Category "Business"

The budget offered optional tax regime with lower tax rates and deductions removed, increased deposit insurance and proposed schemes to fast track tax dispute settlement

4 min read

In the Union Budget 2020, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a new tax regime with lower tax rates for different income groups. But, the new regime is subject to foregoing various tax deductions and exemptions available to taxpayers.

Four new tax slabs have been introduced, making it a total of seven slabs.

Under the new tax rules, those earning INR 5-7.5 lakh will get a concession of 10 percentage points from the current tax rate, whereas annual income of INR 7.5-10 lakh attract 5 percentage points less tax. However, all without deductions.

Further, those with an annual income of INR 10-12.5 lakh will pay 10 percentage points less in taxes, while income of INR 12.5-15 lakh will get a 5 percentage points concession from the current applicable tax rates.

The taxpayers have the option to continue with the current tax rates and avail various deductions available. Archit Gupta, founder and CEO, Cleartax, says the government offering a choice between the two tax regimes might be an exercise for them to see how the new proposal works out. “The new regime appears as the government’s roadmap to taking away all deductions and exemptions in the coming years,” he says.

While a break for middle-class taxpayers, the new tax regime offers no respite to the rich and super rich as tax rates of incomes above INR 15 lakh remain unchanged.

In the wake of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank crisis, the government has also decided to increase the deposit insurance from the current INR 1 lakh to INR 5 lakh for each account. This will be a huge relief for depositors as many lost money in the PMC incident.

Also Read: Budget 2020: Government Focuses On Data and Technology To Build New Economy

Deductions Removed

Currently, taxpayers get around INR 5 lakh worth of deductions under Section 80C (INR 1.5 lakh), interest on home loan (INR 2 lakh), health insurance premium (INR 25,000), National Pension Scheme (INR 50,000) and standard deduction of INR 40,000, among others. Also, house rent allowance (HRA) and leave travel allowance (LTA) are some of the exemptions that help taxpayers lower their net taxable income.

The new regime has removed around 70 of the existing deductions and exemptions including HRA, LTA, standard deduction and 80C, which includes investments in Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Equity-Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), among others. (see graphic)

The exchequer will have to forego about INR 40,000 crore in tax revenues due to revised tax slabs, as stated by the finance minister during the Budget speech.

Also Read: Budget 2020: A Precious Little Something for Everyone

How Will the Taxpayer Benefit?

Experts say the new tax regime may not be suitable for everyone. “With the optional new regime, taxpayers will have to evaluate what works better for them,” says Gupta. “Those committed to long-term saving and investing via Section 80C may be discouraged and this may likely demotivate taxpayers to opt for tax-saving linked investing, like in ELSS and PPF.”

Sousthav Chakrabarty, CEO and co-founder, Capital Quotient, sees a silver lining in the deductions. “With the host of deductions removed, mis-selling of insurance and other products that happens in the name of tax saving will hopefully reduce,” he says.

Also, Sitharaman said during her speech that this will help taxpayers file their tax returns on their own without the help of professionals.

Resolving Tax Disputes To Get Easier

The Budget proposed two schemes with regard to dispute settlement, which aim to fast track appeals and impart greater transparency.

First, in line with previous year’s ‘Sabka Vishwas’ scheme for indirect taxes, Sitharaman announced amnesty scheme ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ to reduce litigations in direct tax. Under the scheme, a taxpayer will be required to pay only the disputed amount and get a waiver of interest and penalty, provided he pays by 31 March, 2020. However, the scheme will remain open till end of 30 June, 2020, but taxpayer will have to pay an additional sum.

Second, Sitharaman proposed faceless appeals for resolving tax disputes without personal contact between the taxpayer and IT official. If implemented, online appeal will also lead to transparency in the dispute resolving process.

Also ReadBudget 2020: 3-themed Budget Seeks To Address High Unemployment, Low Demand and Falling Economy

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner details five rich habits required for multi-millionaire status. They include the following:

  1. Surround yourself with successful people. Rose points to a popular quote: “Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” If you want to live a motivated and ambitious life, surround yourself with motivated and ambitious people. 
  2. A love of failure. Failure can be hugely positive. It represents the bravery necessary to take risks and put yourself out there. 
  3. The ability to say “no.” Saying “no” lets you place a high value on your goals. On the other side, saying “yes” to everything will quickly decrease your mental reserves. 
  4. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Entrepreneurs must become comfortable with the prospect of surprises and the unexpected. 

Click the video to hear more.

Related: The High-Earning Investment Techniques Only the Wealthy Know

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical. Watch video from our network partners on demand on RokuApple TV and the Entrepreneur App available on iOS and Android devices.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

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Big-picture goal-setting can stop future stress before it starts.

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting a businesses can be like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. Even if goals were initially clear, once the rubber hits the road, things continue to change and morph, keeping us reactive and out of the driver’s seat. It makes sense then, that one of the most common causes of burnout — according to Pi Slice founder and CEO and Entrepreneur contributor Genny Ghanimeh — is “working hard with the inability to shut off.” Many entrepreneurs find themselves doing just this: working long, laborious hours around the clock to make their business click in this period of chaos, when the real work should start with one intensive strategy session to create a business plan.

Now, this isn’t just a business plan in the traditional sense. This a plan for how and when you’ll work on your business, and what your weekly and monthly priorities will be moving forward. Once you have a clear picture of these priorities and the order of attack, you can prevent burnout by constructing a work-life balance. Here are four tips on how to do so as you strategize for the new decade.

Related: 7 Time-Management Strategies for Busy Entrepreneurs  

1. Create three clear, objective goals for the year

Sit down with your team or a mentor and list out all the main goals that come to mind for the year; David Newman writes on Vistage that there should ideally just be three core objectives. These could be specific to the business, or more personal-development based, such as how many conferences you want to attend or how many speaking engagements you want to land. Once the list is exhaustive, survey it. Which three are truly worth your time and energy? You may find that some goals play into each other, too, and can go underneath larger buckets.

Once you feel good (and excited!) about the main three objectives, write them on a poster board to hang in your office or on a wallpaper you can put on your laptop desktop. As you start to break down the quarters, months and weeks, all smaller goals and initiatives will feed into these three core objectives.

2. Break the year down into bite size pieces

It can be massively overwhelming to look at all 365 days ahead of you and try to strategize a day-by-day plan of attack. Instead, start with bite size pieces. Take the upcoming quarter. What should a smaller sub-goal be for each month? What will you do each week to achieve that sub-goal, and how do daily habits and practices amount to these weekly, monthly and quarterly achievements?

As you start to bring the goal down to the granular, you’ll already start to feel more organized. Now, knowing what you’ll accomplish on a day-to-day basis (e.g. how many articles you’ll write, sales calls you’ll make or coaching sessions you’ll host) will ensure you are always in control of your business.

3. Create parameters that enable you to be proactive, rather than reactive

Ultimately, the process of creating this granular plan will empower you to be proactive, rather than reactive. Jessica Zimmerman, wedding planner and the founder of a seven-figure floral design company, is also the mother of three young children and has had to find a work-life balance based on this notion. She had to ditch the need to be reactive (responding whenever a client emails, working all night if feeling overwhelmed) to be there for her kids and create a work-life balance.

“Have clear start and stop times for your work,” she shared with me. “In our historic agrarian society, humans would work with the rhythms of the sun. It is not in our DNA to work non-stop.” Zimmerman recommends creating parameters by working shorter time blocks to do more high-impact work, and having time in the morning and at night without your laptop. She also only checks her email once a day (in 30-minute time slots). This way, the time you spend working is maximized, and you can block burnout before it has a chance to creep in.

4. Schedule vacation time

Contrary to the latest trend of hustling all the time, vacations will leave you better off than they found you. Emma Seppälä Ph.D. writes for Psychology Today that “even a short weekend getaway can provide significant work-stress recovery, while longer trips away provide even more relief.” 

And when you take vacation, that means disengaging from everything at work. You won’t soak in the full benefits of time away if you’re on your laptop by the pool. Halt everything for a week, or have someone on your team take over. Since you’re planning it this far in advance, that won’t be hard to do. 

Related: Understanding Entrepreneurial Burnout

Burnout may seem impossible to avoid when it comes to starting and running a business, but it’s imperative that you protect your health and well-being. Be proactive, create a granular plan and make sure to take plenty of breaks. Your business —and your happiness — depends on it.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Years in the hectic TV trenches taught this best-selling author how to focus and thrive under pressure.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The other day, while taping an upcoming episode of Entrepreneur’s Get a Real Job podcast for this very website, I was reminiscing with host Dan Bova about our days producing television together. We shared stories about demanding talent, disastrous productions, and great shows that never went. I left that conversation thinking about how much I’ve learned while producing television over the last twenty years…

Specifically, I left thinking about how much producing television has taught me about running my own business, and how I wouldn’t be a successful author of two novels, Oil and Marble and Raphael, Painter in Romewithout that experience. So, here are my favorite lessons from television that I hope will help you produce your own success.

1. There’s a new show every day

For most of my career, I produced five-night-a-week of television. Some days we put up great shows, other days, real stinkers. But the next day, we always had to put on another show. I treat my writing and business life the same: yes, I make mistakes, but I don’t dwell on them. I learn from them and put out a new “show” every single day, no matter what.

2. “No” is as good as “yes” 

When I was learning to book guests on talk shows, I was disappointed when someone said, “No.” But a more experienced producer taught me that any answer is good because it lets you take action. When you get a “Yes,” you get to start producing the segment. When you get a “no,” you get to cross that person off your list and move onto the next ask. In business, you’re going to hear “no” a lot, but when you start taking that as an opportunity to move on, you’ll stop dreading rejection and start feeling empowered by it.

Related: Let Your Doubters Drive You to Success

3. Obstacles are opportunities for success

At 5 AM the morning after Osama Bin Laden was killed, I drove to the studio to cancel our guests and book a new line-up. Even though I had to cancel weeks of work, I wasn’t upset; I was excited. Yes, I could’ve approached that morning as a “problem to be solved,” but instead I saw it as an opportunity to take our guest list from good to great. When something goes wrong, I challenge you to see it as an opportunity to make your “show” even better. This outlook will not only improve your business, it’s more fun, too.

4. No matter how bad it seems, it’ll work out

I’ll let writer Tom Stoppard take this one, with this exchange from his brilliant screenplay for Shakespeare in Love:

Henslowe: Allow me to explain about the theater business. The natural condition is one of the insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. 

Fennyman: So, what do we do? 

Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. 

Fennyman: How? 

Henslowe: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

These are the truest lines I’ve ever read about the entertainment industry, and I apply them to my business, too. Yes, things always fall apart, but somehow, if you keep working, the answer appears. How? I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

Related: 8 Success Lessons From the Richest Person on the Planet

5. “No” is not an answer

Even though I said above that “no” is an answer I often get from others, it’s not an answer I give to myself. One of my favorite production coordinators had a sign hanging over her desk that read, “No is Not an Answer.” When someone asked for something, she never said, “No, that’s impossible,” even if it was; she said, “I’ll figure it out.” In Hollywood, you must find ways to make the impossible possible; I apply the same attitude to my business.

6. Anticipate questions

Prepping a host for an interview is like a verbal pop quiz. I had to get good at guessing which questions my host would ask me, so I could be prepared with the answer. I still try to guess the questions that might arise during any speech, pitch session, or meeting, so that I can always come across as the expert in the room.

7. Have a sense of urgency

In television production, if someone asks for something, they don’t need it ten minutes from now, they needed it ten minutes ago. I inject this same sense of urgency into my business. I don’t rush unnecessarily, but I also don’t put things off. If I can do it now, I do it NOW. I work and write like the TV cameras are about to roll in five, four, three

8. Don’t be intimidated

I’ve been in rooms with every kind of “important” person: presidents, billionaires, rock stars, Nobel Peace Prize and Oscar winners… And you know what? They’re just people. Some are nice, some are mean. Some trip or pass gas on the way to stage. I don’t care which agent is reading your work or which CEO has agreed to meet with you, don’t be intimidated. You deserve to be in the room with ALL of them.  

Related: 10 Things This First-Time Novelist Did to Write and Sell a Successful Bestseller

9. Insecurity is normal

I’ll tell you another secret about meeting famous people backstage: they’re just as insecure as you. They have me check their teeth for food. They test their jokes on me. They ask me if their answers are good enough… So, the next time you’re up all night wondering whether you’re talented enough to succeed, just tell yourself that you’re no different than (insert favorite celebrity name here).

10. Listen to your own voice

After nearly two decades of producing interviews with famous people, I’ve found that the most successful all have one thing in common: they are uncompromising in their vision. You must find your voice and always listen to it. That’s the best way to produce your success.

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

If your goal is to make money online or generate passive income through the internet, you can do better than trying these popular-but-unrealistic methods.

13 min read

The internet provides an entirely new way to make money. If you need a quick paycheck, you can try selling something on Craigslist or tapping into the gig economy. If you need a long-term means of producing income, there are plenty of suitable options — I should know, given that I’ve been making money by writing online since I graduated from college. 

In some ways, though, the opportunities for making money on the internet are not so different from how people have been trying to get rich on the frontiers of society for centuries. One example: In the 19th century, many English and Irish people (mostly men) abandoned their homes to start new lives in New Zealand, attracted by not only the gold mines but also the abundance of opportunity in industries like timber, wool and hunting seals. In The Penguin History of New Zealand, historian Michael King quotes an article from that time: “Here — where the social disabilities, the exclusive caste, the overstrained competition, and the stereotyped conventionalism of the Old World have not yet taken root — there is a clear field for men of talent, skill and energy to climb the social ladder and to attain to a degree of wealth and social elevation that is possible only to the favoured few in other countries.” 

Doesn’t that way of thinking — the optimism, the belief in meritocracy — sound like the logic that brings people to the web? Of course, not everyone who went to New Zealand found gold or became rich. The gold mines became crowded, the seals were overhunted and, in a short time, an opportunity that seemed like free money had become wildly competitive. 

The same can be true on the internet. Take a look at online gambling sites like DraftKings or FanDuel, both of which claim to give new users $500 for a “risk-free” first bet. It seems straightforward at first, but your money is refunded as site credit, which incentivizes you to keep gambling against people who probably have more resources, more experience and fewer scruples than you. If it were really so easy to make money on the internet through gambling sites, they wouldn’t need to offer you $500 to lure you in. 

I probably don’t need to tell you that sports gambling is a bad way to consistently make money online. But this represents a lot of ideas about acquiring income on the internet: They all start with an easy win or a flash of excitement — something to draw you in — but then prove more difficult and competitive. 

Related: 17 Passive Income Ideas for Increasing Your Cash Flow

So how can you tell whether your income-generating idea is more than a flash in the pan? Start by remembering that an idea is not the same as a business. You need to be able to outline precisely how to go from your first step to the last step (presumably generating revenue or passive income). It’s simple, but it’s worth saying: If you actually want to make money on the internet, know how you’re going to make money on the internet. You can’t be these guys:

It’s certainly not impossible to earn an income online with these strategies, but it’s a longer and more convoluted road from step one to profit than you might expect. 

Related: 21 Low-Cost Ways to Make Money from Home

1. Becoming an Instagram influencer

Again, it’s possible to make money online as a social influencer. You don’t even necessarily need a million Instagram followers to do it: Many brands look to maximize their money by spreading their budget across micro-influencers (people with fewer than 10,000 followers and sometimes even 1,000 or fewer), who often have smaller-but-more-dedicated audiences than bigger-named celebrities. In fact, Rakuten Marketing interviewed 719 marketers across the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, finding that respondents spent 40 percent of their influencer budget on micro-influencers (compared to just 28 percent for celebrity influencers). 

By the numbers alone, you’d think there’s plenty of money to be made online this way. Influencer Marketing Hub projected there would $6.5 billion spent in influencer marketing in 2019, stemming from 4.4 million Instagram posts using tags like #spon, #ad or #brandname, denoting that they were ads from influencers. In the same report, Influencer Marketing Hub claimed only 11 percent of influencers are currently fully compliant with legal guidelines, meaning there are likely many more than just 4.4 million sponsored posts.

That may seem like a high number, but consider this: According to Hootsuite, 1 billion people use Instagram every month, and 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. A 2016 Reuters article claimed Instagram users posted about 95 million photos and videos every day — over the course of a year, that’s over 34 billion Instagram posts, amd that number has only gone up since 2016.

According to those estimates (4.4 million ad posts, 34 billion total posts), only about 0.01 percent of Instagram posts are actually sponsored. 

Even if you crack into that upper echelon of Instagram users, there’s no guarantee you can earn a stable income from your posts: Emarketer claims that even for influencers with between 30,000 and 500,000 followers, an Instagram post only pays an average of $507. For nano influencers (500 to 5,000 followers), a post only pays about $100. 

If you need to reach the top 99.99th-percentile of your profession just to earn $100, there are better ways to make money online. 

Related: 18 Low-Cost Ways for Parents to Make Money From Home

2. Participating in multilevel marketing (MLMs) 

You’ve almost certainly seen examples of MLMs on your social media feeds, even if you don’t know exactly what they are. You might have a cousin who posts advertisements for Avon or Tupperware on social media — or an old friend who sends you a private message and really wants you to try some “amazing” new product.

In an Atlantic article titled, “Beware of Selling Yoga Pants on Facebook,” Darlena Chenha sums up how we often experience multilevel marketing businesses in our daily lives. She writes: “Those being propositioned often think of multilevel marketing as a pyramid scheme or scam; those selling believe the business model is a straightforward way to earn extra income from home. Here’s how it works: ‘Consultants’ — sellers for a direct-sales company — solicit new recruits to sell products online, and, in addition to their own sales, those consultants then earn a percentage of their recruits’ sales. Those recruits, in turn, then sign up still more online sellers and earn a percentage of their sales, and so on.”

Entrepreneur understands how tapping into a well-known brand’s resources can help you make money: It’s why we created our Franchise 500 list. But there’s a big difference between opening a new Planet Fitness location and becoming a distributor for an MLM like LuLaRoe: You ought to make money on a good franchise investment, while you probably won’t with an MLM.

Related: 7 Online Business Ideas That Could Make You Rich

“Some MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes,” according to the FTC, and “most people who join legitimate MLMs make little or no money. Some of them lose money. People who become involved in an illegal pyramid scheme may not realize they’ve joined a fraudulent venture and typically lose everything they invest. Some also end up deeply in debt.”

In 2019, Vox published an article titled “More than 100 LuLaRoe sellers have filed for bankruptcy,” which highlights two major issues with companies like LuLaRoe:

  1. LuLaRoe “consultants” needed to spend about $5,000 for an “initial order kit,” in addition to whatever other startup costs there might be. 
  2. The products were, as Vox wrote, “unsellable.” There were simply too many sellers and not enough buyers. 

The solution for many unsuccessful sellers is simply to recruit more people: You might not be able to sell LuLaRoe leggings, but you can sell the company as a means to easy cash … and earn a bonus for “sponsoring” a new consultant who buys even more than the initial order kit.

“My sponsor is a single mom of two kids… she raved about how she was able to stay home and support her family, and I was intrigued,” LuLaRoe consultant Sherry Evans told Racked. “I saw posts about the amount of money people were making, and I thought this was my way to protect my family’s financial future.” 

After a year, Evans was still in debt. As of the time of the Racked article, she was still attempting to liquidate her inventory. By contrast, “her mentor says she receives bonus checks of over $100,000.”

At the end of the piece, Evans concludes: “It is all about the money, getting $6,000 or more from every new consultant … they don’t care about the rest of us.”

Next time you see someone posting about how you can make money online if only you start selling beauty products, or clothing, be wary. Think about this six-part checklist about pyramid schemes, which comes from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:

  1. Emphasis on recruiting.
  2. No genuine product or service is sold.
  3. Promises of high returns in a short time period. 
  4. Easy money or passive income. 
  5. No demonstrated revenue from retail sales. 
  6. Complex commission structure. 

If you know people who are considering investing in an MLM or thinking about doubling down on their initial investment, remind them that they are much more likely to lose money than create a sustainable income. 

Related: 18 Ways for Digital Nomads to Make Money

3. Day trading

Here’s how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines day trading: “Day traders rapidly buy and sell stocks throughout the day in the hope that their stocks will continue climbing or falling in value for the seconds to minutes they own the stock, allowing them to lock in quick profits … While day trading is neither illegal nor is it unethical, it can be highly risky.  Most individual investors do not have the wealth, the time, or the temperament to make money and to sustain the devastating losses that day trading can bring.”

Just like the other entries on this list, it’s possible to make money online through day trading. In fact, Entrepreneur contributor Tim Sykes says he made over a million dollars trading penny stocks while in college using this method. But day trading isn’t just a side hustle that leads to quick cash. For people considering whether to become a day trader, the SEC advises that day trading is an extremely stressful and expensive full-time job. You can’t believe claims of easy profits and must be prepared to suffer severe financial losses and even depend heavily on borrowing money.

When I searched the term “day trading” on Google, the first suggested video was titled “Day Trading: How to Make $500 in 15 Minutes.” It sounds almost exactly like those FanDuel offers above, doesn’t it? Here’s free money. It’s fool-proof. 

The second suggested video was called “Why 80% of Day Traders Lose Money.” 

Related: 5 Ways to Generate Passive Income and Keep Your Job

Day trading is a perfect example of an online moneymaking idea that seems great but just isn’t realistic. Think about it — if day trading were truly a good idea, and if you could actually learn to time the stock market, then everyone would be doing it. Brilliant investors like Warren Buffett would be turning billions into trillions in a matter of weeks. 

But that’s not how Buffett recommends someone should invest. Instead, he says there are only two rules of investing: Never lose money, and never forget the first rule. 

The most important trait for a successful investor “is a temperamental quality, not an intellectual quality,” Buffett says. “You need a stable personality.”

Stability. Patience. These are the barometers of a good investor and a good investment. 

When I interviewed Troy Bader, CEO of Dairy Queen (owned by Berkshire Hathaway), he said the investment company’s leadership gave DQ a directive: Protect the brand for today, but grow it for tomorrow. That’s nearly the opposite of a day trader’s mentality. 

Investor Phil Town breaks down the risks (and possible rewards) in this video:

Town claims success is rare in day trading — that perhaps only one out of 100 people manage to make a profit. But those rare successes don’t happen by accident. Town points out that professional day traders “make use of expensive software, hardware and news services in order to find buying opportunities, and they must also commit large amounts of time to the pursuit.” 

In all likelihood, you’re not going to make $500 in 15 minutes because you want to, no matter what the suggested YouTube video says. 

Related: 20 Creative Ways for Introverts to Make Money

What are some realistic ways to make money online?

If you do want to leverage the internet to create additional income, there are plenty of better options than trying to become an influencer, participating in an MLM or day trading. Entrepreneur contributor R.L. Adams broke down a few options for earning an online income, including:

  1. Leveraging the gig economy. Apps like Postmates, Uber and Lyft provide opportunities for additional income that did not exist even a few years ago.
  2. Utilizing existing websites. You can use Craigslist in all sorts of ways — to post advertisements for a sublet, offer your services and more. You can also sign up for gig economy resources like Upwork to use your skills to make money online.
  3. Selling your stuff. You don’t need to buy $5,000 worth of products from an MLM to create an inventory of things you can sell. You probably already have things that you don’t want and other people will. Think like Marie Kondo, and consider what you can live without. 

If you already have a business, you can use the internet to make more money in a variety of ways. You can start advertising on social media (even using influencers) or write a book that you can use as both a product and a lead generator. You might build a website that showcases your work or offer a series of tutorials on your area of expertise. 

However you choose to maximize your income-generating opportunities on the web, remember that a penny saved is a penny earned — and the best way to “make” money online might simply be to avoid losing it. 

While making important decision of your business, Don’t take a chance. Trust only expert.

Choose from our variety of services, Connect with the right expert.

Disconnecting is as important as hustling; here are some amazing spots that justify the travel and expense.

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Being an entrepreneur can be a grueling lifestyle. Some entrepreneurs boast of not taking vacations in a bajillion years and never disconnecting (#hustle). I’m not that type. I love to travel the world and break often. For me, it’s all about sustainability and longevity. That’s why my wife and I travel as often as possible. We love experiencing new cultures, people, places and foods (especially foods) and have visited each of the places on the list below. Whether you are looking for an intimate, relaxing getaway or travels full of adventure, this list of luxury stays has you covered.

Kauai, Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands usually makes the list when it comes to luxurious destinations rich with unrivaled experiences and cultural traditions. Each one has its own vibe, and some are more tourist-oriented than others. Among the less traveled islands, Kauai beckons with cascading waterfalls, lush gardens, long beaches and secluded hideaways. The selection of hotels on Kauai is small, with a few bed-and-breakfast options, a few major chains and even fewer boutique options. 

My wife and I love the Koa Kea Hotel & Resort, as it sets the bar high. Situated between the top two beaches on the island, Poipu State Beach and Kiahuna Beach, it’s closer to the ocean than any other resort. The best snorkeling and surfing is right on the hotel’s beach. 

In addition to the luxuries you’d expect to find at such a well-appointed resort, they have an array of unique options, including waterfront couples massage, one of the best menus on the island at the Red Salt Restaurant, oceanside fire pits and a lava-rock hot tub. And if you’re a foodie, I cannot stress how good Red Salt is, from the fresh fish entrees to the sushi bar (the Miso Butterfish melts in your mouth), to fresh morning breakfast muffins and papaya with lime on every table. You’ll be completely floored each time you eat. 

Related: How to Plan a Luxurious Trip on Budget

For a departure from all the buzz, there’s The Lodge at Kukui’ula, where you’ll find beautifully appointed bungalows, cottages and villas with endless opportunities. Imagine spending your morning at their organic farm and then drifting off in the afternoon to the Hi’ilani Spa to indulge in massages, acupuncture or aesthetician services, private sanctuary rooms, outdoor showers and plunge pools for the ultimate in relaxation. Nearby, a sprawling, plantation-style open-air lounge called The Clubhouse offers access to golf courses, tennis courts, Makai Pools and more. Come here in the evenings to wrap up each day with perfectly crafted cocktails and toasted marshmallows while the sunset glows in the distance.

Mahe and Praslin, Seychelles

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, where you’ll find an abundance of exotic beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves. It’s home to rare animals, such as giant Aldabra tortoises, and is known for its fascinating Creole architecture and colorful covered markets overflowing with fresh foods and local wares. Royal and celebrity couples are known to honeymoon here — Prince William and Kate Middleton, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade and Amal Alamuddin Clooney, to name a few — certainly a testament to the caliber of privacy and delights found in the Seychelles islands. 

When visiting, definitely make plans to take advantage of five-star accommodations at The Savoy on the island of Mahe, with elegant suites and perfect terraces overlooking palatial grounds and tropical gardens. You’ll be able to experience a vast variety of local and international food, wine, cocktails and brews in any of the seven indoor or outdoor restaurants and bars, some of which are poolside, all of which are delicious. 

Only a 15-minute helicopter flight from Mahe, you’ll be treated like royalty with legendary butler service in waterfront villas with private pools at the Raffles Seychelles. An oasis for well-traveled patrons, you can break away from ordinary vacations and be submerged in opulence and adventure in the heart of the island of Praslin. Indulge your senses and nurture your spirit with multiple award-winning, island-chic restaurants, a magnificent spa and wellness center and exotic excursions. If you really feel like balling out, get yourself a villa with a private pool and you can lounge around your hotel room all day. 

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

As the premier destination of the Central Pacific region, Manuel Antonio offers idyllic coastlines with soft white sands, gentle turquoise waters and endless landscapes to explore. Manuel Antonio National Park brings you up close to the colorful wildlife of the rainforests and allows no more than 600 visitors per day. Other local attractions range from nighttime jungle walking tours and canopy safari zip lines to spice tours and butterfly gardens. The hotels you’ll find here are boutique-style accommodations, usually not more than 20 rooms, and sit on the jungle hillside.

Hotel Makanda By The Sea has been designed as a posh and lavish getaway with gourmet fare and exotic elements in the architecture. Whether you are honeymooning or just wish to vacation like honeymooners, you’ll find every detail of your stay reflects paradise. A detached spa complex created with only natural elements, the Shanti Spa awaits to envelope you in serenity with rejuvenating massages, private yoga sessions and a wood steaming room to relax your cares away.

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca (Majorca), the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, is known for lavish beach resorts, romantic sheltered coves and fascinating limestone mountains. Tourism here is full of culture, with art and cartography dating back centuries; music and dance festivals that vary from traditional Ball dels Cossiers to modern jazz; and unique adventures like visiting an ostrich farm or swimming with the sharks at the Palma Aquarium. There’s no shortage of luxury hotels in Mallorca, like the five-star Castell Son Claret, which resides in a 15th century castle nestled in the Tramuntana foothills. Hundreds of acres of lush parklands and glorious panoramic vistas gracefully combine for a world-class experience that includes Michelin Star dining. 

Related: 7 Entrepreneurs Who Built Businesses Off Their Love of Travel

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland has epic waterfalls, notorious volcanoes and glaciers that rank among some of the largest in the world. And while you could spend a lifetime exploring this beautiful country, we strongly suggest at least four days. Reykjavik, on the coast of Iceland, is home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland’s Viking history. Spend a day wandering through this unusual city, and take in the striking local architecture of concrete churches and glass domes that offer sweeping views of the sea and hillsides. 

The next day, you can escape the hustle of the city with a drive to the Hotel Husafell. Ranked on National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World list, any time of the year is the perfect time to be a guest. In the summer, guests can play golf under the midnight sun. In winter, a concierge will call your room in the early morning hours to come outside so you can enjoy the northern lights when the skies light up several times a week, and their thermal pools are available to soak in any time of year.

For an adrenaline rush that can’t be had anywhere else, spend a day snowmobiling nearby. With expert guidance, you can ride along the snowy expanse of an Icelandic glacier before exploring into an ice cave that draws you to the blue heart of Langjökull for a one-of-a-kind experience. 

If you’re a fitness fanatic, you can’t leave the country without dropping into Crossfit Reykjavik, home of Annie Thorisdottir (CrossFit athlete, entrepreneur and overall badass). Before you leave this magical country, you’ll want to take time to be awestruck by the island’s volcanic activity with a day at the geothermal Blue Lagoon spa, near the village of Grindavik, listed as one of the 25 wonders of the world. Submerge yourself in the purifying waters and come home renewed.

Yes, it’s absolutely imperative for entrepreneurs to work their asses off, but as hard as you work, you should vacation the same. Enjoy your travels, and share your stories with me on Instagram.  

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Learn how to work with modern design tools and launch your own graphic design business.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Graphic designers are in near-constant demand as businesses attempt to make their brands and products stand out in a saturated market. In fact, graphic design is an excellent entrepreneurial idea, with low overhead costs and a rich market full of opportunity. Of course, you first have to learn the tools to be an effective graphic designer, and The 2020 Adobe InDesign CC Master Class Bundle will get you started.

This five-course, 23-hour bundle will take you from beginner to expert in Adobe InDesign, the industry-leading layout and page design software for print and digital media. Knowing InDesign will help you create projects like e-books, magazines, and even websites. Across these courses, you’ll get familiar with the interface and learn the layouts of Adobe InDesign before delving into some real-life projects like creating business cards and portfolios.

As you get more advanced, you’ll learn productivity and workflow tips and master more advanced concepts like depth and perspective. Ultimately, you’ll learn how to format long documents like magazines or books, work with advanced text options, and much more.

Work towards launching your graphic design business and becoming your own boss. Normally $221, The 2020 Adobe InDesign CC Master Class Bundle is on sale now for just $39.99.

Prices subject to change.

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The newest release from Apple continues to redefine true wireless listening and on sale.

2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

If you feel like you see those little white wireless earbuds in people’s ears everywhere you go, you’re right. Apple’s AirPods revolutionized wireless listening tech and they’ve inspired a glut of imitations and high-quality competitors. However, with the release of the upgraded AirPods Pro, Apple has once again vaulted ahead of the pack in the wireless listening game.

For busy entrepreneurs who are always on the go, you can’t do much better than AirPods Pro. To sweeten your decision, they are currently price dropped on Amazon

Active Noise Cancellation

Active Noise Cancellation

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A new feature in the AirPods Pro, active noise cancellation helps set them apart from competitors. Whether you’re listening to your favorite business podcast while on the train or taking an important call while walking to the office, active noise cancellation ensures all distractions are blocked out so you can focus on your audio. Nobody wants to be the person who asks clients to constantly repeat themselves and, with noise cancellation, you won’t have to be.



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You may be used to controlling all aspects of your business but you can’t control the weather. AirPods Pro are water-resistant, making them suitable for all weather wear so you don’t have to disconnect while you’re walking in the rain. That also makes them great for using at the gym.



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While your personal assistant may do a lot for you, you can’t have him or her with you all the time. You do have Siri, however, and with the AirPods Pro, you can ask Siri to add events to your calendar, issue reminders, make calls on your iPhone, and much more just by saying her name. You don’t even have to take the AirPods out of your ears.

AirPods Pro are redefining the true wireless listening game and are a great asset for busy entrepreneurs. Grab a pair today price dropped on Amazon!

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It’s not the hot market the company predicted.

2 min read

This story originally appeared on Engadget

If you’re skittish about DNA testing services, you’re not the only one — and it’s directly affecting one of the heavyweights in the field. The 23andMe team is laying off about 100 workers, or 14 percent of its total workforce, in light of declining sales. The job cuts will focus on units responsible for growing and scaling the company. In the months ahead, 23andMe expects to cut back its work on clinical studies and focus more on its home testing and therapeutic offerings.

Related: The DNA Testing Company 23andMe Reveals a New Genetic Analysis

Company chief Anne Wojcicki didn’t have definitive explanations for the shrinking sales in a chat with CNBC, but did speculate that privacy was “top of mind” for customers and might have been a factor. Cold cases like the Golden State Killer appear to have been solved using online DNA databases — there might be a fear of sensitive genetic info falling into the wrong hands. Wojcicki also suspected that fear of a US recession might lead people to cut back on unnecessary expenses, and a home DNA test could easily be one of the first things to go.

Related: How 23andMe Caused a Divorce: A Look at Unintended Consequences

The company isn’t the only one facing trouble. Veritas Genetics closed its US business in late 2019, while Illuminia warned that the entire market was down last summer after witnessing a drop in demand for its DNA sequencing machines. In that regard, 23andMe is acknowledging the reality that DNA testing isn’t as hot a market as it was in previous years.

Related: Being a Morning Person Is in Your DNA, Says 23andMe

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‘Wantrepreneurs’ have Swiss-cheese mindsets with too many holes in their thinking.

8 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What separates the entrepreneurs who make it from those who don’t? These uber-successful business founders and Advisors in The Oracles share the most common mistakes they see from aspiring entrepreneurs and explain how to overcome those mistakes. Here’s why some will never make it — and how you can.

1. They believe everyone’s advice.

1. They believe everyone’s advice.

Marla Beck

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The Oracles

Entrepreneurs often struggle because they listen to others’ advice instead of their instincts. Everyone has opinions. When you’re getting started, you’re going to hear a lot of people tell you no because “That’s a bad idea,” “You’re going in the wrong direction,” or “You should do this instead.”

For example, when we started Bluemercury, I wanted to create retail stores to complement the online business. Everyone said we were crazy, that pure e-commerce was the only way to go. But we became the first omnichannel retailer to go from clicks to bricks in the late 1990s. Today, we have almost 200 specialty stores as well as a thriving digital business. To succeed requires your own opinions and vision, along with the fortitude and persistence to act on what you think is right. —Marla Beck, co-founder and CEO of Bluemercury, which was acquired by Macy’s for $210 million; creator of M-61 Skincare and Lune+Aster cosmetics

2. They don’t put in the ‘work after the work.’

2. They don’t put in the ‘work after the work.’

Matt Mead

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The Oracles

Fifty percent of businesses that fail should have never been in business. Passion, a great idea, drive, and ambition don’t guarantee success. Starting the business is one of the easiest steps of entrepreneurship; the separator is putting in the “work after the work” — stuff outside daily operations for your business to grow and endure the inevitable business cycles.

Learn your numbers, understanding the benefits and pitfalls of tax strategy, so you don’t waste the net profits your business will desperately need at some point. Learn leadership and management skills, so you don’t waste valuable time on employee churn and the hiring process. Learn negotiation tactics to get the best pricing from vendors, and more importantly, know your margins down to the penny.

Matt Mead, founder and CEO at Drivonic; co-founder of Mead Holdings Group, The Epek Companies, and Grayson Pierce Capital

3. They ignore their finances.

3. They ignore their finances.

Bill Gerber

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The Oracles

It takes three things to be successful in business: the product or service, sales, and accounting. Most entrepreneurs are naturals at developing their product or service and are on the front lines of sales, especially in the beginning. But too often, they ignore (or avoid) the numbers or are afraid to admit they don’t understand them. The result? One day they’re in business, and the next, they’re not. But the thing is, the solution is simple: admit what you don’t know and put the right person in place to get the information you need. If you want to bring your vision to life, you need operational partners who can take care of the details and execute, especially when it comes to your finances. —Bill Gerber, co-founder of, a virtual accounting service for small businesses; connect with Bill on LinkedIn

4. They fixate on the dream instead of doing it.

4. They fixate on the dream instead of doing it.

Brandon Dawson

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The Oracles

Many entrepreneurs get too caught up in what they do because it’s their passion. But if you want to scale, you must be just as passionate about who you do it with and how. Entrepreneurs can fixate on their creation and become overly controlling to protect it. They get bogged down in the dream instead of developing the strategies, systems, processes, and people necessary to grow. This creates tunnel vision, and they can miss the bigger picture.

When these entrepreneurs reach a point of stress or even initial success, they double-down on their perspective and dismiss helpful insights from others. Believing that they are the only ones competent enough to do the thing, they eliminate their chance to scale through others. Brandon Dawson, serial entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Cardone Ventures; founder and CEO of Audigy; host of “The B Dawson Show” podcast; connect with Brandon on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

5. They don’t surround themselves with other successful entrepreneurs.

5. They don’t surround themselves with other successful entrepreneurs.

Mike Calhoun

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The Oracles

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. We all have different personalities, capabilities, and DNA. The No. 1 quality you need is the ability to influence people. A great idea isn’t enough. Can you sell that idea to others? It also takes courage, drive, determination, and a gut feeling that says, “I have to do this, and I’m going to pull it off,” even when others tell you not to. You also need a fire in the belly that says, “I will not work for someone else,” while still being able to work with others.

Many entrepreneurs get stuck when they run out of money, energy, or passion. They strive for perfection, which is the enemy of performance, and get lost in the details. Surround yourself with others who have achieved what you want to achieve. Success is difficult to accomplish — unless you follow someone who already has. —Mike Calhoun, founder and CEO of Board of Advisors; connect with Mike on Facebook and LinkedIn

6. They listen to too many people.

6. They listen to too many people.

Corrie Elieff

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The Oracles

We live in an age where everyone believes the more data, the better. But in reality, the more relevant data you have, the better. Many aspiring entrepreneurs never gain traction because they continue to get data and coaching rather than go with the workable advice they already have. They take advice or mentorship from too many influencers or “gurus,” most of whom haven’t achieved real results and are offering bad advice. My rule of thumb? Find one mentor who has actually done it, and go deep on their information. You don’t need 50 mentors; you need one. Corrie Elieff, co-founder and chairman at YESA

7. They lack grit.

7. They lack grit.

Gail Corder Fischer

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The Oracles

Many would-be entrepreneurs are too idealistic and grossly underestimate the time commitment required to build a business. Without the coping skills or resilience, they crumble in the face of inevitable challenges. They can also get stuck fixating on the wrong things instead of assessing what will entice their target audience to part with their cash.

When hiring, I look for someone with a PhD — they’re Poor, hungry, and Driven. Regardless of their financial status, I want someone humble who lives below their means and is willing to do any task, no matter how small. That’s a sign of strong leadership. I love the quote “Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.” That’s what separates a true entrepreneur from everyone else. Gail Corder Fischer, co-founder and executive vice chairman of Fischer & Company, a leading global corporate real estate firm that provides consulting, brokerage, and technology solutions

8. They don’t want it badly enough.

8. They don’t want it badly enough.

Yuri Elkaim

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The Oracles

In a world of complacency and mediocrity, it takes a special person to thrive as an entrepreneur. You need an insatiable hunger. The ones who succeed see business as a game. It’s not about the money. They do it because they love it — the challenge, the growth. That’s what separates them.

“Wantrepreneurs” have porous mindsets like Swiss cheese with too many holes, such as limiting beliefs, self-doubt, and worry about what others think. They aren’t realistic about what it takes to build a successful business. At least early on, the failures and learnings will seem to outweigh the successes. Wannabe entrepreneurs let excuses and stories stand in their way when the going gets tough. Successful ones continually develop their mindset, so they have the courage to move into fear and take action. Yuri Elkaim, founder and CEO of Healthpreneur, former professional athlete, and New York Times bestselling author; read how Yuri went from making $80 a week to building million-dollar businesses, and connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube

9. They don’t show up every day.

9. They don’t show up every day.

Katrina Ruth

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The Oracles

“Making it” has nothing to do with skills or star quality, though they help. It has everything to do with whether you show up and do what you need to do, even if you don’t feel like it. While talent and leadership skills can help you, many talented leaders finish their time on Earth without achieving what they came to do.

In the end, it’s black and white. You either took a deep breath and did today’s work today and every day, figuring it out as you go (which is the only way), or you listened to the fear telling you that you aren’t good enough or don’t know how to begin. Appoint yourself, take action today, live as though you believe in that appointment, and take it seriously. — Katrina Ruth, founder and CEO of “The Katrina Ruth Show,” a multimillion-dollar online coaching business for entrepreneurs; read Katrina’s story and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

Want to share your insights in a future article? Join The Oracles, a mastermind group of the world’s leading entrepreneurs who share their success strategies to help others grow their businesses and build better lives. Apply here.

For more free business insider advice, follow The Oracles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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