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5 Bad Habits That Sabotage Success You Need To Avoid

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(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.) 

At first glance, it would appear like everyone working in real estate has type-A personalities. After all, success is practically dependent on being organized, always prepared, and having a keen attention to the little details and always being ready to go.

In actuality, being prepared 100% of the time and remembering every important detail is easier said than done (and totally exhausting) so we make mistakes from time to time. After all, we’re only human. But sometimes those honest mistakes can turn into bad habits that chip away at our success.

Here are some bad habits that can seriously inhibit your chances succeeding professionally.

1. Putting Things Off Until Later

We’ve all procrastinated at some point in our lives – some of us more frequently than others – but getting into the habit of ignoring your responsibilities can cause you a heap of stress and heartache down the road.

If you’ve got a deadline looming over your head that you don’t want to do, don’t put it off – get it done so that you can get back to doing things you enjoy. I find if you put the “pain in the a$$” tasks first, it really clears your mind to be more effective doing all the other ones.

It’s that old saying of “get out of your comfort zone”, which also applies to the simplest things we do.

2. Tardiness

Everybody is a little late every now and then. Things happen beyond our control that can hold us up. But if you’re someone who’s constantly late for your appointments, you’re sending the message that you don’t care about your clients’ and team members’ time.

Not only are you probably annoying the other parties present, you could be costing yourself a big contract because you left a client waiting.

3. Poor Communication Habits

The key to succeeding in real estate is networking and staying in touch with your clients and connections. But if you’re known as the person who never returns an email or isn’t reachable by phone, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

Most people want to work with someone they can depend on. And even if you don’t have the answer, it’s better to respond by telling them you’ll get back with them rather than no response period.

Additionally, if you can’t make the time to reply to an email or return a call, you’re essentially telling your clients and team members they’re not important.

Lastly, being as clear as possible while communicating can also be a lifesaver. There are so many times where people think they hear what your saying but they aren’t fully.

In fact, a lot of times, the message is heard differently from its actual meaning. Talk about confusion! Now, I’m not saying you have to repeat yourself, but make sure you are really being clear when you are defining next action items.

4. Spending Too Much Time On Your Phone

Chances are, if you’re guilty of being a procrastinator you’re also probably guilty of losing focus throughout the day thanks to your smartphone.

For many people with focus-related problems, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram become massive time wasters. Break your cell phone habit by keeping your phone out of arm’s reach.

That way, you won’t be able to pick it up on a whim and check out social media when you’re supposed to be working. This is a tough one, but practice makes perfect!

5. Working Inefficiently

Work smarter, not harder. Don’t just dive into a task without coming up with a plan first. Think about ways to approach projects so that you maximize your productivity and get more done in less time. And most importantly, stay away from things that distract you.

You don’t have to be a type-A personality to succeed in the office, but you do need to make an effort to prevent yourself from falling into negative patterns of behavior. By nipping one or more of these bad habits in the bud, you’re well on your way to becoming the office superstar.

Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here

Business

How Mark Cuban Invested $640k In A Company That Started…As A Prank

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In what turned out to be a ruse, a startup disguised their business as a prank to raise over $640k from investor Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.

Minneapolis-based entrepreneurs, Ryan Walther and Arik Nordby, founded Prank-O, a business that was built around amusing their friends with bizarre and fake products.

In their pitch to the Sharks, they introduced a string of products in gift boxes — ranging from coffee-maker shower heads to snack hats — only to reveal later that the novel products were fake.

The duo looked to snag an investment of $640k for an 8% stake in the business, before revealing their declining sales — from $10M five years ago to an estimated $2.8M this year.

The dip in sales came after the team tried to branch into creating the prank products, stringing together debt worth nearly $1M.

Despite the numbers, Mark Cuban bit. “I’ll make you an offer, but you’re going to have to listen,” Cuban said.

“You’ve got a great product, you’ve got great comedy minds, but your track record speaks for itself, and I don’t mean that in any disrespect, but all entrepreneurs go through this,” he said, offering $640k for 25%, more than three times what the company initially pitched.

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Entrepreneurs

5 Money-Making Gems From ‘The Budgetnista’ Tiffany Aliche

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When it comes to money, you name it, she’s done it. 

From buying her first house at 25, a growing retirement account, a healthy nest egg in savings. To losing it all—almost overnight—once the Great Recession hit.
(And a financial scam that left her with $35K in credit card debt, just for good measure.)

However, a decade later, “America’s Favorite Financial Teacher” Tiffany Aliche has come full circle. 

A bonafide money master, Tiffany’s become one of the best-known financial experts in the country, racking up media hits—from CNBC to Good Morning America—like zeroes on her bank account.

More importantly, through her company The Budgetnista and the Live Richer Academy, her online school, Tiffany’s helped almost 1M women save over $100M and pay off $75M in debt.  

Now that we’re effectively in another recession, here are five gems from The Budgetnista on how to handle money. 

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche. thebudgetnista.com

1) The importance of being cash strong…

“Debt-free does not equal wealth. First things first, in a recession, you want to be cash strong. Normally I’m like, get really aggressive with paying down your debt. That’s great, but if you don’t have savings, and you’re debt-free, and an emergency comes up, you’re going to use debt to help you do that emergency.”

2) Budgeting during pandemic…

“Number two: I would say your budget is gonna be your best friend at this moment in time. We’ve always been talking about living below your means and leaning into frugality, at least to some extent. And now, more than ever, that needs to happen.”

3) Prioritize your bills…

The most important step you can take if you’re worried about your income is to prioritize what you’re spending on, Tiffany told CNBC Make It. 

To figure out which bills and expenses to pay first and which to delay, Tiffany recommends asking yourself two questions: 

“ If I don’t make this payment, will I be unhealthy? If I don’t make this payment, will I be unsafe? If the answer is yes to either of those, pay that bill as best as you can. 

“If you haven’t already, look into many of the assistance and payment deferment programs that utility companies, cell phone providers, lenders and landlords may be offering.”  

4) Recessions make millionaires…

“I would lean into learning how to invest. The last recession caught me unaware. I was a pre-school teacher at the time and I lost my job and I lost my home that I bought for $220K. 

“It ended up being sold for $150K. I wish I had been in the position then to invest, but I didn’t have the knowledge, the acumen or the money. 

“I told myself, ‘I’m not going to be in that position again,’ so I have been preparing for this day. I am ready to invest because recessions make more millionaires than any other time in history.”

5) “Living under your means:” Maintaining fixed expenses…

“Managing your fixed expenses is absolutely the key to living under your means. I think the reason why folks have a hard time with living under their means is they don’t see the purpose behind it.

“The purpose of budgeting is not to budget for budget sake; it’s so you have excess savings. The purpose of savings is not to save for saving. Save it so that way you can invest. The purpose of investing is to grow wealth.”

(Quotes courtesy of Rolling Out and CNBC.)

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Entrepreneurs

[Q&A] This Entrepreneur Founded A $50B+ Company—And Then Helped Startups Raise Money From The Crowd

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Howard Marks is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the modern, digital age, a rare founder who’s actually innovated before said innovation truly mainstream.

And not just once, but twice.

As founder of Activision, Howard helped kick off a gaming bonanza that’s become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, birthing an entire new industry known as eSports.

Largely driven by Fortnite—a gaming franchise owned by Activision—eSports is expected to top $1.1B this year in global revenues, according to Forbes. Today, Activision is worth over $54B, trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

(In fact, had you invested $10K in Howard’s IPO, your investment today would be worth well over $700K.)

JOBS Act IPO revolution

Later on, as founder of Startengine, Howard helped kickstart the equity crowdfunding trend, opening an avenue for early-stage startups to raise money and redefine public offerings.

Back in 2012, President Obama signed off on the JOBS Act, allowing companies to go public, taking investments from non-accredited investors (essentially anyone without a net worth of $1M), without having to go through the tedious process of listing on New York Stock Exchange.

As head of Startengine, Howard’s built one of the market leaders in the equity crowdfunding space, with $43.72M in total investments in 2019 alone. 

More recently, StartEngine made a coup, joining forces with one of the most influential investors in the form of Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful” Kevin O’Leary, as reported by Crowdfund Insider.

Crowdfund Insider, the online authority for all things crowdfunding, recently did an exclusive Q&A with Howard, touching on the new deal with Mr. Wonderful, his business and the future of crowdfunding.

Here’s what he had to say.


Challenges of crowdfunding…

One of the biggest challenges we face as a company is that equity crowdfunding is not well understood by the general public. If you walk down the street and ask a stranger if they know what equity crowdfunding is, odds are they say they’ve never heard of it before.

Doing a deal with Mr. Wonderful…

Over the past few years, we’ve had several Shark Tank alumni raise capital on StartEngine, and we eventually got connected to Kevin. When we learned that he had been following the equity crowdfunding space for a few years and wanted to help inform others about the opportunities for raising capital using equity crowdfunding, it was an easy decision to form a partnership with him.

Mr. Wonderful’s role…

Kevin O’Leary is StartEngine’s strategic advisor and a StartEngine shareholder. His focus will be on creating more awareness about StartEngine and equity crowdfunding in general. Kevin believes in the equity crowdfunding model and our business and is helping to spread the word. He is even encouraging the companies in his own portfolio to use StartEngine for their next funding round.

Deal flow during the COVID-19…

Our entire team is operating remotely and staying safe during the pandemic, and our business itself is thriving. We’ve seen a good increase over the last 30 days in the companies applying to raise on StartEngine.

From both the company and investor side, StartEngine’s business has proven to be resilient to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

On the SEC and raising the cap for what startups can raise…

We support the changes wholeheartedly. It’s clear that $1.07M is too low a ceiling for Regulation Crowdfunding [Reg CF], given the average size of seed funding rounds today, and it’s time that we increase the limit to help small businesses achieve their goals.

In fact, we encouraged all 10,000+ of our shareholders to write letters to the SEC a month ago to encourage them to increase the limit of Regulation Crowdfunding from $1.07M to $5M to help small businesses today when they desperately need access to capital.

Accredited investors vs. non-accredited investors…

Howard Marks: Our business, and the business of equity crowdfunding, is bringing investment opportunities to non-accredited investors. We do not focus on accredited investors. An expanded definition may encourage those new accredited investors to feel more confident making investments on our platform, as well as increase the amount they can invest in a given year, which would be beneficial to the investing space. However, I don’t believe this would have a large impact on equity crowdfunding.

On changes he wants to see…

Howard Marks: The change we are most excited about at StartEngine is the proposal to increase the limit of Regulation Crowdfunding from $1.07M to $5M. Of all of the proposed changes, I believe that one will have the biggest impact for small businesses and will encourage more entrepreneurs to turn to equity crowdfunding.

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