How Entrepreneurs Can Stay Ahead Of A Slow Growing Economy

It has been said that our United States economy is growing less than 2%. And along with the “tariff wars” and talk of inflation happening, things seem a little scary. However, there are a few ways you can stay ahead from the harsh economy waves.

Save More, Spend Less

It’s pretty simple to stash away a few dollars, but in the midst of vacation season it’s not easy. Find a budget that works for you and create way to tighten your budget to put save more money. Buy what you need, don’t be tempted to buy what you want or what looks nice- I promise you there will always be something “nice” waiting for you.

Tip: The next time you go shopping, don’t mind the expensive fashion labels or popular food brands. Buy what you need. These billionaires don’t seem to be bothered by popular fashion brands.

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No better guy to eat with at @dairyqueen

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Side Job

In my opinion, a side job is needed to stay ahead (financially) nowadays. But if you’re looking to make an extra $100 a month, find a side job that interests you. Find a hobby that you can make money from. Many entrepreneurs work a side job from their business. They will use the extra money to fund their expenses.

Example: If you enjoy watching YouTube, consider starting your own channel and monetize your page. Perhaps you enjoy crafts? Create what you like to make and sell them on Etsy.

Taxes

If you have a side business, be responsible and take advantage of the tax breaks. It may be tedious bookkeeping, but the daily habits will keep you accountable and you can take advantage of the tax breaks you deserve (please see your CPA or tax consultant for extended information and business tax benefits).

Be Bold and Be You

In this day, only the bold entrepreneurs will make it in their business. You can’t be scared or fearful of stepping outside of your comfort zone. The best way to stay ahead of all the turmoil is to mind your own business. Concentrate on you and what you can do today for your business or future.

It’s never too late to be what you might have been.

George Eliot

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6 Mistakes Your Making When You Go Out in Public

Being polite won’t cost you anything, yet when it comes to strangers we may lower the priority beacuse we are “busy” minding our own business. Let me queue you in on a few common courtesies we all may forget from time-to-time when we are out in public.

Sunglasses

If you run into a friend in public or speak to someone at the cash register, it’s polite to take off your sunglasses while speaking to them. People will pay close attention to what you say when they have a clear look at you.

Dress Attire

Yes, if you want to be respected you have to dress like it. Even if you’re picking up a few items at the 95 cent store, people will treat you differently when you aren’t wearing holes in your clothes and bonnets on your head.

The Door

Hold the door open for the person behind you, it’s always polite to hold the door open for the next person. Pass the love along and wait patiently as they pass through.

Elevators, Escalators, and Hallways

Have you ever had an awkward moment trying to walk around somenone but ended up being in a dancing situation? They are funny, but it’s actually proper to walk on the right side of the aisle or hallway (same as driving). Also, to avoid running into someone at the elevator, give space when the door opens. And if you are inside and someone comes in, go ahead and ask what floor they need and ask how their day is going. It’s a great way to avoid the awkward elevator silence (it always creeps me out).

Body Odors

Please don’t share them, for you may smell worse than you think. If you’re coming from the gym and need to pick up some healthy snacks from the store, go ahead and spray some perfume on or shop ahead of time. You may look good, but the smell may be terrible and if you happen to meet someone attractive or have a conversation with someone, don’t be surprised if they are anxious to cut the conversation short. Just play safe and head home or take a shower at the gym.

Cursing

Save the curse words for your private space.

Unfortunately, I am guilty of all of these. But because we all want to be treated with respect, we should respect others. Yet, if someons slam the door in your face or push past you, don’t get mad and let it ruin your day. That person may be going through chronic depression or may have had just received news that a loved one died and trying to figure out if their life is worth living (you never know what people go through). Give without expecting something in return, you may have just made someones day through common courtesy.

What are $Cashtags?

Similar to the “#Hashtag”, a $Cashtag is a simple feature you can use to search stocks or business information on social media.
*Square has started a new feature with paying through a $Cashtag, but we will not be discussing this today.

The $Cashtag was started by StockTwits.com (2013) to tag useful investment research on businesses in the stock market. Though the $Cashtag was later adopted by Twitter, you can search for a business by placing a dollar sign before a stock symbol.

For example, instead of searching “General Electric” or “#GeneralElectric, you can instead search $GE. StockTwits and Twitter and currently the only two websites that actively use this feature.

(Screenshot of a $Cashtag on Twitter) In Chronological Order

(Screenshot of $AAPL cashtag on StockTwits)

Trending $Cashtags are $AAPL (Apple Inc.), $TSLA (Tesla), $GE (General Electric), and $NFLX (Netflix). #Hashtags are very popular and you can still use them to search for new product information such as “#iPhone” or any #(search term). Yet the $Cashtag is often forgotten amongst investors, don’t forget to take advantage of this powerful investment tool.

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.

Information Obtained: StockTwits.com, book “Social Media Strategies for Investing” by Brian D.Edgar.

5 Luxury Cars You May Not Want

Luxury cars are beautiful and a high-end vehicle can say a lot about the driver. Yet, many car buyers tend to forget about the depreciation and long-term value of the car. By all means, spend the cash to get the car you deserve, but look twice before you purchase these models because they are the top five depreciating cars on the market.

  • BMW 5 Series– By 52.6%. A BMW has been known as the most depreciating car on the market. From your normal maintenance payments over $1,000 to its long list of poor technical and safety features, you better off buying a TSLA (Tesla,$357.00) who is also on the hot seat as we speak (no pun intended).
  • Volkswagen PassatBy 50.7%. Surprisingly, Volkswagen’s most loved car drops quickly in depreciation. Though there are many mechanic complaints, that doesn’t stop the consistent sales and demand for this model.
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class– By 49.9%. If you bought this car, you either bought it for the lifestyle brand or because you can actually afford it (along with the low gas mileage).
  • BMW 3 Series- By 49.8%. BMW back on the list for an as 4th place in the most depreciated car. This smaller model has the same complaints as the 5 series, along with the poor gas mileage and high maintenance.

These evaluations were issued by iSeeCars to analyze models with the greatest loss in value after three years. This study has opened the eyes to investors who invest in the automotive industry as well as future first-time car buyers. So the next time you’re looking into a new car purchase, keep in mind of the quality and functionality and how it will fit into your lifestyle.

Please see About Me & Disclaimer for additional information about Black Tea.

Information Obtained: iSeeCars.com, KellyBlueBook.com

How Entrepreneurs Handle Challenges & Rejection

Every entrepreneur deals with adversity in his or her journey to success. You have your own ideas and not everyone will agree with you. Whether you’re starting a networking business or opening a retail store, there is a better way to handle tough challenges and rejection.

Change Your Thinking

Challenges

As entrepreneurs, we have to be flexible in every difficult situation. You can’t be dragged down when something doesn’t happen the way you envisioned. Challenges aren’t always a bad thing, challenged are good for you! They help you figure out problems and teach you how to get around difficult situations.
NEXT TIME: The next time a difficult situation arises, change your thinking from “I can’t…” to “How can I…“. When you think of how can you handle a situation, your mind immediately goes to work for you and think of ways you can handle the situation.

Remember Why You Started

Rejection

You will receive it all of your life, get used to it. All entrepreneurs go through rejection because not everyone thinks the same, and that how it should be! You don’t want everyone to have your ideas, you just have to present them in a way people will like it. KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders was 40 years old when he started his business and was rejected 1,009 times before he found someone to buy his fried chicken recipe. But he pursued his dream because he was in love with his craft, and that’s all it takes.
NEXT TIME: The next time you come against rejection, remember why you started. Rejection isn’t a bad thing. Find out why you got rejected and if there was no reason, simply try again with a different approach.

Succesful entrepreneurs are at the top because they built tough skin to stand against rejection and difficult situations. Entrepreneurs are not average people, they are tough, smart, and have excellent communication skills. If you’re an entrepreneur, associate with like-minded individuals and find a mentor. Always be positive, teachable and look forward to the next opportunity.

Are “Paid Online Surveys” Stealing From You?

You can make over $200 a month from paid online surveys for as little as 5 minutes (per survey). These businesses are paying you for your opinion (in style of a poll or questionare) and they send your information to third parties.

In the otherhand, most of these websites require you to hand out your personal information in order to pay you or give you “points” to build up before you get paid. Some of the online surveys will also pay you at a higher price if you share your address and phone number. But where is all of this information going? It is worth the extra $5 or $10 to share your phone number with an unknown third party? I’d your not careful, this is an open dorr to identity theft.

Your information may have been compromised if you notice

  • A high traffic of anynomus sales phone calls
  • Increased traffic of spam mail or email with your username or full name
  • Multiple accounts made without your permission

But this is not going unnoticed. Better Business Beauru, Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas said in an imterview, Paid online surveys are frequently not what they seem. By abusing the brand names and logos of well-known companies and products to make them look legitimate, these scam artists are able to obtain personal and financial information from participants.”

Understand that there are a select few websites that will respect your personal information. But before you sign up for an online survey account, make sure the website is secure and read all of the fine print. Also, check to see if every website is secure- not only with a lock logo, but the lock icon on the website address. Do your research and don’t make it easy for your personal information to be compromised.

What I Didn’t Know About Being An Entrepreneur

Being your own boss can be very difficult. It requires long nights and getting up early in the morning to get a head start on the day. Here are a few things I wish I would have known before starting a business.

Money

It takes a lot of capital to start and maintain a business. Most new businesses fail within 3-5 years and then they may fail within the next 10 years. Business loans are great, but if you do not manage your finances correctly (including taxes) you’re absolutely doomed to failure- no one wants to end a business with a pile of debt.

Time

A lot of the time entrepreneurs give up too early on their business. A business may take over 5 years in order to see profitable results. Keep in mind that perseverance is everything.

Rejection

There will be many times when you will be rejected from other businesses or receive negative customer reviews. What do you do? Fix the situation immediately and move on. Not everyone will be happy with you or be pleased with what you’re doing. But if you maintain a positive and friendly attitude, you will build the right connections for a successful business.

Start Over

Perhaps you’re in the position when you need to start over? Understand this…it’s okay! Ending a business is very painful, but if it didn’t work out simply start over and try again.

Being an entrepreneur is very challenging. Depending on the field of work, it can be exausting and mentally draining. However, if you do what you love it’s always easy to get back up if you knocked down. If you feel exhausted and having doubts, keep going! Those who make it to the top never give up. Stay encouraged, associate with like-minded entrepreneurs, and win the race.

4 Steps to Make 2018 the Best Year of Your Life

Do you see yourself going through the same routine every year? Are you tired of going through the motions and want a positive, yet permanent change this year? Below are four simple steps I’ve discovered how you can make this year the best year of your life.

Treat Yourself

Everything in our world is fast paced. We heat up breakfeast with quick heating microwaves, drive to work in fast cars and drive to pick up fast food for lunch. By the time you get home and settle down for the night, it’s already 11:00 p.m. and you’re already tired from the long day. It’s difficult to squeeze in time for yourself, but if you demand one hour out of your day to take a longer shower, get up and hour early to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or cook a special meal for yourself, you will then value the extra time you cut out of the day that was specifically made for you.

Books

There was a time when I used to loathe reading, but look at me now, writing blogs and reading at least three to five books a year! That’s quite a change from five years ago, sitting in community college bored out of my mind. Now I know that it wasn’t reading I hated, but the type of books I was reading. I used to read fiction, but I learned that I really enjoy reading self-improvement books and books about personal finance and investing. I love the fact that I can learn so much from reading one book and improve my financial gain and not pay but $10 dollars for it. What kind of books do you like to read? Knowledge is power and reading helped me become more confident in myself when handling business and learning how to hold presentations. Pick up a book at the store and read 3 pages a day before bed or in the morning. A positive read can begin or end a great day.

I’m Busy

Have you ever asked someone how they have been and all the response you recieved was, ” Oh i’m fine, just busy” Or ” I’m always busy”. I hear these responses so much, I think the words “I’m busy” is just an automated response we use to make up for common conversation. May I advise you to take a different turn this year and evaluate your busy. What exactly are you busy with? Determine this year to be productive instead of busy. Don’t let life carry you out to sea with anxiety and angst, but be the captain of your own ship and sail to where you want to go.

Closer Friendships

Austin and I are always meeting new people and building new relationships. The main thing that I’ve learned is that people love talking about themselves. When you take an honest interest in the person you are speaking to, they immediatley take interest in you-though at things these can become an endless conversation about themselves. This year, take the conversation with your good friends (or associates) a step closer and talk more about their interests and the things they like to do instead of grumbling about what your co-worker did to you today or who cut in front of you in traffic. No one wants to be around Negative Nelly. A positive approach is always the best approach.

Conclusion

Overall, if you can take the time to value you, appreciate others and start off the day positive, every year can be a great year because you decided that you will start to have great days. But making 2018 to be the best year starts with you. How will you end this year? There is still time to make a change. Be the best you this year and make it the best year of your life!

Stock Investing 101: Long Haul

If I have one word for my stock investing journey thus far it is patience. Investing in the stock market is not for the faint of heart, but if you commit to studying the market, you can win. But before you jump in with the sharks, there are a few more things you need to have before you need to know.

The Right Brokerage for You

Most brokerages require you to open with $5,000 for a standard account, while there are others that don’t require money to open. Starting out, may I recommend you starting with a stock app such as Stash or Acorns to get your feet wet. When I started investing, I had as little a $5-$20 dollars a week. These app brokerages make it simple and explain step-by-step how the market works. Once you have more money and experience, check out the zero fee and commission free brokerages- these brokerages I have found to be wonderful companies that are great for the novice investor as well as the seasoned investor. I currently us Robinhood and Ally (TradeKing), but I certainly wouldn’t advise the novice investor to start here. Though there are other larger brokerages such as Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and Chares Schwab, there are other companies (just as good) that require a fee and high commissions. If you choose to use a larger brokerage, they may have more varieties of stocks and funds, but if you could buy shares of AAPL (Apple) or AMZN (Amazon), why not get it with zero fees?

The Long Haul

Long-term investing is the best investing. Buy as low as possible, and when you sell, sell when everyone is buying and when the stock is reaching high records. For taxes, longevity, and maturity, hold your stocks for at least a year before you sell. From my personal experience (and still learning) you cannot be easily swayed by your emotions. You have to be strong in bull and bear markets.

Closing Disclosure

Again, I am by no means a professional or paid to write this from a stock brokerage, nor responsible for your gains or losses. I am simply passionate about stock investing, looking to share more information to women of all ages about the stock market. Have I made hundreds of dollars, yes. Have I lost hundreds of dollars…unfortunately, yes. But Financial education means everything in this game. Study hard, stay calm, and secure your future.

Get over whatever is holding you back. -Sallie Krawcheck

Price is what you pay, value is what you get. -Warren Buffet