Why Bother?

I often wonder why people do certain things

For example, why bother telling someone you are going to quit smoking and then don’t even try?  Why bother buying a gym membership if you don’t go? Why bother going to the grocery store and buying healthy food but not eat it?  Why bother going to college and then quit? I saw this one a few times in law school. Why bother graduating law school and not take the bar exam?

The answer can come in a couple parts.  The number one reason why people don’t follow through with their good intentions is fear.  They are fearful of failure, they are fearful of what others may think of them, they are down right scared of the unknown.  They are also fearful of success. What happens when I do quit smoking? What now? That means I can never smoke again. People will be watching.  What happens when I get that promotion that I put in for? Then people will expect more out of me. I will be making more money. People will look to me for answers. That scares me.  

Here is a BIG one I see: I really want to start or grow my business but I’m afraid because I don’t know how. What if it fails?

In my business people buy products and services from me that will have a positive impact on their lives.  But, what I have found is that so many people buy my books or my products and they do nothing with them. It baffles me.  It used to offend me. It also scares me and saddens me, because I’m just like my customers.

What is the number two reason why people don’t take that next step?  It’s a term that I coined in my book Ask More Get More.

That is Excusetosis, it is the disease that many of us are infected with.  It destroys our aspirations, it holds us back and it also comforts us as to why we don’t take action. Excusetosis is a disease that allows us to make excuses for anything and everything we can.  I didn’t quit smoking because its hard, I didn’t go on a diet because its hard, I dropped out of college because it was time consuming, I didn’t take the bar exam because I was too busy with work.  I didn’t start my business because I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t read that book because I just hadn’t got around to it. Excuses are dream killers, plain and simple. Excusetosis robs so many of us the life that we so want and desire.  

Well, here is the GREAT news. Excusetosis is curable at any age, anywhere in the world at any time.  It can be cured with something that we all have. Each and every person reading this has it.  It is the most powerful tool on the planet. It will get you through tough times, it will help you push harder and farther than you ever had before.  That thing is YOU and your willingness and desire to want more. It’s that simple. Here are some tips on how to cure Excusetosis and move forward.

  1. Like Nike said: Just do it.  But do it NOW
  2. Understand that you will want to make excuses. DON’T
  3. Be self-aware of your own actions
  4. Recognize that you WILL make excuses but that is not another excuse to give up
  5. Do not procrastinate in what it is you originally set out to do.  As I said in number 1, DO IT NOW!


11 Top Entrepreneurs Share How They’re Hedging for Shit Hitting the Fan

Here’s how to prepare for the next economic collapse.

The Oracles

The next economic collapse isn’t a question of “if,” but “when.” Smart entrepreneurs are perpetually reinforcing their war chest and reducing their exposure to any economic downturn with recession-resistant streams of income and uncorrelated investments.

Here’s how 11 members of The Oracles are hedging themselves and their families against the next downturn.

1. The future is crypto.

I aim to keep enough cash on-hand to make capital calls, monthly payments, and a little extra for emergencies and weddings for three years. The rest goes to entrepreneurs who I think will transform industries.

But this year, I’m putting a bunch of money into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Tezos, Bancor, and Credo. Cryptocurrencies are a durable asset in tough times and a strong new asset class. They’re safer, simpler, and have less friction than fiat currencies.

Tim Draper, VC, founder of Draper Associates and DFJ

2. Multifamily real estate and knowing how to sell.

My primary recession-proof income stream is multifamily, income-producing real estate investments. There are many indications that multifamily apartment investments will continue to be great. There are 75 million baby boomers headed into retirement. Many of today’s apartment complexes may be converted to retirement communities in the future. Many millennials aren’t buying homes. It’s getting more expensive to build new apartment complexes. No matter what the economy does, everybody will always need a place to live.

I’ve always said that you can make money anywhere at any time if you just learn to sell. Sales is a recession-proof profession if you know how to sell. People buy, even in recessions, when the value exceeds price. My business is dependent upon sales, and while recessions can affect it, I make no excuses for sales dropping during a recession.

So, get yourself some multifamily real estate and learn how to sell.

Grant Cardone, sales expert who has built a $500-million real estate empire, and NYT-bestselling author of “Be Obsessed or Be Average”; follow Grant on Facebook or YouTube

3. Buy commercial real estate with high-credit tenants and assets like rare cars.

One, buy long-term leased, credit tenant real estate investments such as anchor grocery shopping centers and high credit single tenants like O’Reilly Auto Parts. Think about it: in a recession, people will repair their used car rather than buy a new one. And people have to eat, so any credit grocery anchor tenants will survive.

Two, raise cash and buy collectables such as rare automobiles. These tend to fair much better during recessions. I’ve invested in super rare automobiles that I know will fetch a premium on the market. No one knows when a recession will hit so keeping everything in cash is not ideal because cash doesn’t appreciate. I’ve made a significant equity appreciation in my automobile collection.

Three, refinance all of your short-term loans into longer fixed-rate loans. In recessions, lenders tighten up their lending guidelines. It’s always best to refinance now and even cash out so you can to save for a rainy day—because it will rain!

Manny Khoshbin, president of The Khoshbin Company and author of Contrarian PlayBook; arrived in America at 14 nearly homeless and now has a nine-figure net worth

4. Invest in basic needs.

In the last 115 years, there have been depressions, world wars, Black Monday, the dot-com crash, the subprime mortgage crisis, and other financial crises worldwide. When you understand how cycles work and the resilience of the global economy, hedging your bets becomes a lot more understandable. However bad the economy is, people still need food, water, and shelter. So, my family and I have invested into large swathes of agricultural land and real estate.

Com Mirza, “The $500 Million Man” and CEO of Mirza Holdings; failed in eight companies back to back and today, runs a nine-figure empire with over 600 employees

5. Invest in yourself.

People who want to win in all areas of their lives work on themselves. They invest in themselves because knowledge is power and power reduces your exposure ahead of any economic downturn. I invest in myself continuously, expanding my education and knowledge base. I’ve programmed myself with an unshakable mindset that I use to decode and recode my clients’ minds and bodies. I’ve also invested, developed, and applied my own proven programs and products over the last 20 years.

Change is constant, and you have to stay ahead of it. You have to take educated and calculated risks, then employ strategies that will provide the quantum leaps you want to achieve.

Marina Rose, QDNA®, founder and developer of Quantum DNA Acceleration®, a revolutionary technique for quantum growth in health, life, and business

6. Invest in safe-haven assets.

There is no perfect hedge against economic collapse, and no industry is immune to possible economic volatility. A basket of cash-positive positions is the best way to survive economic meltdown. I would start with a strong position in gold and silver.

Secondly, I would place cash in treasury notes and safe bonds like utilities. For the remainder of my portfolio, I would keep cash in euros, Swiss francs, and dollars. Nothing is perfect, but a balanced portfolio in safe haven allocations will help ride out the economic storm and keep your family warm and dry during the deluge yet to come.

—Moshe Malamud, serial entrepreneur, former owner of The Franklin Mint, and founder of the private jet service M2Jets; follow M2Jets on Instagram

7. Grow your business’s savings account and then buy real estate assets whenever it gets big enough.

Businesses don’t go bankrupt because they aren’t profitable; they go bankrupt when they run out of cash. I set aside cash for our company to help prepare for unforeseen circumstances. In personal finance, most financial advisors will recommend having at least three months of emergency funds. But many small businesses that I’ve worked with don’t have the systematic discipline to set aside three months of operating expenses in cash. At our company, we have three separate savings accounts that I set aside a portion of money to go into every week automatically.

After a certain amount of profits are made in our company, I diversify it with real estate. However, not all real estate deals are created equal. You must be able to carefully discern whether your real estate property is a liability or an asset. I’m interested in diversifying business profits into assets. For example, our company is finalizing the purchase of a commercial building. The building is twice the amount of space we currently occupy. At the end of the year, with this purchase, I’ll end up paying about the same monthly amount toward owning an asset, as opposed to just paying rent. Furthermore, we’ll have additional space to potentially rent out to increase cash flow if we decide to.

Tom Shieh, CEO of Crimcheck

8. Stockpile cash for your fire-sale shopping spree.

I always encourage entrepreneurs to build a black swan fund. If there was a sudden market pullback, wouldn’t it be amazing if you had allocated cash sitting ready to buy assets at fire-sale prices?

I even go as granular as writing my fire-sale wish list. For example: “If Apple ever drops below $25 a share again, I’m going to buy and hold,” or, “If that Jackson Hole ranch I’ve always wanted drops to $2.5 million, I am going to buy it.” This gives me the market courage based on strategic decisions that I’ve already made, instead of being driven by fear or greed of the current market cycle.

Sharran Srivatsaa, angel investor and president of brokerage (western region) at Douglas Elliman; grew Teles Properties 10X in five years

9. Get very specific about real estate.

If you’re an entrepreneur in the real estate game, you better think long and hard about which segment of real estate you want to own. What will easily survive the next downturn or rate hike? We are currently trimming our portfolio of everything except one-off residential properties such as single-family homes, townhouses, condos, or two flats. Anything else can put you out of business.

Community shopping centers with salons, dentists, or ground lease restaurants will survive. Otherwise, everything is being delivered to your doorstep. Industrial, office, big box retail, and even multifamily are risky investments at this stage in the cycle. They are purely rate- and yield-driven. Rarely is there much intrinsic value in these asset classes.

Buy a house, condo, or townhouse and rent it out. Everyone always needs somewhere to live.

Ken Lebovic, president of North Shore Holdings; built a real estate empire acquiring thousands of properties in 20 years with no equity partners

10. Adapt your products and services and build more revenue streams.

When times get tough, look closer at your existing business for additional ways to make money from what you’ve built. Too many entrepreneurs leave millions on the table by not thinking about what else they can offer.

A few years ago, when revenue was dipping, a mentor asked me what I was doing to maximize it. I was only focused on our front-end sales but realized we could create an outbound department to reach people who didn’t buy and to reach existing customers who hadn’t purchased in a while. We created a monthly newsletter with great information about health and wellness. We started “The Alden Report” podcast. We offered services to marketers. All the foundations were there; I just wasn’t looking hard enough.

Also offer products and services that complement your primary offering. We spoke with our customers and realized that some of our other products complemented our primary one.

Michael Aldenbestselling author and CEO of CloiXonné

11. Invest in the essentials, your customers, and other countries.

Investing can be broken down into two general categories: luxuries and necessities. During difficult economic times, consumers are forced to give up their luxuries to cover their necessities. For instance, humans will always need to take their medications to sustain self-preservation. Investing in essential products yields positive results, even during harsh economic times.

Investing in your customers is another fantastic way to overcome an economic decline. My mentality is when my customers succeed, I succeed.

Invest internationally to diversify your portfolio. It promotes stability and reduces overall loss. Despite the global economy being interconnected, every economy is unique and relatively independent. A poor-performing sector of the U.S. economy doesn’t necessarily carry over into Europe. Having an international portfolio within a specific industry will likely keep you afloat if one country’s market takes a dip.

Jonathan Gilinski, serial entrepreneur, executive director of CapsCanada, and founder of Capsuline; connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn

EDITOR’S NOTE: Investing of any type involves risk and therefore there is potential for losing money. Before investing, seek advice from a professional financial advisor.

The Oracles, Content Provider

A brain trust of high-level entrepreneurs

Want to share your insights like those above in a future column? If you’re an experienced entrepreneur, please get in touch here.

Want to suggest a future topic for these entrepreneurs to answer? Email suggestion@theoracles.com, and it’s very possible we’ll make your suggestion the focus of a future article!

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10 Big Lessons from Must-See Movies for Entrepreneurs

Screen stories that inspired success

The Oracles

From setup and rising conflict to the crisis and ultimate resolution, movies mirror our personal journeys in life and business. These top entrepreneurs and members of The Oracles share the movie moments that inspired them to fulfill their greatest aspirations.

1. Be the hero.

I’ve seen “Armageddon” probably 12 times. Each time I cried. When Bruce Willis decides to sacrifice himself and detonate a thermonuclear bomb inside an asteroid, I say to myself: “I want to be a hero.”

Action always trumps talk. If you want to be a hero, you’ll have to do the hard things. You don’t have to die to be a hero; it may just be doing whatever it takes to increase your income and give your family a better life. Heroes do things that others won’t!

Grant Cardone, top sales expert who has built a $500-million real estate empire, and NYT-bestselling author of “Be Obsessed or Be Average”; follow Grant on Facebook or YouTube

2. Wake up.

“The Matrix” inspired my great interest in the study of consciousness, mental development, and how emergent technology will impact what it means to be human in the future.

In a classic scene, Morpheus’ red pill would wake Neo up with knowledge of the “real reality,” free of illusions. The blue pill would keep Neo ignorant but blissful in his old belief system and mundane life experience. Neo takes the red pill. Once awakened, he can’t conceive of going back to ignorant sleep.

Since becoming a student of meditation in 1985, I’ve had experiences similar to this “awakening” metaphor. It’s now evident to me that we can live in more than one reality: an outer reality perceived by the senses and an inner reality perceived by intuition and spiritual insight. The inner reality can profoundly shape the outerbut only if we “take the red pill” of mental training and spiritual development.

Mark Divine, retired U.S. Navy SEAL commander, founder of SEALFIT and NYT/WSJ bestselling author; follow SEALFIT on YouTubeFacebook, or Instagram

3. Have a mentor.

Without a doubt, the movie that most changed my life was “The Karate Kid.” We can all relate to the young kid, Daniel, who has big hopes and dreams, spirit and energy but has no roadmap. Then he bumps into Mr. Miyagi, who becomes an unlikely mentor. His mentor pushes him inunconventional ways that test him.

While Daniel at first doesn’t see the value of menial chores like waxing cars and painting fences, they translate when Daniel has to defend himself. Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel the power of simplicity with his basic advice, “Trust the quality of what you know, not that quantity.”

I think all of us need to a Mr. Miyagi in our lives. After all, life lessons can come to you from unexpected sources, like the maintenance man.

Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to many multimillion-dollar businesses, who has built an eight-figure online empire; connect with Tai on SnapchatFacebookInstagram, or YouTube

4. Always be closing.

Whether you’re working the register at Kohl’s, selling cars, or a stay-at-home parent, everyone should remember that timeless phrase from “Glenngary Glenn Ross”: “Always be closing.”

I was recently at Kohl’s buying my daughter a pair of shoes for her Halloween costume. At the checkout line, the introverted, somewhat socially awkward kid noticed my “Game of Thrones” t-shirt. He commented on it and built instant rapport with me.

Processing my items, he asked if I wanted to open a credit account. I declined. He then explained all the benefits, and I declined again. He continued to bag my items before asking if I’d take a survey. I finally agreed. He then asked for my phone number and pulled up the survey site. “Right now?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied. As a salesperson, I loved the whole experience and kept agreeing to his requests.

Kudos to the Kohl’s training staff and clerk who served me. They extracted key data from me; the clerk benefited by meeting a quota and ultimately closed me on something.

Michael Aldenbestselling author and CEO of CloiXonné

5. Spend time with your family.

I’ve loved movies all my life, and many have shaped my mindset and decision-making processes. However, “The Godfather” series really added value to my life, particularly Don Corleone’s line: “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.” Despite running my companies and trying to save the world, that line taught me to spend more time with my family.

Another great movie is “Guru,” India’s richest rags to riches story of the tycoon, Dhirubhai Ambani. He went from dropout to the richest man in a country of 1.2 billion people. It showed me that if you believe in your dreams, you can achieve them regardless of circumstance.

— Com Mirza, “The $500 Million Man” and CEO of Mirza Holdings; failed in eight companies back to back and today, runs a nine-figure empire with over 600 employees

6. Find your huckleberry.

One of my favorite movies is the 1993 cult classic, “Tombstone.” My favorite quote from the movie is when Doc Holliday (played by Val Kilmer) slurs to his enemy Johnny Ringo, “I’m your huckleberry.”This saying was common in the South at the time. It meant: “Name the place and I’ll go with you,” “Name the job and I can do it,” or, “I’m your man.”

The takeaway is that Doc Holliday was part of a team who shared a goal to bring law and order to Tombstone, Ariz. Johnny Ringo and his lawless gang stood in the way. Doc had tuberculosis and was very sick but completely committed to the cause and his team. Ultimately, he put the mission ahead of his health and went after Johnny Ringo. No excuses.

When I put a team together, I always look for players that are all in, like Doc. I choose people who are passionate. They’re committed. No Machiavellians allowed. These are tough individuals to find and hire, but they exist. Surround yourself with these kinds of team players who will stand beside you in battle. They’ll become “your huckleberries.”

Peter Hernandez, president of brokerage (California) at Douglas Elliman; co-founder of Teles Properties

7. Invest in loyalty.

The best relationships, both at work and at home, require the greatest of character traits: loyalty. With important relationships, the key is to have quality over quantity.

“I’d rather have one friend as loyal as Doc Holliday than 100 friends that don’t know what loyalty is.” This Wyatt Earp quote from “Tombstone” is a simple yet profound quote about the importance of significant relationships.

Trusted friendships that have intimacy and depth are the mainstays of creating a successful life. This applies to work friendships and non-work friendships alike. Remember this battle-tested life lesson of loyalty: find your Doc Hollidays and invest wisely in those friends.

Joe Kakaty, co-founder and president of Poker Central

8. Trust your intuition.

Although the movie “Heat” is about bank robberies, a core theme is work and professionalism. When offered the chance to attempt one highly risky last heist or walk away on top, the character played by Tom Sizemore responds: “For me, the action is the juice  I’m in.”

This quote can be applied in multiple ways in business or life: cut your losses when something becomes too complicated or choose a line of work that sets you on fire with excitement.

Joshua Harris, founder of Quantum Jump Consulting; started first business at 12 and now teaches entrepreneurs how to start and grow a digital marketing business from scratch

9. Have heart and persistence.

The movie “Erin Brockovich” impacted my mindset big time. One woman with heart and persistence takes down an entire company filled with people who were thought to be smarter, more educated, and more “valuable” to society than her.

The real difference between Brockovich and her adversaries had nothing to do with education or training. It had everything to do with her passion for justice, which prevailed over the obstacles in her way. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with a case, I remember the way to win is through persistence and heart.

—Nafisé Nina Hodjat, founder and managing attorney of The SLS Firm

10. Never ever give up.

This scene from “The Pursuit of Happyness” was game changing for me: “Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me… You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you ‘you can’t do it.’ If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”

The biographical drama is based on entrepreneur Chris Gardner’s one-year struggle with homelessness in the 1980s while raising his son. Motivated by his fierce commitment to his dream and duty to his son, Chris doesn’t take no for an answer.

Chris’s story taught me to never ever quit! When you pursue your big dream, everybody will tell you that your idea is bad and can never happen. You gotta prove them all wrong. Better to try and fail than to never try!

Steve Griggsfounder and CEO of Steve Griggs DesignNYCs premier landscape designer transforming backyardsand rooftop gardens into private getaways

The Oracles, Content Provider

A brain trust of high-level entrepreneurs

Want to suggest a future topic for these entrepreneurs to answer? Email suggestion@theoracles.com and it’s very possible we’ll make your suggestion the focus of a future article!

Follow The Oracles on Facebook.

Originally published on Entrepreneur.com. ©2017 by Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

Don't Be Afraid to Lose

So many of us are afraid of losing.We are afraid of losing mainly because we are concerned about how others will perceive us and the consequences of the loss itself. Let me first address the others. Most of us humans are deathly afraid of being judged as a loser; as someone who just doesn’t win, a person who never accomplishes anything, an “unlucky” person. The person who no one wants to be around. This unrelenting fear paralyzes us many times from not taking action or working towards a goal, and as a result effectively becoming the loser we are so desperately try to avoid. Stop caring about how other people perceive you and don’t succumb to what Zig Ziglar taught me as False Evidence Appearing as Real.

Now, what about the consequences associated with the loss? The cause and effect relationship between your action or inaction and the loss itself. Understanding that most of us lose more than we actually win will help you deal with the losses. The key is getting comfortable with the idea of the loss and the reality of the loss. Whether you are negotiating a business deal or playing a game, mentally preparing yourself for the potential of a loss actually puts you in a winning position. You’ve heard it before, “nothing to lose, everything to gain”. If you train yourself to get comfortable with the loss you will put yourself in an enviable position with your opponent. When they realize you don’t care if you win or lose, it will scare them. It freaks people out. Most do not know how to handle others with a “nothing to lose mentality” and, more likely than not, will lose themselves due to their own fears. Their preoccupation with your “nothing to lose mentality” actually gives you the upper hand. Stop caring about how others will perceive your losses, and let others know you don’t care if you lose, and you will WIN.

P.S. We all want to win, and all should work towards winning. I get that. But don’t be afraid to lose.

The Most Valuable Lessons These 6 Top Entrepreneurs Have Learned

Hard-won wisdom that created wildly successful companies.

The Oracles

The entrepreneur’s journey is full of challenging and enlightening lessons. If paid attention to, these lessons can take your business to the next level.

These top entrepreneurs and members of The Oracles reflect on some of their most valuable business lessons and how they used them to find ultimate success.

1. Value your time by putting a price tag on it.

Your time is the greatest resource and one thing you can’t get back. To execute at the top level, you have to understand the full gravity of time. It’s imperative to prioritize your life and business in a way that lines up with what you value most.

While it’s important to hustle and grind and look to the future, it’s just as important to allow yourself to live in the moment and take time to give back. That means getting clear on what gives life value and what your time is worth.

In the mid-1980s I started monetizing each minute of every day. While working with the Shopping Channel, I saw how segments were run minute by minute, 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; this gave me a concrete understanding of how each minute was valued, logged, and charged.

I applied this mindset to my own life and began to ask myself: If time is precious, how am I bringing the most value to the present moment? How am I planning for my future so that each minute counts?

Kevin Harrington, inventor of the infomercial, pioneer of the “As Seen on TV” industry, and original Shark on “Shark Tank

2. Stay curious.

“Stick to what you know” is a strict school of thought in many entrepreneurship circles. After living that for many years, I’ve come to believe just the opposite. By keeping your mind open to new ideas and embracing novelty, you make opportunities for yourself. By exposing yourself to a multitude of businesses and products, your scope expands. Conversely, if you always have your blinders on, your perspective becomes too narrow and you miss out on promising opportunities.

Two years ago, I was introduced to Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin by a friend. I laughed it off, quickly responding that I wasn’t interested. At that time, Bitcoin was valued at roughly $500. Today, as I type, it is valued at $5,700, more than a 1,000-percent increase in value.

Now, I’m not a Cryptocurrency guy but passed on an early opportunity to get involved because I didn’t want to learn about it. It was too abstract and esoteric for me; yet, that’s how breakout ideas often appear before they become the new norm.

Take the time to learn about new ideas or even entirely new businesses. By staying open and curious, you’ll continue to thrive and grow in today’s disruptive era.

Michael Aldenbestselling author and CEO of CloiXonné

3. Master your thoughts and emotions.

Most of my lessons came from failures, setbacks, and defeats. Although painful, they developed the self-awareness to grow. They forced me to spend time on mastering my thoughts and emotions.

I used to lose my temper a lot. If you’re an entrepreneur with scattered thoughts and frazzled emotions, you’ll react incorrectly to every fastball thrown your way—resulting in more setbacks, bigger defeats, and chaotic up and down cycles.

Becoming the calm operator—who takes decisive action while others get emotional at the push of a button—gives you the unfair advantage. Start by writing down your goals every day. Spend time in solitude with your thoughts, observing what you think and feel about yourself. Keep revisiting what you want for your life.

Practised consistently, you’ll develop the personal and professional invincibility to withstand any circumstance. You’ll gain tremendous clarity. You’ll have the ability to block out all the distactions, doubts, and third party opinions. You’ll have total control over how to react to challenging situations. Nothing can ever crush your spirit again.

Com Mirza, “The $500 Million Man” and CEO of Mirza Holdings; failed in eight companies back to back and today, runs a nine-figure empire with over 600 employees

4. Believe in yourself, intuition, and vision.

My motto is, “To believe it and achieve it, I have to see it, feel it, smell it, and taste it.” This requires an upgraded mindset. Think about the energy of a child: adventurous, fierce, unapologetic, inspirational, and tenacious. Most entrepreneurs lose that “spark” of self-belief after a few setbacks because they view failure as inescapable. Yet, this is the most crucial time to work on reprogramming your brain to win, so you can pivot and learn from your failure and move toward success.

Use Positive Passion™ to get clear on your vision. Reactivate what drives you by reflecting on what you want from life and why you fell off track. After identifying your authentic goals, you’ll experience more “flow” than resistance, working more productively and creatively. You’ll become unwilling to acknowledge any barriers until your mission is accomplished.

Another key lesson I’ve learned is to always look for ways to improve your business and create value in people’s lives. For example, I was frustrated that most essential oils on the market have artificial additives and fillers, so I created a line of pure “Grade A” therapeutic essential oils. When you’re at a loss, think about what products, systems, or services will benefit everyone.

Marina Rose, QDNA®, founder and developer of Quantum DNA Acceleration®, a revolutionary technique for quantum growth in health, life, and business

5. Empower empire builders.

Create an environment where not only you but also everyone on your team can accomplish anything and everything they’ve ever wanted. As struggling entrepreneurs, we’re often insecure and fearful that others will “steal” our clients. Yet, you’ll never attract the best “empire builders” on the planet to work within your organization if you don’t create an environment where they can thrive alongside you. When you start running your company with confidence—in a way that serves your team and clients—you’ll be able to attract top talent and build a true empire that stands the test of time.

Top talent means a few things. Top candidates aren’t “broke people.” This phrase may elicit a negative knee-jerk reaction, but when I say “broke,” I’m not referring to socio-economic status. I mean someone with a desperate energy about them, who is more interested in their hourly rate than a vision for the company and themselves. I don’t hire anyone with that broken mindset. Once I have top talent in play, I like to pay for outcomes, not hours. I don’t care if they worked 10 hours or 100 hours this week, so long as the expected outcomes have been produced.

AJ Rivera, seven-figure marketing expert, business advisor, and CEO of FitPro Heroes; connect with AJ on Facebookand YouTube

6. Get out of the way.

An early career mistake was fueling my business with too much personal time and energy. I created a paradigm where I was the single motor driving the ship. With this mindset, I quickly found myself working seven days a week, which was unsustainable and very difficult to duplicate.

My businesses are now fueled by leadership, people, and systems. Infusing these three tenets into your business model can be game-changing for growth and lasting success.

Leadership means imparting the vision, being precise with your team’s role, and cutting them loose to execute their objectives. Show your team you trust them (which starts by trusting yourself), and let them develop into key players in your organization.

People means every person who works for you is equal. I don’t let anyone call me “boss.” No matter how big you get, remember: you’re nothing without your team.

With systems, it’s essential to document everything and cross-train everyone. The only way your company can run without you is to create clear instructions and procedures for when you’re not around. If you’re not the type to write out procedure manuals, find someone who is! If you cross-train everyone on those procedures, no one person can ever sink the ship.

—Danny Morel, author of “The Resilience Roadmap” and founder M.PIRE university; connect with Danny on Facebook and Instagram



The Oracles, Content Provider

A brain trust of high-level entrepreneurs


Want to suggest a future topic for these entrepreneurs to answer? Email suggestion@theoracles.com and it’s very possible we’ll make your suggestion the focus of a future article!

Follow The Oracles on Facebook

Originally published on Entrepreneur.com. ©2017 by Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

9 ways to build a side business without quitting your day job

The Oracles

Quitting your day job to pursue the entrepreneurial dream can be exhilarating  or terrifying. Fortunately, anyone can easily make extra money from a “side hustle” without losing the security of a steady paycheck. These millionaires and members of The Oracles give practical advice on turning your side hustle into an abundant cash cow.

1. Maintain perspective

You might feel tremendous pressure while birthing your idea and simultaneously performing in a full-time job. Instead of perceiving pressure as a problem, embrace it: the high stakes force you to be decisive, clear, and effective with your goals.

Before you jump off the cliff and get your business going, consider a business partner. Find someone with opposite complementary strengths to have the best chance of winning.

Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and Shark on Shark Tank

2. Re-look at your current job

Poor people try to replace income sources; rich people add. Don’t hastily quit your job for “greener pastures” until you’re certain you could make more with your time elsewhere.

Until then, get better at your current job. Flip your mindset to increasing production within the time you have. When I sold cars, I learned how to finance them. The finance manager didn’t have to stay late, the dealer didn’t need to take on another salary, the customer was taken care of, and I earned extra money. Everyone won!

When you do start your side hustle, make it “symbiotic”  closely connected to your main income source  so you can give both proper attention. Most people start a side hustle, get excited, ignore their main income stream, then end up with one source again. Commit to never ignoring your primary income source. With several income streams, you can build true wealth.

Grant Cardone, top sales expert who has built a $500-million real estate empire, and NYT-bestselling author; follow Grant on Facebook or YouTube

3. Buy an existing, profitable business

Consider buying an existing, profitable business. I’ve made 13 business acquisitions over the years. It’s much easier to build on a proven business model with incremental enhancements than creating something from nothing.

With acquisitions, leverage the seller’s support, experience, and insight during the transition. Strategically finance your business acquisitions so you don’t pay all the cash up front. If the financial records are clean, you can qualify for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan with as little as a 10-20 percent down payment.

With an already successful business, you can focus on financing the deal and delegate roles to grow the business further.

 Tom Shieh, CEO of Crimcheck; connect with Tom on Facebook

4. Consider your passion and time

When starting a side hustle, find something you’re excited about and don’t mind spending time on.

The first time I sold online was on eBay. As an avid golfer, I noticed golf clubs were selling like gangbusters, and started browsing garage sales to see if I could find one to resell. I purchased an almost new Callaway Big Bertha for $20 and listed it within an hour for $100. It sold the very first day. For the next several years, I bought and resold golf equipment on eBay.

If your side hustle is something you enjoy, you may just turn your side hustle into a full-time hustle.

Rob Kosberg, #1 bestselling author and CEO of Best Seller Publishing, whose strategies have positioned US Ambassadors, professional athletes and CEOs as thought leaders

5. Harness an actionable audience

A great side hustle pays you for what you’d do anyway. When I was in college studying music, I worked the night shift at a hotel where I could study or sleep until a customer rang the bell for service. I umpired baseball games and refereed soccer, earning anywhere from $50 to $75 an hour watching games. I also bounced and deejayed at a club, so I was paid to party and even made great money at weddings.

Take your passion, and see if there’s an audience for it. Then create a revenue stream by harnessing people’s interest. Today, I write viral videos and produce music that drives customer engagement. It’s a side hustle and passion, so never feels like work.

 Craig Handley, co-founder and CEO of ListenTrust; read more about Handley: This boss hires and trains his employees to quit

6. Build Rome in a day

One, find your favorite household item  for example: mayonnaise, books, or doggy beds. Two, build a ClickFunnels, Shopify, or Amazon store. Three, create a Stripe or Braintree account. Four, form an LLC on LegalZoom and create a business bank account. Five, use Facebook ads to drive traffic to your product. These five steps can be accomplished in under a month with a full-time job.

Tai Lopez, investor and advisor to many multimillion-dollar businesses, who has built an eight-figure online empire; connect with Tai on SnapchatFacebook, Instagram, or YouTube

7. Start with 30 minutes a day, then outsource

The time vs. money value is usually the most important factor to becoming wealthy. The difficult part about having a job is you don’t have free time to build a business. E-commerce (drop shipping specifically) for me started as a side hustle, which quickly became a multimillion-dollar business.

Set aside time  even if it’s just 30 minutes per day  to work on your side hustle. Outsource your work, and get help from freelancers on websites such as Upwork and Fiverr. It’s often much easier than you think to find people who can help you.

Jared Goetz, serial entrepreneur and e-commerce expert; co-founder of four multimillion-dollar companies in five years

8. Build a self-managing side hustle

Create a side hustle that leverages your time and manages itself. The three pillars of a self-managing side hustle are:

  1. Learning to sell online
  2. Creating “value” products
  3. Building a distribution system.

You can learn to sell anything online just by watching a few free videos with basic sales funnel software like ClickFunnels or LeadPages. By creating “value” products such as courses, checklists, or cheat sheets, your one-time effort can have an exponential impact. The fastest distribution system is building an email list by trading a value product to acquire leads.

Ultimately, when you have a self-managing business, you instantly have options and cash flow: the two results that every entrepreneur loves!

Sharran Srivatsaa, angel investor and president of brokerage (western region) at Douglas Elliman; grewTeles Properties 10X in five years

9. Make it sustainable

Don’t quit your day job until you have enough revenue to support your current lifestyle with the side hustle.

I had a friend who wanted to be in the t-shirt business. He was very passionate about the process, the product he could provide, and the lifestyle he would create. Blinded by his passion, he quit his day job without one client or prospect. This put a severe financial strain on him and his family.

When you have an idea, work on it during off-hours, evenings, and weekends until it’s fully sustainable. With this method, you’ll be able to minimize risk, generate stable cash, and follow your passion.

Michael Alden, bestselling author and CEO of CloiXonné

The Oracles, Content Provider

A brain trust of high-level entrepreneurs

Want to share your insights like those above in a future column? If you’re an experienced entrepreneur, please get in touch here.

Want to suggest a future topic for these entrepreneurs to answer? Email suggestion@theoracles.com, and it’s very possible we’ll make your suggestion the focus of a future article!

Follow The Oracles on Facebook.

Originally published on CNBC.com . ©2017 by CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Things I learned from pruning my rose bushes, and how it relates to business and personal growth

A year and a half ago I was fortunate enough to have built a beautiful house on the North Shore of Massachusetts, minutes from the beach. This wasn’t my first house and it won’t be my last. But something hit me hard when I was pruning the rose bushes surrounding my property. It was probably the thorn in my index finger that really caused this epiphany.

Roses are a beautiful reminder of our planet and what we have to be thankful for

They are a status symbol for some, they are gifts given during the holidays. However, it was their beauty and fragility that struck me. Looking closely at the vibrant red petals each day, as they grow and bloom, fills me with joy. The natural process is just awesome.

They don’t really smell that good

It makes me laugh when people go to smell roses. Maybe other roses smell nice, but mine just smell like beautiful nature.

They are resilient

Even if I don’t take care of them, they would bloom, die and eventually regrow. Sometimes.

They do however need help

I’ve never taken care of rose bushes before. Family members and a little internet research gave me the courage to attempt to care for these unparalleled displays of beauty on my property. In order to reach their potential, maximum beauty and growth they need help. If I did nothing they would look well enough for a while, but eventually they would wither and not become what they should; absolute beauty.

They must be cut loose

This part was hard for me. When looking at nature’s gift, I found it difficult to let roses go. I also understood that if I was careful and used precision the entire bush would thrive. So, like a neurosurgeon I clipped the roses that were close to the end of their life cycle. Carefully paying attention to the roses that were about to bloom and haven’t yet begun their journey. I did this so that others could grow. If I didn’t make these changes the entire bush could potentially die. An awesome responsibility when you consider what is at stake.

Anyone can hire someone to maintain a garden

When I was pruning the bushes a week prior a neighbor pulled up in his Mercedes and said “don’t you have someone to do that?” I laughed it off. I do in fact have a landscape crew come by and do the basics. But they don’t care as I do about the gift of red roses that I see every day for four months of the year.

At first I didn’t want to be bothered with manicuring my property

I’m a busy man with much more important things to do, right? I landscaped for a couple summers and it was pure torture. This is my house and my property, and although I don’t do everything around the property, I discovered something by pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.

Those roses make me happy

They universally make everyone happy. Stopping and smelling the roses(even though I don’t think they smell that good) is something that people need to do. Rather, I urge people to stop and look at the roses. Pay attention to each petal and their remarkable beauty. When I pruned the roses that are at the end of their life cycle I was amazed at how soft the petals are. When I discard them and they lay on the floor of the woods next to my property they are even beautiful as they are dying.

Taking care of your business is an awesome responsibility. Taking care of yourself is even more important. Paying attention to the impact of your decisions and understanding the global impact is crucial. Sometimes you have to cut things from your business in order for it to grow. Sometimes, you need to cut things from your personal life so you can grow. Respect the beauty of the gifts you have, appreciate them but also be acutely aware of what needs to be done in order to maintain beautiful growth. Both personally and professionally.

Greater Success Requires 5% More Effort

I had a chance to speak with Edward Fulbright earlier this week on Mastering Your Money, an educational radio program that is focused on giving business owners directions to turbo charge their success. Often, entrepreneurs are so focused on their stretch goals that they forget that setting micro goals will lead them to success. If you want greater success at work and in your career,  making small changes to reach your goals is the key. A 5% increase in effort is a small change that will yield great results in your life.

5% More can guide your actions as a business owner, could you imagine how your company would look if you increased your results by 5%? What if you could save your company 5% More money? Would you like to complete 5% more tasks each week?

If you are a business owner, do something 5% differently than your competitors: Be a little more creative and think a little bit harder than your competitors. Whether it is going the extra mile in customer service, or offering a product that’s just slightly better than that of your competitors, makes the difference in winning sales. Motivate your team to give 5% More: Your business will never grow, if your team keeps doing the same thing over and over again. Invest 5% more in training and supporting them, so that they can do the best job possible.

Unrealistic Goal Setting Leads to a Culture of Fraud

Why setting smaller goals will lead to success

In 1852 Wells Fargo was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo, originally as a delivery company of sorts, and has evolved into one of the largest banking institutions in the United States.  A company built on hard work, honesty and integrity has seen its reputation tarnished beyond some of the fake silver bars that were hawked as authentic silver produced by Wells Fargo in the 1960’s.  

Wells Fargo has now been relegated as nothing but a fraudulent institution no better than faceless identity thieves stealing peoples personal information.  Thousands of unsuspecting consumers have had accounts opened in their names without their consent in an effort to prove to Wall Street that the bank was doing good things.  When in fact, it was the complete opposite.  

Employees from the top down knowingly opened accounts, moved money, and even incurred fees in consumers’ names which hurt their credit.  The dust has yet to settle and this is just the beginning, as the Senate Banking Committee I’m sure, will expand their investigation to include other banking institutions.  

Why am I writing about this?  This far reaching fraudulent activity was created by one thing, and it wasn’t greed.  It was created by a culture that set unrealistic goals.  By setting unrealistic goals and holding everyone to goals that were beyond a stretch, employees all the way from bank tellers to the CEO were forced create fake customer accounts.  

Well, they weren’t actually fake.  They were and are real people, with real lives and real families.  Today while watching the hearing before the Senate Banking committee, the dollar amount as far as damage can’t even be speculated due to the fact that quantifying how someone’s credit was damaged from these fake accounts will take time to figure out.  But, I will guarantee you it’s in the billions.

Too many companies lack the understanding of realistic goal setting.  By setting these unattainable goals, Wells Fargo employees were pressured and even directed to do whatever it takes to show good numbers, including defrauding customers, stockholders and the American public.

Most goal setting experts set goals up in three tiers: the baseline goal, the mid-level goal and the stretch goal. Everyone is expected to hit the mid-level goal.  However, companies, managers and “sales” trainers always preach about hitting the stretch goal and how good it will be for the individual and the company.  

Wells Fargo became so obsessed with these stretch goals that employees were pushed too far. Employees were left with very few choices; quit, get fired or commit fraud.  The incentives or consequences were too great for most people to quit.  The employees all have families and bills to pay and they need to live, so they pushed beyond even their own moral codes.  

I have always taught and lived my life based on setting small micro-goals and compounding on them over time.  My latest book 5% More is all about these small baby steps. I show how these small progressive steps achieve results even higher than the stretch goals set by so called “goal setting experts”.  The next time you are tasked with setting a goal, whether it be for yourself or your employees, set smaller, more realistic, more achievable goals and compound on them month after month. This is not creating a culture of underachievers, this is creating a culture of successful, happy and motivated people who will achieve more than you thought.

The Power of 5%

If you think 5% to be an insignificant figure, I ask you to ponder the effects of the latest news out of Washington.

According to the latest Census Bureau data, a 5% increase can mean the greatest single year increase in median household income since record-keeping began in 1967. You read that right. Median household income in the United States rose from $53,718 in 2014 to $56,516 in 2015. A 5.2% increase in inflation adjusted dollars.

Can we expect a 5% increase every year going forward? I’m not an economist, but I will go out on a limb and say that’s unlikely. My point is to reiterate the power that even a one-time 5% increase can yield; the largest economic gain in a generation over a one year period.

The power of this 5% increase could have national political implications in the current election cycle as well. One side of the ticket has continuously tried to paint a doom and gloom scenario stemming from current economic policies. This 5% hike could very well shine a light on that dark picture for a lot of voters whose confidence has been shaken for the last 8 years.

It’s been a long road of recovery since the great recession began. But, slowly and surely, it appears the economic expansion has finally begun to take hold. Would some like it to come quicker than it has? Of course. Many thought it would change for the better overnight after the administration change in 2008. Like I say in my book, small changes yield big results. I’m a believer in setting big goals. But I’m also a realist and believe in setting micro goals to baby step your way to achieving that ultimate goal.