Entrepreneur Spotlight: Introducing Dr. DL Wallace – The CEO Of Success Training Institute

Dr. DL Wallace is a Soft Skills Training and Development Expert with more than 20 years of experience in employee development, entrepreneurial development, organizational efficiency, and business strategy.

He is currently the CEO and founder of Success Training Institute (STI), the worldwide leader in superior soft skills training. Founded in 2012, Success Training Institute is an award-winning, education technology company based just north of Dallas, Texas. It currently serves colleges and universities, workforce commissions, school districts, and corporations from various industries. The customized learning platforms developed by STI include pre and post-assessments, individualized learning plans, access to data and analytics, and more. Their services are geared towards corporations and individuals looking to improve personnel through training in compliance, leadership, problem-solving, team building, customer service, and more.

Success Training Institute offers plans for entrepreneurs, college students, sales and HR professionals, and more. Priced to fit almost any budget, certifications can be earned in weeks, and most see improvements within days. Success Training Institute offers online programs designed to empower the workforce. The power-packed, 8-minute video segments can be taken on demand and have been proven to make immediate impacts on productivity, positivity, and efficiency on behalf of employees at all levels who complete the training.

Success Training Institute also offers college students the opportunity to increase their marketability after graduation through its Virtual Internship Programs. Students who are selected earn soft skills certifications to boost their resumes, earn extra money for college, and can work remotely.

Success Training Institute is recognized as a Top Innovator in Education Technology and cutting edge online training. With original content, unique and proven instructional method, and an evergreen library, STI is changing the professional landscape for students and companies worldwide.

MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Dr. DL Wallace to discuss the hi journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

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

I was inspired to launch the Success Training Institute in 2012 when I was the Executive Director of a Charter School I founded. During this time, I noticed the challenges new teachers were having interacting with students, parents, and each other. It became readily apparent that college didn’t equip them with the soft skills needed to succeed in the real world. Therefore, I developed and tested a soft skills curriculum on these educators and it worked even better than I expected. It literally revolutionized the culture, morale, and productivity of two campuses in the inner cities of Dallas/Fort Worth. It worked so well, we tested on our students and their parents. We got the same great results. I embraced the opportunity and the rest is history.

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

As a Black-Owned Minority Business Enterprise, we always feel as if we’ve got to be far better than the competition. Therefore, we’ve developed partnerships with numerous state agencies. We customize programs for colleges and universities, public and charter schools, local workforce boards, and more. By tapping into the vast government market, it has opened many doors for our company and given us added credibility. Also, we’re the only Ed-Tech company in the space that offers home-based business owners and other professionals the opportunity to earn money with us by referring retail and corporate business. Our Affiliate Program has helped us expand to other countries and keeps our pipeline filled with leads.

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

Our company is active on Facebook and Instagram. However, we’d like to do even more on social media because we realize the power of those platforms. Some people rely on social media for their news and information. We have plans on becoming much more active as our nation and the rest of the world to heal from the recent civil unrest and the global pandemic.

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

We’ve had so much success with our Affiliate Programs and word of mouth that social pay per click campaigns have not been on our radar. Recently, we hired an organization to focus more on ads and we expect it will do well because of the growing need for online soft skills training.

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?

Our company has seen great success with our philanthropic initiative that provides a soft skills training scholarship to the less fortunate when our paying clients earn certifications. The Global Success Initiative allows all our customers to participate in the betterment of our world. We are the only company in the world that offers a one to one match with education! Imagine unlocking the door for at-risk teens, families in poverty disabled veterans, and others to grow just by earning certifications that improve your own life and career. This initiative has really enhanced our brand, our credibility, and fulfills our mission.

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

For us, marketing begins and ends with relationship building. We take the time to get to know our potential clients. We spend time with them and cultivate a long term relationship that ultimately leads to a long term contract. Also, the success of our Affiliate Program has been a major boost; mainly because of the earnings potential of members can earn just by referring those in their circles. Our commissions on corporate deals range from 10% – 30% and those checks are impressive.

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

Expanding our business overseas was a tough decision. The countries that need our product most have the greatest problems with internet connectivity. Additionally, laws and regulations in other countries are much tougher than those in the US. However, we could not deprive people of the chance to enhance their lives and grow their incomes by acquiring the soft skills they need to succeed.

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

Most of the time when business leaders think of money mistakes, we tend to focus monies that were spent unwisely. However, we actually learn just as much from what we don’t spend. One of the things I would change is not spending more money by adopting cryptocurrency policies. We’re finally turning the corner in this area. However, if we would have spent the money on the technology required to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin two or three years ago, we’d be experiencing historic returns on our investment. We know now.

What new business would you love to start?

Training is one of my deepest passions and I’ve always wanted to teach others how to train. Therefore, we launched a new division of our company that allows professionals to become certified soft skills trainers. It’s 100% online and we even help them with leads on training in live settings. We’ve made it affordable and offer all the support to help our certified trainers succeed. It’s a great way for life coaches, public speakers, educators, and others to earn money with this valuable new skill. I’m excited to live out another chapter of my dreams.

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

It may sound like a cliché but I have no regrets about any aspect of the journey with Simply Success. The lessons I’ve learned along the way were priceless and helped our company improve. In business, you either win or you learn and every learning experience is a necessary one if you want to grow. Thomas Edison learned valuable lessons from each failed attempt at the lightbulb. Like Edison, every lesson got me closer to the groundbreaking company we have today.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

One of my mentors told me: “Whatever you do best, do most.” This advice helped me focus on leveraging my training and professional development skills. Doing this consistently led to the birth of the Success Training Institute.

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

Three Things. First, take the time to organize. Write your plans and goals, do your homework, and identify your resources. Organization is time-consuming but well worth the effort. Next, don’t be afraid. Fear limits your ability to focus, take risks, and make aggressive decisions. Move with confidence and never with caution. Last and certainly not least, don’t quit. Business success is very similar to running a marathon. Most people have the physical strength to run 26 miles with the proper training. However, many lack the mental toughness to keep running. Business success is based on our ability to keep running.

5 Demand Generation Best Practices to Boost Your Brand’s Awareness

Building a long-term relationship with your customers is as tough as keeping your product in demand. We are all aware that the industry trends come and go so as an entrepreneur so you need to be able to sustain this rapid change.

To be successful in your chosen field, you have to maintain your brand awareness no matter how many large competitors come your way. Following these five practices will help you sustain the challenge and succeed in the long run.

Be consistent in proper communication with your customers

Always be attentive to your customers. As soon as your customers start to express their thoughts about your business, you need to respond as soon as you can so that your customers can feel that their concerns are being heard. This will help you produce the right product that your customers need. A customer will feel happy and satisfied whenever he/she receives the exact product he/she ordered and it arrives without a delay. Especially when the order is packed neatly and every piece is in good condition. This will urge him/her to reorder again and refer you to his/her friends and family.

Provide exceptional customer service

Handling a simple customer query can greatly affect your customer’s decision to buy your product. Aside from this fact, doing an extra mile for the customer will also let him/her feel they are truly valued. To ensure the order arrives correctly, make sure you keep in touch with your customers so you can also check if they encounter any problems associated with their order.

By doing this, you can provide an effective resolution in the early stages. Providing good customer service is a continuous process because your customers may change their minds instantly if you are not able to meet their expectations before, during, and after your transaction.

Be innovative and creative

Both of these qualities can produce a brand that is always tempting to the eyes and attracts the attention of your buyers. Millennials are always looking for new things. From the product you first use at your startup, never be afraid to perform an experiment so you can discover new things to improve your brand. You can always use the same product because you have already built your reputation with that one. You just need to be creative to enhance it so it continues to stand out among other trends.

Learn new sales strategies

Offering tempting promotions can be one of the best sales strategies you can incorporate into your business. This is the traditional way most entrepreneurs are still using because it is proven to be effective. Just make sure the discounts you offer will still generate an income though. You can also use other marketing channels to get better results and maintain your status in the industry.

Create sales metrics

A sales report can help you evaluate the aspects of your product which still requires your effort and attention. This is a smarter method to help you analyze if your sales strategy is effective or not. Your sales metrics also allow you to determine the marketing channel which contributes more to your revenue and which one should be eliminated if it is not working effectively. This is also helpful when you have other sales plans to promote additional income for the company.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Introducing Brazillian Entrepreneur Rafael Dos Santos

Rafael dos Santos is a Brazillian entrepreneur who hails from London, UK. ​When he initially moved from Brazil to London, his lack of language skills and ​British qualifications stopped him from getting a good job. He became a kitchen porter and glass collector in various pubs to survive. In 2003 an opportunity came along and he got into the real estate industry. He started managing and letting rooms in houseshares in 2003 and by 2014 He had 50 houses in his portfolio and 15 employees. He successfully exited his first property business which he ran for 12 years and now he runs a marketing and PR agency as well as a media club.

MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Rafael to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

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

​I was originally born in Brazil and I migrated to London in 2001 to learn English. I worked for Microsoft as a support analyst while in Brazil but when I moved to London the lack of language skills and ​British qualifications meant that I couldn’t get a good job. I became a kitchen porter and glass collector in pubs to pay for my living. In 2003 an opportunity came along and I got into the real estate industry. I started managing and letting rooms in houseshares in 2003 and by 2014 I had 50 houses in my portfolio and 15 members of staff. I had successfully exited my first business and I decided to take a year off in 2015 to travel the world. Now, I’ve been to 52 countries (and counting) and I am running a successful marketing and PR agency specialising in helping migrant entrepreneurs. Behighprofile.com is where you can find information about my business and rafaeldossantos.com is my personal website.

Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?

Success means different things to different people. For me, success today is being able to help other migrants to improve their lives through entrepreneurship.

I help them grow their businesses by running a marketing campaign (via email and video distribution) and also getting them featured in newspapers and magazines in the UK.

IN 2016 I was featured in the Sunday Times as ‘Top 100 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs in the UK’ and also got invited to give a TEDx Talk titled “What it takes to be a migrant entrepreneur’.

Life has not been easy tho. In 2016 I had the worst year of my life, I suffered from depression, lost a lot of money, my coworking space ‘mi-hub’ closed down because of BREXIT. I suffered badly until early 2017 where I started to recover. I’m back in good form now and running another business that is becoming a success.

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

​The main source of customers if events. I run events twice a month and do some Facebook advertising. I started my agency 8 months ago and I am now recruiting my 2nd employee. It’s expanding fast.​

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

​Facebook is number 1 – you can’t beat it. I do a bit of Instagram and twitter but I have a very active community on Facebook and an engaged community is 100x better than any other social media. I do a lot of videos on Facebook and also Facebook LIVE. I am now also broadcasting my events live, you can watch them here: High Profile Club

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?

​I know people say that online advertising is good but events a is where the money is for me. I get most of my clients after they attend my events and see me in action. It helps if you are a good public speaker and if you run an event that actually shares good content to the audience. To organise an event just to promote your business does not work. You must share content that people feel that it was worth going to your event. For online tactics, as I mentioned before I have a Facebook community page and I give a lot to the community (opportunities to be featured in magazines, free advice, etc). The more you share your IP the more people know how knowledgeable you are, the more they want to work with you. I also have a book called ‘Moving abroad, one step at a time’, this helps to increase my credibility. ​I have also given a TEDx Talk which was awarded in the South of England as one of the most-watched (at the time):  Ted Talk. I use public speaking as one of the tactics to gain visibility and credibility.

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

​Facebook advertising, email marketing followed by phone calls or meetings, video marketing (social media) and events – The combination of these 4 tactics is a recipe for success, for any business, in my opinion. You can see that even online businesses are running events to bring people together. Look at Airbnb now, running events in many cities.

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

I had to split from a business partner. I think we rushed into ‘getting married’ without even having dated. But lesson learned and we are okay now. But any ‘break up’ is difficult.

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

Don’t try to grow too quickly. Many opportunities will come long and entrepreneurs tend to say yes to everything. It’s okay to say NO to some offers. Make sure you have a goal but don’t try to run before you can walk. You can lose a lot of money by trying to run too quickly when you don’t have the structure to manage the business.​

What new business would you love to start?

I am starting a membership club for entrepreneurs so they get more media exposure, network more and build confidence in public speaking. I started HIGH PROFILE MEDIA CLUB 2 years ago and I now have several paying members. We’re working with one of the members to be featured in Forbes online.​

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

​I would not have tried to grow my property business so quickly. I didn’t have enough experience, I didn’t have the right staff to manage the larg building I took on board… It was a disaster! But luckily, my business survived.​

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?

​Invest more in media. Invest less in paid advertising and more in PR.

PR gives much more credibility than paid advertising so if you want to be seen as an expert, you need to have more media exposure. TV, radio, magazines, newspapers and online. The more you are featured the more you attract opportunities.​

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

​Trust your instincts and don’t regret a decision once it has been made.

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

1 – Attend as many events as you physically can. Your network is your NETWORTH.
2 – Look out for a mentor. Mentoring is a fantastic way to keep you on track. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey.
3 – Find good partners that complement what you do so you can work as a team.

3 Powerful Visualization Techniques To Change Your Life Forever

What do you think is the difference between a dreamer and a doer?

One word: confidence.

Let’s face it, if you’re confident that you’ll eventually achieve your goals because you are willing to do whatever it takes to get there then you will no doubt achieve it. However, if you’re not confident about yourself and you don’t think your plans will pan out then you won’t really feel the need to take any further steps to achieve your goals.

Confidence is the key to making something of yourself. It’s having the inner confidence that whatever happens around you, may it hail or shine, your confidence remains rock hard. If you believe in yourself that you will eventually achieve your goals, you’ll reach it. One of the most effective ways of achieving your goals is through Effective Visualisation.

So what is Effective Visualisation?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a big-time celebrity who used the power of visualisation to achieve his bodybuilding goals.

Schwarzenegger didn’t just go to the gym every day and worked out, he actually visualised his success. He said “I had this fixed idea of growing a body like Reg Park’s. The model was there in my mind; I only had to grow enough to fill it… The more I focused in on this image and worked and grew, the more I saw it was real and possible for me to be like him.”

Schwarzenegger conditioned his mind and convinced himself that he was capable of achieving his goal, he firmly believed that he would be able to do it and that’s exactly what happened.

He also said, “What you do is create a vision of who you want to be – and then live that picture as if it were already true.”

This is the power of Effective Visualisation.

You need to visualise your desired result over and over again as if it had already taken place. There’s no room in your head for doubting yourself and your capabilities because if you do this, you are unconsciously sabotaging your success.

Effective Visualisation is a technique that’ll help you get over the barrier of self-doubt. You need to visualise and actually see yourself achieving your goals and you need to envision how you’re going to do it in the most detailed manner as possible. The more you visualise your success, the more it’ll transcend to reality because the power of the mind, if harnessed the right way can make a huge impact in your life.

What do you think is the difference between a successful person and a loser?

It’s two words: mind power.

The big reason why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is because the rich people have such a powerful mindset – they are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top and they can already see themselves right at the top even though they’re not even there yet. They condition their minds over and over again to the fact that no matter what happens, they will eventually achieve the results they want.

Here are 3 effective Visualisation techniques you might want to implement in your life:

Be in the moment

If, for example, you have a meeting with some prospective sponsors, you need to visualise yourself going into the meeting and winning that pitch. What do the potential sponsors look like?

What does the meeting place look like?

Can you picture the surroundings?

Can you hear their voices?

Imagine how calm and collected you are going to be when you firstly visualise yourself going to that meeting and shaking their hands. Imagine the potential sponsors intently listening to your pitch. By doing this simple practice, you’ll be able to go that meeting with rock hard confidence because you’ll be able to transcend that imagery into real life since you’ve gone over the scenario in your head over and over again.

Focus on you

Besides visualising the surroundings, you need to effectively visualise yourself going into that meeting.

What clothes are you wearing during this meeting?

Is your posture on point?

Do you look confident enough to secure the deal?

How calm and collected are you?

How is your tone of voice during the pitch?

Are you injecting a sense of humour to make the sponsors feel more comfortable with you as a person?

Have a backup plan

Visualising yourself nailing the sponsorship is definitely a must, but you need to also have a plan B just in case things don’t go according to plan – at least you have a backup plan. Having a plan B or even a plan C will be good for you in the long run because it enables you to be a bit more prepared. Think of possible ways the potential sponsors would react negatively to your pitch and then think of ways in advance that you’ll be able to address their concerns.

Practice how you would react to their negative response and then repeat that scenario in your head over and over again so that when the time finally comes and they react negatively to your pitch, you’re 100% confident that you have the answers they are looking for because you have visualised this scene a number of times.

In conclusion

Your goal here is to strongly instill the experience you want in your mind so that this will transcend into real life and you’ll be able to embody the version of yourself that you know in your heart can be.

You need to make sure you note down everything you see and hear in your head and go over it again and again. If you can do this, you’ll be well on your way to nailing down that life-changing pitch.

4 Common Mistakes Successful Leaders Know to Avoid

Becoming a successful leader is the aspiration of many ambitious and entrepreneurial individuals; The number of books tackling the issue of leadership is many, with lots of successful leaders looking to monetize their own success by writing guidebooks, the wealth of information is substantial. However, the tips and guidance on offer cannot be fully realized if the following common mistakes are being made…

1. Lack of communication

Whilst some leaders may have all the needed and desirable traits to progressively manage a business and guide their team, being unable to listen and appreciate the importance of communication can be a major factor in restricted development, not only in yourself but the company as a whole too. It can also be discouraging for your employees if they do not feel that their suggestions and opinions are being listened to or understood.

You could be missing out on a plethora of insightful information and interesting notes that could help to improve and develop the company, from the gardener mowing the lawn of your premises to the bookkeeper in your accounts department, you never know what gem of information you could be missing out on.

2. Micromanaging

A rather common complaint from employees in reference to their team leaders, supervisors or managers is their lack of trust to let employees perform their own tasks without interference or micromanaging. The term is defined as controlling every part of a business or process. Instead of delegating, a manager will ‘look over the shoulder’ at each stage of an employee’s responsibility or job process and provide advice and guidance that could be largely necessary.

Employees are hired for their ability and competence to perform certain tasks within a business, if the manager begins doing these tasks for them, instead of providing instructions only, they are not only wasting their time (that could be better spent on higher-level tasks) they are potentially aggravating an employee who may end up feeling restricted and under-appreciated.

3. Not setting a good example

Holding onto unnecessary anger, wanting to gain revenge on competitors or other employees, cheating and gossiping are all traits that have no place in a leadership role. One particularly bad trait is not being able to admit when you are wrong; Perfectionism is unobtainable, no one is perfect, so do not shy away from your mistakes. Employees will learn a valuable lesson from your ability to own your mistakes, it promotes honesty and learning in the workplace.

4. Lack of forward-thinking

Being a successful leader is not just about enduring through the day or week, successful leaders are proactive and they plan ahead. They look to the future and prepare for it with small and decisive changes that will better the company, whether that be in increasing revenue or a thriving and happy workplace environment

To conclude, leadership is not just about bettering yourself, but your employees, strategies, future planning, and the business as a whole. Your actions and reactions have a direct, if subtle, effect on every aspect of the business. To be successful you must present yourself in a way that reflects what you believe to be the core values of your business.

How To Be Successful In Life: 5 Life-Changing Success Tips for Young and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Establishing a company might be one of the hardest things that a young entrepreneur could ever do. And starting your business might also be a door to financial freedom however if it doesn’t work out based on your plans it might as well ruin personal finances.

As you build a business, it would be of great importance to have a smart plan to make sure that your personal wealth is being protected. Here are some tips that can help you when it comes to protecting personal finances due to business risks:

Put your eggs in many different baskets

There is a need for you to be prepared for every different situation therefore you should never invest all your money in your business. Allocate your money in different places like in assets, investment, cash, and emergency cash cushion. This emergency cash cushion would be needed for you to fall back on once you need it. Once bad things happen, you would already have money set aside to keep you afloat in tough times.

Hope only for the best and plan for the worst

Once you are in the world of business, there is a need to hope for the best and plan for the worst. There is a need for you to be optimistic however when shits occur you just have to be prepared. Avoid taking all your money out of cheque accounts to fund all the operational business costs. So that even though one of your businesses fail, you will have other sources of income to continue the business.

You must consider separating your business and personal expenses

This is indeed a must once you are starting a business. With regard to tax reporting, the business expenses are simply deductible from the business income. And also the more deductions that you would have the lesser tax that you are to pay. Just simply open a separate bank account for the business and personal finances.

Learn to manage your cash flow

Running out of cash is one of the reasons why a company fails. Cash flow is considered as a king and so the queen is the documentation. The first financial planning lesson that you must consider once running a company is to have a manageable cash flow. You will be at risk if you don’t know where your money will go and comes from. Just simply create your budget and then stick to it.

Ask for help

Being new as an entrepreneur, you must not forget tracking the business expenses and keeping the documentation as well. It would be very important to consider a simple accounting system in order to record as well as track the spending every month for you not to scramble for the information once you need it. Or you might as well use free financial tools once you don’t have the budget in investing in an accounting software. Freelance bookkeeper might be of great help as well.

Those are just some of the best tips about finances that you might consider once you are starting up with your business.

Meet The Woman Behind The Cover Of The Latest Issue Of Money Central Magazine: Nikki Clarke, The Founder Of Cadenshae

Starting a business with newborn or small children is not an easy feat, especially when you have to look after four of them. All Nikki Clarke initially wanted to do was make a bit of extra money on the side to feel comfortable financially. She didn’t actually start out to revolutionize the way mums looked and felt about themselves. She started Cadenshae with a $20k order of bras. She financed the entire project herself, as it was important for her not to rely on investors so she could still keep full control of the business. At the time, she had an 11-month-old baby and another one on the way, so it was certainly a risk, but one she knew would pay off as she’d stumbled across a niche market that was not being catered to properly at all. In less than five years she had 2 more kids, yet in the process, she somehow managed to grow Cadenshae into a multi-million dollar global empire.

MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Nikki to discuss her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

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

I was born and bred in Northland, New Zealand and I have one older sister – Jacqui. My parents are Steve and Sharon and they rock! I’ve always loved exercising and have felt passionate about it from an early age. Growing up I would work out with my Dad in the garage (he was a Policeman) and I always knew exercise would be an integral part of my life.

After school I took on a bunch of different roles, I was a medic in the NZ Army, a beautician, and a personal trainer, to name a few. All of the jobs I took on allowed me to help others in one way or another. Helping others has always been extremely important to me, it’s just part of who I am, and I am so proud of that.

As to how the business came about, as aforementioned – before I became a mother, I was a personal trainer, and so once I had recovered post-birth, I decided to head back to the gym to catch up with clients, show Caden off, and do a bit of a work-out. As I was working out, Caden got fussy, so I went to feed her and this is when my ‘ah-ha’ moment came about! I battled my sports bra, trying to pull it up over my breasts to feed. I was left infuriated. “This is impossible! There’s got to be a better way!” I thought. So, as soon as I got home, I went online to look for some quality nursing sports bras. There was nothing.

“Why has no one thought of this? How can mothers be expected to keep active and breastfeed when there’s nothing practical out there to do it in!”

I decided there and then if no one else would make the gear mums needed, then I’d give it a go! I had absolutely no experience in fashion design, but I knew what was needed, so I began drawing.

Fast forward to 19 months later, and Adam (my partner in life and business) and I have just welcomed our second baby girl, Ryan into the world! Four days later, $20k of nursing sports bras arrive from China, and are emptied onto our front lawn…here we go!

This year we’re set to turn-over close to $6 million (despite Covid-19). Cadenshae (named after our firstborn Caden, her middle name is Shae) now employs 16 staff and is recognized as the leading activewear brand for pregnant and nursing mothers, worldwide. Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, and Canada are our target markets.

Also – we now have four children and one on the way! Caden – 6, Ryan – 4, Kace – 3, Jackson – almost 2 and another wee girl coming soon!

Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?

As mentioned, the journey started six years ago when I first had Caden and I couldn’t find any suitable nursing sports bras. When I started, I didn’t think it would become this huge, no. I knew it would be somewhat successful as there was a gap in the market and from the chats I’d been having with other mothers, it was clear they would purchase activewear products for pregnancy and postpartum if it was nice! I thought I’d go alright in New Zealand, but the global success has been a very amazing and a pleasant surprise.

What is your main source of income?

Profits from sales.

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

It’s a funny old time with Covid-19 in the mix. Before the pandemic, we were on a serious upward trajectory and had plans for global domination! We still do have these goals, but we’ve had to change our focus a bit recently. Unfortunately, many businesses have been hit hard with people unable to shop as freely as they previously had due to job losses, etc. We have also been hit by this pandemic, but we’re not crippled, so we’re now focusing on building ourselves back to where we were, and when this all dies down – we’ll go back to focusing on taking over the world!

In short though, to grow our business we have to keep creating new and exciting products, so we’re focusing on our product carousel right now as well as trying to keep as many things as ‘in-house’ as possible. We have an amazing social media team, from the ‘faces’ on the camera, to the camera people, graphic designers, etc. Having this all done in-house means not only is it cheaper to do, but it’s faster…we can constantly roll out new content…and social media is such a massive beast which constantly needs feeding. And if you feed it right, you definitely see your return on investment.

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

Mainly Facebook and Instagram. We do stories every day, giveaways, posts, etc. We use Facebook a lot to interact with our customers, but we also have a presence on Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube…you’ve got to be on everything these days to get in front of the ‘aspirational consumers.’

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

It’s always good to diversify your channels and advertise in different areas. Paid advertising has always been good for us, so I definitely think it’s something everyone should consider doing. Don’t dismiss a channel until you’ve tried and tested in my opinion,

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?

This has developed over the years. To begin with, it was just getting the word out there in any way we could! Social media, giveaways, sponsoring events, paid advertising, etc. Now that we have more of a strong-hold (and more experience), we have the power to pick and choose what we do a bit more. We knew from the get-go how powerful PR could be to a company’s bottom line, and as soon as we could, we invested in PR companies to help us out, before hiring our own PR Manager to take care of that side of the business, in-house. PR is crucial for brand awareness; sometimes people don’t know ‘how’ they know of you, but they do know of you! That’s the PR machine working away discreetly in the background. A person may have stumbled across an online article, or read a piece in a magazine while waiting at the Dentist for example…good PR strategies focus on getting in front of as many media outlets as possible, because the more you do, the more people hear/read of you…the more sales you’ll get. Numbers don’t lie! Businesses have to keep working on that and building on it until they become more of a ‘household’ name/brand. That’s a huge focus of ours, as well as catering to our current and new customers through social media.

We stand out I think because we think out of the square when it comes to ‘brand awareness’ tactics. We recently sponsored the incredible Alysia Montaño – a 7x USA champ and 3x 800m world bronze medallist. In fact, we signed her up just days after learning she was pregnant with her third child. Alysia had a hard time with the likes of Nike and Asics cutting her pay when she got pregnant or discussed getting pregnant, so she hit out against these big name brands hard – fighting for a better maternity coverage for female professional athletes. We adored her and how she was taking on the big guns. We wanted to help her in her plight, empower her, like we want to empower all women – so we signed her up for a four-year sponsorship deal. That’s a pretty cool and different way to get the word out about your brand, especially in the US, where our focus is right now.

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

Social media, EDMs, P.R.

How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?

We stood out initially because there was NOTHING like us around. Nothing that was actually nice and of high quality. Now we stand out because we are the innovators, and our stuff is hands down the best, we know it is. It’s stylish, colourful, comfortable, and supportive. It’s quite flattering when we see our competitors try to copy what we do. I also think we’ve hired some real trailblazers who like to try different things to see what will happen, and often it pays off.

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

The last few months have been the toughest in a while for sure. Covid-19 hurt us for a bit, but luckily, not for long. We decided from the get-go that we would do our utmost to keep everyone in their jobs. We had to cut everyone’s hours and pay for a few weeks, but at least that meant everyone still had a job. We could’ve let people go and kept others on full pay, but luckily we have an amazing team which really is a TEAM and everyone wanted to take a pay cut to ensure no one lost their job. Our staff has been brilliant, and so has the NZ government in their handling of this, helping out businesses with wage subsidies, etc. Our whole team is now back up to 100% pay, thank goodness.

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

I get asked this question a lot, and I’d say the biggest mistakes we’ve made have been around hiring the wrong people, not trusting our gut. It’s cost us a lot. We are now very strict when it comes to hiring people, we don’t take it willy nilly anymore. You’ve got to get it right the first time, or else it can be extremely taxing, in more ways than one.

What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?

It’s an old cliche, but hard work really does pay off. Working that extra hour or two to get the job done pays off. Working weekends pays off. Missing your mate’s birthday party because you have a shipment coming, pays off. Sacrifice and hard work pay off. Also, you’ve got to be a good person and treat people right. If you do, you’ll get so many other rewards…people want to help nice people and go the extra mile…it’s human nature. Also, we invested in systems/software early on to future proof. We weren’t ‘big’ enough for these systems initially but we knew we would be one day and we’d be ready – and it paid off.

What new business would you love to start?

Gosh, I have no idea! Something to do with helping others…but to be honest I have enough on my plate right now, I’m happy sticking with just this business for now.

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

All the mistakes I’ve made, I’ve learned from – you have to make mistakes so you can grow and develop. One thing that does stand out though is the hiring process. I would do more research on how best to do that.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?

I’d say to myself, ‘don’t stress, everything will work out!” I don’t know if ‘past’ me would believe ‘future’ me though even if I did go back. It’s only natural to stress and worry because it means you care and it makes you think a little harder and work a little harder. If I went back and told myself not to worry and not to stress, would I then work as hard? Not sure? It’s an interesting one.

Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I’m not a book reader, but I love reading online business articles. Big fan of Forbes.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Invest early for the future. Don’t be afraid, give it a crack!

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

Do your due diligence, your market research – can you really make a go of this in the current climate? What makes you different? At the end of the day though, if the fire is in your belly, you’ll make it work. Learn from others, seek out mentors…read, read, read…you aren’t expected to know everything, so don’t pretend you do. A true leader asks for help when needed, let others help you and teach you. Learn, make mistakes, learn again, and keep on growing.

The Life Of An Entrepreneur: Interview With Meg Barnhart – The CEO Of The Zen Of Slow Cooking

Meg Barnhart originally began her career in the hospitality industry which eventually led to trade show management. One of her early careers was working on the Fancy Food Show on behalf of the Specialty Food Association. After she had children, she began her own business but by 1998 with the birth of her third child, she decided to put a pause on her career to look after her 3 children who were under the age of 5 and her middle son, Doug, who was diagnosed as developmentally delayed. Meg spent the next several years helping him learn how to navigate Doug’s world which eventually led to the creation of the “zen of slow cooking.”

MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Meg to talk about her entrepreneurial journey and here’s what went down:

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

I began my career in the hospitality industry which eventually led to trade show management. In fact, one of my early careers was working on the Fancy Food Show on behalf of the Specialty Food Association. After I had my children I began my own business but by 1998 with the birth of my third child, I decided to put a pause on my career for a couple of reasons. The first reason was the simple fact of having 3 children under the age of 5 and the second reason was my middle son, Doug, was diagnosed as developmentally delayed when he was thirteen months old.

I spent the next several years helping him learn how to navigate his world. In 2010, I started studying what life would look for him when he transitioned out of school and found that only 24.5% of adults with developmental challenges were employed. I couldn’t envision a world where he couldn’t shine his light and decided to create a business for him which eventually led to the creation of the zen of slow cooking.

Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?

My business partner, Jane McKay, and I began the business in 2012 with the intention of helping home cooks find success and a little Zen while creating employment for adults with employment barriers. We have stayed completely focused on both of those dreams and am happy to say that is the source of our success. I wasn’t sure we would come this far when we began, but keeping our intention pure has made the entire journey very rewarding.

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

We’re out in the markets all the time to build our retail channel. We are also working on a strategic plan to build a more robust presence online.

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

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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

We haven’t done anything beyond Facebook ads. We focus on supporting non-profits with product donations to spread the word.

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?

Aligning our energy with causes that we are passionate about. By simply staying true to our mission we meet all sorts of people who are interested in helping us grow.

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

We spend a lot of time supporting other entrepreneurs and cultivating relationships with businesses that we admire. We feel passionate about conducting business and growing our brand in a meaningful way.

How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?

We’re building a “speed scratch” category (slow cooking using slow cookers or electric pressure cookers such as the Instant Pot) that doesn’t exist in B & M, so creating a “clean” product aligned with our mission helps us stand out. We also sought our Non-GMO certification so our consumers know that our Slow Cooker spice blends don’t contain any fillers. We also became a Certified B Corp to demonstrate our commitment to business being a force for good in the world.

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

Determining the best path toward national distribution.

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

Design. We have very clean atheistic. We encourage other entrepreneurs to invest time in doing their own research before they employ a designer to bring their vision to life. We are fortunate after trial and error to have someone who is completely aligned with our mission.

What new business would you love to start?

I would love to create a business where I can help other people fund their dreams.

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

At this point nothing. I needed to go through the hiccups of starting/failing with other start-ups, so that when I created the zen of slow cooking I had a clear vision of what I wanted to create.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?

To have faith. When you begin a business there are always ups/downs and it’s easy to get distracted, lose hope or feel overwhelmed. Stay positive!

Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I love “Let my People go Surfing”, Sacred Commerce and Mission in a Bottle. I also love Pema Chodron’s book Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My parents, especially my mother, encouraged my brother, sister and I to be principled, bold, conduct yourself with integrity, stand up for your beliefs and be kind.

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

Spend time asking yourself the “Why” you want to start your business. That question leads to many other ones which are really important in manifesting your dream.

The Life Of An Entrepreneur: Interview With Julie Dugoff Waxman – The CEO Of Baked In Color

Julie Dugoff Waxman is the founder and CEO of Baked in Color, a rainbow and custom colored chocolate chip cookies company. Launched in May 2016, Baked in Color now operates a New York City location and they ship their cookies nationwide. Their customers love their cookies and they are positioned for further growth to keep up with the demand.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Julie to discuss her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:

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

My name is Julie Dugoff Waxman and I am the founder and CEO of Baked in Color, a rainbow, and custom colored chocolate chip cookies company. Launched in May 2016, Baked in Color now operates a New York City location and we ship our cookies nationwide. Baked in Color offers the first rainbow and custom colored chocolate chip cookies. Happy, fun and delicious, these cookies can be customized by color for all of life’s special occasions: holidays, mitzvahs, corporate events, college acceptance, school spirit, sports events, birthday parties, you name it!

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

As a student at Cornell, I founded and ran a cookie delivery business, Quickie Cookie. We baked, packaged and delivered fresh cookies, with a quart of milk (think Insomnia cookies). I sold the company and spent the next several years working in Corporate Retail at Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. While working for these companies, I developed my skills in business development, strategic and financial planning, merchandising, team building, negotiation, and marketing. After twenty years in corporate retail, I was excited to launch my own business.

Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? How did you get the idea to start Baked in Color?

Chocolate chip cookies are America’s #1 dessert and colorfulrainbow desserts are the #1 social media dessert trend. I was inspired most by the rainbow bagel. Rainbow bagels look incredibly cool but don’t taste great. I had a delicious recipe for chocolate chip cookies and knew that if I could figure out how to execute color, I would have something very trend right and extremely marketable. Thousands of test batches later, Baked in Color was born.

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

Social media has been the big driver for Baked in Color. We started posting our cookies on Instagram and were quickly noticed by food influencers who posted the cookies on their Instagram and Facebook feeds. Six months after our launch, INSIDER took notice and shot a feature for their INSIDER FOOD and INSIDER DESSERT platforms. The video went viral, receiving over 7 Million views on Facebook, in addition to millions of views on Instagram. Baked in Color was also featured by Today.Com, Huffington Post and Spoon University. The media exposure drove our sales tenfold, putting our brand on the map and driving corporate business, such as Goldman Sachs, Barney’s NY, and Time Inc.

Where/how can we get our hands on your cookies?

Baked in Color has a New York City location at TurnstyleNYC, the underground market at Columbus Circle, at 58th street and Broadway. We deliver throughout Westchester County and NYC and ship nationwide. We specialize in both personal and corporate events. Orders can be placed online at www.bakedincolor.com. In addition to our online offering, we customize cookie colors and packaging to make the perfect dessert or party favor for your special occasion or event.

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

GO FOR IT! Be patient and stay positive. Work hard and move forward each day. Things will not always go well but don’t get discouraged. Some days will bring opportunities and others will bring knocks. Hang in there. It’s a long haul. Don’t take rejection personally just move on to the next opportunity, of which there are countless. Be aware of the competition but don’t get bogged down by it. Network, network, network. It’s free to ask so ask others for help; people are generally happy to help. You can learn from most people and often each meeting leads to another opportunity. Follow your instincts but pivot when things aren’t going well; cut your losses and move on.

5 Ways To Take Action And Get Organized This New Year


How do you welcome the year ahead?

New Year, like the sun, is almost shining its rays on us. Tonight, we will be celebrating the coming of new hope, new inspiration and a continuing triumph against the challenges in life. It is a display of loud and colourful fireworks thrown into the vast sky, a grateful celebration of the year we bid goodbye to and a hopeful invitation to a new slate in our life. But what does it really mean to you?

Every year, we are faced with heightened anticipation as we lay out our goals and plans for the year ahead. We think of it religiously in the promise of daily opportunities and 365 days of chances. The more it draws itself to us, the brighter we see ourselves in its glorifying blessings and exciting beginnings. We look forward and bombard the first midnight with endless wants and wishes that we sometimes tend to forget the sturdy platform where these plans of ours stand –our inner self. So how do we work on ourselves to be able to successfully map out an organized 2020?

Stay Focused

The way to an organized year entails hard work and conviction. There will be days when following all your set life draft may seem impossible and this is where staying focused on your vision comes in. Your self-productivity and time management play a lead role in keeping you present and motivated.

Prioritize Big Things and Lift Your Littlest Ambitions

Maneuver every now and then to reckon if you’re doing the right thing at the right time. Are you caught up between the rocks of your short term goals and long term aspirations? Visualize yourself and maximize time by weeding off your life-destroyers and pick up the points that strongly contribute to your self-effectiveness and spectacular rewards.

Start a Healthy Financial Management Strategy

Know all your finances by heart and arm yourself with strong self-discipline and a realistic budget. File your bills accordingly and limit your credit card expenses.

Leave Unnecessary Things

Needless to say, de-cluttering may be one of the most neglected words we have but this year, be the difference that you desire and start by offloading stuff that you don’t actually need. This goes beyond tangible things since often, your negative emotions like anger and grudges take over your life. Release the bad vibes in your life and carve a path for a peaceful surrounding and stress-free day to day living.

Make Friends With Your Calendar

Mark important dates such as school and business appointments and devote a time that is solely assigned for you to face your to-do lists and accomplish those set-off goals.

The countdown for New Year begins with you. It’s a blank space waiting for you to take as you shape your destiny so take it, draw your vision of life, write your big dreams in it and get up to steal them. 2020 is here, embrace it!