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Why Howard Schultz Is So Successful

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Howard Schultz is the American chairman and CEO of Starbucks. Although Schultz is most famous for his Coffee business, he was also the former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics and was on the board of directors at Square Inc.

Early Career

howard schultz starbucksSchultz graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and proceeded to gain employment as a Salesman, selling appliances for Hammerplast who sold European Coffee makers across the USA. In five years, Schultz had climbed the ladder to become director of sales and he observed that he was selling the most coffee makers to a small coffee business in Seattle, known at the time as Starbucks Coffee Tea and Spice Company. He was selling more to these few stores than he was to Macy’s.

Schultz knew he had to go to Seattle when the increase in numbers never stopped. He was selling more and more coffee makers to them every month. Schultz still fondly remembers the first time that he walked into the original Starbucks and at the time it was only 10 years old and only existed in Seattle.

 

Howard Schultz’s net worth is an estimated $2.6 Billion

 

Howard Schultz and modern Starbucks

 

A year after meeting with Starbucks' founders, in 1982, Howard Schultz was hired as director of retail operations and marketing for the growing coffee company, which, at the time, only sold coffee beans, not coffee drinks. "My impression of Howard at that time was that he was a fabulous communicator," co-founder Zev Siegl later remembered. "One to one, he still is."  Early on, Schultz set about making his mark on the company while making Starbucks' mission his own. In 1983, while traveling in Milan, Italy, he was struck by the number of coffee bars he encountered. An idea then occurred to him: Starbucks should sell not just coffee beans but coffee drinks. "I saw something. Not only the romance of coffee, but ... a sense of community. And the connection that people had to coffee—the place and one another," Schultz recalled. "And after a week in Italy, I was so convinced with such unbridled enthusiasm that I couldn't wait to get back to Seattle to talk about the fact that I had seen the future."  Schultz's enthusiasm for opening coffee bars in Starbucks stores, however, wasn't shared by the company's creators. "We said, 'Oh no, that's not for us,'" Siegl remembered. "Throughout the '70s, we served coffee in our store. We even, at one point, had a nice, big espresso machine behind the counter. But we were in the bean business." Nevertheless, Schultz was persistent until, finally, the owners let him establish a coffee bar in a new store that was opening in Seattle. It was an instant success, bringing in hundreds of people per day and introducing a whole new language—the language of the coffeehouse—to Seattle in 1984.  But the success of the coffee bar demonstrated to the original founders that they didn't want to go in the direction Schultz wanted to take them. They didn't want to get big. Disappointed, Schultz left Starbucks in 1985 to open a coffee bar chain of his own, Il Giornale, which quickly garnered success.  Two years later, with the help of investors, Schultz purchased Starbucks, merging Il Giornale with the Seattle company. Subsequently, he became CEO and chairman of Starbucks (known thereafter as the Starbucks Coffee Company). Schultz had to convince investors that Americans would actually shell out high prices for a beverage that they were used to getting for 50 cents. At the time, most Americans didn't know a high-grade coffee bean from a teaspoon of Nescafé instant coffee. In fact, coffee consumption in the United States had been going down since 1962.   In 2000, Schultz publicly announced that he was resigning as Starbucks' CEO. Eight years later, however, he returned to head the company. In a 2009 interview with CBS, Schultz said of Starbucks' mission, "We're not in the business of filling bellies; we're in the business of filling souls."In 1982, one year after meeting with the founders of the original Starbucks, Schultz took the position of director of retail operations and marketing for the rapidly growing coffee business. At this time, they were only selling coffee beans and not coffee to drink. Zev Siegl, one of Starbucks’ co-founders highlighted Shultz’s “fabulous communication skills” as a major strength.

Schultz was determined to have a big impact on the company from day one and made Starbucks’ mission his own. It was whilst travelling Italy in 1983 that an important idea struck him. He realised that Starbucks should not just sell coffee beans but sell coffee drinks as well. He recalls that it wasn’t just the romantic idea of coffee, it was the sense of community and the connection between the people, the coffee and one another. He couldn’t wait to get back to Seattle and describe how he had “seen the future”.

 

“I think if you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve got to dream big and then dream bigger.” – Howard Schultz

howard schultz billionaireThe company’s founders did not have the same enthusiasm for opening coffee bars within Starbucks’ stores and they insisted that it wasn’t for them. However, Schulz was persistent until the owners finally allowed him to open a coffee bar in a new store that was due to open in Seattle. It was an immediate success and it was attracting hundreds and hundreds of customers per day.

However, the rapid success of the coffee bar confirmed to the owners that they didn’t want to go in the same direction as Schultz and they didn’t want to get too big. A disappointed Schultz left Starbucks in 1985 to open a chain of coffee bars on his own, called Il Giornale and it quickly became successful.

 

“At an early age, my mother gave me this feeling that anything is possible, and I believe that.” – Howard Schultz

 

A couple of years later, Schultz was able to purchase Starbucks with the help of investors and merged Il Giornale with his former employers. He then became CEO and chairman of Starbucks, which was to be known as the Starbucks Coffee Company. Schultz had to use all of communication skills to bring investors around to the idea that Americans would pay high prices for a drink they were used to getting for 50 cents. At that time, most people weren’t aware of the differences between high quality coffee and the instant varieties, this was on top of the fact that coffee consumption was on the decline in the USA.

Schultz publicly resigned as Starbucks’ CEO in 2000, however, he returned as the company’s boss in 2008 and in 2009 he famously said, when describing Starbucks’ mission; “We’re not in the business of filling bellies; we’re in the business of filling souls.”

 

The Continued Success of the Starbucks Coffee Company

 

howard schultz starbucksThe growth of Starbucks has allowed Schultz to be ranked in Forbes magazine’s “Forbes 400” list, which highlights the 400 richest people in the USA.

There is no single company is selling more coffee to more people in more places than Starbucks. The company had expanded to include more than 17,600 stores in 39 countries all across the globe by 2012. By 2014, Starbucks had surpassed 21,000 stores with new stores reportedly opening every single day and the company now attracts in excess of 60 million customers per week.

 

 

Howard Schultz: 6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

 

Conclusion

Howard Schultz has combined incredible communication skills, persistence, strategic thinking and a clear vision to impact hundreds of millions of people’s lives and make himself a billionaire in the process.

Schultz’s story teaches us that although others may not share our vision, we have to remain true to what we believe is possible and pursue that vision anyway.

 

Jermaine Harris is a Coach, Trader, Author and Speaker. He is passionate about human potential and empowering others to change their lives in the same way he did. Jermaine believes that the opposite of being 'stuck in a rut' is possible and explains how in his book, The Rut Buster. Get to know Jermaine better at: jermaine-harris.com

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1 Comment

  1. jo

    May 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Powerful read. Inspiring.

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Why Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Is So Successful

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Image Credit | Billboard

Sean John Combs, also known as Diddy, P. Diddy and Puff Daddy is the founder and CEO of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group. The company is a business powerhouse with several streams of income.

Diddy oversees an empire that includes music recording and production, TV, Film, alcoholic beverages, apparel, restaurants and more.

 

Diddy’s Early Life:

diddy net worthDiddy was born in Harlem and raised in Mount Vernon New York. He first got into the music industry at Uptown records as an intern where he went on to become talent director after dropping out of Howard University. He went on to sign and produce Mary J. Blige.

In 1994, Diddy founded Bad Boy Records and signed just 2 artists at the time. They were Craig Mack and close friend Notorious B.I.G. The label went on to achieve huge success with these two original artists as well as; Mase, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans and others.

 

 

The Growth of a Music Empire:

diddy net worthTwo years later in 1996, Diddy embarked on an incredible 50/50 joint venture with Clive Davis and Arista Records which would allow Bad Boy Records to market their artists to a global marketplace. After an amazing run of success and consistent business growth, Bad Boy Entertainment ended their joint venture on good terms in 2002. Part of deal was for Diddy to retain full control of Bad Boy Records, the artists and the entire back catalogue.

In the early part of 2003, Diddy and Bad Boy Records announced that they had signed a global distribution deal with Universal Records. The terms of the deal dictated that Universal would provide promotional and marketing services for Bad Boy’s artists and distribute new releases as well as the back catalogue. Crucially, Diddy retained 100% ownership of Bad Boy Records.

 

Diddy’s estimated net worth is $825 Million.

 

Clothing Line:

diddy clothingIn 1998 Diddy founded Christian Casey LLC, named after his second son. The company designs, produces and distributes urban fashion clothes and accessories for males and females. Christian Casey operates as Sean John Clothing and owned by Bad Boy Entertainment. The Sean John fashion label has been extremely successful with yearly sales in excess of $100 Million. In 2004, the brand was awarded the ‘Men’s designer of the year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Diddy’s Sean John Enterprise also purchased the Enyce clothing line from Liz Claiborne for $20 million in the latter part of 2008.

 

Fragrances:

diddyIn a joint venture with Estee Lauder, 2005 saw the birth of Sean John Fragrances. Diddy’s flagship fragrance, Unforgivable, reached Number one in department stores in the USA in a very short space of time. Sean John Fragrances have since expanded to incorporate; Unforgivable Woman and I Am King, which are being sold all over the globe. Unforgivable became the first male fragrance to to claim the title of ‘Best Selling Fragrance’ in 2006 according to a leading retail and consumer information provider. Diddy has twice won ‘Fragrance of the Year’ at Annual FiFi Awards hosted by The Fragrance Foundation, once for Unforgivable and once for I am King.

“If you dream and you believe, you can do it” – Diddy

Alcoholic Beverages:

diddy net worthIn an incredible and lucrative move, Diddy entered into a partnership with Diageo to create and manage all marketing processes for Diddy’s brainchild, Ciroc Vodka. The deal dictated that Diddy and Sean Combs Enterprises make all brand related decisions and share future profits and growth with Diageo. This unique collaboration for a USA based spirits company, is set to last several years and will be worth an estimated $100 Million for Diddy.

In the early part of last year, Diddy ignited another partnership with Diageo in order to kick-start a joint venture to purchase DeLeon, a luxury Tequila brand. DeLeon is currently selling for $1000 per in Los Angeles bars. It is currently selling around 10,000 cases per year in only 18 states so Diddy’s famous ability for business growth is destined to take effect for the brand.

“You have to be somewhat crazy, if you want to be successful.” – Diddy

Revolt TV:

diddy revolt tvIn 2013, Diddy was backed by Comcast to launch Revolt TV, a music cable network that is believed to be owned solely by Mr. Combs. In the Spring of last year, Diddy was believed to have bid $200 Million to buy Fuse TV to gain a wider distribution and higher subscriber fees. Although this bid was unsuccessful, it was a clear show of Diddy’s intention to grow the channel and we can expect much more of that in the future.

 

Conclusion:

Diddy is an incredible example of how a persistent, obsession like approach to business growth can create amazing results. It is important to realize that Diddy is one of those ‘self-made’ people that can inspire to believe and take action on our dreams in order to make them a reality.

 

Diddy’s Success:

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5 Tips for Launching a Successful Blog

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Blogging has become the most preferred side hustle because of its income potential and the fulfillment it brings. No matter what you want to write about, blogging is the best way to pursue your passion and earn money at the same time.

My blogging journey has been an amazing one although there were challenges along the way. What started as a simple desire to share my work at home experience turned out to be the most fulfilling mission I’ve ever had.

In today’s world where the digital landscape is crowded and oversaturated, you need to have a solid plan before launching your blogging business. Your launch can really bump up your blog exposure, so it’s recommended that you take the time to carefully think through the process and pay attention even to small details.

What is a Launch Plan?

In simple terms, it’s how you are going to let others know that you started a business (or a blog in this instance). A launch plan is a pedestal to show your new business to the world and it details what platforms you will utilize to attract your target audience. Having a clear strategy from the start will go a long way, and it will surely help you achieve your goals.

Here are 5 of the most important things you should do before you launch your blog:

1. Do Your Research

Assuming you’re already 100% sure about your chosen niche, and you’ve had a couple of blog posts up before your launch, the next thing you’d have to do is conduct market research. Find out where your ideal blog readers are hanging out, what blogs they are reading, what questions they are asking, what products they are buying and what social media platforms they are on.

List down the answers to the questions above, and from there, you can start setting aside a budget and creating a timeline for your launch. The research may take you a few days up to a few weeks, depending on how thorough you want it to be.

To be honest, the process of picking your niche, acquiring a domain and a hosting plan and even writing a few posts is much easier than planning your blog launch and going through the market research itself.

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark

2. Finalize the Promotion Channels

Writing helpful content is paramount, but knowing where to promote it is also vital. You have to list down the promotion channels you want to utilize and set them up before your launch. Many newbie bloggers often miss this critical step; thus, they fail to build traffic, they get frustrated and they give up too quickly.

In my personal experience, the traffic and the initial readership that my blog had in the first few months after the launch came from word of mouth promotion that I did. Apart from that, I also made sure that I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to my blog’s advantage.

3. Be Ready to Invest

Starting a blog might not cost you much. But it requires time, effort and dedication. You have to be disciplined enough to pay attention to details like your website’s theme and overall design. You should be ready to invest in learning about different concepts of your niche and you need to sign up for the must-haves like ESP (email service provider), automation tools, and design software.

Do not play safe. Sometimes you can only find success if you go all out and spend some ‘dough.’ Trust me, I have done it and have never regretted almost anything I bought for my blog. In fact, all my learning resources contributed to the success of my blog.

It is also advisable to have a stable fund when you launch your blog. Sure, you will be able to generate money from the blog but just like any other businesses, a start-up investment is required so you can sustain your blog and post fresh content pieces weekly.

4. Focus on Your Brand

Online businesses thrive on the uniqueness of their brand. Having a good brand strategy and working on developing a voice of your own can give you the best results going forward. Successful online entrepreneurs like Melyssa Griffin, Nathan Chan, Amy Porterfield have a unique brand voice of their own, and they have vast readership.

Work on building your brand from day one, whether it is through your blog’s theme or social media channels. How do you do this? Just ask yourself the question, ‘How do I want want my readers to see me or what do I want them to think about when they read my blog?’.

Having a clear idea of what your blogging business is about can get you loyal followers and more exposure. Building a brand can be a long and tedious process, but if you start it right, it will surely pay off.

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list.”

5. Network

This is the big part of your blog launch. Whether you blog about e-commerce, lifestyle design, entrepreneurship or making money online, you need to be able to find like-minded people to connect with and help you spread the word about your blog.

Networking is a pretty big thing in the business world but the best thing about it is, you can find people to connect with just about everywhere. You can connect with them using social media, forums, groups, and during events.

Networking is also a means to find friends who will uplift and strengthen you as you push towards achieving your goals. I have a lot of online friends who ‘get’ what I do as a blogger and they have been very supportive of my business. These friends helped me form a community where we can share insights and help our readers. Start joining the right groups in your niche now so you can learn more about your target readers and develop a relationship with other influencers and bloggers.

Though it sounds straightforward, starting a blog means you are making your first step towards starting an online business. Doing the groundwork is as important as ‘hustle’ or ‘grind’. Although the overall success of your blogging business will still depend on how consistent you are and how determined you are in making it work, these simple tips can ensure that you will achieve the results you want for your blog launch.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Reasons Why Underdog Entrepreneurs Are More Likely to Succeed

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The world is in a place right now where everything is changing faster than ever. Thanks to the digital era, we are enabled to fulfil our dreams easily. Be it the flexible policies or the availability of easy information, it all allows us to work more effectively towards our goals. It’s the same for entrepreneurs alike.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur though, that’s mean but true. However, there are many more entrepreneurs today than there was just a decade ago. How is this happening?

People without entrepreneurial backgrounds are trying their luck and succeeding too. It’s a good wave for everyone, the consumer and the seller. The market is working together to reduce the gap between demand and supply. Not only is this keeping entrepreneurs on their toes, but is also encouraging them to think out of the box.

This sudden rise in the number of entrepreneurs could also be attributed to the availability of investors. They most certainly think differently than their predecessors. The desire to bring in the right change in society is the only thing similar between all generations of entrepreneurs.

Who is an underdog entrepreneur?

Underdog, as the term suggests, is someone who is least expected to succeed within a group of talented individuals. It is the same person who has the least power, say or authority in the lot. Underdogs are never usually even considered to be on the winning side. This in return makes it obvious for others to not have any hopes on them or worse, not even consider them. Some could argue that underdogs are usually not visible to others.

“Being underestimated is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have. Embrace it.”

However, over the years the above definition is seen in a more positive and different light. Underdogs are highly respected and regarded now, because of the uncertainty they carry with them. It reflects on the idea of someone weak or slow, working harder to be in a better position. Underdogs look appealing today because of their efficiency at breaking odds and coming out stronger. Today, underdogs also answer to the injustice or unfairness they are fighting to succeed.

Here are 5 reasons why underdog entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed:

1. They don’t take any aspect of their business for granted

Underdog entrepreneurs are from humbler backgrounds in terms of experience making them sceptical. They take every aspect of their business seriously. Be it something as small as managing their accounts or something as big as meeting an investor, they do it with equal determination. There are times when big businesses face trouble for having taken a small aspect lightly. This is usually never the case with an underdog entrepreneur, who is always on his toes. He is careful and is alert about what’s happening in and outside his business. This keeps him aware and also allows him to plan ahead in time.

2. Their risk tolerance is out of the world

They have faced failures multiple times in the past. They do not have inhibitions and scepticism, unlike most entrepreneurs. Taking calculated risks is a wise choice but can also keep one back in today’s fast marketplace. Underdog entrepreneurs are usually more likely to take risks that others are not willing to take. This certainly puts them in a tricky position but also improves their chances significantly. They understand the risk they are taking and take it with authority. They are the same type of individuals who believe they have nothing to lose in the first place. They risk it with the hope of getting something better. Even if they fail they know how to rise up again. Staying motivated even in the toughest of times is an art they have nailed.

3. They don’t make unnecessary chatter or claims

Underdog Entrepreneurs usually have too much on their plates; given the multiple hats, they wear. They don’t have the time or flexibility to indulge in useless banter. There are two kinds of people; doers and talkers. They are the first kind, who focus on doing things better. Their words speak for them. Having faced rejection and failure, they are usually very cautious before making any claims. They take failure positively but also learn not to talk about outcomes that aren’t out yet. These are the category of people who let their work speak about them. Underdog entrepreneurs are usually never satisfied and try to make up for the lost time and repute.

4. They think out of the box and have unconventional ways

They are the kind of people who experiment and run wild thoughts. Their fearlessness makes them take calculated yet unconventional steps. It could be in their execution or their promotions etc. The world is changing and is craving to see the right change. Unlike earlier times, the ideal consumer today is more willing and open to the right changes.

However, the consumer wants to know the logical reason behind a change. Underdog entrepreneurs are making better decisions every day and coming up with quirky ideas too. This is the time and age for unconventional settings and decisions and underdog entrepreneurs are making the best out of it. Their experience at falling and getting back up each time teaches them how to find better ways to rise up.

“Underdogs adapt, evolve and become winners because of their preparation, heart, execution and the relentless attitude that the game will not end any other way.”

5. They have exceptional people skills

It’s very important for every business to connect with its people, its consumers. The unique bonds that brands are creating today, is what separates them in the crowded marketplace. Coming from humble beginnings, underdog entrepreneurs are humble and open-minded. They talk to people, connect with them, share and take ideas. Underdog entrepreneurs shine at creating relationships that matter to their business.

They understand that there are many others like them in the market and keep their ego in check. They are more respectful of their customers and towards their competitors. This keeps them open to new learning, which should ideally be the motto of every entrepreneur. This is the same ability that makes them better advisors, mentors, leaders and salesperson. They understand human emotions and values better.

When an underdog entrepreneur finds success, he/she makes others believe in the power of hard work and determination. This is the positivity that people look out for in the first place.

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7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging the Young Entrepreneur in Your Child

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The next big idea could be right around the corner. In fact, it could be coming from one of your kids. Children today have an excellent grasp on social media and the world of opportunities the internet provides. Because of these facts, it comes as no surprise that many kids today are starting to pursue their entrepreneurial goals as early as six or seven years old.

One child-entrepreneur survey polled 1,721 students in grades 5 through 12 and found that 77% of students wanted to be their own boss. A whopping 45% said they wanted to start their own business and not far behind were 42% of students who said they wanted to invent something that changes the world.

These big ambitions for such young children need to be cultivated, and as a parent, you can help them make their business goals a reality.

From online learning classes to teaching kids about money, here are 7 parenting tips for empowering kid entrepreneurs:

1. Encourage their curiosity

Kid’s have brilliant minds. It is often said that it is easier for a child under the age of seven years old to learn a second language than it is for adults. Why? Unlike adults, they are still steeped in education on a daily basis. Their brains are ready to create new information more willingly than an adult mind.

The Teachers College Columbia University reports that this has much to do with the prefrontal cortex, which contributes to an inventive and creative outlook on things. This curiosity and ability to learn should be encouraged by parents. Help them take online learning classes or find opportunities to do projects with them that relate to their interests and ideas.

2. Take your children seriously

One of the main ingredients of good parenting is letting your kids know you understand and support them. Children’s minds are always changing and growing. One week they may want to be an astronaut while the following week they want to be a veterinarian. These flip-flopping ideas may make it tempting to smile and nod when your little one expresses their desires, but don’t be so quick to say no.

If your child wants to be a pastry chef and asks you if they can sell cupcakes in the neighborhood, why not say yes? Yes, the mind of a child can change from one minute to the next, but parents help their children grow and explore new ideas when they take their requests seriously.

3. Teach children the value of money

In order to build a thriving business, children need to learn how to manage their money. A child who receives an allowance of $15 will have $60 by the end of the month.

You can help teach your child both responsibility and the value of money by encouraging them to spend money wisely. By using basic math or putting up a pie chart on the refrigerator, you can teach your children the importance of saving money and investing wisely in products to pursue their goals.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

4. Teach that it’s okay to fail

In the same survey cited at the onset, 91% of entrepreneurial students said that they are not afraid to take risks, even if they fail.

Starting a business is a big job that requires your child’s patience, drive, and responsibility. Putting all this effort into a project only to have it fail can be crushing for a young child.

It is important for you to teach your children that it is okay to fail. Highlight that having fun, learning and gaining beneficial experience should be the primary goal of their entrepreneurial career, and not necessarily fame and success.

5. Help your child get started

A great parenting tip for empowering kid entrepreneurs is to help them get started off on the right track. Help them do research about similar products or ideas. Is their pricing, right? Is there a current need for their idea or business?

If your kid wants to become an entrepreneur, it’s your job as a parent to help them make it a reality. This means helping them learn how to market their service or idea. This may also involve learning how to manufacture a product and taking online learning classes about their interests.

6. Look for opportunities

If your child wants to launch a product or service, they’re going to need opportunities to be in the public eye. This can be done through social media, word of mouth, neighborhood canvassing, and even getting a hold of your city’s news station to have a piece done on the local child entrepreneur.

Taking your children to such things as trade shows can also give them the opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs. There are also various online learning classes that can help parents and children discover how best to market a new product and make business connections.

“In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

7. Make it fun

There are many successful child entrepreneurs with thriving companies today. At 12 years old, popcorn giant Orville Redenbacher, began growing his own popping corn in pursuit of the perfect kernel.

While his passion for popcorn did earn him enough to pay for his college tuition, no doubt, Redenbacher wasn’t thinking that he was going to turn his love of popcorn into a billion-dollar market. He was just having fun.

The same should be true for your little one. Childhood is a time for being carefree, not to be weighed down with worries and anxiety. One of the best parenting tips for encouraging little entrepreneurs is to make having fun the primary goal of their pursuit.

Follow these 7 parenting tips to help empower your child to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. Teach your kids the value of money, remind them that building a business should be fun, and get them involved in online learning classes to make the best of their budding entrepreneur spirit.

Which one of these tips do you feel is the most important to teach the next generation of entrepreneurs? Let us know your thoughts below!

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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Day Job for Your Creative Ventures

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If you’ve spent anytime online you’ve no doubt come across people like this: “Hi there, I’m Timothy Moneybags and I made a million dollars from my best-selling novel after I quit my job and pursued my dream of becoming a writer!” (more…)

An SEO expert, consultant, and musician, Thomas Adams writes on his website ThomasFAdams.com where he teaches wanna-be entrepreneurs how to start and maintain successful online businesses involving everything from web design to eCommerce. He has worked extensively with businesses both big and small to improve their SEO since 2014. On the side, he loves playing piano and writing songs.

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1 Comment

  1. jo

    May 25, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Powerful read. Inspiring.

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Entrepreneurs

Why Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Is So Successful

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Image Credit | Billboard

Sean John Combs, also known as Diddy, P. Diddy and Puff Daddy is the founder and CEO of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group. The company is a business powerhouse with several streams of income.

Diddy oversees an empire that includes music recording and production, TV, Film, alcoholic beverages, apparel, restaurants and more.

 

Diddy’s Early Life:

diddy net worthDiddy was born in Harlem and raised in Mount Vernon New York. He first got into the music industry at Uptown records as an intern where he went on to become talent director after dropping out of Howard University. He went on to sign and produce Mary J. Blige.

In 1994, Diddy founded Bad Boy Records and signed just 2 artists at the time. They were Craig Mack and close friend Notorious B.I.G. The label went on to achieve huge success with these two original artists as well as; Mase, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans and others.

 

 

The Growth of a Music Empire:

diddy net worthTwo years later in 1996, Diddy embarked on an incredible 50/50 joint venture with Clive Davis and Arista Records which would allow Bad Boy Records to market their artists to a global marketplace. After an amazing run of success and consistent business growth, Bad Boy Entertainment ended their joint venture on good terms in 2002. Part of deal was for Diddy to retain full control of Bad Boy Records, the artists and the entire back catalogue.

In the early part of 2003, Diddy and Bad Boy Records announced that they had signed a global distribution deal with Universal Records. The terms of the deal dictated that Universal would provide promotional and marketing services for Bad Boy’s artists and distribute new releases as well as the back catalogue. Crucially, Diddy retained 100% ownership of Bad Boy Records.

 

Diddy’s estimated net worth is $825 Million.

 

Clothing Line:

diddy clothingIn 1998 Diddy founded Christian Casey LLC, named after his second son. The company designs, produces and distributes urban fashion clothes and accessories for males and females. Christian Casey operates as Sean John Clothing and owned by Bad Boy Entertainment. The Sean John fashion label has been extremely successful with yearly sales in excess of $100 Million. In 2004, the brand was awarded the ‘Men’s designer of the year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Diddy’s Sean John Enterprise also purchased the Enyce clothing line from Liz Claiborne for $20 million in the latter part of 2008.

 

Fragrances:

diddyIn a joint venture with Estee Lauder, 2005 saw the birth of Sean John Fragrances. Diddy’s flagship fragrance, Unforgivable, reached Number one in department stores in the USA in a very short space of time. Sean John Fragrances have since expanded to incorporate; Unforgivable Woman and I Am King, which are being sold all over the globe. Unforgivable became the first male fragrance to to claim the title of ‘Best Selling Fragrance’ in 2006 according to a leading retail and consumer information provider. Diddy has twice won ‘Fragrance of the Year’ at Annual FiFi Awards hosted by The Fragrance Foundation, once for Unforgivable and once for I am King.

“If you dream and you believe, you can do it” – Diddy

Alcoholic Beverages:

diddy net worthIn an incredible and lucrative move, Diddy entered into a partnership with Diageo to create and manage all marketing processes for Diddy’s brainchild, Ciroc Vodka. The deal dictated that Diddy and Sean Combs Enterprises make all brand related decisions and share future profits and growth with Diageo. This unique collaboration for a USA based spirits company, is set to last several years and will be worth an estimated $100 Million for Diddy.

In the early part of last year, Diddy ignited another partnership with Diageo in order to kick-start a joint venture to purchase DeLeon, a luxury Tequila brand. DeLeon is currently selling for $1000 per in Los Angeles bars. It is currently selling around 10,000 cases per year in only 18 states so Diddy’s famous ability for business growth is destined to take effect for the brand.

“You have to be somewhat crazy, if you want to be successful.” – Diddy

Revolt TV:

diddy revolt tvIn 2013, Diddy was backed by Comcast to launch Revolt TV, a music cable network that is believed to be owned solely by Mr. Combs. In the Spring of last year, Diddy was believed to have bid $200 Million to buy Fuse TV to gain a wider distribution and higher subscriber fees. Although this bid was unsuccessful, it was a clear show of Diddy’s intention to grow the channel and we can expect much more of that in the future.

 

Conclusion:

Diddy is an incredible example of how a persistent, obsession like approach to business growth can create amazing results. It is important to realize that Diddy is one of those ‘self-made’ people that can inspire to believe and take action on our dreams in order to make them a reality.

 

Diddy’s Success:

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5 Tips for Launching a Successful Blog

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Blogging has become the most preferred side hustle because of its income potential and the fulfillment it brings. No matter what you want to write about, blogging is the best way to pursue your passion and earn money at the same time.

My blogging journey has been an amazing one although there were challenges along the way. What started as a simple desire to share my work at home experience turned out to be the most fulfilling mission I’ve ever had.

In today’s world where the digital landscape is crowded and oversaturated, you need to have a solid plan before launching your blogging business. Your launch can really bump up your blog exposure, so it’s recommended that you take the time to carefully think through the process and pay attention even to small details.

What is a Launch Plan?

In simple terms, it’s how you are going to let others know that you started a business (or a blog in this instance). A launch plan is a pedestal to show your new business to the world and it details what platforms you will utilize to attract your target audience. Having a clear strategy from the start will go a long way, and it will surely help you achieve your goals.

Here are 5 of the most important things you should do before you launch your blog:

1. Do Your Research

Assuming you’re already 100% sure about your chosen niche, and you’ve had a couple of blog posts up before your launch, the next thing you’d have to do is conduct market research. Find out where your ideal blog readers are hanging out, what blogs they are reading, what questions they are asking, what products they are buying and what social media platforms they are on.

List down the answers to the questions above, and from there, you can start setting aside a budget and creating a timeline for your launch. The research may take you a few days up to a few weeks, depending on how thorough you want it to be.

To be honest, the process of picking your niche, acquiring a domain and a hosting plan and even writing a few posts is much easier than planning your blog launch and going through the market research itself.

“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” – Brian Clark

2. Finalize the Promotion Channels

Writing helpful content is paramount, but knowing where to promote it is also vital. You have to list down the promotion channels you want to utilize and set them up before your launch. Many newbie bloggers often miss this critical step; thus, they fail to build traffic, they get frustrated and they give up too quickly.

In my personal experience, the traffic and the initial readership that my blog had in the first few months after the launch came from word of mouth promotion that I did. Apart from that, I also made sure that I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to my blog’s advantage.

3. Be Ready to Invest

Starting a blog might not cost you much. But it requires time, effort and dedication. You have to be disciplined enough to pay attention to details like your website’s theme and overall design. You should be ready to invest in learning about different concepts of your niche and you need to sign up for the must-haves like ESP (email service provider), automation tools, and design software.

Do not play safe. Sometimes you can only find success if you go all out and spend some ‘dough.’ Trust me, I have done it and have never regretted almost anything I bought for my blog. In fact, all my learning resources contributed to the success of my blog.

It is also advisable to have a stable fund when you launch your blog. Sure, you will be able to generate money from the blog but just like any other businesses, a start-up investment is required so you can sustain your blog and post fresh content pieces weekly.

4. Focus on Your Brand

Online businesses thrive on the uniqueness of their brand. Having a good brand strategy and working on developing a voice of your own can give you the best results going forward. Successful online entrepreneurs like Melyssa Griffin, Nathan Chan, Amy Porterfield have a unique brand voice of their own, and they have vast readership.

Work on building your brand from day one, whether it is through your blog’s theme or social media channels. How do you do this? Just ask yourself the question, ‘How do I want want my readers to see me or what do I want them to think about when they read my blog?’.

Having a clear idea of what your blogging business is about can get you loyal followers and more exposure. Building a brand can be a long and tedious process, but if you start it right, it will surely pay off.

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list.”

5. Network

This is the big part of your blog launch. Whether you blog about e-commerce, lifestyle design, entrepreneurship or making money online, you need to be able to find like-minded people to connect with and help you spread the word about your blog.

Networking is a pretty big thing in the business world but the best thing about it is, you can find people to connect with just about everywhere. You can connect with them using social media, forums, groups, and during events.

Networking is also a means to find friends who will uplift and strengthen you as you push towards achieving your goals. I have a lot of online friends who ‘get’ what I do as a blogger and they have been very supportive of my business. These friends helped me form a community where we can share insights and help our readers. Start joining the right groups in your niche now so you can learn more about your target readers and develop a relationship with other influencers and bloggers.

Though it sounds straightforward, starting a blog means you are making your first step towards starting an online business. Doing the groundwork is as important as ‘hustle’ or ‘grind’. Although the overall success of your blogging business will still depend on how consistent you are and how determined you are in making it work, these simple tips can ensure that you will achieve the results you want for your blog launch.

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5 Reasons Why Underdog Entrepreneurs Are More Likely to Succeed

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The world is in a place right now where everything is changing faster than ever. Thanks to the digital era, we are enabled to fulfil our dreams easily. Be it the flexible policies or the availability of easy information, it all allows us to work more effectively towards our goals. It’s the same for entrepreneurs alike.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur though, that’s mean but true. However, there are many more entrepreneurs today than there was just a decade ago. How is this happening?

People without entrepreneurial backgrounds are trying their luck and succeeding too. It’s a good wave for everyone, the consumer and the seller. The market is working together to reduce the gap between demand and supply. Not only is this keeping entrepreneurs on their toes, but is also encouraging them to think out of the box.

This sudden rise in the number of entrepreneurs could also be attributed to the availability of investors. They most certainly think differently than their predecessors. The desire to bring in the right change in society is the only thing similar between all generations of entrepreneurs.

Who is an underdog entrepreneur?

Underdog, as the term suggests, is someone who is least expected to succeed within a group of talented individuals. It is the same person who has the least power, say or authority in the lot. Underdogs are never usually even considered to be on the winning side. This in return makes it obvious for others to not have any hopes on them or worse, not even consider them. Some could argue that underdogs are usually not visible to others.

“Being underestimated is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have. Embrace it.”

However, over the years the above definition is seen in a more positive and different light. Underdogs are highly respected and regarded now, because of the uncertainty they carry with them. It reflects on the idea of someone weak or slow, working harder to be in a better position. Underdogs look appealing today because of their efficiency at breaking odds and coming out stronger. Today, underdogs also answer to the injustice or unfairness they are fighting to succeed.

Here are 5 reasons why underdog entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed:

1. They don’t take any aspect of their business for granted

Underdog entrepreneurs are from humbler backgrounds in terms of experience making them sceptical. They take every aspect of their business seriously. Be it something as small as managing their accounts or something as big as meeting an investor, they do it with equal determination. There are times when big businesses face trouble for having taken a small aspect lightly. This is usually never the case with an underdog entrepreneur, who is always on his toes. He is careful and is alert about what’s happening in and outside his business. This keeps him aware and also allows him to plan ahead in time.

2. Their risk tolerance is out of the world

They have faced failures multiple times in the past. They do not have inhibitions and scepticism, unlike most entrepreneurs. Taking calculated risks is a wise choice but can also keep one back in today’s fast marketplace. Underdog entrepreneurs are usually more likely to take risks that others are not willing to take. This certainly puts them in a tricky position but also improves their chances significantly. They understand the risk they are taking and take it with authority. They are the same type of individuals who believe they have nothing to lose in the first place. They risk it with the hope of getting something better. Even if they fail they know how to rise up again. Staying motivated even in the toughest of times is an art they have nailed.

3. They don’t make unnecessary chatter or claims

Underdog Entrepreneurs usually have too much on their plates; given the multiple hats, they wear. They don’t have the time or flexibility to indulge in useless banter. There are two kinds of people; doers and talkers. They are the first kind, who focus on doing things better. Their words speak for them. Having faced rejection and failure, they are usually very cautious before making any claims. They take failure positively but also learn not to talk about outcomes that aren’t out yet. These are the category of people who let their work speak about them. Underdog entrepreneurs are usually never satisfied and try to make up for the lost time and repute.

4. They think out of the box and have unconventional ways

They are the kind of people who experiment and run wild thoughts. Their fearlessness makes them take calculated yet unconventional steps. It could be in their execution or their promotions etc. The world is changing and is craving to see the right change. Unlike earlier times, the ideal consumer today is more willing and open to the right changes.

However, the consumer wants to know the logical reason behind a change. Underdog entrepreneurs are making better decisions every day and coming up with quirky ideas too. This is the time and age for unconventional settings and decisions and underdog entrepreneurs are making the best out of it. Their experience at falling and getting back up each time teaches them how to find better ways to rise up.

“Underdogs adapt, evolve and become winners because of their preparation, heart, execution and the relentless attitude that the game will not end any other way.”

5. They have exceptional people skills

It’s very important for every business to connect with its people, its consumers. The unique bonds that brands are creating today, is what separates them in the crowded marketplace. Coming from humble beginnings, underdog entrepreneurs are humble and open-minded. They talk to people, connect with them, share and take ideas. Underdog entrepreneurs shine at creating relationships that matter to their business.

They understand that there are many others like them in the market and keep their ego in check. They are more respectful of their customers and towards their competitors. This keeps them open to new learning, which should ideally be the motto of every entrepreneur. This is the same ability that makes them better advisors, mentors, leaders and salesperson. They understand human emotions and values better.

When an underdog entrepreneur finds success, he/she makes others believe in the power of hard work and determination. This is the positivity that people look out for in the first place.

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7 Parenting Tips for Encouraging the Young Entrepreneur in Your Child

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The next big idea could be right around the corner. In fact, it could be coming from one of your kids. Children today have an excellent grasp on social media and the world of opportunities the internet provides. Because of these facts, it comes as no surprise that many kids today are starting to pursue their entrepreneurial goals as early as six or seven years old.

One child-entrepreneur survey polled 1,721 students in grades 5 through 12 and found that 77% of students wanted to be their own boss. A whopping 45% said they wanted to start their own business and not far behind were 42% of students who said they wanted to invent something that changes the world.

These big ambitions for such young children need to be cultivated, and as a parent, you can help them make their business goals a reality.

From online learning classes to teaching kids about money, here are 7 parenting tips for empowering kid entrepreneurs:

1. Encourage their curiosity

Kid’s have brilliant minds. It is often said that it is easier for a child under the age of seven years old to learn a second language than it is for adults. Why? Unlike adults, they are still steeped in education on a daily basis. Their brains are ready to create new information more willingly than an adult mind.

The Teachers College Columbia University reports that this has much to do with the prefrontal cortex, which contributes to an inventive and creative outlook on things. This curiosity and ability to learn should be encouraged by parents. Help them take online learning classes or find opportunities to do projects with them that relate to their interests and ideas.

2. Take your children seriously

One of the main ingredients of good parenting is letting your kids know you understand and support them. Children’s minds are always changing and growing. One week they may want to be an astronaut while the following week they want to be a veterinarian. These flip-flopping ideas may make it tempting to smile and nod when your little one expresses their desires, but don’t be so quick to say no.

If your child wants to be a pastry chef and asks you if they can sell cupcakes in the neighborhood, why not say yes? Yes, the mind of a child can change from one minute to the next, but parents help their children grow and explore new ideas when they take their requests seriously.

3. Teach children the value of money

In order to build a thriving business, children need to learn how to manage their money. A child who receives an allowance of $15 will have $60 by the end of the month.

You can help teach your child both responsibility and the value of money by encouraging them to spend money wisely. By using basic math or putting up a pie chart on the refrigerator, you can teach your children the importance of saving money and investing wisely in products to pursue their goals.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

4. Teach that it’s okay to fail

In the same survey cited at the onset, 91% of entrepreneurial students said that they are not afraid to take risks, even if they fail.

Starting a business is a big job that requires your child’s patience, drive, and responsibility. Putting all this effort into a project only to have it fail can be crushing for a young child.

It is important for you to teach your children that it is okay to fail. Highlight that having fun, learning and gaining beneficial experience should be the primary goal of their entrepreneurial career, and not necessarily fame and success.

5. Help your child get started

A great parenting tip for empowering kid entrepreneurs is to help them get started off on the right track. Help them do research about similar products or ideas. Is their pricing, right? Is there a current need for their idea or business?

If your kid wants to become an entrepreneur, it’s your job as a parent to help them make it a reality. This means helping them learn how to market their service or idea. This may also involve learning how to manufacture a product and taking online learning classes about their interests.

6. Look for opportunities

If your child wants to launch a product or service, they’re going to need opportunities to be in the public eye. This can be done through social media, word of mouth, neighborhood canvassing, and even getting a hold of your city’s news station to have a piece done on the local child entrepreneur.

Taking your children to such things as trade shows can also give them the opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs. There are also various online learning classes that can help parents and children discover how best to market a new product and make business connections.

“In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

7. Make it fun

There are many successful child entrepreneurs with thriving companies today. At 12 years old, popcorn giant Orville Redenbacher, began growing his own popping corn in pursuit of the perfect kernel.

While his passion for popcorn did earn him enough to pay for his college tuition, no doubt, Redenbacher wasn’t thinking that he was going to turn his love of popcorn into a billion-dollar market. He was just having fun.

The same should be true for your little one. Childhood is a time for being carefree, not to be weighed down with worries and anxiety. One of the best parenting tips for encouraging little entrepreneurs is to make having fun the primary goal of their pursuit.

Follow these 7 parenting tips to help empower your child to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. Teach your kids the value of money, remind them that building a business should be fun, and get them involved in online learning classes to make the best of their budding entrepreneur spirit.

Which one of these tips do you feel is the most important to teach the next generation of entrepreneurs? Let us know your thoughts below!

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