How a trusted consultant can help a business grow


The right consultant for the right business is key to a company’s success

Starting a business is a daunting endeavor. Even if we know the nature of our business, running a business is a different matter. Even if you are the best at what you do, and you produce the best widget, it does not mean you’ll be the best at selling widgets.

Even in the entertainment industry, where I made a career for a time in my life, I was constantly reminded, even the most talented of visionaries don’t make it if they don’t master the business of entertainment. If we want to attempt to make a livelihood out of doing what we love, we need to know the rules of business, and that’s where often a consultant comes in. then of course, if you have proven your prowess in your business and can share want to impart mindshare to others so they can follow your successful model, then there is another matter of how to start a consulting business.



For those who are pursing the former and nto the latter of these two business goals, remember; while you have been busy refining your craft, business consultants have been studying up on how to make a business successful. Consultants come in all varieties, from those who apply their knowledge generally, to those who specialize in a niche area of business.


For instance, I once worked for a public relations firm that dealt specifically with home furnishings companies that dealt directly in specialty bedding, i.e., memory foam mattresses. Who would’ve thought that there was such a narrow-focused set of consultants in this small category of home furnishings?


First, there is the question of how you go about finding the right consultant for your business. This can be accomplished a myriad of ways. A great way to start is by looking at companies in your space that are successful at what they do. Then, either reach out to them directly — which can be awkward if you are a competitor — though in some businesses this could be a great networking exercise.


Ask the owner of the business whom they relied upon to give them sound advice when they started the business. If you are hesitant to ask for help in this way, you may be able to research the company in other ways, such as by looking on their website to see if they have a press area, where often the press contacts listed on these press releases may be helpful.


Often public relations firms work with venture capital firms and other investment partners to help businesses achieve their business goals. Therefore, PR firms often will have leads to consultants in your area of commerce.


Another way to find a consultant is to attend industry networking events and conferences. Though we all love to hate business conferences, still they remain a great source for connections on many levels. You may find somebody in the exhibit hall who is just waiting to give you advice, or run into someone at a sponsored breakfast, lunch or reception.  There’s always opportunities to meet and greet other people in your industry.


The advantage of some of these conferences is that many of the attendees are from other markets, so they will not feel you are a competitor, and they may be more willing to share their knowledge.


A consultant can do many things for a business. Of course, one obvious benefit is that a consultant relieves you of the task of having to learn another profession, such as marketing, PR and management, so that you can focus on your actual product or service. This will buy you not only time but peace of mind.


It is a known fact that people are more productive when they can focus on one thing, and if you are scattered and attempting to multitask, particularly on matters outside of your core area of business, it will prove to be a distraction that slows you down.


A business consultant does not have to be a life commitment, though you may choose it to be. Some business consultants will guide a company through its startup phase, and then they are available on her hourly or project basis, as needed. Others are like a business partner. You can retain them through a contract for a certain number of months or years, which gives both parties a sense of investment in the success of the business.


Once you have found a consultant who is a good fit, make sure to utilize that resource. Often entrepreneurs have a tendency to try to do it all themselves. Remember that you hired this person for their expertise, and don’t hesitate to use him or her for it. Even what may seem to be petty matters in the operation of your company may have a solution that you don’t have the experience to know, but your consultant does.

The ideal relationship is one where you trust your consultant and are not afraid to share your concerns. Think of them like a therapist, but instead of your psyche, they are treating your business. They need to know everything about your business. Withholding information only puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to getting appropriate advice.


The beauty of using an experienced consultant, is that they have seen it all before. The hope is that they have also solved it all before. If you have done your due diligence and spoken to references, who speak highly of your consultant, then you can feel confident in their advice.


One thing to avoid is making your consultant simply your sounding board, when you’ve already made a decision. If you are not prepared to hear something different or a new approach for doing something, then you are wasting your time and money with a consultant.

This is not to say that you should blindly do everything your consultant says. You and you alone will always be the most intimate with the vision of your business; so if your gut is directing you one way, and your consultant another, weigh all the information as objectively as possible, then take off your hat as the creator and look at the issue as a business person.


While sometimes making the best business decision may seem to restrain you creatively, always remember what I was taught in Hollywood, it is not show art, it’s show business.

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The share economy teaches us a lesson we learned as toddlers


Letting others use our stuff, sharing experiences and our space with strangers is creating new livelihood and a new of life for those who care to share

All aboard a Boatsetter yachting experience in Marina Del Rey, California, where boat owners host guests for a private cruise experience for an evening or overnight

Our parents told us it was good manners to share our toys when we were kids. Taking turns and letting others play with our treasured possessions kept things peaceful on playdates. As we got older though, most of us stopped this practice. We lived by, “What’s mine is mine and yours’s is yours,” that is, until recently.

With the dawn of the share economy about a decade ago, when people began to accept money to share rides and even their homes with others, society started to look differently at personal assets, regarding them as opportunities to enhance our lives, both monetarily and personally.

The truth is, there’s plenty to go around, and in an ideal world, if we just let others use our things when we aren’t using them, then no one would be without. Imagine the resources we could save by not buying stuff that we only need occasionally.

Consider the freedom of using things for which you do not have to assume risk and responsibility or need to store, maintain, register or license. It seems so logical, but until five years ago, there was no such thing as a share economy. Now, you can share just about anything, and just like when we were kids, everyone wins.

Uber was the first ride share service to take off. This innovative company built an app that allowed just about anyone with a street-legal car to connect with riders who would pay drivers for sharing their ride. The idea was to give transportation to people who were already going your way, and those passengers would compensate you, essentially sharing the cost of the gas and upkeep on your car. It was such as great idea, ride share companies like Lyft, Opoli and others soon got on board.

An Opoli driver takes a client out for a ride in style

Of course, it ended up that more cars, not fewer, ended up on the road, and Uber and the others became basically cheaper and less-regulated taxis. But the sharing economy was born, and a new mentality emerged, whereby society began sharing all sorts of things, and sharing opened up new realms of possibilities and experiences that continue to evolve into a new way of living for tens of millions of people.

Not only does sharing eliminate the need for ownership of expensive things that we only use occasionally, it provides unique opportunities between people of all backgrounds, and in some cases it can be an equalizer between the have and have nots, and it can open up new markets where none existed.

Airbnb allows people to sublet or share their homes, providing a new source of income for hosts and opening up affordable travel to people for whom the cost of hotels was prohibitive. In some cases, Airbnb might be the only accommodations in remote areas where there are no hotels, bringing visitors to previously off-the-grid destinations.

Airbnb allows anyone with extra space to rent it out to strangers, and visitors can find affordable accommodations in cities or places where no other lodging is available

Even travelers with ample budgets often opt for Airbnb accommodations, preferring the privacy of renting of an entire home, the experience of staying embedded in a cool neighborhood, or the companionship of residing with a host, who might share a cup of coffee in the morning or even take guests on a shopping outing, site-seeing tour, surfing adventure or other paid experience.

Soon riffs on home sharing evolved, like Boatsetter, a peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace which connects boatowners with guests who want to enjoy an adventure on the water. The owners can invent experiences in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Barcelona, where boatowners host guest on experiences such as deep sea fishing, whale watching or a Live Like a Star party boat ride on a yacht or even a sleepover on a boat with breakfast included.

Though not quite as glamourous as a yacht cruise, TravelCar, which has a fleet of hundreds of cars available in Los Angeles and San Francisco, offers users the opportunity for travelers to rent a car at a discounted rate from a private owner, usually while the owner is traveling. The host receives a portion of the rental fee and gets free airport parking and a car wash in exchange for lending out their vehicle, and if they host as part of TravelCar’s monthly program, TravelCar provides routine maintenance, such as oil changes, wiper fluid, and tire rotation.

Of course, you don’t have to own a home, boat or even a car to be part of the share economy.  Pavemint allows those with parking spaces to lease them out short- or long-term. In Los Angeles, where the company recently launched, already hosts with more than 4,000 parking spaces have signed up to loan out their driveways and unused office building parking lots. Besides bringing in a little spending money to the hosts, utilizing empty parking spots and offering guaranteed parking to visitors has helped boost business in city neighborhoods, like Hollywood, where safe parking – or any parking — is scarce.

Pavemint allows those with a parking spot to let others use it for the hour, day, week or longer

The success of Uber, Airbnb and spinoffs has spawned many other types of share services, particularly in large cities, where companies vie to be the Uber of their lot, like Bird, a Southern California company that rents stand-up electric scooters through a mobile phone app, allowing riders to find and activate scooters that are at depots throughout Santa Monica, Venice and other neighborhoods in Los Angeles and San Diego, for a cost of $1 per ride and 15 cents per minute.

Then there’s LimeBike, a smart bike sharing company with more than 35 regional locations in cities and college campuses across the US including  Seattle, Washington D.C., Dallas, and Miami. Even Uber, through its subsidiary Jump Bike, has gotten into the two-wheeler share space, offering hosts the opportunity to lease out their bikes in San Francisco, with a fleet of 250 bikes and growing, and plans to soon to expand into other cities.

Bike rentals by the hour or day allow tourists to cruise like locals

With all sharing propositions, there are pros and cons, for both hosts and users. While hosts and their properties are supposed to meet certain standards, sometimes they all short. Likewise, guests and leases are bound to rules of conduct and care that they do not always follow. There are risks to personal property and personal safety in some cases, that both parties accept, which is stated in the fine print of the terms of service to which they agree before participating in the service.

Not only are there risks of letting others use our things, but there are risks to sharing our identity and financial information when we participate in the share economy. According to cybersecurity expert, David Thomas, CEO of Evident ID, “While the sharing economy makes services and goods more accessible than ever, it also asks users to interact with people they do not know and may not trust. That’s why it is important to understand the level of verification and security a sharing economy provider has in place for its community.”

While there are isolated horror stories, with the extreme of Uber driver murders and reports of Airbnb thefts and vandalism, for the most part, sharing works. The benefit of sharing is not just new sources of passive revenue for property owners and wages for many people in need of flexible hours – the old retort when someone in LA claims to be an actor, “Really? What restaurant?” is now, “Really? Uber or Lyft?” – it is also a cleaner environment, a healthier lifestyle, accessibility of affordable transportation and accommodations for travelers, and the advent of new ways for us to interact with each other as a society.

When our parents encouraged us to share as kids, our playdates were more enjoyable and peaceful, and everyone was happier. It has taken us generations as a society to learn that truth that we accepted as young children. Sharing is caring. When we share, we all benefit, in untold and immeasurable ways. As we continue to invent new ways to share, we expand our economy and our minds, and we might not just make some extra money but make a new bestie.


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Early entrepreneurship means caring about profit and loss, at every level


The key to success is looking out for the company’s interests, whether working for yourself or someone else

One of my first experiences as an entrepreneur was early in my career, when I was not a business owner, but an employee. I worked for a startup, that now is a global player in the public relations industry, and we were going through some growing pains.

One of our company leaders was a young and brash man who was brilliant but still immature in many respects, and he was having difficulty in his interpersonal relationships at the workplace. While I completely respected him as an articulate and creative contributor to the company, his manner of dealing with fellow employees was driving away talented people from the organization.

Time after time he lost his temper in meetings or when dealing one-on-one with team members, and his screaming matches ended with employees disgruntled, and even sometimes in tears, and ultimately some of the company’s best and brightest left for greener pastures.


As the principles of the company were not involved in the day-to-day operations of our account teams, they were unaware of this problem, and they did not know that this employee’s conduct was a leading cause of our extraordinarily high rate of turnover.

Without realizing I was acting in an entrepreneurial spirit, I felt I must do something, for the good of the company, to make a change, even though I was relatively powerless in my position.

I drafted a memo to the owner of the company, and without naming names I relayed that the abusive treatment by a nameless employee was causing a morale problem and costing us productivity that ultimately impacting our bottom line.

I suggested an employee bill of rights, whereby every employee would sign a document binding them to a standard of behavior, and those who violated the contract would face reprimand, and ultimately dismissal, if they continued to not abide by it. I felt somewhat like Jerry Maguire drafting his manifesto, and honestly, I did not know if I would be greeted the next day with silence, a scowl or a pink slip, but I felt it worth taking the chance to send the email.

The next day, I was called into the office of one of the partners. To my pleasant surprise, he began the conversation by thanking me for sending the memo. He said, that it was rare that an employee at my level would care this much and take it upon herself to exercise this type of entrepreneurial thinking.

My risk-taking was rewarded with a companywide policy that went into effect shortly afterward. From that day forward, every employee was required to sign the Employee Bill of Rights, which I helped to draft, and a copy was posted in every office of the company nationwide.

The partner to whom I had sent the memo asked my permission to read my email to the entire staff on a company-wide conference call, and he gave me credit for the idea, which was received with sighs of relief and countless private “thank yous” and pats on the back from my fellow employees.

The workplace instantly became more kinder and gentler, and most significantly, the particular employee who had inspired my action had the most dramatic transformation of all. He had taken the reaction of his colleagues seriously, and in my estimation, he not only became more careful in his relations to others, he became a happier person on the job. While there were still occasional slip ups, he was quick with apologies and corrections.

My initiative had resulted in a sweeping change across the company, making the workplace more pleasant, productive, and ultimately more prosperous.

That was a proud moment in my salad days as a PR professional, and I have remembered the encouragement I got from that mentor partner to this day, through the years, as I’ve continued to nurture and grow my entrepreneurial self.

Since then, I have owned my own consulting business off and on, for which I was solely responsible for its success. Being my own boss proved an excellent training ground for me to be a better employee, when eventually I went to work for other companies. While as an employee versus a partner, I do not take home a percentage of profit like an owner, I still have been continually rewarded by the CEOs I have worked with promotions and salary increases  because they see that I understand that the company’s success is my success, with the currency of my investment being diligent and conscientious work.

I continue to follow models of great entrepreneurship, such as Andrew Charlton, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and of course, the iconic entrepreneur of our times, Steve Jobs, and whether or not I am working for myself or others, I endeavor to always activate my entrepreneurial spirit, because in the end, success is the bottom line for all of us.


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Consumers are the winners in the new paradigm of brand-and-blogger relationships


As brands and influencers engage in relationships for their mutual survival, the public is the beneficiary

Every day you are probably reading content that is the result of a brand’s relationship with a blogger or influencer. The reality of today’s media landscape is that there is too much information for anyone to stay informed about all things all the time, and it would be impossible for bloggers, journalists and other media to be everywhere and to know everything that’s happening at any given time, and so these professionals have formed symbiotic relationships that serve themselves and ultimately serve their audience and the general public.

These relationships exist so that brands can educate consumers about their products and services, and media in turn benefit by obtaining content — which amounts to their product or service, whereby content consumers gain knowledge. While this arrangement may seem that it could lead to favoritism, there are inherent checks and balances in the system that prevent this from occurring. For instance, if a blogger or influencer consistently wrote positive, non-critical reviews for a particular brand, they would lose credibility and eventually lose their audience. As the currency for influencers is followers, this would be the death knell for their business. On the flipside, brands that only provide information and samples to those bloggers and influencers who promise positive reviews restrict their audience and thereby get less exposure; and as those bloggers and influencers are labeled biased ambassadors for those brands, they lose credibility, and their sphere of influence dwindles.

Savvy brands take the chance in distributing product samples and conducting wide-ranging media relations efforts to reach a broad spectrum of Bloggers and other media. While on occasion they may receive a bad review, the odds are that if they have a good product, the majority of reviews will accurately reflect that, and truth and fairness will reign. With many consumers, determining accuracy in reviews is a numbers game. If a product receives 200 positive reviews out of 230, chances are the overwhelming number of positive reviews is a reliable indicator for most would-be buyers that the product will meet expectations.

Likewise, sophisticated bloggers are aware that they must honestly review products or else risk the perception of being a paid spokesperson for a brand. While the media landscape has changed, whereas in the past journalists were not permitted to accept samples or otherwise experience a product given to them as a gift from a brand, it has become common practice now, even at established media outlets, due to shrinking operational budgets among traditional media.

Advertising dollars lost to online advertising has forced many newspapers to use freelancer’s and other contributors who are not bound by the same employment contracts that prohibit them from accepting gifts. Additionally, the reality is that most media can no longer afford to buy products or send their writers on trips, etc., in order to review products, services or destinations.

Many public relations professionals, like Nancy Berhman of Behrman Communications have embraced this new shift in how the public gets their information by forging programs that join together like-minded brands and bloggers who work together to achieve mutual goals.  Consumers in this new world of brand and influencer relationships can consider this new paradigm as a boon to objectivism.  This is how it works: As traditional media evolves to compete with digital media, the new wave of influencers recognize that their power comes from trust with their audience, and if they lose that trust by engaging in pay-for-play ethics, then they will also go the way of the newspapers, magazines and traditional media of yore, like a product with a one star, no one will buy them, or rather no one will buy anything they have to say.

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Choosing a winning lawyer


The best legal advise you can get, is to get a good lawyer

There’s a joke in the legal profession that the person who represents himself or herself has a fool for a client. Indeed, the legal field is, to say the least, very complicated to navigate on one’s own. Lawyers have pretty much solidified their place in our lives, despite Shakespeare once prophesying that in order to achieve societal harmony, first we must, “Kill all the lawyers.” Once we have accepted this reality, of the necessity of having doctors of jurisprudence argue our disputes, there is the matter of finding a good lawyer to fight your fight.


For starters, heed this wisdom from experienced litigants, who concur that how you choose your lawyer is often a reliable predictor of your case’s success. The best referral is from a personal or professional acquaintance who has had a winning experience with a lawyer. In order to get a referral, it may be embarrassing to confide in others that you need legal help, but chances are they have been there themselves, and if you’re lucky, they may have someone good to recommend.


If no one you know can refer you to an attorney, utilize some of the online sites to locate and check ratings on lawyers, similar to Yelp – which can be a source in itself, though a low-credibility one due to their pay-to-play business model. One of the more popular rating sites is Avvo. While all review sites contain fraudulent reviews, generally they still can provide some insight if read with a discriminating eye. Usually you can spot a fake review by either its effusively enthusiastic narrative with no critical comments, or its overly nasty and negative invective that might have been written by a sore-loser litigant who was actually beaten by the lawyer they are reviewing; so check out the middle-of-the road reviews as well as the top and bottom reviews to get the fairest assessment of the lawyer.


When it comes to the in-person or phone interview part of the hiring process, it’s important that you have a positive rapport with your would-be attorney. Many attorney’s will offer a free consultation, so take advantage of this meeting to feel out the attorney’s manner and tone.

Trust will be a crucial part of your relationship with your attorney, so you must feel that this is a person you can trust on both a personal and professional level. If an attorney suggests ethically or legally questionable strategies, such as hiding money in a bankruptcy proceeding, then run don’t walk away from that attorney. If a lawyer has a shady modus operandi, you can bet he or she will be shady in business practices, including in client-attorney dealings.


One of the biggest complaints clients express regarding attorneys is that attorneys do not return calls in a timely manner and are unresponsive to their emails; so ask an attorney candidate what his or her response time will be when you call or email, i.e. , calls are returned within 24 hours. Make sure your attorney has the bandwidth to give your case proper attention. If it was hard to get an appointment because their office was too busy, chances are they will be too busy to return calls and to give due attention to your matter.

Experience matters

Just as you would with a doctor how many times he or she has performed a procedure you must undergo, ask your attorney what his or her experience is in the pertinent area of law and how many cases they have handled like yours. You would not want a doctor to be doing his first surgery on you, just as you do not want to be an attorney’s first case in a particular area of law.

Make sure they have ample experience and a favorable win record in the proper field. While a family law attorney may have an excellent record in custody matters, they may never have tried a personal injury case, defended an DUI, or filed a bankruptcy, so search for a specialist, such as personal injury attorney tampa, for the best results.

Just because you have a trusted friend or acquaintance who is a lawyer, this does not mean he or she can handle your case.  Even if a lawyer friend offers you services pro bono, if that lawyer is a wrong fit, it is not worth any savings you might realize, if you lose your case because they did not give qualified advice.


Often the deciding factor in hiring an attorney is price. Fees will vary widely depending on the experience of the attorney. You can expect to pay anywhere from $250 an hour to $650 an hour, depending on the expertise your case requires. Make sure in your retainer agreement with the attorney that there is an understanding of how they bill, such as in 10- or 20-minute increments. Many attorneys will require an upfront retainer that can be a couple thousand dollars or $20,000, depending on your type of case. If you are not able to reach a settlement, and as trial approaches, an attorney may require a retainer of over $100,000 if they expect your trial to last for several days or longer. Attorneys know that after trial is over, it is very difficult to collect fees – especially if they do not win the case – so that is why they collect payment upfront.

It is hardly ever the case that the hiring a lawyer is not an expensive endeavor. If worse comes to worse, and you have to use legal intervention to settle a dispute, the least you can do is choose your attorney wisely so that you have the best chances at a favorable outcome.

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It’s the season for customer success as new shopping rites change


As the surge in cyber shopping and social media influence on buying decisions has proven to retailers, the landscape for those selling goods and services has altered dramatically in the past few years. No longer do companies have the opportunities interact face-to-face with their customers or even communicate with them on the phone.

To compete in the new paradigm, companies that understand the rapidly evolving manner in which consumers, influencers, and companies share information are quickly adopting subscription-based revenue models to measure customer experiences and predict business growth will be the ones that survive and thrive.

Those who utilize this type of customer success platform are developing and maintaining valuable loyal customer relations. Whatever business a company is involved in, relationships are key to success. To develop meaningful and loyal relationships, companies need to understand the user behavior of their customers and they need to engage them and anticipate their future needs.

To achieve customer success, companies must monitor customer health indicators and chart a course for correction so they can identify and drive new revenue opportunities. They also need to uncover customer needs to prevent user frustration, and they need to speak to customers when and where they are most likely to listen.

When a company follows these tenets, they can accelerate a customer’s journey from adoption to advocacy, thereby assuring their customer understands and appreciates their value proposition, which will optimize the company’s return on its investment.

Many technology platforms, such as Salesforce, Zendesk, #Slack and Gainsight have made the job of organizations and their sales associates easier, but to fully integrate these platforms and make them applicable to a business, there must be meaningful analysis and then action to enhance or correct where a company is succeeding or failing in meeting its customers’ needs.

B2B platforms, such as UserIQ, serve more than to provide messages and alerts to customers by empowering companies to foster growth. They aid with on boarding and retention and boost expansion and advocacy by combining user intelligence, targeted engagements, and customer health to give customers what they need to be successful at any stage of their business.

The most savvy and wisest of companies are adapting quickly and utilizing the latest technology that synthesizes and analyzes big data into usable information that can help them to keep their customers and encourage their customers to not only stay loyal but to spend more and become advocates and bring new leads to the company.

For any company that has looked for solutions to counter churn, these innovative technologies are helping companies to focus on excellent customer service, production and improvement of their lines of products and services, and a better bottom line without guesswork.

As entrepreneurs and consumers move into a new era of how we buy, we are transforming the ways that we decide what and from whom to buy, companies that are adopting technology platforms will lead the way to better products and services and a better buying experience for everyone.

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How to Teach Children Financial Literacy


Fiscal responsibility is not  taught in schools but essential for children to learn

Nearly one quarter of US states receive a failing grade when it comes to teaching kids personal finance in schools. Twelve states don’t attempt to teach it at all. This could be one of the reasons that only 35% of credit card users don’t carry a balance and pay off their bill every month, and that only 1 in 3 Americans is saving for retirement. We don’t expect kids to learn how to read, write or drive without instruction, but another essential life skill, money management is ignored for the most part.

As children come of age to receive allowance or earn money, parents should take the initiative to supplement their kids lacking personal finance education at school with lessons at home. Use these tips to determine how and where to start.

  1. Check Out Your Schools – Visit your school to see what (if anything) is being taught about personal finance or if personal finance is required to graduate high school. Once you have this information, you can determine your next moves to ensure your kids know how to manage money when the time comes. With a majority of U.S. high school students failing to learn about money, there’s a good chance your children won’t either.


  1. Leave Books To The Adults – There are thousands of books available on finance and managing money, but don’t waste your cash buying these for your kids. Kids learn best by doing, so sitting down with a book that explains percentage rates, credit, loans or budgeting won’t leave a long lasting impression. They would learn more from watching movies like “Moneyball” or “The Big Short”.


  1. Use Teachable Moments – Each we are faced with numerous financial decisions that you could use as a “teachable moment” for your children. The next time you are grocery shopping, show your child how to compare prices and brands. If you’re paying bills, let your child sit with you and see how you manage money.


  1. Look Differently at Chores & Allowance – While a majority of parents agree that kids should be doing chores and receiving an allowance, some parents feel money shouldn’t be the reason kids help around the house. It’s those parents who should look at chores and allowance differently. Think of it as a child’s first job and a parents first chance to teach them everything they need to know (work ethic, direct deposit, budgeting, opening bank account, taxes, etc) before they head off to get a real job someday.


  1. Learn As Family – Many parents don’t like to talk to their children about money because they believe they aren’t knowledgable enough. If you are one of these parents, jump in and learn with your children. You’re never too old to learn, erase bad habits or set good examples. Plus doing it with your children could be fun!


  1. Practice What You Preach – If you already practice good personal finance habits, congratulations! If not, this is a great time to start. In either case, practice what you preach to your children since the greatest influence on your child is you.


  1. Understand, No One Is Perfect! – Let’s face it, if everyone was great at managing money there would be little National Debt, no bankruptcy and everyone would have a savings account. So except these facts and do something to get better at it. I believe we are so afraid of what our children will think about our bad financial status that we forget how the current situation could be a great lesson. Don’t let your pride get in the way of teaching your children how NOT to make the same mistakes.


  1. Don’t Quit! – This might be the hardest thing of all. Being good at money management is a never-ending process. However your kids are going to be faced with hundreds of thousands of financial decisions in their lifetime, so you never get to the point where you can stop teaching, supporting or guiding. Quitting now only puts them on a path to be living back with you when they are older, full of student loans and moving from job to job.


Gregg Murset is CEO of BusyKid is the first online chore chart where children can earn, save, share, spend and invest real money wisely. Formerly known as My Job Chart, BusyKid is easy to use, revolutionary and allows kids to receive a real allowance from their parents each Friday. No more points or trying to convert imaginary money.


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Three Traits all Successful Entrepreneurs Should Have


How thought leaders live and work leads to success


As an entrepreneur myself and as a consultant to entrepreneurs, I have seen common characteristics in those who have excelled and succeeded in their industry space. No matter if their business is food or fossil fuel, successful founders and leaders all have these same three characteristics that help them to accomplish their goals.

Diversified interests – diversification is a term often heard in the financial world, when it comes to investing in the stock market. It is also a valuable strategy in investing in yourself. The most successful entrepreneurs are not all work and no play, and they are not single-minded. Not just in work, but in their personal lives, these individuals pursue varied interests that expose them to many different people, philosophies, and challenges. Hobbies often highlight analogies that can teach you skill sets and habits that you can apply on the job. For instance, an executive who takes up mountain biking will learn how to look ahead to see obstacles and avoid them and to know the right time to follow or pass those in front of them.

Mind and body wellness – Mindfulness has become the catchword of the psychology community, meaning an awareness of what you are doing and its impact on yourself and those around you; but it is also a philosophy that works in achieving professional objectives. Likewise, a fit and healthy body can enable an entrepreneur to have the stamina needed for the rigors of success, which can be equally physically taxing as mentally demanding. A mindful entrepreneur feels good about their work, without the drain of guilt and negativity; and giving back to others offers a fulfillment that bolsters mental energy. Integrity and honesty is the best policy not just in life but in business, because a clean conscience gives you more mental energy for creativity and free-flowing thought.

While sitting in front of a computer may seem to not take much energy, it can zap a body of valuable strength.  Ergonomists and the medical research community have declared, “Sitting is the new smoking,” with an excessive sedentary lifestyle leading to a host of diseases, from musculoskeletal problems to diabetes and heart disease. Successful entrepreneurs keep physical active and ensure themselves a healthy diet, and they get plenty of exercise and sleep to keep their physical body — the vessel of their creativity and productivity — in top shape.

Communication skills – language and self-expression comprise the building blocks of every entrepreneurial interaction. To express an idea, motivate employees, attract investors, network with other business leaders, or simply organize one’s day, communication skills are required, and the finer and more sophisticated the skills, the more precise and effective the results. The most respected and successful entrepreneurs are practiced communicators, in written and spoken word, and they invest the time to learn the best ways to reach their stakeholders and utilize the many varied channels of communication – including social media — at their disposal.

A polished LinkenIn profile for instance is not just an essential tool for entrepreneurs to offer a quick glimpse of their background and achievements to interested parties but also an illustration of their ability to communicate effectively in the digital world.  A well-managed online presence will pay off in many ways, such as when a potential client or investor conducts  online research as part of their due diligence before doing business with an individual or company.  For instance, when searching for the female entrepreneur trainer Grace Lever one would come upon a Grace Lever review via her online videos and professional profile, offering a curated first impression of the entrepreneur her training program, The Doing Academy.

While success is never guaranteed based on a single idea or company concept, the most successful entrepreneurs possesses the characteristics of diversified interests, a dedication to mind and body wellness, and expertise in communication which give them an edge on the competition and help them to stay strong, optimistic and primed until they in fact achieve the level success they seek.


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