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This Ex-NBA All Star May Just Have The No.1 Wine In The World

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Source: Forbes

Former NBA All Star Yao Ming had his career cut short by injuries. But he’s rebounded, big time, with big scores off the court.

(LOL at these sports cliches…)

Ming founded Yao Family Wines in California’s Napa Valley in 2011. Which is not a major deal; lots of celebrities make mediocre wines that eventually drop off.

Anyway, back in 2015, Ming raised $2M on crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder to scale his own wine. Here’s how it looked back then, according to the Wall Street Journal:

With Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign sapping demand for expensive wines, Yao Family Wines, the biggest seller of high-end Californian wine in China by value, is shifting its focus from Chinese banquet tables to U.S. steak houses. Now 15% of the winery’s revenues come from the US, compared to almost zero at the beginning in late 2011. The company said it has managed to grow its sales in a tough environment, without giving more details.

And now, Ming’s wine—legitimately—is now one of the best in the world, with an approval rating of 95+ from the world’s single most influential wine critic, Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate.

Here’s what he wrote:

“I am aware of all the arguments that major celebrities lending their names to wines is generally a formula for mediocrity, but that is not the case with Yao Ming. These are high-class wines. The two Cabernets are actually brilliant, and the Reserve bottling ranks alongside just about anything made in Napa.”

Another influential voice of wine the Wine Enthusiast went even further, awarding his wines 97 and 95 points respectively.

Check out his winery here.

Business

WWE CEO Vince McMahon Is The Most Alpha Boss Human Being Alive…

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WWE owner Vince McMahon may very well be the most #boss CEO in the world.

Not only did he turn a frowned-upon pro wrestling company into a national treasure, he catapulted it into a publicly-traded, billion-dollar juggernaut.

Not to mention, he essentially created pay-per-view—the same model that made Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather the highest-paid fighters ever. 

He also built the model for live streaming, which the big networks (ESPN, HBO, Fox etc.) have now copied. 

Despite all his CEOness, Vince McMahon, at his core, is a total G. One time on HBO, in his mind, he was being spoken down to by host Bob Costas.

My man Vinnie almost snaps the mug in half with his teeth. Then says, “I’m a fighter, OK? I enjoy fighting, by the way.”

Just pure machismo oozing out of his pores. 

But quite possible the single-most alpha thing McMahon has done is the way he fired his ex-champ Ultimate Warrior. And not on TV—but in real life, like a CEO of a multi-million dollar international corporation.

According to Vince, the Ultimate Warrior was demanding a $500K raise, right there, on the spot, just prior to his scheduled match with Hulk Hogan vs. a team of anti-American opponents.

“My responsibility is to present what I have advertised. My responsibility is to the audience,” McMahon said about the situation. “So I reluctantly agreed to Warrior’s demand, knowing what I was going to do as soon as he came out of the ring.”

Although later legal discoveries revealed that it actually came a full month before in a five-page long handwritten letter, which McMahon supposedly agreed to.

Still, McMahon wasn’t about to be bullied without repercussions. “It gave me great pleasure to fire him and to let him know why I was doing it.”

Soon as Warrior stepped backstage, he was presented with a BRUTAL suspension letter from Vince, splattered with alpha machismo on all sorts of levels.

The gems are plentiful and come in abundance and rapidly so.

“You’ve become a legend in your own mind; you’re certainly entitled to your opinion.”

“You’ve become impossible to work with.”

“Your behavior has become unreliable and erratic.”

Then there’s the many, many reasons why he shouldn’t be paid as well as Hulk Hogan.

Anyway, check it out.

Dear Jim:

As you know, on September 23, 1987, you signed a Booking Contract with Titan Sports. At the time you signed the Contract, you were a relatively obscure wrestler with an enthusiastic professed desire to succeed. I therefore invested a substantial amount of time, money, and a sincere energy to develop your talents and person as a worldwide WWF Superstar wrestler, such that you have been able to be successful and achieve stardom status throughout the world.

Unfortunately, it now appears the fame that you have obtained through the efforts of Titan has gone to your head. Frankly, you have become impossible to work with, and have completely forgotten your obligations to Titan and WWF fans, both ethically, professionally, and contractually.

Your principal complaint apparently is that you are not being compensated at the same rate as Hulk Hogan, although ‘Hulk’ is a living legend, is still much better known to the public, has wrestled longer, is the WWF champion, is in much greater demand for personal appearances, is a bigger star and draw at WWF events, is more dependable and is far more revered and respected by WWF fans and by the public at large.

Here’s the full letter:

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Business

Raising Startup Capital: 4 Funding Sources You Can Bank On

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Turning entrepreneur can be an exciting adventure—one that demands an incredible amount of perseverance and hard work. But one of the biggest startup challenges is fundraising. VCs are getting pickier and pickier, so tapping the right fundraising strategy can make or break your business. Here are four ways to tackle that.

1. Bank On Microloans:

Many entrepreneurs take to Kickstarter too soon, before even gauging other options. Microfunding—an SBA-backed program that’s been around over 25 years—is a much easier and quicker to get funding vs. a traditional loan. (And it’s a great way to build your credit score, as well.) Here’s a brief and somewhat-informative video that explores how small business loans work:

What’s more, Microlenders also offer flexible payment options, and may mentor entrepreneurs to help them succeed.

2. Get A Partner:

When you’re looking for a little extra capital or technical know-how, seeking a co-founder and establishing a partnership can drive capital and planning. If a co-founder isn’t in the works, building strategic partnership with complementary businesses is a great avenue to fuel growth. 

3. Sponsorships:

You don’t have to vie for a business’ CSR initiative or do charity work to get sponsored. As long as your idea sells and you’re building a great product, you’re on the grind. Sponsorships are largely done through advertising or media appearances. And sometimes by adding their brand to yours for a while.

4. Using Charge Cards:

Charge cards can be a powerful tool to obtain capital for your business. Unlike credit cards, charge cards do not come with a preset spending limit. The perks? It allows you to meet large expenses swiftly. What’s the catch? The lender requires you to pay the balance in full every month. If you’re financially responsible, charge cards are a great way to meet your costs.

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Business

5 Global Fintech Apps To Watch

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The fintech space has witnessed significant growth in recent years – marrying tech and finance to simplify a lot of processes for businesses and people like you and me. Here are five fintech apps that you can bank on.

1. Robinhood

This stock trading app comes with a big perk – no commissions. How does it make money? It has a subscription-based service, Robinhood Gold, which charges users a tiered monthly fee for services like extended-hours trading and margin. Available across both iOS and Android platforms, Robinhood has over 4 million accounts currently.

2. Piggybank.ng

In an effort to tap into Africa’s growing millennial base, Nigerian fintech startup, Piggybank.ng, aims to help people increase savings – through plans that cater to both low and middle-income Nigerians. Savers don’t incur any upfront fees and may deposit as little as a dollar a day, and are discouraged from withdrawing their savings until an agreed date by charging an early withdrawal fee of 5%. What’s the interest you gain? Depending on the duration and type of investment, you can expect to accrue anywhere between 10-12.5%.

3. Square Cash

With over 7 million active users, Square Inc’s cryptocurrency-integrated payments app, Cash, has enjoyed staggering growth recently. The app simplified payment transfers – if you want to transfer money to a friend, all you have to do is send an email to the friend with the amount, and cc cash@square.com. This move just wiped away the need to create an account or look up bank account details. All it requires is your debit card number.

4. BudgetBakers

BudgetBakers’ popular personal finance app, Wallet, helps users track their expenses and allows them to integrate multiple accounts into the app – if you need to add more than three accounts, a small fee is charged. The app provides your expense details across a bunch of useful charts, reports and lending records.

5. Google Wallet

Google jumped the payments space and came out with something packed with great perks – transfer payments with a single tap, coupons to grab bargains, completely paperless and it works across some of the biggest stores like Macy’s, Subway, and outlets that permit MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.

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