The Men Who Built America – Financial Titans

When I was a child, American history was taught in a very static manner.  We were expected to memorize important dates and factoids, to the point where epic points in history like the Industrial Revolution, though pivotal and vital to the development of America, seemed dull and uninteresting.  It took imaginative historical books which I have read over recent years, and shows such as “The Men Who Built America”, for a keen interest in American history to ignite within me.

Most recently, I stumbled upon “The Men Who Built America” right around Halloween when I was searching on Amazon Prime Video for an entertaining show to watch. What caught my eye was the fact that the television series was described on IMDB as a miniseries which “shines a spotlight on the influential builders, dreamers and believers whose feats transformed the United States, a nation decaying from the inside after the Civil War, into the greatest economic and technological superpower the world had ever seen. The Men Who Built America is the story of a nation at the crossroads and of the people who catapulted it to prosperity.”  Those words were enough to draw me in.

The focus of this series centers around the lives of Cornelius VanderbiltJohn D. RockefellerAndrew CarnegieJ. P. Morgan, and Henry Ford.

Check out these descriptions of the episodes:

1 “A New War Begins” Ruán Magan David C. White, Keith Palmer October 16, 2012
Cornelius Vanderbilt grows from a steamboat entrepreneur to the head of a railroad empire, and gets into a heated rivalry with James Fisk and Jay Gould; the up and coming John D. Rockefeller founds Standard Oil. Many business owners lay their own rail lines which leads to the Panic of 1873. Later, Rockefeller starts to expand his wealth by diverting his business from the railroads to a new innovation, oil pipelines.
2 “Bloody Battles” Patrick Reams David C. White, Keith Palmer October 23, 2012
Andrew Carnegie builds an empire around steel, but finds himself struggling to save face after the ruthless tactics of his business partner, Henry Clay Frick, result in both the Johnstown Flood as well as the bloody 1892 strike at the Homestead Steel Works.
3 “Changing the Game” Patrick Reams David C. White, Patrick Reams, Keith Palmer October 30, 2012
J. P. Morgan proceeds to banish the dark with the direct current electric light of Thomas Edison, but the two soon face serious competition from the alternating current of George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. As the 19th century comes to a close, the titans of industry must try to work together to stop a new threat in budding politician William Jennings Bryan, who threatens to dissolve monopolies in America.
4 “When One Ends, Another Begins” Patrick Reams David C. White, Keith Palmer November 11, 2012
Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan team up to help elect William McKinley to the U.S. presidency by paying for his 1896 campaign, to avoid a possible attack on monopolies. However, fate intervenes when McKinley is suddenly assassinated, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt assumes the presidency and promptly begins dissolving monopolies and trusts in America. Meanwhile, Morgan buys out Carnegie Steel to make Carnegie the richest man in the world, and Henry Ford designs an affordable automobile with his Model T and starts his own business, Ford Motor Company, which sets a new business model for companies to follow.

It was mostly my interest in finance which locked me into this series, but I also truly enjoyed learning about the historical impact which these great men had on a sophomore nation.  If you’re looking for a great series which is relatively short (you could binge watch this over a weekend), then this is for you.

6 things to DO during CoronaVirus

Want to know how to survive the current global pandemic? Then read on!

The world has been isolated, stunned, more than we’ve seen, more than a jubilee, since WWII. This villain is different, this is a villain we can’t see, reason with, hear, and no nation in the world can build an army against. This is an epidemic that does not care about religion, race, creed, origin, or color.

Everyone has been touched, from the sanitation worker to neurosurgeons.

 

The silver lining?

 

For the first time in history, everyone is on the same level. This is an amazing chance to get ahead while the world is in the twilight zone. 

Fortunately, a big advantage between now and any previous plague is that we have the connection of the internet to learn, fuel, earn, communicate, and live.

Especially in Canada and the USA, NOW is when to get ready for when the world wakes up once again. Now is the time to learn and improve your skills.  It is the best way to protect yourself and your future. 

Remember, the world may be very very different post corona and the internet may become more of a mainstay, even for low tech companies. 

 

Do you like internet marketing? Learn  SEO, PPC, Email Marketing.

 

Are you attracted to content? Learn how to create engaging and impactful content.

 

Are you interested in art? Learn how to bring amazing creations to life, even digitally.

 

This is not an affiliated promotion (I just write articles) , there are tons of amazing training sites offering hand holding guides. Our favorite is Udemy.com,  a world renowned course site where you can learn everything from marketing to woodcrafts.   

 

Let’s be super clear: 

 

GET OFF NETFLIX – IMPROVE YOUR FUTURE

 

This is the time for action. 

 

Check it out: https://www.udemy.com/

 

You can also check out our digital marketing consulting opportunities here

So what will happen post virus?

 

Impossible to know, we don’t know the timeline, how depleted resources will be or what ongoing new laws will have to be taken on. 

However, people don’t change, you, your family, community, and the globe as a whole. 

85% of businesses are now in peril, and it’s not going to see improvement until the pandemic passes. The worse it gets, the more panicky the response will be as human survival instinct kicks in. 

This is why you need to be ready, educated, and ready to be at the top of the hiring list when its all over.  Now is the time to learn and start using those skills online for yourself or companies looking to work virtually for now. 

Key is to have a post virus, have an education, online experience, and business under your belt, your keys to success in turning this difficult time into a life changing opportunity.

 

Think positive!

 

“Ok, I’ll do it  – but I need money now too!”

 

Yes, this is why you gotta get online and start working as well. If there was no web, there would be chaos, BUT, fortunately we’re all just as connected as we were before (maybe a little more cabin fever). The funny quip in the business world is that “Now we can see how many of those meetings could have been emails after all”. 

Translating that, it means  that a significant percentage of jobs can be done from anywhere, and at the moment, the best option for millions.

So – to survive this, for your physical, spiritual health, and overall wellness, do the following:

  1. Update your Resume (especially with remote work)
  2. Apply to jobs on Monster.ca,  LinkedIn etc, and go freelance online, sites like https://www.upwork.com/ 
  3. Search in your local community groups
  4. Start a blog (like this one!)
  5. Creative? Try Etsy!

Everyone  has something to provide another, it’s the wonderment of the person, the miracle of the internet allows you to make yourself known. 

 

DOUBLE Your Conversions in 90 Days | Conversion Rate Optimization Agency

Why Influencer Marketing Is Key In The Fitness Industry

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 111956931
Copyright : ammentorp

Influencer marketing has become an integral part of our modern culture, and is increasing in popularity as a way for businesses to capture new customers to purchase their products and services. Since the fitness industry is particularly visually centered, and also because it tends to sit on the cutting edge of brand marketing, many of my fitness friends and I have been able to forge long-standing relationships with brands as we bring awareness to their products, while also solidifying our relationships with our followers. It’s a wonderful symbiosis in which everyone wins – the brand has powerful advertising via social media portals, the influencer is able to garner the loyalty of fans by promoting respected items, and the followers are introduced to new and exciting products, usually with an associated discount as a thank you from the influencer and the company which is selling the product.

One critical component to success with influencer marketing, regardless of whether you are a company or an individual influencer, is to be willing and able to adjust to the changes which tend to occur across social media platforms. For example, Instagram and Facebook fairly recently implemented certain regulations on how a post should be tagged, and such regulations are always subject to change. It is vital to stay abreast of guideline changes as they come down the pike.

Another important aspect of influencer marketing is that influencers should be genuinely passionate about the brands they represent. A prime reason why social media marketing is so popular is that followers believe in the influencers they follow, and they want sound, honest advice on what merchandise or services they can purchase which will enable them to reach their fitness goals. Followers want to know what products an influencer has used to obtain his or her enviable physique, what fitness apparel is the most comfortable, functional and flattering, etc. The more honest an influencer is, the more the audience appreciates any recommendations made by that person.

Dr. Stacey Naito

In a similar vein, companies which turn to social media influencers to promote their products or services meet with the best success when they like the influencer’s overall vibe and messages, as well as the target audience which the influencer has built via social media. Fitness influencers of varying ages can also help to expand brand awareness for a company, as can influencers who have a unique perspective (moms, senior citizens, people with diabetes, etc.).

There are many athletes and fitness professionals who essentially fell into the world of brand influencership, partially because they were well-respected by their fitness peers, but mostly because they behaved with integrity and were transparent with their fans and followers about their experiences and struggles with training, diet, and performance. It makes a huge difference when an athlete speaks from the heart, and such candor helps to build up the brands he or she represents. From a personal perspective, I have never endorsed or promoted a brand or product which I did not wholeheartedly believe in, and I know my followers can tell that I am forthright and honest when I post YouTube reviews, blogposts, etc.

We certainly live in a very different age now, one in which people expect different options for their exercise regimens and meal plans. For example, fitness apps are incredibly popular, especially since most of them have tracking software built in so that a user can enter in goals and track progress. Other people specifically want at-home workouts because they either don’t want to join a gym, or don’t feel comfortable working out in a public environment. That’s where some popular fitness influencers can guide followers to workouts they can perform while they are in the comfort of their own homes.

If you are the owner of a fitness-minded company, and you haven’t explored the world of brand influencer marketing, doing so could take your brand to the next level. For aspiring fitness brand influencers, make sure the brands you post on your profile are congruent with what your followers want to see. As long as you are consistent and honest with your marketing, chances are your brand and your following will steadily grow.

Loaded Emails

When I sat down to write this piece, I was still steaming mad from an incident which occurred earlier that day. Basically, a whole slew of individuals, including me, who were working with a certain company, were summarily and abruptly dismissed via a very general email. In addition, the email dared to accuse us of engaging in practices which would definitely not be considered very decent, practices of which I was never guilty.

In a heartbeat, we were all cut at the knees, without any true explanation. Mind you, I had worked with this company for a number of years, put up with their frequent bait-and-switch tactics, and found myself fighting to stay in the game when the powers that be kept showing how fickle they were. It was one of those situations in which someone would suddenly get cut, then a few months down the road, someone else would suffer the same fate. It was obvious that loyalty didn’t matter to them, because they had no loyalty towards the people who worked for them.

How have I dealt with the sudden kick off the gangplank? I have cleaned house, cut out the fat just like they did. Since all the work I did over the years wasn’t appreciated, I had no problem deleting them from my life. I guess business is business, and no one’s feelings matter. Done deal.

Make Your Goals BIG Ones

big-goal-mountain-steps1

We should all have goals which we set for ourselves, because they make us grow as individuals. We may fall a bit short on reaching our goals at times, but the journey and struggle involved in pursuing our passions keep us moving forward. That is why I honestly believe that we need to set big goals, with clearly defined blueprints which keep us focused on the finish line.

A timeline ensures that your intentions are filled with purpose, and keeps you from falling into irrational, delusional thinking. It isn’t unreasonable to reach for the stars, because you never know what you may accomplish over time. Let’s say your ultimate goal is to be the leader in your industry. Perhaps you have just launched a start-up company in which you began making products at home, and you strive to be the industry leader. Why not have that as your end goal? Who’s to say that you can’t attain the pinnacle of success in your business? There are countless businesses which started out in the same way, out of a kitchen with a shoestring budget, and which are now huge successes.

Read on to learn more about businesses which started out very small, and are now considered industry leaders:

Burt’s Bees – This company has become a huge name in natural skin care products, but it started out in an abandoned one-room schoolhouse. Burt Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby founded Burt’s Bees in Maine in 1984, and rented an abandoned schoolhouse to make candles with the excess beeswax from Shavitz’s honey business. Quimby also began crafting homemade skin care products from the wax. Burt’s Bees became incorporated in 1991, and by 2007, it was bought out by Clorox for $925 million.

The Yankee Candle Company – This company was the brainchild of an enterprising teen named Michael Kittredge, who created his first scented candle in his Massachusetts home with melted crayons. By 1975, the first store opened, and the business spread thoughout Massachusetts. There are currently over 500 stores across the United States, and a wholesale network of over 20,000 stores is in place.

Apple – The vision of Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniack and Ronald Wayne resulted in the trio establishing a business in 1976 out of a garage space in Cupertino, California. The Macintosh line was introduced in 1984, causing their business to explode. Apple has established its unquestionable foothold on the world of technology with revenues of over $14 billion yearly.

Google – Another brilliant trio created this household name in 1998 in a garage in Menlo Park, California, indexing web pages, and developing their search algorithm. The following year, they moved into what is now known as the Googleplex. Today, Google has made an indelible mark on the world of technology.

Mattel – Though Mattel is known as a toy maker giant, it had humble beginnings in the 1940’s making picture frames. Ruth Handler began taking wood scraps from the wood used in making those frames and crafted doll furniture from them. The doll furniture was so popular among customers that the company decided to shift their focus to toys, and by 1959, introduced a doll which they called Barbie.

Now that you have some inspiration, now is the perfect time to dream big and reach for the stars! Good luck, and may great success ensue!

Powerful Women

This is a repost of a recent article on MSN Money which showcased 13 newcomer women who made it onto the list of the richest self-made women in the United States. The original article can be found by clicking the link here, but I have also copied and pasted the body of the article so you can read about these extraordinary women here.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/savingandinvesting/13-newcomers-named-richest-self-made-women-in-us/ar-BBtKKOC?ocid=spartandhp

13 newcomers named richest self-made women in US

Forbes’ second annual definitive tally of America’s wealthiest, most successful self-made women includes 60 trailblazers – 10 more than last year – who have crashed ceilings through invention and innovation. These women, who are worth a combined $53 billion, have created some of the nation’s best known brands, such as Gap, Spanx, Proactiv and Vera Bradley. A number of them have also helped build some of the most successful companies in tech, including Facebook, eBay and Google, while still others got rich entertaining millions through their music, books or TV shows.

These women have achieved unparalleled success through invention and innovation to create their own fortunes. ABC Supply’s Diane Hendricks (No. 1) tops the list with a net worth of $4.9 billion, followed by Oprah Winfrey (No. 2), worth $3.1 billion. The Gap’s Doris Fisher and Founder & CEO of Epic Systems, Judy Faulkner, are tied for No. 3, both worth $2.4 billion. Elizabeth Holmes, Founder & CEO, Theranos, who was No. 1 on the list in 2015, misses the cut this year due to recent investigations involving Theranos and information indicating that the company’s revenues are less than originally projected.

With sold out arenas, billion-dollar companies and best-selling books under their belts, 13 newcomers joined the ranks of America’s Richest Self-Made Women in 2016. Big names (Celine, Barbra, Taylor) and big brands (Nasty Gal, Vera Bradley, Douglas Elliman) define the group who cracked this year’s $250 million cutoff, and together have a combined net worth of $5.65 billion.

GAIL MILLER

Net worth: $1.6 billion

Rank: 11

How she did it: The only newcomer who is also a billionaire, most of Miller’s wealth stems from basketball team the Utah Jazz. She purchased it with her late husband in 1986 for $22 million. It’s now worth $875 million.

CAROLYN RAFAELIAN

Net worth: $700 million

Rank: 22

How she did it: The Alex and Ani founder launched her Rhode Island-based bangle-maker in 2004. In 12 years, she’s grown revenues to an estimated $500 million and operates 65 stores around the country.

CELENE DION

Net worth: $380 million

Rank: 37

How she did it: Dion has sold over 220 million albums in her career, but the bulk of her net worth ($260 million) comes from the Las Vegas residency she began in 2003.

BARBRA STREISAND

Net worth: $370 million

Rank: 38

How she did it: Happy days are here again! With a career full of hits and accolades spanning sixty years, Streisand has had a No. 1 album every single decade she’s been in showbiz and is the best-selling female musician of all time.

JESSICA ALBA

Net worth: $340 million

Rank: 42

How she did it: Alba launched The Honest Company in 2012. Just three years later, she was featured on the cover of Forbes’ Self-Made Women’s issue with a $200 million estimated net worth from her stake in the nontoxic-household-goods-startup. The actress-turned-entrepreneur did not make the $250 million net worth cutoff for the list in 2015, but secured her spot on this year’s list when her 20% stake in the company shot up last August after raising $100 million at a $1.7 billion valuation.

NANCY ZIMMERMAN

Net worth: $320 million

Rank: 46

How she did it: Launching her career buying currency options on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Zimmerman later made her way to Goldman Sachs to run their interest rate options group. She left Goldman to co-found Boston-based Bracebridge Capital in 1994. It’s grown to $10 billion in assets under managements and is now the largest in the world run by a woman.

DANIELLE STEEL

Net worth: $310 million

Rank: 48

How she did it: Steel joined fellow romance novelist Nora Roberts on the list this year proving sex, and lust, really does sell. She’s written 129 books and sold more than 650 million copies in her career.

PATRICIA MILLER and BARBARA BRADLEY BAEKGAARD

Net worth: $300 million (Miller); $270 million (Baekgaard)

Rank: 49 (Miller); 54 (Baekgaard)

How they did it: Queens of quilted prints, Miller and Baekgaard founded Vera Bradley in 1982, sewing bags in Baekgaard’s basement and selling their first ones in gift shops. There are now 139 company stores and with products sold in another 2,700 retailers around the country. Vera Bradley IPO’ed six years ago and has a $590 million market cap.

SOPHIA AMORUSO

Net worth: $280 million

Rank: 53

How she did it: The original #GirlBoss, at 22 Amoruso started her online retailer Nasty Gal. Ten years later her company is raking in $300 million in sales, Forbes estimates. She also released her memoir “GirlBoss” in 2014 and it became a bestseller. Amoruso has since expanded the #GirlBoss brand to radio and TV.

DOROTHY HERMAN

Net worth: $270 million

Rank: 54

How she did it: Overcoming a tragic adolescence, Herman got her start as a real estate broker for Merrill Lynch on Long Island. By 2003, she’d bought New York City brokerage Douglas Elliman. It’s now the country’s fourth-largest brokerage firm and the largest in New York City.

TONI KO

Net worth: $260 million

Rank: 57

How she did it: In 1999 Ko started NYX Cosmetics aiming to sell department-store quality makeup at drugstore prices. The company did $4 million in sales in the first year alone. She sold to L’Oreal in 2014 for $500 million and has since moved on to launch a new sunglasses line in early 2016.

TAYLOR SWIFT

Net worth: $250 million

Rank: 60

How she did it: Coming in at the last spot on this year’s list, Swift’s earnings shot up with her transition from country music starlet to worldwide pop star, raking in the most from last year’s 1989 tour that earned $250 million.

In case you want to know how these women made it to list, read on for the methodology employed…

Methodology: Members of the 2016 list needed a minimum of $250 million in net worth to make the cut. To compile net worths, Forbes valued private companies by speaking with an array of outside experts and conservatively comparing the companies with public competitors. In cases in which women started businesses with, and still share with, their husbands, Forbes assigned them half of that combined wealth.

Forbes calculated the stakes in public companies using stock prices from May 13. For entertainers, they based estimates on net lifetime earnings. Real estate, art and other assets were also factored in where applicable. To be eligible for this list, women had to have substantially made their own fortunes and be U.S. citizens or longtime residents. Forbes attempted to vet these numbers with all list entrants.

Falling Off The Radar

I will never understand how and why some people will expend a great deal of energy discussing potential projects or other opportunities, displaying enthusiasm and expressing a strong desire to get started right away, only to completely drop off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again. Instead of mincing words here, I will come right out and say that I detest such people and think they are cowards, liars and bullshitters. Once someone tries to bait me with incredible promises and then disappears with no explanation or apology, I cross that person off my list. Seriously, what is WRONG with people these days? Is the concept of honoring one’s own word and upholding a certain amount of integrity dying in this fickle society?

It is impossible to endure countless lures with no follow-through without developing a biting cynicism. I have heard some individuals remark that flaky behavior is confined to major metropolitan cities like Los Angeles, but I beg to differ. For one thing, I have dealt with people all over the country, ranging from small towns to large metropolitan areas, who have displayed what I call “empty promise behavior”. Secondly, I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and have never been the type of person to make a promise I cannot keep. Accordingly, the majority of my friends who are also native Californians are blessed with complete integrity and do not make false or empty promises.

Please don’t be one of those people who talks big and can’t deliver on ANY promises made. It’s tacky and it makes you look like a complete douche.

Bullshit spray

Customer Service?

bad-serviceI went into a store today to make an exchange for products which I had purchased, and explained that I could not locate the receipt. The proprietor was rude and abrupt with me, responding to me with such derision that I came VERY close to telling him where to stick it and storming out of the store. However, I maintained a calm demeanor and continued to listen to his rant. He agreed to give me store credit for the items which was approximately 30% of what I had originally paid for the items, which I reluctantly agreed to. What bothered me was that I am sure he is quite accustomed to bartering in his homeland, but this is not something that is commonly practiced here in the United States. If I had the time to go to another store branch and deal with a nicer person, I would have, but I had to get this errand checked off my list.

I began asking him what he had in the store, and of course his store selection was a complete joke. He kept trying to sell me things I did not need, even when I showed him a LIST of items I was low on! I finally found one essential item which they had in stock (big surprise, it was the store brand), and when I asked what the price was, I almost fell over in shock. I flat out told him I could get that item (which was a BASIC item) online for a mere fraction of what he was charging. When I said that, I could see that he became immediately suspicious about my purchases, doubting whether I had truly purchased items from the store (YES, I had). I am not a liar and I don’t appreciate being accused of lying. His expression told me enough. Once again I wanted to walk out of that store.

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true...

Apparently the proprietor I dealt with does not believe that this is true…


I then asked him if he had a specific brand name product and he immediately tried to turn me to a product from a different brand which was not comparable to what I was asking about. He ARGUED with me, telling me that what he had in the store was the very same thing. I mentioned ingredients from both products to reveal the stark difference, but he persisted with his hard-sell attitude. It was very clear that he was accustomed to dealing with customers who didn’t know the first thing about the products he carried, and that he relied on feeding them convincing yet erroneous sales pitches to get them to spend a bundle of money on items they did not need.

One thing is for sure: the only way I would EVER step into that particular store is if I had an event there. In that scenario, I would be pleasant and would probably enjoy the look of confusion and embarrassment which would wash over the proprietor’s face. That would almost be worth the loss of money from the jacked up store credit I got from returning products I purchased there!