The Importance of Mentoring for New Entrepreneurs

Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes hard work and perseverance. But you also need a little help along the way. That’s why it’s important to consider a mentor.

Mentors have critical knowledge about how the business world works. In a mentoring relationship, a seasoned business owner meets regularly with a new or potential entrepreneur one-on-one to give advice and boost morale.

One of the biggest benefits of having a business mentor is having a sounding board to ask questions and seek out knowledgeable advice. New entrepreneurs are more likely to seek advice from friends and family. While some of that advice can be sound, a mentor can help you sort out more complicated business matters that your friends or family would not know how to resolve.

Mentors can also help you look at problems and situations from perspectives that you would not have thought of on your own. For example, as a new business owner, you may have trouble looking at your business through the perspective of a customer, or a potential investor. Your mentor, who has dealt with these situations before, can help you understand different viewpoints.

Unlike advisors and consultants, who care only about a business’s outlook, mentors will help you develop skills related to your specific venture. For instance, my mentor, the late George Fontanills, was one of the best options traders in the world and I met him at a live seminar. He taught me a lot about trading and what it takes to be successful. He helped me understand that success is more than having good strategies and formulas. He guided me to truly understand the importance to find a trading style that suits your personality.

George observed my trading style, including the mistakes I was making, and decided that swing trading was the best fit for me. He understood that I don’t have the patience for trading longer term, so a short- or medium-term time frame works best. He also understood that I loved to travel and needed some flexibility, so day-trading would not work either.

Many years later, I’ve mastered swing trading. I am in my trades for a few days to a couple of months, giving me enough time for the stock, commodity, or currency to move some distance so that I can capture meaningful profits. And that’s all thanks to George, who also taught me valuable risk management skills and how to protect my trading capital.

Having the right mentor, in particular someone who plays to your strengths, can help you achieve success at a much faster and sustainable pace. It’s why I recommend that you seek out your own mentor. Find someone who is approachable and willing to answer questions. If your would-be mentor is also inspirational, that’s a great bonus. When you’ve found someone to fit the bill, be candid about your past experience, including mistakes you’ve made. Mentoring is a two-way relationship and you must be open and honest for it to work.

If you need money now, follow these tips

With the growth of online branding and the rise of technology, the ways to earn money have become very extensive. If you need money now, follow through some of the tips that we are about to mention. Majority of these tips do come in handy in bringing you money in a record time that you possibly didn’t even think was possible.

If you are still stuck confused as to what kind of ways can help in channeling in money right this moment, you are in for a ride with this.

Get an instant loan

With the heightened requirements of instant cash infiltrating the market, more and more organizations are coming up with the offers of the instant loan. It isn’t technically unsafe but is quite significant for people who are in need of instant cash. It is very important that you don’t reach out to the unreliable sources for this and instead opt for the ones who have a good reputation in the market. Look through all the documents and the clauses and conditions mentioned because that is the most important part of this process.

Keep these in mind:

When you are taking or even applying for an instant loan, be it from the credit card or even from some reputed financial organization, it is important that you do keep certain things in mind. 

  • Make sure that the place you are taking the loan from is trustworthy and has a good reputation from the previous customers that they have had
  • If possible, do a background check or even just consult someone you know who has taken an instant loan and get from there, if required
  • Keep all the necessary documents that they need with you because that is possibly the most important part of this. It is necessary and downright important.
  • Read through each and every single one of the clause that they have in their terms and conditions. This will help in keeping things clear for you and prevent you from committing something wrong that you end up regretting later.

Give out a bedroom in Air BnB

Yet another one of the amazing ways to earn money without much efforts and in an instant is to give out your house or the spare bedroom to Air BnB. This can channel in free cash for you and you wouldn’t even have to worry about the maintenance of the rooms around. They will be occupied and the utilities are going to be in use which further enhances the benefits of the same. If you didn’t know any better, you can easily earn over $100 a day without renting out just a bedroom. 

Do the paid online surveys

As crude and tiring as they might sound, then paid online surveys are actually an amazing way to earn money instantly. Yes, it is true that the process is a bit tiresome but the end results of this are nothing short of amazing. The best part of this is the fact that you can earn actual money on successful completion of the surveys that are available on the internet. 

Recycle

When you recycle, you are not just saving the planet but getting paid for that as well. There are several recycling centers available across the world which pays you against the plastics or even the rubbish that you provide them with. It is very important that you keep certain things in mind and thus even value your trash as well.

If you have been on the lookout for cash or money right this second, these are some of the sure-shot ways that actually work. You just can’t do without these tips.

The Pros and Cons of the Gig Economy

The gig economy has exploded over the last decade. Nearly a third of Canadian workers now engage in some sort of freelance, part-time or contract work.

A “gig worker” is just another name for an independent contractor or part-time worker. Uber drivers, freelance writers and virtual assistants all fall under the “gig economy” category.

There are many benefits to being an independent contractor, but there are also many concerns that need to be considered.

The Advantages of the Gig Economy

Most people are attracted to the gig economy because of its benefits, which include:

Greater Flexibility

Gig workers are their own bosses. They set their own schedules, and they’re in control of the work they take on. If you want to start your day at 4am, finish by 12pm and have the rest of the day off, you can do this as a gig worker.

As an independent contractor, you generally have the flexibility to complete your work on your own time as long as you meet the deadline.

You also have flexibility when it comes to your office. You can work from home, a local coffee shop, or a co-working space. For some gig workers, like rideshare drivers, you have less flexibility in this department because you’re confined to your vehicle. However, most freelance and independent contractors can decide where they want to work.

Independence

Gig workers don’t have bosses breathing down their necks. They complete their work on their own time and in their own way. Many people love the independence and freedom the gig economy offers.

Post Mates is a great example of how the gig economy allows workers to have more independence. Couriers for Post Mates can choose when they want to start accepting orders so that they can work on their own time. They aren’t constrained to any particular type of vehicle, they don’t have to deal with passengers, and they can even bring a friend along if they like.

Freelancing works in a similar way. You may have a deadline, but it’s up to you to decide how and when the work will get done.

Earning Potential

As a gig worker, you essentially work as your own little business. When it comes to your income, the sky is the limit. You set your rates, and you’re in control of how much work you take on.

Gig workers also have the flexibility to continue their education while working. By obtaining a degree or certification, you can further increase your earnings potential.

The Drawbacks of the Gig Economy

While there are numerous benefits to working in the gig economy, there are also some drawbacks.

You’ll Have to Pay Taxes

One of the biggest headaches gig workers face is having to deal with taxes. The Canada Revenue Agency considers gig workers to be independent contractors, or self-employed.

You’ll need to file your tax return by the deadline, track your income, track your expenses and track your deductions.

Work May be Inconsistent

Another major drawback of the gig economy is that work may be inconsistent. When you’re a formal employee, you can rely on a weekly paycheck. But as a freelance worker or independent contractor, income isn’t as reliable.

You may have plenty of work one month, and no work the next month. Sometimes, you have to chase down clients to pay invoices.

The gig economy certainly has its pros and cons, but it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether the risks are worth the benefits that this type of work offers.

Cannabis Retail Offers Potential Investment Prospects

The role of a merchant banker is in part to provide capital to entrepreneurs and startup businesses that exhibit high growth potential. If you dig deeper, though, what investors are really funding are good ideas that show potential and, moreover, have the potential to disrupt industries.

Possibly the biggest disruption right now in Canada’s consumer market is cannabis. The opportunities that cannabis present are becoming more and more evident to companies around the country, and that means entrepreneurs want to be invested before everyone else gets into the act. In particular, cannabis retail is a promising sector of the industry that is presenting rapid growth potential.

Until April 1st, legal cannabis sales in Ontario were only available through an online government e-commerce store. Today, according to the provincial Alcohol and Gaming Commission, cannabis retail shops and outlets are appearing across the country in Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Brampton, Burlington, London, and St. Catharines.

This means millions of dollars of potential investment opportunity for companies that focus on running recreational cannabis stores. To date, large operators have attracted the lion’s share of investment dollars – but there are opportunities for smaller players too.

If you really think about it, smaller players who are looking to expand in high-value markets need capital. They could see outsized returns without requiring the significant capital investments needed by larger players. To boot, entrepreneurs are continuing to find a number of new opportunities in the evolving cannabis industry and one of those opportunities is marijuana-infused edibles. What was once known as the stereotypical “pot brownie” has moved far beyond to products that include infused beverages, candies, tinctures, and cooking ingredients.

For those who prefer a cannabis-adjacent business, information to accompany new products and uses is another important area that offers business opportunities. Putting the right data in front of consumers, and providing them with knowledge, is a need that entrepreneurs can fill.

As the number of legal cannabis consumers increases, so will the business opportunities.

It’s a great time to be a cannabis entrepreneur, but it’s still crucial to be knowledgeable about your product and your business, and more importantly, you still have to be passionate.

Passion – A Key Ingredient to Successful Entrepreneurship

When entrepreneurs come to me and ask, “What is more important – drive or passion?” I answer and explain that the latter is more important. After all, passion is in many ways what makes an entrepreneur tick. Successful start-ups are not “driven” by a desire to make money — they are driven by a need to change the world and that, in turn, is driven by passion.

The same can be said of venture capitalists, they support and fund the companies about which they are truly passionate. Building strong business relationships doesn’t happen overnight, but a shared desire to create something important will only work to intensify the entrepreneur’s and VC’s passion toward a common goal.

When it comes to my own decision-making process with respect to potential investment opportunities, there are a number of factors that go into the process, one of those being how much passion does the particular entrepreneur or company have. When introduced to a particular company for the first time, among the things I’m looking to see is a sense of excitement about the company and the team as well as what problem it is they are aiming to solve.

That first meeting with a potential investor isn’t about convincing us to invest, rather, it’s about getting the investor excited about what you are trying to achieve. It’s demonstrating exactly how you plan to fill a void in the market and how that idea could potentially become a game-changer.

If I’m passionate enough about your idea, it is more likely that I’ll be advocating an investment in your company. This is the reason why I consider myself extremely lucky to work in this industry — because it allows me to feed off the energy and drive of extremely motivated entrepreneurs.

The dictionary defines passion as “an intense, driving or overmastering feeling of conviction” or “a strong desire for or devotion to some activity or concept”. I couldn’t agree more. Passion is one of the must-haves for any startup or entrepreneur.

Traits You See In Every Successful Entrepreneur

Starting your own business is hard work filled with long hours, personal sacrifice and a daily array of new problems and challenges. Anyone who tells you otherwise has probably never started one themselves. If you don’t have the drive to navigate these things, your business could implode faster than it began.

Understand, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. To determine if you have what it takes to make it, you need to be able to possess a number of quality traits. Leadership is at the top of that ladder. If you can’t lead, chances are you won’t be able to guide your company and its employees through growth and on to success.

If you seek a challenge filled with risk but also with financial potential, then you may be on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Here are the most important traits I believe every entrepreneur should possess.

Self-motivation
No one has ever gotten ahead by sitting back and waiting for opportunities to find them. Successful people go out and create success by working tirelessly to solve problems that get in their way.

Adapt to change
Entrepreneurs must be able to adapt to changing situations without unraveling. Also, they must be able to motivate their team by helping them reach new goals and opportunities. Often times, successful entrepreneurs are driven by a more complete vision than just the task at hand.

Ethics and integrity
It goes back to the old saying, “cheaters never win.” It’s important to maintain high standards of integrity because, if you don’t, nobody will want to do business with you, especially when you are working with clients or leading a team.

Be willing to fail, then move on
Starting a business is risky and doesn’t always work out. Successful entrepreneurs must be able to accept that things don’t always go according to plan. Do not be afraid to fail, put your idea out there and give it your best shot.

Serial innovators
The mind of an entrepreneur is always spinning with new ideas. There has to be a constant drive to develop new concepts and improve on existing ones. That’s where the term “serial entrepreneur” came from.

In almost every case, entrepreneurs never succeed on their own. You are only as good as the people who support you. Surround yourself with a network of knowledgeable people who are as passionate about your project as you are. It takes a network of contacts, partners and resources to thrive.

Entering Venture Capitalism? What to Know

One of the questions I often receive as a venture capitalist is, “How do I become a venture capitalist?” New graduates and startup veterans alike want to get into the industry, and, I admit, it can be enticing.

There are many ways to break into the venture capital world, but they can generally be broken down into two categories: serial entrepreneurship and investment banking. I define a venture capitalist as someone who distributes third-party funds into new, early-stage ventures. An angel investor is someone who invests in companies with their own capital.

If you want to be a venture capitalist or enter in the industry, my advice is to start by building your experience in the greater financial industry as soon as possible. Ask an established VC if you can shadow them and ask as many questions as you can.

You’ll also need strong analytical skills with the ability to research markets and have a mix of foresight and business savvy to pick winning investments. From my experience, success in this area also directly correlates with an ability to keep up with changing industry trends.

Finding entrepreneurs or young businesses at the earliest stages in the process is another critical skill. One way to find these potential investment opportunities is to attend meetups for emerging technologies and identify attendees offering the most potential.

Once you’ve discovered and pinpointed a potential business to invest in and have completed the necessary analysis to suggest it will succeed, the next step is figuring out finances. How much money does this business require? This isn’t the final stage of the process, but shaping out a basic set of terms is fairly easy — and highly important.

Working as a venture capital can be highly stressful, yet at the same time lucrative. Be prepared to clock in a lot of very long hours with most of that time spent listening to pitches by potential companies. It’s also, in my opinion, extremely rewarding to watch a start-up you invested in succeed.

Choosing the best accountant for your business

There are a number of small businesses that attempt to do each and everything by themselves. This is not at all a recommendable approach. The team should be divided into different expertise and professionals who have a dedicated thing to do.

Accountants must be part of the team that would be responsible to address the accounting needs and preferences of the specific company. It is imperative to hire competent professionals like Accountant Melbourne to get the work done in a professional manner.

However, choosing the right service is a difficult task. Here are some things to take into account:

 

  • Professional qualifications

 

Accounting is a technical area. It is not an easy area to practice. This is why you need to hire a professional who has good qualifications in the field. There are several firms out there that will provide services that are run by accountants who have professional qualifications. They are used to work within a code of ethics which makes them more disciplined and organized.

 

  • Recommendations

 

It is always helpful to rely on word of mouth. You can ask from your colleagues and other professionals to get a detailed idea about the different accountants in the market. Read reviews on the Internet about different accounting firms. Having a detailed insight into the practical experience can help in making the right decisions. In a nutshell, you can rely on different recommendations to make a more well-informed decision.

 

  • Cost of services

 

Accountants would vary a lot in price range. Each accountant will charge depending on the expertise, experience, qualifications and the workload. Better the experience and competence, more expensive the accounting firm tends to be. However, you do not need to rely on the price solely. The first and foremost factor must be the quality of service being provided. Then take into account the costs and form your budget accordingly. Moreover, also inquire into how the fees is being charged and in what form.

 

  • Experience

 

Expertise and knowledge is not everything you must look forward to. Experience is perhaps the most important factor that will help you to make a well-informed decision. There are several experienced accountants in the market. It is recommendable to choose a team or an individual who has sufficient experience in the field. This is how he/she will be able to meet the needs of your business. Get to know which clients the accountant has worked with. This will reflect the quality of experience gained by the accountant.

 

  • Interpersonal skills

 

Accountants must be good at the core accounting skills. However, in this competitive day and age, it is not enough for them to acquire only the hard skills. Soft skills are equally important. Accountant must have good interpersonal skills such as communication and analytical abilities.

Choosing an accountant is not an easy task. However, above are some factors to make a better decision. Even though it is not an exhaustive list, here are some of the essential aspects.

How Positive Thinking Has Changed My Life

Although it has become something of a cliché, I staunchly believe in the power of positive
thinking. As a business leader who has spent more than two decades with National Bank, I have
come to realize how important recognition is and, at the same time, how invaluable
encouragement and positive reinforcement can be. Negativity does not work.

They are also excellent tools to help manage people, and in my charitable endeavors, to
support teams and individuals contributing their valuable time. In addition, a positive attitude
can create encouraging results, both in corporations and at charity events.

Brian Tracy — a widely acclaimed best-selling author who penned Believe it to Achieve It and
Change Your Thinking Change Your Life — admits that the idea that your mind can change your
world seems too good to be true. But Tracy, who calls the power of positive thinking
“remarkable,” adds that he has personally experienced and has witnessed the good that
focusing on the positive can bring.

Tracy says that healthy, happy people spend their time thinking about what they want and how
to get it.  “In this way, developing a positive attitude can truly change your entire life,” Tracy says on his
website.

For myself, success in my responsibilities at National Bank has come a mixture of hard work,
dedication and loyalty. But, I also credit what I do outside the office to creating a balanced
framework and state of mind that allows me to succeed in the office.

For example, I chaired the 2018 Right To Play Heroes Gala honouring Louis Vachon (National
Bank’s CEO), while raising a record-breaking $2.8 million for the organization. Charity work and
community participation are a huge part of our culture at National Bank.

On top of that, I’m involved with Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer, which has raised
more than $18 million for research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto since it
was launched in 2011. This particularly cause is very important to me because I am a cancer
survivor who received treatment at the centre.

Charitable giving is about more than just raising money. It’s a way of showing gratitude to your
community. If you believe a cause is worthy of your support, do all you can to provide that
support.

Why Productivity and Great Ideas Matter

When I worked at a golf course as a little kid, I asked all of the members about their businesses: how they came up with their ideas, what made them successful. Now the tables are turned and young entrepreneurs will often ask me about a typical day and how I make it productive.

What excites me about my current role as an investment banker is that each day is completely different. I never know what’s going to happen, which clients will contact me for something, what type of investment someone will show us.

I actually started my career working at Arthur Andersen, one of the big accounting firms in Toronto. Then I worked at a big bank in equity research for five years and as a money manager for a few years. So, I’ve done all that corporate stuff and there can be repetition working for large companies. I like the variety each day brings now.

Being productive is about being available 24/7. The phone never stops ringing, the emails never stops coming in. And the reason for that is so people know that you’re available. It is one of things that make us unique and productive and successful.

When my partner and I founded Hillcrest Merchant Partners, we wanted to make sure that we emphasize that we are an idea company. Great ideas, great management, that’s what we look for. People talk about money, which is obviously important because it takes money to bring an idea come to life. But money is really a commodity and isn’t necessarily a differentiator.

Because money is available for good ideas, it’s really about bringing the right team together to help the idea come to fruition. Every idea requires a different plan, so I am always looking to meet great management teams with great ideas.

I want to see a track record of excellence – not necessarily having won at all costs, but having been positively competitive. I want to see a leader who gets the difference between leading and managing and who knows when to hand off the managing duties. It’s also important to establish a leader’s integrity. As an investor, I want to be comfortable that bad news is going to be shared and not glossed over.

We look for two key traits in companies: Being able to create solutions to difficult problems and coming up with ideas that apply to large, addressable markets. Typically, companies that we may be interested in investing in hold long-term patents and provide competitive, sustainable advantages over other companies. This is what gets us excited about new prospects.

I’ll usually tell people, there are 24 hours in a day. I sleep for three or four of them. I am fortunate in that what I do doesn’t feel like work. My job, my life, takes me to many different amazing places around the world. I’ve been to almost every continent and I’ve seen some of the most incredible cities in the world—just because of work.