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Friday, October 30, 2015

5 Ways to Instantly Connect With Anyone You Meet

5 Ways to Make Enough Side Money to Eventually Quit Your Job

Brandon Turner, Real Estate Investor

OCTOBER 28, 2015

Nearly everyone dreams of quitting his or her day job, whether it's tomorrow, next year or in the next decade. However, there is a wide chasm between "dreams" and "action" that many people never seem to cross -- and it's usually due to finances.

Obviously, if you want to quit, you need to find another way to make enough income to pay your bills, save for the future and enjoy life. But what's the best way to do this? How can you make enough "side income" now so you can quit your job in the near future?

Here are five great ways to make side income while still working your day job:
1. Invest in real estate.

My eyes were first open to the idea of "passive income" after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Although not a real-estate book, it taught me the value of owning assets that produce income, which led me to real estate. Real-estate investing is not always passive, and not always easy, but it can be highly profitable. In addition, there are hundreds of ways to invest in real estate. For example, you could:
  • Flip houses
  • Own rental houses
  • Become a "house hacker"
  • Own vacation rentals (AirBnB)
  • Rent out duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes
  • Buy and rent out apartment complexes

Real-estate investing is my favorite way to create side income because it runs like a locomotive. It might take a little time to build up, but once it's running, it goes a long way with less effort and is hard to stop.

2. Write a book.

Many people have dreams of writing a book, but very few ever do. They think it's too hard, that they don't know enough, don't have enough time, aren't smart enough or whatever other excuse they can come up with. But the truth is: you can write a book, and that book can help you make additional monthly income.

There are several avenues you can take when writing a book, and there is no "best route." For example:
  • You could write a series of shorter topic-specific books and publish them on Kindle.
  • You could self-publish through your own website and sell to your existing customers.
  • You could partner with a larger platform and sell to its audience (as I did).
  • You could work to get published through a major publishing company (probably the most difficult path).
  • You could record an audiobook and publish it on Audible.

Writing a book today is not as tough as it once was, as there are so many avenues with which you could publish. The keys are no longer held by elite publishing companies in New York City. The keys are now in your hands.

3. Sell a product on Amazon.

I'm slightly addicted to Amazon Prime, as my local UPS driver can attest to. It seems every day I have a package or two waiting at my doorstep -- and it's usually from people just like you. Most of them probably never touch the product that I'm buying.

That's right: you no longer need to have a warehouse, inventory or employees to buy wholesale products and sell them at retail. Amazon has leveled the playing field and now anyone can sell products.

A friend of mine, Chris from UpFuel.com, decided to sell products on Amazon. He researched best-selling ideas, contacted a manufacturer in China and had the perfect model designed, had the product shipped to Amazon's fulfillment center in the United States and sells his product on the site, making thousands of dollars a month in profit.

The best part? Chris doesn't ever touch the product, and it largely runs on autopilot at this point.

4. Sell your skills.
Chances are you are good at something in the business world. Perhaps it's accounting, data entry, video production or writing.

Whatever you are good at, there are likely people out there willing to pay you good money to run that part of their business for them. Smart business owners know that they should focus on what they are good at, and hire out the rest. This is where you can come in and make side income doing what you love.

In addition to freelancing, you could also become a consultant. For example, my friend Joshua Long turned his knowledge of Infusionsoft, ClickFunnels and other marketing systems into a full-fledged consulting business, where he helps CEOs identify existing opportunities in their businesses.

So what are you good at? What will other people pay you for?

5. Start a blog.

Finally, a good way to make side income can be with a blog. Although it takes time to build up a following, once you have that following there are numerous ways to monetize the blog.

Jeff Rose, from GoodFinancialCents.com, uses his blog to build up his authority as a certified financial planner, driving traffic and income to his business. At the same time, his blog allows him to monetize in other more passive methods, such as affiliate marketing, online products and consulting.

To succeed at blogging, it's important that you:
  • Focus on writing quality content
  • Work hard at getting that content out there to the world
  • Build your email list from day one, so you can market to those people later.

Blogging is definitely not a "sit at home in your underwear and make easy money" kind of activity. It requires diligence, quality and time. However, blogging can be incredibly rewarding.

There is one common theme with all of the above methods for making side income. Do you know what it is? They all take work. That's right, you'll never achieve the kind of lifestyle you want if you don't work for it. So get out there today and start hustling. You'll be able to quit that job faster than you ever imagined.

4 Financing Tips for Female Entrepreneurs



Lisa Stevens, Contributor, Entrepreneur.com

OCTOBER 26, 2015

Women’s Small Business Month, which happens every October, is a great time to highlight the many contributions and advancements made by female business owners who are making a significant, positive impact to our nation’s economy.

The latest census data shows that in 2012, female-owned firms made up more than 36 percent of all non-farm businesses, up from 30 percent in 2007. As of 2012, there were 9.9 million female-owned businesses -- a more than 27 percent increase from 2007.

The fact that the number of women entrepreneurs has increased over the years has been made possible, in part, by their passion, talent and dedication and their ability to obtain essential business support including access to capital. According to a recent Wells Fargo / Gallup national study, 71 percent of women business owners say they feel very or extremely satisfied as a business owner, and 89 percent would do it all over again. Yet women in the survey also expressed less overall interest than men in learning about credit-related issues, particularly choosing the type of credit that is best for their business needs (17 percent versus 28 percent).

It’s important for women entrepreneurs to understand how the use of business credit may benefit their operations. Business credit can provide a business the source of funds it needs for multiple purposes, from bridging gaps in cash flow to pursuing growth opportunities. As women-run businesses continue playing a vital role in our local economy, we want to do everything we can to help these businesses thrive.

Here are four tips we offer women business owners to help them succeed financially:
1. Explore your financing options.

According to the Wells Fargo / Gallup study, women business owners said their top three sources of initial funding for their business are cash or savings (85 percent), personal credit cards (37 percent) and financial gifts or support from family or friends (29 percent). Today, business owners have many business financing options to consider.

If a conventional business loan doesn’t meet your specific needs, you may want to explore an SBA 7(a) loan. Talk with your banker about the full array of credit options available for your business to identify the best option for you.

2. Seek lenders with a commitment toward women business owners.
It’s a competitive market for small business loans, and that’s good for women business owners. Lenders are seeking to make every responsible loan they can to credit-worthy business owners.

When choosing a lender, you should consider financial institutions that have demonstrated a commitment and track record of working with women-owned businesses as well as a lender who may have implemented lending goals or programs focused on women-owned businesses. Many states have programs for women entrepreneurs, so it is worth investigating the opportunities in your area.

3. Connect with other women entrepreneurs.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a network of more than 100 women business centers across the country aimed at helping women who own small businesses. Another great resource for women business owners is Score.org, which offers online newsletters and webinars in addition to an extensive database of female mentors.

Finally, women business owners should consider joining the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), which has chapters across the country that offer peer-to-peer professional development programs for members. Many of these organizations are dedicated to helping women find the right financial tools to successfully run and grow their business.

4. Build a relationship with a banker.
Having a strong relationship with a business banker can be beneficial to your business. The stronger your relationship is with your banker, the better your banker will be able to understand your business when you come to them for support and financial solutions to help it grow.

For example, a banker can help you build a strong credit profile, as well as help you gain access to the capital your business needs when you’re credit ready. A banker can also provide guidance on how to lay a strong financial foundation for your business, such as establishing a business plan. To build the relationship, make sure to keep your banker up to date on significant changes and notable successes in your business.

There’s certainly a lot to be learned from the many successful female entrepreneurs who have made it in today’s ever-changing and challenging business environment. There is no single recipe for success so to speak, but the four tips outlined above will certainly help you start, run and grow your business.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

8 Types of Investors That Entrepreneurs Need to Avoid



Martin, Zwilling, CONTRIBUTOR, Veteran startup mentor, executive, blogger, author, tech professional, and Angel investor.OCTOBER 02, 2015

Don’t assume that all investors are the same, just because their money is always the same color. Every entrepreneur should do the same due diligence on a potential investor that smart investors do on their startups. Check on their track records, values and management style. Taking on an investor is a long-term relationship, like getting married, that has to work at every level.

Let’s just say that every investor is different, without trying to define what is good or bad for you and your startup. Investors are human and subject to human tendencies, whether they are your rich uncle, an angel investor with personal funds or a venture capital investor with institutional money. Here is a summary of some key investor stereotypes that generally need to be avoided:

1. Investment sharks

I’m not talking about the Shark Tank TV show, but some might say the panel fits the definition. While the majority of investors are looking for a win-win deal, there are investors who like to prey on entrepreneurs who have little financial experience, don’t read the term sheet or are simply desperate for a deal. Seek out advisors to help you avoid these investors.

2. Investors who love to litigate


We all know that startups don’t have money to fight in court, so it’s easy for a few unscrupulous investors to jump to the conclusion that intimidation and lawsuit threats can improve their returns and control after the money changes hands. Here is where checking the track record pays off. Don’t assume you will be the exception.

3. Imperial investors

These are investors with such massive egos that they expect to dictate both the terms of the investment as well as all future strategic decisions of your startup. Unless you are preparing to work for Donald Trump someday, I recommend that you skip this investor in favor of a more equal partner.

4. Legal eagle investors

Negotiating terms is normal before the investment, but once the check is cashed, you don’t want to be second-guessed on every action. Be wary if the term sheet is a document longer than your business plan. Violation of abstract clauses may be used as a way to push you out, take over the company or pull the investment.

5. Academic coach investors

Coaching should be expected and appreciated, but you don’t have time for constant tutorials on how to run a business. A good advisor and mentor will tackle questions and then offer key insights. If an investor spends more than a day at your office before the check is written, it may be time to check your patience meter.


6. Pretend investors

These are “wannabe” investors who don’t have the means, or former entrepreneurs who don’t want to leave the arena. They always have one more issues to investigate or another set of questions, but never bring the checkbook. After a rational allocation of your team’s time, ask for a definitive close and be willing to walk away.

7. Investors without a clue

Many wealthy people make poor startup investors. They have long forgotten (or never knew) the challenges faced by a startup business. Many great real-estate people and doctors fall into this category. A synergistic long-term relationship in your business is not likely. Ask them for an introduction to wealthy business friends.

8. Investors for a fee

These are people who rarely invest their own funds, but promise to find the perfect match and live off a percentage of the action and preparation fees. They may be licensed investment brokers or consultants cold-calling real investors. The challenge is performing due diligence on the real investor.


Proactively seek out and build relationships with investors who interest you, rather than passively wait for potential investors to approach you. Finding investors is best done by talking to peers and attending networking events. Cold calling or emailing strangers will likely get you a sampling of all the eight stereotypes defined here.

Finally, you need to learn what investment terms make sense for your startup and craft your own term sheet, rather than rely on one being presented to you. Start with some legal advice from a source you trust. Do your homework and networking, but don’t chase investors like a one-night stand and expect it to lead to a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.

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Cathy Harris is an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Self-Publishing and Business Coach.