entrepreneurs http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8223/all en-US What Small Business Owners Can Learn From Top Forbes Entrepreneurs http://www.wisebread.com/what-small-business-owners-can-learn-from-top-forbes-entrepreneurs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-small-business-owners-can-learn-from-top-forbes-entrepreneurs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fashion_designer.jpg" alt="Woman fashion designer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Successful entrepreneurs come from a variety of backgrounds, and their journeys start at different stages of life. But nearly all have lessons about how to create success that we can learn from.</p> <p>Forbes is continually shining the spotlight on individuals who have managed to overcome hardships and wind up on top. Whether you're starting out on your own entrepreneurial journey or just keen to know what goes into building a winning company, here are four lessons you can learn from top Forbes entrepreneurs.</p> <h2>Get your brand story right</h2> <p>Chris Pfaff, probably better known to MTV reality TV fans as &quot;Drama&quot; from his stints on two shows, followed an unusual path to entrepreneurial success. With no college education, no background in business, and no real idea of how to run a company, he started the streetwear clothing label called Young &amp; Reckless. Launched on the TV show <em>Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory</em> (Dyrdek is a professional skateboarder and Pfaff's second cousin), the line of T-shirts, tank tops, and accessories became profitable right away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-states-to-start-a-new-business-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Best States to Start a New Business In</a>)</p> <p>Despite its rapid success, the company later experienced setbacks as Pfaff experimented with different marketing techniques. Customers had come to associate the Y&amp;R name with the lifestyles of many of its early ambassadors: rappers, skateboarders, and BMX bike riders. But the company flubbed when it hired a celebrity who didn't have a story that fit the brand's carefree, &quot;reckless&quot; image. &quot;There was nothing reckless to tell,&quot; Pfaff told Forbes. It taught Pfaff that the most important thing about marketing is making sure it embodies the spirit of the brand. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Start Your Dream Business</a>)</p> <p><strong>The take-away: </strong>Your customers buy into your story as much as the product or service you're offering. If a marketing idea doesn't embody the brand, don't do it.</p> <h2>Failure is part of the game</h2> <p>Adam Pisoni is a great example of someone who has picked himself up after stumbling. Pisoni, a high school dropout, says naive optimism led him to launch a web design firm called Cnation in 1995, when he was just 19 years old. That optimism, plus hard work &mdash; Pisoni put in 100-hour work weeks &mdash; paid off as the company grew to 30 employees and over $2 million in sales. Cnation made its name by designing websites for large brands like CBS MarketWatch, Fox Interactive, Nissan of Japan, and Honda, earning the latter a Clio award for interactive design in 1997.</p> <p>But everything changed for Pisoni after the dot-com crash of the late '90s. As clients tightened their purse strings, he had to close Cnation &mdash; a devastating blow. But he used what he learned years later to co-found Yammer, a social networking service for enterprises. He helped grow the company, and in 2012 it was acquired by Microsoft for $1.2 billion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-myths-about-starting-a-small-business?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Common Myths About Starting a Small Business</a>)</p> <p>Since then, Pisoni has continued to &quot;bounce back,&quot; founding Abl Schools in 2015, a company that creates time and resource management software for secondary schools (and soon elementary schools). The young company has just raised $7.5 million in series A funding and has grown to 12 employees.</p> <p><strong>The take-away:</strong> Business and entrepreneurship comes with failures, but it's how you digest them that matters. Instead of allowing losses to consume you, take what you learn and implement your findings in future ventures. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-7-blogs-for-entrepreneurs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Top 7 Blogs for Entrepreneurs</a>)</p> <h2>Generous, fair benefits policies help retain workers</h2> <p>While it's become common for tech companies to provide perks such as Ping-Pong tables, free food, and errand-running services to coders and engineers, few extend those benefits to the low-paid employees who work in their warehouses and fulfillment centers. One notable exception: Boxed, an e-commerce company that offers mobile ordering and bulk delivery of products such as toilet paper, pet food, and toothpaste.</p> <p>Founder and CEO Chieh Huang treats all his workers the same. Not only do they get company shares and unlimited parental leave, Boxed also pays for employees' weddings and college tuition for workers' children. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-hire-your-first-employee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Hire Your First Employee</a>)</p> <p>Those unique benefits cost tens of thousands of dollars a pop. But they're important to Huang. His immigrant parents worked menial jobs when he was growing up, and he always promised that if he started a business, he would treat his employees well. There's a business reason for this largesse, too. Turnover is costly and common among warehouse workers. It can cost up to $28,000 to recruit and train one, according to Bloomberg.</p> <p>The tactic may be working. Huang told CNBC that only 10 of Boxed's full-time employees have quit since the company was founded in 2013. That loyalty has helped build Boxed into a company worth over $100 million in revenue as of 2016. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Small Business Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>The take-away: </strong>Treating your employees well breeds loyalty that builds success for the whole company.</p> <h2>Bootstrapping is sometimes the best way to build a business</h2> <p>When starting a business, many entrepreneurs try to follow a familiar blueprint that they see as necessary for success. Come up with a unique idea, raise millions in venture capital funding, use that money to get the business on the map and, voilà, an initial public offering is just around the corner. But there are other ways to achieve this end goal, and not securing venture backing doesn't mean all hope is lost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a>)</p> <p>Take Little Passports, the educational subscription service that delivers activity kits to kids. Founders Amy Norman and Stella Ma failed to secure any venture capital when they started the business back in 2009, yet they persevered. They bootstrapped the company with their own savings and contributions from angel investors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-resources-for-female-entrepreneurs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">35 Resources for Female Entrepreneurs</a>)</p> <p>Without generous venture backing, they were forced to be very disciplined about hiring, marketing, and facilities decisions. Now they believe this path was a blessing, as it allowed them to grow the business organically at a sustainable pace that wouldn't have been possible with millions of dollars in venture capital. Today, with millions of loyal subscribers and a revenue of $30 million, they've proved all of their doubters wrong.</p> <p><strong>The take-away: </strong>Disappointments can be blessings in disguise. Using your own resources and hard work gives you a scrappiness that can pay off as your business grows. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-business-lessons-from-these-child-entrepreneurs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Business Lessons From Child Entrepreneurs</a>)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonBookmark" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20Small%20Business%20Owners%20Can%20Learn%20From%20Top%20Forbes%20Entrepreneurs.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 3%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/TOP%20TIPS%20FOR%20SMALL%20BUSINESS%20OWNERS%20FROM%20TOP%20FORBES%20ENTREPRENEURS.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 3%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /> <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Small%20Business%20Owner%20advice%20from%20Top%20Forbes%20Entrepreneurs.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 0%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /></p> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-small-business-owners-can-learn-from-top-forbes-entrepreneurs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus">5 Bedtime Routines of Famous Financial Gurus</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-land-more-freelance-clients-in-a-snap">How to Land More Freelance Clients in a Snap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-successful-millennials-do">7 Things Successful Millennials Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-states-to-start-a-new-business-in">4 Best States to Start a New Business In</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship business owners business tips entrepreneurs forbes how to be successful small business owners success Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:31:07 +0000 Nick Wharton 2098611 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons Average People Should Consider a Prenup http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/giving_them_a_happy_send_off.jpg" alt="Giving them a happy send off" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Prenuptial agreements are pretty standard when the rich and famous get married. Considering the amount of wealth these high-profile couples have, it makes perfect sense why prenups are as common as their giant engagement rings.</p> <p>But what about us common folk? Are prenups a good idea for people without millions of dollars to protect?</p> <p>Depending on your finances and relationship, a prenup might be a good idea for you and your sweetheart. Here are six reasons why people without multimillion-dollar net worths might choose to sign a prenup before saying &quot;I do.&quot;</p> <h2>1. If either of you have children from a previous relationship</h2> <p>As of 2013, <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/11/14/four-in-ten-couples-are-saying-i-do-again/" target="_blank">40 percent of new marriages</a> include at least one spouse who has previously been married. Couples who have been down the aisle before are more likely to bring children into their new marriage, which adds a level of financial complication to their union. These parents often want to make sure children from their previous relationships will be financially taken care of in case of either death or divorce.</p> <p>A prenup can help parents protect assets for their children, especially in terms of estate planning. For instance, state laws generally consider marital property to belong solely to a surviving spouse after one partner dies. A prenup could ensure that a portion of that property, or assets that the parent brought into the marriage, would go to the child of a previous marriage or relationship rather than the surviving spouse.</p> <p>While wills can cover this same ground, having just a will that leaves your spouse less than an elective share of your estate (between one-third and one half) does not necessarily preserve assets for your children, since your spouse can make a claim against your estate for the elective share. Having a prenup that spells out what assets go to children of a previous relationship, along with a will that cements the terms of the prenup, will be a much more solid method of protecting your children.</p> <h2>2. If either of you has a great deal of debt</h2> <p>We tend to think of prenups as being a way of protecting our wealth, but they can also protect you from your partner's debts (or vice versa). If you are entering into a marriage with a great deal of individual debt, a prenup can delineate who has responsibility for the debt payments during the marriage, as well as how the debts will be handled in the event of a divorce.</p> <h2>3. If either of you is an entrepreneur</h2> <p>Figuring out the specific valuation of assets, such as closely-held business interests or stock options, can be tricky. These things can cause a messy delay in the event of a divorce. If either spouse is an entrepreneur or small business owner, drafting a prenup that spells out exactly how these kinds of assets will be valued will save you a great deal of heartache, time, and lawyer's fees if you ever need to split them up in a divorce.</p> <h2>4. If either of you plans to get an advanced degree while the other works</h2> <p>It's common for one spouse to financially support the family while the other gets an advanced degree or other higher education. The problem with this division is if the marriage does not survive.</p> <p>The fallout can happen in a few ways. Maybe, for example, the degree-seeking spouse ends up much better off financially because their new education helps advance their career. Meanwhile, the supporting spouse may be stuck toiling away for a lower paycheck. Or, in another example, maybe the supporting spouse makes good money, but the degree-seeking spouse is unable to find a job or is crippled by student loans post-divorce.</p> <p>A couple who knows that one partner will work to support the family while the other goes to school may want to draw up a prenup that will make sure both of them will be financially OK if the marriage does not last.</p> <h2>5. If either of you plans to be a stay-at-home parent</h2> <p>A spouse who stays home with the children may not be bringing in a salary, but he or she is certainly saving the family money. According to a 2016 Salary.com estimate, stay-at-home parents are saving their families <a href="http://www.salary.com/2016-mothers-day-infographics/" target="_blank">over $143,000 per year</a> by doing all of the work that would otherwise have to be contracted out.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is no real way to quantify those cost savings if a marriage dissolves, which can leave the non-paycheck-earning parent at a distinct disadvantage. A prenup can do a great deal to protect both of the spouses.</p> <h2>6. If you live in a community property state</h2> <p>In the nine community property states, which include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, everything purchased during the marriage is split 50/50 in the event of a divorce, no matter who made the purchase.</p> <p>For most couples in these states, there is no problem with the community property laws. However, suppose one spouse purchases property on her own during the marriage? For instance, a real estate developer marrying someone outside of the real estate business might use her own funds to purchase properties as part of her business, even after they are married. If the developer wants to make sure those properties remain under her control should the marriage dissolve, then a prenup would be a good idea to protect that property.</p> <h2>Making sure your prenup is mutually beneficial</h2> <p>There is a stigma to prenups, which is part of the reason why they are often seen as just being for the uber-wealthy. We tend to think of them as proof that spouses are not committed to their relationship.</p> <p>However, a prenup should be mutually beneficial, and it can be a way for you and your beloved to show your commitment to each other. You should both be satisfied that you will each be taken care of in case life doesn't turn out the way you planned.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-average-people-should-consider-a-prenup">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-taking-a-loan-for-your-wedding-is-a-bad-idea">3 Reasons Taking a Loan For Your Wedding Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-fights-married-couples-have-and-how-to-avoid-them">4 Money Fights Married Couples Have (And How to Avoid Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-family-money-matters-your-kids-dont-need-to-know">9 Family Money Matters Your Kids Don&#039;t Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family business owners children debt education entrepreneurs marriage prenup prenuptial agreement protecting spouses Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1959137 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Bedtime Routines of Famous Financial Gurus http://www.wisebread.com/5-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_young_woman_at_home.jpg" alt="Beautiful young woman at home reading book" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're Joe Schmo or Bill Gates, there are just 24 hours in a day. Of course, not everybody spends them in the same way. Let's face it: Some people are better at managing time than others. And in a world where time equals money, it's often those with the best time management skills who are raking in the dough.</p> <p>It's not just how we spend our waking hours that counts &mdash; our habits pertaining to slumber also affect our income, stamina, success, and productivity.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of evening rituals of these famously successful people. Because who wouldn't want to sleep like the fabulously wealthy?</p> <h2>1. Read a book</h2> <p>Bill Gates, who reads around 50 books per year, reserves the last waking hour of his day for reading. Yes, even on the stressful, exhausting days, Gates always makes time before bed for a good book.</p> <p>If you're wondering why someone like Gates has made this a priority, wonder no more: Not only does reading fuel creativity, it also helps a person de-stress while introducing new perspectives and expanding their knowledge. Hard up for something fresh to read? Here's <a href="http://time.com/4686426/bill-gates-book-recommendations/" target="_blank">every book recommendation</a> that Gates, the richest man in the world, has ever shared publicly.</p> <h2>2. Unplug the phone</h2> <p>On the brink of slumber, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg checks her email one last time. Then she turns off her cellphone, signaling an end to the day. Unplugging this way can be &quot;painful,&quot; Sandberg has admitted, but she conceded that she has found it to be the key to a good night's sleep. If the phone is on, she's said she is much more likely to be disturbed during the night.</p> <p>This is a smart habit to take up for yourself. Not only can waking up to check your phone in the middle of the night reduce the quality of your sleep, it can also cause anxiety, according to researchers at California State University.</p> <h2>3. Track your sleep</h2> <p>In complete contradiction to Sandberg's routine, business magnate Elon Musk uses his cellphone to track his sleep. His nightly sleep count averages about six hours, he admitted in a 2015 Reddit AMA. In preparation for this shut-eye, Musk, an avid consumer of coffee and Diet Coke, cuts himself off from caffeine six hours before bedtime.</p> <p>There are a number of smartphone apps that can help you track and understand your sleep cycles. Experts recommend seven to eight hours for most adults, though the true number is individualistic and likely depends on genetics. Getting enough sleep is critical to a satisfying social life and a high performance career. Here are a few top-rated sleep app options: <a href="https://mysleepbot.com/" target="_blank">Sleepbot</a>, <a href="https://www.sleepcycle.com/" target="_blank">Sleep Cycle</a>, and <a href="http://24-7.motionx.com/" target="_blank">MotionX 24/7</a>.</p> <h2>4. Treat yourself to quiet time</h2> <p>Oprah Winfrey designates 20 minutes at the end of her day for <a href="http://www.oprah.com/health/Oprah-on-Stillness-and-Meditation-Oprah-Visits-Fairfield-Iowa#ixzz2XoJNWPAR" target="_blank">meditation and silent reflection</a>. By allowing herself a regularly scheduled window during which she can decompress, Winfrey says she has reaped more benefits than she ever imagined. &quot;The results have been awesome,&quot; she said. &quot;Better sleep. Improved relationships with spouses, children, coworkers &hellip; Greater productivity and creativity all around.&quot;</p> <p>We all know how to sit quietly, but meditation takes a little bit more know-how and guidance. That's where a meditation aid can be helpful. Try the smartphone apps <a href="https://www.sattva.life/apps" target="_blank">Sattva</a> or <a href="http://buddhify.com/" target="_blank">Buddhify</a>. You can also find guided meditations on YouTube.</p> <h2>5. Skip the wine &mdash; soak in the tub</h2> <p>Entrepreneur Arianna Huffington's nighttime routine is ceremonious, and it comes in two stages. The first is simple: Skip the nightcap. Booze before bed can certainly help a person fall asleep, but the quality of that sleep will suffer. Instead, Huffington, who says she endeavors to clock seven or eight hours of shut-eye each night, indulges in a candlelit bath with piping hot water and Epsom salts. Then, after she gets under the covers, she takes a moment to count her blessings.</p> <p>&quot;I pause to think about the things that I'm grateful for in that moment,&quot; she wrote for The Telegraph. &quot;That way my blessings, not my worries, get the closing scene of the night.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people">5 Everyday Routines of Wealthy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-small-business-owners-can-learn-from-top-forbes-entrepreneurs">What Small Business Owners Can Learn From Top Forbes Entrepreneurs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-inspiring-quotes-about-money-from-successful-women">6 Inspiring Quotes About Money From Successful Women</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-wise-tips-famous-ceos-would-give-their-younger-selves">8 Wise Tips Famous CEOs Would Give Their Younger Selves</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle bedtime business owners celebrities CEOs entrepreneurs famous habits routines sleep success Mon, 05 Jun 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1955704 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Wise Tips Famous CEOs Would Give Their Younger Selves http://www.wisebread.com/8-wise-tips-famous-ceos-would-give-their-younger-selves <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-wise-tips-famous-ceos-would-give-their-younger-selves" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_boy_puts_ideas_in_machine_and_makes_money.jpg" alt="Business Boy Puts Ideas in Machine and Makes Money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every successful CEO has hit plenty of bumps on the road to the top. Despite the struggles, these top leaders have still managed to conquer challenges, shed their shortcomings, and grow both their skills and their net worth. They have made mistakes and learned from them.</p> <p>We wondered what some of the wealthiest CEOs would tell their younger selves, and found eight gems worth passing on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-finance-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Finance Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stay true to yourself</h2> <p>Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, is working hard to grow the chain from 26,000 locations today to 37,000 by 2021, all while maintaining the brand's unique appeal. He has some big shoes to fill, after taking over from Starbucks' iconic leader Howard Schultz in April 2017. His guiding principle, as he told Business Insider: Be authentic. By acknowledging all aspects of your authentic self &mdash; shortcomings and counterproductive tendencies included &mdash; you allow yourself and the people around you to do their best work.</p> <p>&quot;It's important to be comfortable being authentic,&quot; Johnson said, adding, &quot;Being authentic means you have to be vulnerable.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Find a job you love</h2> <p>Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett &mdash; one of the world's most successful investors with a net worth of $73 billion &mdash; puts it in layman's terms: Take on a career that makes you excited to wake up in the morning.</p> <p>&quot;You follow your passions. You find something you love,&quot; said Buffett at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in 2014. &quot;The truth is, so few people really jump on their jobs, you really will stand out more than you think. You will get noticed if you really go for it.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</a>)</p> <h2>3. Exceed expectations</h2> <p>DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg's path to success was made by following this tip: Always give your best performance. And, if you can, outperform other people's expectations of your work.</p> <p>&quot;I don't think it matters how small or how big the task is,&quot; the Hollywood influencer, whose net worth is estimated at $750 million, famously said. &quot;If you can do it just a little bit better than what is expected, you will be noticed and rewarded.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Embrace tough assignments</h2> <p>Don't settle for easy work &mdash; that's the advice of PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, who earned $29.8 million in 2016.</p> <p>&quot;Nobody notices when you do an easy job well,&quot; she told Business Insider in 2014. &quot;It's far better to challenge yourself by raising your hand for the toughest assignments and work to solve problems that no one else has been able to solve. That's how you truly become a trusted leader inside an organization.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Pursue extracurricular interests</h2> <p>&quot;My advice is to focus on becoming a complete person,&quot; said Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who grew up in a Brooklyn housing project and now has a net worth estimated at $1.1 billion. &quot;Everyone should focus on the content of his or her job, of course. But work is not the end; it's a means to an end. You owe it to yourself to open up to broader interests.&quot;</p> <p>So, pursue a hobby, travel, learn a new skill, read voraciously. Become that interesting person that makes great dinner conversation.</p> <h2>6. Focus on developing your own unique talents</h2> <p>Former Birchbox co-CEO Hayley Barna knows a thing or two about developing personal strengths and talents. She helped launch the subscription beauty box company in 2010 before stepping down five years later to become First Round Capital's first female partner.</p> <p>Her best advice is to identify and strengthen your distinct set of skills, rather than trying to be good at things you struggle with. For example, if you're a horrible writer but you're mathematically gifted, focus on your talent with numbers rather than trying to develop a literary voice.</p> <p>&quot;Never compare your weaknesses to someone else's strengths,&quot; Barna has said. &quot;While comparisons are tempting, especially for competitive, ambitious people, it's always important to focus on your own special talents. That's how you can make a real impact. And it's the coordination of everyone's unique skills that can make magic happen.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Own up to your mistakes</h2> <p>Dave Finocchio, CEO of Bleacher Report, would tell his younger self to admit his faults, act swiftly to correct them, and learn from them.</p> <p>&quot;I make mistakes all the time, and talk about them openly with people up and down our hierarchy,&quot; the digital sports franchise leader told Forbes in 2016. &quot;It fosters a culture where people should feel comfortable critiquing themselves honestly.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Push yourself</h2> <p>Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, says she would counsel her younger self to get comfortable being uncomfortable. You'll never get ahead without pushing yourself to do things you've never done, and that means embracing tasks that you think you might not be fully prepared for.</p> <p>&quot;I always did something I was a little not ready to do,&quot; Mayer, whose net worth is $189 million, said in a 2015 speech. &quot;I think that's how you grow. When there's that moment of, 'Wow, I'm not really sure I can do this,' and you push through those moments, that's when you have a breakthrough.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-wise-tips-famous-ceos-would-give-their-younger-selves">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus">5 Bedtime Routines of Famous Financial Gurus</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree">4 Low-Cost Alternatives to a 4-Year Degree</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people">5 Everyday Routines of Wealthy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-job-worth-it">Is This Job Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Lifestyle advice business CEOs entrepreneurs hard work investors quotes success stories wealthy Thu, 25 May 2017 09:00:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1953938 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-629254116.jpg" alt="check out these business your kid can start" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Somewhere between childhood and teendom, many kids have an epiphany. I remember having it myself. They realize that money gets you things &mdash; movie tickets, clothes, and ice cream cones. And you don't have to just ask your parents for money. You can get out there and <em>make</em> it.</p> <p>For my 12-year-old, the epiphany has been very specific. If she had a few hundred dollars, she could <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-ways-to-score-hamilton-tickets?ref=internal" target="_blank">get tickets to Hamilton</a>. Lately, every conversation is peppered with information on how her current entrepreneurial efforts are going, and ideas for new businesses. She's a <em>tweentrepreneur</em>, basically.</p> <p>Tweens are in a sweet spot for running their own businesses, because unlike little kids, they may have developed near-adult competencies in certain areas &mdash; like growing a strong social media presence &mdash; but unlike older teens and adults, they probably have a lot of free time on their hands. With all these ideas, it's important to use common caution: Don't let tweens go to strangers' homes unaccompanied, or distribute their personal phone numbers, addresses, or email.</p> <p>Here are some ideas that she (and I) have thought of.</p> <h2>1. Dog Walking</h2> <p>This is one of the first things my tween has ever gotten paid for. It's a good &quot;starter responsibility&quot; because the tween only has to be responsible for the dog for a short amount of time, and because there is a lot of latent demand out there from people who wish their dogs got more exercise but don't want to pay the $35 per walk that some professional dog walkers charge in my area.</p> <p>My tween got her first dog walking gig when I answered an ad on a local email group from someone looking for a few days of backup for her regular walker. She earned about $20 for an hour of her time two days in a row.</p> <p>Now that she has a reference, she plans to solicit more customers through the same list and through friends and family.</p> <h2>2. Petsitting</h2> <p>This can be combined with idea above for an overall pet care business. So far, my tween's petsitting jobs have been unsolicited &mdash; a neighbor asked her to come to her house to feed and play with their cats while the family was out of town. This is a step up in responsibility, because besides ensuring the animals' welfare, my tween has to be careful to lock the door behind her every time she visits. She has gone the extra mile by emailing photos and a report to the pet owner every time she visits their home. She gets paid $10 a visit.</p> <h2>3. Pet Cleanup</h2> <p>This could be added to a full-service pet care business. Lots of people hate scooping dog poop out of their backyards or cleaning the cat's litter box. Teach your tween precautions to avoid spreading bacteria.</p> <h2>4. Babysitting</h2> <p>The age when kids can start babysitting is not universally agreed upon, but my daughter's Girl Scout handbook suggested 12, and the <a href="http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/babysitting-child-care" target="_blank">Red Cross</a> offers a training course for her age, so I felt my mature seventh-grader was ready.</p> <p>Luckily, we have a neighbor who was looking for help with her twins, and was willing to train my daughter. My daughter spends much of her time in &quot;mother's helper&quot; mode, reading to one twin while the other gets a bath or vice versa, but she is working up to being alone with the kids for short periods of time. It's also lucky that I am able to be nearby, next door, as my daughter gets her babysitting legs under her.</p> <p>My tween earns $5 an hour for this job. There is a lot of demand in our neighborhood, since more teens are busy with after-school activities than in the past. She could easily build up a large clientele if she wanted to.</p> <p>Most kids get babysitting jobs through word of mouth, but if your child is 14 or older, you can help them set up a <a href="https://www.care.com/c/stories/2821/how-to-get-a-teen-babysitting-job/" target="_blank">parent-monitored account on Care.com</a>.</p> <h2>5. Making Something to Sell</h2> <p>So far, my kids have only sold handmade items for charity, but the results were eye-popping. A mom who knows how to make jewelry donated a load of earring hooks and baubles, and taught my daughter's Girl Scout troop to make earrings. During the holiday season, they set up a table downtown and sold dozens of pairs of earrings for $10 each, in just a few hours, netting hundreds of dollars for their cause.</p> <p>Kids can also sell their wares online with parental supervision. Another girl we know hand-sewed blankets and other items, and sold them on Etsy to raise money for charity. If they make a high quality product, they could even get it carried by a local store.</p> <p>More ideas for products that a tween can competently make at home: slime, soap (with supervision), greeting cards, crafty gifts, tie-dyed items, food products (in states that allow selling things made in home kitchens), bath products, personalized items, and knitted or crocheted items.</p> <h2>6. Mowing the Lawn</h2> <p>This has not been my kid's speed, but it's a time-honored tradition to hire a neighbor kid to mow your lawn, rake your leaves, or shovel your snow. If you can lend them your mower or shovel, it gives them a leg up. Weeding and watering are also tasks that are hard to mess up.</p> <h2>7. Running Errands</h2> <p>Nowadays, many of us are raising children in car-dominated suburbs or cities where we don't feel safe letting kids out of our sight. But if you're like me, lucky enough to live in a small city that is bikeable and walkable, but also has very low crime, your tween should be able to make a few bucks by picking things up at the grocery store for neighbors, returning library books, and the like.</p> <h2>8. Wrapping Gifts</h2> <p>My tween has been charging family members to wrap presents for the past couple of years, and she does a brisk trade. She saves money on materials by keeping fancy bows from gifts she receives. Next year, she plans to open her business to the public. In our town, a local bookstore allowed Girl Scouts to set up a wrapping table, just for tips, during the holiday season. Especially if her business aims to raise money for charity, local stores might allow this for your tween.</p> <h2>9. Performing at or Planning Kids' Birthday Parties</h2> <p>When I was a child, children's author Florence Parry Heide lived in my town. Through the grapevine, my mother heard that the author was looking for someone to dress up as a clown to entertain at her grandchild's birthday party at her lakefront mansion. Since I enjoyed acting, and needed money, I gave it a try. I checked out some books on how to be a party clown from the public library, put together a costume with my grandmother's help, and showed up at the party to do a few dopey magic tricks, act silly, and generally entertain the kids. I got a rave review from Ms. Heide, and ended up performing at a few other parties around town.</p> <p>My tween, on the other hand, excels at planning party themes and making pretty cakes. She has seriously considered offering to put together theme parties for families who don't want to do the work themselves, but also don't want to spend $300 or more to host a party at an event space or hire a professional party planner.</p> <h2>10. Assisting the Technologically Impaired</h2> <p>For some tweens, using the Internet to do everything from creating a photo book to setting up a new cell phone line comes naturally. If you have technophobe neighbors, your tween could help out with such tasks for a small fee. Teens who are really computer savvy could even charge for on-call tech support.</p> <h2>11. Garage Sale Concessions</h2> <p>This is a favorite with all my kids, including the littler ones. Whenever we have a yard sale, they set up a table and sell cotton candy, lemonade, baked goods, whatever edibles they can come up with. In fact, the kids beg me to hold a sale just so they can do this.</p> <h2>12. Tutoring</h2> <p>If your tween has the patience and is a good student, they could help a younger child with homework after school or offer extra help in a specific subject. Some parents would pay just to have someone read to their young child for half an hour a day.</p> <h2>13. Becoming a YouTuber</h2> <p>Believe it or not, there are children making <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3042385/Eight-year-old-mini-Martha-Stewart-earns-staggering-127-000-MONTH-YouTube-baking-tutorials.html" target="_blank">six figures a month</a> by posting videos on YouTube. From the looks of that channel, the top cooking show on the site, making it probably involves full-time adult help. But it's possible for kids to make videos of playing Minecraft, reviewing, playing with, and even unboxing toys, or something based on their own ideas, with little to no adult help, and make some money.</p> <p>If your child wants to make YouTube videos, you should do a safety check on each video before it's uploaded. Make sure there are no clues as to your physical residence, and that they don't share their full name, for instance. It's probably also a good idea to turn off the comments.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-businesses-your-tween-can-start">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-online-affiliate-programs-that-can-make-you-extra-cash">3 Online Affiliate Programs That Can Make You Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-money-doing-household-chores">4 Ways to Make Money Doing Household Chores</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Family entrepreneurs extra money first job jobs for tweens side gig side hustle small business Fri, 10 Mar 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1906472 at http://www.wisebread.com 35 Bizarre Things You Can Be Taxed On http://www.wisebread.com/35-bizarre-things-you-can-be-taxed-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/35-bizarre-things-you-can-be-taxed-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-516281044.jpg" alt="you can be taxed on these bizarre things" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Once the Yuletide log burns out and the New Year's ball drops, it's soon time for a less-joyful annual tradition: Calculating how much money you owe the Internal Revenue Service.</p> <p>We all know that Uncle Sam takes a share of our earnings, but have you considered other events in the past year that you may owe taxes on? You might be surprised at all the ways Uncle Sam can lighten your wallet.</p> <p><em>Note: I'm not an accountant. Consult a tax professional for advice on your personal situation.</em></p> <h2>1. You Caught a Baseball</h2> <p>You are the lucky fan who catches a historic home run ball from the outfield bleachers. The not-so-lucky part? The IRS could hold you responsible for the <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB118532191532076935" target="_blank">resale value of the ball</a> as soon as it hits your glove &mdash; even if you weren't planning to sell it.</p> <h2>2. You Found a Pot of Gold</h2> <p>You finally found the cache at the end of the rainbow. Or maybe you found a stash of rare baseball cards hidden in the wall of your home during a remodel, or a treasure chest while scuba diving in a shipwreck. Under the same regulation that applies to the baseball, the <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch12.html" target="_blank">treasure trove rule</a>, that windfall is taxable to you the first year that you find it. Sadly, this means that you may be forced to sell all or part of your find even if you wanted to keep it.</p> <h2>3. You Held Up a Liquor Store</h2> <p>It doesn't matter if you got it illegally: Stolen money or property should be reported, lest a tax evasion charge be added to your legal woes when you get caught. Says the IRS, &quot;If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.&quot;</p> <h2>4. You Accepted Hush Money</h2> <p>The IRS is blunt on this one: &quot;If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.&quot;</p> <h2>5. You Dealt in Illegal Goods</h2> <p>If you made money dealing drugs or by any other illegal form of self employment, the IRS requires you to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch12.html" target="_blank">report it on Schedule C</a>.</p> <h2>6. You Hit the Jackpot</h2> <p>Yes, you have to pay taxes on your lottery prize. Yes, if you have been buying lottery tickets all year, you can also deduct the expenses. But you have to keep a <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch28.html#en_US_2015_publink1000174141" target="_blank">diary of wins and losses</a>, and the IRS has specific instructions on how to do that.</p> <h2>7. You Stuck the Landing and Won Gold</h2> <p>It's estimated that Michael Phelps <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/08/15/olympics-victory-tax-gold-medal/88587636/" target="_blank">will owe $55,000</a> to the IRS on his Rio winnings &mdash; the medals and the cash prizes that come with each are taxable. Many other Rio champions will get off scot free, however. That's because Congress recently passed a law to exempt Olympians from &quot;victory taxes&quot; &mdash; but only for athletes who earn a million dollars a year or less. Phelps earned an estimated $12 million in endorsements alone in 2016, so he doesn't get that break.</p> <h2>8. You Got a McArthur Genius Grant</h2> <p>It would feel great to win this $625,000 no-strings stipend, or the approximately $1 million that comes with the Nobel Prize. That good feeling won't protect you from the tax bite, though. You're required to pay taxes on all such awards &mdash; unless you have them <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch12.html" target="_blank">directly transferred to a recognized charity</a>. That's what President Obama did with his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winnings.</p> <h2>9. You Are Gifted</h2> <p>Usually, the presents you unwrap over the holidays come to you tax-free, but there are some exceptions. Cash or a gift card from your boss is taxable as a fringe benefit. A hostess gift you receive as a thank-you for having a sales party in your home is <a href="https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/General-Tax-Tips/Taxable-Income-vs--Nontaxable-Income--What-You-Should-Know/INF26326.html" target="_blank">taxed as miscellaneous income</a>. <a href="http://blog.taxact.com/gift-tax-do-i-have-to-pay-gift-tax-when-someone-gives-me-money/" target="_blank">Personal gifts</a>, though, are generally safe from the tax man.</p> <h2>10. You Airbnb'd Your Pad</h2> <p>Just like regular rent payments, money you earn by hosting Airbnb guests is counted as <a href="http://assets.airbnb.com/eyguidance/us.pdf" target="_blank">part of your gross income</a>. The exception: You don't have to pay if you live in the home and rent it out for <a href="https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Self-Employment-Taxes/10-Tax-Tips-for-Airbnb--HomeAway---VRBO-Vacation-Rentals/INF29184.html" target="_blank">two weeks or less per year</a>.</p> <h2>11. You Got Your Social Security Check</h2> <p>It may seem nonsensical that the government pays people and then <a href="https://www.irs.gov/help-resources/tools-faqs/faqs-for-individuals/frequently-asked-tax-questions-answers/social-security-income/regular-disability-benefits/regular-disability-benefits" target="_blank">collects tax money</a> on those payments, but that's how it goes. However, SSI, or disability benefits, are not taxable.</p> <h2>12. You Divorced Well</h2> <p>Alimony you receive from your ex is <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch18.html" target="_blank">taxable income</a>, but child support payments are not. For this reason, it's important to know how payments are categorized in your divorce settlement.</p> <h2>13. You Won a Scholarship</h2> <p>If you win a grant that covers your tuition and books, that's tax-free. But if it pays for <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch01.html#en_US_2015_publink1000178003" target="_blank">room and board or travel</a>, pay up.</p> <h2>14. Your Fantasy Football Team Won the Super Bowl</h2> <p>If you win at least $600 worth of cash and prizes from a business operating a <a href="http://newsroom.hrblock.com/tax-tip-it-may-be-fantasy-football-but-tax-implications-are-real" target="_blank">fantasy sports league</a>, they'll file a 1099-MISC with the IRS. But even if you win less or your league is informal, you are still supposed to pay on your winnings.</p> <h2>15. Triple 7s Came Up</h2> <p>Just like with the lottery, the IRS gets a cut of your casino winnings once they surpass the amount you document losing. Usually it's a <a href="http://www.efile.com/taxable-gambling-winnings-income-taxes/" target="_blank">flat 25%</a>.</p> <h2>16. You Spun the Wheel of Fortune</h2> <p>It's simple enough to pay the tax if you win a cash prize, but if you win a car or vacation, you still owe tax on its value &mdash; which can be tough to pay if you didn't <em>also</em> win cash. Because of this, it's often wise to take the cash equivalent of a prize if offered.</p> <h2>17. Your Debt Was Forgiven</h2> <p>The IRS is very specific about this: If a debt is cancelled as a gift to you &mdash; for example, if Grandpa says, &quot;Merry Christmas, you no longer owe me for that time I bailed you out!&quot; &mdash; you <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch12.html" target="_blank">don't have to pay taxes</a>. Otherwise, you <em>do</em>.</p> <h2>18. You Traded a Haircut for Cigarettes</h2> <p>This may surprise you, but if you receive goods or services in exchange for services you render, the IRS expects you to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc420.html" target="_blank">include the value of those</a> in your gross taxable income.</p> <h2>19. The Boss Lets You Take the Ice Cream Truck Camping</h2> <p>If you drive your company car to work and home, or use it on weekends, this is a <a href="http://smallbusiness.chron.com/irs-taxable-fringe-benefits-company-car-15565.html" target="_blank">taxable fringe benefit</a> and you should be tracking and reporting your personal miles.</p> <h2>20. Your Bitcoins Doubled in Value</h2> <p>Bitcoin is a virtual currency that is represented by computer code, but it can be used to buy real goods and services. So of course, the IRS considers gains in this or <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2015/12/16/bitcoin-at-tax-time-what-you-need-to-know-about-trading-tipping-mining-and-more/#20c59ae46692" target="_blank">any other virtual currency taxable</a>. It's considered a capital asset like stocks and bonds, so if you buy Bitcoins low and sell them high, the difference is your profit. But it can be even more complicated than that: If you create new Bitcoins by mining, you have to count those as income, too.</p> <h2>21. You Got a Blogger Freebie</h2> <p>If a widget maker sends you their SuperWidget 2000 to review and you get to keep it, you just received a taxable payment. However, you don't owe taxes on the market value of the product &mdash; just what the company agrees it's worth. Make sure to put an agreed-upon value in your contract.</p> <h2>22. You Sold Stuff on eBay</h2> <p>If you occasionally sell your kids' outgrown clothes on eBay, you won't owe taxes because you most likely took a loss on the items. But if you create a resale business on eBay, you better believe you have to <a href="http://smallbusiness.chron.com/claim-ebay-sales-taxes-59661.html" target="_blank">report your profits</a>.</p> <h2>23. You Had a Yard Sale</h2> <p>Like eBay, most yard sale transactions are <a href="http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/dont_mess_with_taxes/2009/05/are-garage-sale-proceeds-taxable.html" target="_blank">not income producers</a>, but if you're one of those people who holds a sale every weekend and resells stuff at a profit, do the right thing.</p> <h2>24. You're a Child Entrepreneur</h2> <p>Starting a small business, whether it's dog walking or selling handmade items, can be a great activity for a tween or teen. But don't expect them to be IRS-exempt just because they're kids. If the <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/does-uncle-sam-tax-lemonade-stands-2013-07-08" target="_blank">business earns more than $400</a>, file a tax return.</p> <h2>25. You Set Up a GoFundMe Campaign</h2> <p>This is one of those tricky gray areas. If you start a crowdfunding benefit for someone in need, the donations should be considered personal gifts. But if the gifts run into the large numbers, the crowdfunding site may file a 1099, reporting the transaction to the IRS. A word to the wise: If you are setting up a crowdfunding campaign for a needy friend, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-rhode/crowdfunding-to-help-a-sick-friend-can-lead-to-a-big-tax-bill-for-you_b_6615616.html" target="_blank">make sure it's in their name</a> so you don't end up wondering if you need to pay taxes on money you handed over to them. And consult an accountant before going down this route.</p> <h2>26. You Asked for Spare Change</h2> <p>There are differing opinions out there over whether quarters dropped in a panhandler's cup are considered earned income or a gift. Since panhandlers tend to live below the poverty line, they probably wouldn't owe any income taxes, either way. A more pressing issue for many would be whether the panhandling counts as earned income, qualifying recipients for the earned income tax credit, which could lead to a cash payment from the IRS even if the panhandler pays no taxes.</p> <h2>27. You Received Punitive Damages</h2> <p>Court settlements vary in their tax treatment. If you get a settlement in court to compensate you for a physical injury or emotional distress stemming from an injury, the money isn't taxable. But if you get paid for emotional distress not tied to an injury, or you receive punitive damages, <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4345.pdf" target="_blank">you have to pay</a>.</p> <h2>28. You Cashed in Your Life Insurance Policy</h2> <p>If you die, your beneficiaries probably won't be taxed on your life insurance payout. But if you cash it in while you're alive? Any <a href="https://www.ameriprise.com/research-market-insights/tax-center/tax-planning/taxation-of-life-insurance/" target="_blank">profit you made on the policy</a> &mdash; that is, the value in excess of premiums paid &mdash; is taxable.</p> <h2>29. Your Champion Pug Had a Litter</h2> <p>Whether you breed your dog as a business or a hobby, money made <a href="http://www.akc.org/content/dog-breeding/articles/tax-tips-for-dog-breeders/" target="_blank">selling puppies is taxable income</a>. However, it's also not cheap to breed and raise puppies, so once you deduct stud fees and all those vet bills, you may not actually show a taxable profit for your prize pups.</p> <h2>30. You Put on the Red Light</h2> <p>Just like dealing drugs, if you sell your body in a jurisdiction where that's illegal, you still have to <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2009/09/how_do_prostitutes_pay_their_taxes.html" target="_blank">report the income on Schedule C</a>. In fact, smart high-earning prostitutes declare their income to put themselves into the position to buy a house or get credit.</p> <h2>31. You Couldn't Get Out of Jury Duty</h2> <p>If you got $15 for sitting on a jury, that's taxable income, even if you turn it over to your employer. However, if you did turn it over to your employer, you also put in a <a href="https://apps.irs.gov/app/vita/content/17/17_08_005.jsp" target="_blank">deduction for the same amount</a> on your tax form so your gross income will remain the same.</p> <h2>32. You Got a Tax Refund</h2> <p>Last year's state and federal refunds are <a href="https://www.taxslayer.com/support/knowledgebasearticle324.aspx" target="_blank">taxable in some situations</a>.</p> <h2>33. You Exercised Stock Options</h2> <p>This is one that has gotten a lot of tech workers into financial hot water. If your company gives you stock options, that's not a taxable event. But when you exercise the option by purchasing stock in your employer at a discount, <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/optioninvestor/07/esoabout.asp" target="_blank">that is a taxable event</a> even if you don't sell the stock right away. This can go bad if the stock declines in value after you exercise the option, because now you may owe the IRS more money than you can raise by selling the stock.</p> <h2>34. Your Landlord Is Paying You to Get Out</h2> <p>In rent-controlled areas with high demand, such as San Francisco, it's common for landlords to buy tenants out. This is often referred to as a relocation assistance. This is taxable, but whether to treat it as regular income or a capital gain is dicey, so you may need professional help with that one.</p> <h2>35. You Are an Undocumented Worker</h2> <p>Despite a common belief that undocumented immigrants don't contribute to society with tax dollars, anyone working in the U.S. is legally required to pay taxes, papers or not. And they do pay. Studies show about half of people working illegally are paying income tax, resulting in about <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-03-01/study-undocumented-immigrants-pay-billions-in-taxes" target="_blank">$12 billion per year</a> in state and local revenue.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-bizarre-things-you-can-be-taxed-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-freelancers-and-side-giggers-need-to-know-about-income-taxes">What Freelancers and Side Giggers Need to Know About Income Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-you-probably-need-an-accountant">5 Signs You Probably Need an Accountant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-tax-preparer-makes-a-mistake">What to Do When Your Tax Preparer Makes a Mistake</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes bizarre taxes eBay entrepreneurs gambling illegal income taxes IRS prizes real estate selling sports winnings Mon, 19 Dec 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1855930 at http://www.wisebread.com My 2016 Budget Challenge: Does Taking a Regular Day Job Mean Giving Up? http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_job_search_9131941.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if taking a day job is giving up" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0" target="_blank"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>Although most people hate their boring job, there is something to be said for mindless labor &mdash; at the end of the workday, you can leave the job at the office. I am currently looking for a regular, turnkey job, and money is not even the first reason why.</p> <h2>I Am Tired of Thinking</h2> <p>I know. This seems like a stupid thing that only a stupid person would say. But I am really tired at the end of every day. Like, my brain is worn out. And, when I wake up in the morning, I don't feel mentally refreshed. In fact, my first thought upon waking is a rundown on that day's To Do list, which is basically the list of what I didn't finish the day before.</p> <p>Other than having no benefits like health care or a 401K, the biggest drag about my current battalion of creative, freelance jobs is that I have to do 100% of the brainwork. I have to write the stories for Wise Bread. I have to organize the photo shoot. I have to make the jam. If I worked a standard service job, I would have time between customers for reflection or even daydreaming. With my current work, I have no time to work through complex problems or innovate. My creative jobs are actually preventing me from being creative.</p> <p>Yes. This is a first world problem. Most definitely.</p> <h2>Getting Paid by the Gig Is Actually a Problem</h2> <p>I love beekeeping because bees are endlessly fascinating. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don't learn something new about bees or how to keep them. Unfortunately, bees wait for nobody. I have pretty much given up trying to schedule around beekeeping jobs. Also, depending on the size and the grumpiness of the hive, the simplest beekeeping tasks can take five minutes or five hours. While the master beekeeper I assist tells me that I will get better at assessing the work flow as I level-up as a beekeeper, right now I get paid the same for swarm capture jobs whether I get stung once or 20 times.</p> <p>The days that I get stung 20 times are the days I wish I had a salary.</p> <h2>My Random Payment Schedule Is Annoying</h2> <p>I spend all day harvesting lemons and making marmalade on the assumption that I will be able to sell it. While my profit estimates are usually accurate, the schedule of payment never is. Sometime I sell out of jam in 48 hours and sometimes it takes months for me to sell 100 jars. I know that I will make $4,000 in profit if I sell my entire summer harvest of honey, but I might not make the brunt of those sales until Christmas rolls around. Meanwhile, I still need $423 by next week as the minimum payment on my bank loan.</p> <p>Okay, thanks for letting me get all that whining off my chest.</p> <h2>Hooray! Three Job Offers</h2> <p>I had the most peculiar Monday. I got three job offers in one day.</p> <p>I woke up to the first job offer. A tech startup wants to hire me to write content for their blog. It's an intriguing company &mdash; working in affiliate marketing &mdash; a white-hot space right now. Creatively I said yes, but financially, I said no. The company isn't funded, and I currently can't afford to take a spec job for someone else. If I am going to work for free, it has to be for me.</p> <p>I am sure I am walking away from a million dollar opportunity.</p> <p>The second job came through a knitting buddy who has created a probiotic cookie that Los Angeles foodies are going crazy over. She's never run a company and needs someone to be her factory manager. Although I have experience working as a private cook, I don't have the mass production experience she needs to make the jump to the big leagues. With my family's restaurant background, I feel like I could probably figure out what she needs to do to get her product into Whole Foods. Even though a salaried job is so tempting, I know that running any kind of food-based company is a 24-hour job that will take over my life and brain. I don't take her up on the job, but I do take her up on the offer of free cookies. I need probiotics. And cookies.</p> <p>I am sure I am walking away from a million dollar opportunity.</p> <p>The third job came from my sister who is an illustrator. The company she works for is short on freelance inkers. Since I have never worked as an inker, I am naturally worried that I will fail spectacularly at the job and bring shame upon my entire family.</p> <p>Here's her assessment of my skills: &quot;I think you're going to get this. Your obsessive tendencies and perfectionism&hellip;well, you are like a meth user without the meth. Those are the makings of a good freelance inker. How fast can you learn Adobe Illustrator?&quot;</p> <p>That's comforting, I think.</p> <p>My sister hadn't considered me for the job before because she thought I would get bored with the assembly line aspect of the work. But then she discovered that her boyfriend's brother just made $50,000 in two months working as a freelance inker. Granted her boyfriend's brother is like a cyborg with a stylus and is super fast on Adobe Illustrator, but if that guy could make $25,000 in a month, I could at least manage that amount of work by the end of the year. This is my sister's plan to help me make my $31,000 budget challenge.</p> <p>What makes me think this is the dream-come-true, turnkey job isn't even the pay, it's my sister's description of the work: &quot;It's mindless, but never boring. It's relaxing, like coloring.&quot;</p> <p>It's times like this that I could kiss my fine arts degrees. And my sister.</p> <h2>Progress So Far</h2> <p>My husband managed to save $600 from his last paycheck. I made $410 from writing gigs and $15 running an errand for a neighbor. While we didn't earn much this pay period, we managed to spend $0 in the last two weeks because we were both submerged in work.</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised:</strong> $19,905.84</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $10,653.66</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $21,747.82</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-reduce-debt-or-save-for-an-emergency">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Reduce Debt or Save for an Emergency?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-where-to-find-cheap-training-for-a-new-career">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Where to Find Cheap Training for a New Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-career-tips-you-wish-you-could-give-your-younger-self">7 Career Tips You Wish You Could Give Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Everything Breaks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Career and Income budget challenge employment entrepreneurs freelancing job search max wongs budget new jobs Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Max Wong 1737543 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Invest in Start-Ups? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-invest-in-start-ups <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-invest-in-start-ups" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/people_working_together_000061670306.jpg" alt="Learning the risks and rewards of investing in startups" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Can regular people even invest in those high-flying startups? Should they?</p> <p>Some of the biggest and most valuable companies today were startup businesses in someone&rsquo;s garage or dorm room not that long ago. Apple, Google, Facebook, and eBay are spectacular startup success stories that come to mind. A small investment in a startup in its early stages can quickly grow to be worth millions of dollars. How can a regular person invest in a startup? And is it worth the risk? (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <h2>How Startups Grow &mdash; And When to Invest</h2> <p>Initial funding for most startups comes from the founders of the business themselves. A brand new startup has no product, no customers, and usually lacks a detailed business plan. You can see why it is hard to find anyone besides the founders who are interested in investing in a brand new business.</p> <p>As the startup gets rolling, additional investments to get the company growing may come from friends and family. By this time, the founders have clarified their business plan at least enough to be able to explain their business concept to others and are making progress toward launching a profitable product or business. This stage of startup financing is often the best opportunity for a small investor to get involved, since the startup is often strapped for cash. A little bit of investment can buy a lot of equity in a startup at this point.</p> <p>The next funding stage for startups is typically &ldquo;angel&rdquo; investors. Angel investors are successful local business people familiar with the business area of the startup. They have significant assets, are willing to take a risk with some of their money in exchange for a big potential payoff. Investing in a startup as an angel investor is another opportunity for a regular person to invest in a startup, although the level of investment required at this stage of development is significantly higher than in the earlier days of the startup.</p> <p>As the startup grows, the next step up for financing is venture capital. The venture capital stage of funding often involves millions of dollars of investment in exchange for a substantial amount of equity in the startup. Venture capitalists require extensive documentation of financial records and intellectual property ownership in addition to a rock solid business plan and time commitments from key personnel.</p> <p>After one or more rounds of venture capital investment, the startup may sell stock through an initial public offering (IPO), raising more capital to support growth and business development. At this point, the business is no longer a startup, but is an established corporation. If you invested in a startup that reaches IPO, you are going to be rich!</p> <h2>How Risky Is Investing in a Startup?</h2> <p>An unfortunate fact is that most startups fail within a few years, for a number of reasons. Sometimes startups simply run out of cash and have to close shop because they can&rsquo;t pay their bills. A key contributor may decide to pursue another opportunity and effectively pull the plug on any chance for the startup to survive. The anticipated market can fail to materialize. Technical issues can derail a key product launch and doom a startup to failure.</p> <p>Many personal finance advisors do not recommend holding individual company stock and instead recommend to diversify by holding funds consisting of many stocks. This strategy reduces the risk that your investment in an individual stock will be ruined by an Enron-style meltdown. Investing in a startup is much more risky than holding individual company stock in an established company.</p> <p>If you invest in a startup, there is a good chance will lose your money. The startup may fail before you have a chance to sell your equity and make a return on your investment, or even get your principal back. However, there is a small chance you could make a lot of money if the startup you invest in is successful. If you are interested in a high risk, high reward investment opportunity, then investing in a startup may be right for you.</p> <h2>How to Find a Startup for Investment</h2> <p>Investing in a startup takes a lot of work to find the right business opportunity. You need to find a startup that has a good chance to succeed based on the people involved and the business opportunity.</p> <p>Some people who invest in startups have a motto: &ldquo;Bet on the jockey, not the horse.&rdquo; This means to look for company founders who have experience working in the type of business they are trying to start and have a track record of success rather than focusing on the details of the business plan of a startup. The business plan will likely change a lot in the early days as obstacles pop up, and talented people will have a better chance to find a way to succeed anyway.</p> <p>Look for connections with startups at business development centers or business incubators in your community or at nearby universities. Another place to learn about local startups is to watch for stories about inventors developing a new product or startup businesses in your local newspapers or on TV news reports. Once you start meeting entrepreneurs, they can often introduce you to others who may be a good match for the startup investment opportunity for you are seeking.</p> <h2>How to Invest in a Startup Without Risking Your Money</h2> <p>If you are interested in getting the upside potential of a startup investment but the high risk makes you uncomfortable, consider contributing sweat equity to the startup instead of money. You may be able to convert your time and skills into equity in a startup, keeping your cash safe.</p> <p>Most startups have tons of work to do as they launch initial products and seek sales, but not enough cash to hire many workers. A cash-strapped startup may be interested in taking your labor in exchange for some equity in the business. You might be able to commit to working a certain number of hours per week for a year in exchange for ownership of a percentage of the startup. If you have relevant experience or connections with potential investors, the founders will be more interested in taking you on as a partner to help the startup grow.</p> <p><em>Would you be willing to invest time or money in a startup for a chance at a big reward?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-invest-in-start-ups">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tesla-six-flags-and-9-other-adventure-stocks-worth-investing-in">Tesla, Six Flags and 9 Other Adventure Stocks Worth Investing In</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment entrepreneurs high reward high risk investors new businesses portfolio small businesses startups stocks Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1691585 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things Successful Millennials Do http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-successful-millennials-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-successful-millennials-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000057439872.jpg" alt="Group of millennials learning how to be successful" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Who doesn't want to be successful? People spend millions of dollars a year trying to learn how to do it &mdash; whether in business or for their personal lives. (The most popular books on Amazon are, you guessed it, books on how to be successful.) Even successful people scour resources to learn how to be more successful.</p> <p>But for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-facts-millennials-should-know-about-retirement-planning">Millennials</a>, the definition of success &mdash; and the path there &mdash; is a little bit different. Work hard, stay focused, and consider these seven steps for becoming a successful millennial.</p> <h2>1. Invest and Save</h2> <p>Successful Millennials know that if there ever was a motto in life to follow, it should be &quot;Invest and save.&quot; In fact, being young is your best investment advantage. You have time on your side &mdash; and all that time means that your money has the best chance to grow, thanks to the power of compounding. The first place you will probably invest is in your employer-provided 401(k) or IRA; successful Millenials aim to save at least 5%&ndash;10% of their income now, in order to reap big rewards later.</p> <h2>2. Healthy = Wealthy</h2> <p>Successful Millenials know that being healthy not only leads to feeling better, but also to being more successful in all areas of life. Following a consistent workout schedule coupled with eating well is a strong recipe for success. With online tools such as <a href="http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFKE7WVJfvaHW5q283SxchA">Yoga with Adriene</a>, and cooking sites like <a href="http://www.spoonuniversity.com">Spoon University</a>, there are no excuses for not learning how to eat well and workout on a budget.</p> <h2>3. Learn and Learn Some More</h2> <p>Successful Millennials never stop learning. Forget the fancy (aka expensive) degrees. It's never been easier to follow the old adage, &quot;learn something new each day.&quot; Acquiring new skills will eventually lead to more job opportunities and salary increases. Millennials are also a large part of the new entrepreneur generation that emerged during the economic downturn. Successful Millennials have taken that entrepreneurial spirit on, and dedicated themselves to reading at least one new article a day, investigating new career opportunities, and growing their skill base by utilizing free and low-cost online learning with sites like <a href="http://www.lynda.com">Lynda.com</a> and <a href="http://www.udemy.com">Udemy</a>.</p> <h2>4. Travel Your Way</h2> <p>Successful Millennials don't just sit back and watch life pass them by; they travel, and travel a lot. The world is more accessible than ever, and with good financial strategies to utilize credit card reward points, and lodging alternatives like Airbnb, budget traveling has never been easier. Successful Millennials not only like to travel, but they are far better at balancing life and taking time off to recharge than their older counterparts.</p> <h2>5. Perfect Your Passion</h2> <p>Successful Millennials charge head first into developing their passion and never look back. There are so many career options that didn't exist even a few years ago. YouTube stars are making six-figure salaries, bloggers are traveling the world and making a solid living, entrepreneurs are launching ideas funded with startup money that is now more accessible, and new careers are emerging in areas of social media and marketing. The most successful Millennials find a way to infuse their passion into their career, and if that career doesn't exist, they simply create it.</p> <h2>6. Give Back</h2> <p>Successful Millennials love to make money, but more than anything, they love to give back and affect change. Millennials love to find ways to better society, such as companies like <a href="http://www.toms.com">Toms</a> that donate a pair of shoes for every shoe purchased, or entrepreneurs like <a href="http://www.detroitdirt.org">Detroit Dirt's</a> own Pashon Murray who makes money by giving back to her growing community. Successful Millennials know that giving back is not just about money, but also about offering skills and talents that can change their community in new and inventive ways.</p> <h2>7. Redefine Wealth</h2> <p>Successful Millennials understand that the old-school definition of wealth no longer exists. The 1980s version of wealth, with BMWs and classic clothing, bores successful Millennials. For them, wealth is about all of the steps in this list. It's about creating a life and a lifestyle that infuses their passions, skills, talents, mindset, and vision of the world together to create a better financial future. Successful Millennials know that no matter how much (or how little) money you have, you can always be wealthy if you've created a life as true and original to you as possible.</p> <p><em>What steps are you going to take to become a successful Millennial?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-successful-millennials-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-perks-of-being-in-your-20s">The Financial Perks of Being in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance career entrepreneurs investing millennials success young professionals Tue, 04 Aug 2015 13:00:15 +0000 Shannah Game 1507541 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Low-Cost Alternatives to a 4-Year Degree http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office_coworkers_000053393492.jpg" alt="Group of students utilizing low-cost options to four-year degree" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Education is about self-discovery, personal improvement, and professional development. And there are a whole host of ways to achieve those things outside of the traditional four-year college experience. Read on for our roundup of some of the most viable alternatives to a four-year degree.</p> <h2>1. Start a Business</h2> <p>Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Walt Disney are just a sampling of names on the list of America's uber-successful entrepreneurs who never earned a college diploma. Their legacies are proof that higher education is not a prerequisite to building a profitable business, no matter what anyone tells you.</p> <p>Today, the barriers to launching a one-person enterprise are lower than ever. With dedication, drive, and an Internet connection, you can <a href="http://fourhourworkweek.com/2012/05/24/six-figure-businesses-built-for-less-than-100-17-lessons-learned/">start a thriving business</a> for less than $100. After all, the best way to gain experience in business is by launching one of your own. Even if it flops &mdash; 8 out of 10 <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/">new businesses fail</a> within the first 18 months &mdash; the practical experience you gain will help you become more successful in your next endeavor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso">Starting Your Dream Business Isn't as Hard as You Think &mdash; Here's How</a>)</p> <h2>2. Learn a Trade</h2> <p>How many college grads have you met who have no idea what career they want to pursue in life? This is rarely the case with trade school students, who graduate with a clear path to gainful employment.</p> <p>Trade and vocational schools offering programs in fields like information technology, culinary science, construction, woodworking, and hairdressing will set you on the fast track for a skilled and potentially high-paying job. They're also usually much more reasonably priced than a four-year college and typically have more lenient acceptance requirements.</p> <p>In fact, vocational schools are so successful in placing graduates in high-earning jobs that they have become the norm in countries like Switzerland, where young adults view the practicality of learning a trade as much more valuable than a more traditional college education. Whether your passion lies in auto mechanics or makeup artistry, you can launch a successful career by enrolling in a trade school that will help you hone your skills in a specific pursuit &mdash; without all those liberal arts requirements.</p> <h2>3. Go Straight to Work</h2> <p>The benefit of moving into the workforce rather than the college dorms is that you'll be honing new job skills, racking up experience, and &mdash; this is the big one &mdash; actually making money. That's pretty huge, considering the average college graduate is responsible for $30,000 in student loan debt. Loan officer, firefighter, web developer, retail or restaurant manager, commercial pilot, and criminal investigator are just a sampling of the bright and lucrative careers that don't require a four-year degree. Among the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_107.htm">highest paying gigs</a> that don't require a diploma are purchasing agent ($59,000), insurance claims adjuster ($60,000), and construction site supervisor ($60,000).</p> <h2>4. On the Job Training</h2> <p>Many employers provide educational credits and on-the-job training that can help you develop valuable skillsets without investment in a college degree. Others will offer financial support or rebates for continuing education at local colleges. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn for free or at a reduced cost.</p> <p><em>What other alternatives to a college degree have you enjoyed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-low-cost-alternatives-to-a-4-year-degree">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-job-worth-it">Is This Job Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-wise-tips-famous-ceos-would-give-their-younger-selves">8 Wise Tips Famous CEOs Would Give Their Younger Selves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-my-career-clueless-college-self">5 Tips for My Career-Clueless College Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-employee">12 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Employee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-guide-to-getting-a-job-right-out-of-college">Your Guide to Getting a Job Right Out of College</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training business college degrees entrepreneurs job hunting trade schools work Wed, 29 Apr 2015 17:00:25 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1400877 at http://www.wisebread.com Location Independent Career Basics http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/location-independent-career-basics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/location independent.JPG" alt="location independent tools" title="location independent tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Would you like to have the ability to work from anywhere you wish? The backyard? The café down the street? Your bedroom? Or even <a href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/cheap-travel/" target="_blank">on the road</a>&hellip;a tropical island somewhere, perhaps?</p> <p>A location independent career is your ticket to workplace freedom. More and more people are striving for this freedom themselves. We&rsquo;ll look at the basic qualities (good and bad) of a location independent career, and in so doing, you may come up with a few ways to make your own career location independent.</p> <h2>What is Location Independent?</h2> <p>As it sounds, location independent refers to a career that does not require your presence in any one place for your job to be done. You may still opt to attend meetings or networking events here and there, but for the most part you are free from any geographical commitments.</p> <h2>The Basics &ndash; How it&rsquo;s Possible</h2> <p>Location <st1:city><st1:place>independence</st1:place></st1:city> is enabled by technology. Without telephones and cell phones, the Internet, virtual offices and conference functions, scanners, faxes, and express postal services, most location independent careers would not be possible.</p> <p>So although you don&rsquo;t need to be a technological wizard with an ability to speak three different computer languages, you will need a basic understanding of computers, the Internet, and the various modalities of communicating.</p> <p>Many location independent careers do indeed require a high level of proficiency in all things Internet, but this is not always the case. As you will see further on, there are many people out there who have the ability to be location independent; some may not even know it!</p> <h2>Advantages of a Location Independent Career</h2> <ul> <li>You save money, time, and resources since you don&rsquo;t have to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-sharing-why-own-when-you-can-just-share" target="_blank">commute to work</a>.</li> <li>It&rsquo;s more casual. Most location independent people don&rsquo;t wear suits. Heck &ndash; you can work in your PJs if you want to (just turn the video off on those conference calls).</li> <li>You make your own hours. Are you a night owl? Then feel free to work until <st1:time minute="0" hour="3">3am</st1:time>. Would you prefer to take time off in the afternoon to be with your kids? Go ahead; you&rsquo;ll make up the time when you need to.</li> <li>You can explore the world slowly with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/cheap-travel/">long-term travel</a>, since you can work from the road.</li> </ul> <h2>Disadvantages of a Location Independent Career</h2> <ul> <li>You must be very self-disciplined. Rarely is anybody holding you accountable.</li> <li>It is easy to become distracted if you work from home. You can potter around the house all day in the name of &ldquo;working&rdquo; without actually getting any work done.</li> <li>It can be very lonely. Depending on your line of work and the degree of social contact that it entails, location independent careers can be a touch lonesome. Sometimes office banter is refreshing.</li> <li>It can be easy to lose yourself in your work and be at the grindstone for longer hours than you should be. (Again, this is a matter of self-discipline).</li> </ul> <h2>Three Types of Location Independent Careers</h2> <p>Location independent careers tend to fall under three main categories: entrepreneurs, freelancers, and telecommuters.</p> <h3><strong>Entrepreneurs</strong></h3> <p>As an <a target="_blank" href="http://blogs.openforum.com/2009/05/11/four-common-mistakes-to-avoid-in-running-your-small-business">entrepreneur</a>, you are your own boss, and have complete freedom to call the shots. But simply being an entrepreneur does not give you a ticket to location independence; many industries or business structures require your physical presence.</p> <p>Where entrepreneurialism enters into the location independent realm is in the entrepreneur&rsquo;s intrinsic ability to see (and act on) business opportunities and market needs. <strong>Successful location independent entrepreneurs tend to be inventors of items or technology, import/exporters, or pioneers of business ideas that can be marketed virtually.</strong></p> <h3><strong>Freelancers</strong></h3> <p>Any location independent career involves a degree of organization and self motivation; qualities which most entrepreneurs and freelancers share. Where freelancers differentiate themselves from entrepreneurs is in the nature of their work and who they work for. Freelancers usually juggle projects for multiple clients, and in the location independent business, frequently work across different industries.</p> <p>I have met any number of location independent freelancers who wear multiple hats, such as online marketing, PR, writing and copywriting, business strategizing, virtual assistance, and publishing. Many will package up their repertoire as &ldquo;business services&rdquo; and take whatever work comes their way, outsourcing what they cannot do themselves.</p> <p>I am location independent myself, and although I boast a mean entrepreneurial streak, I am solidly planted in the freelance category, with multiple clients and publications that I write for in the realm of personal finance and travel.</p> <h3><strong>Telecommuters</strong></h3> <p>Rounding out the spread of location independent career categories is the telecommuter. This is somebody who (usually) works for one boss or company, but has the flexibility to work from home (or anywhere that has the technology available for the telecommuter to keep in touch with the office).</p> <p>Some companies are incorporating &ldquo;flex hours&rdquo; into their <a href="http://blogs.openforum.com/2009/06/22/tax-free-employee-benefits/" target="_blank">employee incentive programs</a>, which allow employees to do some of their work from home. It saves the company paying for dedicated office space for all employees, in addition to the advantages of location independent careers, listed above.</p> <p>As more and more companies look into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/outsourcing-your-life-and-creating-new-businesses" target="_blank">outsourcing</a> to reduce their expenses and increase productivity, I believe that telecommuting will become even more prevalent. In fact, the gap between telecommuting and freelancing is easy to bridge; if your company cuts your hours or responsibilities as a result of these <a href="http://blogs.openforum.com/2009/05/11/how-your-small-business-can-survive-the-recession/" target="_blank">hard financial times</a>, you might complement your work with another part-time telecommuting job, and whamo: you are a location independent freelancer before you know it.</p> <p>And just in case you still think that location independence is solely for computer geniuses, here are a handful of wacky location independent careers that I&rsquo;ve come across in the last week alone:</p> <ul> <li>Jewelery Designer</li> <li>Hand Analyst</li> <li>Professional Barterer</li> <li>Coach (this encompasses a lot, since you can coach within many areas of specialty)</li> <li>Lawyer</li> <li>Industrial Designer</li> <li>Voice-Over Artist</li> <li>Airport Services</li> <li>Game Designer</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-you-need-to-fire-your-financial-planner" target="_blank">Financial Planner</a><o:p></o:p></li> <li>Sales</li> </ul> <p>If you have a pressing desire to embrace a location independent lifestyle but aren&rsquo;t sure where to start, there are plenty of online resources for you to check out. For starters, you may want to take a peek at the Web Site whose address says it all: <a href="http://www.locationindependent.com/" target="_blank">locationindependent.com</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-does-taking-a-regular-day-job-mean-giving-up">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Does Taking a Regular Day Job Mean Giving Up?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-meg-favreau-our-senior-editor">Meet Meg Favreau, Our Senior Editor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer">10 Work Perks You Can&#039;t Get as a Freelancer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-e-books-to-help-you-make-money-travel-and-change-your-life">Three E-Books to Help You Make Money, Travel, and Change Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-work-at-home-without-driving-your-spouse-nuts">How to Work at Home Without Driving Your Spouse Nuts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income entrepreneurs freelancing location independent online business telecommuting Fri, 17 Jul 2009 17:00:03 +0000 Nora Dunn 3394 at http://www.wisebread.com Business Advice from a Billionaire http://www.wisebread.com/business-advice-from-a-billionaire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/business-advice-from-a-billionaire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/school meeting.jpg" alt="school meeting" title="school meeting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="183" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div style="float: right; margin: 1em;"> <script type="text/javascript"> digg_url = 'http://www.wisebread.com/business-advice-from-a-billionaire'; </script> <script src="http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </div> <p>“What do you think, Julie Ann?” was posed to me in a school administration building in downtown Charlotte, NC where I appeared with my dad for a plea to attend the high school of my choosing. Having endured the endless, chaotic crossfire of school integration, an odyssey with school lines drawn and redrawn in perpetuity to achieve racial balance and ever-elusive school equality, I didn’t think anyone, especially school board members, would really care what a 15-year-old girl thought. I knew him only as the <strong>one who asked my opinion. </strong></p> <p>Many years later, I heard an apparel company executive refer to him as someone who had “more money than God” and more years still, as <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2007/03/07/billionaires-worlds-richest_07billionaires_cz_lk_af_0308billie_land.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.forbes.com/2007/03/07/billionaires-worlds-richest_07billionaires_cz_lk_af_0308billie_land.html">one of Forbes’ richest people in the world</a>. His net worth is pegged at over $2 billion and unless you hang around North Carolina (USA), you’ve probably never heard of him. But he’s got some business advice to pass along and I thought I’d summarize it for you here. </p> <p>His name is <a href="http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/54/richlist07_Clemmie-Spangler-Jr_RVN7.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/54/richlist07_Clemmie-Spangler-Jr_RVN7.html">C.D. (Dick) Spangler Jr</a>. and he’s currently retired but has had numerous business ventures. In addition to being a member of the <a href="http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/discover/history.asp" target="_blank" title="http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/discover/history.asp">Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board</a> (where we met), he also served as President of the University of North Carolina system. </p> <p>Here&#39;s a recap of his education and career, based on an <a href="http://www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurs/dickspangler.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurs/dickspangler.html">interview with Mr. Spangler</a> that appears on the <a href="http://www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurs/index.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurs/index.html">Harvard Business School (HBS) Entrepreneurs site</a>: </p> <p>Education</p> <ul> <li>BA, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill</li> <li>MBA, Harvard Business School</li> </ul> <p>Career Timeline (highlights):</p> <ul> <li>Growing up, helped with his dad’s construction firm, <em>which was started during the Depression</em></li> <li>Took over and ran the family business of developing property into neighborhoods and building homes but <em>competition was fierce and margins slim so exited that business</em></li> <li>Changed business from single-family residential development to the design, construction, financing, and leasing of apartments and warehouses</li> <li>Started designing, building, financing, and running motels; planned to go public but the <em>major source of motel guests (the traveling salesman) dried up during the ’72-’74 recession</em></li> <li>Joined the board of Bank of North Carolina (a bank his dad and others had started to obtain funds for construction and other projects) <em>after it became insolvent due to mismanagement</em></li> <li>Led bank turnaround from insolvency to its sale to North Carolina National Bank/NCNB, then NationsBank, now Bank of America</li> </ul> <p>There were other investments in publicly-held and private companies, such as the one that my business acquaintance ran. It seems that his dad’s entrepreneurial spirit and money ignited the spark of business ownership and investment for Mr. Spangler, which led to significant wealth. </p> <p>Here’s business advice taken from the interview (<a href="http://www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurs/pdf/dickspangler.pdf" target="_blank" title="http://www.hbs.edu/entrepreneurs/pdf/dickspangler.pdf">transcript in PDF</a>):</p> <p><strong>1: Make your mistakes when you’re young so you can learn and recover from them.</strong></p> <blockquote><p>“There is a learning curve in making decisions, and making your bad decisions when you’re young gives you time to outlive them.”</p> </blockquote> <p>I like the way Mr. Spangler assumes you’re going to make mistakes. He tells a story of one of his first days at HBS in which a classmate is berated for not making a decision despite the fact that enough information is available. The approach instilled by his professor is to determine alternatives and choose the best one. </p> <p>Getting feedback (immediate and longer term) from real-life choices can enable you to develop a decision-making model. Even so, at some point, you may make a bad decision with negative consequences; if you’re young when you make mistakes, you can recover your losses and use your new-and-improved judgment to yield better results.</p> <p><strong>2. Leverage wisely.</strong></p> <blockquote><p>“We were very highly leveraged, but there was nothing particularly wrong with leverage since the properties were well located, the rents were low, and the interest rates were very low.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Here’s the idea: borrow at interest rates that allow you to invest in a business that will deliver returns higher than the interest rate. (Nora covered leveraging in an earlier post: <a href="/borrowing-to-invest-helpful-or-hurtful" target="_blank" title="http://www.wisebread.com/borrowing-to-invest-helpful-or-hurtful">Borrowing to Invest:Helpful or Hurtful?</a>)</p> <p>There’s an implication that leveraging can be foolish. In this scenario (borrowing at low interest rates to build apartments and warehouses, offered at attractive rental prices in good locations), the cash flow from rent income seemed to be nearly guaranteed and the good location meant not only steady rental income but also long-term prospects for resale. </p> <p>You won’t always know if an investment will yield higher returns than your borrowing rate but a good sense of where interest rates are heading and knowledge of market conditions will help you to make leveraging decisions. </p> <p><strong>3. Know what the worth of the business (or item) that you want to sell.</strong></p> <p>Mr. Spangler turned around an insolvent bank (Bank of North Carolina), generated a positive income stream, and got it ready to sell. He didn’t want to be a banker but did want to get a good price for his shareholders. He researched the going price of banks and found the typical formula for bank acquisitions: Price = 1.8 x book value or assets. (See my discussion on <a href="/personal-finance-lessons-from-online-adventure-game-runescape" target="_blank" title="http://www.wisebread.com/personal-finance-lessons-from-online-adventure-game-runescape">bargaining</a> by knowing the worth of an item.)</p> <p>Though he planned to sell the bank, he was taken aback by an urgent visit from Hugh McColl, then president of NCNB-now Bank of America, who traveled via a private plane to the West Virginia mountains where Spangler was spending a couple of days with his family. Their conversation went <em>something like this:</em> </p> <blockquote><p>McColl: I’ve been authorized by my board to buy your bank. What’s the price?<br />Spangler: 1.8 times book.<br />McColl: That is a little high.<br />Spangler: I don’t think it’s high because that’s what banks are selling for. <br />McColl: Well, I was told to tell you that was too high…let’s work out the details.</p> </blockquote> <p>Mr. Spangler’s stake of Bank of America are now worth over $1 billion (based on November 27, 2007 market price for 32 million shares). </p> <p><strong>4. Get rid of lousy leaders and ineffective managers.</strong> </p> <blockquote><p>“…when people are making mistakes in running an organization, they should no longer be part of that organization.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Note that Mr. Spangler says to get rid of the ones who are <strong>running</strong> the organization not the people who are <em>working for</em> the organization. </p> <p><strong>6. Hire people who are smarter than you, especially those who have talent in specialized fields.</strong> </p> <blockquote><p>“People sometimes have difficulty employing people who are smarter than they are. I think that’s a terrible mistake because you can still supervise people who are smarter than you are. As a matter of fact, every person you hire ought to be very good in a certain field and be brighter than you are in that field.”</p> </blockquote> <p>If you are a hiring manager, you will likely feel safe with the people who aspire to be the best in their respective fields but have little interest in becoming CEO or even managing a department. You may be intimidated by those who want to advance and even avoid hiring them, which may be comforting in the short term but not beneficial in the long term. You want to create and/or work for the best organization possible so it makes sense to hire the best people. </p> <p><strong>7. Don’t hire or hang around people just like you are.</strong></p> <blockquote><p>“You need to tolerate surface differences in order to help people focus their talents on what needs attention. One of the weaknesses of some people in administration is that they want people around who look, act, and think like they do. That’s a recipe for disaster.” </p> </blockquote> <p>Mr. Spangler considers diversity (in thought, action, and appearance) not a corporate initiative but rather an essential to avoiding disaster and, by inference, to realizing success. </p> <p><strong>8. Prioritize your challenges.</strong></p> <blockquote><p>“I’ve come to the conclusion that having a single problem is overwhelming. I think that having ten problems is easier to handle since you can move from one to the other as you make a little progress, take a break when you’re not exactly sure what to do, then come back to it…You also learn how to put things that are more important to the front of the line so that you spend less time on things that are less important, or you defer those things until a time when you can give it better attention.”</p></blockquote> <p>There are some problems that don’t resolve themselves within an hour or day or even a week, contrary to what I may have learned from watching television sitcoms. So, the idea of deferring a decision seems reasonable; I like the word deferring which connotes waiting until the right time as opposed to delaying, which may indicate unwillingness or inability to make a decision. </p> <p><strong>9. Look soberly at the numbers from the real world not what’s on your projections.</strong></p> <blockquote><p>“…entrepreneurs…have a tendency to believe the projections on their spreadsheets rather than the reality of a situation….There’s a tendency to reject what the market is telling you in favor of what’s happening in reality.”</p></blockquote> <p>It’s disheartening to learn that your great business idea isn’t generating the revenue you thought it would and your operating costs are higher than anticipated. You realize that you may need to apply more effort or give the business more time to succeed. But if a concept is not accepted by the market and isn’t producing the income or returns you projected, then your plans and projections need to be adjusted. </p> <p><strong>10. Get financing for business ideas if you want to earn a return on your investment.</strong></p> <blockquote><p>Entrepreneurs “should know that even if they have a wonderful business idea, if they don’t have financing, they won’t be able to turn a business into something that will deliver a return….Financial stability and reliable sources of financial support are essential.” </p></blockquote> <p>Now, I know many of you are thinking that you can start a business in your garage or basement, fund its growth from sales, and keep plowing money back into the business to fuel its growth; and, from one perspective, that seems like a pretty good idea. You keep your risks low and all profits go straight to you rather than investors/owners or the bank. </p> <p>But there’s a difference between generating income that is equal to a salary and creating a business with an ongoing source of revenue not dependent on one person and with value derived from assets. If you have the right kind of financing, you can focus on generating sales and reaping profits rather than figuring out how to meet payroll expenses or fund inventory purchases to fill orders. </p> <p><strong>11. Let someone else be first to come up with a solution so that you can second it, and make everyone feel that you’ve made a good decision collectively.</strong> </p> <blockquote><p>“Being the quickest to have the answer is not necessarily a good characteristic. You may have the answer but it’s a lot better to let somebody else come up with the answer so that you can say, ‘I really like your idea…You know, what you said really makes good sense.’” </p> </blockquote> <p>I’ve been in meetings and involved in groups where I’ve made what I think is a great suggestion, and no one seems to value my input. Later, either the same day or in subsequent conversations, someone else makes the same suggestion but now it is considered a brilliant idea. Still, if I am really part of the group, either as a member or leader, I need to be focused on moving forward and not worrying about who gets credit for the solution to a problem. Watch and see if ideas are more accepted when they are seconded rather than when they are first proposed. </p> <p><strong>12. Solicit the opinions of others.</strong></p> <blockquote><p>“What do you think, Julie Ann?”</p></blockquote> <p>Forbes mentions that, as UNC President, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/54/richlist07_Clemmie-Spangler-Jr_RVN7.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/54/richlist07_Clemmie-Spangler-Jr_RVN7.html">Mr. Spangler often ate lunch with students</a> to learn about campus life. Finding out what others think is a great way to divine the source of problems and often uncover solutions. I&#39;ve heard this advice from many businesspeople (who talk with customers, visit factory floors to speak with production workers, etc.) but I thought it was worth noting that listening to other people, even the youngest and least influential, might help you become a billionaire. </p> <p><em>Epilogue: In response to his question, I explained why I wanted to attend the high school closest to my home rather than the more prestigious high school in Charlotte&#39;s most affluent neighborhood to which I had been assigned (due to a recent change in school district lines); I was allowed to change schools the next day; last month, the C.D. Spangler Foundation announced a </em><a href="http://cms.k12.nc.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&amp;item=7" target="_blank" title="http://cms.k12.nc.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&amp;item=7"><em>$4 million gift to Teach of America</em></a><em> in Charlotte, NC in what seems to be a continuing desire to equalize educational opportunities in the public school system.</em></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/business-advice-from-a-billionaire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-small-business-owners-can-learn-from-top-forbes-entrepreneurs">What Small Business Owners Can Learn From Top Forbes Entrepreneurs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-a-business-for-next-to-nothing">Start a Business for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-small-business-mentors-you-can-access-for-nearly-free">6 Small Business Mentors You Can Access for Nearly Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship business advice C.D. Spangler entrepreneurs Harvard Business School UNC Wed, 28 Nov 2007 17:47:05 +0000 Julie Rains 1431 at http://www.wisebread.com