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At Age 12, He Was Cyberbullied On YouTube. By 15, He Was Running a Profitable Marketing Agency for Instagram Stars.

March 1, 2021 9 min read
When Laurence Moss was 12, he decided to try his hand at becoming a YouTuber. It was a quick and harsh lesson in cyberbullying. As he recalls, “Amateurish videos of me talking to a camera seemed to be something that people liked to make fun of.”
So he switched gears. At 13, he pivoted to Instagram, experimenting with accounts themed around everything from memes to cars, with less of an emphasis on his own face and personality. By the end of 2018, he’d accumulated well over a quarter-million followers and realized he had a knack for intuiting what drew people to other users’ content. 
The following year, having only just turned 14, Moss launched his marketing agency, Greedy Growth, from his home in Kent, UK. In the company’s own verbiage, it exists to “turn your Instagram page into a marketing asset,” claims clients including soccer star Joel Mumbongo and health-food brand Ossa Organic, and earned five figures in revenue in 2020.
Zooming in from his home office, Moss — who is also still contending with his academic studies while managing Greedy Growth’s remote sales, operations and customer-support teams — discussed his day-to-day grind, as well as whether he can still enjoy social media for its more whimsically exhibitionist pleasures. 
Related: Teen Basketball Trainer Ryan Ang Has Some Tips for Other Young Entrepreneurs
What does running a company like this from your home with a remote team while also attending school actually look like when you zoom in on it?
There’s staff based in lots of different countries. We’ve got freelancers based in the UK. All the people working underneath me are independent contractors. Some of them work a few hours a day. It’s people in a Slack channel, and I’ve got people in different positions throughout the company to do different tasks. One of the reasons why I’ve been able to scale so much while being at school and being young is because I’ve been able to recognize the things that I need to delegate so that I can put the time I have in the right places.
This is also happening against the backdrop of the pandemic. Is this a balancing act you think most students could pull off or are you just uniquely cut out for it?
I never went into it thinking of myself as an entrepreneur. It grew out of a hobby for me, sort of wanting to build communities on Instagram. I had about a year when I wasn’t monetizing it. Not everybody can balance it. It really just depends on the person. Over the past few months, yes, it’s been difficult to balance, but I’ve realized that’s just part of the process. And if I do want to scale, this is what I’m going to have to do.
Do you ever feel like you’re missing out on the fun of being a teen on Instagram if you’re always having to think about leveraging it for your business?
Yeah, don’t get me wrong. I do have an Instagram account, where I talk to my friends and all that kind of stuff. I am just like pretty much everybody. I partake in Instagram as a consumer, and I think in a way, being a consumer on Instagram kind of helps you understand the position that brands are in when they’re trying to reach their consumers. You’re scrolling through, seeing things that pick up your own attention. 
How did you start to convert brands that were skeptical of signing on because of your youth?
The outreach does not stop when you’re running a business. I don’t think there’s a point where you stop putting yourself out there. For us, it’s definitely an aggressive scaling strategy that we’re currently using to try and help brands understand how our service could benefit them. There are obviously going to be people out there who might not trust a 16-year-old with their marketing spend, but you know, here in the United Kingdom, you can register a company when you’re 16. So I’m currently the only director, and it’s a registered company. And over the past year and a half, we’ve built up enough case studies to show people that yes, we are a real marketing company, as we can get results.
When I launched the company I was 14, and I was getting on calls with business owners, and as long as I displayed the confidence of knowing my craft, which was Instagram marketing, then they were confident to trust me with their marketing spend. But there are always going to be the odd business owners who are trying to haggle you down and try and take advantage of your age. It’s just about having that diligence and understanding that I’m not going to make concessions on the price that I offer my services if they think they can get that because of my age. Sometimes if you’re starting a business as a young person, you can fall into the trap of making those sorts of concessions. You have to set a bottom line regardless of how much money you are making.
Who sets the tone for your mindset in all this? Was it family? Did you have entrepreneurs you admired?
My brother is in university and has followed a very academic path. My parents are big believers in academic paths. Obviously they’ve come to realize that I’m probably on more of an entrepreneurial one, but I never really had a mentor. There are industry leaders that I look up to, like Gary V. There’s a UK-based influencer marketing agency called the Ghost Agency that’s fairly large, and they’re a 200-employee business.
I look up to those sorts of people, but I wouldn’t say I had someone holding my hand. And I think that part of the reason I got to the point where I am now is because I was almost a self-starter. So nobody held my hand or told me to do any of this. It has to come off your own bat as an entrepreneur. If I didn’t have that drive to try and find things out for myself and be curious, I don’t think it would have come about in the first place.
It also sounds like you’re still on the fence about whether to continue juggling studies and entrepreneurial efforts down the line?
I still might want to go to university. It’s not something that I’ve decided yet. There is a likelihood of me deciding when the time comes around that I don’t want to go to uni, and that I want to pursue the business full-time. Not that it isn’t already a proper business, but you know, devoting more time towards it than I’ve been able to.
Instagram and social media marketing are becoming oversaturated spaces. Are you keeping an eye out for the next under-saturated sector?
Oversaturated is probably a word that’s used a bit too much when we refer to social media platforms. I think there’s always going to be audiences that hang out on social media platforms. As long as you’re staying ahead in terms of the trends happening on those social media platforms, there’s always a way to reach that audience. So for example, when TikTok was released, obviously it drew some attention away from Instagram, but they made Reels, which tried to grab a little bit of that back. I see Instagram being fairly longterm, but obviously you never really know what’s gonna come around the door and be the next Instagram.
For me, it’s about which platform can help the brands that we work with get the most exposure right now. That’s why I’ve chosen Instagram and that’s why we stuck with Instagram thus far.
And is there a North Star for you as far as maintaining ethical standards as the company becomes more profitable?
To be honest with you, what makes me most happy is not necessarily the money side of things, but my idea growing. Early this year, we started working with professional British footballers, and it’s really interesting to me how I can stake this idea and turn it into something that’s actually real and making an impact. 
Related: 19-Year-Old Scottish Teen’s Cancer Motivates Entrepreneurial Success
If you could say something now to the folks online who used to bully you, what would it be?
It’s all about empathy and understanding that I don’t hate anybody for any decisions or actions that they make. Many of the people who did those sorts of things back then, I’m now quite good friends with. I think the whole reason why I persevered is because I’ve learned to sort of stay in my own lane. Other people’s decisions or other people’s thoughts don’t really make a difference to me. I’ve got a close support network of friends that I really care about, and family, and what those people say to me does have an impact. But anybody outside of that, I take it with a grain of salt. You never know where what somebody is saying is coming from.

The Founder Of Luxury Ayurvedic Skin And Wellness Brand, UMA Oils, Shares Her Top Five Tips For Boosting Immunity

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UMA Oils founder, Shrankhla Holecek has been immersed in the traditions of Ayurveda, a natural medicinal system that originates from India dating back over 5000 years, since she was a child. She was raised in India where her ancestors were Ayurvedic doctors for the Indian Royal family and for centuries have organically grown and crafted the world’s finest botanical oils on their farms in Central India.

UMA Oils
Courtesy of UMA Oils
“The word Ayurveda means ‘science of life,’ and really, that’s what it is,” explains Holecek.  “It offers incredibly practical and intuitive advice about diet, exercise, and general lifestyle to help you thrive and be the best you can be. It encompasses not only science, but also philosophy, whereby the whole of life’s journey is considered sacred. Ayurveda draws on a system of scientific and practical knowledge, which is rooted in the ancient belief systems about the constitution of the human body and its close relationship with the environment within which it exists.”
Five years prior to launching her luxury beauty and wellness brand, UMA Oils, known for its luxurious, small-batch products, Holecek was a consultant at McKinsey. When I inquire why she left her corporate position to launch her own company she tells me it wasn’t an easy decision. “Part of me feels like I always knew that this was something I was meant to do.  Yet, the other part of me was also so content to be a consultant, work with the amazing people I did, and on some incredibly challenging problems.” 

“Having come from such ‘earthy roots’ in India, I think I craved the tangibility of product, and product-driven businesses,” continues Holecek. “More importantly, I think there was an element of ‘the universe conspiring’ as the chatter about organic, cleaning, wholesome living—arguably the very core values of Ayurveda—was getting louder around me every day. I really felt that with UMA, we could create something of value that would touch many lives positively and also become a conduit to understand Ayurveda, which can really transform health, wellness, and beauty so profoundly.” Holecek made Uma Oils a full-time commitment in 2016 when she formally launched the brand. 

UMA Oils founder, Shrankhla Holecek

As soon as get your hands on the brand’s products and experience its contents, you know love is the key ingredient. I attribute this in part to the fact that raw ingredients come from Holecek’s organic family farms where each ingredient is tenderly cared for. Holecek tells me, “Reputation and word of mouth are incredibly important and we were fortunate to receive international accolades from those in the know (like celebrated perfumers) early on especially for oils like jasmine, vetiver, sandalwood, which are specialties of the Indian subcontinent. Over the last few decades, we’ve supplied some of the biggest names in perfumery and beauty with individual ingredients.”
Her family farms grow about 500-acres of essential oil ingredients, which can range from flowers, roots, grasses, and trees with roughly 100 of those acres dedicated for use in UMA products. “A lot of our farms have been in our family for centuries, though there are other lands we’ve started to farm more recently as we consolidate our operations geographically to allow for efficiency and lower our transportation footprint.”
A team of dedicated caretakers selects only the finest seeds, then they nurse the plants through the growing season. “While many crop growers harvest the same plant multiple times to produce as much oil as possible, at Uma we harvest each plant no more than two times before replanting, because we have learned that the first two harvests generate the highest quality essential oils, and that their potency declines after the second harvest,” explains Holecek. “This results in a lower yield, but far superior oils. Once the plants move from the meadow to the factory they are greeted by a team of skilled technicians and extractors, who shepherd the plants through the distillation process. The factory itself is uniquely self-sustaining and environment-friendly, with its innovative machinery that converts waste product back into reusable fuel. This allows us to operate with minimal dependence on outside energy resources, while leaving behind the smallest of footprints.”

UMA Oils
Courtesy of UMA Oils

UMA Oils
Courtesy of UMA Oils
Sustainability is at the core of UMA Oils. “Ayurveda philosophies dictate all the practices within UMA’s product lifecycle, from our farming methods to the actual formulas in our products,” states Holecek. “According to Ayurveda, a close relationship exists between human and the universe we exist in of which nature is a key part, and has long been held in a place of reverence. Ayurveda dictates that we give back in equal part what we take from the environment, a mantra we closely follow.”
Holecek continues, “It’s always important to consider the communities that are just as important to sustain when thinking about environmental sustenance. Especially since empowering communities to have an environmentally sustainable outlook leads to real impact. UMA has a long history of providing safe and dignified employment for women, and takes great pride in the fact that local women make up over 50% of its workforce. From its inception and as a pioneer for its time, UMA has provided men and women equal pay for equal work. In a country that where gender discrimination is sadly too often the norm, UMA’s progressive stance on gender equality sends a powerful, positive message that past injustice will be tolerated no more.
Self-love is arguably the most important tenet of Ayurveda. “It empowers you to not only garner a deeper understanding of your uniqueness and what a powerful gift individuality is, but also to strengthen that natural intuition whereby listening to your body – truly listening ­- can help you become the healthiest, most vital and balanced version of yourself that you can be,” explains Holecek. “Traditional ways of showing self-love can range from self massages to even respecting the body’s needs—like going to sleep when it tells you to, eating nourishing foods, and practicing emotionally/ spiritually healthy habits. I really believe that a majority of the answers we seek are within us already. We just need to learn to listen to ourselves again.”

UMA Oils
Courtesy of UMA Oils
With the ongoing pandemic and recent studies validating many of Ayurveda’s practices supporting immunity, I thought it would be interesting to tap into Holecek for some helpful tips that anyone at home can do to boost their immune system health. Since UMA Oils formulations used in the below practices are based on ancient formulations once only used for royalty, we can now all experience the royal treatment in the comfort of our homes.
Dry Brushing
One of the most powerful elements of dry brushing is its ability to stimulate the lymphatic system. In short, the lymphatic system acts as an important fluid guard against illness and disease, helping protect the body against foreign elements, toxins, or other impurities. As the firm, stimulating motions of dry brushing boost oxygen and blood flow, the flow and drainage of lymph is also boosted, allowing for healthy circulation and the necessary expulsion of toxins.  In addition to the general promotion of good health and the expulsion of toxins, a stimulated and active lymphatic system has also been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation. 
Oil Pulling
In Ayurveda, the mouth is viewed as a telling reflection of the body’s health. Since the mouth is a site that harbors bacteria, toxins, and other impurities, our oral hygiene is closely linked to our overall health. As various studies demonstrate, the practice of oil pulling generates antioxidants that pull the lipid layers of bacterial cell membranes into the oil and block bacterial growth and plaque formation. As a result, the toxins and impurities in our mouths—or ama—can be removed from the body once the oil is spit out. In Ayurvedic tradition, oil pulling is carried out in the morning before brushing the teeth. 
Tongue Scraping  
For as long as I can remember, I’ve also dutifully scraped my tongue alongside brushing my teeth. In Ayurvedic tradition, tongue scraping is an extremely simple practice that has a major impact on our health: it removes the impurities on the tongue that might otherwise compound into more serious health problems. As we sleep, a combination of food, bacteria, fungi, and other toxins accumulate on our tongues. Without proper care, these impurities—or ama—can be reabsorbed into the body, leading to problems as varying as digestive issues, acne, or bad breath. Through tongue scraping, the negative effects of accumulation can be countered and prevented—as one study shows, this Ayurvedic practice improves bad breath and eliminates harmful coatings on the tongue. 
Triphala is an ancient blend of bibhitaki, amalaki, and haritaki, three organic fruits native to India known for its balancing, cleansing, and nourishing properties. Triphala is a multi-purpose herbal remedy used for various ailments including digestive issues. Research shows that it may help to support internal cleansing, healthy regular bowel movements, and tissue nourishment. Some experts suggest it offers adaptogenic benefits. Triphala is also looked to as a general Ayurvedic rasayana to support bodily functions and promote overall vitality, longevity, and good health. It is found in our Digestive Detox Triphala Herbal Supplement. 
In Ayurveda, hot or warm water is preferred over ice-cold water because it is believed to hydrate our bodies and tissue more. Warm or hot water helps flush out toxins (or excess ama) and aids in hydration of the organs and assisting with lymphatic drainage. Drinking freshly boiled water, especially with the addition of lemon, first thing in the morning and before mealtime helps to stimulate healthy digestion and soften hardened foods. Cold water has been shown to hinder this process.

Could Walmart Be the Ultimate Growth Stock?

March 1, 2021 4 min read
This story originally appeared on StockNews
Attention Walmart shoppers, you have made the shares of the company founded by Sam Walton in Arkansas soar.
At $129.92 per share on February 26, Walmart Inc (WMT – Get Rating) had a $367.581 billion market cap. The company is an eight-hundred-pound gorilla in retail and wholesale markets. WMT operates in three segments, Walmart US, Walmart International, and Sam’s Club, its exclusive membership warehouse club that was likely a model for Costco (COST). On April 7, 1983, Sam’s Club, the namesake for Walmart’s founder, burst on the scene in Midwest City, Oklahoma. On September 15, 1983, Costco opened its first location in Seattle, Washington.
WMT operates approximately 11,500 stores and various e-commerce websites under 56 banners in 27 countries. Just over 51% of WMT shares are held by insiders, Sam Walton’s heirs.
Walmart could be one of the ultimate growth stocks as the trend has been higher for decades.
Any dip has been a buy since the late 1980s
From 1987 through 1999, WMT shares experienced substantial growth. The stock moved sideways over the next dozen years from 2000 through 2012 when it broke out to a new high.
Source: Barchart
The chart shows that WMT broke above the 1999 high of $70.25 in 2012 and moved steadily higher through 2020. The stock reached its latest all-time high of $153.66 in December 2020.
MWT has been a growth stock for decades. Any price weakness has been a buying opportunity since the late 1980s.
A pullback since late 2020
Even the most aggressive bull markets or growth stocks rarely move in a straight line. Corrections make investors nervous, but they can present excellent buying opportunities.  
Source: Barchart
As the chart illustrates, WMT shares corrected from the December 1 all-time high of $153.66 to below the $130 level at the end of last week.
The shares remain well-above the March 2020 $102 low when risk-off conditions sent the stock market to a significant bottom during the start of the global pandemic. 
A rising dividend
WMT currently pays shareholders a $2.20 dividend. At $137 per share, the yield is 1.69%. The dividend trend has been positive over the past years.
The chart shows the annualized dividend has gradually risen from $1.88 to $2.20 since 2013.
Steady earnings and revenue growth
Walmart consistently earns profits. However, rare earnings miss in Q1 2021 likely weighed on the stock price.
Source: Yahoo Finance
As the chart shows, WMT delivered EPS above consensus forecasts over three of the past four quarters. In the first financial quarter of 2021, the company missed estimates by twelve cents, reporting EPS of $1.39.
Source: Yahoo Finance
The revenue trend has been positive for the retailer. A survey of thirty-two analysts on Yahoo Finance has an average price target of $159.84 for WMT shares, with forecasts ranging from $120 to $180.
Meanwhile, Wall Street continues to favor the stock.  
Source: Yahoo Finance
Five of six analysts rate WMT overweight or outperform, while only one has a sell rating in the stock.
Keep buying those dips
Walmart’s retail and wholesale franchises worldwide make WMT a growth stock. The company recently announced plans to invest $14 billion in enhancements, including automation, supply chain, and other areas, to boost long-term sales. Last year, the company invested a lower $10.3 billion.
Walmart is concentrating on its e-commerce business as it challenges (AMZN). CEO Doug McMillon recently said, “We weren’t the first place you go to buy products online. We’re trying to change that, obviously.”
The pandemic caused Walmart’s e-commerce sales to increase by 79% in fiscal 2021 after growing 37% in fiscal 2020. The lion’s share of growth came from grocery pickup and delivery service as WMT is the US’s leading grocer. Strategic partnerships with Shopify (SHOP) and The Trade Desk, a leading digital advertiser, could raise WMT’s profile on social media sites along with company profits.
The correction from December 2020’s record high in WMT shares is likely to be another buying opportunity for investors. WMT’s franchise and plans to expand its online presence bode well for its future and make it a growth stock for the coming years.

Adapt or Die: How to Thrive Amid Digital-Marketing Chaos

March 1, 2021 8 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When it comes to marketing, far too many entrepreneurs settle into a comfortable rut where they’re doing the same thing and getting increasingly diminishing returns. This leads to less exposure and declining revenue. Often, this happens slowly over time, until it hits a crisis point where they finally realize they have to take massive action to get back on track.
Marketing is a constantly and rapidly evolving field, so as entrepreneurs, we need to keep up in order to remain competitive and profitable.
We have to adapt if we want to not only survive, but thrive.
Related: How You Should Be Evaluating Your Content Marketing Success
Facebook’s devolution creates uncertainty 
Facebook was once a dream come true for marketers, but if you asked those same people today, you’d get a very different answer. 
Shortly after Facebook launched pages for brands, marketers jumped on board and learned that they could quickly build an audience of highly engaged fans who would see nearly everything they posted. It didn’t take long before the social media juggernaut started ratcheting organic reach down. 
Today, marketers are lucky if 1% of their audience ever sees their posts, forcing them to rely on paid ads to reach the audience they had already earned. 
But Facebook’s problems don’t end with the death of organic reach. Even their advertising platform has become increasingly plagued with problems The company has chosen to replace most of its customer service staff with artificial intelligence, but the AI isn’t quite ready for that yet.
Marketers, who were forced into running paid ads to make up for the loss of organic reach, are now facing a new and ridiculous challenge: Facebook’s AI gets it so wrong so often that, despite completely complying with their terms of service, ads are rejected, pages and groups are deleted, and ad accounts are permanently shut down. 
When this happens, there is no one to talk to and typically no way to appeal the decision. This has caused many marketers — even some who were once Facebook’s most vocal advocates — to completely change their opinion on it being a viable marketing platform.
When you factor in all of this, along with Apple’s not-so-quiet war with Facebook, the rocket-like growth trajectory of Clubhouse and recent lawsuits by the Department of Justice, it’s easy to see why Facebook’s once-dominant position is quickly slipping away. It’s simply no longer the utopia it once was.
From a practical standpoint, we should never have relied so heavily on Facebook in the first place. Or any single channel, for that matter. As someone with deep roots in the search industry, I’ve seen firsthand the devastation caused by the overreliance on a single channel each time Google released a major update to their algorithm, but we’ll discuss that in more depth shortly.
Customer data and relationships are critical
Facebook’s arbitrary bans of pages, groups and ad accounts have made something abundantly clear to marketers, and it is this: It’s foolish not to own your customer data. That’s critical because it’s how you maintain these relationships regardless of what else goes on with any particular channel. This has highlighted the importance of email marketing because, in addition to the ability to communicate with your customers literally any time you want, it also gives you the ability to export your data and take it to another platform.
Email marketing creates a different relationship with your customers than ads because if done right, can help to create a more personal relationship. The key here is for at least some of the emails to come from a person (or people) within your company rather than just from the company name. It’s also important that these emails be written in a natural and engaging style. 
Podcasts have continued to grow rapidly for this same reason. According to Steve Olsher, founder of Podcast Magazine, “As recently as 2006, only 22% of Americans had even heard of podcasting. Today, that stat has skyrocketed to 75%, and based on the industry’s current trajectory, data indicates the number of podcast listeners will reach 160 million people by 2023. Despite the growing number of podcasters, I still see tremendous opportunity for marketers to leverage podcasts to grow their business.”
There’s something unique about the human voice that creates a much stronger connection when we hear someone speak compared to simply reading their words. Podcasting giants like Joe Rogan, Pat Flynn and Tim Ferris have built empires around this concept, but hundreds of thousands of other people have leveraged podcasts to grow their businesses, too.
Add to that the fact that most podcasts are unscripted so you’re getting the host’s and guest’s true, authentic self, and you can easily see how podcasts help to build powerful relationships with your audience.
But Clubhouse has taken this concept to a new level. Emerging at the height of the pandemic when people everywhere were craving human connection, the app has enjoyed massive and consistent growth ever since its inception. This drop-in audio social media platform gives users the ability to have group conversations in real-time on a variety of topics, quickly creating strong relationships with industry peers, media contacts, partners and, most importantly, customers.
But the point isn’t that we need to be using podcasts and Clubhouse, even though we do. The point is that regardless of the channel, we need to focus on building and nurturing authentic relationships with our audience, both because people expect it and because these platforms enable it.
Diversification of marketing is no longer optional 
In 2012, I watched Google unleash their Penguin update with zero regard to collateral damage, crushing hundreds of thousands of small businesses in the process. While some marketers had admittedly used questionable link-building tactics, a great many were simply caught up as false positives in an overzealous attempt to combat what the search giant deemed to be unacceptable marketing practices.
As a result, these businesses were instantly made invisible because people couldn’t find them on Google, which controlled a massive 66.2% of the U.S. search market at the time. To put this in perspective, I don’t mean that they simply lost their ranking for particular keywords; I mean that they were completely removed from Google’s index, so you couldn’t find them even if you searched by the company name!
Countless businesses had to scrap their domain and start over from scratch, losing years of hard work and marketing dollars, and countless more were driven completely out of business because of Google’s actions. And we’ve already talked about how Facebook has been playing the same kind of games with businesses for the last several years. But this issue is bigger than Facebook or Google.
Many businesses have found themselves scrambling to escape a bleak and desperate situation when their primary, or in some cases, only marketing channel was suddenly yanked out from under them, forcing them to completely start over.
I don’t want you to misinterpret my intent here. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use Facebook or Google. Both can still play an important role in your marketing if properly utilized. What I’m saying is that you should not be overly reliant on any single channel.
Ideally, you should leverage a number of marketing channels together, both to maintain greater exposure and, more importantly, to protect you from the damage that comes when a platform dies off or shuts you down.
These channels could include:
The key is to utilize at least three channels not only to drive exposure, branding and sales for your company, but also to use those channels to create force multipliers. And then once you’ve established a solid position, begin implementing additional channels.
In other words, let’s say you choose to implement organic search, paid social and email marketing. You might encourage your website visitors to subscribe to your email list, run paid ads on Facebook to drive visitors to your website and use your email marketing to drive engagement to your social channels and search for your company on Google.
These actions used together help grow your email list, while at the same time, the increased engagement on social media will boost social proof and organic reach, and the increased branded search will improve your overall organic ranking in search.
Related: Marketing Lessons I Learned From Fortune 500 Companies
When you diversify your marketing in this way, you reduce or eliminate the impact you could feel when faced with major changes in one channel, but you also make your marketing exponentially more effective. This creates a powerful snowball effect where the results are increasingly compounded over time. And results, after all, are the bottom line.

Bill Gates revealed why he prefers Android over iPhone

Interestingly, Bill Gates’ statements in favor of Android came during his first interview on Clubhouse, a social network available only on iPhone.
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March 1, 2021 3 min read

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

When it comes to the great debate between iOS and Android , Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates knows whose side he’s on. The businessman shared his preferences in a recent audio-only interview on the Clubhouse app, 9to5Google reported. It may come as no surprise that it is firmly in favor of Android .
Gates told journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin and Clubhouse co-founder Paul Davidson that nothing has changed since he proclaimed his preference for Android in the past. Although you have an iPhone handy, in case you want to use it for any reason (such as entering the Clubhouse), for your day to day you have an Android device.
Clubhouse is an application that allows you to enter audio-only chats. The social network looks like a massive series of podcast-like conversations. At this time, it is by invitation only and only iPhone users can participate.
Bill Gates prefers the more open nature of the Android ecosystem, as he is more “flexible” about how the software interacts with the operating system.
“I actually use an Android phone ,” Gates told Sorkin. “As I want to keep track of everything, I often play with iPhones, but the one I carry with me is Android,” revealed the businessman and philanthropist.
“Some of the Android makers pre-install Microsoft software in a way that makes things easier for me. They are more flexible about how the software connects with the operating system. So I got used to that. You know, a lot of my friends have iPhones, so there’s no purity , ” Gates explained.

Image via High Level
In 2019, Bill Gates admitted that the way he ran Microsoft’s mobile phone division was his “biggest mistake .” The company ended up allowing Google to transform Android into the only true rival to the iPhone . Microsoft lost a $ 400 billion market at the time, something the businessman deeply regrets. In 2017, however, he went ahead and adopted an Android phone.
During the interview, Davidson indicated that an Android version of Clubhouse may be on the way. He called it a “main feature ,” which could mean that the Clubhouse iPhone could soon fade away.

Biden Seems to Support Amazon Workers' Efforts to Unionize

Biden tweets in support of workers forming workplace unions amid Amazon workers’ vote to unionize.
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March 1, 2021 2 min read
This story originally appeared on ValueWalk
President Joe Biden seems to have sided with workers on the union vote at an Amazon warehouse. He didn’t mention the online retailer specifically, but he did say that the decision about whether or not to join a union “should be made without intimidation or threats by employers.”
Biden on Amazon warehouse union vote
Biden also specifically mentioned Alabama, which is where the Amazon warehouse that’s voting on whether to form a union is located. He tweeted that “every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union.” In a video included in his tweet, he said that “unions put power in the hands of workers.”
Over 5,800 Amazon workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. will vote this month on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The Amazon employees will mail in their ballots by Mar. 29. If the vote passes, Alabama will be home to the first unionized Amazon warehouse. According to NPR, the vote is also notable because the South has historically been difficult for unions to secure.
Battling union efforts
Many Amazon warehouses in Europe have been unionized, but the online retailer has battled efforts to do the same in its U.S. facilities. The last time there was a vote about whether to unionize at Amazon in the U.S. was in 2014, but the Delaware technicians who voted on it declined to unionize.
Representatives from Amazon said the employees who are organizing the union drive do not represent the majority of workers at the warehouse in Bessemer. The e-commerce giant has been accused of trying to coerce employees into voting against the union. Workers have told news outlets that the company sent them anti-union texts multiple times per day and forced them to sit through meetings where they had to listen to negative commentary about unions.
Amazon is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the biggest publicly traded companies still operated by their founders or their founders’ families. Founder Jeff Bezos has been the richest man in the world for quite some time, although lately, he has been battling Tesla CEO Elon Musk for that title.

6 Steps to Take Create an Online Course That Sells

March 1, 2021 10 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
E-learning market revenue is predicted to cross $375 billion by 2026. According to global market insights, the e-learning market size surpassed $200 billion and is anticipated to grow at over 8 percent CAGR between now and 2026.
Adding an online course to your product suite positions you as an authority in your industry. It enables you to create a thriving community around your subject matter and expands your reach drastically. With more and more people stuck at home, now is a great time to offer an online course.  
But how do you create an online course that sells, edges out your competition and preferably sells on autopilot? I am glad you asked!
In this article, I will share with you six crucial steps to take to create an online course that sells, edges out the competition and sells on autopilot so that you can serve more customers on a much bigger scale.
1. Find a profitable course idea and validate it  
Before you get into the creation mode, make sure your idea is actually profitable and people would pay you for it. Most course creators skip this very crucial step because they are really excited about their idea — and they should be excited. However, they should not ignore data and actual market trends. 
Hand out surveys, talk to your ideal customers, hang out in Facebook groups and other online forums to get a feel for the market, observe conversations and see if people are talking about your idea. 
Do your keyword research and see if you can find podcasts, books, events or other courses in your niche, and maybe even on that exact topic. 
Don’t get thrown off and think “Oh, someone else is already doing it, why should I do it?” The answer here is that you have a unique experience and perspective on the subject matter. If you find other courses in your niche, or on that exact topic, it’s a good sign. That means there is market demand. 
Related: 3 Effective Marketing Strategies for Selling Digital Products Online
2. Create a rough course outline
You have a feel for the topic, you’ve done your research, and you know people may be interested in taking your course. Now it’s time to create the course outline. Don’t create the entire course yet. Just start with the transformation in mind and work backward from there. 
You could compare building your course outline with climbing a mountain. Start with the transformation in mind, the end results of what your students get out of taking your course — reaching the summit. 
Remember, while you are climbing up that mountain, you need to take breaks, set up base camps, eat food, rest and sleep. You can compare those base camps with your course modules. To get to the summit (the transformation), hikers need to bypass certain base camps. It’s impossible to reach the top without passing through those. 
So what is it about your online course your students really need to learn to get to that transformation? After you are clear on the transformation (the one big thing), break down the journey into smaller steps (the “base camps,” or modules). The best way to go about this to break it down into weeks. And once you know the topics of your modules, start breaking down those modules with more baby steps — the course lessons. 
The same principle applies, each lesson needs to be accomplished to finish each module. You could compare the course lessons with smaller obstacles hikers need to overcome to get from one base camp to another. This could be, for example, swimming across a river, slaying a tiger or jumping over a bridge. After you have created a rough course outline, which will probably change throughout your course creation journey, you move on to the next step, which is selling your online course. 
Related: 4 Crucial Things to Consider Before Creating an Online Course
3. Sell your course before you create it
This is the second biggest mistake most course creators make. After (hopefully) validating their idea, they jump right in and create video lesson after video lesson without having sold a single copy of their course. They work really hard for a few weeks or even months only to find out that they have created a product nobody wants to buy. They posted a few times on social media and thought they had “launched” … and saw crickets. Sound familiar? 
Please, don’t be that course creator. Be better than your competition, sell your course before you create it and let people vote with their credit cards. This is your ultimate validation.
Facebook is a great platform to get the party started and to launch an online course via a five-day challenge, for example. To do this:

Create some noise on the platform for four-to-six weeks. 

Funnel all the people who are interested into a Facebook group and lead with value.

Go live at least three or four times a week during the “warm-up” period before you kick off your five-day challenge (where you will also go live five days in a row, teaching parts of your module one).

During this challenge, you will provide smaller tasks and daily homework for people to do, so they start learning a bit about your course topic. The key here is that they take action all week long before you offer your course. The next logical step for them to continue on that journey would then be to sign up for your full course, and not just parts of module one. 
You basically help them climb to base camp number one and everyone who is serious about reaching the summit (or taking your course), will continue walking with you up that mountain. 
4. Run your beta round, create content as you go and refine it immediately
Once you have sold a few copies, it is time to create your online course. You can either teach your lesson live to your new beta students or you can create it week by week. 
Teaching it live to your students via Zoom provides the opportunity for them to ask questions and the opportunity for you to explain the content in a different and better way. You can note the exact time when they asked the most questions and when you explained it with different analogies, for example, and then cut out any bad explanations after you have finished your presentation. This way, you have your course content already perfected in a way that most people understand it. 
Another option would be to hand out weekly surveys to your students and pre-record the lessons week by week and have one live Q&A session, where everyone can ask questions about the content. You will have to probably re-record some of your lessons, but it’s a little less stressful for people who are a bit camera shy and new to the game. 
When you run a few more rounds and have more students enrolled, you will see more questions popping up, as obviously everyone has different levels of knowledge on any given topic. 
The more feedback you can get, the better. You want to try to cater to all “knowledge levels” as well as reduce your own working hours. Therefore, you need to keep refining your content. The fewer questions people have, the clearer the content is explained and the fewer hours you will have to work answering questions in the student forum. 
Related: The 3 Most Common Mistakes Online Course Creators Make
5. Create one core piece of content
The next step after you have found your profitable idea, validated it, sold your course, ran your first beta round and created your course content is to decide on one core piece of content to which you keep driving traffic. 
Related: 50 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website
Your core piece of content could be a webinar or a five-day challenge. I would always recommend some sort of video content as this creates the “know, like and trust factor” the fastest way.
Make sure core piece content has a structure. It should address your ideal student’s pain points during your webinar or challenge. You need to know how to destroy pain points and rebuild helpful beliefs. You need to implement enough micro-commitments to make the sale at the end easier. 
Running an effective and high-converting webinar or challenge comes with practice. 
If you are really serious, I would suggest you run one or the other at least once or twice a month. The more launches you do, the more “layers” you can add to each launch, by adding different marketing tools to the game, such as chatbots, Instagram marketing, Pinterest marketing or playing around with paid advertising.
You won’t have all of these in place the first few times. But you can them add one by one each time you relaunch and you will see what works Track your numbers and to make an educated decision about what to repeat and what to eliminate.
I’d suggest practicing your webinars or challenges for a least six to 12 months before you set them on autopilot. 
6. Decide on your evergreen, long-term traffic strategy
You should also produce evergreen content that keeps driving traffic to those opt-in pages. This will be a long-term game, so work smarter, not harder. That automatically excludes social media platforms. Think about podcasting, blogging, maybe creating YouTube videos. 
Before you run off and start all three different strategies at the same time, I’d suggest that you start one and get really good at it. Pick the one that you enjoy most, gain some traction with it and fill your funnel with leads this way. Keep refining your webinar content simultaneously. 
Write standard operating procedures (SOPs), create a structure and workflows and outsource your long-term, evergreen content production before you jump on to the next thing. There is nothing wrong with repurposing content, in fact, I would highly encourage you to do that. However, you need to stay consistent and on top of your game, and that only works if you have a system in place. Once that is set up, outsource parts of the admin work, for example moving content over to a website or editing MP4 or MP3 files, so you can stay in your zone of genius. 
Related: How Podcasting Can Help You Grow Your Online Course Business and Sell More Digital Products

Looking for Recession-Proof Jobs? Here Are 23.

March 1, 2021 8 min read
This story originally appeared on ValueWalk
f you’ve gotten back into the job market recently, you might be wondering which jobs will be safe even during an economic downturn. Times of economic distress is about as certain as death and taxes, so it helps to be prepared. Many career fields are recession-resistant, but you need to know where to look. Many of these jobs are in high demand, and some do not require higher education or any particular degree.
What is a recession?
A recession is a temporary decline in economic activity, traditionally defined as two consecutive quarters of falling gross domestic product (GDP). A recession is also usually marked by other monthly indicators like an increase in unemployment.
The National Bureau Of Economic Research is the entity that officially declares a recession. The organization has changed the definition of a recession in recent years. Instead of at least two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, the NBER defines it as a significant decline in activity across the economy that lasts more than a few months. The organization adds that recessions are usually seen in real GDP, real income, industrial production, wholesale-retail sales, and employment. The NBER often uses monthly rather than quarterly data to decide when a recession is occurring.
The default setting for the economy is growing, so when recessions occur, they usually don’t last very long. In most cases, recessions can last between six months and several years before growth returns. A recession is a natural part of the business cycle, and it is often characterized by bankruptcies, business closures, and a high unemployment rate. Sometimes businesses, technologies, or industries fail to reemerge after a recession, becoming obsolete due to structural changes that occurred during the economic downturn. The coronavirus outbreak was the cause of the most recent recession in 2020, while the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009 was the worst downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
How safe is your job?
College graduates might think their jobs will be safe when a recession strikes, but that isn’t always the case. Holding a particular degree is no guarantee that you won’t be laid off in future economic downturns.
What are recession-proof job skills?
If you’re looking for some career advice, there are some skills that will make you more employable if you do get laid off. They may also provide you with some job security.
Transferable skills
These skills can be used in a variety of different professions and jobs. You can acquire them on the job, at school, through internships or hobbies, or while volunteering. Some examples of transferable skills include time management, languages, communication, multi-tasking, and more.
Soft skills
Soft skills are also transferable, and they include interpersonal skills, listening, empathy, leadership, problem-solving, negotiation, teamwork, creativity, self-motivation, the ability to work under pressure, time management, and communication.
Technology skills
Most jobs require the use of some form of technology. Office jobs often require the use of Microsoft Office and email programs, while other jobs may have other technical requirements. IT workers can usually find work because many people will always need help with technology. Thus, the tech industry is somewhat recession-proof.
Top 23 recession-proof jobs in the world
Some industries are naturally recession-resistant. Here are 23 of the most recession-proof jobs in the world for those who are looking for job security.
23. Grocers
Grocery stores will always need employees, whether the economy is in good shape or not. People will always have to buy food, and they need cashiers to check them out and stockers to keep the shelves filled. You might not make a lot of money working at a grocery store, but you will be essential.
22. Pharmacists
A pharmacist is an essential employee during a recession because they hand out medications and check for interactions between different medications. Pharmacists are a recession-proof job because people will always get sick.
21. Marketers
Another group of recession-proof jobs falls into marketing. There will always be products or services in need of advertising. Some marketers make quite a bit of money.
20. Corrections Workers
Corrections officer jobs are also recession-proof. Criminals don’t get released from prison just because there is a recession going on. They will always require corrections officers to oversee them.
19. Law Enforcement
If you’ve been interested in law enforcement, you might consider attending the police academy. Police officers and other law enforcement officers provide an essential service that there will always be a need for.
18. Firefighters
Firefighters also have recession-proof jobs because they provide an essential service that’s required no matter what the economy looks like.
17. Actuaries
Actuaries measure and manage risk and develop solutions for complex financial issues. Businesses like insurance providers, banks, investment firms, government agencies, online retailers, marketing, energy, employee benefits, and more employ actuaries.
16. Insurance Providers
People will always have to have insurance, so the field has many recession-proof jobs. Some examples of recession-proof jobs in the insurance industry include insurance agents, investigators, underwriters, claim adjusters, and loss control agents.
15. Funeral Workers
A funeral home director is also a recession-proof job, as are many other positions in the industry. Some other positions include funeral planning representatives, counselors, and morticians.
14. Hospice Workers
Hospice may be one of the most difficult areas of the healthcare industry to work in because patients are close to death, but it can also be rewarding to be there for patients in their final days. Some examples of jobs in hospice include nurses, therapists, and coordinators.
13. Social Workers
The social work profession is quite more varied than you might think. Some social workers protect vulnerable children and support families, while others help people cope and solve problems. Clinical social workers diagnose and treat emotional, behavioral, and mental issues.
12. Mental Health Professionals
People dealing with mental health problems or substance abuse problems will always require assistance, no matter how the economy looks. Psychologists also fit into this category.
11. Physical & Occupational Therapists
There is a national shortage of physical and occupational therapists in the U.S., so there are plenty of job openings. Physical therapists help patients improve their outcomes and lives through physical activity, while occupational therapists treat injured or disabled patients through therapeutic daily activities.
10. Delivery and Courier Services
Careers in the delivery industry
9. Senior Care Providers
Careers in elder care include positions at assisted living facilities, home health aides, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare services.
8. Teachers
There are many job opportunities in education. The education system includes teachers, college professors, and other educators and bus drivers.
7. Federal Government Employees
There are many opportunities to work for the federal government. Some examples of a job working for the federal government include Postal Service employees, the military, judges, program managers, and engineers.
6. Public Safety Workers
Public safety employees include police officers and firefighters, border patrol officers, Drug Enforcement Agency officers, emergency management, and paramedics, and other first responders.
5. Credit and Debt Management Counselors
Credit and debt management services will always be needed, especially when the economy is in a downturn. People who are unemployed need help managing their debt.
4. Auditor & Accountants
Businesses and individuals will always require a certified public accountant or tax preparer. Accountants can prepare your tax return or handle your bookkeeping.
3. Utility Workers
The utility services industry includes public utility employees, transit workers and some, people working on construction projects.
2. IT professionals
The information technology industry will always thrive, no matter what the economy is doing. Thus, IT workers will find plenty of job safety and security.
1. Medical Professionals
Health care workers include careers like physician assistants, doctors, and nurses. Healthcare is one of the most secure professions of all.
What jobs are most at risk during a recession?
During a recession, the most at-risk job includes any position that can be automated, travel and tourism jobs, entertainment, exploration and mining, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing positions, food preparation and services, and secretaries.
Is it hard to get a job during a recession?
Searching for a job while the market is down is difficult, but it isn’t impossible. You just need to keep in mind that you’re up against even more competition for each position than usual because a lot of people are out of work.
What companies will do well in a recession?
A job at certain types of companies will do better during a recession. Some examples of industries that are somewhat recession-proof are healthcare, transportation, consumer staples, food, auto repair and maintenance, hardware stores, property management firms, and grocery stores.
Who benefits during a recession?
People on fixed incomes may benefit because inflation usually declines. Companies that offer inexpensive entertainment also do well because people like to drown their sorrows. Other beneficiaries include bankruptcy attorneys.
When the economy is humming along nicely, it can be difficult to imagine that a downturn is on the way. However, there will always be another downturn, even if it is years away. The best thing you can do is prepare for the next recession by looking for a recession-proof job.

Five Tips to Ruin Your Membership Community

If you’re an online business owner who’s attuned to trends in your world, then you know that brand communities are all the rage—so much so that Pat recently released a bonus SPI Podcast episode all about them. And you’re not alone in recognizing this trend: industry data is also pointing at digital communities becoming a critical business pillar.
I’ve worked in community management for the last decade and have witnessed the rise and fall of several well-intentioned communities. There are tens of thousands of communities at our fingertips at any given moment—but why do some flourish while the rest sputter out?
Strategic planning.
Running a healthy community takes strategy and consistency, but unfortunately most communities are launched with no real plan.
So how can you create your own thriving community? Keep reading for five ways to ruin your community—and five alternative strategies to make your community awesome: 
#1: Don’t communicate clear guidelines
“Sure, you can let your community be a free-for-all! Rules are boring, and moderating is not how you want to spend your time! You know your community members, and they won’t cause problems. And if they do, you can just tell them to stop and they will totally listen. No one will accuse you of playing favorites or picking and choosing what to moderate.“
You have a vision for your community, so make sure you spend some time creating community guidelines that clearly define what is and is not acceptable behavior. Is your community a place where someone can post about selling weight-loss shakes and joining their downline? Does it make sense to allow political debate? Your community guidelines echo your community’s purpose.
Don’t forget to also set a moderation policy. Spell out the consequences for breaking a guideline once, twice, and so on. Clear guidelines and moderation policies result in the community feeling safe and having a sense of order. Following your moderation policies reinforces these feelings and reduces outlash in already uncomfortable situations.
#2: Don’t spend time creating content and engaging in your community
“Just add as many people as you can to your community and let them do the rest! You don’t have time to curate conversations. Shouldn’t it work like Facebook, where everyone is eager to share their opinions and updates?“
With so many online apps and spaces available for people to spend their time, what makes your community stand out? If your community members can’t answer that question, they likely will spend their time elsewhere.
Community members will look to you to see how to engage, so model the behavior you want to see. Think of your community space as a party and your community members as guests: greet them as a host when they walk in and bring them into a fun conversation with other partygoers. 
#3: Don’t ask for feedback
“It is your community, after all! You can make changes as you see fit, and your members won’t care. And if they ask for changes, you aren’t obligated to listen. If they don’t like it, they can leave!“
The people who engage in your community understand it best, so when you have a problem to solve or want to try something, they are the best people to turn to. This gives them a sense of ownership and reinforces their sense of purpose in your community. Are you thinking of adding tiers of membership? See what they think. They might have great ideas you never considered. Do you want to create a new online course? Ask the community which topics they’d most be interested in.
A true community is collaborative, which leads us to our next tip to ruin yours:
#4: Treat it like a fan club
“These people joined because they like me and think I am really good at what I do. They are here to listen to me! I don’t have time to interact. I’m much too busy and important! I just post when I have a new product or uploaded a flattering pic on IG.“
Collaborating and making valuable connections are two of the most important benefits of a healthy community. To achieve them, though, you must dedicate enough time to interacting with and listening to your members. As your business scales and your community grows, you can hand off this role to a community manager who understands your brand voice.
A community based on top-down communication only—a platform for you to speak and the community to like and listen—is best left to a fan page. If you are not willing to be present and approachable in the day-to-day of your community or invest in community staff, you do not actually want to run a community as a part of your business.
#5: Ignore your engagement metrics 
“Nothing I do works! Why isn’t anyone participating? “
Metrics are so much more than keeping tabs on likes or replies. Monthly and weekly metrics can help you determine what programming works and how to time your content. If you are busting your buns sharing content, you should know when the best time to post is.
At SPI we use Circle as our community platform [affiliate link]. Its built-in analytics allow me to tell you with certainty that Tuesday evenings are optimal for engaging in conversations, and that our daily active users have been trending upward month over month since November. 
Bonus Tip: Your community platform can play an important role
Community is—no surprise—a huge priority at SPI. Along with the 2020 launch of the SPI Pro community, just last week we launched SPI Academy, an online community hosted on Circle for our course students, to strengthen and support our larger student community. Using a dedicated community platform like Circle gives us control over every detail, plus customizations that allow a better member experience than we could provide with a larger social platform. The SPI Academy is already outperforming our former Facebook student groups thanks to a combo of Circle’s enhanced member experience and our community engagement strategies. 
There is so much opportunity to grow a strong community and stand out amidst the noise if you know what to do and what not to do. If you’ve launched or plan to launch a community in 2021, spending time mapping out your onboarding and engagement strategies will help set your community above the rest. And we are here to help—follow the Community Experience team on Twitter to stay in the loop and help your community thrive.

SPI Pro: Your Safe Place to Learn and Grow as an Entrepreneur

Inside SPI Pro, entrepreneurs like you come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, and more. Consider joining us!

LinkedIn Co-Founder Buys Flying Taxi Company

Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus, founder of Zyanga, acquired Joby Aviation.
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
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March 1, 2021 1 min read

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

Reid Hoffman , co-founder of LinkedIn , and Mark Pincus, founder of Zyanga, agreed last week to buy the Joby Aviation company, which develops flying electric taxis.
According to an Axios publication, Reinvent Technology Partners – Hoffman and Pincus’ company – valued Joby Aviation at about $ 6.6 billion.

Image: Joby Aviation
Joby asserts that his electric plane takes off and lands vertically silently so as not to generate noise in cities and that it can transport its passengers at 350 kilometers per hour.
The aviation company expects flight certification by 2023.