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10 Most Frequent Questions Radio Industry People Ask Me, Kevin Ross, About Radio

How Do I Make Money Online

Three things:

  • As a general rule of thumb, have a base, passive income first.
  • There are no FAST avenues to making money
  • If you are not passionate about your project above all else, you will fail miserably

I don't do anything online that doesn't bring in a return. With all the Zoom and IG Live videos that are getting hundreds of thousands of views, it is INSANE to me that these people are not using their own monetized platforms instead of generating branding and money for outside companies. Are you fkng kidding me? Google products pay you and everybody else wants you to pay THEM. I like using Adsense on my blogs because it generates a hefty daily revenue that literally pays my utility bills in one day. I'm always trying to improve on that but the online experience gives WAY too many opportunities to generate passive income to be giving your sh away and hoping you get sponsors or get noticed.

Apps are another good way to generate revenue but they are not cheap. You are going to spend at least $3000 to $60k to get it done but many more people use apps worldwide than desktops and you can create passive income streams with an app including AdSense. (I like Adsense, can you tell?)

Blogging on Social Media Sites

Social Media can generate revenue like The Shade Room does but I still think a blog is better because you have Adsense and MANY other affiliate opportunities on your blog that live off of your content like Amazon, Commission Junction, Viglinks and more. When you do social media sites you have to consistently be on top of all the news which will WEAR you out and you have to solicit advertisers. My theory is get the passive income FIRST so that you an AT LEAST buy a roll of toilet paper, then everything else is gravy.

Youtube Channel

It's getting a bit more challenging to fully develop a Youtube channel as you literally now have to have a production set-up but if you have unique and compelling content this can be a HUGE money maker. You have to have something like 4000 views and about 1000 subscribers at last check to start to monetize via AdSense but I know people who have a Youtube channel making enough money to live in gated communities in Los Angeles. Keep in mind you have to be prepared to build and be consistent and compelling. It's gonna take about a year of producing quality and informative videos weekly and marketing in each one to get people to subscribe to start making some real money but you can also solicit advertisers while you build your channel.

What is the Future of Radio?

Up in the air for the most part. I get a lot of press releases about how radio is still the number one source for music lovers and for news and that's not accurate. Radio is still a powerful entity especially in cars but it's an industry that is shifting and in dire need of change … or else. I can look on Google and analyze keywords and trends and tell you that radio has left a LOT of money on the table over the years from podcasts to audiobooks to streaming and being slow on trends and many corporations (except iHeart) were/are still late on board and they are paying for it now with the corona outbreak as layoffs and furloughs indicate. Radio is not dead but it's in the hospital waiting for a transplant. If I were a jock working for any of the corporations today, I'd have multiple side hustles going as a job is not promised. If I were a radio corporation, I'd have diarrhea.

Should I look for a Job or Stay Where I Am

Always be looking. “Radio is not a Reclyner it's a Springboard” is my saying and I will keep saying it because it's true. Radio is the root to the plant but it's not the tree, not for many. There are only going to be one or two Breakfast Club radio shows and time is your greatest assett, set a goal for each situation, a year or two, to move up and ALWAYS keep your eyes open for greater opportunities.

Why are PDs so old and When is My Time Gonna Come

Old? Fk You! Guess I'm old too. No, that's a good question and I don't have a good answer for you because I don't really know what the radio corporate strategy is but I will tell you that the Napster controversy, consolidation, and syndication has played a big role in keeping things simple and safe.

Relationships mean everything in our business and those three aforementioned things have kept a lot of new management in radio as slim pickings. I was reading an article by a group of jocks in their 20s and 30s who were recently fired from a corporation and they said “Radio is not what it used to be” that's when I realized that today's on-air personality is a fool if they don't have their hands in many opportunistic cookie jars. People in their 50s and 60s say things like “Radio ain't what it used to be” and translated they are really saying ‘Radio is done with my ass.' Be ahead of the 8-ball CREATE opportunities instead of waiting for them.

How do I Get a Syndicated Show

Everyone who has ever asked me that question is bringing nothing new to the table. What are you doing that makes you different or interesting to the audience that other shows are not doing?

Syndicators are NOT looking for what they already have, they are looking to fill holes in the industry. Name and tenure mean very little in today's industry when it comes to “ability” and “influence.” As a matter of fact, tenure can actually HURT you in today's industry as saying “I've been doing this for 40 years” to Millenials and GenZers will get you called “OG” or “OMFG” So just because you have legacy doesn't mean you have anything to say or that you are owed anything. Shave 10 or 15 years off your tenure from now on, I do.

How can I increase my income

Pretty simple. Make YOURSELF more valuable and stop waiting for opportunities that may never come, create them.

How Can I Maximize My Potential at the Station I'm at

By planning a damn exit strategy (lol). Seriously, if you are really good at what you do and you are consistently on the hustle, your energy and presence will indicate that you are going places. Don't stagnate. Don't want for the station to see that, see it for YOURSELF. Trust me, there are thousands of people before you who made that mistake and they are sitting in front of the TV watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta with a spit cup.

How Do I Avoid Getting Layed Off

Side Hustles. Make it a win/win situation. Make yourself more valuable to the station and at the same time to your career. People are not going to like this next sentence so sit down for it …. volunteer to do extra work in areas of the station that you are curious about. See, you are cussin' me out before I finish. I know that you don't like that but the benefit is … nobody else does either which means you can set yourself apart and make it a win/win for the station AND to educate yourself. I did it 30 years ago at Urban Network. I knew I was not going to last there and I didn't want to. There was all the infighting amongst the black management and I remember telling myself, you MFs don't even own this sh! Why are you killing each other? So while they were fighting and slamming doors, I started learning how to do a magazine even working during weekends. It, obviously, paid off

Why Isn't My PD Noticing my Efforts

You have to ask him or her that unless you feel that your job may be at risk for asking and if that's the case stop focusing on your PD noticing you and start noticing outside opportunities that are ABOVE what you are currently doing. STOP MAKING LATERAL MOVES AND USE YOUR LEVERAGE TO GET PROMOTED TO A HIGHER POSITION AT YOUR NEXT GIG in radio. Never apply for the next job DOING what you are already doing. ALWAYS improve on the position and GROW. I know people in the industry who have had the same job for 40 years. At what point do you grow?

What's Next ?

Trusting your instinct and creating opportunities outside the station (have I stressed that enough during this story?). Look at your situaton right now, if the station fires you today do you have any affiliation with station clients or your own hustels that you can depend on financially? If not you're on the wrong track waiting for the train to run you over.

You can do it. Do It!!!

Google Gives $800 Million to Support Small Businesses for Covid-19

COVID-19: $800+ million to support small businesses and crisis response

Sundar Pichai

Sundar PichaiCEO of Google and AlphabetPublished Mar 27, 2020

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world, it’s taking a devastating toll on lives and communities. To help address some of these challenges, today we’re announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic. 

Our commitment includes:

  • $250 million in ad grants to help the World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 100 government agencies globally provide critical information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other measures to help local communities. This is an increase from our initial $25 million announced last month. In addition, we’re providing $20 million in ad grants to community financial institutions and NGOs specifically to run public service announcements on relief funds and other resources for SMBs.
  • A $200 million investment fund that will support NGOs and financial institutions around the world to help provide small businesses with access to capital. As one example, we’re working with the Opportunity Finance Network in the U.S. to help fill gaps in financing for people and communities underserved by mainstream financial institutions. This is in addition to the $15 million in cash grants Google.org is already providing to nonprofits to help bridge these gaps for SMBs.
  • $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms. We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers.
  • A pool of $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers to leverage our computing capabilities and infrastructure as they study potential therapies and vaccines, track critical data, and identify new ways to combat COVID-19. Learn how to apply for credits on the Google for Education site.
  • Direct financial support and expertise to help increase the production capacity for personal protective equipment (PPE) and lifesaving medical devices. We’re working with our longtime supplier and partner Magid Glove & Safety, with the goal of ramping up production of 2-3 million face masks in the coming weeks that will be provided to the CDC Foundation. Additionally, employees from across Alphabet, including Google, Verily and X, are bringing engineering, supply chain and healthcare expertise to facilitate increased production of ventilators, working with equipment manufacturers, distributors and the government in this effort.

In addition to these commitments, we also increased the gift match Google offers every employee annually to $10,000 from $7,500. That means our employees can now give $20,000 to organizations in their communities, in addition to the $50 million Google.org has already donated. Together, we’ll continue to help our communities—including our businesses, educators, researchers and nonprofits—to navigate the challenges ahead. 

How To Be An Entrepreneur and What You Can Expect

I learned how to be an entrepreneur by trial and error and since I am celebrating my 25th year in business I'd like share the truth about Black Owned Businesses

I learned how to be an entrepreneur by trial and error and since I am celebrating my 25th year in business I'd like share the truth about Black Owned Businesses

So I'm celebrating my 25th year as an entrepreneur this year. I was prompted to write this after someone called me about someone who has just lost their corporate job and they asked me “Why doesn't he last anywhere more than a few months?” I thought about that knowing that I'm blessed to be a successful entrepreneur and I believe this person has the same passion and potential from their past experiences. It's not that they can't keep a job, they may be better suited to work for themselves.

The longest job I have ever had in my life was at Urban Network, a now-defunct magazine in Los Angeles. It was one of the most educational music industry jobs I've had in my career but I lasted there under two years. I'm glad the late Jerry Boulding hired me because working there was like college for me and I learned SO much from Jerry.

A few months after I started, I was assigned as the rap editor and I HATED that job and I begged them to give it to someone else. I believe Harry Akaki wanted the gig and I would have given it to him on a silver platter but I didn't have the power to do so.

I was not that guy that you would find hanging in the hip hop spot, or playing hip hop music in my car so I was not qualified to rank hip hop songs on a chart. Then again I have worked at many organizations in the industry where a LOT of MFs were far removed from their titles, but they were not the same color as me and they made/make a LOT more money so I was/AM not an anomaly.

I was not into hip hop music and it reminded me of how I grew up and I wanted no part of that again. But they made me do it and I'm glad they did. My job was not only to do the chart and ACT like I was interested in the genre. I knew that I looked like a damn fool ACTING like I was interested in hip hop. Wearing baseball caps backwards, speaking hood dialect and not smiling for pictures and trying to act pissed off and hard. I was a happy MF, but I was also an actor and that was the hardest role I EVA had to play and I didn't do it well. So the Oscar DIDN'T go to … To make matters worse they wanted to fire me for a job I didn't want in the first place, dirty MFs (lol).

I'm embarrassed to even admit it. You would have thought I would have caught a glimpse of my damn self even in a rearview mirror while thuggin' my way down these LA streets wearing Tims. I should have just stopped and said “Um, hey Kev, yeah … this shit isn't working! WTF are you doing?” But I needed the MF money, I had to do what I had to DO. I had just moved to LA. I wasn't trying to be on deese damn streets.

It’s Time to Hire an Assistant When….

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It's Time to Hire an Assistant When….

For many years I did MOST of the work in my business myself. I didn't trust other people to run my business the way I wanted them to do it and I thought the only person who could do it the way I needed it to be done was me. Allow me to say, that will KILL YOU… and I know MANY black entrepreneurs who are burning the candle at both ends as you read this stuck in auto work mode and never freeing themselves up to enjoy life or to reap the benefits of their hard work. We are in business to ENJOY our lives not to wear ourselves out. Here are a few tips to let you know that you are doing way too much by yourself…. Enjoy and best in business (click “NEXT” above or below to see next section of the story)
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starting a business

You Find that you are the Go-to Guy for Everything

This can be EXTREMELY exhausting after giving 110% of yourself to your business already. This is certainly the time when you need to create two of you and we make it MUCH more difficult that it is. There is always someone out there who can do the job and eliminate a large part of your daily stress. It may take you a while to find them but you will. I have a friend who is literally stressed out everyday because she can't find a good manager for her business. She keeps hiring the wrong people then she keeps firing them and then she has to retrain someone else and go through the process again and again. I asked her what she thinks the problem is and she admits that she does not have the money to pay the person. I told her to eliminate one of her other positions and increase the salary to find the right person OR post what the job pays and see if you can find a good candidate based on that. In this economy, you can get great help for less than you'd expect to pay. The only problem is the person may leave when they finally find something else BUT as least that will give you time to organize the business.

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People Call you and want to chat like they have known you for years

I have come up with quite a few strategies to handle this. In my business of entertainment and doing a national blog where I am often open and personal. People really do THINK they know you and they want to call and shoot the breeze about absolutely NOTHING. They talk to you like they have known you for years and figure they can be your friend. At times, it used to creep me out but then I realized the impact what I did had on others. While it may mean nothing to me, it may be very personal for others so I often call people back RIGHT before a meeting and I tell them I have a few minutes to talk and have to go to a meeting or I tell them I have a conference call to make, this is often a great strategy to get them to say what they called for and quite often, they get tongue-tied and don't know what to say because they didn't have anything to say in the first place. I have also learned to call people back and block my cell number if I'm on the go. It's up to them if they don't answer but I don't know them and once people get your cell number, once again, they think they can call you whenever they want and have a conversation with you. I used to wonder why some execs that I know have 3 and 4 cell phones, now I know. One black entrepreneur told me “This is the business phone, this is the family and friends phone and this is the bullshit phone which I almost never answer. He carried 3 cell phone everywhere with him. I am seriously contemplating getting another cell phone myself for the same reason. business and personal calls should be on separate phones in order to keep you in one mode or the other. There is some validity to that.

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Potential Clients keep asking for discounts

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When I started working with major labels which has pretty much been since my inception, I didn't quite realize my value and I would often be unsure of myself in the early days. This is dangerous because people pick up on it and they may take advantage of it. If they call YOU they NEED you. There is no if, ands and buts about it. Understand who is in charge but still maintain a level of respect for the potential client AND for your value. When you give discounts it's like lying. You never stop. So why do it? Perhaps you need the money. Well one black entrepreneur had a great idea when I brought this up to him, he stated, if they don't have enough money, I never leave it on the table, I still provide them a service, they just get less than I give my full paying clients and I let them know that. That is a great idea. Never give the full package to a particularly paying client. They can certainly get SOME of what you offer but not ALL of it.

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Former colleagues or Clients Give Your Cell Number out without Asking Your Permission

This is one of my greatest pet peeves. First of all its disrespectful and second all it takes a minute to call me and ask if it's OK or you can tell the person, I will call Kevin and give him your number to call you.  One of my friends who also happens to be a client, who I mistakenly gave a discount to once and it never stopped, gave my number to a woman one day who needed a picture of Whitney Houston. How hard is it to find a picture of Whitney Houston online? apparently it was impossible for her, she told me this person gave her my number and she needed for me to find a picture of Whitney Houston for her. Can you stand it? I actually did it but I let my friend have it. I don't work for anyone, that's why I became an black entrepreneur. You give my number to a stranger who want to put me to work for FREE… REALLY? Now, if I don't know the number I usually don't answer unless it's from a major market. Ironically, most people who call me from NY, LA or Chicago are about business, however they got my number.

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starting a business

People don't respect your time (or lack thereof)

Stick and move. I heard that in a movie and I never forgot it. An black entrepreneur who wants to make a lasting impression does just that, stick and move NEVER linger or hang out. Appear then DISappear to create a lasting impression. It really works. If you want more tips like that let me recommend a great book. The 48 Laws of Power. I must have read that book 10 times. It's excellent for black entrepreneurs.

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You decide to expand and you want to free yourself up for ordinary tasks

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You won't grow if you don't know. Doing EVERYTHING yourself will get you two things: a heart attack and/or a stroke. You are NOT in business to die, you're in business so that you can enjoy your life. Bit the bullet and hire someone to free you up from the everyday bullshit that you do that you don't have to do. Customer service calls, paying bills, ordering things, checking and answering email, checking social networks. You would be AMAZED at how much time you waste doing this.

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starting a business

You want to IMPROVE your reputation

Free time is ME time and what a great time to take care of yourself and make appearances or take clients out to lunch. Most of your clients are used to people calling them ans saying gimme, gimme, gimme, can you imagine how good they would feel if you were one of the few people who called and said “Let me take YOU out to lunch!” Having an assistant in will help you improve in all of these areas. Good luck.

business Management, 10 Ways to Make more Money for your Small business in 2014

Improve

business Management

Congratulations black entrepreneur….you've made it through another year of doing business. There is always room to improve and my golden rule is “If a client is not coming back for more services from you, you are doing something wrong.” Too many time we are living in the business moment and looking for instant financial gratification instead of building a great relationship with a client(s). There are ways you can improve your services that you may be overlooking. I would strongly suggest avoiding all debt that you can like small business loans or small business credit cards but if you have to do it, then you just have to.

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Good business Ideas

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I made this decision last year, you can offer great service all day but just like there are some clients who will be dedicated to you there are others who will be dedicated to your competitors or who may not believe in what you have to offer or see the benefit or they may just not like you. In order to have the best business management and business strategy, you have to stop wasting your time and your business self worth and esteem by chasing dead clients who no matter how much you say or do, they will never support you. Move on and spend your time looking for clients who do want to support you.

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Improve Customer Service Skills

Improve

Once again, if NONE of your clients are coming back to you repeatedly, you are doing something wrong and there is a great possibility that you may offer a great service by the way you do business sucks. There is no room for growth in you keep begging for support and after a while you will appear desperate and you will annoy your potential clients who will steer even further from you and they will start avoiding you. Look at your competition to see what they are doing better than you. You may not be able to offer what they are offering but you can offer SOMETHING that they don't or are not that will make your service more valuable to clients.

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Over Deliver

customer-service.0822.12\If you expect to deliver something on Tuesday…. tell the client you will have it by that Friday.  This has a two-fold benefit. The client will get what they want early and if you have a problem you have more time. Once you deliver, you will shine bright in your client's eyes and this is a great way to establish a great client/business relationship.

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Ask You Clients How you CAN Help instead of asking FOR help

ServiceSignIn my business I never “beg” and neither should you. Calling someone and saying ‘gimme, gimme, gimme' is annoying and it's usually the mistake most of the other people calling that client is doing. Study what the potential client is working on and then call them with suggestions on how you can help. That's very impressive and you can work something in the deal where they spend money with you.

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Do  a Client Visit or Luncheon

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This is a dying art and proper good business etiquette. Unfortunately, it is one that I too have been guilty of not doing enough. How are you going to establish a relationship if you don't get to know your client one on one? Take them out to lunch and pay for it.

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Treat everyone with Respect, You Never Know who you May Need.

Reciprocal-links

The other day I was talking to a client who once needed someone to help him, the person refused and was a complete jerk about it, taking complete advantage of his power. Now years later, the shoe is on the other foot and this the guy who couldn't get any help is not refusing to help the guy who would not help him. It is best, if nothing less to at least respond to people who reach out to you and it takes very little effort to do what you can to help in certain situations, if you are in a position to do it…. do it.

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Update your website and hire an SEO Expert and Website Builder

Update

Many sites in my industry leave a lot to be desired. It is beyond evident that many people in my industry are still not convinced of the power of the internet and they are going to pay dearly for that. Make sure you understand the advantages of social networking and how the internet works so that you can be in a position to offer your client FULL service. If you are not doing anything online, your business will look antiquated and out of touch. If you don't know what you are doing when it comes to building your business website, it's best to hire someone. It can be extremely cumbersome.  You want to have the absolute best website design for the money.

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Keep a Diary

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Keep a diary of your transactions with clients. Many times they will tell you to call them back on a certain day and it's easy to forget that. If you don't keep a diary at least consistently update your calender

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What are your Competitors Weaknesses

weakness

Any competitor who does what you are doing has strengths and weaknesses. instead of trying to be better, be different. What can you offer that your competitor is not?

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Offer Additional Services

Could your business benefit from offering additional services? Think of ways you can add to what you are presently offering to improve your services.

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Read more stories to help your small business, click one of the boxes to the right… 

Want to Succeed as a black entrepreneur? Get a Mentor and…

Computer study

Mentors Key to Small business Owner Success

You have a compelling business model … ambition … black entrepreneurial spirit. Add in a solid business plan and the necessary capital, and you may be well on your way toward launching a business. But before you take the leap into owning your own business, it's worthwhile to consider adding in another important element — the guidance of a mentor.

According to a recent survey conducted by The UPS Store, 88 percent of black entrepreneurs believe having a mentor has been invaluable. As evidence of the value this unique relationship brings, more than two-thirds of business owners who had a mentor prior to starting the business are still in contact with their mentor.”For many, starting a business can be overwhelming — it's not just about exploring a passion or following a dream,” said W. Kenneth Yancy, chief executive officer of SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground. “A mentor can help navigate the complex challenges that often come with being a business owner, and the guidance from someone who has been there themselves can be a real asset.”Beyond the intangibles — access to knowledge and the confidence that comes from having a respected colleague rooting for your success, for example — a mentor relationship can have a very real impact on your bottom line. In fact, 70 percent of black entrepreneurs who receive mentoring survive for five years or more, double the rate of those who do not.

“Many black entrepreneurs feel like they're all alone when it comes to facing challenges,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store. “Getting help from an expert, or advice from another business owner who's already experienced something similar, can be invaluable.” A mentor's contributions can take many different forms, so it's important to find a partner whose expertise and approach to business is similar to yours. Through organizations such as SCORE, black entrepreneurs can — at no cost — pull from a pool of more than 11,000 certified experts from every industry to find a mentor that fits their personal work style and needs. Before choosing a mentor, consider the following questions to help you find a match who can maximize your business potential:How strong a role would you like your mentor to have? Are you looking for someone to bounce ideas off of, or someone who will guide youWhat timeframe does your schedule allow? Are you looking for a mentor to connect with weekly? Bi-weekly? As needed?

Where are you most comfortable meeting with your mentor? Is an electronic or phone-based relationship acceptable, or do you prefer chats over coffee?
Are there specific skills you lack that a mentor could help develop?
What credentials does your mentor need in order to provide you the greatest benefit?

To access tools, templates and other resources to help you find a mentor, and to search for a mentor with expertise in your field, visit www.theupsstore.com/score.

The Bottom Line


Small businesses that receive mentoring are 20 percent more likely to experience growth than those that don't.Small businesses that receive 3-plus hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased business growth.
70 percent of black entrepreneurs that receive mentoring survive for five years or more. Marketing Your business – A smart business plan includes a marketing strategy to help guide the communication and growth of your company. As you consider how you'll approach marketing for your new business, you'll need to consider things like your marketing goals, your target market and what the competitive landscape looks like.For help creating your marketing plan, visit the SCORE Marketing Assessment Tool at www.theupsstore.com/score. The free tool offers a survey to help black entrepreneurs plan and execute an effective marketing strategy.

Family First

John Davila, third generation architect and founder and CEO of LBCT Architectural Engineering and Design, learned everything he knows about architecture from his mentor.In 1919, John's grandfather started an architecture business in Scotland. He mentored John's father for many years, who eventually took over the business and finally, when the time came, his knowledge and expertise were shared with John.”My father is my mentor, I took the knowledge from him to create my own business that incorporated some of his principles with my business goals,” said Davila. “Having a mentor helped prepare me for obstacles I faced as a black entrepreneur.”

Just like his father, John has found great joy in mentoring. John is currently mentoring a past client's daughter who has interest in entering the architecture and design industry. John knows the importance of being educated in the field you are hoping to turn into a career and feels that a mentor's experience is extremely helpful when making the transition of opening a business.

5 Small business Ideas To Keep Finances In Check

Cash-Flow-ManagementSmall business Idea

“Small business idea: How to clean up your finances and keep your company in the black,” managing a business can be both rewarding and stressful. While keeping an eye on their small business finances might not be an owner’s top priority when first establishing their business, it should become ingrained into their daily routine. This article says this might be difficult at first, but with a few tips, business owners can begin to maintain their finances and clean up their accounts. Lawrence Teicher, founder of CFOConsulting Services and leading Long Island CPA, discusses five tips to help business owners clean up their financials. (click NEXT to see next idea)

small business idea

Save Time: Easy Tips to Spot Free Information Clients

history-biographies

Without question if you want your business to grow you have to upgrade your business repeatedly as well as things that you do and the people you deal with. It's unfortunate but everyone is not going to grow with you and some people will even hold you WAY back from forging ahead. Finally, success is not defined by millions of dollars, it is defined by success and leadership. the man or the woman who does their own thing and does it well. Successful black entrepreneurs are looked highly upon and we are few and far between.There are hundreds of thousands of people who have fake business cards and  fake businesses with email addresses that end in gmail.com or yahoo.com and they are telling people they are black entrepreneurs. They are not and they give us a bad name but for those of us that are successful

This week, a friend in Atlanta called me to tell me about a guy that he knew that is trying to promote his exercise business.  I knew this kind of call so well and I don't like doing businesses with friends.It never works out well. My friend was trying to impress his friend by telling him that he knew someone in show business, marketing and promotion. My friend, who I talk to every few months went on and on about this guy and how he really believed in what he was doing and wanted me to talk to him. At times, I am far to concerned about the feelings of others and I felt obligated to finish the conversation as if I owed my friend that much but I didn't.I did not ask him to do what he did.

This is incredibly uncomfortable for me because I am too busy to follow though with fake clients. I asked my friend, “Does this guy have a budget” he said “I'm sure he does” which in no way means yes, so I suddenly got another call (not really) because I didn't want to waste another minute having this discussion. A few minutes later, my friend called again, I answered and he asked me to talk to the guy because he told him I would talk to him (why am I obligated to fulfill YOUR obligations?) I told him I had to take another call and that I would call him back. I'm not sure if you have had to deal with these kinds of people before but perhaps it's a good idea to reevaluate the friendship because you begin to realize you are being used. At any rate I cut the conversation short again and told him I would call him back hoping he would get the message that I did not want to be bothered with this but trying to be polite at the same time.

The next day my cell phone rings and I see that it's a number I don't know. I answer and it's the guy. My friend gave him my CELL number without my permission. I was angry but it was too late and I felt very uncomfortable about the whole thing. I was being preyed upon by a situation that I knew was a waste of my time. I told the guy I would call him back. He called me back an hour later. He was already coming of as inconsiderate which was a turn off. A person who has money to spend has no problem waiting for you to call them back. I am always suspicious of clients who are too eager.

A few days later, I called him back and indeed, it was a waste of my time but I knew the experience would be great for readers of Blog Wallet who have their own businesses to know the warning signs. Here are a few tips for you to look out for. At the start of the conversation, this guy went on and on about how his business worked and how successful he was. He told me his product was in several countries and that it was very successful. I knew this statement would come back to haunt him as we talked further. He was lying and I could tell….  (click “Next” for the next story)
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1. Look for Keywords Like: “We're looking to Team up…”

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…but that's not what I'm looking for. He told me, “We are looking to team up with a great company so that we both can make money.” I knew IMMEDIATELY this was bullshit. I have an established business that reaches the target, I've been doing it for almost 20 years.  I get paid from clients who pay the full price. I'm not looking for a “team” or to join one especially with businesses that are not established. This is a game fake clients play to make it appear that they are here to help YOU when you don't need help… THEY do.  He wanted me to push his brand for free and if anyone purchased it, he would give me a percentage, so he says. He was asking me for credit based on my friendship with the guy who introduced us. Now I was being used by two people.

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Look for Keywords Like: “Build a Relationship”

Building a relationship takes the cooperation of two people or businesses doesn't it? What if I don't want to build a relationship with you? How can you assume that I would be enticed by this? This all SOUNDS good but how do I know that you will honor what you say? I don't and it's too risky.

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Look for Keywords Like: “What can you do for us”

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Really? You need me and you want me to explain what I can do for YOU ? My time is totally being wasted here and the fake client is grandstanding.

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So Tell me about your History”

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If I have been in business for many years and it's YOU THAT NEEDS ME, you should do your research. To ask an established business person to state their history is an insult and the greatest sign that you are wasting your time. Many fake clients will play a game with you to see if they can screw with your self esteem. If they can break you down a bit they may be able to get something for free or at a very steep discount. Don't fall for it. Tell them they can research your company on the website or ask them, “Did you get a chance to research us?”

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“I don't want for us to waste each other's time”

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Too late, you are already wasting my time because you are playing games. Once again grandstanding.

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“We have talked to many people who can't deliver”

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Oh so now I'M the bad guy? You want me to prove my value to you before you spend any money? No, ironically this is another game to get something for free. It is possible that they worked with someone who ripped them off because they didn't know what they were doing now they want everyone else to prove themselves by going out of their way to get their business when it's actually THEM that needs the help.

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“Are you familiar with what we do?”

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Why is it my job to do that? Remember YOU NEED ME! You have to figure out if we can benefit each other. At this point, I don't care. I'm getting very bored with the conversation and I'm ready to deal with real clients.

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“Send me Some Info and your Stats”

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The conversation should have ended 30 minutes ago. My time is still being wasted here. You are trying to sound important and you can't afford to buy our services. It's beyond evident. Let's be done with this.

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“I Saw Some Things that can build your business Right Away”

Computer study

OK this was me having a bit of fun. I KNEW how he would respond to this statement. But after wasting my time, it was time that I wasted some of his.He asked me,”So what are the things you think I can work on?” I told him we don't discuss those things with people who are not clients, sorry. He then told me,well we are trying to work that out. I told him, “Well when we do and my company is paid we can talk about your needs further.” He was lost and could say nothing. He was trying to get free info across the board and it didn't work but there were times that it did. I had to learn about these kinds of clients the hard way. BUT I did learn. I'm sure I won't be hearing from him again.

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Finally, you can ask them..

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“We really like working best with honest clients. It works best for us and the client.” I'm telling you, a majority of the time, this is when they usually come clean and admit they can't afford it. So there goes 30 minutes of my life I can never get back wasting on you bullshitting.  He admitted he could not afford my services. So every negative thing that he applied to everybody else now applied to him. I am sending a text to my friend to ask that he not give out my cell number without my permission from this point on.

30 Days to Two New businesses

starting a business

For the past 10 years, I have been unchallenged in my current main business which is a blog for the music industry. It does well and I make a great living from it but I don't have that leap-out-of-bed-to-face-the-day feeling anymore. True black entrepreneurs know what I'm talking about. Those of us who have had success have experienced that feeling of achievement and gratitude with our business, it's like being head over heals in love but when that feeling is gone it's up to you to move on or to get others to run your business for you. In my case, since it's a specialty business it's not only difficult, it's almost impossible to find people who work in the entertainment industry who can write. You can find people who are WRITERS in the entertainment industry but it's rare that you can find someone who has a major skill besides that.

I'm getting older and the industry will not be the way it is right now for me forever so when you have a few pennies stored, contrary to popular belief that's not the time to REST… it's the time to GET TO WORK. Think about how LONG it took you to get to the point where you have extra income!!! Many of us have worked so hard to get here we think we deserve a break and we do, but that's called a vacation NOT a new car or home yet (unless you have REALLY hit the jackpot)

The two businesses I am getting off the ground are my art business The Art Dive and my Voiceover business. I have assigned someone to handle my main business while I work on getting these two off the ground. Since I am a full time student, I'm actually juggling 3 balls at once. Stay tuned.

Starting a Business? A Few Things You Need to Know

Starting a business

Starting a Business? A few things You Need to Know

Starting a business? Here are a few tips to help you along the way. I've been in business now for 23 years. I've been very lucky because it's been estimated that up to 85% of new businesses fail within the first four years or less. Some studies state as high as 60% of new businesses fail within the first year. During the past two decades, I have seen many examples of why small businesses fail via my own experiences and I'd like to share those with you.  if you have considered diving in and trying your efforts at a small business, here are the things that you should ABSOLUTELY NOT DO if you don't want to fail IMMEDIATELY.

Starting a Business? YOU MUST HAVE …  PASSION for What You Do

Start Your Small business: Have you ever been in love? REAL LOVE? The kind that makes you forget the rest of the world exists and EVERYTHING is about the other person? You can talk on the phone for hours to them but it seems like minutes? You leap out of bed ready to take on the day with a huge smile on your face because you're experiencing true happiness?

Unfortunately, for most, this feeling is temporary but not if you're a small business and you constantly reinvent yourself. Why? Because business is the SAME WAY! “Do what you LOVE and the money will Come” is exact and true but at some point, you have to put the “passion” on the backburner and focus on sales. Probably after the first year. If you do it the opposite way and you are only in business to make money … you will fail miserably. What is it that you LOVE to do, that you could do ALL DAY, all week, all month and all year and when you are doing it, it feels like you are not working but doing what you love? Have people offered to pay you to do this thing for them? If you can answer the question …There's your potential business!

Starting a Business? YOU MUST … Have a Budget

Start Your Small business: I would STRONGLY suggest not taking out loans if you don't have to for three  reasons:

  1. I don't like dealing with middlemen, they can rob you of your passion and it's always best to start off NOT owing someone the loan back PLUS interest. You are starting BEHIND the 8-Ball and it's very difficult to EVER catch up. How you start is how you finish in business.
  2. It ALWAYS helps if you have money stashed to start your small business for those lean times and THERE WILL BE LEAN TIMES. When a check or payment doesn't arrive on time and personal bills are due etc. If you start off begging for business, your entire business will most likely be based on you begging. If you have to beg people to convince them of your value, you are in the wrong business. They should SEE the value at a certain point. You never want clients running FROM you, you want them running TO you. Provide great service
  3. In the game of running a business, it is YOUR objective to make money and everybody else's to separate you from that money and to leave you broke and starving. Read Rich Dad Poor Dad and you will know what I mean. (get the audio version if you are like me and don't like to read). You want to avoid all interest, penalties, and services you don't need because you WILL need the money at some point and you SHOULD be able to enjoy what you have worked for SPEND VERY WISELY and make your money work FOR you not you for it.

Starting a Business? … Have a Vision…

Start Your Small business: I am surrounded by other black entrepreneurs or people who are on their way to being black entrepreneurs. We attract each other and most of my closest friends are black entrepreneurs. I had a former tenant who loved to experiment with cheesecakes. He worked for the gas company for his full-time gig but he would do things like making Peach Cobbler Cheesecake, German Chocolate Cheesecake, Cheesecake Pound Cake, Oatmeal Raisin Cheesecake and even Sweet Potato Cheesecake. People would go NUTS over those Cheesecakes and he started taking them to work and his coworkers would offer him up to $30.00 to make them ONE of his Cheesecakes. Before he knew it, he had to rent a kitchen and he was making at least 50 Cheesecakes a weekend as word spread. He LOVED doing it and he became a different person while he was doing it. He really enjoyed it.

He wasn't bound by the work grind and the stress he had to often face working with broken gas lines in the field. Who could be passionate about that? To make a long story short, he was not comfortable with the lack of security he felt he would have without a full-time job. I along with several other black entrepreneur friends tried to convince him that he could triple and even quadruple his current income and have continued growth over the next 5 years that would make him incredibly successful but he did not have VISION. He let the opportunity to own a business pass him by and sticks with making cheesecakes as a hobby. Of course, he will never grow.

12 REASONS YOU SHOULD NEVER HIRE FRIENDS

Starting a Business? YOU SHOULD BE … ORIGINAL?

Start Your Small business: Doing what someone else does because you have the same contacts or you see that they are making money is doing business competing. It's the opportunist's way of duplicating what someone else is doing to make the same money.

It may work for a minute because the clients get confused but chances are you don't have the talent and you are not churning out the same quality product that they are and you will eventually fail. If your business is based on mimicking what someone else does, it's NOT time to start your small business, it's time to either do a better job or think of something else. The greatest part of being an black entrepreneur is the passion that you AND ONLY YOU have for what you do.

Starting a Business? YOU ARE READY IF … People Keep Coming Back?

Start Your Small business: One of the GREATEST signs that you are able to start your small business is if whatever it is that you do has the same clients coming back for more WITHOUT you calling them. Your clients are the best friends to your business.

If you have been in business for more than 3 years and you don't have at LEAST one or two MAJOR clients, something is wrong. Prospects are not seeing the value of what it is that you do.

Nine Cruel Truths About Most Industries for Older Workers

truths about older workers

Truths about Older Workers

I cannot tell you how many calls and emails I get from industry people who are so stressed out and concerned about things that have not happened yet. There are certain things that we must all face about the industry that we LOVE to make our lives and careers easier…click “next” below

Blog business: Making the Most Money with Google Adsense

making money with adsense

Making the Most Money with Google Adsense

CONTENT IS KING but the way you POST the Content is law
Copying a story for your blog that is already on 10,000 other sites is not going to win over many fans. Why should they come to you when they can get the same information 10,000 other places? If you DO repeat a story, add a twist to is and REWRITE the titles. You can check to see how many other people have used your title already by searching for it in Google BEFORE you do the actual post. The title of this story is Make MORE Money with Google Adsense.

7 Ways to Make Sure You Get Paid For Your Services

Get Paid for Your Services Faster and Know that it's Not as Difficult as you may Think

Get paid for your services and move on to the next client. Many of us have been ripped off in the past. I can honestly say, I have only had it happen to me twice in 18 years but advanced technology should certainly make it easier for us to get our money these days. There is NOTHING worse than completing the work then being lied to and misled about the check being in the mail etc. The worst part is like a fool you are waiting for the mailman for a check that the client KNOWS is not coming. You can save yourself from all of this by doing a few simple things. First: Always have high esteem when it comes to your business. By high esteem I’m not saying “Arrogance” I mean believe in your business, KNOW your VALUE and have an appreciation for what you do. If you show signs of weakness potential clients can see that and they will take advantage.  Here are 5 tips to collect your money in a timely fashion without chasing the cash.

Ask for the Money Up Front

Get paid for your services

This is simply the best way to do it, however, you can't blame them if they are suspicious and wonder if they will get what they have paid for. Nevertheless, that’s not for you to worry about, IF they came to you. If you go to them, then this method may or may not work. Imagine you ask someone to support your business then give you the money before you do the work, that’s kind of an insult and it looks like you are desperate for money. Treat each situation accordingly

Offer a Discount if they Pay Up Front

Get paid for your services

I would not give them more than a 20% discount. Keep in mind whatever you offer them is what they are going to expect each time

Tell them New Clients Have to Pay up Front

This is a good rule but only if they come to you. If you go to them or if it’s a corporation, you should not expect to be paid upfront, you can offer independents a “new client discount” if they pay up front.

Ask them if they use Paypal … NO, Tell them you ACCEPT PaypalGet paid for your services

If you ask them they may make up an excuse because they don't have the money up front remember who is in the driver's seat TELL them you accept Paypal instead of asking them. Technology is changing the face of business and helping you to get paid for your services faster. (thank God) now you don’t have to pay outrageous fees to have someone pay you with a credit card, you can just use a small device on PayPal called the PayPal Card Reader and charge them over your cell phone. There is a small fee but PayPal also offers pay by email and more features and they don’t have to be a PayPal client. Did I mention I LOVE PayPal

If They are a New Client, they come to you and they Can't Pay upfront…

Don't walk… RUN. This is a sure sign you are about to get ripped off and you will not get paid for your services.

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They Come Back After Being a Slow Pay the Last time?

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Tell them you have to collect up front. Remember, have esteem in your business. Your bill collectors do not want to wait to be paid after they provide a service so why should you. You have obviously made a good impression on them if they come back now it’s their turn to show good faith for their mistakes. If they can’t pay up front at least get half or walk.

Avoid Small Talk Get Straight to business

If someone comes to you for business MAKE IT business avoid small talk at all costs, you are a busy black entrepreneur and you need to be paid for your services. The small talk is a set up to ask for a MASSIVE discount or some kind of deal that’s gonna work more in THEIR favor. Don’t fall for it. If they can give you small talk to get the business, they will BS you when it comes time to pay too.

5 Ways You May Be Killing Your business

starting a business

Are you a producer, singer, promoter, blogger, writer… whatever kind of black entrepreneur you are this information can help you.

My name is Kevin Ross and for many years I was a DJ on several radio stations. Truth be told I was good at it but I hated it, I could not be myself and I saw a lot of dirty deals and many of my bosses were not in it for the love of the craft but they were crooks trying to make as much money illegally as they could. You can learn more about me later but to make a long story short, I took what I learned in radio and created a very successful industry magazine called Radio Facts then I morphed the magazine into a successful industry site Radiofacts.com. Thanks to Radio Facts, this June, I will be a seasoned black entrepreneur with a business that has lasted 18 years. That's almost impossible for a small minority business in the music industry. There are MANY things that I have learned over the years with my first business that could have saved me a TON of Time a TON of frustration and a TON of MONEY. We have thousands of people on our mailing list, several with their own small businesses and I see the same common mistakes over and over and over…. Don't get me wrong I LOVE being in business for myself and would not trade it for the WORLD but you have to make sure you are satisfying your passion if you are in business for yourself otherwise you might as well get a regular job.

The rules that generate success can often be very different for minority black entrepreneurs because we don't often have the resources to build our businesses. By “minorities” I mean anybody besides white men. Because of our lack of resources, we often help and aid each other in business to remain alive and well in the world on black entrepreneurship. Nevertheless there are some HORRIFIC mistakes we often make that sabotage our businesses for years that we may not be aware of. This past June, I did a hardcore beta test of my business in every aspect using some of the excellent free tools to help my business grow and prosper. Using these tools, I'm proud to say, revenue has tripled over the last few months. To help you… I came up with several Great Tips to Improve Your business and Make Money from a minority business owners perspective. If you have ever wanted to be in business, I am confident these tips will not only help YOU they will greatly help your business. (click “Next” above or below to see the tips)

Kevin Ross[email protected]
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1. Doing “Favors” and “Hook-ups”

The best way to destroy a money making business? Give product away for FREE. if someone asks you for a massive discount or services for free they are completely disrespecting YOU and what YOU DO. One of the BIGGEST mistakes I made with my business from day one was doing “favors” giving people things for free with the (mostly fake) possibility of them bringing business later. It's the oldest trick in the BOOK. I call them “Carrot Danglers” because they treat you like a dumb science project, they dangle the carrot in front of you and string you along until you are exhausted with no reward in the end. Some of them are SO good they create the impression they are helping you by giving you the opportunity to help them. TELL ANYBODY COMING TO YOU FOR anything for FREE and MASSIVE DISCOUNTS to take a long walk on a short pier. Here are a few of the reasons you should not walk but RUN from these people:

  • They are bad for the self esteem of your business
  • They don't have the money now but do you have the business now?
  • It's a win/lose situation and the “win” is NOT in your favor
  • You are being misled, lied to and used moreover what if they tell other potential clients (and they will) they got your service for free or for a massive discount?
  • The person will NEVER see the monetary value in what you do from the point you give them something for free, this is the same as sleeping with someone on the first date. They know the value of your BRAND that's why they contacted you but they have screwed your business in order to get that value for free… what's left?
  • Is your rent or mortgage free? Does the bank give you “Hook ups?”
  • Simply tell them “NO” and say “I have to go.” You don't even have time to have a conversation with someone who does not respect your business. Respect YOURSELF and YOUR business and clients will respect YOU.
  • Ask them to go into a Gucci store and ask for something for free. They will get a “free” trip by security and be shown the door.

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2. Chasing Dead Clients

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This past year, I made a decision that I was not going to call clients or potential clients who didn't return my calls after 2 tries. It's a waste of your time and energy to pursue people who don't believe in your brand or perhaps they don't believe in you. MOVE ON. Ideally, your brand should be generating clients if you are reaching your target but if you have to make calls understand how this can drain you and your business. There are many people who will support you ONLY because they like you. That's mostly how the entertainment industry works but other industries like online blogs and sites based their advertising on unique visitors, they may not even know the site owner but if he or she has enough “uniques” that qualifies for major advertising. I also talk about “Running From Some Clients” this details difficult clients in perspective.
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3. Corrupt Competition

Competitors can be ruthless and clients can have a bit of fun telling you what they are saying about you. My competitors for example, steal content and pictures from my site and take credit for it… I know everything my competitors say about me to my clients and much of it is absolutely idiotic. Two competitors in particular ask my clients “Why are you advertising with Kevin?” How stupid is that? Then they get cussed out and rightfully so. The competitors are idiots because they think by making my clients “aware” that they know they are supporting my brand will generate automatic support for them. Truth be told their brands SUCK but they are too lazy to fix THAT or perhaps they don't know how and that's why they are not getting support in addition the client gets pissed when being questioned about how they spend their budgets so the dumb competitor digs himself or herself deeper into the grave.

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4. Know Your Audience

blogwallet

This is OUTRAGEOUSLY important and believe it or not MANY black entrepreneurs DON‘T know their audience they target their audience based on their own thoughts or beliefs. Major mistake. Programming radio taught me how important it is to know your audience. I describe many ways you can discover who your audience is.
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5. Hire Duplicate “You's”

blogwallet

You must and I can't say this enough you MUST hire other people and you MUST delegate. The people you hire should be self starters. Excuses and flipping the script are not acceptable, if they can't do the work you show them on their own they have to go. Find people who can mimic you and who think like you do. If you try to do everything yourself your business will never grow.

Some of the OTHER topics covered:

  • Why your business won't Grow
  • Why it's best to walk away from some Clients
  • Find out what competitors are saying and doing behind your back
  • Ways to grow your business and rise above competitors
  • Now that you're making money Do THIS ….

and more, order your copy early for this eBook “Make Money: Learn the Ways to EARN.” It will be $10.95 next week. If you pre-order now, you will get a link via email with the eBook next week (March 1, 2012)




blogwallet

Kevin Ross
http://blogwallet.com

10 Things We Can Learn from Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter

10 Things We Can Learn from Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter

starting a business

There’s not a more financially prosperous hip-hop artist than Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.  Jay-Z, whose name will go down in hip-hop history as a consensus all-time great, has managed to eclipse his achievements in music with his successes in the boardroom.  With an estimated self-worth of almost $500 million, Jay-Z has successfully transitioned from underground emcee to multi-million dollar mogul.  By listening to his music and studying his professional career path, there are certain aspects from Jay-Z that we should use as a blueprint. (click “Next” above or below for more…)
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You can rise from humble beginnings.

starting a business

Shawn Carter was raised in Marcy Projects, located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.  He grew up in a single parent household and was a high school drop-out.  For a brief stint, he peddled drugs in the streets to earn money.  In regards to his past, he states, “The burden of poverty isn’t just that you don’t have the things

you need, it’s the feeling of being embarrassed everyday of your life and you’d do anything to lift that burden.
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Take the black entrepreneurial route.

Jay-Z didn’t get his start with the backing of a major record company.  He first sold CDs out of his car and eventually became a co-founder of the independent label, Roc-A-Fella Records.  Carter adds, “I was forced to be an artist and a CEO from the beginning, so I was forced to be a businessman.  When I was trying to get a record deal on my own, it was either, give up or create my own company.”  Shawn later became founder of his current music label, Roc Nation.
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Represent your roots.

starting a business

Jay-Z’s name has been synonymous with Brooklyn.  Throughout his career, Hova has made countless references and shout-outs to his hometown.  Jay-Z’s extensive music catalogue is comprised of many titles including, “Brooklyn’s Finest” and “Brooklyn (We Go) Hard.”  It was Carter’s insistence and encouragement that helped influence the NBA team, the Nets to relocate from New Jersey to Brooklyn.  Carter ultimately became part owner of the Brooklyn Nets, and sits courtside at home games in the Barclay’s Center, still cheering, supporting, and representing his borough.
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Overcome your differences.

starting a business

After having a highly publicized, four year feud with Nas, Jay-Z buried the hatchet by inviting his former rival, to join him on stage at the ‘I Declare War’ concert in 2005, where they reconciled their past beef.  The following year, while president of Def Jam, Carter signed Nas to a recording deal and the two appeared on each other’s next albums, American Gangster and Hip-Hop Is Dead respectively.
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Align your personal brand with similar, successful brands.

Carter signed a 10 year, $150 million deal with Live Nation, in which he controls records, tours, strategic marketing, and creative advertising development for companies like Budweiser.  Although later selling the rights to Rocawear, another business venture which he co-founded, Jay-Z still retains stake in the company and heads up marketing, licensing, and product development for the brand.  Shawn says, “All of my businesses are part of the culture, so I have to stay true to whatever I’m feeling at the time and whatever direction I’m headed.  My brands are an extension of me.  They are close to me.  It’s not like running General Motors, where there’s no emotional tie.”
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Think expansion and franchising.

starting a business

Carter is the co-owner of the 40/40 Club.  The upscale sports bar began in New York City and has since expanded to locations in Atlantic City, Brooklyn, and Las Vegas.  Jay-Z has global plans for the 40/40 Club as he eyes future establishments in Tokyo, Singapore, and in various airports.  Jay-Z also shares ownership with billionaire businessman, Mikhail Prokhorov in the NBA franchise, the Brooklyn Nets.  Regarding growth, Hova states, “People respect success.  They respect big.  If you’re big enough, people are drawn to you.  And hopefully, everyone else follows.”
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Put your signature on it.

starting a business

Jay-Z is one of only a handful of rappers, whose given name is just as popular as his artist name.  In addition to writing Shawn Carter into many of his lyrical compositions, Jay-Z has attached his government moniker to various product endorsements and branded entertainment opportunities.  In 2003, he became the first non-athlete to get a signature collection from Reebok.  The S. Carter line became Reebok’s fastest selling shoe in company history.  Jay-Z advises, “Remind yourself, nobody is built like you.  You design yourself.”
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Realize your voice can be heard in non-traditional audiences.

starting a business

Jay-Z became active in politics through the HeadCount organization and various other voting drive initiatives; encouraging registration, participation, and sending voters to polling stations.  He also became a public supporter of President Obama and helped raise $4 million for his re-election campaign.  Carter states, “Growing up, politics never trickled down to the areas, where we come from.  Obama himself; reached out to me and asked for my help on the campaign.  We’ve had dinner and we’ve spoken on the phone.  He’s a very sharp guy.  Very charming.  Very cool.”
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Own your own material.

starting a business

In 2014, Jay-Z will accomplish what only a few artists have been able to do in music history, which is be in full control of their master recordings and publishing rights.  The deal that was signed in 2004 would take 10 years to go into effect and applies to the music that he made while signed to Universal Music Group.  Carter accepted the presidential position at Def Jam in the first place, to help secure ownership of his masters.  Shawn says, “Hip-Hop is more about attaining wealth,” with the structure and terms of this new deal in place, it will certainly allow him to do so, on a much grander scale.
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Help expose and broaden our cultural significance.

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Jay-Z will co-produce the motion picture remake of the classic musical, “Annie” along with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith.  For the first time, the popular, title character will be portrayed by a black actress, 9 year-old, Quvenzhane Wallis.  The forthcoming film will of course feature Jay-Z’s hit, “Hard Knock Life,” which samples the soundtrack song from the original production of “Annie.”  Carter also collaborated with the Smith’s in 2009 to produce the Broadway musical, “Fela!” in homage to West African Afrobeat creator, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.