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How to Know When You Should Partner With a Nonprofit #startup #smallbusiness #entrepreneur #trepjumper #fundingguy

Written by Kevin Xu is the CEO of MEBO International, a California- and Beijing-based intellectual-property management company specializing in applied health systems.

That's why startup partnerships with nonprofit organizations are now more important than ever, and new opportunities are popping up every day. For instance, while malaria used to be the primary public health concern in Africa, GeekWire has reported that cancer may now be the continent's biggest health threat, according to recent data.
To combat this, Seattle nonprofit BIO Ventures for Global Health partnered in June with the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer, to create the African Access Initiative. The Initiative will bring in pharmaceutical and biotech companies, such as Pfizer and Takeda, to aid in the fight against cancer.
In a perfect world, a union between a startup and a nonprofit will always make sense. Complementary resources and common goals will also surely help, while timing is just as big a factor.
Timing Is everything.
From the moment it opens its doors, a startup is running on borrowed time. Research by Statistic Brain has pointed to data showing that 25 percent of startups fail within the first year, 36 percent falter after two and 55 percent are dead by the end of year five.
Needless to say, then, every day counts for all young companies, including those that partner with nonprofits. The timing of any partnership must be strategic and help both sides get the most out of the union.
What do you see the fruits of your labor looking like a month from now? How about six months -- or years-- from now? Decide what success looks like now, and work toward creating the change your partnership hopes to see.
Through my company's partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative and the China Association for Integrative Medicine, we're providing monthly training sessions throughout China to teach locals how to tend to burn victims. The sessions provide immediate training and assistance in the communities that need it, while also building a long-term system of burn specialists who can service their chosen areas and serve as ambassadors for the company's joint venture and its chosen charitable organization.
Deliberate timing is vital for both sides of a startup-nonprofit partnership. It ensures that each can pull its own weight and operate at a high frequency.
Taking the plunge With a nonprofit
Thirty percent of respondents in the Statistic Brain study cited "unbalanced experience or lack of managerial experience" as a reason for startup failure; and one of the subcategory reasons was too-rapid expansion, which occurs in a partnership when one or both partners are not ready. This is why it's so important to evaluate your company's financial and structural status to make sure your startup is healthy enough to join hands with a nonprofit.
Assuming you've found that perfect nonprofit, here are three questions to ask yourself to make sure the timing is right:
1. Where do we stand financially? Take the temperature of most failed startups, and you'll find that finances played a hand in a good chunk of their respective downfalls. Forty-six percent of the Statistic Brain respondents listed "incompetence" as the reason for startup failures, with reasons such as "emotional pricing" and lack of knowledge in pricing and finances named as factors.
When entering any partnership -- especially one involving a nonprofit -- ensure that your finances can stand up. Determine whether you're on solid enough ground to donate both time and your young company's scant financial resources. The point of that donation: to help a nonprofit that may also be trying to make its mark but is not as focused as you are, on finances.
2. Are we structurally sound? Money is one factor, albeit an important one, for determining how ready your startup is for a nonprofit teammate. But what about the other aspects of your company's health? In other words, do you have the personnel, work capacity and other support in place to make sure both parties benefit from this union?
Be strategic when entering a partnership, and make sure your company is equipped to handle the load. Strategic timing helps companies understand how a partnership could contribute to both organizations' health, in terms of size and scalability. For example, a small startup collaborating with a large nonprofit could find itself disregarded by others in the space despite heavy contributions to the partnership. This is especially true if the nonprofit's mission isn't updated to reflect the partnership's new objectives.
3. Do both brands look good to the public? Strategic timing is crucial, but don't ignore circumstantial timing, which isn't controlled by individuals and companies, but instead by public opinion. Ensure that your company and its potential nonprofit partner have solid public images so that a bad press story or a single indiscretion won't cast a poor light on your brand or its efforts.
Once that's determined, figure out where your respective brands complement each other. Brand alignment is key for building partnerships, so understand how your mission coincides with that of your potential nonprofit partner. To understand how you can help, understand the needs of your preferred nonprofits and identify gaps in their assistance.
Still unsure about the goal you want to focus on? Check the U.N.'s website and review its 17 sustainable development goals to see whether one fits with your company's current mission statement. From there, perform an internal review to see how your partnership could take advantage of existing infrastructures. Pursuing relevant, timely causes will help ensure that your efforts go to those which need it most and that your startup makes the most of its limited time and resources.
A startup/nonprofit partnership can be great for all parties involved, but it must be initiated at the right time. Ask the questions that get to the core of what your company -- and its potential philanthropic partner -- represent in order to determine whether now is the time to make things official.

Posted by David Seagraves
Find “The Right Money” for Your Business

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What Is a Sales Funnel? The Guide to Building an Automated Selling Machine #startup #smallbusiness #entrepreneur #trepjumper #fundingguy

Written by Robert Adams is a writer, blogger, serial entrepreneur, software engineer, and best-selling author of dozens of technology, SEO, online marketing and self-development books, audiobooks and courses.

One of the core concepts in the digital marketing industry is the sales funnel. While odd sounding at first, this single core concept can take a business from virtually non-existent and unknown to multi-million-dollar marketing machine with mass saturation, seemingly overnight. In fact, there are skilled practitioners who have built a career around implementing this single concept in business.
If you're wondering what a sales funnel is, simply imagine a real-world funnel. At the top of that funnel, some substance is poured in, which filters down towards one finite destination. In sales, something similar occurs. At the top, lots of visitors arrive who may enter your funnel. However, unlike the real-world funnel, not all who enter the sales funnel will reemerge out from the other end.
In marketing automation, Ryan Deiss, co-founder of Digital Marketer, often describes the sales funnel as a multi-step, multi-modality process that moves prospective browsers into buyers. It's multi-stepped because lots must occur between the time that a prospect is aware enough to enter your funnel, to the time when they take action and successfully complete a purchase.
There are email warming sequences that include things like personalized value-driven stories, tutorials and even soft pushes to webinars, and of course product suggestions that happen over days or even weeks. The truth is that most prospects won't buy from your website at first glance, especially if they're only just becoming aware of you today. It takes time. Thus, the funnel is a multi-modality process, as there are a variety of relationship-building experiences and "touches" that occur through several stages.
Much of this is steeped in buyer psychology. The best marketers in the world know that there is a psychological process that must occur for prospects to whip out those credit cards and turn into buyers or even hyper-active buyers. One such person who’s perfected this process is Russell Brunson, an "underground entrepreneur" who founded a company called Click Funnels, a sales funnel SaaS business that empowers marketers from around the world to build marketing automation without all the hassle.
As a software engineer myself, I can tell you that building funnels from an application standpoint takes massive amounts of work. There's a great deal of coding and integration that's required here. From email systems to landing page implementations to credit card processing APIs, and everything in between, so many platforms need to "talk," that it takes the bar too high for the average marketer.
However, what Brunson cleverly conceived with Click Funnels is to create a SaaS that can integrate with the world's most popular platforms and virtually anyone can quietly launch a funnel in hours as opposed to weeks of hefty coding and programming. As a fervent user of Click funnels myself, I can tell you that the system is impressive beyond measure.
Understanding Sales Funnels
To better understand the concept of a sales funnel and just how you can implement it in your own business, let's look at the following image from Shutter stock. On the left side of the image, you see a magnet. That magnet is attracting customers, which happens a number of ways. From blogging to social media to paid ads and everything in between, how the visitors arrive to your website has some impact on the success of your funnel.
Stage 1: Awareness
What's more important about the sales funnel is what happens when those visitors (we can call them prospects) actually do arrive. Through a variety of means, many of which you've already seen, such as email newsletter signups, eBook downloads, online quizzes and more, those prospects enter into your sales funnel through an enticing offer.
The goal of your entire sale funnel and platform is to solve your customer's problem. When you know the problem, and you build content to draw them in, then offer them a product or service to solve their problem, that's when the real magic happens. However, getting to that stage takes work and you have to garner their awareness first.
Once the prospect is in the proverbial funnel, you've peaked their awareness. That's the first stage of the funnel. However, getting a prospect aware of you is no simple feat. Depending upon how they've arrived to your website (organically or through a paid ad), those customers might view your funnel differently and your opt-in rates will vary significantly.
For example, when a customer finds you organically through a Google search for example, that means you have some element of authority. When you have authority, prospects are more likely to enter into your funnel because they know that if they found you relevantly, that whatever it is that you're providing must be of a great value. That's just the nature of SEO and organic search.
Of course, regardless of how they enter into your funnel, your goal as a marketer is to move them through the multiple stages that will take them from prospect to buyer. And once they're aware of you, you need to build their interest. To do this, you need to establish a relationship with the customer. You might have enticed them with a great offer (lead magnet) to grab their email address, but actually moving them through the funnel is a far greater challenge.
The truth? People are smart. They're not simply going to buy anything from anyone unless they feel there's an immense amount of value to be had there. Thus, your funnel needs to build that value and bake it in through a variety of means. But most importantly, you have to create a strong bond with your prospect, and that happens by being relatable, honest and transparent in your email warming sequence.
Stage 2: Interest
You gain the prospects interest through an email sequence. You begin to relate stories to them that tie into who you are and how you've arrived to this point in your life. Brunson, in his book, Expert Secrets, calls this the Attractive Character. Are you the reluctant hero whose journey happened almost by mistake, but you feel like you owe it to yourself and the world to convey something of great value?
Or, are you a leader, an adventurer or an evangelist? How you position yourself is entirely up to you, but your message must be consistent throughout your entire "pitch" and it needs to be steeped in the truth. Your backstory, and just how you convey that through parables, character flaws and polarity, has much to do with just how well you can "hook" in your prospects to create a mass movement.
Of course, implementing this isn't easy. You need to first develop your stories, then decide on how you're going to convey those stories and at what drip-rate. For example, your first email or two might go out on the day them first signup, then one email per day might go out afterwards. How much of that will be story-based and how much will be pitches?
In a recent conversation I had with Perry Belcher, co-founder of Native Commerce Media, he told me that you also need to train your prospects to click on links. For example, you could have them click on a link of what interests them or link them to a blog post or eventually to a product or service that you're selling, but you need to train them to build a habit of clicking on those links from the very beginning.
Stage 3: Decision
The next stage is the decision. Getting prospects to make a decision isn't easy. The best way to get them there? Beyond the art of storytelling, copywriting and building the habit of link-clicking, you need to have lots and lots of customer reviews and testimonials. This is one of the most powerful ways that you can get people to take action.
Of course, if you're going the paid ad route, you could also use Facebook and Google re-targeting to keep that awareness and interest level high. For example, if you've ever noticed after leaving a particular website, that you begin to see their ad everywhere, there's a particular reason for that. Especially if they've already entered your sales funnel, this is a very powerful way to get them to act.
For example, you could show them re-targeting ads that have video testimonials or reviews by other customers. If you have media publications that have written about you, you could take that opportunity to highlight those. When they see this in your sales funnel and you follow them around with re-targeting, it's simply an added element of exposure.
But however you get them to decide to act, flipping that switch isn't simple. You need to present them with a great opportunity and use Robert Cialdini's 6 principles, outlined in his 1984 book, Influence, in one way or another to move them through this stage:
• Principle of reciprocity -- This is achieved by delivering lots of value, either through whatever it is that you provided them as a free offer (lead magnet) in the very beginning, or in an ongoing exchange through your emails.
• Principle of commitment & consistency -- When people commit to something, they're far more likely to purchase from you. That's why getting them to agree to something like a free + shipping offer or by agreeing with something you've said in some way. This is a powerful principle in sales and if you pay attention to some of the best marketers in the world, you'll notice that they work fervently to get your commitment to something, even if it's very small in the beginning.
• Principle of liking -- When people like you (i.e. they relate to your stories) they are more likely to purchase something from you. How well you craft your story and convey that to your prospects is going to play a big role in whether they decide to act or not.
• Principle of authority -- How much authority do your products or services have? Are their respected people in your community that have endorsed it? Scientific studies that are backing it? Are you yourself an authority? All these elements come into play in this process.
• Principle of social proof -- Do you have social proof? Are people on social media raving or talking about how great your products or services are? Do you have some other type of social proof? Best-selling books? Something else? It's important that you present this to prospects if you do have them.
• Principle of scarcity -- How much scarcity have you baked into your email sequence? Again, people are smart, but when you apply the principle of scarcity, as in there are only a limited amount of some offer or time left before a discount expires or slots available for an online class, it entices people to take action.
Stage 4: Action
The final stage of the sales funnel is the action that you're intending them to perform. In most cases this is the purchase. Again, how well you move them through the various stages is going to set you up with a specific conversion for this action. For example, if 100 people click on your offer and 10 people enter your sales funnel but only purchase people purchase, then you have a 2 percent conversion.
However, the best part about this, and the most powerful route that entrepreneurs take to scale their businesses, is that if you know that sending 100 people to your site costs you $200, for example, but you get two people to convert at $300 each, then you have a $600 return on $200 invested (300 percent). When you know that, that's when the entire game changes and you can infinitely scale your offers.
This how the world's smartest marketers scale out their businesses. They know the conversion value and they've tweaked and perfected their sales funnels, so they go after this with a vengeance by simply scaling out their offers. If you know that, by investing $1 you're going to get $3 back, you will infinitely invest $1 repeatedly. Get the point?
However, getting to this stage is no simple feat. It takes an enormous amount of work and effort plus tracking. By implementing sales funnel software, such as the platform built by Brunson, you can definitely cut down the headache, but there's still lots of work to be done. Copy needs to be written, tracking pixels need to be installed and email sequences need to be created. But that's what it takes to succeed.
Think about that the next time you're building out a sales funnel. This complex and intricate concept in business can literally take you from a complete unknown to a global powerhouse quickly through the art of scaling out a highly-converting offer. Don't try to take shortcuts or implement hacks, and put in the time if you're looking to eventually reap the benefits and results.

Posted by David Seagraves
Find “The Right Money” for Your Business

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How the Top Freelance Marketplaces Grow Your 'Side Hustle' Profit #startups #smallbusiness #entrepreneurs

Written by Hurdlr - smart mobile app for independent workers, freelancers, and solopreneurs to seamlessly manage their "business" finances in seconds.

It’s no secret that the freelance economy is growing like crazy.
According to a study published in 2016 by Upwork called Freelancing in America, 55 million Americans participated in freelancing last year, meaning it already represents 35 percent of the U.S. workforce.
Here's a more surprising statistic: Moonlighters made up 25 percent of the freelance workforce in 2016. These are professionals with a primary, traditional job who also moonlight doing freelance work. For example, a corporate-employed web developer who does freelance projects in the evening.
More and more people are choosing to supplement their day job income with on-demand work, ranging from remote business consulting to website design projects to even voice over acting!
And technology is making it increasingly easy to sell your skills or find the perfect talent for a business project. The same study found 73 percent of freelancers said that technology has made it easier to find freelance work—up from 69 percent just two years ago.
We spoke to executives at two of the top freelance marketplaces in the world, Fiverr and Upwork, that combine for billions of dollars in services sold each year. We got their insight on where this market is going and how freelancers can earn more profit with these platforms.
Fiverr’s CRO on solving freelancers’ biggest problem.
“Fiverr’s marketplace aims to solve the biggest pain point freelancers have,” says David Manela, CRO at the Tel Aviv-based freelance marketplace, “Finding work. We do this by taking the simplicity of an ecommerce marketplace and applying it to freelance services.”
Ask any potential entrepreneur about their fears of starting their own business and their answer will almost certainly be some variation of "getting customers." The beauty of using Fiverr as a freelancer is that they’re focused on optimizing their platform to connect businesses with customers so you don’t have to.
“That way,” Manela puts it, “freelancers spend less time doing the business of marketing and seeking out work (i.e. writing proposals, bids, etc.) and more time doing what they actually love—creating, coding, designing, etc.”
Just looking to make extra profit on the side, in addition to your day job? A platform like Fiverr is also ideal, because you can control how much you work. “For those looking to do supplemental work as a side hustle, it's easy to control the number of gigs they're working on, meaning they can take on as much work as they feel comfortable handling.”
Leveraging an optimized platform like Fiverr can help entrepreneurs increase their freelance profit because they’re free to spend 100 percent of their time filling client orders and growing revenue, not racking up expenses trying to advertise their services.
Upwork VP says skip admin to maximize earnings.
Shoshana Deutschkron, vice president of communications at Upwork, has similar thoughts on what keeps freelancers from growing their profits. “The biggest barrier to growing profits from freelancing is finding enough work. Traditionally, side gigs have been limited to personal referrals and local projects. Upwork makes it much easier and faster to find more work,” she says.
The advantages of leveraging an online marketplace to manage inbound sales/lead generation should be a given. But what about managing those clients along the way—making sure they know what they owe you, sending invoices, and getting paid on-time and securely? This can add up to quite the time commitment for most freelancers, and be a huge drain on your profit.
Upwork spent a lot of time and resources building tools to streamline these dreaded tasks for freelancers. “Beyond better access to a much larger pool of work opportunities, Upwork helps entrepreneurs maximize their earnings by reducing the administrative load required of freelancers, such as time tracking and invoicing, and empowering them to spend that time actually working and earning,” says Deutschkron.
Upwork accomplishes this via proprietary features for Upwork freelancers include tools like the Work Diary, which automatically screenshots your computer to document work-in-progress. This helps ensure your client pays you for every hour actually spent working.
For fixed-rate projects, Upwork has a built-in milestones interface that allows freelancers to submit pieces of the project at agreed-upon due dates, at which point the client releases funds from a secure escrow account that go right to you, the entrepreneur. Not only does Upwork help entrepreneurs get work, it helps them get paid in timeand in full.
Simply put, more time cranking out sales and less time doing administrative dirty work like documentation, billing, and collection means much more profit for you.

Posted by David Seagraves
Find “The Right Money” for Your Business

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How to Make a Great First Impression

Written by Ivan Misner - founder and chief visionary officer of BNI, a professional business networking organization headquartered in Charlotte, N.C

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Paul Furlong explains how to answer a question we've all been asked a hundred times: "What do you do?"
"This is a brilliant opportunity to make a great first impression," says Furlong. "But, I think most of us blow it, and leave money on the table . . . . So, how can you make that all-important first impression count to set the tone for the relationship that follows and the potential business those results from it?"
Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.
EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical and provides partners with distribution on as well as our apps on Amazon Fire, Roku and Apple TV.

Posted by David Seagraves                                                                                          
Find “The Right Money” for Your Business

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How to Get Your Name Heard in the Business World

Written by Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla

1. Twitter
I only created a Twitter account for a few days ago, as I felt I couldn’t go on much longer without taking advantage of this major social network.
It’s so simple for people to follow each other on Twitter, so is perfect for those businesses and business owners that are look to gain a larger audience.
There are many ways you can begin to gather followers on Twitter. Be sure to let anyone who already follows you or your business on other networks and such, that you now have a Twitter account.
Also, an excellent way to gain followers is to look at Twitter accounts in the same niche as you and then take a look at their followers list.
Start to follow people that are following them, because that way you know they’ll be interested in what you have to offer and are likely to follow you back. It’s also the method that I described in the ‘how to gain traffic from Pinterest’ article I wrote.

2. Pinterest
As I just mentioned, I’ve recently written an article on how to gain traffic from Pinterest. This is another social network that can be used to get your name heard and spread so give it a shot.
You’re able to use the same method as Twitter, where you can follow other people and they’re quite likely to follow back.
It’s going to be a little different as you’re only able to use images on Pinterest, so if you’re company produces a lot of images, then this would be a great way to get your name out there. Especially if you watermarked them all with the name.
Even if you don’t have many images to post, then you can still re-pin others’ images and gain an audience that way. At the end of the day, 80% of content on Pinterest are re-pinned images and people you see them will still be able to check out your profile and your links.

3. Blog Commenting
Commenting on other people’s blogs has become thought of as possibly a bad way to build links, but mainly because most people abuse the easy nature of this method.
They’ll post comments with links in the description, random keywords as the name and it just looks awful and you can tell something’s not right.
However, if you take the time to comment properly and naturally on other blogger’s websites, then this can be a great way of building relationships, and getting other readers to see what you’re about.
Only comment on other blogs that are within your niche, and always leave unique and valuable comments every time. Don’t overdo it, you don’t want to post on a tone of blogs within 5 minutes and get carried away.
Just go about it naturally and you should see some good results.

4. The Rule of 100
The rule of 100 is where you contact 100 people a day to try and build new relationships. It could be from a variety of ways and not just one.
For example, you could email people to introduce yourself and your business, or you could leave a valuable comment on other people’s blogs.
Unfortunately, I can’t find the original website that I read about this rule on, but I just found it whilst searching for traffic driving methods.
The people that you should contact using this method are people who own businesses, blogs, and websites etc. that are in a similar category to yours.
Granted, contacting 100 people a day will take a fair bit of time, but it will let people know you exist, and more importantly it will let people who could potentially have a high audience, know you exist.
Later down the line these people may be able to give you opportunities to become more noticed, or possibly give you some good advice.

5. Facebook
We don’t need to go into Facebook too much as if you have a business you should definitely already have a Facebook page, no doubt about it.
Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with around 50% of total shares across all networks coming from Facebook. So why wouldn’t you be making the most of it?
If you have a high budget, then maybe you could look at the Facebook marketing campaigns to gain more likes on your page.
Although if not, then you can gain more followers through the standard methods of installing the button on your website, utilizing any existing social networks to hopefully transfer some follows across to Facebook as well, and just posting great content that people will want to share to their friends.

6. LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an excellent way to connect with people around you, as well as other businesses.
Just like any other social network, LinkedIn makes it very easy to connect with people, however it tends to focus more on the career and business side of things, than the more social side that Facebook entails.
It’s great if you want to gain more exposure to your business and get recognized by others who could be able to help you out.

Posted by David Seagraves
Find “The Right Money” for Your Business

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Tea Talk: Paul Foundation Capital, Tony Alchemist/AlwayOn

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM PDT

In each of the Startup Tea Talk, we will feature 1 or 2 amazing Startup Founders who had raised $5M or above and or one investor. “Startup Tea Talk” is set to inspire the hundreds of thoughts founders world wide and be a great stage to deliver your message to the world.


Nominated an amazing founder:


Fireside Chat, Paul Holland, Partner, Foundation Capital

Paul helps take start-up companies from zero to $100M quickly. Professionally, Paul’s favorite place to be is “inside the tornado” of a fast growing, dynamic start-up. He has helped to generate over $13B in market capitalization in his operating career.

He invests in the IT, consumer, and digital energy sectors; and is on the boards of Homesuite, Peerspace, SkyCure, Dreambox Learning, Kik and InsideView. Past investments include Chegg (CHGG), MobileIron (MOBL), Coverity (acquired by Synopsys), Averail (acquired by MobileIron), Conformia (acquired by Oracle), Ketera (acquired by Rearden Commerce), RouteScience (acquired by Avaya), Talking Blocks (acquired by Hewlett-Packard), and TuVox (acquired by West).

Paul began his career at SRI International, where–as he likes to tell his kids–he was like a “human Google,” conducting inquiries on a broad variety of topics for Global 2000 companies. He received his MBA from UC Berkeley, MA from University of Virginia, and BS from James Madison University.

Paul, his wife Linda, and their three teenage daughters live in tah.mah.lah, their aggressively “green” house in Portola Valley. Paul is a former president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists; and is the producer of Something Ventured, a critically acclaimed documentary about the early days of the Silicon Valley. He has guest lectured on entrepreneurship at Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth, MIT, and James Madison University.

Tony Perkins, Founder, Alchemist, Always On, Redherring

Alchemist founder and editor, Tony Perkins, is a pioneering technology business media entrepreneur, opinion leader and community builder from Silicon Valley. As founding CEO and editor, Tony grew Red Herring Magazines’ revenues to over $100 million, with 600,000 subscribers, hundreds of world-class advertisers, and 300 employees. He was also co-founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Technology Group and the 10,000-member Churchill Club. In addition Tony co-authored “The Internet Bubble: Inside the Overvalued World of High-Tech Stocks” (HarperBusiness, 1999), a book that foretold the dotcom bust. During the 2000s, Tony operated the global events and blog brand, AlwaysOn, that produced major summits in Silicon Valley, New York and Southern California. AlwaysOn’s focus was to connect entrepreneurs in the media, entertainment, cloud and greentech industries with venture investors and major corporate partners.

I would like to invite you to check out the latest videos from Startup Tea Talk

Including interviews to speakers include:
Josh Elman, Partner, Greylock
Louay Eldada, CEO and Co-founder, Quanergy (1.5billion startup)
Adam Goldberg Partner Lightspeed Venture Partners
Sam Santhosh, Founder and CEO Medgenome Labs
Doug Renert, Co-founder and Partner, Tandem Capital
William Santana Li, Chairman and CEO, Knightscope, Inc. (100M startup)
Peter Herbet Lux Capital Cofounder
David Chen HYST Chairman on Cross Boarder Investment
Laird Cagan – Cagan McAfee Capital
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8 Business Success Lessons from Oprah Winfrey

Written by Dan Western - founder of Wealthy Gorilla.
1. Go with Your Gut Instinct
Your gut instinct isn’t perhaps always the correct one.
Sometimes after re-thinking a situation, you have more time to think and make a better choice. Although, it’s said that your gut instinct on something is normally the right one, or at least the one you won’t have any regrets about.
Oprah Winfrey has said that she always trusted her gut instinct with any of the major changes in her life, including her T.V show. It’s when you doubt your gut and being to start questioning it with others that you often end up going against your gut and making the wrong choice.
In business it’s very important that you make the right decisions, and having a little faith in yourself and your gut might make the differences you need.
“Your gut is your inner compass. Whenever you have to consult with other people for an answer, you’re headed in the wrong direction.” – Oprah Winfrey
2. Focus on Helping Others
Far too many businesses are only in it for themselves and are not really interested in helping others or satisfying any of their needs. Oprah set out to help others as well as build a profitable business for herself, and by setting out to help others, she benefited herself.
It’s important to focus on the needs of others, and in particular in business, your potential customers. Products that solve a problem or need that others have are far more popular for obvious reasons, in comparison to those that they may just want.
“The surest way to bring goodness to yourself is to make it your intention to do good for somebody else.” – Oprah Winfrey
3. Money Should Not Be Your Priority
Success is much more likely to come your way if you’re in it for the right reasons, and money is not one of them.
The right reason should be because you love what you are doing, because in the end your ultimately happy with how your spending the time you have, and the money that comes from it is just a huge bonus.
To become wealthy is one of the reasons why most people start a business, and that’s still a valid reason to start one, but it shouldn’t be the only reason why you’re doing it.
The love and passion for something motivates people a lot more than money could, and so it’s easier to stick with something you love for long periods, than something you hate but that pays a lot.
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.” – Oprah Winfrey
4. Learn How to turn Negatives to Positives
There’s no escaping negative aspect in life sometimes. You’re likely to experience some sort of failure if you’re trying to achieve something fairly difficult. Building a business is incredibly hard work and I’d be surprised if anything nailed everything perfectly first time.
You need to be able to turn these negative issues into positives. In other words you need to be able to take your failures or mistakes and learn what you can from, in order to stop them from happening again.
Failure is still experience and should be thought of as getting closer to your dreams in the long run, instead of having to start from scratch.
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah Winfrey
5. Nothing worth Having Comes Easy
If you’re expecting it to be easy, it won’t be. Your dreams are dreams for a reason. It’s the ultimate peak you want to climb to in your lifetime, and it’s likely that at the moment of deciding exactly what you want in life, you were fairly far away from achieving that vision.
The point is that if you expect to become successful in your chosen area, you can’t give up just because you don’t get anywhere within a few months, and you can’t skate by doing the bare minimum.
Work your ass off!
“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” – Oprah Winfrey
6. Surround yourself with those you Wish to be Like
It’s a true fact that the individuals you spend the most amount of time with, you become like. You start to think like them and do the same things as them since you’re hanging out with them.
So if their habits, thoughts and weekly activities are destructive to what you’re trying to achieve you will struggle.
Go out and meet new people who have the same goals as you. They’re the ones working hard and trying to adopt the same productive habits you have, so you will benefit greatly from spending your time with them.
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
7. It Starts with the Belief
Almost everyone who’s ever been successful decided at some point that they were just not destined for the average life. They had the belief that the world had something of a much higher power planned for them.
You have to belief that you too can achieve greatness and that you will be able to live your dreams out one day. The belief in something goes a long way when you’re putting all your effort into something. It definitely makes the difference between whether you’re a success or a failure.
“I always knew I was destined for greatness.” – Oprah Winfrey
8. Be Proud to be yourself
Many people adopt these thoughts that they can’t do something because of how they look their personality or their voice, so they try to be something they’re not. Which is where things start to go wrong?
There is nothing wrong with whom you are. The idea that you look like or come across in a certain negative way to people isn’t true.
Be proud to be yourself and people will begin to recognize you for who you actually are, and that’s how you start to make a proper name for yourself and who you are. It’s very easy to see through all the fakes, and it lowers everyone’s trust in them. Just be yourself!
  “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” – Oprah Winfrey
Thanks for checking out this article! What’s your favorite Oprah Winfrey business lesson? Leave a comment below.

7 Real Estate Secrets of Self Made Millionaires

Written by Karleia - freelance blogger based in Utah. Away from the office she enjoys spending time with her daughters and husband.

1. Diversify​
What’s in your portfolio right now?
Whatever it is, your next purchase should be something else! Diversification is the key to success, and though we hear about the wunderkinds making money off of one amazing investment, more investors make their fortunes from a little bit of this and that.
Investing in real estate provides a hedge against inflation and low “correlation” to stocks. In laymen’s terms, real estate investments may rise when stocks drop. 
2) Take Risks​
You must be willing to take risks. If you are not willing to put yourself out there, you will get nothing in return.
With that being said, it’s critical to study your investment and not rely solely on trends and intuition. There are a number of common mistakes new investors make assessing risk and make making investments:
Not determining your Time Need: You need to address cash flow, tax benefits, capital appreciation and pride of ownership before you make a commitment to invest in real estate. You may want to consider hiring a real estate professional to evaluate all your needs prior to taking the plunge. This step will help you significantly decrease your property investment risk.
Failure to conduct a thorough inspection: It’s important to leave no stone unturned. You may even want to consider hiring a professional inspector. A professional inspector can help you avoid costly mistakes. Don’t overlook anything!
Forgetting you are buying a Business: You must remember that this is a “hands on” business. You can create vast wealth with investment properties, but you may also potentially be faced with some difficult decisions. Evictions, re-investments, and time management are but a few of the major decisions you will be making. Treating your real estate investments as a business will help negate much of the risk real estate investments carry with them.
Don’t spend positive cash flow: The majority of successful investors own their properties free and clear. It’s wise to re-invest your cash flow back into the property payment. This will minimize your debt load and will maximize your equity.
3. Explore New Areas​
Even within the realm of residential properties, there is room for you to wander quite far afield. People are everywhere, and they all need to live somewhere. Find new areas to buy in, adding more security and more interest to your portfolio.
This strategy is often over-looked by new real estate investors, but following this tip can pay big dividends.

4. Lease with Option to Buy​
In many cases, this is one of the best ways to get a risk-free evaluation of the property before investing. This may always be your best option if your credit rating is less than stellar.
Before settling on this option you must determine if leasing with the option to buy is a good fit for you. Can you afford the money option? This fee is required for the lease option contract to be valid and generally falls anywhere from 3% to 5% of the total purchase price.
The second question you must ask yourself before committing to a lease option is – will you be able to secure financing at the end of the lease term?
Finally and most obviously, can you afford the monthly payments on the lease? If you answered yes to these three questions, leasing with an option to buy is a viable option you should consider.​

5. Fix and Flip​
There are some amazing homes out there that just need a little bit of tender, loving care. Fixing a house and throwing it back on the market is perfect for the investor who loves to get their hands into the mix.
Sure, the logistics can get a bit complex, but once you gain a firm understanding of how flipping works, it becomes instantly repeatable.
Begin your search for homes by sifting through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database. This database lists all houses for sale regardless of whether under a listing contract by that agent’s brokerage or by some alternate broker.​

6. Short Sales​​
A short sale is essentially a bank trying to cut its losses, and you will find that you can win big. That being said, this investing strategy can pose a few difficulties to newbie investors.
For one, there is often big competition from experienced short sale investors. Thankfully, you can negate some of the competition by affiliating yourself with mentors and bird dogs who train you and help you find leads.
If you prefer to strike out on your own you can search public records for short sales. Just a few of the places you can obtain a list of short sales includes the county recorder’s office, title companies and local or national providers.
Alternately, you can search online at sites like
7. Stick with Cash​
This last secret may seem obvious on the surface, but it may be the most practical tip included on the list.
If you want to keep money in your pocket, do everything in cash. If you don’t have the money that minute, it’s too expensive. This is a good way to keep your money on you instead of flowing out the door. ​

When you want to make your first million in real estate, there is no better time to start than now.
Take a moment to consider the field and what you need from it before you invest. A little bit of foresight and industry analysis now can make a huge difference later on.

Posted by David Seagraves                                                                                          
Find “The Right Money” for Your Business
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