Meet The Shepreneur Behind The Cover Of The October 2021 Issue Of MoneyCentral Magazine: Em Hardwicke

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It took Em Hardwicke 40 years and the birth of her beautiful son to be truly comfortable in her own self, to love the person she is, and to be proud of her achievements and successes in life. Em’s son is her world. He is what inspires and motivates Em every day and she wants her son to know that anything is possible with passion, determination, and hard work.

It is this passion, determination, and hard work that has got her through some tough times and has given her the strength and courage to take on some big dreams and physical challenges over the years. She has trekked Kokoda, Everest Base Camp, Mont Blanc, Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro. She has also competed in several ultra-marathons including the Ultra-Trail Australia 50km and 100km. She does these things, not to stand on a podium or to break any records – but to remind herself of what she is capable of and of the beauty this world has to offer. Doing these things reminds Em to always be the best version of herself.

For Em, like for so many others, 2020 was a year never to be forgotten… Australia battled the Snowy Mountains bushfires in January then COVID in March which saw her get stood down from her job and ultimately made redundant – leaving her without work and her family not knowing what was next.

Not one to let a setback deter her from achieving her goals, She refocussed and at the age of 46, after 25 years in Event Management, she’s now embarking on a career in Real Estate and Property Management, which is exciting for her giving her a new focus. However, she also couldn’t let all of her knowledge and experience in event management go to waste, so she took the opportunity to rebrand and relaunch. Hence, her Event Management Consulting business, Meraki Events and Public Relations as well as The Meraki Academy of Personal Development and Coaching were born.

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

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

I have always had determination and have always been a bit of a self-starter, but I guess my entrepreneurial flair first revealed itself after a stint living and working overseas and when I returned home to Australia there wasn’t much full-time work available within my industry. So I decided to set up my own business and freelance – this gave me a lot of flexibility and the opportunity to take on a number of projects at the same time and really diversify my skills and experience in different areas, making me more employable and more valuable within the Event Management industry.

In addition to working full time, I have four small businesses of my own… Meraki Events & Public Relations, The Meraki Academy of Personal Development & Coaching, Soul Purpose Body Products, and Jindy Treats.

Photographed by: STUDIO 49 / TONY PALLISER 2021

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

I have always loved being busy and have always loved having variety in my days and in my work, so I think the biggest change I noticed when working for myself was the ability to be able to choose the projects I wanted to work on and the variety that my workdays took on.

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

Definitely the rewarding feeling when you pitch and land a new client… or when a new retailer chooses to take on your product. But I think the biggest motivator for me is customer satisfaction. I have always said that customer satisfaction is paramount to my success. If my customers and clients aren’t happy or aren’t satisfied with my work or my products, then I am not doing my job!

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

Passionate and Determined! Okay, so I know that is two words, but I truly believe I have passion and determination in equal measure.

It has not always been an easy ride and there have been disappointments along the way, but I have always got up, dusted myself off, and landed on my feet and I know it is my passion and determination that has allowed me to do that.

Photographed by: STUDIO 49 / TONY PALLISER 2021

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

Circumstance, necessity, and opportunity… that combined with absolutely loving what I do and doing what I love.

What do you put your success down to?

Passion, determination, hard work, and a strong work ethic. It is also important to know your clients and be clear on the services and/or products you have to offer. Don’t spread yourself too thin – you are better off being really good at some things than mediocre at many things.

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

For me, it was all about having a clear plan about the products/services each of my businesses was to focus on and a clear target market. Without clarity, there is no direction. Without direction, you have no destination. I once read a quote that has stuck with me and always reminds me what is missing when I find myself stuck, or in a rut.

“Clarity has purpose and strength and brings with it the undeniable ability to move forthwith into our chosen direction.”

This is when I stop, reflect, refocus and gain the clarity I need to move forward.

Photographed by: STUDIO 49 / TONY PALLISER 2021

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

I think there are always different challenges at different times. When I first started my business, my biggest challenge was getting my foot in the door and getting people to take a chance on me, particularly if I was completely unknown to them.

Another challenge for me was not selling myself short or undercutting myself just to get a job – you have to know your worth and be able to sell that to a prospective client.

Overcoming these challenges was a challenge in itself as it largely came down to believing in myself and not taking the knockbacks and lost contracts personally.

I found as I won pitches and landed contracts, the door opened a little wider each time. I also did a lot of research about salaries, wages, and contract rates, and how to quote a job fairly so the client felt they were getting great service at a rate that was affordable, but I was also still charging at a rate that I knew I was worth for the work I was doing.

Knowledge and confidence was a big factor in overcoming these challenges.

Knowing the market, knowing your worth, and being confident in your ability.

Does the loneliness of the entrepreneur really exist? Is there such a thing?

I have never found entrepreneurship a lonely venture. Perhaps this is because I have always surrounded myself with a lot of people and have also, more often than not, had another job to give me some stability and human interaction while I have been starting and building my businesses.

Photographed by: STUDIO 49 / TONY PALLISER 2021

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

Be clear on what your definition of success is for your business and do what is necessary to achieve those successes. Your definition of success will always change as the business grows, but so too does the plan and actions needed to achieve the new goals set for yourself and for your business.

My businesses are still small and all still growing at a pace I am happy and comfortable with. One of the biggest lessons I have learned along the way is to never let my business become bigger than I can, or want to, handle. I always remind myself that a business doesn’t have to be BIG conglomerates to be successful.

The other important leadership lesson I learned at a very young age, and one I apply to all aspects of my life. Always treat people the way you would like to be and would expect to be treated, and NEVER ask someone to do something you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.

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

I truly believe small business needs to be nurtured and supported. There is absolutely a place in society and the world for big business and multi-national firms and operations, but I also believe that big businesses and multi-national firms are not the place for everyone, and nor should they be.

The pandemic has, in the blink of an eye, totally destroyed so many small businesses around the world and destroyed the lives of the people whose blood, sweat, and tears have gone into building these businesses.

I would love to see some of the big businesses and multi-national firms around the world, whose businesses have remained largely unaffected by the global pandemic, establish a series of small business grants to support many of these small businesses re-establish and re-build. There are a lot of amazing business minds in this world whose businesses have failed, by no fault of their own. Small business is an important part of society and all contribute to a country’s economy, but do not have the support and backing of deep pockets to keep them afloat when times get tough.

Photographed by: STUDIO 49 / TONY PALLISER 2021

Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The September 2021 Issue Of MoneyCentral Magazine: Danish Sayanee

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A veteran entrepreneur, Danish Sayanee is an internationally published author with 3 books published under his name on platforms such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Simon & Schuster. He is known for his innovative developments and affiliations in technology and STEAM/STEM integration at the school level – some of these affiliations include Microsoft, Google, STEM-ED Coalition, Common-Sense Education, and more. On top of that, he’s also the co-founder and director of the Institute of Excellence in Learning and Teaching.

A highly sought-after trainer, Danish is an internationally certified and licensed TESOL trainer from the Arizona University; he’s Pakistan’s very first CommonSense Educator, and he’s a Cambridge English trained agent which entails him to counsel students, teachers, and professionals on the importance of Cambridge English Certification. In fact, he has incredibly trained 3000 individuals including teachers, students, and other professionals. Danish also happens to be the first National Geographic Educator in Pakistan.

Danish has completed Business and Leadership Management from the Michigan University and he is also a Microsoft Educator, Adobe’s Master Trainer, and Intel’s Technology Partner, who’s currently working on his Teacher Training Licensing Program from London Teacher Training College OFQUAL Affiliated program.

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

What are your standards for success? Is it a certain dollar figure?

My benchmarks for success are not measured by anything especially not by the monetary success of a man. I have set the standards of my success on two principles:

1. Your Effort should match your vision
2. Be true to your vision

I have stuck by these principles, worked hard, tried my level best not to deviate from my vision, and climb ascend Mount Success.

What do you think made you successful in business?

I was born not to be the sort of person who can comply with the rules that others set for him, rather, from an early age, I have been able to make people do what I wanted them to do, I feel that this being able to delegate, and process who does what best is a key factor that made me successful in business. Another thing is the fact that I can jump from the mountains but I can still stick to a vision. Often, businesses simply fail, or people running them fail because they lose sight of their vision.

How would you define true entrepreneurship?

The truest form of entrepreneurship is when a person can identify a true social gap and fill it up with a unique and innovative idea.

What inspired you to develop your idea?

I have always been a compassionate person by nature, this enables me to look at society from a unique perspective and this is the very perspective that I am able to translate into ideas. So far, my analysis of societal needs has been pretty much on point, and I hope that this will continue to be the case.

What were the main challenges you faced at the early stages of your business? And do you still encounter them to this day?

Challenges have and will always be part of my life, they are part of every person’s life. In Pakistan, the situation for budding entrepreneurs is tough, it is cutthroat most of the time. Some of the major challenges I have faced is the lack of investment availability, people are not willing to invest in businesses that will reap a profit in the long run but at a steady pace. Nowadays, people want instant gratification when it comes to reaping their investments.

What keeps you going even in hard times?

Interesting question! I guess the fear of failure is a huge motivator for me that keeps me going but another motivator is that I am a largely stubborn human being and hate giving up, this keeps me going on.

What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship for young people especially in an economy where jobs are harder to find?

Unlike what many people believe, entrepreneurship hasn’t arrived, it is here to stay, and entrepreneurship is the element that will create opportunities for Generation Z.

What strategies did you first use to market your business?

Hah! You will probably laugh when you hear what I have to say on this. I had no ideas about marketing strategies in those days, I had no idea how a business was supposed to be run. I relied heavily on social media platforms to spread our word and to introduce the business and promote it. As time went by, we invested in paid marketing and again we had no idea how it actually worked! In the end, all I can be grateful for is that our wild guesswork paid off.

How have your priorities changed from when you first started?

No, I guess not, my priorities have not drastically evolved over the years, but I have realized that for a man to succeed in a business, he needs to learn to give as much leverage to his team as they deserve, and not let them take advantage of you. I have always prioritized empathy and sustainability and have tried to ensure that I achieve the two.

Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?

Nah! I think I wouldn’t have succeeded as much as I have if I go back and undo my learning opportunities, I have grown and matured with time and my mistakes, my missed chances, even the moments of despair have taught me to be a better man and an even better entrepreneur.

Three Blogs On Managed Funds Every Entrepreneur Should Be Reading

We know you’re time-poor so why not start out by just checking out three website links we’ve picked below? They’re worth the few minutes it takes to see whether they’re useful to you.

1. Paul Clitheroe, a financial expert who is big on financial education, writes about complex topics using simple language. See this link on his latest blog about investing in managed funds for as little as $80.

2.  For all of you hard-working career women out there, check out www.moneygirl.com.au, which, like Clitheroe’s blog, is financial education in basic English. On managed funds, there’s stuff to read via this link.

3. They call themselves ‘The People’s Watchdog’. Consumer body ‘Choice’ has a section on its website dedicated solely to investing. It’s disappointing that their last article on a buyer’s guide to managed funds was done way back in 2007 but the basic premise still holds to this day so it’s still worth reading. See this link.

Besides, it’s worth bookmarking www.choice.com.au because they’re quite good at naming and shaming those who do dodgy deals, whether it’s about the worst plasma TV to buy or a rip-off deal in property.

If you’re tight for time, read Clitheroe’s blog. It’s chockfull of easily digestible info on investing.

Source: The Australian Filipina

Meet The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The August 2021 Issue Of MoneyCentral Magazine: Steve Stanulis

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Steve Stanulis is an award-winning filmmaker, actor, and the founder of Stanulis films who is currently adding to the revolution of the modern-day entertainment industry with his premium content and unmatched vision.

As the world continues to evolve digitally, high-speed internet connection has paved the way for the latest addition to the entertainment industry: streaming services that allow people to watch their favourite movies or shows online.

According to Action Elite magazine, Streaming services also brought about a significant impact on the roles of actors and actresses. They are no longer tied to major movie studios and productions exclusively. Rather, they can now earn through various online platforms because the advertisers in these digital channels pay them a certain fee to promote their products to their followers.

Leveraging this new wave of digital entertainment, Stanulis established Stanulis Films in 2019. His enterprise has already showcased early success, earning the award for “Best Documentary” in the New York Independent Film Festival for his documentary “Wasted Talent”.

Stanulis made a statement of intent with that documentary, alerting the entertainment world of his vision, creativity, and drive for triumph. Stanulis followed up this maiden success by bringing home the titles of “Best Drama” and “Best Ensemble Cast” with the hit 2020 film “5th Borough.” This casting award further lends credence to Stanulis’ creativity and a keen eye for detail in finding the right people for his films.

With longevity comes experience; with experience comes greater expertise. Stanulis didn’t appear from thin air to scoop up laurels. A former NYPD Officer and A-List Celebrity security guard, Stanulis honed his craft and garnered entertainment experience as a published and credited actor (starring in projects such as The Sopranos, The Interpreter, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry).

With his expertise, a wealth of experience, ability to develop and find talent, and work ethic, Stanulis has been successfully steering the wheels of his enterprise in the right direction, creating amazing content all while staying within minimum film budgets.

Stanulis is not resting on his laurels yet, for his drive for success is new every morning. Leveraging on the rising independent film industry, the filmmaker currently has 10 upcoming films in the works through 2022, and with his precedents draped in awards and laurels, viewers have reason to be excited, for first-class entertainment is on the way.

MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Steve to discuss his journey in the entertainment industry and here’s what went down:

Why Did You Decide To Be A Producer Above All Other Industry Job Roles?

I really enjoyed the business aspect of the entertainment industry. Being a producer allows you to run the show and make business decisions, which ultimately decide the success of the project.

What Was Your First Job In Film And How Did You Progress To Producer?

My first job in film was The Replacements with Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman. I played Keanu’s backup quarterback and only had two lines, but I was hooked!

What do you look for in a script?

When reading a script, the genre, the dialogue, and character development are most important to me. Unfortunately, many writers fall short when it comes to character development.

How do you select a director?

I usually choose a director based on the genre of the film and their past success on prior projects. It’s also very important for us to be compatible and have the same creative vision.

Have you ever had to handle a difficult conflict in your career? What did you learn from it?

There have been many difficult conflicts, usually on the financial side. For instance, sometimes monies are counted on and at the last minute, investors don’t follow through. As a producer, you need to have a fallback plan and if for some reason you do not have enough time to raise the money, you have to decide where to cut the script where it doesn’t change the story.

What would you change in a movie you produced that you believe would make it better?

None- I have been blessed in the sense I have never looked back on a film or cast member and wished something was done differently.

What Film Projects Are You Working On Right Now?

We are currently shooting a project called “Monica”, starring Emily Browning and Patricia Clarkson. The film is about a transgender woman who comes home to take care of her sick mother, even though their relationship is estranged. We think the topic is timely and we are proud to be a part of this film.

Do you think it’s a good time to invest in films right now amidst this pandemic?

It’s never been a better time to invest in films, due to the fact when I first started in 1999, you either needed a theatrical release or a deal with Blockbuster. Now, there are so many platforms looking for new content. Therefore, it truly has never been a better time to have your work as a filmmaker distributed.

What Advice Would You Give To Those Hoping To Pursue A Career In Producing?

My advice would be to network, do your research, and try to find a mentor already in the business to help you learn the ins and outs. I’d also warn them that the journey is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. But if you stay motivated and remain tenacious, you will achieve all that you dream of!

5 Surefire Tactics For Reducing Overall Business Debt

Debt can be a drain on a business, especially if you are hoping to end the year in green, we will discuss some strategies to help you get closer to that goal.

Considering a renegotiation of loans whilst also pursuing other opportunities such as grants can be a great way to reduce or eliminate this debt.

Keep reading for three other life-saving methods to consider as well.

Renegotiating the Terms of your Current Loans

If you currently have loans that are proving difficult to pay back due to existing debt, it might be worth considering with your lender if you are able to renegotiate the terms of these loans and sort out a mutually beneficial agreement.

By expressing the hardship of the current loan on your finances, you may be able to secure an agreement to change the terms of the loan. This could be a reduction in interest rates for example, or simply changing how frequently the loans are paid, allowing you that extra time for other beneficial financial decisions to help keep your business up and running, allowing you to build towards the reduction of your debt.

Using Grant Opportunities

It is extremely likely that your business may be eligible for grants from entities such as the government or other entities with a goal in mind that you help to pursue. For example, your firm may specialise in an area that supports a key government objective, and if you believe this may be the case, it is worth getting in contact with them to explore any options available.

Further to this, in the current pandemic, you are likely to be able to access some potential grants to support you at this difficult time, and these are great at reducing your current debt.

Focusing on Eliminating the Debt as Opposed to Other Objectives

If you are in a stable position in regard to your company, and your finances appear to be the only difficulty, it might be worth diverting your attention away from other opportunities for growth to focus on eliminating your debt.

It may be worth making conservative decisions at this time, such as not hiring new employees such as marketing directors to promote your social media presence if it is relatively stable at this point in time. This allows you to focus on the task at hand, reducing extra unnecessary costs in the short term.

Focus on Increasing your Sales

However, as a business, you must run an analysis to see if the previous point is the best option, as it may be worth incurring that short term cost if it is likely to return positive results, such as increased sales, money from which can be used to pay off such debts. In which case, alternate strategies may be necessary to pursue.

Tapping into Your Networks

Finally, if you have crippling debt, consider using your network to help you. You may have family and friends who can help you pay off existing loans if they believe in the long-term success of your business.

Top 5 New Challenges Facing Entrepreneurship, and How to Rise Above Them

The world continually challenges us to be our best possible selves, but how can entrepreneurs best ensure that they are prepared for these challenges?

From company conduct to company communication and the impact imposed by COVID-19, we will discuss the best responses for entrepreneurs to take.

Keep reading for 2 more challenges that entrepreneurs must consider in their future plans as well.

Company Communication

The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionised the way that we work. We have begun to take to our desks at home to get the job done, and this has severely impacted the ability of your company to communicate with each other. As workers are no longer in a concentrated area in their offices, entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly worried as to how best to meet company targets.

A great way to boost communication methods is through the use of video streaming services such as Zoom. This allows the concentration of your team into one area once again, and assuming no technical difficulties, allows the re-establishment of clear communication.

Company Conduct

Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in a company’s position on social issues, and this is a crucial challenge to entrepreneurship. If you are unable to understand what your consumers want, it might be difficult for your company to appear reliable.

As an entrepreneur, by gauging an understanding of consumer wants in your approaches to things, you may be able to implement more environmentally friendly initiatives, for example, showing consumers that you are a company that cares about the wider issues and not just about business.

Company Competitiveness

As an entrepreneur, you will always be competing against the next best person, but COVID-19 has severely changed the way that we do business. It is not worth targeting your marketing strategies to things that people are only going to see if they enter your stores, as online purchasing has skyrocketed.

For this reason, it is crucial that you develop your social media presence and begin creating a presence on there that your consumers can interact with, allowing you to remain more competitive in a much more difficult world.

Company Health

Whilst doing business is the primary goal of any entrepreneur, considering that your workers, and yourself, need to take care at such a critical time is also crucial to productivity and overall happiness. This is because it can actually damage internal relations if people are dissatisfied, making this a top priority matter.

Taking frequent breaks is a great way to look after yourself, and understanding that some workers may be more affected than others shows your willingness as an entrepreneur to be considerate and caring of your workforce.

Company Finances

Finally, money may be tight at the moment due to the impositions of the pandemic, and it is important to realise that asking for help is necessary at this time.

If you have loans, speak to your bank about potential extensions, and tap into your network to see if they are willing to support you in any way possible.

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 Bestselling Author And Speaker, Midori Verity

Midori Verity helps driven professionals break through the mental challenges that have slowed them down, and unlock their potential. She’s a best-selling author, speaker, and show host.

She has a degree in Communications and Sociology from the University of California, Davis. Midori is also a Certified Behavioral Specialist. She’s proud to be an Advisor for the global organization, Women Network, and an active board member for Child Parent Institute in Santa Rosa, CA. Midori’s been featured on FoxNews, CBS, Martha Stewart Weddings, Thrive Global, and many other media.

StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Midori to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

My mom had a flower-arranging business. She was incredibly gifted, but she was more focused on giving her products away. I remember wanting her to become successful. However, she was happier doing beautiful flower arrangements and sharing them with the world.

This experience probably was the igniter to my entrepreneurial path. I so greatly wanted to see her receive the financial value of what she produced.

How did your life look before being an entrepreneur?

I started working at around 14 years old. I always had the drive to learn all I could at every job I had. One of my first jobs was at Heller’s Baby News. I made the manager train me on closing out the books at night. I also soaked in all he told me about merchandising, pricing, and Mr. Heller’s business success.

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

I love the adrenaline of creating something of value and raising it to success. It’s really my only hobby and what I’m good at (laughs)!

I’ve learned to align my core values, motivations, and Zone of Genius (natural gifts) with my businesses. That has been a huge game-changer in my success.

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

Exhilarating.

As an entrepreneur, my brain never shuts down. I’ve learned to think bigger and push myself past boundaries. The thrill of the journey is what makes my life exhilarating.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

I’ll talk about my Mindset Coaching business because it was the first business I made sure was in complete alignment with my Personal Mission Statement, which states “My journey through life is uplifting and fun while using my optimism and skills to inspire others to achieve their potential.”

Core values: I help people breakthrough mental challenges and rewire their mindsets to unlock their potential

Passion: There’s nothing I love more than watching people who feel stuck, overwhelmed, or even depressed step into a more empowered and happier version of themselves.

Zone of Genius (natural talents): Inspiring others and showing them how to transform their minds and therefore transform their lives is a second sense for me.

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

Test, test, test! Make sure your concept is something that’s needed before launching. You can test it by simply going to where you think your clients hang out and ask them.

Make sure you factor in confirmation bias, which means that we often twist things around to confirm what we want to believe.

The second most important element is to get professional help in creating the foundation of your business. You can waste a ton of time, money, and sleep if you don’t have a solid business plan.

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

Finding clients. I had to do a lot of trial and error before I found what worked. Once again, learning my Zone of Genius was of incredible value because it taught me to focus on what I’m good at and avoid what I stink at!

Closing sales. I had sales scripts and went to expensive classes. All it did was stress me out. Once I threw the scripts out and started listening only with my heart did everything change.

Shiny objects. I’ve disciplined myself to stay uber-focused on my 90-day goals. I even use a system that Google, Intuit, and Bill Gates Foundation uses called OKR’s – objectives and key results, which has been a massive game changer!

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

Word of mouth and live interviews. People get to see my authentic personality when I’m speaking on camera or a podcast. Then they know if they want to work with me, or they can’t stand me.

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

Have a clear mission and vision statement that your entire organization knows and lives by. I train my leaders to consistently question if new ideas are in alignment with our vision and mission.

Big Fat Hair Goals. This creates excitement for my team. We implement the OKR system to make this all work.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Delegate all that you are not gifted at or slows you down. Spend 80% of your time working on the most important elements of your business that you love doing.

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

This goes back to my earlier answer of test your concept and get a mentor.

What Is Personal Branding And 5 Good Reasons Why It’s More Important Than Ever

Living in a digital world, it is incredibly important to focus on your personal branding. Your brand is something that will get people to talk about you. It’s what inspires people to turn to you for the particular expertise that you offer. Your personal branding is how others view you, making a significant difference in the likelihood of job prospects or selling your products or services. This article will look at the top 5 reasons why personal branding is so crucial to your success.

  1. Building an Audience

In a digital world, your audience will actually determine your value to other potential customers. For instance, imagine a popular YouTuber. A good YouTuber, one that has a solid fanbase, has a massive audience. This audience attracts new people to their audience. The same applies in the business world. People will see your value thanks to your personal branding, which means that they will be more likely to hire you or trust you to provide the quality products or services that they are looking for. Once you build an audience, you can leverage them to be more successful.

  1. Have a Competitive Edge

There is a lot of competition in the digital age, so having a strong personal brand can give you the competitive edge that you need to stand out. They want to trust someone who is an authority in their specific field. You get the credibility that you need that will make customers more likely to trust you to offer the solutions they are looking for. Strong personal branding makes you more valuable than your competition, who may not have as strong of a personal brand.

  1. Create Relationships

Connecting with other people is so important these days. You need to network and market yourself to be more attractive to prospects. Through personal branding, you can connect with other people. As you connect with people and form relationships, you can spend time nurturing these relationships. Through developing relationships and focusing on them, you create creating loyalty to your brand and increase the chances of people returning to you for your products and services.

  1. Better Networking Abilities

These days, networking is so important no matter what your industry is. If you have strong personal branding, you will be more likely to get invited to events that allow you to connect and network with others. These events can often be so important to being successful and climbing the career ladder.

  1. Better Opportunities

Probably most importantly, personal branding can unlock amazing opportunities for you. After you have created an audience, built up your authority in the industry, and formed relationships, you can start unlocking better opportunities. You can capitalize on your personal branding to get a better job, achieve your goals of being an influencer, or start getting more sales.

Personal branding is essential to helping you become more successful and advance your career. This is why it’s so important to focus on building a strong personal brand.

Introducing The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The March 2021 Issue Of MoneyCentral Magazine: Justin Wang

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Justin Wang is the CEO of PIA (Property Investors Alliance). He is the embodiment of the self-made businessperson. From unassuming beginnings to life as a property magnate – he now personifies the paradigm for financial freedom. MoneyCentral Magazine recently caught up with Justin to discuss multiculturalism in the industry and here’s what went down:

Please Share With Us What Multiculturalism Means to You.

I came to Australia back in 1993 as a young, Chinese, Mandarin teacher. Luckily, the Australian Government heavily promotes multiculturalism in Australia and even encourages students to learn other languages. That’s why I was able to come to Australia, if the government of Australia wasn’t firm advocates of multiculturalism then there’s no chance I’d be able to go to this beautiful country. Because of my background of being Chinese, most of my staff, in the beginning, were also Chinese. But eventually, as the years went by, we expanded and opened our doors to various communities and people from different backgrounds. So now, PIA is made up of people from various backgrounds because embracing multiculturalism is important to me and my company.

Is there a way to help potential clients better understand why buying properties is a must in life?

Based on my personal experience, buying Sydney residential property is definitely the key to financial freedom. That said, making people understand the importance of our concept is a case-by-case basis because every single person has a different background and way of thinking. For example, with Chinese people, we usually follow a long-term wealth creation plan. So if you want to convince a Chinese person about getting into a long-term investment to accumulate wealth for their retirement – the key is to make them understand that buying a property is the best way to help secure the future of the next generation. That said, if you try to convince a young athlete to buy a property, for example, they won’t care too much about looking out for the next generation – they would care more about establishing their own retirement. So you really need to be flexible when it comes to convincing potential clients hailing from different backgrounds.

In your opinion, what is the most challenging aspect of working in a Multicultural Environment?

The real challenge is dealing with people of various backgrounds. Each person has their own set of cultures and traditions so the biggest challenge is making sure our message gets across despite everyone’s different nationalities. We always try our best, even though it can be quite challenging.

What Is Your Approach to Understanding the Perspectives of Clients From Different Backgrounds?

Getting your message across to people of various backgrounds may be very challenging, but I believe that the main recipe for getting your message across is “love.” It doesn’t matter what your background or nationality is, if you put yourself out there and love other people then other people will be able to genuinely feel it. Hence, I believe love is everything.

What are you doing to make sure people from different backgrounds are welcome in PIA?

Most of my staff in PIA are Chinese so I always brief them to be very sensitive when it comes to dealing with other people especially if they come from a different background to avoid any misunderstanding. I always tell them to smile and be friendly so that everyone feels welcomed in the PIA office. So far we’ve done very well because 50% of staff now are from other backgrounds while initially, it was 100% Chinese.

What are your thoughts on how the world will be different after COVID-19, and how are you moving to address that new world?

We all know that Covid-19 caused a massive disaster in the economy. But I’ve always believed that crisis actually creates opportunity. I believe this Covid-19 pandemic has woken a lot of people. When I say it has woken up other people, here’s an example: Back then when you ask someone to buy and accumulate assets to secure their financial security – they would’ve probably said no because they had a job or business so they had income coming through. Now when you talk about it in this day and age due to the effects of the pandemic, it has become important to accumulate assets as soon as possible since job or business security is not guaranteed. For example, as a real estate agent, you have to set up an office, pay for setting up the business, etc.. nowadays you can just work as a freelancer, using your car and laptop – since PIA is now online, anyone can run their business using just a laptop.

What is the greatest challenge that lies ahead for 2021?

2020 has definitely been tough for all businesses and various sectors. I believe the greatest challenge is figuring out how a business can survive or even grow in these tough times.

What opportunities do you see for 2021?

More and more people are more interested to buy in Sydney residential property despite the current situation. The traditional real estate business model is under threat so, this is a good opportunity for PIA to take over because we have a very cost-efficient model. From PIA’s current model, we are starting to create a new platform – Property Agency Alliance, to attract and empower stuggling agents to continually run their business.