3 Traditional Employment Alternatives

What do you see yourself doing after being laid off?

When most people consider their employment plans, they usually come down to one of two things: pursue further education, or get another job at a medium to large company.

And there’s nothing wrong with either of these paths. Chosen and funded correctly, further education can be a fulfilling option that can increase your future job prospects and further your intellectual development. Likewise, a job at a Fortune 1000 (or similar established company), can be the beginning of a meaningful career path.

What a lot of unemployed professionals forget, however, is that there are other options. The path after being “downsized” is not a two-pronged fork, each path a straight career trajectory that will determine the rest of your life. It’s more like a a bunch of squiggly lines that radiate out from the central point that is college, overlapping into a variety of infinite possibilities.

Now, there isn’t room to cover the infinite possibilities in just one post, so today I’m going to focus on five of them. Below you’ll find five alternatives to the “traditional” employment/further education paths I described above. They range from the altruistic to the entrepreneurial, but what they all have in common is doing something a little unconventional. So let’s begin the tour!


1. Work for a Startup

There’s lots of buzz around founding a startup, but what gets less attention is the value that comes from working at a startup company. When you hop on as an early employee, you may sacrifice the stability and higher salary that comes with a job a larger, more established company. In return, however, you get a variety of benefits, including:

One-on-one mentorship. When you work at a startup company, you’re more likely to benefit from close mentorship than at a larger company. Your boss isn’t some distant figure who resides in the tallest tower of the office building, but rather someone you likely bump into at the coffee machine and have lunch with most days. This translates into a level of guidance and advice that will help set you on a powerful career trajectory.
Close office culture. Along the same lines, you’re likely to know everyone at a startup company on a first name basis. This lack of anonymity can be intense, but it can also lead to closer relationships and a greater sense of community than is possible at a larger company.

Increased responsibility. When you’re one of ten (or maybe even five) employees, you’ll have the same level of responsibility that a senior level manager would have at a larger company. This will accelerate your leadership and problem solving abilities, as well as your general job skills. And if you change jobs, it will look great on your resume.

Large potential payoff. Being an early employee can often mean you get equity in the company. In the event the company gets acquired or goes public at the right time, this means you could be sitting on more money than you would earn in your entire career somewhere else. While this isn’t the best reason to work at a startup (given that few end up at Facebook success levels), it’s something that would never be possible at a larger company.
If you’re looking for startup jobs, I recommend that you check out AngelList, a job board specifically for startups. It’s also worth asking your school’s alumni association if they can give you the contact information of any graduates who have founded startup companies.


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2. Work for Yourself

Many unemployed professionals rule out self-employment as a possibility, imagining that it’s too “hard” or too “mysterious.” I thought the same thing for most of my life, imagining that self-employment was for the select few who were “natural entrepreneurs” or had successful business owners for parents.

Luckily, I realized just how wrong I was during the second half of my freshman year of college. Ever since then it has been my top goal to become self-employed. I’m happy to report that I finally achieved that goal. I’m now a happily self-employed freelance writer and editor.


Related: 21 Signs You’re Ready to Start an Online Business


I don’t want to sugar coat it: working for yourself isn’t easy. That being said, I think anyone with the desire, work ethic, and marketable skills can do it. If you decide to go this route, here are a few tips from my experience:

It takes time and patience. You’ll notice that I didn’t go from “wanting to be self-employed” to “being self-employed” in just a couple of days. It is possible to get there that fast, especially if it’s all you’re working on, but you need to realize that it will probably take longer. This is also why I recommend the next tip, which is…

Start early. Start yesterday, really. If you want to be self-employed when you still have energy to work, start working on it while you’re still in your “pre-golden” years. This way, you have a safety net and can experiment with business ideas without the pressure of needing to use your self-employment income to buy your food.

Explore your options. Self-employment can take hundreds of forms, and you should experiment with them to find the one that’s best for you. There’s freelancing. But there’s also affiliate marketing, SaaS (software as a service), selling WordPress plugins, Amazon/Ebay resale, and much, much, much more.

Remember all the benefits. When times get tough, it’s easy to think “forget this, maybe I should just get a job.” But then, I remind myself of all the advantages self-employment has. These include: setting my own hours, taking as many vacations as I want, working from anywhere with Internet access, and having an income that’s only limited by my creativity and work ethic. How many jobs let you do all that?



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Are You Struggling to Find a Job?

They Are Not Telling Us The Truth About The Job Market. Here Is What They Don’t Want You To Know

The government and media have been reporting that the job market is remarkably tight. The unemployment rate is at 3.8%—a historic low. Economists contend that 5% unemployment is deemed full employment. This means that pretty much anyone who wants a job already has a job or could easily attain a job. The rationale is that it is anticipated that there will always be a given number of people out of work—not because the job market is soft, but rather due to miscellaneous reasons that leave a number of the population without a job. There is always going to be a certain number of people between jobs, but that does not fundamentally reflect the soundness and strength of the job market.

Since we are at 3.8%– which is lower than 5% (I’m pretty good at this math stuff), we should be celebrating. Sadly, I don’t believe the hype one bit.


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We are not getting the full story. If we have better-than-full employment, the following things should happen:

    1. Wages of current workers should rise, as there is pressure to keep employees from being poached by rival corporations due to the shortage of workers. It’s “Economics 101” (my son just took this course as a college freshman, so I’m an expert on the matter). If qualified employees are scarce and in short supply, the cost (i.e. salary) should rise. But employee wages are stagnant and not increasing.
    2. Companies should be offering a premium to recruit workers since they are in short supply, but they’re not. Most firms are not offering attractively high offers to job seekers. This doesn’t make sense if there is full employment and a shortage of talent. If the job market was so tight, companies would be forced to offer higher starting salaries to people to entice them to join their company. However, this isn’t happening, so why would current candidates leave their current position for a new firm?
    3. If there is truly a shortage of candidates, companies would have to lower their standards and hire people without all the requisite qualifications. Because of this, they would offer the incoming candidates training to help them learn the job. However, this is not the case. In fact, if you look at job descriptions lately, the requirements listed are ridiculously long and the compensation is far less than the job calls for.

What I think is happening is that people are working, but we are not given the full truth.

  1. Millions of millennials are working at McJobs—jobs that are debasing and unfit for their $200k education. Yes, they may be working, but it is not the type of job they want nor does it measure up to their educational investment.
  2. Millions of people have dropped out of the job market and are not counted in the government data. If you stopped collecting unemployment checks, you simply
  3. Similarly, millions of people have simply given up hope. As a result of age discrimination and other perceived injustices, distressed job seekers throw up their hands in defeat and abandon their job searches entirely. Maybe they’ll settle for some part-time work or try to live off of their savings. Unfortunately, the outcome looks bleak for these folks.
  4. We have witnessed the ascendance of the “gig” economy— a “side hustle” or whatever sexy-sounding title you want to assign it. People are pushed into working short-term, going-nowhere contractual engagements. It is scrapping and clawing to constantly find consistent work.
  5. Also, the data doesn’t count a person who is working and just holding on by the skin of one’s teeth. They come to work each and every day worried about losing their jobs, having to relocate to a cheaper location or another country, being replaced by someone younger and less expensive or superseded by artificial intelligence.
  6. Baby boomers are desperately clinging onto whatever jobs they have. Without corporate pensions and having lost money in the financial crisis to reinvest into the bull stock market, they don’t have the money to retire.





The objective for this piece is to provide a more realistic perspective on the job market. Job seekers can become very depressed, disheartened and discouraged when they read the headlines about how great the job market is, while they themselves are either unemployed or underemployed. They feel alone in these circumstances, but, alas, they are not. I hope that, while I’m not offering you an answer today, at least you can have some comfort in knowing that it’s not just you, but rather a bigger trend that’s impacting millions of others just like you.

I am an executive recruiter and founder and CEO of one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have more…


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Unemployed During the Holidays: 4 Tips to Keep in Mind

By Tony Morrison


Thanksgiving’s whizzed by and the holidays are in full-swing.

Regardless of the name of the holiday you celebrate, it’s hard to ignore the snowmen on your block, holiday music blaring out of every store, and the general good will and joyful spirit will that tends to surface this time of year.

As a job seeker, you may be especially anxious or stressed during the holidays. Check out these four tips to recharge your job search and keep sane throughout the holiday season:


Take a break

The job search is a full-time job. Day in and day out you tirelessly search and apply to jobs,and you call and E-mail companies and recruiters. However, if you were employed this time of year, you’d probably be attending parties and taking the holidays off anyway. Go ahead and celebrate!

Employers are busy during and around major holidays too, so don’t be surprised if you are not getting a response from them or if you cannot find any new job leads. Take the opportunity to decompress, meet with friends who are in the holiday spirit, and focus on networking. Always be networking. The best job opportunity can present itself when you least expect it.


During the holidays, you’re bound to attend one (or ten) holiday events. You’ll probably be mixing and mingling with new people from all walks of life. From experience, I can tell you that, upon hearing that you’re unemployed, perfect strangers are more than happy to give you their two cents when it comes to finding a job.

Remember, not all advice is one-size-fits-all. In fact, you’ll find that most advice you get isn’t going to work for you. However, remember to always listen to what these people have to say. You never know when that great job lead will come your way.

Check out: Beware of Unsolicited Job Advice: 3 Things to Remember


Related:  21 Signs You’re Ready to Start an Online Business


Stand up

For most of us, the holidays mean one thing: family. As much as we might love our relatives, sometimes they can just stress us out. If you find that your Uncle Rick or ​Cousin Bob is getting on your case about finding a job, stand up for yourself. You are doing the best you can for yourself and there’s no point to bringing up your current unemployment at the dinner table.

If you find that you’re getting down on yourself about finding a job, the best thing you can do is plan ahead. Stressing out about your job search in the middle of a holiday isn’t going to get you hired any sooner. The new year is just around the corner. Set a New Year’s resolution to try a new job search method, networking channel, or set new goals to get one informational interview a week, or maybe start or join a meetup in your city to make new friends who can help you get connected to a company.


Related:  5 Industries Getting the Most ROI from Digital Marketing



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A 50% correction will spark depression-like conditions that may be ‘worse than 1929’

Ron Paul: A 50% correction will spark depression-like conditions that may be ‘worse than 1929’

Stephanie Landsman

Ron Paul: Brace for a market meltdown worse than 1929 crash
Ron Paul is warning this year’s corrections could be a precursor to an epic market collapse that may come sooner than investors think.

According to the former Republican presidential candidate, Wall Street is becoming more vulnerable to near-depression conditions within the next 12 months.

“Once this volatility shows that we’re not going to resume the bull market, then people are going to rush for the exits,” Paul said Thursday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” The relentlessly bearish former congressman added that “It could be worse than 1929.”

During that year, the stock market began hemorrhaging, falling almost 90 percent and sending the U.S. economy into a tailspin.

Paul, a well-known Libertarian, has been warning Wall Street a massive market plunge is inevitable for years. He’s currently projecting a 50 percent decline from current levels as his base case, citing the ongoing U.S.-China trade war as a growing risk factor.

“I’m not optimistic that all of the sudden, you’re going to eliminate the tariff problem. I think that’s here to stay,” he said. “Tariffs are taxes.”

The scenario is exacerbating Paul’s chief reason behind his bearish call: 2008 financial crisis easy money policies. He contended the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing has caused the “biggest bubble in the history of mankind.”

“It’s so important to understand the original cause of the problem, and that is the Federal Reserve running up debt and letting politicians spend money,” he added.

Paul argued that Washington lawmakers do not have an ability to effectively fix the debt problem, and he’s been highly critical of the 2017 Trump tax cuts for creating a dire debt situation.

The White House is estimating this year’s budget deficit will total $1.09 trillion. The Obama administration saw deficits just as large while trying to solve the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent recession.

However, there may be a silver lining in Paul’s forecast.

Unlike the Great Depression, Paul said the next historic downturn doesn’t have to last a decade — as long as Fed policy and lawmakers don’t make the same financial mistakes.

“If you allow the liquidation, it doesn’t last long,” Paul said.


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Baby Boomers, Don’t Make These Huge Job Search Mistakes

Megan Elliott | November 15, 2017

Retirement is on the horizon, but many baby boomers are reluctant to stop working. Twenty-seven percent of boomers don’t expect to hang up their hat until they’re 70 or older, a 2017 Insured Retirement Institute survey found. Half of boomers polled said their fallback plan if savings ran short in retirement was to go back to work.

Sticking with a job or going back to work sounds like a good strategy, especially for the many retirees and near-retirees who are facing a savings shortfall. (More than half of boomers and seniors have less the $50,000 set aside for retirement, according to GoBankingRates.) Yet finding a new job once you’ve hit the mid-century mark can be tough.

Twelve percent of workers over age 55 are either unemployed, stuck in part-time jobs they don’t want, or have given up on finding a job altogether, according to government statistics. The hurdles these older job seekers face are numerous, including stereotypes about their abilities, blatant age discrimination, job sites that block older workers from applying, and, for some, a lack of education and a skill set that doesn’t match employers needs.

In short, the boomer job seekers can face a bumpy road back to employment. Worse, some common job search mistakes can make the journey even more difficult. Here are 10 boomer job search mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Using an email that gives away your age
Your graduation date and gray hair aren’t the only things giving away your age. Using a vintage email address, no matter how easy or reliable it is, can also make you look old and out of touch.

Alison Green on the Ask a Manager blog notes that older email services like Hotmail have an older feel to them. An old-fashioned email won’t necessarily disqualify you from a job, but a hiring manager might make certain assumptions, such as that you’re not up on the latest technology, if you use one. Upgrading to a new (and free) Gmail account for job searching is easy and won’t automatically date you or your resume.

2. Relying on out-of-date job search strategies
If you’re simply emailing (or worse, snail mailing) your resume to employers and then sitting back and waiting for a response, you could be in for a long and painful job search.

“Even though corporate websites encourage candidates to email their resumes the chances that they’ll actually be read by a human being are pathetically small,” wrote Bob Weinstein of Work Force 50. Networking, especially with people at companies where you want to work, is more likely to produce results.


Related: 21 Signs You’re Ready to Start an Online Business


3. Not having an online presence
You might think social media is for kids, but not having an online presence can hurt you in your job search. Fifty-seven percent of employers CareerBuilder surveyed in 2017 said they were less likely to hire a person who they couldn’t find online.

If you don’t have one already, set up a LinkedIn profile or create an online portfolio, so potential employers can find you online. Doing this will help you connect with recruiters and HR and show you’re not stuck in tech’s dark ages.

4. Having a too-long resume
Nothing dates you like a resume that looks like it could double as a first-draft of your autobiography. You might have great experience, but by the time you’ve reached your fifth or sixth decade, there’s no reason to include your entire work history on your resume.

Stick to the most recent 10 or 15 years of experience, career experts told Marketwatch. If earlier experience is relevant, condense it into a small “other experience” section. Highlighting recent accomplishments is more meaningful than crowing about your many years of experience, noted Monster, especially because it shows you’re still an active and engaged employee, not one who’s resting on his laurels.


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5. Not using your network
Your network is likely one area where you have a big leg up on your younger counterparts. Failing to use the professional and personal connections you’ve nurtured over the years is a big mistake.

Networking can be a challenge, especially if it means swallowing your pride and admitting you’re out of work and need help. But now is the time to reconnect with old colleagues, meet new people, and share your knowledge. And evidence suggests such networking can make a difference. Forty-four percent of recent job seekers polled by Pew Research said their connections with friends, family, colleagues, or friends of friends was the most important resource in their most recent job search.

6. Condescending to a younger interviewer
The person interviewing you might be young enough to be your son or daughter, but don’t treat them as if they’re your kid. A younger interviewer might already be worried you’ll have problems taking direction from a more youthful boss, and evidence suggests they’re right to be concerned. A survey by Kelly Services found a significant share of boomers thought millennials were entitled, impatient, and didn’t value collaboration — negative attitudes that could hurt them in their job search.

Referring to the person on the other side of the table as “kiddo” or “young lady” is a definite no-no, noted HR Nasty, while references to the interviewer’s youth or how your experience was “before their time” can be equally off-putting. Although the age gap might take some getting used to, you’ll want to treat your interviewer like a peer, whatever their actual age.

7. Refusing to learn new skills
Many job-seeking boomers have figured this one out, but here’s a reminder just in case: The skills that got you to where you are today might not get you to where you want to be tomorrow. If you refuse to adapt, you’ll be left in the dust.

If your professional skills are a little rusty, now is the time to update them. Completing a class at the local community college or earning a new certification can help you brush up your knowledge of the latest technology, noted The Ladders.

8. Looking your age
It might not be fair, but looking your age in an interview could work against you. An old, frumpy suit, dated haircut, and accessories that were last in during the Clinton administration will make you look like you’re stuck in the past. For women, the problem can be especially acute. The authors of a 2015 study that found strong evidence of age discrimination, especially against women, speculated appearance bias might be one reason why employers were reluctant to hire older women.

For women, an overabundance of 


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6 Common Mistakes People Make When Starting an Online Business

By Matt Duczeminski

If done correctly, creating an online business can be your ticket to wealth and success. However, the ticket does not come free of charge. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because your business is online that it won’t take any effort to run it. Creating any business is hard work, and there are many pitfalls along the road to success that can swallow you up at any time if you’re not careful. Be cautious not to fall into any of the following 6 traps:


1. Not knowing your audience
This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Before you even think of going live with your business, make sure you’ve done your homework. You can’t just put a product out there and hope for the best. You need to know who your target audience is. Know your demographic, their interests, their needs, and what they can afford. Leaving even one of these details out of the equation would be a crucial error that may lead to the downfall of your company.


2. Worrying about insignificant details
There are definitely minute details you’ll need to focus on when starting an online business, but some things can take a backseat until you get off and running. For example, leave almost anything related to aesthetics until after you’ve established a customer base and are generating some income. Don’t worry about creating a sweet looking logo or business card before you start making money. Remember what Google’s original homepage looked like? I mean, it still is pretty simplistic today; but the service is incredible, which is what made the company so successful.


3. Spending too much too quickly
You’ve likely taken out a decent amount of loan money to start on your new venture, but keep in mind that this cash is going to run out much quicker than you realize. While you do have to spend money to make money, there’s no sense in putting all your eggs into one basket hoping for a major payoff. Be as frugal as you possibly can while starting out; once you start generating income and repaying the money you’ve borrowed, you can start spending on the extras that will help your business flourish.


Related: 5 Industries Getting The Most ROI From Digital Marketing


4. Undervaluing your product or yourself
Obviously, you’re going to want to attract customers any way you can. But don’t sell yourself short in an attempt to lure customers. Price your products or services with integrity. Think about it: if you underprice your products just to create a customer base, then jack up the price once you have your audience hooked, do you think they’ll stick around much longer? Not only that, but by underpricing your product, you’re sending a message that you don’t think much of what you’re selling. Make it affordable, but don’t undercut your competition to make a quick buck.


5. Ignoring your customers
As I’m sure you know, “the customer is always right.” If you don’t live by that maxim, your business is going to suffer. Your customers will tell you what they want. Listen to them. Solicit their advice through surveys and social media interaction. While you definitely want to have integrity within your company, don’t be so rigid that you ignore what your customers want, and end up losing major profits in the interest of “staying true to yourself.”


Related: 21 Signs You’re Ready to Start an Online Business

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Is It Better to Buy an Online Business Rather than Start Your Own Online Business?

By Andrew Medal

One of the most serious career choices you can make is whether you will be on the clock for someone else or work for yourself. But don’t be fooled: working for yourself doesn’t always mean starting up a new company. It’s not easy to come up with the right idea and the right amount of money to transform yourself into an entrepreneur overnight. There are a lot of people who want to be entrepreneurs (or so they think), but don’t know where to start.

Have you thought of the third option? Buying an existing online business and being your own CEO.


Related: Thinking about Buying a Business? Find a ‘Favorable’ Industry.

The smart entrepreneur looks for a business that has huge upside potential. This is the kind of business that will produce a steady and stable income — not a flash in the pan or a media buzz machine. It’s important to realize that a steady and solid business is just what bankers and equity investors like — the less risk to them, the better! The dull plodding online business that brings in the cash each month is not rare — it’s just not publicized in a flashy way.


What makes a business solid?

Residual revenue, for one thing. A recurring customer base is essential to the continuing viability of any business. A rapidly expanding customer base is not a guarantee of long-term commitment. So don’t be fooled by it. Look for businesses that offer something of value to customers who come back for service month after month, year after year. It’s important to look at at the value offered to individual customers and not sales revenues of a business you’re thinking of buying.  Does the business offer enough value to bring the customers back on a regular basis? Frequent change in your customer base is a sign that the business has not yet found its real niche, and too much time, money and resources are being put into the search for the right customers.

The other thing to look for, strangely enough, is a slow growth pattern. Why? Because when you take over you don’t want to deal with the types of crises that come with too-fast growth — the inventory concerns, the customer-service problems, the shipping and warehousing and training and hiring hassles that quick growth always entails. That doesn’t mean you should buy a buggy whip company, one that has no possible future customer base.

Related: 21 Signs You’re Ready to Start an Online Business

According to founder of


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Thinking about Buying a Business? Find a Favorable Industry.

Doug and Polly White
Entrepreneurs, Small Business Experts, Consultants, Speakers


We are a part, albeit a small part, of the angel community in Richmond, Virginia, where we live. Over the past several years, various entrepreneurs have approached us to invest. We have listened to dozens of pitches and invested in a few. How do we decide which business we will sink our hard-earned cash into?

Related: 5 Industries Getting The Most ROI From Digital Marketing

We have a slightly different model than most investors. We aren’t necessarily looking for the “new, trendy or sexy” business. No, instead, we often invest in those in a favorable industry.

How do we define this? A favorable industry is growing, is profitable and is low risk. The reason for a “favorable” rating is straightforward: The value of your business will increase only if it grows and/or profitability increases.

As for risk, lower risk is better, of course, because you want the growth and profitability to continue. Here is more detail about these attributes:

1. Growing
No industry can grow at a rate that exceeds the GDP growth rate forever — say 2 to 3 percent in the United States. However, as the National Federation of Independent Businesses has said, many industries will exceed this growth rate in the short term. That’s why we look for an industry that is growing. A rising tide raises all boats.

For instance, in the past five years we have invested in, among others, a construction firm, two property-management companies (commercial and residential) and, in a move that somewhat broke our pattern, a startup technology that serves the property-management industry.

We avoid industries, on the other hand, that are being or are likely to be overtaken by new technologies. For example, we wouldn’t want to invest in a business that manufactures CDs. CDs are quickly going the way of vinyl records.


2. Profitable
This is self-explanatory: industries likely to be profitable in the end share several characteristics:


3. High barriers to entry by others
Profitable industries tend to attract new entrants. And those entrants will compete for profits right away. As a recent post on Cleverism.com explained, existing players in these industries will strive to create and/or maintain barriers to entry, because high barriers to entry protect industries from new entrants.

What do high barriers mean? They might mean that the industry is costly to enter, because it requires rare, specialized skills or is one with protected intellectual property. For example, three entrepreneurs with a medical device needing funding recently approached us. The consideration before us was that the hurdles for bringing a new medical technology to market are high. But, if the technology succeeds, those same barriers to entry will help protect the product’s profitability.

Related: How to Create a Massive Passive Income


4. Low barriers to exit
If the time comes when there is excess capacity in the industry, companies need to be able to leave. If they can’t leave, they will compete away all of their profit — a result when too many businesses chase too little volume. Low-exit barriers allow marginal operators to leave a business rather than make the industry unprofitable for everyone.


5. Ability to differentiate your product or service
In a true commodity business, where no one company can differentiate its product or service, the winner will be the competitor with the lowest cost. The problem is that small, growing businesses can rarely maintain a low-cost position.

That’s why we look for industries where the product or service can be differentiated. Then the business can focus on the market segment that values the things that make its offering different. We also want to make sure that competitors can’t easily copy whatever it is that makes the product or service different.


Related: 21 Signs You’re Ready to Start An Online Business


6. A position of


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5 Industries Getting The Most ROI From Digital Marketing

by Toby Nwazor


Billboard marketing, newspaper print ads, flyers, radio adverts, etc., have been left bleeding in the dark alley that is the shadow of digital marketing. Except for larger, international brands or established smaller businesses, no one really thinks of traditional marketing methods anymore. However, getting an ROI from digital marketing is so effective and should be priority for any serious business. Here’s why.

The presence of a global audience online makes it easier to interact with existing and potential customers.
It costs significantly less to put together a digital marketing strategy.
Most importantly, digital marketing yields a significantly higher ROI than any form of traditional marketing. Just take a look at this social media influencer and email marketing stats.


1. Food
If someone is planning a house party or trying to update their culinary expertise, they go online for inspiration.

People’s love for food usually stems from a personal place. Perhaps, a recipe their grandmother used to cook, or the first meal they prepared with their child. Either way, they are usually fiercely passionate about whatever foods and recipes they love. And by extension, they have a love for the brands that make them. Here’s what food companies do to keep their audience happy and the revenue flowing.

How-to video content
Forget the days of recipe cards and black and white texts in a book. People no longer want to be told how to do it, they want to be shown how. That is why the go-to media type for content curation in this industry is visual media. These formats draws the viewer in and make them feel whatever kind of emotion you want them to. Take a look at these video trends that are sure to continue into 2018.

Plus, video content performs best on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Snapchat, Pinterest, and of course, Youtube also make the list. So if social media isn’t a part of your brand’s digital marketing strategy, it should be.


2. Fitness and Nutrition
The increasing awareness of holistic health has contributed to boosting the fitness and nutrition industry’s revenue. The industry generates about $80 billion annually. It also posts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3 percent. According to this report, Australians alone spend about $8.5 billion annually in this sector.

Most fitness businesses and social media fitness influencers in this industry use most of the same platforms as those in the food industry. And there’s a good reason why – ROI from digital marketing is in the numbers. For instance, about 75% of Instagram users take action after viewing an ad on the platform. Liam Thompson, a personal trainer also claimed that it cost him a maximum of $100 on Facebook ads to get clients with an average revenue value of $500.

Highly actionable content
The leaders in this industry create highly engaging and actionable content that their followers and subscribers can always get value from. And this content always comes in different forms. Follow along workout video on Instagram or even a detailed blog post on your website are just some of the ways brands engage with their audience. Social advertising should never be underestimated either. It remains a great way to drive traffic to your site by advertising the value you give to your ideal audience.

Keep in mind, if you’re going to drive traffic to your site, make sure your page speed complies with Google’s recommended load time of less than 6 seconds.

Highly shareable content
People love before and after photos. Photos of genuine transformations of people who have worked out in your gym, used your workout product or anything else you offer that is directly responsible for their transformation is a great way to generate virality.

User generated content
For spaces like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, brands that always use hashtags make their content more discoverable. Create a personal hashtag and encourage your audience to use it whenever they make any posts related to your product or services.


Concerned that you won’t have enough money to retire?

Concerned that you can’t maintain your current standard of living?

Concerned about your financial future?

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21 Signs You’re Ready to Start An Online Business


Thinking about starting an online business? Running an online business can be an amazing adventure, and it can even give you more security than a regular day job. Being your own boss may sound like heaven on earth, but what you must remember is that it’s still a lot of hard work.

It’s easy to feel ready much earlier than you actually are, and it’s equally easy to let fear hold you back long after you should have jumped. Here are 21 signs which show you might be ready to start an online business:


1. Life satisfaction

Professionals often start an online business to attain a higher level of enjoyment in life. A good example of this would be a middle manager or a business owner who has achieved financial success but is becoming burned out with the day-to-day responsibilities as well as the long hours and limited personal time.

2. Lack of career opportunities

Another reason career professionals start an online business is because they’re concerned there’s a lack of opportunities for advancement where they currently are employed, according to a LinkedIn survey of 10,000 professionals.


3. Unsatisfactory leadership

Another top reason professionals feel compelled to leave the workforce and start an online business is because they’re unsatisfied with their employer’s leadership. Ineffective managers can drive away talented employees, which is a significant detriment to the success of the company. Leadership issues can occur at all levels in a company and seriously affect the productivity of workers.

Lack of recognition, low compensation, and minimal benefits are all key factors that are associated with poor leadership.

4. Work flexibility

Sometimes a life change is necessary to accommodate the changing needs of your family or other goals. Work flexibility is another important factor that influences someone’s decision to start an online business. Professionals who are juggling a career and the demands of children often desire opportunities to work in a flexible environment that will allow them to work from home, part-time, or have flexible hours.

5. Changing philosophy and goals

Some professionals are interested in working in an industry or nonprofit that betters the world, such as the environment or social circumstances of the underprivileged.  A decision to start an online business this would be due to changing philosophy or life goals.

6. You have a passion for your new venture.

Passion is often over hyped. It’s not enough on its own, but it is essential. Make sure you have something you’re excited about starting, rather than just frustration with your current job.


7. You’re a true believer in your idea.

You’ll face a lot of closed doors and “no”s as you start your new venture. You need to have a tenacious belief in your product or service to give you the ability to weather the storm.


8. You have a product or service with a good market.

A great business exists where what you love meets what other people will pay for. Before you leave your day job to start an online business, be sure that your product or service has a market.

9. You know your players.

If you already know who you want on your team and you have their agreement, you could be ready to launch. On the other hand, if your intention is to start as a solopreneur, you can jump in at any time.

10. You have a plan.

Cashing out your 401(k) and expecting a new venture to suddenly appear is not a great idea. Before you leave your day job, make sure you have a plan for your new online business — whether that involves a full business plan or a back-of-the napkin outline.


11. You have a good brand idea.

Your brand is the way your company connects with the world. Are you irreverent, funny, professional or classic? Make sure you know your brand and how it connects with customers before taking the leap.


12. You have been “downsized” and are mentally exhausted from job searches.

Unemployed and underemployed professionals understand they still have value to offer the world even though it appears that people don’t perceive the value.  Many online business owners come from the unemployment ranks and thrive once they realize the enjoyment, income, and freedom they have been missing during their career.  Some start an online business while keeping their toes in the job search pool.


13. You can face the fear of failure.

Being afraid to fail can paralyze you. We all feel it to some extent, but if you can’t face it, you aren’t ready to start an online business.

14. You can face the fear of success.

It sounds strange, but many people are also afraid of success. Success brings higher expectations, more work and more visibility. If you aren’t ready to deal with these things, you aren’t ready to launch.


15. You have some cash available.

While there are online businesses you can start with very little capital, the fact remains that it takes time to be successful. If you have some cash saved up or have another way to access the money you need while your business grows, you’re more ready than somebody who’s deeply in debt and counting pennies.

16. You’re not in the midst of major life changes.

Major changes often bring clarity that make us want new work. That’s great, but make sure you move through the change before you launch. Only after you’ve given yourself time to recover should you think about launching an online business.


17. You have experience in your new industry.

If you have experience in the industry you’re going into, you’re more ready to make the jump into entrepreneurship. If not, consider a side job to gain experience before you quit your day job.

18. You know a lot about business itself.

Not everyone who’s a great baker should open a bakery. There are so many extra demands on business owners beyond simply doing the task itself. If you already know a lot about business — including things such as marketing, outsourcing, and research — you’re in a much stronger position to start your own venture.


19. You’re good at managing your time.

Many times, people want to start an online business because they don’t like their boss. But are you skilled enough to be your own boss? Being in business take self-discipline, and if you already manage your time well on your own, you’re much closer to being ready than if you rely on others for motivation.

Certainly, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start to determine whether you’re ready to start your own online business. If you’re not, consider this your guide to the steps you need to take to get there. Have fun, and good luck!

Oh, and if you need a blueprint for online business success in order to fill some of the gaps, feel free to download the free guide “How to Make a 7-Figure Income Your First Year in Digital Marketing“.  It helps answer questions like

“How do I start an online business?”

“Which is the best industry to start an online business?”

“How much time is required to profit from an online business?”

“What resources are available for people wishing to start an online business?”

“Is it better to start an online business or buy one?”


Get the free guide “How to Make a 7-Figure Income Your First Year Working One Hour a Day




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