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10 Billionaires Who Were Once Totally Broke

10 Billionaires Who Were Once Totally Broke

As of 2016, there are just 1,810 billionaires in the world. That’s not a lot.

Many on that list were born into well-to-do families, while most came from a financially average background (by the standard set by the developed world, at least).

But there are names on that list that demand some extra kudos – not just for how much money they have earned – but for their incredibly modest beginnings.

1. Roman Abramovich

Born into poverty in southern Russia, Abramovich was orphaned at the age of two. He was then raised by his uncle in the harsh cold of northern Russia.

He grew up to study at the Moscow Auto Transport Institute before starting a small company producing plastic toys. After some success, he made the jump into the oil industry, where he eventually completed a merger that made his company, Sibneft, the fourth largest oil company in the world at the time.

State-run gas giant Gazprom acquired Sibneft in 2005 for a whopping $13 billion, two years after Abramovich purchased Chelsea Football Club for $233m. Oh, and just in case you aren’t already impressed, he also owns the world's largest yacht.

Net worth: $8.3 billion

2. Francois Pinault

Francois Pinault dropped out of high school because the bullying he received for being poor was so extreme.

But despite his humble (and sad) start to life, he adopted a money making strategy which involves buying smaller firms for a fraction of their true cost when markets crash.
Pinault is now the owner of fashion titan Kering (formerly PPR), which owns globally recognized fashion houses including Gucci, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen.

Net worth: $14.2 billion

3. Howard Schultz

In an interview he gave to the British tabloid ‘The Mirror’, Schultz said that:

"Growing up, I always felt like I was living on the other side of the tracks. I knew the people on the other side had more resources and more money. I may have a suit and tie on now but I know where I'm from and I know what it's like."

Schultz grew up to win a football scholarship at the University of Northern Michigan and went to work for Xerox after graduation. Shortly after, he purchased a coffee shop chain called Starbucks, which has 60 shops.

Schultz took Starbucks from strength to strength, becoming the company’s CEO as it opened more than 16,000 outlets across the globe.

Net worth: $2.9 billion

4. Oprah Winfrey

Born into a poor family in Mississippi, Oprah Winfrey worked hard in her early years to win a scholarship at Tennessee State University.

She then used her loveable personality to become the first African American TV correspondent in the Tennessee at the age of just 19.

In 1983, Winfrey was offered the chance to host her own morning talk show which would go on to be known as "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

The rest is history.

Net worth: $3 billion

5. Shahid Khan

Shahid Khan was an immigrant to the US from Pakistan. When he arrived, he landed a job washing dishes for $1.20 per hour as he studied at the University of Illinois.

Today, Khan owns the automotive company Flex-N-Gate, one of the largest private companies in the US. He also owns the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, and English Football club, Fulham.

Also, I’m also pretty sure somebody else now washes his dishes.

Net worth: $4.4 billion

6. Do Won Chang

Do Won Chang and his wife Jin Sook were also immigrants to the US, but this time from Korea. When they made the move in 1981, Do Won had to work three jobs in order to support his family.

But in 1984, they opened their first clothing store as husband and wife, naming it Forever 21. That same company is now the internationally recognised clothing empire that rakes in around $3 billion  year in sales.

Net worth: $6.5 billion

7. Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is a college dropout. He joined the army soon after his departure from education, and had an idea about brighter designs for men’s ties.

Suffice it to say, he went on to sell $500,000 worth of ties before starting Polo. The success kept coming, and the clothing mogul is now a global icon for the fashion industry.

Net worth: $6.8 billion

8. John Paul DeJoria

At the tender age of 10, DeJoria, a son to immigrant parents, sold greeting cards to help support his family.

After joining and leaving the military, DeJoria co-founded John Paul Mitchell Systems and sold his own shampoo door-to-door while living in his car. Paul Mitchell is now a global brand renowned for their prestigious hair products.

Net worth: $2.9 billion

9. Larry Ellison

Ellison was born to a single mother in New York, but was raised by his aunt in Chicago.

Following the death of his aunt, Ellison dropped out of college (like many other billionaires on this list) and moved to California, where he jumped from industry to industry for nearly ten years.

He eventually founded the software company Oracle in 1977, which has since grown into one of the largest tech companies in the world.

Net worth: $49.8 billion

10. Mohed Altrad

Now here’s a story. Altrad was born into a nomadic tribe in the Syrian desert to a poor single mother who was raped by his father.

Altrad’s mother tragically died while he was young, and so his grandmother stepped in and raised him in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Altrad grew up to attend university in France where, despite living on just one meal a day, he managed to earn a PhD in computer science. This led to a string of jobs at some of France’s largest companies.

Before long, he acquired a struggling scaffolding company, which he grew into Altrad Group; one of the world's leading manufacturers of scaffolding and construction materials. Altrad has since been named French Entrepreneur of the Year and World Entrepreneur of the Year.

Net worth: $1 billion

It Can Be Done

This all proved one important thing; your circumstances don’t define you.

And since that is so obviously the case, there’s no reason why a billion dollars should be beyond your reach (or mine!). After all, if they can do it, why can’t we?


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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10 Places to Find Free Stock Images

10 Places to Find Free Stock Images

So you’ve finally finished writing that blog post you’ve been slaving over. What a relief.

But just before you click publish, you remember that content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without relevant images. Yikes.

And so a new struggle begins; to find an image that’s free, relevant, legal to use, and that doesn’t suck.

To make that struggle a breeze, here are ten awesome websites that provide free stock images.

1. Burst

Burst is our own free stock photography site for entrepreneurs. We created Burst to help small brands stand out by providing instant access to high-quality, royalty-free product photos. All images on Burst are available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. Under CC0, you can use and edit the photos however you want—no attribution required.

We've already uploaded more than 1,000 high-resolution images and we're adding hundreds of new photos every week.

2. Pixabay

This is a stock photo website that’s rapidly gaining popularity. Pixabay is regularly updated, and holds over 700,000 vectors and stock images, many of which are of high quality.

Pixabay also has free high definition videos that can be used to illustrate the message behind your content even further.

3. Death of Stock Images

Instead of serving up a library of images for you to sift through, Death to Stock Images lets you sign up for a newsletter which fires fresh stock images to your inbox every month.

It’s not the go-to place if you need a stock image right away, but it’s an interesting way to stock up on quality images over time.

4. LoremPixel

Need placeholder images for a mockup or website template? Look no further.

LoremPixel has a healthy range of stock images designed specifically for that purpose. You can even use their ‘Placeholder Generator’ to generate images based on size, category, and color.

5. Stock Up

With over 13,000 images, Stock Up doesn’t exactly have a huge library. But what it does have, is quality.

It sources images from a whole bunch of other free image directories – but it only sources the very best. In fact, I’m yet to find an image on Stock Up that doesn’t look appealing, so kudos to their team on that front.

6. 500px

500px isn’t free by default, but it has a creative commons section that includes images that are free to use in any fashion.

Some have non-commercial licenses attached though, so be vigilant. The upside? Lots of seriously stunning photos.

7. Wikipedia Commons

Wikipedia is more than just a source of communally sourced information. It’s also a source of communally sourced media.

The Wikipedia Commons page serves up thousands of images that are totally free to use, with plenty of categories to help you find what you’re looking for.

8. Pexels

Another website that has a large library with plenty of categories. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of the images Pexels has, so it’s well worth bookmarking.

Pexels also has a Photoshop plugin, which is handy for designers.

9. StockSnap

StockSnap is home to thousands of stock images, and the quality level is fairly high throughout.

It has a ‘Trending’ search function, which lets you see which images are enjoying surges in likes and downloads, as well as a ‘Views” search function, which helps you find the images with most views.

10. Unsplash

Unsplash is another source of seriously cool images.

It doesn’t have much of the traditional ‘man sitting at desk drinking coffee’ images, though. Instead, it serves up dramatic city skylines, stunning natural landscapes, and the occasional tech-related snap.

 

Stock Up

If you don’t have the right resources to hand, stock images can be the bane of your blogging life. But with the list above, you’re stock image hunting should be a piece of cake.

Do you use any other websites to find free stock images? Share them with us in the comments section below!


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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11 Ways to Monetize Your Website

11 Ways to Monetize Your Website

So you finally have a website that’s attracting a lot of traffic. Awesome.

But traffic – by its lonesome – is not enough. The next step is figuring out how to turn those visitors into currency.

Monetizing a website sounds like hard work (because it usually is), but the best monetization methods themselves are pretty straightforward.

If the traffic is there, there’s no reason why the following website monetization strategies won’t pay off for you.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Considered to be one of the most effective ways to make money online, affiliate marketing essentially means promoting other people’s stuff on your website.

The Amazon Affiliate program for example, lets you promote Amazon products in a variety of ways, which entitles you to a percentage of any sales they make to people coming from your site.

2. Sell Banner Space

If your traffic levels are impressive enough, you can sell banner space to other companies within your niche.

It’s as simple as reaching out to them with offers, or setting up an advertising page with all the details. You can also add placeholder banners that invite people to contact you in order to “Advertise here”.

3. Write Product Reviews

If your website or blog revolves around a particular industry, there are likely software or hardware products that you can review.

Reach out to the companies behind those products, and offer to review their stuff in front of your large audience – for a fee. The company in question may even provide you with the software or hardware free of charge. Do whatever you can to start getting more product reviews.

4. Pay-per-click (PPC) Ads

As the name suggests, a pay-per-click ad entitles you to money every time one of your visitors clicks on a banner.

To cut to the chase, your best bet here is Google Adsense. Google lets you specify the type of ads you want shown on your site, and then gives you the code to insert into your sidebars and content. They will then pay you for every click they get. It’s as easy as that.

5. Sell a Digital Product

While selling your own product may not be as immediately simple as the rest of the items on this list, it has the potential to bring in a lot of revenue over a long period of time.

For example, you could put an eBook together (which is essentially a blog post on steroids), and make it the focal point of your website. Depending on your niche though, the possibilities could be endless.

6. In-text Ads

Don’t want ugly banners cramping your site’s style? In-text ads may be the way to go.

By signing up with a popular in-text ad company like Intextual, certain words within your content will be automatically hyperlinked to relevant websites. Visitors who hover over the link get a preview before they click, so it’s often welcomed as a relatively safe and noninvasive advertising process.

7. Become a Consultant

If you’ve been harping on about a subject for a number of years, you may be considered as an expert in your field.

If that’s the case, you could begin offering professional consulting services within your niche.

For example, if your blog revolves around health and fitness, you can charge for personalised diet plans, workout schedules, and so forth.

8. Sell Courses

If you’re enough of an expert to consult, you’re also in a position to create and sell online courses.

You can pre-record them and sell them as downloadable files, or you could have them hosted somewhere, so you can charge your audience for access.

Zippy Courses is a relatively new yet popular way of creating, hosting, and selling online courses  through WordPress. Although Shopify’s Mindflash app also gets the job done.

9. Host Live Workshops

Don’t think your audience will go for pre-recorded courses? You might want to try live broadcasts instead; where you can teach, interact with your audience, and answer questions.

You can host live webinars and workshops through free platforms like YouTube and charge your audience for access. You can also charge companies to sponsor your broadcasts.

10. Start a Job Board

This one may not work for everybody, but If your website possesses a thriving community in the right market, a job board could rake in the cash.

As an example, the Pro Blogger Job Board – the go-to job board for budding bloggers – was started by Darren Rowse after his website Pro Blogger soared to digital stardom.

11. Auction Your Website

Looking for a quicker buck, with none of the long-term stress of managing a growing website? You might want to consider selling your web property altogether.

People regularly pay good money for websites with potential, and Flippa is usually where such sales go down.

Easier Said Than Done

I’ll give it to you straight; implementing one (or more) of the above website monetization techniques is easy – and that’s precisely why it’s not enough. If it was, we’d all be rich.

After adopting one of the above techniques, you’ll need to work on honing your conversion strategy, delivering value, growing your audience, and more. It’s no walk in the park, but the rewards can be massive.  

Got any other website monetization strategies? Tell us about them in the comments sections below!


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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12 Books All Entrepreneurs Have to Read

12 Books All Entrepreneurs Have to Read

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From stress relief to knowledge absorption, the benefits of reading are plentiful; and reading a few pages every night is something we all aspire to do.

And yet, finding the time to sit down with a cup of tea and a good hardback can feel like a chore in and of itself. But that’s because you’re reading the wrong books.

As an entrepreneur, the key to reading regularly lies in selecting a book that replenishes your resolve to grow both as a person and as a business owner.

To help you find a book that does exactly that, I’ve gathered a list of twelve page-turners that every entrepreneur should read.

1. The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday

Battling obstacles is part and parcel of starting any business. But Ryan Holiday has looked to history to crack the code of triumph against the odds.

He looks to the mantra of the famous Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, who said, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Holiday then applies this formula to victorious journeys from the more recent past, including; John D. Rockefeller, Amelia Earhart, Ulysses S. Grant, and Steve Jobs.

‘The Obstacle is the Way’ is a codex of pure optimism, and is thus worthy reading material for entrepreneurs of all levels.

Pages: 244

2. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

This title was one of three personally recommended by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. You won’t get an endorsement much better than that.

In this bestseller, Drucker identifies five practices that are essential to business effectiveness.

Those five practises consist of; managing time, choosing what to contribute to the organization, knowing where and how to mobilize strength, setting the right priorities, and knitting all of them together with effective decision-making.

Pages: 208

3. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Business advice sources can in many different forms, but self-made Millionaire Peter Thiel is up there with the most elite sources.

Zero to One focuses the reader's energies on the future, arguing that tomorrow’s success stories will be told about companies who did something totally new and totally unique — instead of simply competing in existing markets.

The notion that the next big name in business will need to create a whole new market is a fascinating one, and Peter Thiel explores it in depth with this publication.

Pages: 195

4. The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

Here’s one of the other books that Jeff Bezos made his Amazon executives read.

Christensen walks the reader through “disruptive technology”, which is essentially the dilemma of emerging technology that allows smaller companies to make cheaper products.

For established brands, this is a problem that is only growing larger by the day. Through ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’, Christensen demonstrates methods on how to defend against such disruption.

Pages: 286

5. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

I know what you’re thinking; this old chestnut?

But Rich Dad Poor Dad is a seriously valuable resource for understanding the principles behind managing money.  

With continued references to his childhood friend’s father and his own father, Robert Kiyosaki also touches on the psychology behind money management. Plus, thanks to the story-like nature that much of the book conforms to, it’s a fairly light read.

Pages: 195

6. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Daniel Carnegie

When it comes to ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’, the numbers do all the talking. Since its release in 1936, this timeless bestseller has sold more than 15 million copies.

The book is built around teaching the reader about the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.

‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’ is a gem that should be in the library of every serious entrepreneur.

Pages: 288

7. Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World by Gen. Stan McChrystal

Feel like reading a business-related book from a unique perspective?

General Stan McChrystal fought against an enemy that was constantly changing, and with this publication, he reveals his formula for tackling the ever-changing modern world. 

Leaning on his experience as the commander of a Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq, McChrystal explains how to build faster, flatter and more flexible organizations.

Pages: 253

8. Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

I could tell you about how great this book is, but I think I’ll let Microsoft Founder Bill Gates do the talking for me:

“Especially for people in business or education, it’s a worthwhile book. It talks about the institutional structures that facilitate good ideas — how you get lots of people thinking about cutting edge problems, how you put people together in a space where different skill sets and influences can come together, how you make the right kinds of materials available but don’t force a conclusion.”

The author of ‘Where Good Ideas Come From’, Steven Johnson, presented the some of the key points from this publication at a TED talk in 2010, which is well worth watching.

Pages: 336

9. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy

If sales is your game, Brian Tracy is a worthy mentor.

To put it plainly, this international bestseller is all about optimizing your sales techniques. Tracey himself is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations.

Tracey touches on topics like how to eliminate the fear of rejection and how to build unshakable self-confidence.

Pages: 220

10. Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson

Now here’s something a little different.

Spencer Johnson has authored an enlightening and amusing story that illustrates the of being able to deal with unexpected change, particularly in the workplace.

The story follows four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese. The cheese being the metaphor for whatever it is you want in life. It’s a short and quirky read, but a worthwhile one.

Pages: 96

11. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt

Here’s the last of the three books that Jeff Bezos made his Amazon executives read.

But this book is in stark contrast to the first two on Bezos’ list. Instead of being a study of modern business trends, it’s a novel about a manager tasked with turning around a failing manufacturing plant.

It’s a warming read which brings personality to the topic of business, which is too often forgotten.

Pages: 384

12. The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman

Now, let’s get personal.

LinkedIn Cofounder Reid Hoffman lays out the blueprints of Silicon Valley start-ups, and then demonstrates ways to apply these entrepreneurial strategies to your career.

Hoffman explores ways to adapt your career plans, expand your professional network, and take proactive risks.

Pages: 274

Just Start Reading

Any one of the books above would make a valuable addition to your library. And if you don’t have a library, I suggest building one using these titles as the foundation.

The beauty of reading great books is that it only takes one page, one paragraph, and sometimes even just that one sentence to get your entrepreneurial juices flowing.

So whatever you do, just start reading.


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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12 YouTube Channels Every Entrepreneur Should Subscribe To

12 YouTube Channels Every Entrepreneur Should Subscribe To

Reading business books and blogs is a great way to keep up with the latest marketing trends, research growth strategies, and pick up new life hacks. But written words will only whet your appetite for so long.

To really have your fill, I suggest incorporating videos delivered by successful entrepreneurs into your research routine.

YouTube, as ever, is the ultimate source of such content. To help you find the juiciest videos to fuel both you and your brand, I’ve compiled twelve of the very best YouTube channels for entrepreneurs.

1. TEDTalks

The TEDTalks YouTube channel is a hub of epic ideas and interesting theories. Due to their popularity, you may have seen a TED talk before, and if you have, you’ll know how powerful they can be.

Their channel is buzzing with new talks every week, delivered by industry leaders from across the globe who address topics such as business, social norms, love, psychology, and everything in between.

2. Y Combinator

Y Combinator is a startup accelerator that helps fund startups. As such, they know a thing or two about business.

The Y Combinator YouTube channel is filled with Q&As with major players like Mark Zuckerberg. Their recordings are very much event-based, so you’ll be watching plenty of keynotes and presentations, too.

3. Gary Vaynerchuck

Gary Vaynerchuk is basically the badass of the internet entrepreneur scene. He built a $60M business in just five years, and now runs VaynerMedia, one of the world's hottest digital marketing agencies.

On his channel, he shares lots of blunt advice, 5interesting stories, business strategies, and he even answers questions on the #AskGaryVee show.

4. Derek Halpern

Derek Halpern runs Social Triggers, the digital marketing blog that hits the nail on the head with almost every ebook, blog post, and video it puts out.

Now, his YouTube channel hasn’t been added to in a number of months, but the content within is simply too good to ignore. Derek talks from the hip about marketing, copywriting, and sales techniques. He often refers to psychological studies to help reinforce his position on certain matters – like the color of call to action buttons for example.

5. Brian Tracey

Brian Tracey is a world renowned motivational speaker who focuses on helping people to achieve their personal and professional goals.

His channel is made up of Q&As, goal setting techniques, sales tactics, personal development videos, and more. Plus, he possesses a weirdly calming voice

6. Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi is the author of ‘I Will Teach You To Be Rich’, and he does pretty much just that via his YouTube channel.

He has some seriously useful business and social hacks to help you appear more confident, land more clients, and seal more sales. It’s all practical advice, and it’s all extremely well presented.

7. Tim Ferriss

The name Tim Ferriss should ring a bell. He authored the award-winning bestseller, ‘The Four Hour Work Week’ – which is an awesome read.

His YouTube channel is just as insightful as his book, thanks to interviews with people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Seth Rogan. He also uses his channel to provide subscribers with handy how tos; like how to tie a perfect tie.

8. Behind The Brand

Behind the scenes of even the biggest brands, are ordinary people. Behind The Brand is a YouTube channel that meets those people, and asks them all the hard-hitting questions you can think of.

So far, they have met up with the likes of Seth Godin, Tony Hawk, Jessica Biel, and others.

9. Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn is the founder of Smart Passive Income, a blog and podcast combo that teaches people how to get passive income. Smartly.

His YouTube channel consists mainly of interviews with high flying entrepreneurs, although he sometimes throws in insights from marketing experiments that he so often tinkers with.

10. Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma is a social entrepreneur and bestselling author. He wrote "The Leader Who Had No Title" and "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" – two very popular titles within the entrepreneurial community.

His YouTube channel is brimming with simple yet effective videos of him discussing things like beating procrastination, waking up early, building a strong team of professionals, and so forth.

11. Stanford Graduate School of Business

Didn’t get into Stanford? Well their YouTube channel is the next best thing. Probably.

As the name suggests, their YouTube channel is focused on the business advice given by Stanford graduates. The talks recorded are varied, but you can pick up plenty of tips on subjects like being an effective boss, empathy in business, and even reflections about life and death itself.

12. Shopify

A shameless plug? Maybe, but the Shopify YouTube channel has some gems that are well worth watching.

The channel boasts interviews, case studies, and numerous how-to videos. Plus, Shopify users can benefit from the channel’s array of videos that pay close attention to Shopify’s selling and marketing features.

Kick Back With a Playlist

Although you can learn a thing or two from Netflix, YouTube should be your go-to place for your daily dose of business-related videos. Especially because it’s home to the twelve awesome channels listed above.

Do you subscribe to any other entrepreneurial YouTube channels? Share them with us in the comments section below!


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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14 Subreddits Every Entrepreneur Should Subscribe To

14 Subreddits Every Entrepreneur Should Subscribe To

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Reddit, otherwise known as the front page of the Internet, is an amazingly diverse online community.

Through nearly 1 million ‘subreddits’ – which act as discussion boards – Reddit hosts conversations on a myriad of topics, including; world news, videos, television, science, and sports.

Reddit members can create subreddits on any topic at will, and open them up to the wider community to spark conversations.

There are plenty of subreddits to attract the attention of entrepreneurs, but I’ve compiled fourteen of the very best to help you glean ideas, find inspiration, and learn new things.

1. /r/Entrepreneur

Let’s start off with a self explanatory subreddit.

The /r/Entrepreneur subreddit is broad, covering a vast number of topics relating to entrepreneurship. Here, you’ll find everything from how DropBox acquired its first users, to interview with Elon Musk’s wife.

2. /r/CareerSuccess

If you want to find the Internet’s most coveted articles on how to attain success, this subreddit is for you.

Interesting TED talks often make an appearance, as well as infographics, videos, and good old fashioned listicles – the latter being my personal favourite.

3. /r/Investing

Investors can play a significant role in your entrepreneurial journey, and /r/Investor is a great place to learn all you need to know about them.

By engaging with the community here, you may even find an investor who is interested in your product or service. Furthermore, you can check out this subreddit to see what investors see as being worthy of their money.

4. /r/GrowMyBusiness

As the name suggests, /r/GrowMyBusiness is all about helping you, well, grow your business – literally.

Every four months, subscribers can pitch their business or startup, asking to be helped out by the community. A vote is then cast, after which the community chips in to help market and hone the business that won. Simple, effective, and refreshing.

5. /r/Startups

Got a startup on your hands? There’s nothing like hearing about how your fellow entrepreneurs are working to grow theirs.

This subreddit is full of things like guides on how to fuel a new startup, as well as free and inexpensive apps to help market your product or service both online and offline.

6. /r/Productivity

As an entrepreneur, you live and work by your own rules. Although that sounds great at first, it also means that you’re constantly struggling with the discipline needed to produce productivity.

/r/Productivity it the perfect place to hear about how other business men and women handle procrastination in order to become more productive. Ideal for finding small pieces of advice to implement into your daily routine.

7. /r/SocialMedia

Facebook has over 1.6 billion active members, with Twitter and the rest of the gang not far behind. If you aren’t leveraging social media to grow your business, you aren’t doing it right.

/r/SocialMedia is the hub for all the social media marketing strategies you should know about. Plus, by keeping an eye on this subreddit, you’ll be one of the first to know about any relevant updates to major social networks that you can exploit.

8. /r/Marketing

Although /r/SocialMedia will cover your social media marketing needs, it won’t give you the insights you need for the many other dimensions of digital marketing.

In this subreddit, you’ll find studies and experiments that individuals have published, critiques of established marketing strategies, and all the latest news and views on the Internet marketing scene.

9. /r/LetsBePartners

Looking for a business partner? /r/LetsBePartners is a great place to find one.

You can pitch your business or idea to the community and wait for applications to come in before continuing the conversation through direct messages. Or, you can just drop in to see what kind of business ideas are sprouting up.

10. /r/ContentMarketing

Blogging and copywriting should be the lifeblood of all your marketing campaigns. /r/ContentMarketing is an awesome place to pick up on best practises to convert visitors into customers.

On this subreddit you’ll find countless guides to content marketing, white papers, the latest trends, and so forth.

11. /r/AccomplishedToday

Had a productive day, and want to gloat about it? It’s a good thing /r/AccomplishedToday exists, then.

This subreddit is where the Reddit community showcases their achievements for the day, inviting praise and motivational comments from other subscribers. It’s also useful to visit this subreddit simply for the inspiration you can take from it. After all, if you regularly read about others having awesome days, you’ll see no reason who your day can’t be just as good.

12. /r/AdviceOf

Listening to advice from people who have been in tricky situations it almost addictive. /r/AdviceOf gives you access to the advice of entrepreneurs, traditional employees, investors, and others.

But this subreddit isn’t just about business – it’s about life in general. And we could all use some advice on life in general.

13. /r/NoExcuses

Need a kick up the backside? /r/NoExcuses will give it to you, and then some.

Just tell the community what you need to get done, and they’ll yell at you until you do it. It’s a unique way to get motivated online, and it seems to work for a lot of people.

14. /r/ZenHabits

Want to optimize your life? /r/ZenHabits is where the Reddit community comes together to share life hacks and guides on how to become a more rounded individual.

That includes tips on productivity, sleeping, exercise, making friends, and much more.

Start Subscribing

If you aren’t already surfing Reddit, you seriously should be. It’s a great place to connect with like-minded people, pick up business tips, and learn about what projects are sprouting up across the world.

Subscribing to the fourteen subreddits above will give you all of that, and much more.

Do you have a favorite subreddit for entrepreneurs? Tell us about them in the comments section below!


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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5 Daily Habits of Highly Successful People

5 Daily Habits of Highly Successful People

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The Oxford Dictionary defines success as, “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”

That’s a broad definition which allows for success to mean different things to different people – but that doesn’t mean it’s unattainable.

In order to achieve your aim or purpose – whatever that may be – you need to start behaving like somebody who regularly accomplishes theirs.

Here are five daily habits of highly successful people that you can start mimicking starting today.

1. Waking up Early

Not enough hours in the day? You’re probably sleeping through more than your fair share.

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs can enjoy a blissfully long lie-in every once in awhile (although that’s usually the result of an unblissfully late night), but you could well be eating into your most productive hours with your shoddy sleeping pattern.

Try setting a regular bedtime and a regular alarm clock for increased productivity.

2. Eating Breakfast

Skipping breakfast sounds like a time saving strategy, but it’s actually a productivity killing strategy.

You don’t need to study the health benefits of breakfast, to realize its importance. Your brain needs fuel to function correctly, and after a solid night of sleep, it needs topping up come morning.

So, if you jump into work before refuelling, you will only have yourself to blame for a stop-start day.

3. Reading

The benefits of reading are no secret to anybody, and yet we rarely find time to open up a good book.

Finding a good book or two that relates to your life or business can give you fresh ideas, replenish your resolve to success, and even just help you to unwind.

For further reading, check out my compilation of 12 books all entrepreneurs should read.

4. Delegating

Too many cooks spoil the broth, but that doesn’t mean you should handle six different broths by your lonesome.

As an entrepreneur, you may well multi-task in that sense in an attempt to save time and money. But delegating is a habit you should get into sooner rather than later, for at least one very good reason; it will help you focus on getting your most pressing tasks done sooner

Virtual assistants are becoming an increasingly popular way to delegate, and you can find yours through websites like TimeEtc and Upwork.

5. Enjoying Silence

Silence is vastly underrated. The World Health Organization labelled noise pollution as a “modern plague”, while a recent study in the Heart journal found that two minutes of silence is more relaxing than music.

Furthermore, Dr. Craig Zimring, an environmental psychologist, demonstrated in a 2004 study that higher noise levels in intensive care units led to elevated blood pressure, increased heart rates and disrupted sleep patterns.

So, instead of filling your spare moments with music, radio shows, and background noise of your local coffee shop, give your brain a break with some silence – it will need it for all the hard work you have planned.

The above habits will bring order and value to your day, which is precisely what you need in order to start accomplishing things. They may be hard to implement, but you’ll soon find that the benefits they bring will make them easy habits to hang on to.

Above all, start acting like a success, and the success will trickle in.

About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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5 Free Evernote Alternatives to Organize Your Life

5 Free Evernote Alternatives to Organize Your Life

With over 100 million users, Evernote is one of the most popular note taking and organization apps in the world.

Although I’m a strong advocate for actually writing things down, I must admit to being an Evernote fan myself.

Evernote’s sleek interfaces enable you to create and manage to-do lists, produce documents, and organize a range of file types across a number of devices. By all means, Evernote is pretty darn sweet.

But there’s a catch; not all Evernote features are free.

That means, if you want to be able to do things like sync more than two devices, or have more than 60MB worth of storage space, you’ll have to fork out some cash – which is not exactly ideal.

But what would be ideal, is a list of free Evernote alternatives that boast similar functionality with equally awesome user interfaces. Good thing I happen to have such a list handy.

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1. Zoho Notebook

Zoho is a software company that’s responsible for quality platforms like Zoho CRM, Zoho Mail, and more appropriately, Zoho Notebook.

Zoho Notebook lets you take notes, add images, make checklists, and record audio clips to help organise your day. It then elegantly presents your content in either a grid or landscape view.

Interestingly, Zoho Notebook displays actual notebooks on screen for you to label and work from, mimicking the real life experience of filling up notepads, diaries, and journals.

2. SimpleNote

SimpleNote is all about minimalism in terms of design. You can use it to take notes, make lists, share content with your team, tag content, and find documents using its powerful search feature.

All content versions are backed up automatically, so you can easily revert to older versions of a document if you ever need to.

On top of working across all traditional operating systems, SimpleNote is available for both Fire OS and Linux.

3. Google Keep

Google’s answer to Evernote is Google Keep, which lets you take notes, record audio, add images, and share content with friends and family.

It employs a number of different tile interfaces to organise content, using plenty of color in the process. Google Keep also lets you set location-based reminders, so you’ll never forget the milk again.

4. Dropbox Paper (Beta)

Although it’s still in beta, Dropbox Paper is available for iOS and Android – and it looks super slick.

It was primarily built to optimize the collaboration process between team members, but with functionality that includes note taking, media embedding, and code editing, it’s definitely worth exploring as an alternative to Evernote.

5. Microsoft OneNote

When it comes to software, Microsoft’s hands are usually safe – and that’s true when it comes to OneNote.

Microsoft’s app boasts a sublimely simple yet feature-rich interface, allowing you to organize your content and collaborate with others. It also lets you add doodles and handwritten notes via Microsoft Surface.

Plus, OneNote integrates well with OneDrive and Outlook, and can be downloaded on the Apple iWatch.

As much as I love Evernote, a big part of me feels that my organization and productivity shouldn’t have to come at a cost.

So if you too feel the need to access Evernote’s premium features, I strongly suggest checking out the five free Evernote alternatives listed above.

Got another free alternative to Evernote? Tell us about it in the comments section below!


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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5 Golden Rules to Maximize Your Productivity Today

5 Golden Rules to Maximize Your Productivity Today

If all my years of freelancing has taught me anything, it’s this; productivity will always be elusive.

In fact, I know I’ll be grappling with procrastination until the day I retire. And even then, I see myself spending far too much time on Netflix.

But with that being said, there are some golden productivity rules that I implement into my daily work schedule to tip the odds in my favour.

I’m not going to give you cliche advice like; take breaks, get regular exercise, or turn off your smartphone. That’s old news that you should already be acting on.

Besides, those are indirect avenues to productivity. In contrast, the rules I’ve laid out below can be directly applied to your work day – every day.

Rule #1: Write It Down

Before you complain, writing your tasks down isn’t cliche. It’s outright fundamental.

As Albert Einstein once said, “paper is to write things down that we need to remember. Our brains are used to think.”

Writing things down will not only help you remember them, but it will also clear your mind.

The daily tasks that you try to mentally grasp each morning never truly align in your mind for long. Instead, they descend into a chaotic blur, leaving you feeling overwhelmed. Writing it all down is the solution.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to go old school with a pen and pad. You can use a simple to-do list app like a Wunderlist, or a comprehensive organizational tool like Evernote.

Rule #2: Never Multitask

You might think that multitasking is the key to getting more done, but it’s not as simple as that.

Regardless of the fact that females do indeed multitask better than their male counterparts, multitasking essentially means doing more things less efficiently.

Why? Because according to the renowned psychologist Guy Winch, PhD, nobody truly multitasks. We just task switch.

“When it comes to attention and productivity, our brains have a finite amount,” he says.

“It’s like a pie chart, and whatever we’re working on is going to take up the majority of that pie. There’s not a lot left over for other things, with the exception of automatic behaviors like walking or chewing gum.”

So, when we multitask, we’re really just switching between multiple activities. This just leads to wasted time as you switch and recalibrate — not to mention, all that switching means that you’ll never reach your optimum level of concentration for any one task.

Rule #3: Communicate With Wisdom

Emails eat into productivity like termites.

To minimize their chomping time, make it a habit to call or instant message people for things that don’t merit an email.

For long messages that will demand copious typing time, arrange a short call instead. As for those more common email chains that contain mostly chit-chat, opt for WhatsApp or Google Hangouts.

Sure, most of your professional communication will still require you to type out emails, but for regular and more casual conversations, ditch your email client for something more efficient.

Rule #4: Do Hard Stuff First

When you write a to-do list, it should begin with your most gruelling task.

By getting your largest task out of the way as early as possible, you set the tone for the rest of the day, supercharging yourself for the rest of your smaller duties.

If you leave that monster assignment until last, not only will you have less energy by the time you get to it, but you’ll also have less time to expend.

Rule #5: Keep a Routine

It doesn’t matter what your routine looks like – it varies wildly from job to job. What matters is consistency.

There’s nothing our brains like more than regularity, so devise a daily routine that’s manageable, and then stick to it.

In fact, Charles Duhigg, the best-selling author, articulates the power of routine in his book, "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business:

"Routine basically gives us the mental freedom to think about what's actually important. That way we don't have to think about all the mundane aspects of life. Getting to relegate all those things to sort of an automatic thought process, we gain all the mental bandwidth we need to do the really important things in life.”

So, show your brain some regularity, and it will reward you with some extra thinking space.

Become a Productivity Junkie

Productivity is just as addictive as procrastination.

If you apply all five of the above rules to just one day of your working life, you’ll discover an eagerness to continue with them throughout the rest of the week and beyond.

It may not be easy at first, but the increased work efficiency – as well as the satisfaction that comes with it – will be totally worth it.


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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5 Natural Steps Towards Long Lasting Self-Confidence

5 Natural Steps Towards Long Lasting Self-Confidence

Self-confidence; some people have it, and some people don’t, right?

Wrong.

Absolutely anyone can attain a high level of self-confidence simply by working towards having a positive self-perception. The two go hand in hand; the former being the outward manifestation of the latter.  

So, while self-confidence may seem like an elusive trait that only a select few possess, the root of self-confidence – positive self-perception – is incredibly easy to cultivate.

To modify your self-perception in a natural and therefore more sustainable way, check out my five step plan that leads towards long lasting self-confidence.

1. Fix Your Body Language

Your psychological state can dictate your body language, but your body language can also dictate your psychological state.

By fixing up your body language, you will feel more confident and assertive in situations that would otherwise have you searching for a swift exit.

Paying attention to things like eye contact and hand positioning will help in abundance. For more details, check out my article on how to show leadership through body language.

2. Expand Your Vocabulary

Do you ever find yourself grasping for words in the middle of a sentence? In high-pressure situations, that awkward mid-sentence pause can send your self-confidence plummeting.

As always, prevention is better than cure, so it’s a good idea to read the right books and listen to the right podcasts in order to widen your vocabulary.

Also, get into the habit of noting down words you don’t know the meaning of so that you can research them later on.

3. Groom Yourself

You don’t have to win beauty contests in order to derive confidence from your appearance.

By making a habit of grooming yourself properly (and regularly), you’ll feel far more ready to take on the world as the best looking version of yourself.

To get the basics down, keep up with the latest hairstyle trends, look after your teeth, and invest in some skin maintenance products.

4. Evaluate Your Wardrobe

Now that you look snazzy, it’s time to dress snazzy.

By dressing in flattering colours, quality materials, and tailored attire, you’ll feel your self confidence soar almost immediately.

You don’t have to spend thousands on clothing though. Simply keeping tabs on the quality of your wardrobe will ensure that your confidence is always on a high.

5. Treat Yourself Well

Your health should be your most treasured possession. By acting in your body’s best interests, you’ll breed self-confidence by shedding excess weight, looking better, and feeling more energetic.

Thus, hitting the gym or taking up a new sport should be high on your priority list. Furthermore, cutting back on caffeine and taking hydration seriously will do wonders for your physical and mental state.

Self-Perception Dictates Self Confidence

If you work towards perceiving yourself more positively, a boost in self-confidence will naturally follow.

With that being said, the steps above will lead you towards seeing yourself in the best light possible, allowing you to reap the benefits of self-confidence without having to do anything but naturally improve yourself as a person.

Do you have any other tips on how to achieve long lasting self-confidence? Share your ideas in the comments section below!


About the Author

Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.

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