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My Income Club Review: Scam Or Legit Way To Make $500/Day?

Looking for a REAL My Income Club review? Most reviews you’ll read online either don’t tell you the whole truth or are just downright dishonest.
This is NOT one of those.
So if you want to know the real deal with MyIncomeClub.com – keep reading!
Who wouldn’t want $500/daily commissions on autopilot? We all dream of achieving success and the financial independence to take control of our lives and My Income Club says they’ve got what you need to make it happen.
But if you’ve got a sneaking suspicion not all is as it seems, I’m right there with you.
From the hyped-up promises of fast and easy cash at the click of a mouse to the cheesy photos of sports cars and holiday villas, my first impression is this is a scam.
So in this review, I’m going to take you beyond the sales page to show you exactly what My Income Club is, how it works and whether it’s a legit income earner or a scam not worth getting involved with.
I’m Not Affiliated With My Income Club In Any Way.
I’m free to give you my honest opinion based on 5 years of earning a full-time income online and reviewing 600+ programs and courses, to help you skip the scams and discover real money-making opportunities.

My Income Club Review At A Glance
About: Alfredo Delgado’s My Income Club is supposedly a free and fully automated system you can use to generate $500 a day online.
Price: Advertised as free but cost of joining totals $5,525.95.
Pros: It’s technically possible to make money but only by recruiting others.
Cons: Training is focused on signing you up for various subscription-based programs.
Verdict: A costly pyramid scheme of pyramid schemes and most definitely a scam.

OVERALL RATING

What We’ll Cover In This Review:

What Is My Income Club?
According to the sales video, Alfredo Delgado’s My Income Club is a 100% free and fully automated system you can use to make $500 a day, even if you’ve never made a penny online before.
You’ll see members in the video claiming to have made more than $22,000 and even $30,000 in a single month.
But as I’m about to show you, what My Income Club says it is and what it actually is are two entirely different things…
3 Major My Income Club Claims Debunked:
1. My Income Club Is Anything BUT Free
Technically yes, it’s free to create an account but what Alfredo fails to tell you is it’s gonna cost you a bomb to implement the steps he lays out once you’ve joined.
Make no mistake about it:
My Income Club is going to require a hefty upfront investment before you can even be in with a chance of making a penny of it back.
2. There’s Nothing Automatic About This
Another claim you’ll hear is that this is a passive way to make money on autopilot, and yet to make this work you are going to have to put in some serious effort and risk on your part on a consistent basis.
3. 99.88% Of People Typically Lose Money With These Kinds Of “Done-For-You” Systems
Unfortunately we have no figures to prove how much the average members makes.
The website’s earnings disclaimer states that because the site just recently launched, they don’t yet have enough information to be able to give us any reliable income disclosures.
What I do know though is that because of how My Income Club is structured, far from being a foolproof, beginner-friendly way to get started online like they claim, statistics show that this is one of the riskiest routes to take.
How My Income Club System Really Works
Fill out the signup form, log in to the My Income Club members area and it won’t take long to figure out you’ve just stepped inside an affiliate marketing sales funnel.
The whole system is designed to get you to buy various services and subscriptions so you can, in return, promote the same system to others and earn commissions when they buy the same products you just bought.

Click the Start Here menu tab and you’ll be taken through the 4 steps of the system.
Here’s a quick run-through of each of the steps with a full breakdown of the costs:
Step 1: Welcome
The 2-minute welcome video from creator Alfredo Delgado and his business partner Diosnedy Pelegrin gives you a quick overview of what’s to come and invites you to join the My Income Club Facebook group.
Step 2: Join MyEcon (U.S. Residents Only)
Continue onto Step 2 and you’re told to sign up to as an associate for MyEcon (short for My Economy), a network marketing/MLM business where you make money by promoting the MyEcon membership.
They sell personal finance products like identity theft protection and credit score repair services. For more details check out this MyEcon review.
While a legit company with real products, MLM’s aren’t for everyone.
Costs: $19.95 start up fee and a monthly $34.95 subscription.
Step 3: Join Direct Mail Pro
Like Mailbox Profits, Get Weekly Paychecks and Big Profit System, Direct Mail Pro is a pyramid scheme where you buy in at increasingly more expensive membership levels so you can get paid to recruit others.
The reason pyramid schemes are illegal in most countries is because they are just not sustainable in the long-term.
While this model may work for the few at the top, most people (87.5%) end up losing out, not only not making any money, but losing everything they put in.

That means nearly 9 out of 10 people who follow the My Income Club steps and join Direct Mail Pro end up worse off.
This is a nightmare scenario for anyone, especially when you consider the top membership comes with a $5,000 price tag.
Costs: Direct Mail Pro has 5 membership levels that’ll set you back anywhere from $250 to a whopping $5,000.
Kickstarter Level – $250
Amateur Level – $500
Elite Level – $1,000
Pro Level – $2,500
VIP Level – $5,000
Step 4: Join List Leverage
The fourth and final step in the My Income Club system is to sign up to List Leverage – a website supposed to help you build an email marketing list and generate traffic.
Unfortunately, any traffic you may get from will be extremely low-quality. You might get some clicks but you’re almost guaranteed not to make any sales.
List Leverage is almost identical to Empower Network, a pyramid scheme that was shut down by the FTC a couple of years back.
Costs: Members will require $47/month recurring fee or a one-time fee of $497.

PS: This program enabled me to generate a 6-figure passive income online. It’s FREE to get started and only $49/month to go full-time.

Can You Make Money With My Income Club?
The short answer is yes, it is possible to make money following My Income Club’s training steps, but the only way to make that happen is by recruiting other people into the system you yourself just signed up to.
In the step 1 video, Alfredo Delgado says it like this:
“Here’s the deal. Everyone you show this system to is going to go through the exact same process you’re going through right now, watch this same video you’re watching right now and go through the steps you’re about to go through.”
People pay out large sums of money in the hope they can promote it to others and get their money back. There’s nothing of real value or substance here to speak of. (I’ll talk about the so-called training here in a sec).
In a nutshell:
Not only is My Income Club recommending you sign up to various pyramid schemes, the system itself is a pyramid scheme where the vast majority of people will lose out.
If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to earn commissions online selling real products and services then check out my free affiliate marketing guide for beginners where I outline exactly what I do to generate more than $7,000 per month online.
The Real Problem Is Gonna Be Getting Traffic
No matter how good the videos may be at convincing people to sign up, the only way to make a dime with My Income Club is if you can send consistent streams of high quality, targeted traffic to their sales page.
My Income Club has a 10-minute training video talking about uploading nice looking cover photos for Facebook and YouTube, but the main way is by running expensive email marketing campaigns where 90%+ of your emails will only get as far as people’s spam inboxes.
Another thing to take into account is the fact every single My Income Club member is going to be renting the same spammer’s email lists and sending identical emails out to people already bombarded with spam on a daily basis. You’re going to be up against a lot of tough competition in an overly-saturated market.
My favourite way to generate traffic to my income-generating websites is the free way – by learning how to get ranked in Google to ensure I get 1,000’s of page views each and every month.
It takes time and work to make it happen but this method is far superior in my opinion as it requires no investment upfront and once you start getting Google traffic, you can grow it consistently over time.
Training And Support Is Severely Lacking
Will you find any training videos inside the My Income Club members’ area?
Yes.
Is the training value-packed with helpful and useful content?
No.
Is the purpose of the training to help you build a profitable online business and be successful?
No.
The few short videos are all focused around squeezing more money out of you.
For example, click the Build A List training tab and you’ll find 5 videos all telling you to sign up to AWeber (see my AWeber review):

Video 1: Purchase AWeber
Video 2: Create A List In AWeber
Video 3: AWeber Create Signup Form
Video 4: AWeber Single/Double Opt In
Video 5: AWeber Broadcast Follow Up
Signing up for AWeber is going to set you back a further $19/month or $194/year.
While I personally use AWeber to keep in touch with my subscribers, the only purpose of the training is to get you to pay out even more money so the person who referred you can earn a big fat commission cheque each month.
Is My Income Club A Scam?
My Income Club is not a scam per se but it IS a pyramid scheme as the only money-making method here is recruiting other people into the program.
I can’t, in all honesty, and good conscience, put my reputation on the line and recommend this product. The main reason being, this is a lousy long-term strategy.
Put your hopes in this basket and you’re building a financial future on shaky ground.
Too often I see these “done-for-you” affiliate sales funnels pop up before quickly fizzling out and when My Income Club inevitably disappears, the time and money you invested into this will be wasted and you’ll be back to square one.
The best advice I can give you is don’t rely on someone else to give you a “business-in-a-box” and instead, go out there and build an online business you have complete control over.
Where Do You Go From Here?
I know you’d love for My Income Club to be the real deal, I would too, but it’s not. Don’t worry though because I’ve got you covered.
Earning a full-time income online has been truly life-changing for me and what I’ve learned after 5 years of being an online entrepreneur is earning commissions from 100% free traffic is the way to go.
Now I’m going to give you a free step by step beginner’s course to making money with affiliate marketing and you can get it by clicking HERE.
In it, you’ll discover the exact step-by-step formula I follow to generate more than $7,000 per month and how you can get started too.

Simon Crowe is the founder of The Make Money Online Blog and is on a mission to help as many people as possible kiss their bosses goodbye.
Get his free Affiliate Marketing Guide For Newbies to learn exactly how to build a real income online and make your dream business a reality.

Are you over 40 and ready to be an entrepreneur? Here we tell you how to succeed with this new adventure

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
From what we see on TV, on the Internet and by checking our social networks, the founders of startups are young men who live in Silicon Valley . But according to various studies , the average entrepreneur opens his first business at age 40. The Kauffman Foundation found that in recent years, older people started more businesses than younger ones, and another study found that 70 percent were married and 60 percent had at least one child when they launched their first business. And the reasons for doing so include everything from becoming millionaires to not wanting to work for someone else.
And this is not just a “moment” for older generations, feeling trapped in corporate life is a feeling that has been building for years.
According to a 2013 Gallup poll , two-thirds of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers do not feel engaged in their work, and the main reason for this disconnect is not feeling tied to the mission of the company.
All of this culminates in many people from those generations wanting to move into the entrepreneurial world, and I include myself.
In 2010, after being diagnosed with lupus at 45, I decided to change my eating habits, including being more creative on family nights. We had a tradition of ordering pizza on Friday nights, but the processed dough was doing me a lot of damage. So I started experimenting with cauliflower. Three years after presenting my experiment in a local market, my Cali’flour Foods brand now has a presence in Whole Foods, Albertsons, Safeway, Walmart and Kroger, among other stores. In 2018 we were selling a pizza dough every six seconds in our digital store.
And while being a big entrepreneur has its advantages (such as more financial backing, a stronger network, and experience), it also has its own challenges.
For all those looking for a first adventure in the entrepreneurial world, here are some ways to prepare and avoid the most common mistakes.
Start working on your business while someone else keeps paying you
Do you want to make sure you don’t have to go back to the corporate world that you hate? Then get ready. Get started on your business while being backed by a 9 to 6 job. Take small steps to ensure your idea resonates, really pays off, and has a niche in the market. This may mean spending your weekends in front of the computer (instead of eating with your family) or spending your nights researching things (instead of watching Netflix), but it will help you a lot when the time comes to quit.
For example, if you have a service business, you can start building your customer base. Something that I see a lot is people working for free at the beginning to have clients. The reason is that these new clients will give you their feedback on what you are doing well and what you are not, as well as acting as a reference and offering testimonials of what you offer.
If you are a product business, launch your store. Start looking for people who interact with your business. Do small tests to see where your customers are on the Internet. This will help you know where to invest your resources and time.
Create a business plan
I know that not everyone wants to sit down and do a complete business plan, but trust me, this will give you a lot of information and perspective.
Giving yourself the time to think about everything from marketing to technology to finance allows you to see the areas of opportunity.
This is not done in one afternoon; Building a solid business plan may take weeks (if not months), but it will help you figure out what your business needs to have to be successful. It has to be a work in progress, and the business owner must be flexible and willing to learn from his mistakes rather than get frustrated and demotivated. I really believe that a mistake is an opportunity for growth, and that we must open the door to mistakes. It may seem paradoxical, but the more mistakes we make, the more we grow. It was something quite strange and something that we definitely had not planned in our original business plan.
I would also recommend that an experienced advisor review your plan. I know enough to know how much I don’t know, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who know more than you. This is the wisdom of Solomon Short who says “Half of your intelligence lies in knowing the things you are stupid about.” Since I had limited experience, I hired a very experienced CFO to review our plan and his experience was helpful.
Add your family
This decision is not just about you. If you have a partner and / or children you need their support, if not, things at home will be very stressful.
Since I started Cali’flour Foods, my family has been involved. They are everything to me, so it was essential that they agree. In the beginning, I made deliberate efforts to include my husband and children in every aspect of the business, from company name to product development to selling in local California markets. And to this day, they are still involved.
Even if your family is not part of the business itself, they are part of your life. When you start thinking about leaving your corporate job you need to communicate this wish to your family. To get their support, tell them about your plan. Tell them how you are going to do things, including how you are going to make money (either through business or by looking for freelance work while your business takes off) and why this is important to you. If there is something that is going to change in their daily routine, explain the change and how you plan to handle it. The more comfortable they feel, the better the transition will be.
Prepare yourself financially
This is a big thing and it can be the difference between making or breaking your business – prepare yourself financially as much as you can.
Although you now have more financial stability, you also have more responsibilities. Make sure you have all the pieces in place.
When I started with Cali’Flour Foods, I was lucky to have savings that I could use as capital. Later, when we were more established, he had built a line of credit that he could draw on.
But much of the start of my business was built on credit cards and we lived hand in hand. It is a mental challenge to operate in this way, especially when you have a team working with you that depends on you for a salary.
Having a backup plan is essential. It could be that you get a job as a freelancer or teach classes or whatever while making your business profitable, or seek other sources of capital. We went with Shopify and Amazon, both of which offered loans. Additionally, our local bank was extremely accessible and we partnered with them for certain financing efforts.
When starting your business, consider all of your options. Consider generating a robust budget, meet with a financial advisor, and attend workshops while you save.
Also think about changing your habits. How much do you spend and how much could you reduce that? You need to plan this because as they say, if you don’t make plans then you plan to fail.
Set dates … to return to work
The world of entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. There will be impressive ups and downs, and if you do it, it will all have been worth it.
But there are many businesses that fail (some say 90 percent in the first five years). What do you need to achieve with your company to avoid having to return to the corporate world? What profit do you need to make to survive?
Although many people take things from day to day, when you have other financial obligations (a house, the children’s school, etc.) this is not a good plan (and honestly, it is not a good strategy for anyone).
Decide how much you need to earn per month to do it as an entrepreneur. Take into account your lifestyle, your expenses and what you have to contribute to your home. Go back from there. Set measurable goals that you can achieve and that bring you closer to that amount. Then set dates and check them every now and then. Make adjustments if necessary, but hold yourself accountable.
Lean on your network of contacts
Perhaps the greatest advantage you have as a large entrepreneur is that you have to build a large network of contacts. Use it.
When you start thinking about quitting your job (or if you just quit), tell your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances and ask for their support. This can be simply presenting your project, when partnering, asking for financial support or simply asking for advice. The people around you will be the ones to help you keep moving forward.
When I was just developing Cali’flour Foods, I joined the Specialty Food Association and found a counselor at one of the seminars (which I keep going to). He has been one of the keys to our success, as well as surrounding me with other like-minded individuals. These industry experts prevent me from falling or help me meet the people I need to score my next win.
I also met Bob Burke at a seminar, and he has become a great mentor. He has more than 30 years of experience in the sector and is very well connected. He taught me a lot about commerce and introduced me to key people in the industry. Since then, I have invited him to be a part of our board of directors, something that has been a great blessing to both me and the business.
Finally, I highly recommend investing in workshops and seminars. These experiences offer industry knowledge and provide a strong network of contacts to support you as you grow.
Have the right mindset
I often hear from large entrepreneurs worried that they cannot compete with their younger counterparts. This mindset can be detrimental to your success. It is important to know that you have experience and use it to your advantage.
Pain and obstacles are a fact of life, and it is in these moments that you should most have a “warrior mentality” and change your perspective towards success, have guts and resilience, and go through adversity to come out better and stronger.
I believe that the warrior mentality grows stronger thanks to experience because you learn to overcome obstacles and how to navigate and handle them in a more meaningful and positive way.

6 Reasons Why Podcast Guesting Is An Untapped Marketing Tool

February 21, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Podcasting is a rapidly growing industry. In 2020 alone there were over 900,000 new podcasts started. While many people are focused on starting and launching their own podcast there is an untapped marketing strategy that has resulted from the podcast industry growing so quickly: podcast guesting. 
Podcast guesting is where you go on someone else’s podcast. You spend anywhere from 20-45 minutes sharing your story and providing value to the podcast’s audience. In return, you generate more influence and income for yourself. In as little as one hour per month, you could be reaching an audience you haven’t tapped into before. 
Related: The 10 Commandments of Podcasting
Instead of starting your own podcast, interviewing guests, editing your show, and then promoting your podcast, you can turn to podcast guesting where the host takes all of the work and you just need to show up. 
If you are new to the concept of podcast guesting, here are 6 reasons why podcast guesting is an untapped marketing tool. 
1. There an infinite number of podcasts
There are new podcasts coming out each day which means there will always be more opportunities for you to be a podcast guest. You will never run out of interviews ensuring your company is getting as much exposure as possible. 
2. Establish credibility 
By going on podcasts that reach your target audience you will establish credibility and thought leadership. Your audience will continue to see your name again and again and realize that if these podcast hosts constantly want you on as a guest then you must have something important to say. 
I’m sure you’ve listened to a podcast before with an author coming out with a book and all of a sudden you see them on similar podcasts to which you listen to. 
3. Generate more clients and leads
When you establish credibility and thought leadership you are building a pipeline of clients and leads. 
After you do an interview on a podcast, your interview will live forever. This means if you recorded an interview today, someone three months from now could listen to your interview and then decide to reach out to your company. 
Related: How to Start a Podcast (and Keep It Going)
The more interviews you do, the more people are going to hear you which increases your story of resonating with someone and having them be interested in working with you. 
4. Content machine
Podcasts are a content machine. 
Today, most interviews are done over Zoom video. This means you’ll be able to receive a copy of the interview from the podcast host. 
You can take your interview and splice up the video to create social media posts that you can then promote to your networks which will create even more brand authority. 
From a single thirty-minute podcast guest interview, you can generate a month’s worth of content. 
5. Backlinks to your site
Podcast hosts have a show notes section on their website. A show notes section is similar to a blog post where the podcast host does a recap of your interview together. On the show notes page, the podcast host links to your website. 
By having the host link to your website, you are getting a high-quality backlink. When you receive more backlinks, you increase your SEO score. This means you can rank higher on google giving your company more increased looks than a site that’s on the second page. 
6. Networking with podcast hosts
A podcast interview can be an intimate experience because you are spending time with someone in a 1-on-1 format. Over the course of your interview, the host will become familiar with yourself as you will with the host. You can learn about each other’s businesses and what you both are looking for in an ideal client. 
Podcast guesting can help you reach and network with podcast hosts who you normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to speak with. The relationships can turn into joint venture partnerships, referral partners, or even business partnerships. 
Writing on Medium, Casey Botticello suggests this tactic to get yourself booked as a guest: “Nearly every podcast will have a website that includes contact information for the host or producer. If you haven’t interacted with them before online, you can email them with your pitch. It should be short — no more than a couple of paragraphs — but offer enough information for them to judge if your material would be a good fit.” 
Matchmaker.fm is just one of many free services that connect podcasters and guests.
Podcast guesting can be an unfamiliar experience if you’ve never done an interview, but if you want to dive into an untapped marketing strategy that will grow your business then I would recommend implementing podcast guest as a part of your marketing strategy. 
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Is PM-International A Scam? My Review Will Help You Figure That Out

There are literally 1,000s of health and wellness multi-level marketing companies out there and PM-International is one of them.
Is someone trying to recruit you?
If so then this review is for you.
I’ll show you how PM-International works, what their compensation plan is and ultimately, whether they’re a scam or a legit business worth getting involved with.
Let’s get started.

PM-International Review At A Glance
About: Founded in 1993, PM-International is one of the biggest health, wellness and beauty multi-level marketing companies.
Price: Joining fee and starter pack is $99, plus $95.20 a month for autoshipment.
Pros: Long company history.
Cons: Overpriced products, a complex compensation plan and a high failure rate.
Verdict: PM-International require all recruits to sign up for autoshipment, making this a borderline pyramid scheme. MLMs are an outdated way of making money anyway.

OVERALL RATING

PM-International is a legit MLM. The company has been around since 1993 and has received awards from DSN and Netcoo among others.
Although widely recognized, they face issues about misrepresenting the ingredients to their products. Getting started can be expensive.
To be an affiliate you have to pay $99 and to get a higher commission rate for selling products, you’ll also be compelled to buy a Pool Pack worth $500.
The website doesn’t provide an Income Disclosure statement so there’s no way of telling how much people are earning from it but we know 99% of all people who join MLMs lose everything they put in.

What We’ll Cover In This Review:

What Is PM-International?
PM-International is a health, wellness, and cosmetics MLM. It was created by Rolf Sorg back in 1993 and is headquartered in Luxembourg.
It was initially called PM Cosmetics because they originally sold makeup and beauty products. Some years later, Sorg felt he needed to expand his line of products, so he changed the name to PM-International to include nutritional supplements in the brand. 
PM-International prides itself to be one of Europe’s largest MLM in the health and beauty niche. The website says they’ve already distributed their products to over 40 countries.
Although they didn’t give an Income Disclosure, part of the Company overview says that their annual turnover is at €833 million.
The website says founder Rolf Sorg started out as a mechanic. He later realized he has a knack for recruiting people.
On average he was able to enroll 10 people per month. He then realized he can make more money from it instead of being a mechanic so he worked on the MLM industry fulltime since then. 
Rolf Sorg was selected as a finalist for “Entrepreneur of the Year” for a couple of years. In 2005, he was selected to be part of the European Economic Senate. He’s also a CEO Council member for WFDSA or the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. 
PM-International’s founder is not the only one who independently received awards, the company as a whole has its share of recognition too: 
Ranked 13th in the 2020 DSN Global 100: The Top Direct Selling Companies in the World
From 2002-2020, PM International was part of the TOP 100 recognizing innovators medium-sized enterprises in Germany
In 2013/14, 2018/19, chosen as “Company of the Year by Netcoo, a German trade magazine
In 2018 and 2019, got the German Brand Award for being outstanding in brand management
Being recognized by institutions in the industry is a big sign a company is legit, still, it’s not all sunshine for PM-International. 
In 2013, Sorg bought a lawsuit against Google claiming they used its autocomplete feature to relate his name with “Scientology” and “fraud”. He won the case. 
How To Get Started With PM-International
To start with PM-International you need to buy an affiliate starter pack priced at $99.
The starter pack consists of a demo bag, sports bottle, spoon, and 2 PM-International products you can use for demos.
You can also opt to buy one of the 2 Pool Packs:
FitLine Optimal Set Pack – $500
Optimal Combo Pack – $481

PS: This program enabled me to generate a 6-figure passive income online. It’s FREE to get started and only $49/month to go full-time.

PM-International Products
PM-International has 2 product lines: FitLine and BeautyLine. FitLine is the nutritional supplements side while Beauty Line is all about cosmetics and personal care. 
PM-International prides itself on its unique formulation called Nutritional Transport Concept (also known as NTC). It claims to be a delivery system carrying nutrients to a particular cellular area where the nutrient is needed. 
However, it’s easier claimed than proven. There’s no 3rd party research proving the “unique formulation” works as it should. The FDA can’t also give any assurance whatsoever because they do not require nutritional supplement companies to submit to premarket approval. 
Instead of pre-approvals, the FDA’s enforcement efforts are done AFTER a product is available in the market not BEFORE.
As for FDA’s European counterpart, European Medicines Agency, PM-International also gives no proof they underwent evaluation with them. 
Here’s the thing:
European food authorities mostly focus on what nutrients should be and shouldn’t be included in a nutritional supplement. Checking an MLM’s health and wellness claim like the “Nutritional Transport Concept” is out of their way. 
If you’re still interested in knowing more about PM-International’s FitLine products, here’s a brief list with what it’s supposed to function is and how much it costs:
CC-Cel Lotion ($32 for 125 ml tube) – claims to help with skin’s moisture and cellulite
Activize Oxyplus ($37 for 174 g box) – energy supplement
Power Cocktail ($104 for 600 g box) – multivitamin containing B2, C, E, and selenium
ProShape All-In-1 ($34 for 420 g canister) – meal replacement supplement
Basics ($69 for 600 g box) – herbal extract  containing vegetables, fruits, fibers, cereal, enzymes, and live lactic bacteria for the digestive system
ProShape Amino ($62 for 115 g canister) – claims to help with muscle strain for those who workout
CC-Cel Capsules ($64 for a bottle with 60 capsules) – claims to help the skin be better
Restorate ($23 for 200 g box) – multi-vitamin-mineral made for regeneration
Q10 ($47 for 30 ml bottle) – claims to help cell energy
Heart Duo ($74 for 50 mg bottle) – heart supplement containing Omega 3
Omega 3 ($38 for 50ml bottle) – also claims to help heart health
Herbalism Tea ($15 for 100 g box) – herb-containing tea
D-Drink ($37 for a box with 14 single-serve packets) – daily supplement drink
Fitness Drink ($48 for 450 g box) – nutrient drink mix containing B-vitamins and magnesium

Here’s something interesting:
PM-International has a long-standing war between a Danish TV Station. TV 2 claims PM-International is making money from selling supplements that are merely powdered sugar. 
Even a nutrition science professor at the University of Oslo says that the powdered supplements are 50% sugar and does not contain organic fruits and vegetables as what they claim to be. He also says the supplement does nothing to anyone except bring in money for PM-International.
Because of this defamation, PM-International filed a lawsuit against the TV station back in 2017 which ended up getting rejected. They continued their appeal but unfortunately lost thrice in a row. 
I don’t know about you but this doesn’t sound good to me, if the court rejected them 3 times, it means there’s no substantial evidence to counter the TV 2’s claims. In my eyes, TV2’s claims are valid. This can mean instead of getting nutritional benefits from FitLine, all you’ll ever get is diabetes.
This is just for the FitLine products, here’s for the BeautyLine products:
Cleansing Tonic ($28 for 200 ml bottle) – claims to help skin from harsh outdoor environment
Ultimate Young ($117 for 15 ml bottle) – toner and wrinkle reducer
Cleansing Milk ($28 for 200 ml bottle) – facial cleanser
4ever ($66 for 50 ml container) – 24-hour facial mask claiming to rejuvenate skin
PM-International also offers Pool Packs ranging from $481-$500. Selling a Pool Pack gets you additional commissions which I’ll talk about in a bit. 
PM-International’s Compensation Plan
Like most MLM’s, earning more from PM-International involves qualifying for higher levels. A higher level gets you the chance to get more bonuses and higher percentages on commissions.
To start off this section, I’m going to talk about the 12 ranks of PM-International:
Team Partner Rank – only needs to sign up as an affiliate
Manager Rank – produce 1,500 GV every month
Sales Manager Rank – produce 2,500 GV every month and maintain 2 Manager ranked affiliates who are personally referred
Marketing Manager Rank – produce 5,000 GV every month and maintain 2 Manager ranked affiliates who are personally referred
International Marketing Manager Rank – produce 10,000 GV every month and maintain 3 Manager ranked affiliates who are personally referred
Vice President Rank – produce 25,000 GV every month and maintain 3 Sales Manager ranked affiliates who are personally referred
Executive Vice President Rank – produce 50,000 GV every month and maintain 3 Marketing Manager ranked affiliates who are personally referred
President’s Team Rank – produce 100,000 GV every month and maintain 5 Marketing Manager ranked affiliates who are personally referred
Silver President’s Team Rank – produce 200,000 GV every month and maintain 3 Vice President ranked affiliates who are personally referred
Gold President’s Team Rank – produce 400,000 GV every month and maintain 3 Executive Vice President ranked affiliates who are personally referred
Platinum President’s Team Rank – produce 600,000 GV every month and maintain 4 Executive Vice President ranked affiliates who are personally referred
Champion’s League Rank – produce 1,000,000 GV every month and maintain 5 President’s Team ranked affiliates who are personally referred
Here’s a video of the compensation plan if you want more info:

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Retail Commission Bonus
PM-International has 3 retail commission amounts you can earn from
Buy a wholesale-priced item and sell it at retail
Buy a wholesale-priced item and sell it at retail price plus an additional 10% when in a 100 PV monthly auto-ship
Buy a wholesale-priced item and sell it at retail price plus an additional 40% when in a 100 PV monthly auto-ship and being at least in a Manager rank
Top Retailer Bonus Commission
This bonus depends on GV. If you produce 2,500 in GV, you’ll get 3%  on the team’s retail sales each month. On the other hand, if you produce, 5,000 GV, you’ll get 5%. 
Recruiting Commission Bonus
As said earlier, PM-International offers Pool Packs. Selling a Pool Pack can get you $60 as a commission, another $60 will be rolled up to a Manager ranked affiliate above you. If you are however in a Manager or higher rank, the whole $120 will go to you. 
Residual Commission Bonus
PM-International gives a residual bonus from the monthly autoship orders from all team members in your uni-level compensation structure. You will be paid based on the percentage of the sales volume produced in one leg. 
This can be quite confusing so here’s a table format to make it easier:

To put it simply, most of the difference from each generation and rank is around 2%. If you think about it, your commission is dependent more on how much your downlines produce than on how much you personally produce. 
At first glance, the income potential can look great. Keep this in mind though: the process of getting to a higher rank involves recruiting people who are fired up to recruit others who are also fired up to recruit others to achieve higher levels like you. 
Unless you can find people willing to spend on at least 100 PV autoship and who have a knack for recruiting people who are ready to work on the business like you do, you’ll get nowhere. 

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Rank Achievement Bonus
This is a one-time bonus given to International Marketing Managers and those of higher rank if they meet the qualifications.
International Marketing Manager – You can receive $500 when you reach this rank within the first month of signing up as an affiliate
Vice President – You can get $1,250 when you achieve this rank within 3 months upon signing up as an affiliate
Executive Vice President – You will be given $2,500 for getting to this rank within 6 months upon signing up as an affiliate
President’s Team – $5,000 awaits you if you get to this rank within the first year upon signing up as an affiliate
Other Bonuses
A car bonus available for those with the Vice President rank or higher. There are also qualifications you need to meet to get this bonus. The bonus starts from $222 for an affiliate with Vice President rank to $2,222 for those with Champion’s League rank. 
PM-International also awards a pension plan wherein they add 50%  to the pension wallets of “top-ranked affiliates” but there’s not much information given on these beside what I just mentioned. 
There’s also an all-expense-paid World Tours reward for International Marketing Manager ranked affiliates and higher and a President’s Team Recognition reward which is a personal invitation from Sorg to visit their private villa in France. 
Pros Of PM-International
The company has a long history
The owner is widely recognized and awarded
Cons Of PM-International
Expensive products
Rank is hard to achieve and maintain
Alleged to offer supplements which are mainly sugar other than the organic content in claims to have
Is PM-International A Scam?
PM-International is not a scam. However, because they offer autoshipment for recruits, they are a borderline pyramid scheme. Unless they have a steady flow of retail customers buying their products, the system will collapse when the only people purchasing are members trying to reach a quota to get to a higher rank. 
PM-International does not provide an income disclosure statement so there’s no way to know if the money coming in is mainly from recruits, an auto-shipment of recruits, or retail customers buying products.
If the members are the only ones buying the products, when they get tired of the cycle, they will eventually quit and the source of revenue decreases. 
Think about this: 
How many months will it take for new members to realize, getting a higher rank will mean hefty amounts and tireless nights thinking of who else to recruit and help to advance in ranks too?
Once they realize making money from it is too daunting, they’ll obviously quit which takes a portion of the monthly revenue coming in. 
How about when not just one but a whole unilevel team quits?!
PM-International Review: Closing Thoughts
PM-International products are expensive. Item prices are around $100 on average. Amazon products with the same function are way more affordable. This means you’ll have a hard time selling at the retail level and ultimately settle in making recruits. 
Reality check though:
How many family and friends are willing to work on the business as much as you? I thought so too. 
Here’s another truth:
With MLMs, you’re not building your own business, you’re just helping somebody else build theirs!
If you want to have your OWN business, why not try affiliate marketing?
There’s no need to recruit
You’ll have a business you can call your own
You have tons of products to promote
You have the freedom to choose products which truly interests you
Can potentially make money around the clock
Check out this SUPER in-depth Wealthy Affiliate review to find out how it works and get started for free.
What Do You Think?
Is it enough for PM-International to be legit to ensure you’ll make tons of money? Do you think it’s better to focus on another income-generating opportunity? Share your thoughts, we’d love to hear from you. 

Hi I’m IG, nope not a kin of the social media; I’ve been IG since ’93. I’m 1 part writer, 2 parts reader and 3 parts puzzle nerd.

4 simple techniques to remember everything you learn

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Aristotle once compared human memory to a wax tablet that starts out hot and flexible, but eventually gets cold and becomes difficult to mold. For a long time this was the predominant view of our ability to learn . That is, when we are young, our brains are in excellent learning condition, but as we age, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to acquire new skills. In simple terms: you can’t teach an old dog new tricks … can you?
Recent research has challenged this belief, showing that other factors, such as an older person’s confidence in their ability to learn, are also at play. So if we stop thinking that our brain agility erodes minute by minute, we might actually be able to learn something. And in today ‘s knowledge economy , where the ability to quickly acquire new skills is more valuable than ever, this is great news for entrepreneurs looking to make themselves and their teams more competitive.
As CEO, I read industry posts and blogs every day, plus at least one non-fiction book at all times. I hire world-class consultants who keep our employees up-to-date on the latest tools and strategies, and we’ve been able to make great progress in areas where our competencies needed underpinning, for example our website SEO.
However, dedication to learning is only the first step. Metacognitive activities, such as thinking about one’s own thinking through reflection, planning, and monitoring, can also significantly facilitate learning. With all of this in mind, I wanted to share with you some personal and science-backed techniques to become a better student for life.
1. Start with a spaced repetition
Whether you’re learning to play the saxophone or studying a foreign language, repeating scales or reviewing vocabulary is the only way to mastery. Practice, or repetition, makes perfect. There is a scientific explanation for why this works. Repetition increases the myelin, or fatty coating, around the axioms that connect the neurons in our brain. The more myelin, the faster our neurons work, and the better we learn something.
It turns out that spacing out the replay, rather than grouping it into a single session, is even more effective. Demonstrating the power of spaced repetition, Gabriel Wyner, author of In Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language and Never Forget It, writes :

“In a four-month period, practicing for 30 minutes a day, you can expect to learn and retain 3,600 cards with 90 to 95 percent accuracy. These cards can teach you an alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, and even pronunciation. And they can do it without getting tedious, because they are always challenging enough to remain interesting and fun. ”

So we not only increase our retention, but we also avoid the traps of waning enthusiasm, also known as boredom.To use this learning technique, start by establishing a manageable study schedule. Then I would recommend choosing a method for storing and organizing the information. In the old days, that meant using cards, but today we have useful software options like Evernote and SuperMemo. And don’t forget to test yourself periodically. Tracking your progress will increase your motivation to continue.
2. Take the time to reflect
Reflection can be invaluable for learning and improving performance at work. Harvard professor Francesca Gino and her colleagues found that employees who spend 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting on lessons learned have 23 percent better learning after 10 days than those who did not.
In addition to solidifying what we have already learned, reflection also helps generate new ideas. I’ve had some of my best product ideas when I’m not working. During my morning exercise or on the walk after lunch, I will find the perfect solution to a problem that has been bothering me for weeks.
As the psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman explains : “Our most creative ideas do not usually appear when we are consciously focused on the problem. Great ideas come from interacting with people, gaining experiences, and letting the mind make connections. ” In fact, Kaufman found that 72 percent of people have new ideas … where else? The shower. These “shower ideas” are the result of reflection, as our brains make connections between the information that we have already consumed. That is why I encourage my employees to use their vacation days. After some genuine free time, they return to the office with more energy and often with a new vision.
3. You have to break it down
I’m sure teachers will agree that the best way to learn something is to explain it to someone else. That’s why the first step in Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman’s learning formula is: teach it to a child . Or at least trace how you would explain something to a child. As Feynman once said , “If you can’t explain it in simple terms, then you don’t understand.”
If you try to break down a concept in its simplest terms, you will quickly find out if you really understand it or if you have knowledge gaps. And when we do find those gaps, Feynman’s technique suggests going back to the source material and relearning what is missing.
When my wife was pregnant with our second child, I decided to take three months of (mostly) uninterrupted parental leave. To do so, I would have to delegate a large part of my responsibilities to my employees. Months prior, I began to guide my colleagues through each task step by step. I soon realized that by teaching them how to do my job, I was strengthening my own skills, as well as recognizing the areas where I needed to brush up.
4. Transfer what you learn
I think we can all agree that Elon Musk has an extraordinary learning aptitude. From software and energy to transportation and aerospace, the rocket company’s CEO is a true polymath, or expert in various fields. But Musk’s wide range of knowledge is actually integral to his ability to learn, because taking what we study in one context and applying it to another helps deepen our understanding of both. It’s a technique called transfer of learning, and according to Musk’s interviews, it uses a two-step process. First, it deconstructs knowledge in its fundamental principles. Then he rebuilds it in a new field. Let’s say you are studying Italian, but you also want to become a better cook. You can simply take a cooking class in Italian. The latter will most likely strengthen your understanding of the language and teach you how to prepare, say, a half-Bolognese spaghetti. Another advantage of becoming a polymath is that it can lead to innovation. For example, a thorn caught in a dog’s fur became the design inspiration for Velcro.
Entrepreneurs and their organizations have a lot to gain from engaging in continuous learning, but on a personal level, I think this approach also makes the day-to-day experience richer. Just have confidence in yourself and you will see: you can teach any dog a new trick.

Nearly 12 Million Vinyl Records Sold in 2020

If you thought the pandemic would take its toll on businesses like those that sell vinyl records and other music forms, think again.
In 2020, about 12 million vinyl records sold. This was part of more than 16 million pieces of physical music sold worldwide. Physical music witnessed a 40% increase in sales over 2019.
This was the finding of Discogs 2020 Report. Discogs is the world’s leading database, marketplace and community for physical music.
The growth in physical music sales in 2020 contradicts with the predominantly gloomy business outlook many other industries experienced due to immense disruption caused by the pandemic. It shows that music fans are robust and determined not to let the pitfalls of a pandemic get in the way of purchasing their favorite music.

Vinyl Record Sales Increased 40% in 2020
The optimistic data is also insightful for entrepreneurs who may be considering starting their own independent record shop. Or perhaps sellers of vintage items, who may want to consider adding highly sought-after records to their stock.
As Discogs notes in its ‘The State of Discogs 2020: End-of-Year Report’: This year has brought its fair share of challenges. At the beginning of 2020, we could not predict the global COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on small businesses. However, the data in the Discogs End-of-Year Report 2020 proves that music fans are resilient, active, and enthusiastic. The State of Discogs is looking good thanks to a thriving vinyl community.”
CDs and Cassettes Also in High Demand
As well as vinyl, sales of CDs increased in 2020, witnessing a 37.18% year-over-year growth, with almost 3.5 million CDs purchased in 2020. Even cassettes, which have reached retro status and appeal, were in high demand. Almost 282,800 cassettes were sold through the Discog’s Marketplace in 2020, a 33.33% increase over the previous year.
The report even showed the most in-demand musical genres in 2020. The best-selling releases of the five most popular genres in Discog’s database were rock, electronic, pop, jazz, and funk/soul. These genres accounted for more than 81% of all releases added to Discog user collections.
The report provides an optimistic snapshot for independent music sellers or vintage item vendors wanting to increase their stock with sellable, in-demand items.
Even during a year crippled by disruption that had a huge impact on merchants, physical music – particularly vinyl records – retain their desirability.
Image: Depositphotos

3 Clever Sanitizing Solutions You Can Use Everyday

These solutions will help keep your cards, pens, and hands clean all the time.
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February 21, 2021 2 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
This past year has raised everybody’s hygienic consciousness. From loading up on hand sanitizer to avoiding pressing elevator buttons or opening public doors, people are doing their best to protect themselves from the germs lying around in everyday life. And the solutions for doing so keep getting more innovative. Case in point, Cleanint’s collection of products. 
Cleancard Refillable Card Sanitizer
Image credit: Cleanint

First, the Cleancard Refillable Card Sanitizer is a refillable sanitizer for credit or debit cards, your driver’s license, gift cards, or any other card you carry. Just put it on the counter and slide a card in to clean it. The Cleancard uses a sponge soaked with your choice of sanitizer to provide an antimicrobial cleaning that wipes away debris without damaging the card. You can get a two-pack for $26.99 (Reg. $29). 

Cleanhands Refillable Hand Sanitizer Clip
Image credit: Cleanint

The Cleanhands Hand Sanitizer Clip is an innovative alternative to hand sanitizer. This mobile and personal clip lets you sanitize your hands whenever you need to without searching for a bottle. The cartridge is filled with isopropyl alcohol sanitizer and dispenses up to 1,000 sprays per refill. You can keep it on any strap or belt or in any purse, pocket, or backpack and have it handy in a jiffy. No need to squeeze bottles, remove lids, or deal with messy gels. Get a four-pack for $42.99 (Reg. $49). 
Cleanpen Pen Holder & Sanitizer
Image credit: Cleanint

Finally, the Cleanpen Pen Holder & Sanitizer is a pen holder and sanitizer that works perfectly on any writing utensil. It comes with a specially-formulated sponge refill designed to dispense a unique cleaning solution that eliminates germs on contact. A refill lasts two to four weeks so you can clean all of your pens quickly. You can get a four-pack for $39.99 (Reg. $45). 

10 Powerful Ways to Master Self-Discipline & Lead a Happier Life

May 14, 2019 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It may be hard to believe when you’re facing a hot-fudge sundae or the prospect of sleeping in versus hitting the gym, but studies show that people with self-discipline are happier.
People with a higher degree of self-control spend less time debating whether to indulge in behaviors that are detrimental to their health, and are able to make positive decisions more easily. They don’t let impulses or feelings dictate their choices. Instead, they make level-headed decisions. As a result, they tend to feel more satisfied with their lives.
There are things you can do to learn self-discipline and gain the willpower to live a happier life. If you are looking to take control of your habits and choices, here are the 10 most powerful things you can do to master self-discipline.
1. Know your weaknesses.
We all have weaknesses. Whether they’re snacks such as potato chips or chocolate chip cookies, or technology such as Facebook or the latest addictive game app, they have similar effects on us.
Acknowledge your shortcomings, whatever they may be. Too often people either try to pretend their vulnerabilities don’t exist or cover up any pitfalls in their lives. Own up to your flaws. You can’t overcome them until you do.
Related: 8 Ways to Create the Discipline Habit
2. Remove temptations.
Like the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” It may seem silly, but this phrase offers powerful advice. By simply removing your biggest temptations from your environment, you will greatly improve your self-discipline.
If you want to eat healthier, don’t buy junk food. If you want to improve your productivity at work, turn off notifications and silence your cell phone. The fewer distractions you have, the more focused you will be on accomplishing your goals. Set yourself up for success by ditching bad influences.
3. Set clear goals and have an execution plan.
If you hope to achieve self-discipline, you must have a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish. You must also have an understanding of what success means to you. After all, if you don’t know where you are going, it’s easy to lose your way or get sidetracked.
A clear plan outlines each step you must take in order to reach your goals. Figure out who you are and what you are about. Create a mantra to keep yourself focused. Successful people use this technique to stay on track and establish a clear finish line.
4. Build your self-discipline.
We aren’t born with self-discipline — it’s a learned behavior. And just like any other skill you want to master, it requires daily practice and repetition. Just like going to the gym, willpower and self-discipline take a lot of work. The effort and focus that self-discipline requires can be draining.
As time passes, it can become more and more difficult to keep your willpower in check. The bigger the temptation or decision, the more challenging it can feel to tackle other tasks that also require self-control. So work on building your self-discipline through daily diligence.
Related: 7 Ways to Gain Self Discipline and Strive Towards Greatness
5. Create new habits by keeping it simple.
Acquiring self-discipline and working to instill a new habit can feel daunting at first, especially if you focus on the entire task at hand. To avoid feeling intimidated, keep it simple. Break your goal into small, doable steps. Instead of trying to change everything at once, focus on doing one thing consistently and master self-discipline with that goal in mind.
If you’re trying to get in shape, start by working out 10 or 15 minutes a day. If you’re trying to achieve better sleep habits, start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. If you want to eat healthier, start by prepping lunch the night before to take with you in the morning. Take baby steps. Eventually, when you’re ready, you can add more goals to your list.
6. Eat often and healthy.
The feeling of being hangry — that angry, annoyed, irritated sensation you get when you’re hungry — is real and can have a substantial impact on willpower. Research has proven that low blood sugar often weakens a person’s resolve, making you grumpy and pessimistic.
When you’re hungry, your ability to concentrate suffers and your brain doesn’t function as well. Your self-control is likely weakened in all areas, including diet, exercise, work and relationships. So fuel up with healthy snacks and regular meals to keep yourself in check.
7. Change your perception about willpower.
According to a study by Stanford University, the amount of willpower a person has is determined by their beliefs. If you believe you have a limited amount of willpower, you probably won’t surpass those limits. If you don’t place a limit on your self-control, you are less likely to exhaust yourself before meeting your goals.
In short, it may be that our internal conceptions about willpower and self-control determine how much of them we have. If you can remove these subconscious obstacles and truly believe you can do it, then you will give yourself an extra boost of motivation toward making those goals a reality.
8. Give yourself a backup plan.
Psychologists use a technique to boost willpower called “implementation intention.” That’s when you give yourself a plan to deal with a potentially difficult situation you know you will likely face. For instance, imagine that you’re working on eating healthier, but you’re on your way to a party where food will be served.
Before you go, tell yourself that instead of diving into a plate of cheese and crackers, you will sip a glass of water and focus on mingling. Going in with a plan will help give you the mindset and the self-control necessary for the situation. You will also save energy by not having to make a sudden decision based on your emotional state.
9. Reward yourself.
Give yourself something to be excited about by planning a reward when you accomplish your goals. Just like when you were a little kid and got a treat for good behavior, having something to look forward to gives you the motivation to succeed.
Anticipation is powerful. It gives you something to obsess over and focus on, so you’re not only thinking of what you are trying to change. And when you achieve your goal, find a new goal and a new reward to keep yourself moving forward.
10. Forgive yourself and move forward.
Even with all of our best intentions and well-laid plans, we sometimes fall short. It happens. You will have ups and downs, great successes and dismal failures. The key is to keep moving forward.
If you stumble, acknowledge what caused it and move on. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in guilt, anger or frustration, because these emotions will only drag you further down and impede future progress. Learn from your missteps and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and refocus on your goals.
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Small Business Struggles Point To Three Policy Priorities

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Photo by: STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 2/5/21 10,000 stores are set to close in 2021 as the Coronavirus … [+] Pandemic continues to wreak havoc on retailers.
STRF/STAR MAX/IPx
Young business survival and growth. Workforce development. Child care.
Those, at least, are my takeaways from new survey data on small businesses. Together with the Small Business Roundtable, Facebook recently released its latest State of Small Business report for the United States. And the National Federation of Independent Business published two new updates from its members.
A topline finding in these surveys is the continuing struggle for many small businesses to stay open, pay the bills, and deal with massive uncertainty. The Facebook report, which provides an update to survey data last collected in April, finds a large jump in pessimism. In December 2020 (when the new survey was fielded), just 37% of closed businesses expected that they would reopen within six months. In April, that figure was 66%. The longer the pandemic has dragged on, the gloomier small business owners have gotten.
In the NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends report released in January, its Optimism Index fell in January. Here’s the most startling part: “Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months declined 7 points to a net negative 23 percent, the lowest level since November 2013.”

Sinking expectations among small business owners are not necessarily surprising. The last few months have been the worst of the pandemic in terms of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Things have started to turn around in recent weeks, and one has to believe that, in surveys being taken now, perhaps we’ll start see glimmers of optimism.
More interestingly, the Facebook and Small Business Roundtable report—as well as some data points in the NFIB materials—illuminate three issues that will be critical for recovery.
Young Businesses are the Key
This sentence in the Facebook report stood out to me: “Personal businesses tended to have opened more recently and have fewer employees, characteristics that were found to be associated with higher closure rates” (emphasis added). And again later, in discussion of the disproportionate impact on minority-owned businesses: “Businesses in majority-minority neighborhoods were also more likely to have opened more recently and to have fewer employees.”

Younger firms (in business for no more than five years) have been more vulnerable during the pandemic to closure. This is partly because young firms, in good times and bad, are typically less likely to survive. But over the last 12 months, business age has been a vector of disproportionate impact on businesses owned by people of color and women.
In 2018, according to the Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey, 36% of U.S. employer firms had been in business for five years or fewer. Among Black-owned businesses, 46% were 5 years or younger; for women-owned businesses, 42%. One implication of this age breakdown is that new business entry over the last several years has been higher among women and people of color. Yet roughly half of employer firms don’t survive past their fifth birthday—and the pandemic exacerbated the vulnerabilities of age.
The other implication is that the extent to which the benefits of the post-pandemic recovery are broadly shared will depend, in part, on strong rates of new business entry by women and people of color. And, the survival and growth, in their early years, of the businesses they start.
Small Businesses Need Talent
This finding, from the NFIB survey, is striking given the context of a pandemic recession and high unemployment: 90 percent of small business respondents hiring or trying to hire “reported few or no ‘qualified’ applicants for the positions they were trying to fill in January.” Finding quality labor is the number one business problem now cited by NFIB respondents.
A similar result is found in the Facebook/Small Business Roundtable report, where 34% of small businesses said they “found it challenging to find adequately skilled employees.” When the underemployment (U-6) rate is 11.1%, such stated challenges are remarkable.
This could be a function of the pandemic and its effects. Economic research suggests Covid-19 “is a persistent reallocation shock,” meaning that jobs (and workers) are getting shifted into different industries. Such reallocation would result in businesses in certain areas—especially those in low-productivity areas—facing labor challenges. We also know that many people have left the labor force, especially women.
Yet a “skills gap” existed pre-pandemic. In the NFIB survey data, the citation of qualified labor as a challenge has been rising steadily since 2010. Coming out of the pandemic, small businesses—of all sizes and ages—will need talented workers. Our workforce systems—education and training—are clearly in need of upgrading and modernization.
Child Care
The move to virtual learning and restrictions on child care centers has put enormous burdens on parents, particularly those without the option to work from home. Much of this burden has fallen on women, including female business owners. In the Facebook report, while 14% of male small business leaders said they had spent more time caring for children in the past six months, 35% of female small business leaders said they had. The gap was comparably large in educating children at home and housework.
Overall, in the Facebook survey, “female business leaders were 31 percentage points more likely to report that domestic tasks impacted their work a moderate amount, a lot or a great deal compared to male business leaders.” This unequally-shared burden has been on top of higher business closure rates in those sectors with higher proportions of female business ownership, as demonstrated in the Facebook report.
Women business owners—and new potential female entrepreneurs—face an impossible set of circumstances. Their business is more likely to still be closed; instead of working on a new opportunity or to reopen, they’re caring more for children, both those in school (at home) and those too young for school. Even if their business is still open, they’re facing high pressure because of those caregiving responsibilities.
A child care crisis existed in the United States before the pandemic; like the other issues highlighted here, it was greatly worsened over the past year. It affects many more people than just small business owners yet, like business age, has been a vector of disproportionate impact among entrepreneurs.
These dimensions of the crisis and their impact on U.S. entrepreneurship must be kept in mind by policymakers as they forge ahead with relief and reform.