Category Archives: Finance

Million dollar ridicules

1) Pet Rock

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Ridiculously Rich Person: Gary DahlGary Dahl                                          Net Profit earned :- $15 M in first six months.                                               Dahl, a former advertising executive, sold his rocks for $3.95 on a bed of hay. Each sale earned him a profit of roughly $3. He sold the rocks as “hassle-free” pets, complete with a pet training manual and a card board box fashioned after a pet carrier.

2) Yellow Smiley Faces

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Ridiculously Rich Person: Bernard and Murray Spain
Net Profit earned :- $500MM
Two brothers, Bernard and Murray Spain, stumbled upon the unrealized potential of the smiley. They started a novelty store, Bernard and Murray bought the legal rights to the mark along with the now infamous tag-line, “Have a nice day.” The brothers began slapping the image on everything possible. The yellow smiley swept the nation and soon, the world.

3) iFart App

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Ridiculously Rich Person: Joel Comm
Net Profit earned :- $400K
iFart retails for $.99. iFart is an app with fart sound that has different names, this insane idea hit the world and Joel with streaming million dollar profits. This application has been buzzed about all over the media and pranksters everywhere love the 26 flatulent noises it encompasses, including “Record-A-Fart,” “Fart-a-Friend,” and “Sneak Attack.” The app was downloaded 113,885 during its first two weeks on the market.

4) Wacky Wall Walker

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Ridiculously Rich Person: Ken Hakuta
Net Profit earned: – $80MM
Ken Hakuta gift from mother made him millions rich, the idea behind this fascination was pulled from the gewy toy, which when thrown on wall will stick and slowly walk down. Hakuta bought the rights for $100,000 and began marketing it in the D.C. area. .

5) Slinky

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Ridiculously Rich Person: Richard James
Net Profit earned: – $250MM
Naval engineer Richard James’ flash of brilliance was spawned by clumsiness. He dropped a tension spring he was working with and watched it slink away across the floor. And thus the Slinky was born. First slinky sale sold 400 slinky in 90 min.

Demystifying 11 Fundamentals for Financing Your Business

Starting a new business can be an exhilarating time.

Eventually, though, you may reach a point where you will require some outside help.

Most entrepreneurs have to consider the issue of financing, whether it arises when they’re starting their company or expanding it.

According to The Kauffman Firm Survey, 50 to 75 percent of young firms use capital injections, most of which comes from owner investments or sources other than banks, while 19 percent use bank loans.

While chasing down funding for your venture can seem difficult, there are more options than ever available today for small business financing. From angel investors to crowdsourcing, there’s no shortage of opportunities.

If you’ve hit a point where you need some help, don’t let a lack of funding discourage you. Here are some traditional and alternative financing options that are available to you as a small business owner.

1. Credit cards.

Credit cards are an extremely popular form of financing for small businesses, and account for roughly seven percent of all startup capital.

A report by the National Small Business Association puts credit cards as third most popular financing choice, after retained earnings and bank loans. Using credit cards to fund a venture is an attractive option — especially for startups that may not have a lot of cash flow. Still, using credit cards isn’t without its risks. Should you run into trouble or the business fail to take off as planned, and you’re unable to pay back the balance on time, you’ll be stuck with high interest rates.

2. Venture capitalists.

Venture capitalists can invest in startups or growing companies — however, it’s worth noting that the number of businesses funded by venture capitalists has gone down in recent years.

Historically, less than one percent of U.S. companies have raised capital from venture capitalists which means that your chance of getting VC is very low. VCs are notoriously careful about which companies they choose to invest in, however, if you’re in a fast-growth industry, and you have a solid exit strategy in place, a VC may be interested in funding you.

3. Angel investors.

Angel investors fill in a gap in startup financing, stepping in to fund companies that need help that they can’t get from friends and family, or venture capitalists.

Unlike VCs, angel investors normally invest their own money, rather than managing pooled funds. Angel investors normally provide capital for start-ups or businesses in the early stage of growth in exchange for equity, or in some cases, convertible notes, that converts into shares or cash value at a point later on.

Companies that have been helped by angel investors include Google, Yahoo, and Costco. Since this form of investment generally carries more risk, angel investors generally expect a higher return on their investment — usually between 20 to 25 percent. One advantage of using an angel investor is that they often have strategic experience, and can often provide valuable guidance with key decisions.

4. Small Business Loans (SBAs).

A popular source of funding, SBAs are loans that are backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and they are a hot item.

SBA-backed loans are open to any small business but there are specific criteria that you have to meet first. First, you have to meet the government’s definition of a small business in your industry. You’ll also need to have already been turned down for a loan by a bank. Depending on the loan, there may be additional eligibility requirements that you’ll have to meet as well. You can apply for SBAs through banks that processes SBA loans, the SBA itself doesn’t provide loans directly.

5. Bridge loans.

Bridge loans are short-term funds that can be brought in to help fill the gap between an immediate need for funding and a future, pending investment. Small business owners can obtain these loans from the bank. You’ll have to prove though, that you have sufficient cash-flow, and the bank will want to feel confident that your monthly sales are adequate. These loans are designed to be relatively quick to obtain. Unfortunately they’re usually expensive, so expect to pay a higher interest rate or fees.

6. Convertible notes.

Also known as convertible debt, convertible notes are used primarily for seed funding, and are useful for situations where you may be hesitant to set an equity valuation too soon. This is often the case where setting a valuation too early can negatively impact subsequent funding from other investors. Convertible notes convert to equity according to predefined terms at a future point.

7. Cash flow financing.

Cash flow financing is a loan that’s backed by your projected cash flow. This is different from an asset-backed loan, where collateral is based on your business assets. With cash flow financing, your expected future income will impact the repayment schedule.

8. Hedge and private equity funds.

With banks becoming more stringent on loan criteria since the recession, hedge funds and private equity funds are stepping up and filling the gap, becoming lenders for many businesses that are in need of funding. Although they offer quicker funds, and usually greater flexibility, the downside is that private funds charge high interest rates, usually nearly double those of conventional lenders.

9. Equipment financing.

In a way, equipment financing works in a similar way to a car loan. The equipment that you purchase works as collateral for your loan, which means that you won’t usually have to put up additional collateral. While equipment financing can be a relatively easy form of funding to obtain, the amount that you’re eligible for will vary based on things like your business history and credit rating. These factors will also impact how much interest you’ll have to pay — usually between eight to 30 percent.

10. Crowdsourcing.

With the rise of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, crowdsourcing has become an increasingly popular form of financing for individuals who are short on cash, but have big ideas that are going to revolutionize an industry.

In 2014 crowdfunding campaigns raised $9.46 billion in North America, and the industry experienced an annual growth rate of 145 percent, according to a study by crowdsourcing research and advisory firm, Massolution. Successful crowdfunded projects include the smartwatch Pebble, The Dash, smart earbuds and Oculus Rift, a VR headset for gaming that was later acquired by Facebook.

11. Bootstrapping.

Finally, for some companies, bootstrapping — starting a business with very little capital, and building it with income that it generates — is a great alternative to outside funding, especially in the beginning.

Seeking financing is often essential for some companies that require a high influx of capital to get off the ground, or for organizations that are looking to take advantage of fast growth in certain sectors. But for many companies, particularly web-based companies or businesses where startup costs are low, bootstrapping is a viable alternative.

Bootstrapping is an extremely low-risk way to scale your company, and an extremely safe way to test the waters to see how the market will respond to your product. It may be less trendy than some of the other flashier ways to get cash, but it’s nothing to laugh at. Companies like Dell, FaceBook, eBay, and TechCrunch, just to name a few, all started out as bootstrapped ventures.

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll want to carefully consider your company’s individual circumstances when determining which financing option is best for you. Identify solutions that will help you to grow, while at the same time allowing you to maintain enough control over your company. Then choose your funding source accordingly.

7 Mental Shifts That Allowed Me to Become a Millionaire at 22

As of this writing, I’m 22. In the last 12 months I’ve generated a million dollars in commissions in one of the most competitive industries on the planet, where my average competitor is at least double my age with 10 times the tenure in the business. I have a master’s degree from a prestigious university, which I received when I was 20 after fast-tracking four years of school. I’ve traveled to more than 50 countries, completed 13 triathlons and have an extremely happy, stimulating life.

Things are very good — but the future wasn’t always so bright.

When I finished graduate school, I moved to California’s Orange County to launch a new office for my family’s commercial real-estate business. The first couple of months were brutal, and I quickly came to the conclusion that the success we’d have (if any) would be astronomically more difficult than I could ever have imagined. Despite being an overachiever all my life, I found myself wondering how to truly excel in the real world when it all finally mattered.

After reinventing the wheel for myself time and time again I’ve come to realize that the secret to millennial success in the business world is a combination of grit and creative thinking. Here are the seven mental shifts I implemented to turbo-charge my growth.

1. Age is just a number.

Embrace your youth wholeheartedly. If you spin your age as an asset, which can be done in a variety of ways, it can be an extremely powerful differentiator. The moment you begin to give yourself an excuse for not being successful is the moment of almost certain failure.

If you believe you can really make it then you will make it. Besides, there is nothing people want to see more than a hard-working, intelligent and dedicated young professional who succeeds. Create a snowball of momentum that makes people want to be a part of your life.

2. Reinvest in yourself.

The safest investment I’ve ever made is in my future. Read at least 30 minutes a day, listen to relevant podcasts while driving and seek out mentors vigorously. You don’t just need to be a master in your field, you need to be a well-rounded genius capable of talking about any subject whether it is financial, political or sports related. Consume knowledge like air and put your pursuit of learning above all else.

I also believe that it is critically important to spoil yourself to a healthy extreme in order to reward your hard work and avoid burnout. Consider splurging on memorable experiences and luxuries that will enhance your lifestyle. I get a weekly massage like clockwork, and it is one of the best productivity hacks I employ.

3. Avoid decision fatigue.

Attention is a finite daily resource and can be a bottleneck on productivity. No matter the mental stamina developed over time, there is always going to be a threshold where you break down and your remaining efforts for the day become suboptimal.

Conserve your mental power by making easily reversible decisions as quickly as possible and aggressively planning recurring actions so you can execute simple tasks on autopilot. I know what I am wearing to work and eating for breakfast each day next week. Do you?

Related: 7 Surprising Lessons About Success Learned From Interviewing More Than 65 Millionaires

4. Build a resilient mind.

The biggest differentiator between mediocrity and meteoric success is the ability to work productively for hours at a time. These long stretches are when important work is almost exclusively completed. Focus is paramount and, without intentionally developing mental stamina, you won’t be able to effectively compete with those who have systematically built up their endurance over decades in the business world.

Fast track your skills by being mindful of distractions and recognizing when you begin to wander out of focus. Perform a thorough analysis of your daily activities each night and aggressively seek opportunities for improvement.

5. Think big. Be big.

The science behind goal setting and its remarkable ability to accelerate success is infallible. If you don’t already have your one-, five- and 10-year goals written out and visible to you on a daily basis, do so right now. I read mine the second I wake up every single morning. Now ask yourself, what would have to happen to accomplish your 10-year goals in just one year?

The inherent power in maintaining consistency with your acknowledged goals can work both positively and negatively, and is cause for concern if you anchor yourself to a slower timeline of achievement. Be mindful and diligent in charting an optimal path that pushes you to your limit.

6. Be methodical.

Plan your work and then work your plan. Perhaps my biggest breakthrough was large-scale automation of my marketing systems. I created a process that allowed me to quintuple my marketing output while increasing my conversion rate considerably.

The simplest way to put your own content plan in motion is to create a multi-step campaign that touches a prospect through a variety of different mediums every week for at least a month. Follow a logical order and craft your content in a persistent way, while never becoming annoying.

Not in a sales role? You can take a similar approach to any analytical, creative or administrative position by developing rigid organizational systems that help improve your efficiency when faced with repetitive tasks.

7. Believe in yourself.

If not you, then who? Someone has to make it, and nothing is stopping you from being the person who accomplishes your wildest dreams. Nearly every person who has ever failed has had an excuse. Successful people have stories of the challenges that they overcame with creative solutions. The moment you confidently feel that there is nothing you can’t learn or develop to solve the most complex of problems is the moment of guaranteed greatness.

If you still aren’t sure how to begin, start with a promise to work towards the achievement of consistent excellence each moment of every day. This is the basic building block and mentality with which I am building my career.

Keep it simple and remember that success is not an entitlement. If you really want to excel, you have to get out there and earn it every day for the rest of your life.

Source credit : Tucker Hughes

5 Reasons You Need To Work Hard To Get Ahead

So many times, I’ve been asked, “how did you balance your career and kids?” Many young people want to hear that I found the answer to balance and hope I have the formula, but I don’t. Unless you have a fairy godmother who can guarantee early success in the next big thing, then you are going to need to work hard to get ahead, make a great living and have a strong career. In my experience, there are no short cuts and there is no such thing as “balance.”

We live in a competitive, global world, connected 24/7. Understanding the implications of that is half the battle:

1. It’s a competitive world (part 1).

Yes, the person sitting next to you wants your job. Or they want to get promoted ahead of you. You are competing, whether it is visible to you or not, and it has always been this way. The ambitious ones among you know that getting a promotion is very competitive. Unless you are computer scientist (in which case there are more jobs than people), you need to work hard to hold your job and advance, and you need to be better than the person next to you. When opportunity knocks in the form of a new project, or a request from your boss, do not say, “that’s not my job” or “I’m trying to keep balance in my life”–instead, grab it with both hands and show your boss that you are ambitious and that you understand your hard work and smart results will be rewarded.

2. You can lean on your partner.

This one is probably easier for many men reading this than women, since women typically spend twice as much time doing housework every day as men. However, whether you are male or female, learning how to lean on your partner as you push your career ahead is critical because you are going to need time to work. Everyone in the household needs to step up and learn how to cook and clean the kitchen! For many women that means learning to give up control and letting their partner take an equal role in running the household. The good news is that a natural shift of equal responsibility in the home is happening as millennials are twice as likely to have dual income families. This younger generation knows better than their parents do that a happy, functioning, two-income household means sharing the work! Of course, if you are single, you are probably trying to find the time to date, which can be a challenge and interfere with everyday chores.

3. Your business is global.

Unless you are an hourly worker it is likely that your job is increasingly around the clock. This is the side effect of globalization as you bring together teams from around the world to solve problems and meetings happen at 11 p.m., 1 a.m., or 5 a.m. Sometimes this can feel grim, and yet it is actually an opportunity to spend more time with your family. Unlike 20 years ago when I would have to stay in the office to be connected, I can now go home, work out, have dinner with my family and then login to work from my home office.

4. It’s a competitive world (part 2).

Not only are you competing in your global workplace, your company is also competing in a global world. It is very likely your company has competitors in China or India with employees who are driven to improve their economic status in the world and for their families with their time and dedication. To use the old cliche “a rising tide floats all boats”–you want your company to be the rising tide so you and your teammates can grow your careers. Your global competitor is willing to sacrifice balance in their lives to get ahead and so should you.

5. Kids are resilient.

This one was a hard lesson for me to learn and my guilt was the enemy, but I did learn. In my experience, kids do better when they learn to be independent and they are incredibly resilient if they are loved unconditionally. Yes, you want to be at their games so they know you care and so you can share your pride with them, but I don’t think the phenomenon of the helicopter parent is good for kids. They will be stronger and more competitive adults if they have learned independence and they will have a better understanding of what it takes to compete when their turn comes.

Source Credit: PENNY HERSCHER

Your Organization Should Be Ready for 6 Major Changes This Year

Think of a time when you made a major change in your life: Maybe you got married, bought your first house, moved out of state, or even just got a new pet. You took the time to plan for the new step in your life, and you probably didn’t try to tackle several life changes at once.

Like individuals, organizations experience major changes as well, such as mergers, acquisitions, CEO turnover, and rebranding. These changes usually happen more quickly and more often than any one person can handle, so it is critical that everyone works together to make the process smooth and successful.

With 70 percent of organizational change initiatives ending in failure, most organizations can learn a thing or two about managing change. This blog series explores some key facts and causes of organizational change and how to effectively manage change in your organization.

According to ATD research, 61 percent of organizations experience at least three major changes every year, and 26 percent experience at least six. That’s like getting married, having twins, buying a house, changing careers, getting a new pet, and starting a new diet in a 12-month period. Sound crazy? Maybe—but an ATD and Institute for Corporate Productivity research report on change management, sponsored by NYU Stern, found several key findings about managing change. The report was based on surveys from 765 business and learning professionals across the globe in a variety of industries. Here is what they found.

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Rapid Change Is the New Norm

There is no reason to change something in your organization for the sake of change; however, the number of major changes and the speed at which they take place has increased. This means organizations need to be more agile and open-minded to effectively manage new programs. Does your organization’s culture have tools that allow for fast organizational shifts, such as open communication channels?

High-Performing Organizations Have Mastered Change Management

The majority of high-performing organizations report six or more major changes during a year. This suggests that they are able to be nimble and thoughtful throughout the process. They do not become overwhelmed during changes and keep the end goal in mind.
Need More Guidance on Managing Change?

LearnNow: Change Management Organizational change is a cyclical process. Adapting to that change successfully is vital for long-term success. The ATD LearnNow: Change Management event provides a practical model for change management. Rather than pushing complicated change management methods; you will learn tested business approaches (read: best practices) that executives and managers use to help their organizations rapidly change. You’ll find out how to constantly and rapidly adapt yourself, your employees, and your organization’s business models to keep pace with technology and economic events.

Money Is the Root of All Change

In the ATD survey, 51 percent of respondents said that an increase in revenue or sales were two factors that drove organizational change. These were followed by economic changes, cost-saving efforts, and market changes.

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With organizational changes directly and indirectly linked to monetary causes, leaders should ask how a change is going to improve organizational standing and will ensure that their goal is reached. Create an objective goal, such as a profitability or market share target, to measure the change’s effectiveness.

Make Sure Everyone Knows Who’s Accountable

According to ATD research, CEOs are often accountable for the end results of a large organizational change. Others responsible include department managers, C-level executives, vice presidents, and HR leaders. It should come as no surprise that change management typically is the responsibility of higher-ranking leaders; however, when CEOs were accountable for change, there was a decrease in the organization’s overall market performance. Make sure you know who is in charge of the outcomes and that it is the right person or people; don’t just automatically assign responsibility to the person at the top of the organization.

The Learning Function Should Stay in the Loop

While the change process itself can be a challenge, don’t overlook the training aspect—for example, workers may need to be trained in new skills, processes, or values following an acquisition. Leaders will better position themselves and their teams if they think about these potential training challenges ahead of time:

  • Has the learning function been involved during the whole planning process, including planning, design, and execution?
  • Is there a strong timeline in place for the learning function?
  • Are you providing the learning department with enough funding for successful training?

The Ultimate Barrier for the Learning Department Is Culture

When it comes to the learning department’s overall ability to effectively deliver training related to changes, 39 percent of survey respondents claimed inefficiencies in training are due to company-wide resistance to change. If you are in an organization resistant to change, you will first need to conquer culture change. Once everyone has a new mindset that welcomes change, not only will changes happen more seamlessly, but those creating training programs supporting the change will have a more captive audience.

Top 10 Mind Hacks To Help You Save More Money

You already know the common strategies for saving money: Automatically set aside a portion of your paycheck, stick to a budget, plan your purchases, and so on. But there are also simple (if surprising) psychology tricks that can help us save even more. Here are ten such mind hacks.

10. Visualize What You’ll Look Like When You’re Older to Save More for Retirement

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Many of us aren’t saving enough for retirement, perhaps because we think of it as so far away. Research, however, shows that one really simple way to help us reach our retirement goals is to picture our lives or what we might look like years or decades from now when we’re retired.

9. Create a Sleeve for Your Credit Card with a Picture of Your Financial Goal

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Similar to putting a motivational photo on your fridge if you’re dieting or above your desk if you want to be more productive, this trick from the Simple Dollar can remind you of the bigger money goals you have every time you reach for a credit card to pay for a trivial purchase.

8. Chew Mint Gum and Wear Headphones While Shopping

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What do gum and headphones have to do with shopping or saving money? It’s all about the ways stores manipulate your senses to trick you into buying more. Chewing mint gum could counteract the ambient scents in stores and make you feel fuller so you don’t buy food impulsively, and wearing headphones could block out the music designed to make you stay in the store longer. By knowing how stores try to seduce you while you’re shopping, you can defend yourself from their tricks.

7. Price Items Based on How Many Hours You’d Need to Work to Pay for It

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You know what will really put a damper in unnecessary spending? Thinking about how much that item really costs in terms of hours you’d need to work to pay for it. $90 for a pair of jeans?! That’s more than 12 hours of work at the $7.25 minimum wage. (Even if you’re paid twice that, still more than half a day of work.)

6. Override Your Bad Money Behavior with a New Mantra

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Set up rules of thumb—or heuristics—that describe the way you want to treat your money and over time it could become second nature. For example, “I only buy clothes when they’re on sale” versus “I deserve to treat myself whenever I get a windfall.” No, you don’t have to repeat the mantra over and over (maybe just change your password to it temporarily), but if you adopt it, the mantra could trick your brain into overcoming bad money habits.

5. Instead of Trying to Save More Money Now, Commit to Saving More in the Future

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It sounds counterintuitive to save more money by not saving more money, but it’s all about the timing. Research suggests that starting a program where you’re steadily increasing the amount you save could be more effective than making an effort to save a lot more now. For example, making a plan to save most of your next raise rather than trying to cut back now. (Of course, you should then stick to that plan.)

4. Change the Way You Use Certain Dollar Denominations

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There’s nothing inherently different between a fifty dollar bill and some tens and fives, but psychologically, we might be more reluctant to break the larger bill. You might even be more prone to hold onto $2 bills, since they’re seen as scarce (but really aren’t). And, like the jars of spare coins that get filled daily and turn into a couple of hundred dollars at the end of the year, saving every $5 bill that comes into your possession can turn into significant savings, almost painlessly.

3. Curb Impulsive Spending with a Few Tricks

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You can’t always rely on self-control to avoid temptation, which is always around us. You can, however, make it harder for you to push the buy button or swipe the credit card without thinking first. For example, don’t store your credit card information with online stores or autofill data, train yourself to always ask before buying anything if you’d rather have the cash if a stranger offered it to you, stick to the 30-day rule to make sure you really want something, or use a prepaid debit card to force yourself to ponder your limited resources.

2. Make Saving Money Fun

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Saving? Fun? That’s where gamification comes in. Tools like SaveUp and SmartyPig turn saving money a kind of challenge where you can watch the your money grow (and reap other rewards). Or you could join a challenge like the 52 Week Money Challenge or similar to push yourself to save more (and even enjoy it).

1. Understand Your Brain’s Biases

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Finally, the more you know about how your own brain may be sabotaging your shopping choices, the better you can take back control and overcome your brain’s mushy mental accounting.