slowly, see what works and what doesn’t, and learn as you go. Remember that its very cheap to try out even the craziest ideas on eBay, and who knows, they might just work!

Step 5: Test and repeat. Keep trying different strategies until you find something that works, and then don’t be ashamed to keep doing it, again and again. The chances are that you’ve just found a good niche.

Step 6: Work out a business plan: A business plan doesn’t need to be anything formal, just a few pages that outline the market opportunity you’ve spotted, your strategy, strengths and weaknesses of the plan and a brief budget. This is more for you than it is for anyone else.

Step 7: Invest and expand: This is the time to throw money at the problem. Buy inventory and start spending more time on your business. Set a goal number of sales each week, increasing it each time.

Step 8: Make it official: Once you’ve made a few thousand dollars’ worth of sales, you should really register yourself as a business. Don’t worry, it’s not expensive or hard to do a lawyer is the best person to help you through the process.

Step 9: Automate: You’ll probably find that you’re writing the same things again and again in emails or item descriptions. This is the time to give up on the manual method and turn to automated software that can create listings for you and respond to completed auctions and payments with whatever message you provide.

Step 10: Never give up: Even when it looks like it’s all going wrong, don’t stop trying until you succeed. If you keep working at it then you’ll almost always find that you make a real breakthrough just when things are starting to look desperate.

Once you get into the swing of things, you might start thinking that you should quit your job and take up eBay selling part time. But it’s not always as easy as that there are all sorts of factors that you need to consider. The next email will weigh up the case for and against taking up eBay full-time.

10 Great Ways to Source Low Cost Products for eBay

So, you’re having trouble finding stock cheaply enough to sell it for a good profit? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Garage sales. The chances are you’ve gone most of your life seeing ads for these and ignoring them. Start going to as many as you can. You won’t find good things at every one, but when you find one person with good stuff, make them an offer for the lot they’ll be so happy about it that you can get a real bargain.

Markets. If your area has a market, then go there and look around for anything good. You could buy it there if it’s cheap enough or try to make friends with the market traders and find out who their suppliers are.

Pawn shops. Pawn shops don’t usually know what to do with the junk they accumulate (unless its jeweler, of course). Generally, they put their stock out on the shelves haphazardly, hoping that someday someone with a little money will just happen to come in, search around and buy wildly obscure things. Get them to offer you a discount for bulk.

Real auctions. Go to a real auction, as the chances are that you can resell things for more than they will sell them. After all, they only have a few hundred people in that room you have a few million to sell to!

Local newspapers. Place an ad in the local paper that reads I pay cash for [your item type], with your phone number. If you can afford it, make it a big display ad, so it’ll be noticed.

Ad boards. Get one of those little ads in the grocery store.

Friends. Ask your friends if they have anything, they’d like to sell you, and ask them to spread the word to their friends.

Become known. Give out business cards, mention to people what you do. The chances are that you’ll come across someone who’ll say Oh, really? I’ve got a load of [item] I don’t want.

Shops. This might be a little surprising, but some real shops even sell things more cheaply than they sell on eBay. Take a look around your local deep discounter, and pay special attention to any shop that takes trade-ins from customers. The chances are they take a loss on trade-ins as a promotion and are dying to get rid of that stock.

And finally: eBay! When you’re looking at the completed items view, you’ll notice the massive range of prices that items can sell for on eBay. Try taking the highest-priced item and searching for it on its own, then sort by lowest price first: I can almost guarantee that you’ll see an auction for the same item where it sold for almost nothing. The trick is to find these flawed auctions before they close, win them using a bid sniping service, and then turn around and resell the item.

After all that trouble, though, when do sell the item you might find that a buyer leaves you a feedback rating you just don’t think is fair. The next email will show you what to do about it.

How to Quit Your Job in Less Than Six Months

You probably do not love your job. Statistics have shown that a majority of people are not happy at their jobs. What can you do to quit your job? Real estate investing can help you get away from your miserable job and still have a steady stream of income. It is not an easy thing to do and you will not succeed overnight. You will have to commit and persist.

Quitting your job is not a decision that you should make without thinking it through. Real estate investing is a job too. You will encounter jerks and a lot of pressure, just as you do at your current job. You will be happy having a real estate investing career if you really love real estate investing. Otherwise, you can still invest in real estate without necessarily having a career in real estate.

There are so many ways that you can use to make money in real estate. Here are a few. When you decide to quit your job, you do not have to invest in real estate—you can get a real estate career instead. This is an amazing way to make income as you learn the ropes of the business.

Some of the most common jobs include:

  • Mortgage broker
  • Property manager
  • Real estate agent
  • Escrow officer
  • Home remodeling contractor
  • Title company employee
  • Marketing professional
  • Live-in resident manager

Real estate wholesaling entails finding a great deal on real estate property, putting it under legal contract and selling the contract to someone else. This method is good for beginner investors because it is fairly simple.  You will still need to put in a lot of work and skills. House flipping involves buying cheap homes, fixing them, and reselling them to investors.

The profits can be significant with this method. Buy-and-Hold cash flow investing, you have to collect a substantial amount of positive cash flow income properties. It is a little difficult and requires a lot of money. Honest evaluation: where are you at in life?

Thoroughly evaluate yourself and your situation. Collect as much information as you can. Talk to seasoned investors and ask all the right questions. Clearly identify your new source of income: what exactly do you want to do? Outline your objective: what is your goal?

Create a detailed plan: now that you have a goal, how are you going to achieve it? Include all the details. Reduce your expenses: it is a big deal to quit your job. The financial consequences will not be light. There are sacrifices you will have to make as you venture into self-employment.

Save up some cushion money: before you quit your job, have some money saved up for emergencies and capital. Life will not get easier when you quit your job. Networking is crucial: start networking because you will need other people. Now you can hand in your two weeks’ notice. 

How To Earn Money Through Fundraising

When your youth group needs to raise money quickly, you need a fast-free fundraiser that you can rely on to generate the necessary revenue. The amount you make on these free easy fundraisers will depend on how much time you must prepare and how well you execute your plan.

Here are three time-tested projects to raise some fast cash:

1 – Car Wash

2 – Yard Cleanup

3 – Community Cleanup

Car Wash Fundraiser

Car washes have proven to be great fundraisers in virtually every community. All you need are willing volunteers, a high-traffic location with good visibility, and some attention getting signs. You can put your car wash fundraiser together on short notice.

Here’s what you need to do:

1 – Line up a location with good main road frontage

2 – Ensure it has water access

3 – Assemble supplies list hoses, buckets, wash towels, dry towels, squeegees

4 – Assign each volunteer an item from the supplies list

5 – Make 8-10 poster board signs in high-contrast colors

6 – Arrange your volunteers in 2-hour shifts

7 – Wash cars for six hours (Saturday preferred)

8 – Have dual lines so you can wash two at once

Your car wash fundraisers success will of course depend on the weather. If you can wash 12 cars an hour (one every 10 minutes in each line), you can easily raise more than $500 in one day.

Remember to put together a quick flyer that includes the reason why you’re raising funds and clearly states the price. You can even offer some extra services such as Armor-All tire treatment or interior vacuuming for an additional fee.

Alternatively, you can advertise a free car wash and just ask for donations for your cause. Often, this can raise more cash than stating a specific price, because people will see a group of volunteers working hard and having a good time, and may pay more than you would have asked.

Keeping safety in mind, be sure to get volunteers to hold and wave signs toward passing traffic, not just volunteers to wash cars. If you have time, advertise your car wash event in the local newspaper, and post signs a day or two in advance.

Yard Cleanup

A yard cleanup fundraiser is extremely fast and easy to put together. Simply create a set of instructions for your group detailing what to offer, what to say, and how much to charge.

Like most fundraisers, the target market is family, friends, and neighbors. Depending on the age of your participants, your offerings can range from simple lawn care all the way up to mulching flower beds or pruning tree limbs. In many climates, autumn is a great time to do this fundraiser, because leaf clearing is always a needed service during those months.

Create a flyer describing your fundraiser and clearly list your prices for the various cleanup options. Assign a fundraising quota to each participant.

Offer some individual and group performance bonuses. There’s nothing like a team pizza party or movie passes to motivate a youth sports group.

Community Cleanup

A community cleanup, also known as a trash bag fundraiser, performs a valuable community service while also providing a significant revenue opportunity. Organizing a community cleanup project is a way to raise funds and send a positive message about your group at the same time.

This type of one day or weekend fundraising event is very similar to the Athlet-A-Thon or Fun-A-Thon concept. Here your group’s participants solicit pledges from the usual suspects – family, friends, and neighbors. Have local businesses donate trash bags and recruit parents and relatives with trucks to haul what you collect.

Pledges are tied to a specific attainment goal such as the number of pounds of trash collected or the number of road miles cleaned of debris. You’ll need to create a one-page overview of your cleanup program and a pledge signup sheet.

It works best if your overview specifies a suggested range for donations, say anywhere from a penny to a dime a pound for a large project. An amazing amount of garbage can be collected from a local stream or illegal dumping area, so it’s not a bad idea to also put a maximum limit on pledge amounts of $20.

Have local businesses donate trash bags. Recruit parents and relatives with trucks to haul what you collect.

Do the math. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can generate. Assuming 50 participants, each of whom has five pledges of a penny a pound, if you collect a ton of garbage, your group will raise $100 per participant or $5,000.

That’s not bad money for a free fundraiser! You’d be surprised at how easy it is to collect a ton of garbage.

Each of these fundraisers is fast, easy to put together, and a reliable revenue generator for your group. As with any youth group event, an adult should attend all times for safety purposes. Get started on your free easy fundraisers today!

The Extraordinary Life of Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was born approximately at midnight, between July 9 and July 10th 1856, during a lighting storm. According to family legend, during the birth a midwife put her hands in the air and declared the lightning a bad omen. “This child will be a child of darkness”, she reportedly said, to which Nikola’s mother replied: “No. He will be a child of light.”

Nikola Tesla’s predictions for the 21st Century mark him as a visionary. He envisioned a clean environment and healthy food. He also predicted a shift from focusing on politics to focusing on scientific inventions. He idealized robots. Nikola Tesla held meetings in the 1930s with Journalists of notable publications such as Times Magazine and New York Times.However,Nikola Tesla had a very close relationship with a German Journalist known as George Sylvester Viereck.

George Sylvester Viereck served a five-year jail term from 1942 to 1947. Tesla died in 1943. It is not known if the two were still friends in the 1940s when the Government showed so much interest in Viereck’s activities. Viereck’s jail sentence was because he failed to disclose in America of his NAZI Regime affiliations. He was German-American, lived in Riverside drive in New York and was a noted Nazi regime affiliated propagandist. Nikola Tesla held interviews in his Manhattan home, the 20th floor of Governor Clinton hotel. He talked of his early days as an inventor and his predictions for the 21st Century.

What made this relationship unique was that Nikola Tesla’s relationship with Viereck went as far as him dining at Viereck’s home. While Nikola would entertain journalists in his home, he visited Viereck at his home. Nikola Tesla predicted a few things that are happening exactly as he envisioned. He talked about a cleaner environment. He said that the pollution happening on the Beaches of the city would be a strange phenomenon soon. Thirty -five years later, the EPA was formed. The Environmental Protection Program (EPA) in US, an agency that deals with the cleanliness of the environment.

He mentioned that sterilizing drinking water would be the norm. The 21st Century would put emphasis on clean water supply. Tesla talked of a shift from political squabbles and supremacy in war to scientific Ideas and education. He predicted that in the 21st Century, Governments would allocate most of their budgets to education and science rather than war. Governments were war oriented in the 1930s.

Tesla developed a strange habit of eating milk and honey only. He lost weight and looked malnourished by the early 1940s. This habit led to the belief that he had no money at the end of his life. He claimed that these foods were the purest forms of natural foods. Although he went overboard with this idea, people are health conscious in the 21st Century. The 21st Century has had diets evolve to healthier choices. Tesla baffled people with his automatic boat in an exhibition held at the Madison Square Electrical Exhibition in 1898. He patented his automatic boat in the late 1890s and put it up at the exhibition.

His invention looked strange at the time, but Tesla saw automated machines coming in the 21st Century. He said “automatons” or robots would replace slave labor. He spoke of obtaining solutions by mastering machines and not destroying them. Tesla predicted cheap energy for harnessing water power and its transmission (piping), avoiding the need to burn fuel. He also predicted systematic reforestation that would greatly reduce forest fires. Nikola Tesla clearly saw the needs of human values like clean air, healthy food, and automation in the 21st Century.

Tesla and Einstein were two rare characters. Apparently, the two men were obsessed with their scientific work. The world viewed the two guys as crazy since what they engaged in was out of the ordinary. Tesla was an American inventor with mechanical designs using Beam technology. As a futurist technologist, Tesla contributed to the design of the current electricity alternating system.  He is deemed as a physicist, mechanic, and electrical designer.

Born a German Physicist, Albert Einstein was a theorist. He contributed to the development of relativity theory; one of the main physics pillars.  Einstein has influenced the growth of modern science. The similarities between the two great men eventually lead to their meeting. During Tesla’s 75th birthday in 1931, Times Magazine featured him on their cover. The magazine requested Einstein to comment on Tesla. He wrote a short and precise letter to Tesla.

Einstein applauded Tesla as a great innovator in the current systems and congratulated him on the success of his work. Earlier in the 1920s, Tesla after meeting a poet got an invite for dinner. During the dinner, Tesla due to his competitive nature had drafted a poem as a dedication to his host.  He wanted to prove to his host that he too could write poems. The poem titled Fragments of the Olympian Gossip was a critic of Einstein’s work as part of the scientific discoveries of the day. 

It is sarcastic of Tesla to mock inventions given that he could not prove any of his personal innovations were practical in any way. Later on, in 1935, while conversing with New York Times Magazine, Tesla was quick in criticizing Einstein.  In his critique, Tesla asserted that Einstein was like a beggar adorned in royal robes that could easily pass for a king for some people. He tried to disapprove of the relativity theory.  He also stated that Einstein relativity theory was just a collection of false ideas and a multitude of errors. Declaring that the knowledge imparted by the scientific theories were not in line with great scientists.

Also saying that Einstein theory was opposed to common sense. Stating that relativity theory used mathematical knowledge to cover up the falsity of the theory that lay underneath it.  Though he admits the theory excites and amazes people, Tesla states it is only people who lack wisdom.  Tesla declared that the inventors were mere meta physicists and not actual scientists. 

Interestingly, stating that the relativity theory was not proven yet none of his personal works were proven until many years later. It was said that in an interview when Einstein was asked to state something about being a great man in the world. However, Einstein told the reporters to look for Nikola Tesla to give his comment. Apparently, there was a strained relationship between Tesla and Einstein. The reference of the interview to Tesla for a comment was obviously a sarcastic comment and not a compliment. 

Though considered as insane by many, Tesla magic of three forms the basis of creation.

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

Nikola Tesla

The Real Genius of Steve Jobs

In 1991, after his marriage, Jobs and his wife moved into a nineteen nineties style house in Palo Alto. Steve had one weakness of failing to furnish the houses he lived in. In his previous house, he only got a mattress, a table, and chairs. He was a perfectionist. It took longer, in figuring out the kind of perfect items to purchase for his house. 

In a conversation with Walter Isaacson, Job’s wife stated that in eight years they discussed furniture in theory. The discussion on the washing machine seemed more complicated than the sofa story.  Jobs had found out that European washing machines used less detergent and less water than the American counterpart.

However, they took twice as long to complete a washing cycle.  Jobs explained they were stuck on what to do as a family. They spent lots of time discussing the kind of trade-offs to make. They discussed the kind of family values they had; whether they wanted the clothes cleaned for a longer time but come out ultimately as soft. Each night after dinner, at least two hours were spent on the same discussion. Isaacson’s biography on Jobs presents him as an exhausting and complicated human being.  Parts of his life are messy. Isaacson presents those parts just as they are.

In the past recorded activities and events, it comes out clearly that jobs were a bully. At one instance, he gets his girlfriend pregnant and denies the pregnancy was his.  On another occasion, he parks in handicapped places. Jobs shouts out to the subordinates in his place of work.  Once in a restaurant, Jobs sent back food three times. Isaacson revealed of the numerous times robots had to be painted and repainted as jobs revised his color scheme.

The autobiography begins in Silicon Valley in the Apple co-founded by Jobs. Despite his dismissal from the company, upon return later, he exhibited the same arrogant behavior.  Interestingly, in his sixties, Job was hospitalized. Still, his arrogance was well displayed. He chose three out of seventy nurses to look after him. Upon sedation, while still frail, he pulled off the oxygen mask claiming that it was ugly. Also, he pointed out that the oxygen pointer on his finger was complicated and ugly.

After his death, Jobs was eulogized as an inventor and a visionary. However, Isaacson’s biography refers to him as atweaker.  Technology savvy items that were produced by other companies were created in Apple a few years later. Jobs always found many items on the market as stinking.  Isaacson stated that Steve Jobs used to speak of other people’s ideas as if they were his own. 

In a sense, Jobs was great in editorial work and not innovation. He could take on other people’s ideas and refine them to make them better. Tweaking as a skill is important for progress. The innovator writes out an original idea about an item. A tweaker refines the idea to make the item better suited in functionality. 

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Steve Jobs 

You can’t have a candid look at Apple success without bearing in mind the input of Steve Jobs. Here is a snapshot to the life of a genius behind Apple’s present-day innovations and subsequent contemporary technologies. This chapter looks at Steve jobs career, the Apple story, and an inspiring journey for prospective entrepreneurs and inventors. Born in San Francisco, Steve Paul Jobs was an American entrepreneur, inventor, and designer. At the age of 21 in 1976, he and Steve Wozniak co-founded Apple Computers. Initial funding came from Job selling his Volkswagen and Wozniak selling his cherished scientific calculator. The two are credited for inventing technologies that made machines smaller, affordable, and widely accessible to the daily consumer.

Wozniak came up with a series of user-friendly personal computers while Jobs took over the marketing role. The company could sell each Apple computer for $666.66. This single invention saw the company earn about $774,000 in revenue. 3 years down the line, the release of the Apple II model boosted company sales revenues by a whopping 700% to $139 million. Apple computers became publicly traded in 1980, with a market share valuation of $1.7 Billion by the close of trading on the first day. Jobs sought Pepsi-Cola marketing expert John Sculley to take over as CEO for Apple. This could be followed by product design flaws that resulted in recalls and consumer displeasure.

IBM surpassed Apple in sales and this later saw market competition for domination between the two ensue. To counter the tide, in 1984, Steve Jobs and team helped release Macintosh computers. This product revolutionized lifestyles at the time for its functionality, style, and creative look. However, despite a hike in sales, this invention was still not at par with IBM’s. Feeling Jobs was hurting the growth of the company, CEO Sculley sought his demotion which saw Steve Jobs leave Apple in 1985.

Jobs purchased Pixar Animation Studios from George Lucas in 1986 at an investment of $5 million which was called Graphics Group at the time. The studio merged with Walt Disney in 2006 with Steve as the main shareholder. Jobs began a new hardware and software, NeXT Inc.  The company was later bought by Apple in 1996 for $429 million, marking a turning point for Apple reinvention. Steve returned to Apple as CEO in 1997.

He set up a vibrant management team, self-imposed his annual salary at $1 million a year, and put Apple back on track. Apple embarked on an aggressive and stylish product designs that won consumer confidence once more. These technologies included the iPod, MacBook Air, iMac, and iPhone, a momentous time that saw competitors start inventing comparable products.

By 2007, Apple quarterly reports recorded $199.99 in stock value, $1.58 billion profit with $18 billion in a surplus and no debt. Fueled by record iTunes, iPhone, and iPod sales, Apple was ranked No.1 as “America’s Most Admired Companies,” and Fortune 500 companies for returns by Fortune magazine. January 2011 would remain in the annals of history; this time Steve Jobs sought a medical leave from Apple.

Seemingly a normal practice, he shocked many on August the same year when he resigned as CEO of Apple, handing over control to Tim Cook. Yet, many didn’t know this could be his last journey in the company. Steve Jobs would later succumb to death on October 5, 2011, at the age of 56 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

It is not possible to sum up Steve Job’s career in a single chapter. Nonetheless, the world will forever be indebted to a genius who inspired creativity and changed lives beyond himself. A few lessons stick out. Innovative products require effective marketing to sell and success comes with hard work.  Such an entrepreneurial spirit can only be for something bigger and better. 

There are some great quotes from the late famous tech entrepreneur. Jobs states that he never went back to Apple for money. At the age of 25, his net worth was already $100 million. Since he made a fortune at a young age, he decided that money was not going to ruin his life. His return to Apple was to make it worthwhile for his health and wellbeing. Although he never foresaw his dismissal from Apple, Steve asserts it is one of the best things that happened in his life. Despite his massive wealth, he got an opportunity to begin again in life. 

He states that setbacks can be used as important points for performing vital things in life. The Beatles are his business model. The Beatles are essentially made up of four partners who through constantly checking each other’s weakness keep themselves in balance.  Jobs states that in an organizational structure, the total is great than the summation of each part.  Jobs addresses creativity, he states that it is a matter of connecting people. Creative people cannot relay the exact details of how something happened. They just saw points of interconnection.

He also said technology has brought the distinct parts of the world together and would continually do so even in the future.  Just like everything else, technology has got its own downsides.  According to Jobs Television has been among the corrosive forms of technology, it has had a negative impact on the human experience. His belief in life being intelligent. As such, he asserts that things do not just take place in a random manner.  Even the Universe is made of matter and energy arranged in a particular manner. On the process of innovation and discovery in history, he states that people do not know where it will lead to. 

The common belief is that there is something bigger than any of the current events in life. Jobs commended the young people on their willingness to adapt to new things as opposed to older people who probably wonder what to do with certain items. He stated the vital need of pursuing a vocation and not just a simple way of earning a living. He states that life takes a large portion of one’s life.

Therefore, it is vital for one to find a job that satisfies them completely, to attest that it is a great work.  A great job is only what one loves. If you do not have a great job, one should not just settle. Keep on looking for it. Jobs advised people on a time of walking away from a specific venture. He states his daily example of asking whether if it is his last day on earth, he would find pleasure in doing his daily task. If not, he states that it is the best time that someone should find something else. 

The Real Genius of Steve Jobs

Making Money in Augmented Reality

Augmented reality technology lays digital information and images over a real-life environment when they are viewed on a mobile device. It may sound new to you, but the technology has been there for over half a century. Morton Heilig, a cinematographer, invented the 3-D machine in 1962 which combined film with sensory stimuli creating an immersive environment. In the ‘90s Tom Caudell, a researcher, came up with the name “augmented reality” to refer to the graphical overlays that were used by technicians in the Boeing aircraft.

 The technology was refined to be used on smart devices in 2016 and advertiser interest to reach mobile consumers keeps growing. The interest to reach consumers digitally proves augmented reality useful in interaction and attraction of customers.

Augmented reality incorporates 3-D digital images into real world locations. Companies that specialize in digital marketing maintain that businesses will be more interested in adding promotions and advertisements in public spaces during events. A few more examples of AR promotional images are life-sized virtual furniture, cars, and electronics.

Companies can reach customers by using AR to enable them to view products more closely without going to the store. IKEA, a furniture retailer, released an app in addition to its print catalog. As a buyer browses the catalog they can look at 3-D photos of the furniture. Virtual images are also available to allow them to see whether an individual piece can fit in their space. 

With AR some online stores don’t even need to have a physical retail space. Shoppers can just have a look at the store’s virtual image and even make their orders by tapping their phone screens.

Search engine results combined with maps may help someone find products in their local area. However, most people cannot read maps correctly. Augmented reality apps are replacing the use of maps by allowing people to find what they need by imagery of their environment in real time. 

Companies are always competing for advertising space. AR eliminates this problem because companies can show virtual banners in a real-time environment. Graphically overlaying the location of a business offering discounts and coupons might grab a potential buyer’s attention. 

Augmented Reality has been in existence for a very long time, only now it is more advanced. With the improvements, anyone can make money from it with a small amount of capital.  With the fantastic and convenient methods of advertising, you don’t need to compete for billboard space anymore.

Companies like Oculus Rift and Magic Leap spend tons of money in building their VR products.  VR startups are also raising millions through angel investors and venture capitalists. This leaves many people asking whether there are any opportunities in VR for small businesses and individuals with little or no capital. The answer is yes. There are several options for making money in VR without having to break the bank. 

VR pop-ups and theatres are mushrooming all around the globe attracting both customers and attention. You will need a significant amount of capital to buy equipment then find a suitable venue. When you have everything ready, set up a pop-up movie theatre for people to come and enjoy 360 photos by great photographers and videos with VR headsets. Alternatively, you can create a try-out studio for them to experience HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Charge them for entertainment, and you will have profits flowing in.

Virtual reality headsets are quite expensive. HTC Vive units cost as much as $800 while Oculus Rift sells for $600. That said; virtual reality headsets are less of a necessity and more of a luxury item. 

However, that is how it all began for personal computers and smartphones. With Virtual reality headsets costing an arm and a leg, you could buy a few of them and rent them out together with PCs. Your target market will be those that are curious to try out VR but cannot afford the equipment. 

Google Cardboard is probably the most used virtual reality technology because compared to other more advanced headsets; it is far much cheaper. Nevertheless, it comes with several shortcomings; it needs an extra strap, it is not convenient to wear, and it does not last long. A great business venture would be to purchase the headsets wholesale and re-sell them at a retail store or Amazon for profit.

New and exciting topics sell. Virtual reality is new and stimulating. You can start a blog or YouTube channel and share experiences and information about the VR world and review latest products, games, movies, exhibitions, latest technology or observe conferences. When you gain a significant following, you can monetize it.

Consider making a host local meet-up conference, lectures, fares, events or any other VR-related social gathering. Once you have a sizable audience and your brand has grown, you can invite companies specializing in VR products and advertisers.

Companies are using millions to create new entertainment in the VR world and make the technology even more fascinating every day. But you can take advantage of what already exists and use it to create your own small VR business. Start a blog or YouTube channel, create arcade experiences, rent out VR headsets or just build a VR community—whatever works for you. Make money as you make other people happy by bringing virtual reality closer to them.

People have been waiting for VR to take off for years and they have been met with disappointment—until recently. A lot of evidence is now promising a bright future for VR but investors should be knowledgeable about several things before diving in; like what the risks are, how big the market is going to be, why this strategy should be played out in the long term and who the key players are. 

Here is what you should know before investing in VR.

According to Grand View Research estimates, the global VR market might be worth $48.5 billion by 2025. That is just the top-end estimation, other estimates range from $7.5-22.5 billion. A year ago, the VR market was worth only $1.8 billion, which implies that VR is destined to grow largely.

Anyone looking to invest in VR should know that the technology is likely to take more time before it takes off, especially because virtual reality hardware is very expensive.  Remember when Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Oculus launched the high-end Rift headset. The device was priced at $599 and its Touch controllers at $199. That was too costly for most consumers and Oculus had to reduce the price of the VR package twice. It is now priced at $399 for both the controllers and headsets. 

But still, not many people have an extra $400 to buy VR equipment so for a while, these prices will bar many potential consumers from high-end VR tech. Moreover, this high-end equipment needs a lot of processing power in order to provide high quality graphics with low latency (for the virtual environment to move smoothly as the user moves). 

There are many investment avenues in VR for an investor to choose from. For example, an investor interested in chipmakers can invest in NVIDIA, which makes GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). 53% of NVIDIA’s revenue is generated by the gaming segment which makes the corporation a key player in the VR space. 

There is also Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google, for anyone looking for solid software and hardware.

NVIDIA, Facebook and Google are not the only players in VR. There are other companies that are looking to venture into VR for more growth. Sony (NYSE:SNE) acquired an advantage in the console market when it launched its PlayStation VR headsets that are compatible with the current versions of PlayStation 4. 

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has also made moves expressing their interest in VR. 

Many companies involving themselves in VR are also getting involved in AR. Augmented reality is so much entwined into VR and both of them might be of great benefit to investors. Google has invested greatly in VR but it also re-launched the Google Glass device.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, it might take VR five to ten years to completely take off. If a tech billionaire is investing for the long haul, then you should consider playing the long game with VR investments as well. 

All of the companies above are not betting entirely on VR and they are not earning any significant profit from it at the moment. But they have all created a long-term strategy to benefit later. Investors should copy that approach.   

Virtual Reality Business Opportunities

Did you always wish to be your own boss? Does new technology excite you? If the answer to both questions is yes, then you definitely know about VR and at one point or another, you have considered starting a VR business. Well, you can make money selling VR experiences. 

Virtual reality is an artificial environment and it does not restrict your imagination. You also don’t need heavy-duty computers or other complex machines; a phone/computer and VR headset are enough. Virtual reality technology lets you experience a new reality and here is why you should create a VR business.

To begin with, VR is every marketer’s dream. What could be better than letting people have a taste of your product or experience?

Secondly, VR is advancing rapidly and it does not require a genius to create a business from it. 360-degree cameras are available at an affordable price and you can create amazing experiences using Viar360. 

Finally, giant companies already tested VR and the outcomes are encouraging. 

If you have saved a little money and you are wondering what to do, why don’t you open a VR café or pub? Fill it with VR glasses and tips about VR apps. Purchase branded Google cardboard glasses which are compatible with mobile phones to allow everyone to enjoy the apps. You may later upgrade to offering glasses like HTC Vive or Oculus.

You can serve coffee and other beverages during the day and offer advice on the best VR apps. At night, you can make your café a concert venue where your customers can enjoy a 360-degree view.

There are like a gazillion marketing agencies already and you may be thinking, “Another one?” But this is different. Create one that is wholly based on VR. Virtual reality presents a whole new way of introducing products. Clients will be able to experience services and products first hand from real estate to e-commerce to travel agencies.

Most companies have no idea how a perfect VR campaign is created. Learn all you can about it and do it for them. You can check out some of the inspiring examples featured in Forbes. 

Taking 360-degree photos has been simplified and the cameras are also much cheaper now. Simple tools to help you process the perfect 360-degree photos and videos are being created every day. For instance, the Viar360 is readily available.

Dating agencies can enable users to upload 360view photos of their best views or video stories. You can also offer them complimentary Google cardboard glasses to perfect their experience. 

VR really simplifies the real estate industry. With the ability to show a house from your home or office, you get to show more homes in a shorter time and attend to more potential buyers. Buyers are also able to virtually walk through properties and compare several houses without having to leave their home.

The VR world is full of opportunities. Opening a VR business is not rocket science anymore. You just need a little money to start you off. Choose the one that works for you and enjoy the experience.  

Virtual Reality technology is a gold mine. Giant corporations like Apple and Google are committing a lot of resources to it. Facebook bought Oculus Rift, a Virtual Reality star and even built a research lab named Area 404 to partially work on Virtual Reality.

Steve Cuffari, a top CouponBox.com content marketing manager, said that investing into VR is a wise decision. He added that VR is no longer for gamers alone. It is now possible to virtually house shop, go on vacations or attend concerts and classes.

How can you take advantage of this amazing technology and use it to earn money? 

1.    Create Your Own Virtual Reality Game

The mere thought of creating a video game for VR using your own code may sound overwhelming. However, some corporations such as Steam are making it simple. Stephen R. Foster, a game creator and Multi-Dimensional Games CEO, said that Steam allows you to build your own VR game and earn from it. He added that their secret is allowing developers to utilize HTML, JavaScript, and CSS (the Big Three front-end technologies). Their aim is making the creation of VR content almost as easy as creating a website.

2.    Start a Blog on VR

Who said that you have to be a tech expert to earn revenue off VR? All you need to do is read a lot of content about VR and start blogging. Talk about various VR experiences, platforms and apps. As your blog grows, you can earn from sponsorships and Google ad revenue.

3.    Sell VR Tickets to Your Concerts

If you have a band that is ‘not there’ yet consider VR, it might help. VR technology is able to create virtual front-row concert seats from anywhere. Kore Asian Media, a Los Angeles based company, is banking on this. They are aiming at a world in which sold-out concerts will have unlimited –front-row seat tickets. 

4.    Build VR Real Estate

For graphic designers, it is possible to get hired by a boutique VR corporation to build real estate in their games. A Talented VR designer can come up with a unique architecture style, virtually build it and maybe sell the templates to VR content creators. 

5.    Use VR to Sell ‘Real’ Real Estate 

Real estate agents now have the luxury of showing houses without physical showings. Buyers are able to see as many houses as they want while saving time. A company like WalkThrough creates VR tours for agents to show listed properties to potential buyers. 

This technology also makes it possible to virtually test drive a boat or a car.

6.    Become a VR Professor

Imagine teaching a university or college in another country from the comfort of your home. With VR an independent teacher or tutor can create an informative course and teach it anywhere. Design, engineering, and other technical courses can now be taught digitally. 

VR is one of the best things that ever happened to the world. And being able to earn from it is even better. Almost all these methods do not even require you to leave your home. Pick the one that suits you and start earning.

Normally, the real estate industry changes with time and is quick to embrace technology to enhance its services. However, when it comes to Virtual Reality technology it seems to exhibit skepticism. Those that hesitate to adopt it could be making a grave mistake while those that do could be doing themselves a great favor. 

The two most common problems faced by real estate agents are:

•    Having to manage time visiting one house after another, with obstacles like traffic making it even harder.

•    Having to hear buyers say, “it doesn’t look like the pictures” all the time. 

Virtual reality is the ultimate answer to these two issues. It makes it possible to virtually show many houses in a short time. This improves sales efficiency, allows an agent to attend to more buyers and show more houses.

Take a look at the various ways you can use VR to improve your sales and make real estate a delight.

1.    Guided Virtual Visits

This is a lot more like a promotional video but it is shot and produced in 360 degrees. It is an amazing method for existing properties. Real estate agents will also be able to show properties still under construction. It is possible to produce a virtual visit of an incomplete building by mixing several types of mediums in the virtual experience. By producing a high-quality 3D version of, say the bedroom, a buyer can have a clearer idea of how their future bedroom will look like when it is completed. 

2.    Interactive Virtual Visits

In the spirit of improving virtual visits, this experience can be even more interactive when movement is determined by the user. It is a mind-blowing experience for potential buyers. With almost everyone having heard of VR but yet to try it, this will be life-changing. This experience will have to be accommodated in a mobile app.

This experience is by hotspots that will appear in your field of vision whenever you shift your attention from one side to another. If you keep your sight on the hotspot, you will be transported to the hotspot’s location enabling you to virtually walk through the property at your own speed.

3.    Virtual commerce

Virtual commerce combines the interactive visit explained above and the ability to make custom adjustments to the home. It works just like e-commerce. This is totally amazing since you get to play with designs. 

To use VR you do not need complicated computers and materials like motion sensors. VR technology has made giant steps in the past year and its future is expected to be mobile, through apps.  If your real estate agency has a mobile app then integrating VR is super easy. 

VR technology is a great opportunity for people in real estate. It does not cost an arm and a leg; it is easily incorporated in existing platforms. It is a perfect way to improve your sales efficiency with no need for additional staff.

These are just a few ways but they are great places to start. If you are a VR technology junkie, consider monetizing your passion. This is the time to start thinking about how you will create the next virtual game or how to advise a certain company, be a VR researcher and immerse yourself in something that you really love. Having your passion earn you money is a dream come true.

Hemp Product Business Ideas

Industrial help is now legal, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill that was signed on December 20 by President Trump. What exactly is “industrial hemp”? It is used to refer to a certain variety of cannabis which, according to the law, has a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) level of less than 0.3%. THC is the psychoactive compound. This type of cannabis, therefore, cannot get you high. Basically, industrial hemp is no different from any other hardy crop.

It does not need a lot of pesticides or chemical fertilizers; it grows fast in most soils and absorbs carbon furiously from the atmosphere. This plant can be used in almost every industry—bioplastics, biofuels, construction materials, textiles, medicines and foods. The hemp-CBD and cannabis industries are expected to grow to about $42 billion by 2022.

So, with this kind of potential, what immediate business opportunities does hemp legalization present? Here are five of the biggest. Cosmetic and nutritional products are expected to be the first to get into the market. People already know that hemp has multiple health benefits. Consumers who practice health and wellness buy a lot of hemp milk, hemp seed oil, hemp seed, and many other products made with hemp.

Since CBD products were made legal, they are also buying them—the products are known to treat epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety, and a host of other conditions. This new freedom, however, is likely to bring new restrictions. The hemp regulatory environment is still being shaped. Farmers and business owners will be required to operate under a structure that has not even been crafted. America is way behind international competition as far as hemp industry is concerned. Business opportunities are about to start mushrooming because of supply chain gaps.

The manufacturing and processing technology being used currently is outdated. The hemp plant is not properly utilized—especially the waste. What gets thrown away is “the real gold”. There is a need for the ability to process hemp fully. Most people think that CBD is a huge part of the wellness benefits of hemp. However, CBD is a category on its own. There is still more research to be done but it has been suggested that CBD can treat multiple conditions.

It is usually in oil form and can be applied topically, vaped, or infused into drink and food. In some small hometowns, the local farmers have been trying for a while to increase their revenue. Even jobs have become scarce with some industries closing. Hemp can turn this situation around. It is a product that moves quickly.

This will be amazing for farmers with little storage capacity. Consumers are excited about using hemp as a raw material. Companies are already using hemp to make clothing. There is also the dramatic opportunity of using hemp—either alone or combined with other plants such as corn—to make bioplastics that are compostable. Hemp is a plant with a myriad of benefits. To show you its true potential, the following is an extensive list of products that you can try.

Foods & Drinks

  • Hemp seeds: these are superfoods like chia and flax seeds.
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Protein powder: this is a vegetarian protein, popular among athletes.
  • Hemp tea
  • Energy bars: these are filled with high-quality ingredients for a quality snack.
  • Hemp coffee
  • Hemp veggie burgers
  • Hemp herbal flavored water
  • Hemp seed butter
  • Hemp milk
  • Hemp vodka
  • Hemp beer
  • Hemp hot dogs
  • Hemp flour: nutritious and gluten-free.
  • Hemp granola: easy to make at home.

Clothing and Accessories

Hemp fabric is superior in that it is more: eco-friendly, durable and breathable.

  • Shirts
  • Jeans: hemp jeans are absorbent and have microbial properties.
  • Hemp shoes
  • Hemp coat/jacket: you can find a wide variety of these at Hoodlamb.
  • Backpacks
  • Yoga pants
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats: check out Tinlid Hats for cool hemp hats.
  • Hemp beanie
  • Wallets
  • Hemp socks: these are way better than cotton.
  • Totes
  • Flip flops (sandals)
  • Belts
  • Scarves: they are cozy, warm, and lightweight.
  • Bow ties and ties
  • Pocket squares and handkerchiefs
  • Bracelets
  • Robes
  • Overalls

Beauty & Skin

Hemp skin care products are superior to conventional products. Here are a few that you should try.

  • Body lotions: they are great for people with skin conditions.
  • Lip Balms
  • Conditioner and shampoo
  • Body wash: hemp soaps are less drying and smoother than traditional soaps.
  • Facial cleanser and cream: hemp oils are best for people with sensitive skin.
  • Hemp sunscreen
  • Hemp serum

Health

  • Hemp extract (CBD)
  • Hemp essential oil
  • Soothing aromatherapy candles: these are made using hemp essential oil. They help you relax.
  • Massage oil
  • Hemp heat muscle rub: CBD (Cannabidiol) helps with arthritis and joint pains.
  • Vape juice

Pets

  • Dog toys: hemp toys are very durable.
  • Dog collar & leash: your dog cannot chew through it.
  • Animal bedding
  • Pet tinctures (CBD oil for dogs)

Automobiles

  • Sports cars
  • Biofuel: cars that use regular fuel can use hemp biofuel, no need for new cars.
  • Thermoset compression molding

Home and Office

  • Pens: you can engrave a personal message on hemp pens made by Green Spring Technologies.
  • Hemp sheets
  • Hemp towel
  • Paper
  • Hemp curtains
  • Laundry detergent: it works like normal detergent except it is hypoallergic and non-toxic.
  • Hemp crafts
  • Hemp chair
  • Tablecloths
  • Hemp blankets: they are breathable and perfect for summer. They are also ideal for people with skin conditions.

Farming and Gardening

  • Hemp growing mats
  • Soil cleanup: hemp has deep roots that stabilize the structure of soil.

Industrial and Others

  • Ropes
  • Plastics: hemp plastic is more sustainable and durable.
  • Building homes – hempcrete
  • Oil spill cleanup
  • Hemp flags: hemp makes rustic, durable flags.
  • Hemp batteries: hemp fibers are way more conducive compared to graphene. It is, therefore, a great source of batteries and supercapacitors. 

There are thousands of ways in which hemp can be used. Being eco-friendly and sustainable this is just the beginning.

How to Find a Blogging Niche

Before you start your new blog, you need to find a niche. Going Too Broad one of the most common mistakes that beginners make—going for a broad niche. Many times, people fear to go too narrow when starting out. They believe that if their focus is broad, they will attract more visitors.

However, that is not true. If your niche is too broad, you will have a hard time pulling search engine traffic. Here is what may make a beginner give up: They choose a broad topic. It fails to gain traction with search engines. The beginner is discouraged and gives up.

If you choose a narrow topic, you will soon become an expert. Google uses the Hummingbird algorithm which gives an advantage to websites that cover a topic well. A smaller field has less topics to cover and less competition. Humans, just like search engines, love narrow niches. If they find specifically what they are looking for, they will establish a strong bond with your site. What Exactly Is a Blogging Niche?

It is a niche that attracts a subset of a larger market. Check out these examples: Travel > Frugal Travel, Gardening > Cold Climate Gardening, Fitness > Fitness for Nerds. An online research tool is useful when it comes to getting niche ideas. An example is the Keyword Niche Finder by Wordstream. You get the first 30 searches free.

Key in your head or main keyword and explore the longtail variations. See if there is a niche you like. Finding a Blogging Niche – Passion. Experts recommend getting a niche that is at the intersection of revenue potential and your passion. Others say that if you want to earn a living with blogging, you should focus more on profits. Nonetheless, finding a topic you love is important because it will show in your writing and you will stay motivated. Finding a Niche – Profitability.

A keyword research will help you determine the profitability of your niche. Find a paid keyword research tool that has cost per clicks (CPC) among its metrics. Enter about 10 keywords in your niche. If the keywords’ CPC is a few dollars, it is a profitable niche. In case you cannot get a keyword research tool: Browse a newsagent’s magazine stand. If you see a magazine for your niche, then it is profitable.

Publishing is expensive. Enter your keyword in the Google search box. If you see paid ads, the niche has money. Type a few keywords on Amazon. For each review, there are 1000 customers. Find the best blogs and affiliate programs in your niche using Google. For keyword research, you need to assess: Overall trends – use Google Trends (it is free), Keyword competition, Search volume. For the last two, you will need a paid tool such as KWFinder, Keyword Tool Pro, Spyfu, SEMrush, Ahrefs etc. For competition and volume, you can also use: Rand Fishkin’s Method and Brian Clark’s Method.

The word “copywriting” gets thrown around so much that it is slowly losing its meaning. Many people have no idea what it is anymore. So, here is a deeper look at the term. There are tons of jobs that fall under the category of copywriting. It is no wonder that even copywriters find it hard to explain their own job. Ask one and note how they dance around the definition. This is the same case with Dictionary.com. They barely define the word. “A writer of a copy” is not much of a definition.

Towards the end, the explanation tries to be a little more specific with “especially for advertisements or publicity releases”. The best explanation you will find is a comparison between content writing and copywriting. The latter is said to inform readers while the former calls them to action. This is a good place to start. Creation of valuable and relevant content is required for both content writing and copywriting.

The difference, therefore, must be in the engagement potential. Going by this, copywriting can be defined as a way of writing that is engaging, strategic and actionable. What is the relationship between copywriting and advertising? How does it fit into marketing? Traditional advertising is barely surviving. It is not dead, yet, but it is not doing well either. Audiences do not care about paid commercials anymore.

They respond better to organic marketing (both outbound and inbound). Every marketing campaign starts with copywriting. Internet users get information for what they want to buy from search engines. Copywriters encourage these shopping instincts using engaging wording and alluring themes. It is a win-win situation. Brands rank better in search engines and readers benefit from relevant, entertaining information. Copywriters must know how to play with words, obviously. But there is more. 

Beyond writing: other than basic writing skills, a copywriter should have immaculate grammar, a broad vocabulary and unique writing style. Resourcefulness: most copywriters, especially beginners, must write about a lot of topics. This means being able to find trustworthy and relevant resources.  Creativity: even with technical topics, a copywriter should find a way to make the content engaging. 

Reader-centricity: SEO is not really a copywriter’s job, but they must be knowledgeable about it. Regardless of what a copywriter is writing about, they first must think about how to entice a reader in every step. Niche and Market Research involves familiarizing yourself with the needs and expectations of the reader. Knowing what motivates their purchase decision helps you create content that resonates with them. A reader should clearly see the benefits they will get in your content.

There are three equally valid principles that contribute to valuable content. AIDA: A – attention I – interest D – desire – action. You vs. We: focus on the reader’s needs. When you have done your research properly, content creation will be a walk in the park. Pen down all the information you have gathered to make a raw copy. Read and re-read the copy. Polish the grammar, tone, and any other issue to come up with the perfect copy, ready for publishing. Having a full-time professional blog costs more than just your time. 

Here is how much you may have to pay (these are the minimum costs). Laptop: a desktop computer is good, but a laptop is better because you can work from anywhere. Other than a HD screen and a long battery life, the minimum requirements are an i5 processor and 8GB RAM. Cost: $2399 for Apple and $679 for PC. Microphone and webcam: at some point, people will want to see the face behind the content. A good webcam and microphone will help you make quality vlogs. Cost: $170. DSLR and lenses: amazing photos will capture the attention of your audience. 

Cost: $450. When it comes to hosting companies, you have a lot of options to choose from. Make sure you choose a reliable company. Otherwise, you will have to deal with poor customer support, unending downtimes, and a lot of other inconveniences. Cost: $2 to $20/month. Both your blog name and domain name are part of your brand identity. Your blog will appear more professional and boost credibility. You can buy the domain name either from a hosting company or a registrar.

Cost: $14/year. Depending on how much money you have, you can choose to: Have professionals create a custom design for you, tailored to meet the unique needs of your blog. Buy a common WordPress theme. Use the services of a freelancer or company. The WordPress theme is the cheapest option ($30 – $60). Highly customized professional blogs can cost up to $2500 or even more. Growing your blog organically will take time. You can start by posting high-quality articles every week. If you do not have the time, find a freelance copywriter to do the work for you. they charge from $15 to about $50 an hour.

This is a good idea for pure blog sites. However, for business sites with a blog section, it is better to pay for content instead of having a full-time copywriter. As your website grows, you will start getting offers from writers wanting to contribute. Before you accept the offers, check the links and content to ensure that everything is in line with your brand. Beginner bloggers can opt for free advertising methods which will only cost their time. Professionals, on the other hand, should consider paying for promotion and advertising. Google has a service, Google AdWords, that you can use to promote on Google Search.

They do not charge to display your link. You only pay when someone clicks on the link ($1 to $50). They allow you to pause, stop and start the campaign whenever you like. Other forms of advertising include LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook ads. Facebook advertising is great because you get to reach your target audience. Most of the software tools you will need are free such as Google Docs. You may need the services of a speech recognition tool sometime in the future. There are also writing and management tools. To fine-tune content, you may need a software to check grammar mistakes and/or plagiarism. 

How To Learn From Failure

It is said that failure is an amazing teacher. But if that is the case, why are so many people unable to gain knowledge from this supposedly “great teacher”? Why do people keep failing? The issue is that, although failure is an amazing teacher, it is a cryptic one as well.

It is not easy to obtain its lessons, especially when you are still lost in demoralization, disappointment, frustration, and nursing your bruised ego. Sometimes failure also comes with hopelessness, resentment, and embarrassment. To be able to benefit from your failure, you need to find a way to decipher the “teachable moments” that are hidden tactfully within failure.

You need a method to help you understand what the lessons are and how you can use them to improve your chances of a successful future. The guidelines below will enable you to assess your failures and find the specific issues that you have to correct as you pursue tasks and goals. You will need to do a lot of soul searching and thinking so do not hesitate to take some time to recover from the punch of a new failure before you start.

Reevaluate your planning: how long did it take you to plan the best way to attain your goal before you began? Did you think about the problems or hurdles that you might face and how you would overcome them? A big number of people barely spend time planning things like these even though unexpected obstacles are part of life. In the future, have a general strategy, think about potential setbacks and find a way to overcome them beforehand. Reevaluate your preparation: this step is a very crucial one but still, many people skip it.

For instance, think about someone who aspires to live a healthy life by joining a gym and attending at least three times per week. This plan can be easily shattered if the babysitter cancels last minute and there is no alternative. If there is a prepared backup plan for childcare, the parent would be able to attend gym more consistently and slide into the habit.

Another example is when someone begins a diet but does not get rid of unhealthy foods in the house to replace them with healthy ones. When making future plans, take measures that will increase your chances of success. Reevaluate your execution: were your efforts consistent? Were you lacking motivation and lagging in your work ethic? Go back and analyze when and why your efforts dropped.

Understand what circumstances led to the derailment of your efforts and know how you will address them should they occur in the future.  Focus on the variables within your control: it is normal for failure to make you feel helpless and passive, leading you to believe that you may never succeed even if you try.

However, understand that these feelings are perceptual distortions. You have more control over situations than you realize. There is always something you can do to improve a situation such as being more knowledgeable, improving your network, or building relationships with potential clients. 

8 BIG Small Business Mistakes To Avoid

Here’s an interesting notion:  Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them? 

Well, these mistakes do exist, and they are not just reserved for the rookie companies.  Many working businesses, including those you might think are successful because they’ve been around for 10+ years, are often still making them and are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.

Although some of these big and sneaky mistakes seem aimed more at service type companies, they really do fit the bill for almost any type of industry.  I have done my best with the listings below to give examples to prove it.

Underestimating Project/Service Time- This is a big one and it pertains to service companies as well as companies that sell a product. This is a service company’s bread and butter. If you don’t estimate your time to perform each and every service in your repertoire, you will get burned and there is little you can do about it but bite the bullet and learn from it.  The best way to estimate time is to do it once yourself or watch your best employee do the task and then throw in a little fudge factor on top of it. For product companies, time becomes an issue with logistics so be aware!

Not Knowing YOUR Company Numbers/Incorrectly Setting Prices- Notice I emphasized the word you. It is a common mistake to use a competitor’s as your pricing gauge without knowing why they use those numbers.  Think about the nightmare you will get yourself into if you take a competitor’s price, cut it by 10% and then start selling. What if the competition has a bad pricing structure and is barely making money or even losing money?!?!  What if your costs are more than theirs?!?!  You can use competitor as a starting point, but you cannot base your whole strategy on it.

Different industries have their own variables as far as costs go and you need to be aware of them for your project or product pricing.  What you pay for a product you are going to sell is not the only cost to have in your head when you are pricing products.  How much your labor and materials cost for a service is only a piece of an hourly rate.  Employees cost more than just salary and not every employee is part of your labor cost. Every company has insurance to pay for. There are tons of overhead expenditures that need to be part of your price. Oh, by the way, the big one that many people forget about in their price is the quality factor. What you include as standard services or standard product features as well as job site etiquette or in store service or warranties all need to go into your pricing. I will get to more on why in the next segment.

Not Charging for All of Your Time & Costs- This seems like a stupid statement to some but I bet most business owners will admit that they have given away a little too much of the farm at times. Hey, there is nothing wrong with giving a little extra here and there to show you care. But either way, that is not what I am talking about here. What concerns me are those that put a lot of quality into their work or products or stores and do not cover the cost for it. As an example, say you run a service company and your competitors do not do a certain standard service that you do. You cannot just undercut their price to steal a job; you need to have that cost covered in your rate and advertise the fact that it comes with the price upfront. Stores undermine themselves, for example, when they put more people on the floor for customer service but do not charge for it. These things cost you money and when your competitors do not do them it costs them less money.  Put out better service and then underprice them, and your competition just must wait a little bit for you to fall on your face so they can swoop back in.

As a business owner you need to believe that you are providing your clients worthwhile wares that deserve to be paid for. If you get the chance to explain why your prices are higher, then take that opportunity and do it.  If they do not like the fact that you include things that others charge extra for later or that you treat them better, then they are most likely completely price shoppers.  You do not want them as regular customers anyway.  Trust me.

Not Getting Paid Fast Enough- That is right, the old cash flow issue.  If you are making enough money to pay the bills, this problem can be solved, prevented or at least made to be not as bad as it could be.  Here is the deal:

First off, all, bill customers very promptly. It is quite common for a small business to not have the procedures or systems in place to get invoices generated and out the door in a timely fashion (see the next segment for more). Again, this would seem unlikely since that is the reason why we are doing the work- to get paid. But it is extremely easy for the people responsible for getting this info to the billing people to be too busy to get it there or not have enough organization to give it to them the right way.

The second part to slowing down or stopping a regular cash flow crunch is to make the quickest payment deals possible with customers and the slowest possible with vendors and employees.  If there is any way not to pay employees any more than twice a month, you better do it.  Contractors always have an issue with this. If you must pay weekly, then tell them before they are hired that they will be getting the first week held back, essentially buying you a week. It will help, I promise.

Part three involves credit. If your company can get a credit card, then get it. This allows for certain important things to be bought (that you can afford) that might come up during a cash flow crunch.  Better yet, especially if you have no choice but to deal with 45+ day customer payments, do your best to get a company line of credit.  This is a must if you plan on selling to the government or doing commercial service work. These clients often have 60 to 90 day wait periods.

Failure to Have Solid Systems and Procedures in Place- Too many procedures (known as red tape) is the reason why many people start their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, having no procedures and systems in place at all is not an alternative. Depending on the type of industry, business owners must come to a happy medium or chaos and the unknown will ensue. Some basic examples where procedures or systems are needed include billing, collections, payroll, hr. (interviewing, hiring, vacations, benefits, job responsibilities, etc.), manufacturing, operating equipment, maintaining equipment, inventory, sales calls/visits and logistics to name a few.

Even a one person show needs to have some admin procedures in place.  This will make it easier to hire temps and subcontractors and control what they are doing for you.  Without at least a watered-down version of a system or procedure to do everyday work, you will be to blame for causing many major headaches as your company grows. I cannot emphasize how important this is for when you bring on new employees. I’m sure you heard this before, but I am also a big proponent of having an employee handbook even for one employee. it’s amazing the trouble people can cause business owners just because they allow you to pay them.

Spending Advertising Money Just to Say You Advertise- I would almost rather see my clients not advertise then to spend without regard to tracking the results. There is no point in a marketing campaign if you do not put things in place that allow you to measure how well the plan is working.  The other wasteful part of marketing that many people make the mistake of doing, is not tracking their previously successful campaigns.  Why some people think that just because a $400 dollar a month ad worked once very well for one busy season, that it will automatically work every year after that is beyond me.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin- This is a classic mistake made by every entrepreneur. The key is to figure out when you are at that wearing too many hats point and start getting some help.  The solution here is to know your strengths and to be able see when you are not performing the duties that demand these skills. If you are the best salesperson on the company, you cannot get caught up in day-to-day operations. If you do, sales will slip and eventually you will not have any operations to worry about.  Think about this to help you figure out if you are spread too thin: Did you really go into business for yourself to work 80+ hours a week?

Not Getting Help Soon Enough- Set goals to know when to hire people to take over where you are light on knowledge. Not getting help or waiting too long can kill a company. Most people who start a business do it because they are good at the technical end or the sales end.  If you know the best way to make a widget, then your strength is in production and that is where your time should be spent. Hire an outside company or consultant to take care of the sales and marketing and then hire inside when you can afford someone full time.  Don’t be something to your company that you are not. It will only hold you back.

The three big issues people like to tackle themselves but usually are least knowledgeable about are legal issues, accounting/bookkeeping issues and daily operations issues.  The odds are that these three things are your weakest link so if you don’t have a partner that has the background for these subjects, then be prepared to get help as soon as possible. It’s preferable that you do this before you start a business.

Although looking for these problems at any time is a good idea, the end of a year or season is an excellent business interval to make sure you are not making these errors.  Take the time, or make the time, to fix these problems. If you do not know how to reverse the problems, then get some help.  If you really don’t have enough time to either figure out if you have these issues or know they are there and can’t break away long enough to do it right, then get some help.