entrepreneurs http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8223/all en-US 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 the 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"><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-3"> <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-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-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/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Everything Breaks</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/location-independent-career-basics">Location Independent Career Basics</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-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job">How to Get Work Experience Without Having a Job</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-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-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-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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-stocks-warren-buffett-loves-and-you-should-too">7 Stocks Warren Buffett Loves — And You Should, Too</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-reasons-july-is-a-great-month-for-stocks">5 Reasons July Is a Great Month for Stocks</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/stabilize-your-portfolio-with-these-11-dividend-stocks">Stabilize Your Portfolio With These 11 Dividend Stocks</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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</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/dont-leave-college-without-making-these-5-moves-for-financial-success">Don&#039;t Leave College Without Making These 5 Moves for Financial Success</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/rich-people-spend-350k-to-park-their-cars-heres-how-wed-spend-it-instead">Rich People Spend $350K+ to Park Their Cars — Here&#039;s How We&#039;d Spend it Instead</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-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/12-ways-to-rekindle-passion-for-your-job">12 Ways to Rekindle Passion for Your Job</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/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-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/your-guide-to-getting-a-job-right-out-of-college">Your Guide to Getting a Job Right Out of College</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 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-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/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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-work-experience-without-having-a-job">How to Get Work Experience Without Having a Job</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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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/start-a-business-for-next-to-nothing">Start a Business for Next to Nothing</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</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/create-a-business-plan-by-answering-4-simple-questions">Create a Business Plan by Answering 4 Simple Questions</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