5 Professional Skills You Need To Master In 2021 For Professional Growth

Knowing how to grow in your professional life might seem daunting. Not many people know that all the tools they need to do this are already in their possession. Each person has the potential to succeed professionally, but only a few do. Make 2021 your year for professional growth by mastering our top 5 skills listed below.

  1. Motivation

The simplest, yet most effective skill you need to develop is self-motivation. When you’re motivated, you show up and do your work. Motivation can initiate, guide, and help you maintain goals. To be motivated in your profession, you need to have a personal drive to achieve work-related goals. Staying committed to this desire, being ready to act upon it, and being optimistic that you will reach it even when some rocks are thrown in your road, is the key factors to staying motivated.

  1. Flexibility

When you’re flexible, you’re valuable. No matter where you are professionally, challenges and obstacles are bound to show up on your doorstep. Even when your career is rigid, unpredictable events can come knocking any day. You should always be able to adapt and adjust easily without compromising the quality of your work if professional growth is what you’re looking to achieve.

  1. Initiative

Don’t ever sit around during work hours doing nothing. When you have nothing to do, find something to do! Being proactive and taking initiative will have a great impact on your professional growth. When it comes to your career, taking initiative can mean more than asking for extra work. Doing more than what is expected from you and identifying future problems and working on solving them is a great step in the right direction, but you can also grow this skill by working on your career plan, your confidence, requesting feedback on work already done or sharing ideas for improvement.

  1. Time Management

One of the best skills to develop is time-management. Successful careers require effective management. Knowing how to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines can push you further than you might think. Effective time-management also includes setting time aside for breaks. Relaxing every now and then will give you a much needed-boost and prevent you from getting stressed out which will be detrimental to your growth.

  1. Leadership

Never make the mistake of thinking that leadership skills should be reserved for senior-ranking professionals. Leadership includes the ability to inspire others and everyone should be able to do this if their end-goal is success. Whether you have leadership in the form of patience, empathy, and being a good listener or are able to take risks and make decisions, developing the skill unique to you can improve your professional growth drastically.

Expanding your skillset can never backfire. Whether you use these skills for professional growth or in your personal life, being able to adjust, show leadership in asking situations, stay motivated and take initiative all while making the best use of what time you have, is what will make you stand out amongst the rest.

5 Reasons Why the Right Location Can Make or Break Your Business

When planning to start a new business, one of the first things to consider is where to launch it. Location, after all, is one of ‘The 5 Critical Elements to Make Your Business a Smashing Success’ — and for good reason. It can very well spell the difference between success or failure, and here are five considerations to show you why:

Access to the Right Talent

The geographic location of any company is important in attracting and retaining the right workforce for your business. For instance, it was a driving factor for Jeff Bezos to locate his second Amazon headquarters in Northern Virginia. The region was revealed to have the largest concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) workers in the country, and ranked as the top state for education, alongside Massachusetts. So, when deciding on your own business location, do some research on the current and future trends in the employment landscape in the area, and see how it can benefit your specific industry.

Business Requirements and Regulations

In choosing a business location, you’ll have to compare different state requirements and regulations, and determine which one would be the most favorable for your business. For instance, states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming don’t require new LLCs to submit the names of their members upon registration, which means they can be very good choices for those who want a little more privacy. Other states, meanwhile, can have extra requirements when registering. Case in point: The New York LLC publication requirement means that new businesses must publish a copy of their articles of organization in two separate newspapers within 120 days of registering. Although very much doable, it’s an extra cost that entrepreneurs must account for in the early days.

In terms of tax laws, Wyoming and South Dakota are the most tax-friendly states for businesses, as they have no individual income tax, corporate income tax, and gross receipts tax. Meanwhile, New Jersey is the worst state in terms of taxes, with the highest individual income tax rate in the country, along with high corporate, sales, and property taxes.

Cost of Living and Doing Business

A huge factor in choosing the right business location is its affordability. Real estate costs are the second largest expense for businesses, right after labor costs. Cities like New York and San Francisco are known for their expensive rent and food, so many entrepreneurs avoid settling down there if they can. Speaking to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index can help determine the most affordable states in terms of essential needs and real estate costs. For example, among the least expensive states in terms of housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, and healthcare are Arkansas and Texas.

Brand Visibility

Location can also influence the ability of a business to market itself and what competition it may face. For example, choosing a business address in Manhattan can change the perception of your business, as you’ll be able to tie your brand with the financial success and high growth commonly associated with the area. However, other key considerations like affordability and tax laws must be considered, too. So, it’s up to you and your financial plan to weigh up which factor will favor your business more.

Access to the Right Suppliers

Depending on the nature of your business, access to the best suppliers in terms of price and quality is another factor to consider when choosing the right location. Speed of delivery can have a huge impact on the productivity of your operations. This is why even though real estate and cost of living can be cheaper in smaller towns or cities, not every business is lining up to start operations there. The closer you are to the right suppliers, the faster your products and services can reach your intended markets — and the better it will be overall for you.

All in all, choosing the right location for your business depends on finding the right balance among these five factors. If some of them are conflicting, decide on which ones are more important to you and your business, and which disadvantages you can live with.

Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The February 2021 Issue Of MoneyCentral Magazine: Ryan Evans

Ryan Evans is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, public speaker, and family man. In the early 2010s, as his first entrepreneurial venture, Ryan founded a technology company that he grew to multiple locations, employing dozens of people. After a successful executive transition there, he was appointed as the Global Operations Director for a billion-dollar multinational corporation where his focus and passion were on strategic planning, global growth, and training. He was successful in growing that business to more than three million global affiliates before leaving to start his next venture.

In 2017, Ryan founded Elamant International and successfully launched the company in more than two dozen countries, spanning five continents, including massive action throughout Africa and Asia. Today, Elamant is stronger than ever with revenues of more than $200 million and growing.

Ryan has been featured in multiple publications as well as online resources, video channels, blogs, and forums. He has spoken in person and virtually to millions of people around the world. Ryan has been married for 17 years and is a devoted father to four amazing kids. MoneyCentral magazine recently caught up with Ryan and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?

My beginnings actually typify the American Dream. I grew up in the Midwest and always envisioned accomplishing great things. However, like so many others, I didn’t know how those dreams would become reality. I got my first taste of entrepreneurship while owning a local software company. Although I was featured in regional publications for my work, I knew I had the capacity to do more.

My big break came when I was Marketing Director for an international company and was instrumental in taking it to unprecedented heights. I realized then; I could do even more. The company I currently own, Elamant is drastically different from the other ventures. However, the experience I gained over the years prepared me for this moment.

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

I’ve been very blessed to travel the world during my time in Asia, I developed the skill set of connecting with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Succeeding as an entrepreneur is all about finding ways to build and maintain relationships. When I discovered my ability to connect with people from all walks of life, that’s when I began leveraging more effectively.

How did your life look before being an entrepreneur?

Boring with a capital “B”. Ask a lion what life looks like in a cage or a tiger what life looks like not being able to hunt. Entrepreneurs have a spirit that must be unleashed, and we’ll never be satisfied with any other life.

As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?

Helping others reach their full potential. Freedom means different things to different people and for me, it means living to your capacity. Anything less is bondage. I’m motivated by the thrill and challenge of showing people they can even when they think they can’t.

In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.

Unpredictable. Every day is different. Every challenge is unique. You wake up with a plan and have to be adaptable enough to change those plans quickly because you don’t always know what a day will bring. That’s what makes the journey so exciting for me.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

Making a difference, blazing a new trail, and leaving a legacy. Business is all about those three things. I want people’s lives to change as a result of them connecting with our business. I also want to do things that have never been done before; either by bringing an existing product to a new market or a new product to the masses. I also believe business is most successful when it achieves longevity. I want my great grandchildren’s children to benefit from the work I’ve done.

What do you put your success down to?

Perseverance. No matter what, I won’t give up on my dreams. Our company logo is an elephant. Our motto is we are unstoppable. Elephants are not fast animals, but they travel great distances because they persevere. They live longer than most creatures in the wild and they have no rival. That’s the pattern for me!

What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?

First is great partnerships. You never have to “do it all” when you have great partners. Next, is great products. Customers appreciate something that works even better than expected. They want value for their hard-earned money. When you have a great product, it builds loyalty and consumer confidence. Lastly, is a great passion. If you don’t like or believe in what you do, it will soon show. By having passion, you’ll always feel like your vocation is a vacation.

What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?

Maintaining focus is the most significant challenge any entrepreneur faces. It’s hard to have a one-track mind when you wear multiple hats. For me, I’ve overcome this challenge by delegation. I work to shift the workload to qualified members of the team in order to keep my mind on the main thing as much as possible.

Does the loneliness of the entrepreneur really exist?

Yes. There are times when it seems that no one “gets it” the way I do. Therefore, I find myself working in the late hours of the night or early mornings to be true to my vision. It’s great to have a strong support system. However, the saying is true: it’s lonely at the top.

As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?

People need leaders. When you realize that one sentence, it will change everything. Leadership is not just something you do, it’s something you MUST do. Imagine where countries would be without presidents or where a basketball team would be without a coach. Leadership is a responsibility. Once you embrace the role of leader, it’s a lifetime responsibility.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

Reliable training. College will never be able to prepare the entrepreneur for running a business. Therefore, small business owners need proven resources they can access from their mobile devices to equip them for the demands of being their own bosses. Ironically, we’ve got just the tools to help them. Stay tuned!

Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The January 2021 Issue Of MoneyCentral Magazine: Bryan Legend

Bryan Legend is an Australian self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, and the founder/CEO of Clever Defi Pty Ltd. Legend is literally living up to his name as he’s conquered the Cryptocurrency world; a niche that drives uncertainty to the minds of most investors and entrepreneurs.

For the period of 8 years that Bryan has been in Cryptocurrency, he’s mastered the art and craft to near perfection. An embodiment of strategic planning and execution, Bryan has hit gold in this field with his innate crypto-oriented mindset, the evidence of which can be seen from the successful start-up companies he has created from scratch, complemented by his estimated net worth of roughly 2.6 million dollars.

The crypto industry has experienced substantial growth over the past few years, making millionaires and billionaires in the process. “Crypto itself isn’t going anywhere, but most Crypto’s are. What I mean by that is the future of Cryptography and Blockchain is here to stay, but 99% of the Crypto projects that exist today won’t be around in the near future because they are simply not geared the right way in a decentralized manner”, Bryan remarked.

As an entrepreneur, Bryan is one of the most brilliant minds among his peers. In retrospect to his beginner days, it’s been evident that Bryan Legend has always had the inbred ability in sales and an unmatched intuition in negotiations. Bryan Legend dropped out of high school at an early age to pursue higher goals, and he discovered these brilliant traits in his early 20’s and nurtured his gift to productivity by training others in ‘the art of the sale’; employing a direct approach to sales with proven results.

Bryan is a firm believer in branding, a concept on which his business success is built upon. He believes that the way people perceive your company is a direct reflection of how they will engage with you. “Always put emphasis on your brand image by building a trusted name in your industry and making sure your customers come first.”, says Bryan.

With widespread attention from interested parties scattered from around the globe, Bryan’s company, Clever Defi Pty Ltd, is into Decentralized Finance (Defi), with the goal to shake things up’ in the financial industry.

CLEVER DEFI is an innovative new DEFI Protocol that works on the blockchain by automatically distributing set interest payments to eligible beneficiaries of CLEVER Token (CLVA). Storing your wealth offers to pay much greater interest rates than primitive bank technology, which is far outdated.

“I believe that all financial institutions and financial products should be designed to appropriately ‘suit up’ for the rapid change the digital age is bringing upon us. We are offering more decentralized services whereby giving the empowerment to users, and the public is where my total focus is now toward.”, said Bryan of his company’s services.

MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Bryan to discuss more about his company and his journey as an entrepreneur here’s what went down:

What would you consider as your greatest accomplishment as an entrepreneur?

Being able to work for myself and pave my own path by not having to follow anybody else’s rules is an inborn need and being lucky enough to be semi-retired at the age of 37 is something to be grateful for as my main accomplishment. Also, I have always been very materialistic at heart so being able to afford a few expensive toys isn’t such a bad thing either.

What do you think makes you successful in your field?

If I believe in something whole-heartedly and set a goal to accomplish it because of that same belief, I will find myself giving up all other life priorities and dedicate my sole efforts to accomplishing that task. Namely, starting a new business concept or enterprise.

I will give 110% focus on doing everything in my power to make sure it is successful and being productive with my time allows me to navigate those waters. Not getting distracted with any outside events that would cause me to lose focus and not letting the sight of that goal until it is complete, allows me to stay motivated throughout the whole process.

Can you tell us more about CLEVER DEFI? What is it all about?

Clever DeFi is the first truly decentralized protocol giving power to the many, rather than the few, and offers a new decentralized finance (DeFi) token with an innovative design that uses Blockchain to distribute secure interest payments to holders on a 14-day cycle. Each cycle offers up to 11% compound interest and with all 888 scheduled cycles to complete in just over 34 years. Clever Token (CLVA) has been programmed to meet a forecasted average ROI of 80.60% per annum.

It can be looked at as the new, improved, and smart way to store your wealth.

How long did it actually take to develop CLEVER DEFI?

The idea concept was initially thought of by myself in an entrepreneurial brainstorming session in early 2019. Not long after the first stepping stones were put into place by putting together the building blocks of what was to become as CLEVER. The name brand CLEVER speaks for itself and commands an expectation from the public that the protocol is smart, all-knowing, and intelligently designed.

Architecturally, there has been a lot of involvement from developers in constructing the programming code that goes in hand in hand with deployment of the CLEVER Protocol that has taken many weeks of rigorous testing and auditing to make sure it proves to be exactly what we say it is and does what we say it does.

How can we get more information about CLEVER DEFI?

The easiest and best way is to visit https://clva.com, where you will find all the information to learn more or perhaps invest.

5 Effective Sales Strategies And Tactics to Close Deals Faster

In a world where generation after generation we have been raised to obtain a good-paying job to support the family, a man’s personal pursuit for happiness had to be put on the back burner. Today, things are so much more different than anyone could have imagined. With the advancements in technology and the World Wide Web, societies began to morph, and new ideas paved the way for new opportunities. Entrepreneurs began emerging with the tools now available for them to research, communicate, and market their ideas.

Now you have the chance to be your own boss and actually have a shot at turning what you love to do into a paying job. However, your success can’t be achieved alone. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it definitely wasn’t built by one man. No matter what your new business endeavor is, you may at some point need to deal with investors, business partners, clients, and consumers. You depend on these entities to support your endeavor, but you have to win them over first. In business terms, you have to “close the deal” and come to an agreement on something.

Clients agree to pay a specific price for a service or product you agree to provide.

Investors agree to fund an idea that you agree to pursue.

It might be harder to close the deal with one person over another, but the one thing that they all have in common is the fact that they are just humans, like you. One thing to remember is that if you can capture someone’s attention in a positive way, they are more likely to want to back up your idea. This brings us to the first way to seal the deal with your investor or client.

Believe in Yourself

Investors especially look for someone who can convince them that the idea is worthy and a solution. If you have a great idea but lack confidence in your execution for bringing your idea to life, you’ll quickly lose their interest. Your goal is to convince your investors that you believe wholeheartedly in your pursuit. Your enthusiasm and energy play a big role in how you can convey this.

Most of the decisions that we make as individuals are based on some level of personal preference. The next four ways that can help you close a deal related to capturing the attention of investors and clients by appealing to their senses and emotions

Visual Appeal

What we see affects how we think and feel. A presentation can highly benefit from visual stimuli, such as blueprints, logos, graphs, or sketches. Whatever it may be, giving your audience something to look at will keep their mind on the concept of your idea. There is even proof that specific colors can enhance our mood, thus affecting our decisions.

Verbal Appeal

An art form in itself, being able to eloquently communicate through language to your audience is a quality that will surely impress anyone. It’s a common human characteristic that we judge others based on the way they word things and their tone of voice. Also, don’t try to overpower a conversation. Always ask for feedback or input from whomever it is that you are speaking to.

Emotional Appeal

We see it everywhere in advertisements on tv, in magazines, and on billboards. A situation is presented to you that makes you feel an emotion. This same concept can be brought into luring a client to your product or service. Be careful not to lean towards a sad or upsetting reason to try and convince your audience.

Logical Appeal

Facts and data talk. People like to see evidence of success or at least why you believe you will succeed. Doing your research on competition, consumer data, location, and product/service practicality are like science to the business mind. It looks like clear evidence to them as to why you believe you can succeed.

Each of these ways can stand out on its own if utilized in the right way to highlight your idea as an entrepreneur. Create your game plan and find an angle that you want to use to grab the attention of your audience. Typically, within the first ten minutes, an investor or client has already made a decision in their head on whether or not they want to close the deal with you. It’s not always about the final statement. The willingness for your audience to close a deal is a culmination of their entire experience with you.

Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The December 2020 Issue Of MoneyCentral Magazine: Rodney Foster

Rodney Foster is the CEO of a multimillion-dollar wine company known as “Edelheiss Wine” – he’s also a famous cast member of the hit TV show “Marrying Millions” which airs on The Lifetime Network.

The idea for Edelheiss Wine came about while he was on a vacation in St. Moritz, Switzerland after attending an event called Polo Snow Cup on Ice. Before he traveled to Switzerland, a colleague previously mentioned to him that he should try a certain wine in Switzerland that they typically serve warm like hot tea or coffee. The second day he was in Switzerland he eventually found a restaurant that serviced this type of wine – it was called a “Mulled Wine.” Rodney has never tasted warm wine before until his first visit to Switzerland so he wasn’t sure how he initially felt about it.

Mulled Wine didn’t really impress Rodney initially, but after the second and third time he tried it – that’s when something clicked. He fell in love with the wine and that’s when he started thinking of ways to bring Mulled Wine into the US soil. He also wanted to create mulled wine but using better ingredients as well as making a more organic version.

The next step was to create a name for this product. A contact Rodney met in Switzerland suggested the name “Edelheiss” – it was supposed to be a twist to the white flower that grows in the Alps of Switzerland and which is called “Edelweiss.” That same contact introduced Rodney to his brother in law who was very knowledgeable about wines. He met the brother in law via Facebook – they immediately clicked and that person eventually became Rodney’s business partner.

His new business partner sent Rodney a family recipe to recreate the wine according to his taste. After much experimentation, Rodney’s mother’s suggestion of adding some peach brandy to the mix took the wine to another level – it became a Fortified Wine which many people can enjoy at just room temperature in a wine glass but then you can also heat it up like a mulled wine and eve make Sangrias with it.

MoneyCentral magazine recently caught up with Rodney to discuss his journey and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Due to the pandemic, Covid-19 protocols, and mandates, our team has developed various social media campaigns to heighten our online presence utilizing all platforms. We are participating in virtual wine events, zoom interviews for Edelheiss Wine, sponsoring celebrity’s events on zoom, and promoting the brand on Lifetime’s Marrying Millions television series. We also executed a relaunch, rebranding our entire product line ( Signature Red, Sparling, White, Sparkling Rose’ and Riesling) and our website, www.edelheisswine.com.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

We use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, we are about to start using Tik Tok, and Snapchat. One of the main ways we increase brand awareness is by word of mouth.

What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?

Our experience with paid advertising has been a pleasant one. Paid advertising has brought awareness to the brand. It works perfectly for our current and potential clientele.

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand?

Our tactical approach to ensuring brand awareness of Edelheiss Wine is engaging with customers on social media, in-store tastings, hosting virtual tastings, and other intimate experiences. We are always exploring ideas to promote the brand. We stand out because we have immersed ourselves into mainstream media, maintaining a high-quality product, and remaining culturally-driven.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Marketing that worked for Edelheiss throughout the years is again social media, publications, t-shirts, hoodies, and simply educating people about wine and about the Edelheiss brand, specifically.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

The toughest decision I had to make within the last year was deciding to buy my business partner out of Edelheiss Wine. Our goals and drives were not the same. We no longer shared the same ideals and passion to drive the brand forward.

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?

One of the money mistakes I made growing Edelheiss is not using FedEx, UPS, or any Air Freight to ship a large shipment of Edelheiss Wine. I mean not to ship 20 cases or more, it’s just too expensive.

What new business would you love to start?

Though I am in the process of starting my own Hemp Vodka and other infused beverages, expanding into food pairing opportunities with my current brand, I am also preparing to launch my production firm to produce my own documentaries/reality shows for television and also my own Luxury Lifestyle brand.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

If I could go back in time when I started Edelheiss Wine, I would just not listen to people who would make decisions when it comes to when I have to pay for services. A lot of decisions I made in the past were learning lessons and some failures, but that’s how you grow from those mistakes.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I was given was to do your own research. This allows us to be educated about our approaches and ventures, but also saves us so much time and money.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

Do your research on what is it that you are going to do or create. If they are going to create a product look into where the funds will come from if you don’t have a pot of gold to pull funds from.


5 Ways to Manage Your Physical And Mental Well-Being During COVID-19

The world has certainly been turned upside down over the last couple of months. These unprecedented times have tested people and the impact of the pandemic will be seen for a long time. This has, however, given people a good opportunity to get to grips with their physical and mental wellness. If you are someone who exercises regularly then you will understand how important it is to a human being’s stability. Our emotional status is often very closely linked with our physical state.

Think about it, if you have a stressful day at work it is compounded by any physical ailment you may be experiencing. Stress is exponentially increased when we are out of balance with our bodies and the current situation has led to a lot of stress going around. We need to make sure that we are keeping tabs on our physical and mental well-being. This article will give you 5 tips for maintaining yourself during a pandemic and hopefully teach you to deal with stress a lot easier.

Here are 5 steps to get you going throughout the day:

Step 1: Wake up and make your bed.

Step 2: Eat a well-balanced breakfast.

Step 3: Take a moment to plan your day (without using your phone or technology).

Step 4: Pick a time to put on your exercise shoes and do it.

Step 5: Put on your shoes.

You do not have to be lifting weight or going for 2 hour runs every day. Simple exercises with simple movements can have a massive impact on your health and mental state. A good rule of thumb is that you should aim for half an hour of exercise every day. Regular exercise has proven to increase your brain’s ability to process serotonin and norepinephrine. These are the hormones in your brain that manage your ability to deal with stress. Simple exercise and getting the blood flowing can have a tremendous impact on your mood and stress levels. Another vital impact of exercise is that it will give you more energy. It may seem like a contradiction but the more energy you use, the more you actually have. If you spend all day on the couch your body will become accustomed to that lifestyle and you will find it harder and harder to get up and get going. During a pandemic, it is absolutely crucial that you keep your energy levels up because it is hard enough to deal with a lockdown in a normal state, doing it while feeling tired and lethargic is much harder. Give yourself the boost you need by training your body and your mind.

Maintaining a healthy mindset is so important at this time. Everyone is dealing with the pandemic in different ways and you will find that those who are able to cope with the hardships are probably those people who have regular exercise routines. Taking care of your body creates a positive atmosphere and you will find that your mental state improves with each day that you spend on the go. You do not have to become a world-class athlete; you just need to get your body moving. Even a simple walk around the block can have massive effects on your well-being.

Introducing Luke Garrett: An Upcoming Investor Who’s On The Verge Of Achieving Financial Freedom

There are several young investors right now who are making their way to becoming rich by getting into smart investments and one such upcoming investor who’s on the verge of achieving financial freedom at such a young age is Luke Garrett.

Luke grew up in a small town just outside of Liverpool, England, with mixed Middle Eastern and British roots from his mother’s side.

From an early age, he has always been fascinated with the mechanics of how business works, he’s always wondering why people buy things the way they do, or what makes one service better than another – pretty much pushing the boundaries of both service and products.

His mentality actually evolved from his grandfather who was a successful businessman himself. Back then he would always tag along with his grandfather on his day-to-day dealings just watching, listening, and learning.

Having thought long and hard about how he could build, maintain and expand wealth, he looked at those on the Forbes List whom he considered to be innovators, trailblazers, and visionaries for inspiration and he saw a pattern: these innovators took something simple and made it so much better for everyone. They all came from varied backgrounds and are considered leaders in their respective fields. Luke figured out that these trailblazers all had a clear common factor when it comes to their investments and assets: it’s real estate.

Luke currently works at NED Capital, a company that is one of the most respected and service focused banks in England and he’s passionate about helping people get into real estate to achieve financial freedom. MoneyCentral magazine recently caught up with Luke to discuss his journey as an investor and here’s what went down:

What was the process for you to finding what you wanted to do?

I regard myself as being extremely fortunate in that I knew the path I wanted to take from an early age. This gave me focus and precision.

My academic “career” ended at 16, and I vividly remember getting home from the last day of school and whilst my friends were busy planning parties, I was on the internet searching for my first investment property, calling estate agents, making connections, speaking to my parents about financing these projects!

Whilst my passion was driving my motivation, I quickly realized that passion wasn’t enough, you needed capital.

I decided to get a job in a local barbershop. 6 months on, I saw an opportunity in the fast-growing male grooming industry. 18 months later at the age of 19, I opened my own male grooming salon. My focus was, again, on quality of service, the materials I used, and the time – all differentiators in my mind.

This experience gave me the impetus to launch into the property development market.

The reality for me is that finding out what I wanted to do was a process, not an event. A man cannot be pregnant but can learn how to be a great parent!

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the property industry so far?

So far, it must be the moment I completed the purchase of my first property and receiving the keys. People look at these things as a sacrifice, but to my mind, this was part of my investment into my future.

What was ironic is that whilst my friends were traveling, at university, taking vacations, I was working hard and trying to create my future.

It reminds me of some great advice I received: The thorns on a bush are there to protect the beauty of the roses. In other words, be aware of the challenges and plan for the solutions to them as the objective is worth it.

Not all experiences are positive ones, and these are the ones I benchmark myself against – for example, because of my relatively young age in an industry where people often quote the number of decades they have been involved in, I was not taken seriously. I turned this negativity into a positive and which will hopefully encourage other younger people to enter the industry. There is no minimum bar to entry in real estate!

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I have found that some people are in “transmit” mode, others are in constant “receive” mode. Those that have influenced me have been my first employer later to be my business partner. He was the first person to instill the importance of self-education and success, which was a solid foundation and a great path to follow.

Property is about the presentation of the product, gaining insights into what a buyer or me, as a developer/investor, wants, the goals, and objectives. My grandfather has been instrumental in teaching, then guiding, and now watching from afar and asking me for advice! To me, that is a humbling moment.

What makes your organization different than your competitors?

In four words: Attention to detail and specialization.

At NED Capital, specializing in a niche market is the easiest way to make the competition irrelevant. We are in a highly favourable position to be self-funded and therefore have a reputation to be able to move and close deals, sometimes within hours, but usually within a few short days.

Decision making is key – our structure is designed from the bottom up to empower decisions to be made by individuals, not computers.

By narrowing down your target audience to a specific group, you can be considered an expert in your niche and easily become the best in your field. For me this is luxury.

I try to find out everything possible about the areas I am looking to invest in, their income, the cost of schooling, the average spend on leisure, crime rates, even the ratio of single to married people!

But what is unique at our company is this: investment targets are set not by return, but by spend, in other words, we MUST invest our portfolio budgets each year. That, to me, is unicorn-like!

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the property industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

Great question!

Lessons never arrive without a “plus one”, nor does success – a team effort is critical.

The property industry is a powerful economic, cultural, and emotional force. I always remember that the decisions I make can affect not only my own future but those of others, the surrounding area, and a generation to come.

My biggest lessons have been to trust the wrong people, resulting in wasted time and money – all equaling lost opportunities. However, I am so grateful for those lessons as without CO2 we can’t have O2!

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?

Perhaps I am inverting the question here, but I respect and admire people who have made mistakes equally with those I laude.

There is a humility in being able to learn from someone who has “made it” and then “lost it”. Their journey has created turbulence within themselves.

My most admired person is definitely all my teachers at school who constantly drummed it into me to follow my ambitions – one was always careful never to call them “dreams”, but ambitions that can be realized through hard work and surrounding myself with smart people.

Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.

Achieving what I have achieved without going to university.

I see too many people my age buying into the illusion that if you don’t go, your life will be ruined – that you will end up trapped in some other mundane occupation.

The truth is, even with a university degree, there is no guarantee of progress, you will just begin your ‘career’ four or five years later, tens of thousands of pounds in debt. I wanted to break this mould through hard work, sacrifice, and dedication.

Overall, there is no “greatest” challenge, it is all about life’s stages, motivations, and innovative thinking. This forms my mental attitude.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Always be prepared to walk away from a negotiation, but with dignity and respect. This is distinctly different than walking away with frustration.

You can’t bring emotions into deals.

Trust your numbers. Be open to scrutiny.

Too many people become emotionally attached to deals and this is the absolute worst thing you can do. Always be prepared to walk away!

What takes up too much of your time?

A relentless inability to switch off. The constant strives to better my business and those with who I interact with. I am, and this is a cliché we have all heard, my own worst critic!

What does being a successful real estate entrepreneur entail?

I passionately believe in three main attributes:

● Drive and determination – you will encounter challenges and disappointment almost every day. Remember that you have the ability to bounce back and push forward. Not everyone has that ability.

● Calculated risks – everyone is familiar with the term “no risk no reward” but the risk has to be mitigated with thorough due diligence. This enables you to not maximise profits, it is the maximisation of opportunities that results in profits, not the other way around. People look at the bottom line, where the detail is in the approach and opportunity to that approach.

● Building relationships – the single most absolute constant trait in real estate is building long-lasting relationships for mutual benefit.

This will be the backbone of your organisation, having people contact you first before anyone else is always my objective. Then, and only then, can you be confident they will go the extra mile for you.

Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The October 2020 Issue Of MoneyCentral Magazine: Tendul Raj

A serial entrepreneur, Tendul Raj is a leading expert in the Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Crypto industries. He is on a personal mission to develop a culture of entrepreneurship, helping start-ups achieve their full potential as well as ] expand existing companies. His overall mission is to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities across the world. In fact, he has built a career revolutionizing the financing industry across the globe and he currently consults and advises for a range of multi-million dollar companies.

Born and raised in Pondicherry, Tendul’s entrepreneurial journey started when he was 22. Soon after graduating from college, he started planning to start his own company. During the crucial stages of starting his new business, Tendul experienced sleepless nights for several weeks as he worked tirelessly day and night establishing the new company. Finally, after all the struggles and hardships, Nextazy Solutions Pvt Ltd was born. He also decided not to limit Nextazy with just a single vision – he wants Nextazy Solutions to provide blockchain solutions and AI-related services.

Tendul now focuses on the Blockchain industry and offers advice, consulting services, connections to Blockchain experts, and investor relations strategies.

MoneyCentral magazine recently caught up with Tendul to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Currently, my team and I are working on two big technologies – Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. I was so driven towards Blockchain technology that I decided to provide Blockchain-related product solutions and services. AI is my new favorite. It has been three years since I developed an unconditional bond with AI. Learning AI helped me grow my business and myself.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

All social media platforms are good. Each platform follows different algorithms and has its own advantages and disadvantages. I always prefer Instagram and Linkedin to increase brand awareness.

I use Instagram not only for brand awareness, but also to convey my ideas, innovations, messages, showcase the work we’re doing, and above all interact with interesting people. And I prefer Linkedin to connect with other businesses and like-minded people.

What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?

I do have experiences in paid advertising like Google ads, social media ad campaigns, sponsored content, and other things. I suggest that emerging businesses should make use of paid advertising for better reach.

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand?

When I started Nextazy, I made sure that all my strategies were unique and innovative. My priority is always customer satisfaction and that way my brand’s reach increases overtime. Even today, I tell my colleagues that if you can drive one potential customer towards you, driving a hundred will be a piece of cake.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Businesses these days are getting more customers, but they are not providing quality services. This should change. Each business needs different marketing strategies to prosper. But one strategy is common for all and that’s customer satisfaction. In our company, we work for the betterment of customers and this has been working well for these many years.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

I would say the toughest circumstances rather than the toughest decisions. Due to this Covid-19 pandemic, working from home has become mandatory. Since it’s a new thing for most of my people, it was difficult to maintain and increase productivity. Besides, keeping them motivated was also tedious initially. But luckily, this has reduced greatly by now.

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?

I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but money mistake, there’s only one and that’s hiring the wrong people. Actually, these people are not wrong. They are just not suited for our environment and work culture. Unfortunately, I’ve repeated this mistake again and again, which cost me a lot of money.

What new business would you love to start?

I would love to step foot in deep-sea research. Many governments and private firms are already indulged in outer space exploration looking for habitable planets and other things. But most of the Earth itself is yet to be discovered. More than 90 percent of our oceans and seas remain untouched. I’m pretty sure there are so many fascinating things down there. I want to explore and enjoy them.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

Your past does not define your present or future so I will not disturb my past by changing anything, rather, I would just enjoy every single moment. I will be more and more confident in keeping my next step, those that made me who I am today.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Two things stand apart as the best advice I’ve ever got. One is, whatever you do, whether it may be personal or business, do it 100%, and never back down. Second, help others to build their path. Motivate them, stand with them, and never turn your back on them.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

“Don’t let others convince you while choosing an idea.” Newbie entrepreneurs these days find it difficult to motivate themselves. They hide in the comfort zone, which will eventually break. First, I advise all newbies to come out of their comfort areas. The real struggle begins there. There will be countless failures, insults, frustration, mistakes, and too many other things to handle.

But always remember the things above are temporary. You control the construction; design it as you want it to be. When it comes to business, I would say only one thing: focus on the end-users’ perception, instead of focusing on yours. It’s the only way your business will shine.

8 Effective Ways To Drive More Traffic To Your Website

Every company or business has its own website or online portal because it is important to keep track of every person who visits your website because each person could be a potential customer. So, how exactly and effectively can you attract more customers to boost your site traffic? Below is a tell-all guide on how to be successful in driving more traffic to your website.

A simple secret to help you in your endeavour is to follow the trade secrets that work for your closest competitors. Why would you want to waste time trying to experiment with new techniques without knowing if they will work for your company, industry, or domain? The following techniques will explain to you how to “steal” their keywords and backlinks in order to leapfrog traffic on your website. All you have to do is follow the steps enumerated below:

1. Your website functionality: You need to make important and effective tweaks on your website and use the maximum number of tools available online to boost your ranking among your competitors.

2. Competition: Find out who your real competitors are and who can turn out to be tough competitors in the near future. Keeping close tabs on this information can give you a good perspective about what you have to do to stay ahead of them in the rat race.

3. Keywords: SEM Rush is one of the best tools that help with the researching of keywords. Using the appropriate keywords can increase your website traffic by increasing the number and frequencies of hits to your site.

4. Organic Rankings: This will give you an insight into the most remote areas of your closest competitors and using this information, you will know where exactly to increase your focus.

5. Building links: You need to go through the websites of your closest competitors so see their link building processes. Tweaking it to your advantage will ensure more traffic flowing into your own website.

6. Advertising: Compare all the strategies by your top three or top five competitors and see what works in your domain or industry. Use the same strategy to suit the needs of your website and those of your customers and potential clients as well.

7. Social media marketing and management: The largest number of hits happen in social networking domains due to a large number of people present in this space. It is also easier to carve a niche for yourself in this space since it gives you more space for creativity and innovation.

8. Reporting tools: Use such tools to generate important data about your website and where you can channel your attention in order to stay at the top of the ranking charts.

SEM Rush is a tool that helps you with improving the traffic to your web site. This tool helps you to zero in on the most common comprehensive words related to your domain and business. Using these words on your website and blog will automatically increase the number of hits to the website thus, considerably increasing the traffic. This, in turn, means that you will have more potential clients who will later turn into loyal customers.

Search engine traffic makes a big difference as the browsers will naturally go in for the website at the top of the search list since it is closest to what they are searching for. With this tool, you can understand the drawbacks of your website, its speed, and areas of improvement. Collect benchmark data to give you a better idea about the closest competing website to compare with your own. Remember that more paid searches might cause a drag in the speed of your website. Organic searches being higher in number compared to your paid searches can help in the ranking of your website analytically. Also, check the number of keywords that are distributed in the blog and content section as keywords when placed strategically will help your website have a better rank in the search list.

Following the tips above can help attract more organic traffic into your website – all you have to do is be consistent and committed to your goals.