Ivy International Fosters Love in the Fast Lane

Ivy International _ Inga Verbeeck _ (10)
Inga Verbeeck

Valentine’s Day is an exciting holiday to be spent with the person or people you love in your life – that is, if you have the time. Many of the most successful individuals in the world simply don’t have space in their hectic schedules to unwind with someone special. Ivy International, a global relationship management company, is changing the Valentine’s Day game for these very people.

Ivy is helmed by Inga Verbeeck, a woman who learned just what life “at the top” is like after taking over her parents’ steel company. Ivy works with some of the most successful businesswomen and men all around the world, as well as Hollywood elite and other members of the wealthy population. After all, it’s not easy for somebody like Emma Stone to just “put themselves on the market.” It takes careful planning and the right connections.

So, how does it all work? Ivy is custom tailored for every single client. They work with each other every step of the way, identifying key tastes and needs. If the client is looking for a serious relationship, Ivy will scour the globe and look for somebody with similar tastes or will get them in touch with a certain person they might have their eye on. Should the client be interested in just a friend to play golf with or access to a certain exclusive event, Ivy has other connections to arrange these as well.

Just like a business or idea, a relationship needs a lot of work and time for it to really grow into something powerful. This is the difference between Ivy and other matchmaking services. Whereas other companies will simply arrange for two people to be introduced, Ivy goes beyond – they’re on hand and involved with the relationship from the beginning onwards, acting as planners, mediators, problem solvers, and more. Working closely with each client, they shape experiences and help to create memories that will last a lifetime.

For many in this upper section of society, Valentine’s Day is really just another day on the calendar with work to be done. Taking time off would mean sacrificing success, delaying projects, or other unwanted consequences. Plus, there is the actual process of finding somebody they would like to spend their precious time with – something that everyone, regardless of wealth, can struggle with. Is it worth it for Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, to put his work on hold to go to a dinner with a woman he turns out to have no chemistry with? Probably not. Although the pursuit of love is worthy of the time and effort required, the reality is that time is extremely precious to the world’s elite.

There is so much emphasis placed on Valentine’s Day being the “day of love,” but that day of love could realistically be any day of the year so long as it’s spent with somebody you truly care about. Because many of Ivy’s clients don’t have the option to take Valentine’s day off, Ivy’s services allows them to make days when they are free as special as possible. Scheduling can be particularly tricky between two extremely busy individuals, so Ivy works with both parties to find times and places that line up. Typically, this isn’t just some convenient, standard cafe but something closer to a Michelin-starred restaurant or weekend on a lavish yacht.

Ivy knows that for many successful individuals, the most precious commodity is time. Their clients don’t get to go to the bars after work because their work may extend past final call. There’s no point making a dinner reservation because a meeting may run over and the reservation will be lost. Finding the right time and place for every event is crucial, and the company has mastered the practice.

Think of the “secret societies” you’ve heard of at prestigious schools or in the movies. Ivy operates on a similar idea, except with a much different goal. They bring love and genuine human connections to its members. With this human connection comes a different kind of success – emotional success. This emotional success spreads to everyone the clients interact with on a daily basis. So whether it be on Valentine’s Day or the dead of summer, even the busiest people in the world can find time to celebrate love thanks to Ivy.


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ChefDance Brings Sundance 2017 Influencers Together for Divine Dinners & A Charitable Cause

Kevin Bacon, Chef Cat Cora and CEO Mimi Kim come together at ChefDance benefitting Operation Smile at Sundance 2017.
Kevin Bacon, Chef Cat Cora and CEO Mimi Kim come together at ChefDance benefitting Operation Smile at Sundance 2017.

The first weekend of Sundance 2017 was an exhilarating whirlwind of movie screenings and parties, but ChefDance was undoubtedly the one fête all VIP’s wanted a coveted ticket to. Presented by Sysco and GiftedTaste and in partnership with Operation Smile, ChefDance took place in the Memorial Building in Pack City and provided the perfect space for Sundance influencers to network. Known as the most exclusive dinner series of Sundance, ChefDance was the perfect fusion of film and fine food and sold out every night.

Harold & Kumar actor John Cho and a friend enjoy a meal together at ChefDance 2017 benefitting Operation Smile.
Harold & Kumar actor John Cho and a friend enjoy a meal together at ChefDance 2017 benefitting Operation Smile.

For its 14th year running, ChefDance proved why it was THE must-attend dinner event of Sundance 2017. Founded by LA couple Mimi Kim and Kenny Griswold, the dinner series fed over 200 high profile guests each night, courtesy of world renowned chefs Chef Cat Cora (Fox’s My Kitchen Rules), Chef Shawn McClain (James Beard Award Recipient), Chef Brian Malarkey (Herringbone, San Diego), and Chef Edward Lee (610 Magnolia, Kentucky). Keanu Reeves, Kevin Bacon, John Cho, Parker Posey, Brody Jenner, DJ Paul Oakenfold, and Julie Ormond were just a few of the celebrities in attendance.

Brody Jenner and his fiance, Kaitlynn Carter, picked up American Made Supply Co beanies at ChefDance 2017.
Brody Jenner and his fiance, Kaitlynn Carter, picked up American Made Supply Co. beanies at ChefDance 2017.

The menus were otherworldly, with dishes like buffalo ranch octopus, tuna tartar, and Basque Beef Tenderloin tantalizing the tastebuds of Sundance’s finest. Each night also featured Four Daughters Wine and succulent desserts like malted chocolate mousse, Chocolate Cremeux (an exquisite chocolate almond cake), and togarashi crusted cheesecake. The salads were also divine and packed a unique, flavorful punch with ingredients like date puree, house made ricotta, and smoked feta/harissa.

(From left to right) Eva Gutowski, Tela Dunn, Meredith Foster attend the third night of ChefDance to enjoy a delectable menu created by Chef Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia
(From left to right) Eva Gutowski, Tela Dunn, and Meredith Foster attend the third night of ChefDance to enjoy a delectable menu created by Chef Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia.

Throughout dinner each night, ChefDance goers stayed refreshed with Voss Water while mingling at film after-parties with live DJ’s and favorite spinsters from the nightlife scene. To stay warm from the snowy weather outside, ChefDance attendees also got to leave with cozy and stylish beanies from American Made Supply Co. In all, ChefDance was a wondrous celebration of food, culture and film in an exclusive setting that promised great experiences, lifelong connections, and unforgettably fantastic moments.

Chef Edward Lee and Mimi Kim catch up at the third night of ChefDance 2017.
Chef Edward Lee and Mimi Kim catch up at the third night of ChefDance 2017.

Mimi Kim, the entrepreneurial powerhouse behind ChefDance, is a force to be reckoned with who continues to make great strides in breaking through the glass ceiling. Her impressive resume features companies like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs and she also served as the market planning strategist for Fox for the launch of FX and FXM. In addition to these impressive feats, Mimi financed/invested in various entertainment properties in LA, including the Sunset Room. For those looking to break into the food event scene, Mimi Kim is definitely one entrepreneur look up to for inspiration and ideas.

Parker Posey and Mimi Kim share a laugh during ChefDance 2017, sponsored by GiftedTaste, Park City, Utah.
Parker Posey and Mimi Kim share a laugh during ChefDance 2017, sponsored by GiftedTaste, Park City, Utah.

Contact: shannahch@gmail.com

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15 Home-Based Retirement Businesses

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Savvy Business Start-Ups for 50+ Individuals

Though it is illegal to discriminate in hiring individuals who are forty years or older, studies reveal prospective employers have been reluctant to hire older, jobless workers in these slow economic times because they believe they will have to pay them higher wages, or that they may lack updated job skills or for other reasons. As a result, many jobless, 55-plus persons have been compelled to become entrepreneurs and are successfully starting their own businesses to support themselves or to supplement their current job earnings or retirement incomes. If you are an older adult who is looking for a needed income opportunity and/or to fulfill an entrepreneurial dream, here are fifteen business ideas for you to consider:

1. Consulting

Professional consultants are individuals who have experience and expertise, and are recognized as authorities in their professions or industries. They are in high demand in both good and slow economic times as they offer clients advice to help solve problems and expand their businesses or expertise; or they may work in temporary positions as needed by their clients.

Success Tips: Market your services in specialty markets niches rather than as a generalist. Offer to talk to target groups and to conduct workshops at industry conferences. Encourage referrals from satisfied clients; and utilize a web site to reach regular and potential clients with articles and e-newsletters. Build residual income in offering webinars, ebooks, video presentations, and other products related to your profession and consulting practice.

Suggested Resource:

*Launch a Consulting Practice

*Get Clients Now by C.J. Hayden, MCC

2. Crafts-Fine Arts

If you have handmade products you would like to sell as a business venture, conduct a thorough market research and testing at wholesale and craft shows to see if they have the profit potential that warrants your work and time. Subscribe to professional arts and crafts publications and groups for business and production tips. Refine your skills by enrolling in courses at art or craft centers.

Success Tips: Research competitors to see how your designs can stand out from theirs. Conduct trial sales on online auction and craft-selling sites to determine demand and pricing. Decide if mass-production or creating one-of-a-kind items is the best way to produce your items. Advertise in publications or through your web site or others to reach your best customers.

Suggested Resources:

*Handmade Business – arts-crafts business print publication

*The Crafts Business Answer Book by Barbara Brabec

*Crafter’s Market 2016

3. E-Commerce

With present online retail sales reaching over 200 billion dollars and no signs of slowing down, it is an ideal time to consider selling a product or service using the Internet. Research your chosen e-commerce business idea(s) to see what you can offer that potential competitors cannot.

Success Tips: Test-market your products and services through online auctions and other sites offering low-cost stores, before launching full-time into a full-service web site with shopping cart software and credit card capabilities. Stay connected to paying customers through regular e-mails and e-zines; and providing excellent customer service with follow-up satisfaction queries. Attract new customers with print and media articles and ads.

Suggested Resources:

*Practical Tips for a Successful Online Business

*Growing Your Online Business

4. Food Specialties

The popularity of television food-preparation shows has spurred the interest in learning how to cook foods of many local and ethnic cuisines. You may want to turn a dessert, condiment, or a special family recipe into a commercial product.

Success Tips: Previous cooking experience, especially in a commercial kitchen is recommended. Produce your product in your own licensed kitchen or a rented one. Take time to learn all that is involved in taking a food product to market from other food entrepreneurs and experts. Test-market your product at farmers’ markets or specialty food stores before making a large monetary investment. Exhibit at food specialty shows to find distributors, or market and sell via the Internet.

Suggested Resources:

*Food Entrepreneur Resources

*Specialty Food Association

*Sell Your Specialty Food by Stephen F. Hall

5. Collectibles’ Appraiser-Seller

Individuals, estate lawyers, non-profit organizations, and collectors often need their antiques and collections appraised for their value for insurance coverage, to settle estates, or to price for selling. You can charge a fee for your written reports that evaluate your clients’ items’ true market worth, as well as provide the best selling avenues for them. You can choose to also be a consigner and sell clients’ items for a percentage of the sales.

Success Tips: Specialize in the items you prefer and have knowledge about. Join trade associations for further study, credentials, and networking opportunities. Learning how to detect imitations or fakes will add to your service’s marketability. Promote your services at shows, to auction houses, through referrals, by writing columns, and with a web site. Stay current with trends that affect pricing and the demand for certain items.

Suggested Resources:

*Appraisers Association

* Kovels – site of antique and collector experts and authors.

6. Radio Show

If you are an expert in gardening, parenting, finances, or other professions, you might consider hosting a radio show from your own home studio. Many entrepreneurs are also broadcasting a variety of programming with their own Web-based radio stations. Make money with advertisers and residual products of books, CDs, and other related products.

Success Tips: A background and/or experience in broadcasting and communications, as well as the technological know-how are essential. Increase your listening audience by offering to do regular spots on other stations, local outlets, or web sites’ shows, or at web conferences. Build your name recognition by writing articles and books and by speaking in your profession and industry until you can afford the equipment and funding to fully-operate your own program.

Suggested Resources:

*Creating Powerful Radio: Getting, Keeping and Growing Audiences News, Talk, Information & Personality Broadcast, HD, Satellite & Internet by Valerie Geller

*About Tech– information, Internet radio

7. Moving Specialist/Coordinator

If you are well-organized, have good people skills, and have an active network of other professionals with whom you can partner, consider starting a moving-specialty and coordinating service. Potential customers might include seniors who are downsizing; business executives and military families who are moving across the country; and other individuals who do not have the time to handle all the integrated tasks that moving one’s household involves. You may also specialize in moving livestock, boats, machinery, antiques, pianos, or fine art for businesses and organizations.

Success Tips: Previous experience in the moving industry or certain products is helpful. Have the necessary insurance (liability, bonding) and any licenses and certifications needed. Add services such as shipping items; contacting utility companies; assisting with change of address notifications; taking items to auctions; staging homes for sale; organizing new spaces, and the coordination of arrangements that lead to a well-orchestrated move for your clients. Attention to detail and having caring, courteous help and consideration, will foster satisfied clients and their referrals.

Suggested Resources:

*American Moving & Storage Association

*How to Survive A Move by Hundreds of Heads (series)

8. Professional Speaker

If you enjoy speaking to groups and have a presentation that will inspire, teach, or relay a compelling story or events that appeal to your particular audience, you can consider speaking on a professional basis. Most successful speakers start part-time while working in their professions, giving workshops and keynote speeches and perfecting their presentations over several years until they earn enough to become full-time professionals.

Success Tips: Join local or national chapters of speakers’ organizations to get feedback and tips from professional speakers to improve your speaking and delivery skills. Offer to speak at local organizations, colleges, and business groups and to get referrals for more engagements. Concentrate on delivering what your audience wants to hear and caring about their interests.

Suggested Resources:

*National Speakers Association

*Toastmasters International

*5 Things to Remember as You Launch Your Home-Based Speaking/Coaching Business

9. Rent-A-Grandparent

If you love children and being a grandparent or wish to be one, you can advertise your services to baby-sit children on special occasions; assist new mothers and fathers in caring for newborns in their homes; attend special events or vacation with families; or carry-out additional activities or tasks associated with being a grandparent.

Success Tips: Complete background checks and clearances that you may be required to have to work with children. Experience and/or education credentials and an understanding of the ages of the children with whom you are working are important to be a success. Market your services through local family publications and referrals from families or social organizations.

Suggested Resources:

*American Grandparents Association – resource site with activities, advice, product reviews.

*Foundation for Grandparenting

10. Repair Specialist

Take advantage of the growing “Green” movement as yesterday’s throw-away society is changing to one of recycling, and reusing by offering to repair quality specialty items from vintage clocks and jewelry, to musical instruments, bicycles, old toys, and even designer shoes. Set-up areas in a refurbished garage or outbuilding where customers can pick-up or drop-off items; or offer to pick up and deliver repaired items for them.

Success Tips: Apprentice with experts to gain additional skills. Conduct preliminary research to see if a potential, paying market exists for your services. Advertise in local classified ads newspapers or free, regional online classified ad sites, and with your basic web site. Place business cards in retail stores selling these items, new or vintage. Encourage customer referrals.

Suggested Resources:

*U.S. Small Business Administration

*www.score.org/content/take-workshop – online business development workshops

11. Specialty Driving Service  

If you like people and have a good driving record, consider starting a specialty driving service, focusing on transporting children to and from after-school activities; picking up and delivering people to public transportation centers and night-time events; taking seniors to medical appointments; or even driving pets to groomers or veterinarians.

Success Tips: Fulfill all commercial licensing and insurance and business regulations; as well as any required background security checks. Conduct surveys to determine what types of transportations are needed most in your area.

Suggested Resources:

*Easy Guide: How To Start A Driving Service Business

*Reduce Your Risks and Liability: Getting the Right Insurance Coverage for Your Delivery Service

12. Audio-Video Production Services

Multi-media specialists consult with business owners, agencies, organizations, and professionals to create videos, CDs, DVDs, audio tapes, and other related products for staff training, sales promotions, presentations at seminars, trade shows, or workshops; and also film for television, documentaries, and video for web and social marketing sites. Check with local colleges or technical schools for related courses if you need additional skills.

Success Tips: Experience and operating knowledge of the latest computer and equipment technology are required. When starting out, lease or rent equipment to save money, and determine what is the best for your project. Network with others in your industry to find an open market niche in this highly-competitive line of work. Partner with other entrepreneurs to provide a total package tailored to your clients’ needs.

Suggested Resources:



13. Specialty Farming

Fear of food-related illnesses, toxic chemicals from fertilizers and contaminated water, and a demand for healthier meals, are all creating a demand for natural foods and beverages. Organic and natural growers sell to local consumers, eating establishments, and institutions and through online and mail order venues, depending on the produce or products. Eating establishments and grocery stores are also looking for fresh foods and antibiotic-free eggs and meats.

Success Tips: Research the potential markets for your products, and test buyer responses at local farmers’ markets and trade shows. Enroll in courses offered by agriculture colleges and county extension offices. Join local growers’ or farmers associations for tips and networking opportunities.

Suggested Resources:

*Backyard Market Gardening by Andrew W. Lee

*National Institute of Food and Agriculture

14. Tour Leader

Travel is no longer for wealthy individuals. Competition and the recent slow economic times have created affordable prices that have made travel a popular pastime for all ages. You can lead bike, bus, rail, ship, and/or flight tours to local, state-, nation-, or worldwide destinations. You can subcontract your services to local travel agencies, tourists bureaus, schools, volunteer agencies, and other organizations; or you can operate your own tour business.

Success Tips: Check to see what licensing and business regulations you must follow. It is helpful to have a travel industry background; or enroll in courses for needed certification. Decide what type of tours you want to lead and write a business and marketing plan to reach potential customers. Advertise in travel publications, radio and television ads, by writing articles, and with a web site. Add additional income with travel CDs and publications of tours; and by offering to find the best deals and packages for your clients.

Suggested Resources:

*The Business of Tour Operations, 3rd ed., by Pat Yale

*International Tour Management Institute – Tour director training

15. Vintage Reproductions or Restoration

Theatre, movie, and television companies; collectors, and different mature age groups seek reproductions of vintage clothing, jewelry, old toys, and other bygone items for various purposes or for their collections. Antique specialists, museums, and collectors will also pay for the repair or restoration of original items ranging from fountain pens, vehicles, telephones, and countless other items.

Success Tips: Enroll in old-world craft centers, or take private lessons to learn the skills needed to reproduce or restore the items in which you plan to specialize. Test-market your items, selling on online auction sites, as well as on craft and specialty sites. Find new customers by writing and advertising in related trade publications and collectors’ sites.

Suggested Resources:


*Vintage Indie™ Magazine

For more business start-up information, visit homebusinessexpo.com. Research your idea, consult with experts, write a business plan, and then launch into your own home-business. Start today and operate it the rest of your life, if you choose, earning money while doing work you love!

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3 Ways to Make Your Home Business Seem More Professional

Running a home business takes all the willpower, expertise and professionalism of running a more traditional small business, but not all clients and customers understand this. Not used to this slightly unorthodox approach to business, some will take your business more seriously if it is coated in the traditional trappings of business practice.

For that reason it is sometimes necessary to play up the professional nature of your business to impress and live up to the expectations of more traditional business partners or clients. Here’s how to do just that:


1. Use a virtual office for correspondence and hire rooms for meetings

It’s called a home business for a reason. But meeting clients in your own house can seem unprofessional. Whether you are working with suppliers, clients or associates, many people you are meeting may be used to more sophisticated and formal surroundings and thus find the transition jarring or off-putting, as the Guardian’s Small Business Network points out.

Though you could simply arrange to meet clients in public places such as hotels, the most professional solution to this problem is to rent a virtual office for post and hire meeting rooms for meetings. As explained by experts i2 Office, a virtual office gives businesses a sophisticated city address for all postal and telephone correspondence.

With a virtual office you can continue to work from your own home for your comfort, convenience and price, but when clients call you and send you mail, they will see you for the professional business person you truly are.

As well as this, you can book meeting rooms through companies such as i2, Workspace or Regus to give even more of an air of professionalism to any in person meeting you should have.


2. Manage your online presence

In the modern tech landscape, every business worth its name is increasing its focus on the internet. There are several key areas of the net that any professional-looking business will have to make an impact.

Having a good website is one of the most important things for a 21st century business. If you do not know coding and development yourself, it is possible to use a simple make-your-own service like the much-advertised Squarespace. For a real professional sheen though, it may be worth enlisting the help of a professional web design firm. As the Guardian points out, the higher cost may well be justified by the site’s effectiveness.

Social media is another important element of any business. Since you are in complete control of what you post and share, it is easy to create an identity that is for more professional and upmarket than your humble base of operations would betray. Try taking the time to plan your social media strategy each week, taking care to project the image you want your clients and customers to see.

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3. Consider your business name

You may not have put too much thought into naming your business or you may simply have named your business before you started working with clients. Whatever the case, the name of your business will have a huge impact on the way it is perceived by clients or customers, active or potential.

As explained by Inc, your company name is the first thing customers will see. It is your first impression. It gives you the opportunity to give your take on the industry you are working within and it gives you the chance to be remembered.

Domain name marketers Novanym have observed that catchy business names are increasingly important digital assets. Novanym state that “In the constantly expanding digital marketplace, your brand name can travel further than ever before”, with social media and search engine results making businesses increasingly visible.

Taking time to choose the right business name and domain is crucial to the longevity of your business success. Think about a creating a brand that will resonate with the kinds of other companies and customers you are trying to impress in the long run. That way, you will never have to change it.

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Wakaya Perfection Disrupts the Traditional Network Marketing Business Model


The Company’s Ground-Breaking New Compensation Plan Focuses Its Compensation System on Personal Sales Activity

Wakaya Perfection, LLC, direct marketer and purveyor of high impact and high status nutritional products, announced a new ground-breaking compensation plan that will disrupt the traditional Network Marketing compensation model. Combining new and old-fashioned compensation principles, Wakaya Perfection’s new compensation plan will put the lion’s share of compensation in the hands of those closest to the customers.

Traditionally, from a compensation and advancement opportunity standpoint, one of the strongest positions of the Network marketing industry is to be the antithesis of Corporate America. The Network Marketing Industry has been an oasis of the American Dream, with no cronyism or elitism limiting anyone’s ability to succeed – creating a level playing field for a proverbial melting pot of people from all backgrounds. Unfortunately, however, over many decades of evolution, the industry has started to become what it has fought against for so long. In many organizations, the opportunity for advancement and the compensation schedules now yield to the 5% of the Network Marketing elite, creating lop-sided compensation and a system that severely limits the ultimate success of the other 95%. Simply put, the vast majority of the compensation is committed to the people in the upper ranks, leaving the lower ranks with a protracted and limited opportunity. Ironically, this type of elitist structure is what most Network Marketers are trying to get away from.

“At Wakaya Perfection, we’ve gone back to the basics and taken a completely new, but remarkably old fashioned approach.” Stated Bill Andreoli, President of Wakaya Perfection. “We believe whole- heartedly in the Network Marketing Industry, and seek to provide an honest and unrestricted opportunity to those that seek it. Our solution is revolutionary, but amazingly simple: We’ve made our rank advancement plan straightforward, and we’ve based our compensation system on personal sales activity, putting the lion’s share of compensation in the hands of those closest to the customers.”

Despite having 14 different bonuses and commissions in its compensation plan, Wakaya Perfection’s system is simple and straightforward. Wakaya Perfection’s Independent Business Ambassadors enjoy commissions of between 10% and 38% of the purchase price on customer sales as well as shared commissions of between 4% and 22% of the purchase price on customer sales generated by other distributors in their group, as well as a myriad of achievement based perks, such as car bonuses, championship rings, and luxury cruises.

“The bottom line is that Wakaya Perfection’s pragmatic approach is not only disrupting the status quo, its empowering our Independent Business Ambassadors to have greater control over their short term and long term success.” Stated Todd Smith, Co-Founder of Wakaya Perfection. “Statistics show that we can change a family’s future with as little as $500 to $1000 a month – as that’s all it would take to avoid most bankruptcies, foreclosures, and even abuse in the home. Our “Plan to a GRAND” is a reasonable strategy that empowers our distributors to achieve realistic income goals of a thousand dollars a month or more, based primarily upon their own efforts – no if’s, loophole’s, or gotcha’s. Many other companies in our industry rally around the small percentage of elite income earners at the top of their compensation structure, while conveniently dismissing the large number of failing distributors – that ironically bring in the bulk of their product sales. At Wakaya Perfection, our goal is not to have the highest income earners in the industry, but to have the highest number of income earners in the industry; to pay more commissions to more people, and have thousands of thousand dollar income earners, not just a handful of elites.”


About Wakaya Perfection, LLC.

Wakaya Perfection was founded by David H. Gilmour, founder of FIJI Water, and health and wellness advocate. The naturally harvested organic ginger, turmeric, sea salt and more, indigenous to the island of Wakaya, is hand-cultivated in virgin volcanic soil solely for its purity and multi-faceted rejuvenating properties that naturally enhance the quality of lives. Wakaya Perfection products have been distributed through luxury hotels, resorts, fine-dining establishments and luxury department stores and are now marketed by Wakaya Perfection Independent Business Ambassadors. Begin your path to paradise by visiting www.mywakaya.com.

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Getting There Faster: Safety Strategies for Delivery Drivers Who Are Always in a Hurry

Delivery drivers are always working to deadlines. Getting to your destination on time is always important, but getting there safely is also vital.

The aim for any delivery driver is to develop a strategy that allows you to get there faster without taking any risks while striving for efficiency. Safety also means ensuring that your personal security is not compromised while you are trying to do your job.

Here is a look at how to exercise caution when it comes to personal safety as well as getting to your destination in one piece. Distracted driving, seat belt safety and fatigued driving are all considerations that need talking about and including in your safety strategy.


Are you an easy target?

Some delivery drivers are more vulnerable than others when it comes to personal safety on the job. It all depends on what type of delivery work you are doing.

If you are delivering food orders like pizza to customers, you could be considered an easy target. This is because a perpetrator will believe that you are carrying a certain amount of cash with you.

Unfortunately, there are a plenty of reported incidents where an unarmed delivery driver has been robbed at gunpoint. Some major brands are aware of this risk and they advertise the fact that drivers only carry a small amount of cash to make change.

If you are delivering fast food around your local area, be vigilant. If you arrive at a destination that looks vacant or just doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and liaise with your employer if you doubt the authenticity of the situation. Also, keep in touch with the local police department if you experience any security issues.

It is far better to put your personal safety first and be a few minutes late with your delivery than allowing personal safety to be compromised in any way.


Stay on top of local weather forecasts

Weather conditions can have a significant impact on delivery times. It is always advisable to keep a close eye on current local weather conditions in your chosen delivery zone. If there is a severe weather warning and the local authorities are advising drivers not to travel on the roads, heed this advice.

You don’t want to suspend delivery and disappoint customers, but if the weather conditions are treacherous, it is not worth taking any chance with your safety and risking the prospect of an accident. If you do end up in a crash, read this piece about what you should know if you’re ever involved in a car accident. Your main goal will be to stay safe on the road. There are ways to improve your chances of avoiding an accident during the course of your delivery work.


Driver safety program

Many responsible employers operate a safe driving program. If you are an employee, make sure you are fully briefed on all aspects of this program. Take any road safety training offered. If you work for yourself, you can still adopt safe driving practices and any training you undertake may reduce your tax bill.

Seat belt use is a prime example of a simple but effective safety strategy. It is estimated that seat belt use saves well over 300,000 serious injuries yearly. About 12,000 lives are also saved every year in the U.S. Never consider driving a vehicle without using a seat belt.

You are constantly in and out of your vehicle with multiple delivery drops. A few extra seconds connecting the most effective safety device in vehicles could make all the difference in a crash.


Not a good time to multi-task

Distracted driving is a major factor in over a quarter of all traffic crashes.

Your work as a delivery driver will involve hectic schedules and updates arriving on your phone throughout the day. The temptation is there to multi-task and check your phone and read the message while still driving your vehicle at the same time!

The average driver makes 200 different decisions during every mile traveled. This highlights how important it is to focus your attention on driving. Be disciplined with your mobile phone use while you are on the road.


Take a break

Driving when fatigued or drowsy will heighten your risk of being involved in an accident. There are well over 100,000 crashes each year attributed to fatigued driving. If you are feeling tired don’t take the risk of continuing to drive just to meet your deadlines.

As a delivery driver, you are always going to be in a hurry. Don’t compromise your safety in order to meet that deadline.

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Making Money from Rental Property

If you are looking for a way to make a good income, and potentially grow the capital that you put into your business, becoming a landlord could be right for you. Across the world, literally millions of ordinary people are realising that they can make a reasonable living by buying a few properties, and letting them out. Many are collaborating together with friends and family to share the costs, and get started in this business.

Provided you have enough capital for the deposit, and some funds to bring what you buy up to spec, you can get started almost straightaway. In many places, for example most of the UK’s large cities, there is strong demand for rental properties.

Copyright: olegdoroshin / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: olegdoroshin / 123RF Stock Photo

Hands-off property management

By leaving the day-to-day management tasks up to an estate agent like Linley and Simpson, you can turn this into a hands-off business that can easily be run from home. You simply put in the funds to buy the property, and leave it up to the agent to find tenants, and manage the maintenance of your house or flat.

Invest wisely

However, as with any business you have to do your research and buy wisely. It is particularly important not to pay too much for the property. You also need to study the current market in the area, and think about what is likely to happen in a few years’ time. The last thing you need is to snap up what looks like a bargain property, only to find out a couple of months down the line that a major employer in the area is in the process of shutting down.

You need to check local rules and regulations to make sure that you can rent out the property you are buying. It is also important to understand your responsibilities. In all likelihood, you will have to maintain the property to a certain standard, and provide your client with a list of facilities. Failure to do so can lead to your tenants taking you to court. Therefore, you need to understand the law and your responsibilities as a landlord. Fortunately, a lot of that information is easy to find online on websites like this one.

Understand all of the costs

It is also important to understand how much you are likely to have to pay out in overheads. In many parts of the world, you will need to pay for licences and inspections, as well as pay the agent and for rates, insurance policies and potentially other items.

Be realistic about the earning potential

The biggest mistake small property investors make is being too optimistic. They do not always work out how they will manage should a tenant not pay the rent, or the property remains empty for a few months.

Keep some cash reserves

It is especially important to have some money in the bank to cover the mortgage in this situation, or the cost of a large repair bill. The last thing you need is not to be able to pay the mortgage company, and end up losing the property.

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Top Trends from CES 2017


My Predictions for 2018, & Impacts on Your Business!

Another CES has come to an end in Las Vegas. If you are not familiar with the event, CES has been held now for 50 years and is simply the largest event on the planet featuring all the latest technology and innovations from around the world. There is way more at the show than one can possibly digest, but I always come away with some key insights, trends, and observations. The following are ten key nuggets from CES as you think about your own innovation imperatives and strategic plans for 2017 and the years ahead. Here are my ten nuggets and what that means for you:

Top Ten Observations from 2017 CES

1. Huawei announced their Mate 9 Pro phone (fully charges in 20 minutes!) is coming to the U.S., and this summer it will also have Alexa integration. They partnered with both Amazon and Google to create this “intelligent phone,” not just a “smartphone.” Intelligent phones perform tasks for you and learn on the fly. Huawei is accelerating their innovations through partnerships and driving higher value to consumers.

2. There is a clear evolution from “smart” to “intelligent” products across all products. Many booths, products, and keynotes showcased intelligent products or integration with intelligent products to create better experiences for users and help them perform tasks easily and on the fly. It’s a strong move from being able to look up data to executing tasks enabled by AI and deep learning algorithms.

3. Carnival Cruise Line set a new standard in guest experience. Carnival has ten different cruise line brands, and they are elevating all of them. Their innovations around a new cruise experience and personalization at scale will be the new standard to chase across travel and other consumer verticals.

4. VR/AR/MR—it’s not just virtual reality anymore. It’s also mixed and augmented reality, and while they are similar, there are differences that have benefits depending on how you use this technology. It’s worth reading up on.

5. VR/AR/MR are all enabled by 5G, which touts 1 millisecond latency, making the transfer of data and graphics come through like you are really there. How we consume sports events alone will change forever. (Imagine watching your favorite player score, then clicking on him/her and looking up stats or other information—all from the viewpoint of the best seats in the stadium while sitting in your living room!)

6. One keynote talked about an evolution of value propositions—companies not just having a product or service, but the product/service that dominates will also have the best correlated database of information—the intelligence age.

7. You know of IOT, the Internet of Things. Here is a derivation: IOMT—the Internet of Medical Things, and it’s going to get huge. Consider bots that do medical procedures. When you have a bot doing a procedure, it leverages all the experience from all the other bots in the network that have done similar procedures and can interpret that data from all prior operations, new bulletins, and research that is available, not just a singular doctor’s experience.

8. Driver assist features continue to get better, and switching fluidly between auto-drive and self-driving will be simple. Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, predicts fully autonomous driving (no steering wheel, brake, or gas pedals) by 2021.

9. We are going to have to address societal impacts of some innovations, such as various bot applications and autonomous driving in the commercial trucking segment as those workers are displaced. While these innovations will certainly create more tech jobs, they will also displace some workers.

10. Security is a primary concern across many of these innovations, especially AR/VR/MR and auto spaces. Moving from detection to prevention and maintaining high security and privacy will be a challenge.

What That Means for You

1. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.“—an African Proverb.

Partnerships are paramount! Like Huawei’s partnerships with Amazon and Google, look for a greater proliferation of more strategic partnerships to accelerate innovations in your business.

2. AI (artificial intelligence) and deep learning are here and now. 

This is no longer science fiction or moonshot projects. AI and deep learning algorithms will bring autonomous driving to the mass market faster and safer. AI and deep learning will also drive the revolution of “bots” that can execute tasks for us. What jobs in your business can bots add value to through cost, quality, or safety?

3. We are now in the “Intelligence Age.” 

It’s not enough to have a product or service; you need to provide data as part of the offering. Even our clothing (see Under Armour offerings) will be connected and use and provide data. What is your business’s data plan and how do you use, share, and protect that data?

My Predictions for CES 2018

  • You can’t ignore the benefits of autonomous driving, and it’s coming at a faster pace than many predicted.In one year, the lives saved could fill a stadium. While there are adoption and regulatory challenges, the overall value proposition is simply too compelling and the advances in AI are making cars very intelligent.
  • One of the key speakers for Carnival Cruise Line was their “chief experience and innovation officer.” I haven’t seen this title before, but I think it’s going to proliferate. It’s smart to innovate around the experience you give your customers, but to link the two imperatives together is a solid vision.
  • More on medical bots and data sharing. While the health summit at CES has gotten bigger over the years, I predict an epic jump forward. Adoption by patients being operated on by a bot will be a challenge for sure, but the benefits are too strong to ignore.
  • More “non-tech” companies will join the mix. In the same way Under Armour made a splash this year by integrating stronger technology into their “t-shirt and shoe” value proposition via their Recovery Sleepwear (thanks, Tom Brady), other companies will follow suit—the question is, who is next?

If you are not constantly innovating around your business’s value proposition, you are going to be left behind! There are many companies from around the world, some that may or may not even be in your industry, that are focused on creating innovation value right now! What is your innovation plan for 2017?

# # #

About the Book:

Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! (Institute of Management Accountants, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-9967293-07, www.imanet.org/ivs) is a must-read how-to guide for fostering innovation in your organization. The book explains the significance and undeniable need for a yin and yang relationship referred to as “innovation governance.” Patrick Stroh outlines practical execution steps, downloadable forms, innovation insights, and introduces Innovation Value Score® (IVS), a proprietary measurement system to calculate, compare, and improve innovation value creation—which is now a must-have for organizational survival. The book is available at www.imanet.org/ivs.

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Analogue Companies | 5 Tips for Bringing Your Business into the Digital Age

Whilst online tools and services may be considered a basic necessity for those that entered the business world within the last decade, an overarching reliance on digital for both marketing and client interaction has created a hole of antiquity that is easy to fall into. When it comes to the technological barrier that many companies have faced while competing with their more digitally-educated peers, the main issue appears to be a lack of definitive starting points.

So, where do you begin?

Luckily, while the overabundance of possibilities that digital services provide can be daunting to the unfamiliar, it also means that you have a wealth of choices when designing your personal strategies.

Web Scraping

It may be a less familiar name to those outside of eCommerce, but web scraping services offer countless advantages for those that decide to use them. Web scraping (or data scraping) is the process of using software to crawl through a specified selection of websites, drawing out all the information from each page and converting it into a simple, easy to understand format.

What benefits does this have for me?

This allows you insights into the analytics and search trends from competitor’s websites, giving you a direct view of what your potential customer base want out of a service like yours. This is a process that can be taken on alone with a designated web scraping software, however, it is an intensely time consuming task that can take between hours and days per website.

Luckily, for those that prefer to spend their free time a little more freely, there are services that will happily run your web scraping project independently. This not only frees up your evenings, it gives you the opportunity to set up recurring reports, ensuring that you are always on the cutting edge of trends in your field.

Social Media Integration

Quite a lot has been said for and against social as a marketing strategy, and many of the criticisms it receives are not entirely unjust. With that said, while its capabilities as a marketing tool may be slightly exaggerated, using social media to interact with your pre-existing clientele is a fantastic way to maintain brand recognition and relationships with consumers.

This is achieved by producing engaging and relevant content, and ensuring that it is suited to your audience and platform. Twitter may be excellent for quick quotes and short bursts of information, but a page of prose is unlikely to get much traction on this intentionally brief medium.

For this to be a viable addition to your marketing strategy, you also need to ensure that you are diligent with your offerings. People may be drawn to an active feed, but will quickly lose interest if a page falls dormant. This means that, no matter how impressive your Twitter or Instagram, it’s very easy to fall behind.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

This is very much an umbrella term, but it’s one of the more prominent areas of customer feedback and marketing intelligence in the digital landscape. In short, CRM is a variety of software that allows you to monitor and manage your client interactions in a way that can be used to change and update your strategies to meet their needs. They also allow you to automate certain areas of your support and marketing services, which is especially helpful for companies that simply don’t have to resources to take it on themselves.

This can include:

  • Automated Emails to leads and potential recurring customers
  • Phone and email monitoring/recording to improve marketing strategies
  • Geographical location, allowing you to more accurately target specific markets of interest
  • Many, many more useful boons to your brand or business

While this may only be a small insight into the services that software-based services can provide, hopefully it allows you a simple way to dip your toes into the benefits of digital. It may be difficult to update your company for the modern age, but for those that are willing to put in the effort, a blend of modern technology and seasoned wisdom is a very formidable force in the world of business.

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4 Tips to Improve Your Website in 2017

Now that the new year is here, it’s time to set some goals for your business. If you have a website or want to start one, why not make it a new year’s resolution to make improvements to it? Whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking to improve your website and increase visitors, here are a few ways you can help make your website’s usability and visibility even better in 2017.


Use a navigation menu

Whether you have a simple website with just a few different pages (e.g., Home, About Us and Contact) or you have a detailed website with numerous pages, your website should definitely have a navigation menu. Implementing a navigation menu on your site can help your visitors easily find what they’re looking for without growing frustrated by searching through your entire website. Where you choose to physically place your navigation menu, whether it’s at the top of the page, at the bottom of the page or a sidebar on either side, is totally up to you, but you’ll want to make sure the navigation menu is in the same place for every page on your website so your visitors know where to find it — consistency is key. It also helps to have a “back to home” button on the same spot on every page of your site and a search feature so your users can easily search and locate what they need.

Include a contact form

Another way to help make your website more user-friendly is to include a simple contact form on your site. This not only helps your customers get in touch with you should they have any questions or concerns, but it’s also a great way to generate user feedback, which can help you decide what is and isn’t working for your small business. The contact form doesn’t need to be overly complicated either, as long as it includes a blank field for users to submit their question or comment, as well as a space for them to include their email address so that you have a way to respond to them. If you have an email marketing newsletter, including a sign-up form on your website is also a great way to help grow your subscriber list and reach your audience on multiple platforms.

Incorporate social media

If you have a website, you likely already know the importance of having an online presence, and social media should be a major part of this, if it’s not already. Like everything else on your website, your social media channels should be easy for your visitors to find. Fortunately, most website builders offer social media features that allow you to easily add links to your social media profiles to your website. You can include social media follow buttons, which allow your visitors to “like” and “follow” your official social media pages, as well as social media share buttons, which allow users to share your website or content on your website with their friends and followers. A great way to grow your following is to use cross-platform promotion, so be sure to link to your official website on all your social media channels as well.

Don’t forget SEO

If you want to improve your website, it means improving its visibility online, which is where search engine optimization (or SEO) comes in to play. After all, if people can’t actually find your website, what’s the point of having one? SEO is important because a higher SEO ranking means your website might appear on the first page of a search engine’s results, whereas a lower SEO ranking could land your website on the second, third or an even lower page of results. Although you can pay search engines like Google and Yahoo! to help boost your SEO ranking through advertisements, there are other tools that several website building services, such as Wix and GoDaddy WebBuilder, provide to help boost your SEO ranking organically. Read our guide to SEO and your website to learn more about SEO and how it affects your website.

Interested in using a website builder to improve your website or create and maintain your website? Visit our website building reviews to find the best service for you.

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