5 Ways To Keep Yourself Healthy During The COVID-19 Pandemic

In the midst of a global pandemic, many want to know which ways are best to boost your immune system. However, it must be noted that there is no diet, supplement, or lifestyle modification that will protect against COVID-19 except for proper hygiene and social distancing. The tips listed below may support and boost your immune health, making it easier to fight off disease and infections, but they do not specifically fight against COVID-19

That being said, here are 5 tips that will boost your immune health and with time will help you feel healthier as well help your body to fight off illnesses.

Getting Enough Sleep Each Night

You may notice when you get a cold or start feeling sick, you start sleeping longer and deeper. This is your body allowing your immune system to better fight off the illness. Your immune system takes a lot of energy to fight off illnesses, likewise, it takes a lot of energy to protect against them. It’s important to get enough sleep for many reasons, among them is to have enough energy to give your immune system a chance to fight off illnesses.

Work Whole Plant and Fermented Foods into Your Diet

Whole plants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants. These may give your immune system an upper hand in its fight against some harmful pathogens. It can cut down on chronic inflammation, provide fiber to promote gut health, and most provide the vitamin C needed to reduce the duration of a common cold.

While fermented foods may not be what many think is best for their diets (And in fact when done improperly can be dangerous so be sure to research fermentation before starting) they are often packed with probiotics and beneficial bacteria that promote gut health. In turn, this allows your stomach and immune system to work together to fight off illness.

Limit the Amount of Added Sugars in Your Diet

With many coming to the conclusion that added sugars and refined carbs contribute heavily to obesity, it is important to try to begin cutting these out of your diet. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease are all capable of suppressing your immune system. To maintain a healthy immune system it is vital to cut the risk of these by reducing how much-added sugar is in your diet to 5% of your daily calories.

Practice Moderate and Daily Exercise

Simple, daily exercises such as brisk walking, steady biking, jogging swimming, and light hiking are all great ways to stay in shape, as well as boost your immune system. An active body has a better chance of fighting off infections and illnesses.

Drink Enough Water Everyday

While drinking water does not directly protect you from germs or viruses, it does prevent dehydration and boosts your overall health. Preventing dehydration is important for everyone, as you are far more susceptible to illness while dehydrated.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Universal Music Launches A Major Expansion In China, With The Launch Of Multiple New Local Record Labels

Universal Music Greater China (UMGC), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment today and Republic Records, today announced the launch of Republic Records China, the first international label division of leading U.S. label Republic Records to launch worldwide.

Republic Records, the label founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, is home to some of the world’s most acclaimed and successful international artists, labels, and entrepreneurs including Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Drake, The Weeknd, and Post Malone amongst others and has long been synonymous with breaking and introducing global talents of the highest quality. In recent years, Republic artists have found success around the world, including in China, where Taylor Swift has consistently broken records for international sales success, thanks to building a large loyal fanbase across the region.

The new Republic Records China label will be built with the same blueprint and ethos as its sister-label but will focus on signing and developing the next generation of Chinese music and C-pop talent from Mainland China, with a view to reaching a global audience. The label will be based in Beijing and led by Tony Wen, who has been appointed Managing Director, Republic Records China, effective immediately and will report to Sunny Chang, Chairman & CEO, UMGC. Wen has significant experience within the Chinese music and media industries as both a successful music producer and former Sony Music and EE-media executive, with the first label signings to the new label to be announced shortly.

In making the announcement, Republic Records founder Chairman & CEO Monte Lipman said, “We’re thrilled to see the launch of Republic Records in China led by the brilliant leadership team of Tony and Sunny. This initiative recognizes the extraordinary growth in the Chinese marketplace and the palpable influence which has made a tremendous impact on our industry worldwide.”

Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development, UMG said, “I’d like to thank Monte, Avery, and Republic Records for their support, as we welcome Republic Records China and Tony to the UMG label family. We are incredibly excited for Republic to become a new force synonymous with the best in Chinese music, just as the Republic brand is seen as a trusted mark of quality around the world.  It is a unique time for music in China, with a diversely rich talent pool of new artists and talent that have the potential to find huge success both domestically, across Asia, and more than ever before around the world. UMG has a long history and culture of supporting and developing the best global music talent, and the launch of new labels only helps to accelerate and strengthen the domestic Chinese music market and most importantly introduce new and exciting artists and music to fans in China and beyond.”

Sunny Chang, Chairman & CEO, UMGC, said, “I am also very pleased to welcome aboard Tony Wen – a highly experienced, senior executive in the music industry, who has established his career in the local market and has now become part of the amazing UMGC management team. His insights and experiences will bring indispensable value for us, as we launch Republic here in China. We thank Monte and Avery for the trust in UMGC, to launch Republic as a cornerstone for our multi-label strategy, as we set to expand the horizons for Chinese music talent in the future.”

The launch comes as part of a significant expansion of UMG’s recorded music operations within China, with the establishment of a multi-label structure, to lead its focus on domestic A&R and local language artists within the region. Republic Records China will sit alongside EMI China, PolyGram Records China Universal Music China, each operating independently with their own dedicated artist rosters, A&R and specialist marketing teams as part of an innovative and unique to market, multi-label strategy, reinforcing UMGC’s commitment to accelerating and introducing the next wave of Chinese music talent to the world across a variety of genres, as it becomes the first major music company to establish multiple frontline label operations across China.

About Republic Records

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Thought, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G).  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video. Find out more at: https://www.republicrecords.com/

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising, and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation, and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms, and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at: http://www.universalmusic.com

Source: www.universalmusic.com

Venture Capital Helps Early-Stage Startups Connect With Large Corporations

Big companies concerned about not being agile enough are moving closer to venture capital and finding partnerships with early-stage startups to help them solve corporate problems.

Stoic Venture Capital Partner Geoff Waring said venture capital’s role in aligning large companies with startups could contribute significantly to a post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

“Corporate executives find it hard to deal with accelerators, hackathons, and internal research and development departments. Partnering with startups is proving to be the most feasible way to solve corporate problems,” Dr. Waring said.

“Companies are often focused on satisfying the immediate needs of customers. Partnering with startups allows companies to investigate and accelerate innovative offerings that anticipate their customers’ future needs.”

The benefits for early-stage startups are manifold. It enables these growing companies, which otherwise do not have access to facilities or a sufficient customer base, to test their prototype with customers.

“These collaborative arrangements are a good way to test the feasibility of their model to solve specific company problems in a cost-effective and controlled environment,” he said.

“Where successful these arrangements can lead to commercial engagement down the track

“Large corporations worry a startup will fail, not be focused nor have shared goals,” Dr. Waring said. “Venture capital firms (whether independent or a corporate venture arm) can play a vital part alleviating their concerns by bringing legitimacy and finance to their start-ups, keeping them on track with milestones and introducing them to corporations with similar goals.”

The niche of venture capital is managing the phase between an unproven startup concept to where it is a company a large corporate customer will partner with then eventually acquire, Dr. Waring said.

“Company employees have little incentive to take on risk lest they are responsible for a project failure. Partnerships with startups enable them to outsource risk management but internalise innovation while avoid facing a new disruptive competitor in the market.”

Healthcare and pharmaceutical corporations are among the organisations most successfully using this method of startup partnering to internalise innovation.

Digital health platform Cardihab recently partnered with the Tasmanian Department of Health and Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania to provide digital cardiac rehabilitation services in public hospitals across the state.

This enabled Cardihab to demonstrate how its solution improved access to critical cardiac rehabilitation programs for patients recovering from cardiac events and living with heart disease in regional and remote areas.

It followed Cardihab’s agreement with Medibank to enable more people to access cardiac rehab during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In other rapidly transforming industries such as agritech, companies like Agerris have partnered with farms to demonstrate how their field robotics, artificial intelligence, and intelligent systems can dramatically improve on-farm operations.

About Stoic Venture Capital

Stoic Venture Capital provides financing for early-stage companies, particularly those arising from university research. Stoic is unconditionally registered as an Early-Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) and takes a collaborative approach to investing in the highest potential companies. Atlas Advisors Australia AFOF is the major limited partner for the Fund. www.stoicvc.com.au

Stoic Venture Capital’s investments include:

• Cardihab (Digital cardiac rehab);
• Ena Therapeutics (Enhancing immunity to fight respiratory diseases);
• Certa Therapeutics (Drug for treating kidney disease);
• Wildlife Drones (Drones tracking animals);
• Agerris (Agricultural robots);
• Kinoxis (Addiction rehabilitation);
• Occurx (Drug to treat eye damage from diabetes);
• Que Oncology (Breast cancer side effects treatment);
• Ferronova (Magnetic nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis);
• Q-Sera (Blood collection);
• PERKii (Probiotic drink);
• Occurx (Eye damage from diabetes)

Source: Medianet

Despite COVID-19 Global Sneakers Market Still To Hit $102.8B Value By 2025… Yes, You Read Right

The COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the sneakers market, causing supply chain disruptions, closing retail stores, and cutting down revenues. Although all major sports brands managed to recover and boost their sales online, this year’s revenues are still expected to remain below pre-COVID-19 levels.

According to data presented by BuyShares.co.uk, the revenues of the global sneakers market are set to reach $66.3bn in 2021, compared to $69.6bn in 2019. However, the entire industry is forecast to grow by 30% in the next four years and hit $102.8bn value by 2025.

A Two-Year Recovery after the COVID-19 Hit

Sports brands and sneakers producers have never had a year like 2020. Before the COVID-19, global sneakers sales had been growing steadily, with revenues doubling between 2012 and 2019. However, in the first half of 2020, sales crushed to the deepest levels in years, as global demand significantly dropped amid the lockdowns. Sneakers were selling at lower prices, while marketplaces looked to drive customer engagement on social media.

As a result, global sneaker sales revenues dropped by almost 10% YoY to $63.2bn in 2020, revealed the Statista data.

After a challenging 2020, the sporting goods giants Nike, Adidas, and Puma all managed to recover, with their sales growing strongly in the first half of 2021. The return of major sports events also allowed them to showcase their brands to billions of consumers, who turned back to their stores in all parts of the world.

In the fiscal year ended May 2021, Nike reported $44.5bn in revenue, a 19% increase YoY, driven by growth across NIKE Direct and wholesale and double-digit growth in the footwear and apparel sector.

Its largest competitor, Adidas, also saw significant growth in all market segments, with sales in China jumping 156% in the three months of 2021. As a result, the revenues of the German sportswear company jumped by 27% YoY to €5.27bn in Q1 2021, with its net income reaching €502 million, up from €26 million in Q1 2020.

Although all major sneakers producers witnessed significant growth across different market segments in 2021, the revenues of the unified market are still forecast to remain $3.2bn below pre-COVID-19 levels.

However, the year 2022 is set to witness a significant recovery, with revenues rising by nearly 25% YoY to $82.4bn on a global level. Moreover, the increasing trend is set to continue in the following years, with the figure rising by $20bn by 2025.

The United States to Generate 30% of Total Revenues, Chinese Market to Shrunk by 10% in 2021

Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the world’s largest sneakers market expected to generate $20.1bn or 30% of total revenues in 2021. Statistics show the US market is forecast to grow by 6% YoY and reach almost pre-pandemic levels. By 2025, the US sneakers sales revenues are set to jump to $28.9bn.

However, as the second-largest sneakers market globally, China is expected to witness its revenues drop by 9.3% YoY to $12.4bn in 2021. In the next four years, this figure is set to jump to $23.2bn.

The United Kingdom is expected to witness the most significant growth among the top three markets, with revenues growing by 12.4% to $3.7bn this year. Japan and Germany follow with $3bn and $2.5bn in revenue, respectively.

The full story can be read here

7 Self-Improvement Goals That Will Make You Happier And More Motivated

Always remember that as long as you are alive, there’s always time to change your ways and succeed in life. You alone have the power and the opportunity to do what you want and be the person you want to become. If you want to improve yourself and achieve your goals, you should follow these self-improvement tips.

• First and foremost, you need to accept the fact that you need to be able to take full responsibility for your self-improvement. You need to know your true self, the things you’re interested in, and how you’re going to actively pursue them. If you don’t have any idea where you are heading, then you’ll probably just end up where other people want you to go.

• You need to set realistic goals and stick to these objectives as well as find ways to achieve them. Such a thing, however, is not enough.

• Learning continuously is also important. There are skills and techniques that you can adapt to improve your life. Never stop learning. Many people know how important this tip is. You need to continue learning in order to succeed.

• Look for effective ways to learn new things and improve your skills. Realizing the power of learning can encourage many people to become better in various ways and achieve what they really want. Keep in mind that if you learn new things enthusiastically, you’ll achieve self-growth and succeed in living a more content life. You will become happier and live the kind of life you have always wanted.

• You also need to change your bad habits. There are many times when a person’s life is dominated by bad practices. If you really want to become a better person, you need to change these habits and stick to the positive changes you’ve made.

• Being persistent is also important. Some people give up too easily. Always remember that your perseverance will serve as the driving force that will encourage you to do things you think you cannot do.

• When you focus on a goal, it is important to keep your mind on it. Don’t let yourself get distracted by other goals. Many people cannot focus on anything related to work for a long period of time. It is difficult to do especially since our culture is full of reasons and distractions that force us not to bother a lot with attaining real success.

There are plenty of excuses you can say that can stop us from doing anything productive. If you want to improve yourself and achieve your goals, you need to prioritize every action. Even when you’re not seeing any major progress yet, you should still keep going towards the completion of your goal.

As long as you keep at it – you’ll reap the rewards in the end. There are self-improvement books that provide life-changing ideas and advice that you can integrate into your life. Discover and learn things that can benefit your pursuit of self-improvement. Always remember that learning new things can do you a great favour. Continuous education will certainly help you succeed.

How To Make Money Online Just By Answering Surveys (Yes, You Read Correctly)

The idea of learning how to make money online may seem a bit challenging for some, especially when you are a bit skeptical about all the possible ways that are offered online. However, there are a lot of legit ways on how you can make money via the internet and earn a lot of money effortlessly. All it takes for you is to find the right place where you can get the job.

One of the easiest and most popular ways on how to make money online is through answering surveys. You just need to answer the surveys from popular companies in the most honest way possible. These surveys are given to people like you for the companies to know the areas where improvements must be done or the areas or things that they are doing right.

Most of the time, surveys would only include a few questions while there are some that would take at least an hour or two. Once you are done, you can submit the answered survey and then get another survey and get paid for every job you take. What makes it really interesting is that there are some companies where you can choose the kind of surveys that you can take or pick a survey that pays more than other surveys.

What Makes Taking Surveys a Great Option for Making Money Online

What makes taking surveys a great option for making money online is the fact that companies want to get honest answers from you. This means that whether you have positive or negative answers, these answers are welcome. Also, you get paid whatever your opinion is. There is no right or wrong answer with the surveys. You just have to answer in all honesty and companies will be more than willing to pay you for it.

The main goal behind every survey is to give the company honest feedbacks that will help them find ways of improving their products or services. At times, they get new ideas from these surveys and even introduce new generation of products that can answer all of the concerns you have provided in the survey.

Where to Take Paid Surveys

For you to get started in this type of job, the first thing that you must do is find a company or a legit website where you can sign up and take surveys. There are a lot of websites where you can get paid surveys and some of them are:

Swagbucks

This is a very popular survey company that gained high ratings from its survey participants. The convenience and accessibility of the site is what made most participants love it. They also provide a high level of privacy and a decent payout process that allows participants to get their payout easily.

Vindale Research

Among the reputable companies that you should not miss trying is the Vindale Research. Their participants gave them an overall rating of A due to their impressive accessibility, payout schemes and a lot more.

These are just some of the top survey companies where you can sign up and earn around $5 to $75 per survey. You just have to be familiar with how everything works and get started in your new source of income.

5 Things To Keep In Mind Before Quitting A Job To Become A Full-Time Entrepreneur

If you’ve just decided to make that leap into entrepreneurship, it is important to make sure that you are successfully prepared to do so.

By following our tips on creating viable plans as well as making sure that you trust yourself, we will explain the 5 most important things to consider.

Keep reading to make sure you become successful in this business venture!

Leaving Amicably

Once you make that all-important decision to quit your job and pursue your own career in entrepreneurship, it is important to retain the relationships that you have made. It is usually a bad idea to leave a bad footprint in the business world, as you never know what your future will hold.

For example, showing decency by handing in your resignation within plenty of time gives your employer enough time to make alternative arrangements in hiring someone else. Furthermore, you may actually need to come back if all else fails, it is always great to have a plan B!

Trusting Yourself

Before you make that big jump and resign, you really need to believe in the potential success of your idea. You need to make sure that this idea has the potential for a great turnaround opportunity for you.

You can do this by undertaking some market analysis, allowing you to see how difficult it may be to pursue your goal, by considering things such as any barriers to entry that needs to be considered, whilst also running some financial statistics on the viability of the execution of your idea.

Financial Planning

Running some financial statistics is an extremely great idea to ensure that you won’t run into many problems in starting up your business. If you have a list of things such as fixed costs and variable costs already in your repertoire, you are more likely to be able to use this money in a much more efficient way, increasing your chances of success.

It is also important to run some numbers on the period between launching your business and leaving your job and making sure that you have enough money between this gap to be able to pursue your ideas. If not, it may be worth considering your plans at a later date.

Gain Perspective

Understanding alternate opinions is a great choice to consider when launching your business. Those doubts that a parent or a friend might have could be extremely valuable in allowing you to understand the pitfalls of your own ideas. This outside perspective is likely to make you more aware of these, increasing your chances of success entrepreneurially.

Successful Preparation

Finally, whilst financial planning is important, it is crucial to consider an overall plan to promote the chances of business success. Producing a step-by-step plan on how you aim to achieve things at certain times can make your mind much clearer, allowing you to be more organised and thus promote the chance of entrepreneurial success.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Find Out More About Andrea Franco

Andrea is an Intuitive Business Mentor and Coach that helps female entrepreneurs create wildly successful online companies through organic and strategic approaches. Her entrepreneurial journey started in my mid-20s when she built a successful media company. While running this business, she knew that my purpose as an entrepreneur was much bigger than being behind the scenes. This was when the Intuitive Boss Babe brand was born. Since my launch in early 2020, she has generated over $500,000 in cash and helped women scale their businesses to their first six-figure and multiple six-figure years. Thus far, she has served thousands of women to grow their confidence, gifts, and businesses.

MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Andrea to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

I created a Twitter that ended up receiving 175,000 followers from my desire of wanting to help women from around the world. I helped women with their relationships and even screen-printed t-shirts. Each shirt was sold through my Twitter, where I would get checks in the mail per purchase! From there, I saw how easy it could be to build a company when you put your time and energy into it. Little did I know that this experience was just the start of my entrepreneurial journey.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

My life before becoming an entrepreneur included college classes and waiting tables. I started my journey going after my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology which wasn’t achieved, however, the path I decided to go down led me towards more impact, income, and magic than I ever thought possible. I worked so many jobs trying to find my purpose and passion and quickly realized that it was never going to be working for someone else. Going to EMT school, and then going to school for psychology helped me step into my own path of changing lives, and showed me that I could create it all on my own.

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

What motivates and drives me is the inner knowing that I was put on this earth to change people’s lives. I love coaching, and I love watching what happens when someone fully commits to themselves, their visions, and their goals. I believe that an impact-driven business creates a timeless brand and business. I know what it feels like to be broken, wounded, and unsure of the next steps, and I know for a fact that I am here to help women streamline that process as well as call in more ease at a rapid rate.

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


Transformational. When I first started my entrepreneurial journey, my life looked completely different. Watching the impact of my business on people’s lives, and how transformational the work we do together is, will never cease to amaze me. And not only has it transformed other’s lives, but it has completely changed my life forever. I now get to run a company that has my heart and soul in it, while changing the world every single day. I have the honor of supporting incredible humans who are doing life-changing work in their entrepreneurial journeys.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

My top three motivations for starting my business were impact, transformation, and growth. I knew that I could impact millions with the business, and the intuitive approach that I take, to help create successful brands. I also knew that I could help people grow their wealth, abundance, and overall happiness through the mindset and transformational work that we do together which is why I include that in everything I create.

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

I would say the key element for starting and running a successful business is creating a solid foundation first. When you start from a foundation that is filled with clarity, impact, and drive, you create a long-standing brand and business. Make sure you have a clear onboarding system and growth plan, and you will be off to an amazing start. If you ever need support, hire a mentor or coach to support you. When you commit to your business, there are going to be moments when you feel terrified of the next steps, like those big investments. Always trust yourself.

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

First, would be the opinions of others. I grew up in an old-fashioned Italian family around a lot of people who were not in entrepreneurship. So, when I decided to go for it and spend the money that I didn’t have, for a dream that no one but me believed in, it seemed crazy to everyone around me. I felt extremely alone. But I persisted, and now I am more successful and happy than I’ve ever been.

Second, would be organization. When I first started my business, things were messy. It was hard trying to find the flow of things. The back end, the links, the programs, the diversifications can get overwhelming to do on your own. My Online Business Manager was someone who changed my life and really helped add structure and organization to my business. I couldn’t do it without my support and team, but this obstacle definitely lit a fire under me to work on my own flow and be the CEO of my business.

The last would be to surrender. In this industry, it is taught that we should always be going bigger and bigger, but the truth is that business is sometimes ebbs and flows. You have to surrender to the ebbs and flows and know where you are in your own journey. Sometimes I am in a massive creation and planning mode, and other times I’m on fire selling non-stop. Learning my unique personal flow and business flow has changed everything for me so that I can surrender to continue to catapult my income, as well as manage my energy properly.

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

The best form of marketing I have found since starting my online business is organic marketing on social media. I love creating a community through my private Facebook group, The Intuitive Boss Babe. I have grown this group to over 4,000 members that I attribute to the majority of my half a million dollars profit in 2020. Organic marketing is also a great way to get started and call in those soul-aligned clients. Providing value and connecting organically has proven successful for me time and time again.

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

The most important leadership lesson that I’ve learned is that you should set your boundaries early. You should be “filling up your cup” as much as you pour out when it comes to leadership because an over-exhausted leader can quickly burn out. In my opinion, we need more leaders who care about themselves, as much as they care about everyone else. When we give from an empty cup, it is easier to get overwhelmed. The more that you care for yourself, and are really aligned with your bigger vision, the more momentum you have to go further in your business. In order to grow your brand, boundaries with everyone in your life are critical, whether it be personal or business-related.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I have ever received was to never listen to the opinions of others, and do what makes you happy. When I started entrepreneurship, it caused some of my close family members and friends to try and talk me out of following my dreams. If I had listened, I would have never gotten here. Even though the journey may have looked different than what others expected, I would have never found the success that I have today if it wasn’t for me trusting myself and following my own personal happiness.

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

Focus on creating free value, and being consistent so that your audience can get to know and trust you. When working in an industry that is mainly run online, creating brand awareness and trust should be one of your first focuses as a new entrepreneur. Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. When you don’t give up, and instead learn from your mistakes and successes, your business becomes limitless. Hold the vision and commit to your evolution.

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.