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The 7 Best Real-Estate Franchises of 2020

Entrepreneur has been breaking down the top 500 franchises in America since 1979. Our rankings take into consideration five pillars, which are, in no particular order: costs/fees, size/growth, franchise support, brand strength and financial strength/stability. Every year, the competition grows tougher and tougher as new businesses create compelling cases and the old-school, established ones keep innovating.


Several great real-estate franchises were considered, but in the end, only seven entries managed to make it on our list. Start the slideshow to find out which ones made the Franchise 500 and where they ranked.


Related: 5 Affordable Franchises You Can Start for Less Than $10,000

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 19


Started franchising: 1996


Total units: 1,102


Initial franchise fee: $56,000 to $426,250


Dallas-based HomeVestors of America focuses on houses in need of repairs or updates. Since 1996, the company has even targeted houses they can buy at wholesale price with a cash offer, then implementing improvements and selling for a profit. The formula seems to be working, as the number of American franchises has gone from 191 in 2011 to 1,102 today. That’s a nearly 500 percent increase in less than a decade.


Related: The Top 20 Franchises of 2020 From the Entrepreneur Franchise 500

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 40


Started franchising: 1975


Total units: 8,361


Initial franchise fee: $40,000 to $284,000


RE/MAX has added 376 units in the past year alone. In addition to strong growth and a powerful brand name, the Denver-based real-estate franchise also boasts a bevy of support options for franchisees, including a newsletter, meetings and conventions, a toll-free line, a grand opening, online support, security and safety procedures, field operations, site selection, proprietary software and a franchisee intranet platform.

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 47


Started franchising: 1987


Total units: 1,026


Initial franchise fee: $183,947 to $336,995


Austin, Tex.-based Keller Williams has grown slowly but steadily inside the U.S. for the past decade, but it’s the real-estate franchise’s international ambitions that are most notable over that time frame. In 2011, there were only 15 Keller Williams franchises abroad. As of our most recent count, there are now 232. The company offers marketing support that includes ad templates, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing and a loyalty program/app.


Related: 24 Top-Ranked, Affordable Franchises You Can Buy for $25,000 or Less

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 92


Started franchising: 2012


Total units: 153


Initial franchise fee: $49,250 to $222,500


Since opening its first franchise in 2012, Realty One has seen explosive growth, rising to 140 U.S. franchises and 153 total units (which include 11 company-owned stores and two international franchises). The California-based real-estate franchise offers financing options in addition to marketing and general ongoing support.

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 95


Started franchising: 1955


Total units: 12,957


Initial franchise fee: $395,500 to $1.6 million


Founded in 2014, NextHome is the youngest entry not only among the real-estate entries on the Franchise 500, but among all real-estate franchises that applied for the honor. Since its founding, the California-based business has grown to 361 U.S. franchises, up almost 20 percent in the past year and more than 200 percent in the past three. 


Related: 5 Low-Cost Franchises You Can Start for as Little as $4,000

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: 285


Started franchising: 2000


Total units: 477


Initial franchise fee: $62,500 to $324,700


Based in Morris Plains, N.J., Weichert Real Estate Affiliates requires that every franchisee must have a minimum net worth of $150,000. Once franchisees establish their finances and enter a partnership with the company, Weichert offers 30.25 hours of classroom training in addition to local quarterly workshops and an annual conference to help its franchisees maximize their earning potential. The franchise also offers marketing and operational support.

Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list rank: No. 398


Started franchising: 1955


Total units: 12,957


Initial franchise fee: $395,500 to $1.6 million


Dublin, Ohio-based Epcon Communities Franchising is the only real-estate franchise on the Franchise 500 who has seen its number of total franchises decline since 2012. That might be due in part to the company’s high net-worth requirement ($1.5 million), which narrows the pool of potential franchisees. However, that requirement is also necessary due to Epcon’s mission and ambition as a franchise homebuilder capable of developing entire neighborhoods. 


Related: Need a Business Idea? Here are 55

  1. HomeVestors of America (No. 19 on the Franchise 500)
  2. RE/MAX (No. 40)
  3. Keller Williams (No. 47)
  4. Realty One Group (No. 92)
  5. NextHome (No. 95)
  6. Weichert Real Estate Affiliates (No. 285)
  7. Epcon Communities Franchising (No. 398)

Source: Entrepreneur
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Why E-Sports Are the Great Equalizer

On this episode of The Playbook, Entrepreneur Network partner David Meltzer sits down with Chris Overholt, CEO of OverActive Media, who shares his thoughts on:

  • Why he defines esports as a physical expression of a cognitive ability [3:03].
  • How the inclusive nature of video games creates countless opportunities for growth [5:14].
  • Why the engagement levels of some esports leagues “blow away” numbers for traditional sports leagues like the NBA [10:41].
  • His best piece of advice for a young person who wants to get involved in the business of sports or esports [15:03].

Related: Crafting a Powerful Pitch With the 3-Minute Rule

Source: Entrepreneur
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20 Skills to Learn Now and Hit the Ground Running in 2020

No, it’s not your imagination. Millennials change jobs, and even change industries, significantly more than the generations prior. According to a LinkedIn study, the number of companies that people work for in the five years post-college graduation has nearly doubled over the past 20 years. In other words, if you’re looking for a change, you’re not the exception, you’re the rule.

Of course, one primary reason for changing jobs may simply be discovering a better one. The world is flattening and the barriers to entry into the most lucrative, exciting jobs aren’t as high as they once were. You don’t need a computer science degree to be a coder at Facebook — you just need to know how to code.

If you want to make a change in your professional life and accept new challenges, take advantage of the time off this holiday season by learning a new skill. It may just be the smartest decision you make this year.

Not sure where to start? Check out these 20 skills you can learn online now.

20. The Complete Amazon FBA A-Z Bundle – $29

Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program makes it easy for small, independent sellers to sell products on the Amazon platform without keeping inventory. It can be a very smart way to generate passive income on the side or, if you have the time and energy to devote to your Amazon selling, you may just turn it into a full-time, work from home career.

19. Complete Photography Side Business Bundle – $29

If you’ve got a good aesthetic instinct, a creative side you’d like to get more in touch with, or a desire to earn some passive income in a new, exciting way, this photography bundle might be for you. With 10 courses on taking & editing photos, navigating Adobe’s essential Lightroom editing suite, and more, you’ll be shooting like a pro in no time.

18. The Complete Technical SEO Course – $49

Want to be a blogger? Want to grow a website? SEO is crucial to a website’s success and this course takes focus on the technical aspects of SEO. You’ll learn how to build a website to be fully optimized to gain search traffic and stand out from competitors.

17. Sales Skills Mastery Course – $11.99

Salesmanship is essential to virtually any business. Whether you want to climb the ladder at your current company or launch your own business, it’s crucial to know how to sell. This course will teach you proven strategies to close more deals, which can come in handy in all aspects of your career.

16. The Ultimate Facebook Marketing Certification Bundle – $29

If you want to be an invaluable asset to your company, knowing how to utilize Facebook as a marketing, advertising, and sales platform is crucial. This Facebook marketing certification bundle offers 30 hours of training that’ll give you the skills you need to impress your team (and maybe even get that raise?). 

15. How to Create a Compact Marketing Plan – $19

Marketing is all about efficiency and scale. You want to reach as many people as possible with a message while spending as little as possible. Makes sense, right? You’d be surprised how difficult that can be. This course will help you become a more efficient marketer so you can promote your own business interests as well as your company’s.

14. The Complete Sales Hacker Bundle – $29

Similarly, sales is also a numbers game. You want to generate more sales while expending as little time and energy as possible. This bundle will teach you proven strategies to hack your sales process and become more productive than ever.

13. The Ultimate Adobe CC Training Bundle – $39

The Adobe Creative Cloud is an essential suite for photographers, graphic designers, and other creative professionals. Got a creative bone? To nurture it professionally, you’re going to have to know Adobe CC.

12. The Complete Microsoft Excel & VBA Bundle – $29.99

Microsoft Excel is more than just a spreadsheet tool. When used to its full potential, Excel can automate boring day-to-day tasks and make simple work of processing huge amounts of data. When you’re an Excel whiz, you can survive in virtually any business environment and help companies make smarter, more informed decisions.

11. The Complete Salesforce Lightning Certification Training Bundle – $19

Salesforce Lightning is the newest release from the world’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Salesforce is almost infinitely customizable, which makes it such a great choice for businesses — they can set it up in a way that uniquely suits them. However, they need experts to make the system run, which is where you’ll come in.

10. The Speed Reading Mastery Bundle – $21

Speed reading won’t just help you fly through your book list, it can make you a more productive employee, too. When you can consume more information faster, you can get more done and be a more essential member of your team.

9. The Complete iOS 13 & SwiftUI Developer Bundle – $19

There is an app for everything. You know why? Because everybody’s online and they’re all using apps. That’s why app developers are in constant demand and make the big bucks. If you’re going to learn app development, you might as well learn it for the newest iOS 13.

8. The Ultimate Guide to Human Resources Bundle – $29

Good HR people make offices better places to work. If you’re a people person, you may just make a great HR rep. This massive bundle will teach you everything you need to know about HR so you’ll be fully ready to make a change.

7. Mondly: Lifetime Subscription – $59.99

Learning a new language has been shown to help increase cognitive ability, improve memory, and have a litany of other mental benefits. It can also help you in business! When you’re expanding your global empire, you’ll be happy you took that time to become bilingual.

6. The Real Estate Investment Master Class Bundle – $29

Real estate investment is one of the most exciting (although risky) hustles on the planet. Buying property and flipping it or turning it into an income stream is a high-dollar affair but one that can be extremely rewarding. These courses will help you avoid many of the foibles facing first-time investors.

5. The Mastering Tableau Certification Bundle – $25

Tableau is one of the top data visualization tools on the market, making it easy for businesses to develop actionable insights based on huge amounts of data. Tableau administrators can make big money because they can effectively communicate how a business is faring.

4. Microsoft Excel Data Analysis & Dashboard Reporting – $19.99

Data rules everything in the business world and Microsoft Excel is one of the most accessible data tools on the market. However, once you know how to perform comprehensive analysis and deliver robust reports with Excel, your earning potential will rise considerably.

3. How to Launch a Consulting Business – $19

Want to work for yourself? Become a consultant. You know what you’re good at and you know it’s worth good money! This course will teach you how to effectively market yourself and your services so you can score lucrative contracts and work on your own time.

2. The 2020 QuickBooks® Pro Mastery Bundle – $29.99

Intuit’s QuickBooks® has become a staple for small business owners, CPAs, and even folks who just want to stay on top of their finances. In other words, if you plan on handling money, it’s a tool worth learning. This QuickBooks training bundle gives you lifetime access to 3 courses and 22 hours of content, taking you from newbie to master with this leading accounting software.

1. Complete Public Speaking Masterclass For Every Occasion – $12.99

Public speaking is one of the most common fears in business. Overcome yours with help from this class. You’ll learn proven strategies to give effective presentations, lead meetings, speak to large audiences, and much more.

Prices subject to change.

Source: Entrepreneur
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Beyond CBD: Four Emerging Cannabinoids To Watch In Skincare And Topicals

CBD and THC are the most visible cannabinoids in the wellness and skincare industries today, but with more than 100 known cannabinoids, others are muscling in. 

Fueled by growing consumer interest, technological innovation and an ever-expanding body of scientific research, so-called minor cannabinoids with promising therapeutic and cosmetic potential are jockeying to be the next big breakout ingredient in skincare.

Why Cannabinoids And Skincare?

The idea of putting cannabis on your epidermis would have seemed ludicrous to most consumers a decade ago. But we’ve come a long way in better understanding the human body’s mechanism for processing cannabinoids — the endocannabinoid system (ECS) — and how these compounds can be deployed topically to address both skin ailments and deeper pain in joints and muscles.  

The ECS and its network of CB1 and CB2 receptors modulate homeostasis of the neural, endocrine and immune systems, to name just a few of its regulatory functions. CB2 receptors are readily found in the epidermis, muscles and soft tissue, and research shows CB2 receptors are key in regulating the inflammatory response, which is a primary symptom of skin disorders such as dry skin, acne, eczema and psoriasis. CB1 receptors connect to the peripheral and central nervous system, and also play an important role in chronic pain conditions like peripheral neuropathy in the hands and feet.

RELATED: 8 CBD Creams And Salves Worth Trying To Rid Yourself Of Muscle Pain

Where The Skincare Market Is Headed

“Beauty is ONLY skin deep” may be a well-worn trope, but consumers do care deeply: U.S. skincare product sales hit $5.6 billion in 2018, a 13 percent increase over the previous year, according to market research company NPD Group.  

Among other factors, experts credit robust sales to an increasingly informed consumer base that seeks out effective products with natural ingredients. Product innovation is key to winning the attention of this “skintelligent” cohort.

Future cannabinoid-based formulations could be used for preventative or restorative cosmetics that are anti-aging and promote healthy skin, as well as treating inflammatory skin conditions, sunburns and minor wounds. Certain minor cannabinoids may also prove efficacious for sore muscles and joints, neuropathy, bursitis and tendinitis, among other conditions. 

Minor Cannabinoids On The Rise

Of the 140 or so minor cannabinoids identified by scientists, there are four in particular that hold the most promise for new skincare products: 

Cannabigerol (CBG): Studies have found CBG offers “potential therapeutic value in the treatment of psoriasis” as an anti-inflammatory. Psoriasis causes cellular buildup on the surface of the skin, and experts surmise that inflammation is a root cause. There is also evidence CBG acts as an effective antibacterial agent, which could be useful in the treatment of acne and other bacterial skin conditions

Cannabichromene (CBC): This exciting cannabinoid has shown anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity in animal studies. One 2016 study noted that CBC displayed “remarkable anti-inflammatory actions” related to acne. A cannabinoid that can calm inflammation while also relieving pain could have immense use since many skin problems tied to inflammation — such as dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema — cause severe discomfort. 

Two of the other cannabinoid rising stars — CBDV and THCV — hail from the varin series of cannabinoids. Varins contain two fewer carbon atoms than their non-varin counterparts (CBD and THC) making these cannabinoids fundamentally different on a molecular level.

Cannabidivarin (CBDV): Recent studies indicate CBDV may help dry skin syndrome as well as acne. Researchers also found that CBDV may reduce allergic inflammation, atopic dermatitis, acne and seborrhea (a.k.a. dandruff). These properties could make CBDV ideal for incorporating into hypoallergenic products, or topicals designed for sensitive, itch-prone skin. 

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): Unlike its non-varin counterpart, THCV is non-psychotropic, and research on animal models indicates THCV can decrease signs of inflammation and inflammatory pain, a combination that could be useful in topical analgesics. THCV also has been found to suppress basal sebaceous lipid synthesis, which could help acne sufferers whose condition is triggered by excessive oil production. Experimental Dermatology noted that of all of the phytocannabinoids examined, THCV showed the most promise of becoming a “highly efficient, novel anti-acne agent.” 

RELATED: ‘The Bachelor’s Tayshia Adams Explains How CBD Has Helped Her Deal With The Anxiety Of Fame

Itching For More Cannabinoid Skincare R&D

When it comes to emerging cannabinoids, we have barely scratched the surface of their potential. Minor cannabinoids have been historically difficult to source at scale, but science and innovation are making them increasingly available for commercial uses. Plant geneticists are developing cultivars rich in these cannabinoids. Some companies are isolating and purifying these cannabinoid molecules, while others are working to produce them via biosynthetic methods.

Development of functional formulations could translate to many products across the skincare spectrum: daily-use cleansers, exfoliators, masks and moisturizers; and acne-calming lotions, peels and solutions, to name just a few. Innovative topical delivery systems such as sprays, lotions, balms and transdermal patches are also being utilized for advanced analgesic formulations, enabling precise dosing for localized and systemic pain relief.

Science is still playing catch-up to market demands for effective alternatives to synthetic skincare ingredients and pharmaceutical medications. But rapidly advancing research and technical capabilities indicate minor cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, CBDV and THCV will play an increasingly meaningful role in self-care and wellness products targeting chronic skin conditions and acute inflammatory flare-ups.

Source: Entrepreneur
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The Dangers of Overpromising and Under-Delivering

We’ve all heard the saying, “Act now, apologize later.” In fact, a lot of us might even live by that motto, believing that our intuitions know best and that if things don’t pan out later, we can always apologize and make up for everything. But when action looks like overpromising, which later results in under-delivering, an apology might not cut it.

At the core of what makes entrepreneurs great is the ability to dream big and cast a vision of what could be. But when you aren’t able to deliver on your ideas and promises, your reputation will suffer, which is bad for you and bad for business. So before you promise the moon, beware of these seven potentially perilous outcomes when you under-deliver. 

Related: Overpromising Is the Worst Mistake an Entrepreneur Can Make

Depleted Credibility

Keeping your promises is imperative if you want to retain trust and grow your business. In fact, it should be one of your highest priorities. While some businesses that experience high client turnover are complacent with offering substandard work, most companies cannot afford to operate that way. It can take years to build up your credibility, and only one or two unhappy customers to make everything come tumbling down. If you cannot do something within a specific time frame or by a particular date, then be upfront about it. If they need to go elsewhere because you cannot meet their timeline, then so be it.

I’m willing to bet that your honesty will bode nicely for you. Being honest by telling a client that a deadline isn’t feasible shows them that you are committed to quality work and you understand how long it takes to achieve it. Clients know that a lot is on the line when you push back, so doing so will actually work in favor of your credibility. 

Negative Reviews

In today’s digital world, if you make a misstep and let your customer down, chances are everyone will hear about it. Consumers are savvy, and they don’t hesitate to post their concerns and complaints about companies directly to social media or review sites. If negative review after negative review is posted to your page, then you risk losing prospective shoppers and clients before they even consider working with you. 

Negative reviews are hard to recover from, so your best bet is to do as much as you can to avoid them. This means managing your customers’s expectations upfront and always maintaining transparency. Don’t ever make them feel like they were promised something so that you could get them to partner with you. The future negative review isn’t worth the short-lived business. 

Unhappy Customers

With negative reviews come unhappy customers. Customer relationships are the core of your business, and when your actions yield unhappy customers, it can be a major roadblock to growth. A new relationship is like a new life. You’re very excited, and you have a lot of anticipation. You have all these ideas of how it will go and how much fun it will be to start this new journey. The last things you see on the horizon are any obstacles. 

Even with the best intentions, things can and do go wrong in business. If, for some reason, you are unable to honor a deliverable, cannot meet the agreed-upon deadline or have to go back on your word, then take ownership of the situation. Get a hold of the customer immediately, explain the reasoning and give the updated fulfillment date by which you can realistically have the work completed. Don’t pick an imaginary date out of the air and risk failure a second time, as that could lead to losing their business altogether. 

Bad PR

The saying, “Any publicity is good publicity” does not apply in today’s business landscape, unless your goal is to drive customers away. A juicy story can spread like wildfire, and before you know it, every magazine and online site is running it. Therefore, it pays to go out of your way to look after your customers and focus on a business model that services well, gives back and invests in the well-being of its employees. Make sure you take some time to focus on how your business contributes to your community and treats its staff.

Also, start thinking about how you should handle a PR crisis, should one happen. Having a plan of action never hurts and can undoubtedly keep you better equipped for the unexpected. 

False Expectations

Winning someone’s favor and keeping them happy is your job. What isn’t your job is lying to clients’s faces. Do not provide your customers with false expectations in an effort to keep a smile on their faces. I promise you, those smiles won’t last long, and this method will backfire. 

If something does go wrong, don’t play the blame game. Even if it was someone else’s problem or “fault,” you are still responsible. It’s your company, and you have to stand by it no matter what happens. You’re the captain of your ship, and if that ship is going down, you’re the last one on it. Instead, provide them with as much reasoning as possible, but take full responsibility for the situation and tell them you will personally rectify it as soon as possible.

Related: What to Do When You’re Getting Bad Press

Loss of Business

Through poor planning or lack of judgment and your failure to meet promises, you could easily be handing over your customers and clients directly to your competitors. No one will want to do business with you if your lousy reputation exceeds the quality of work you do. The business world is highly competitive; therefore, you need to develop your reputation on above-average service, rock-solid trust, and efficient delivery.

If you fail to maintain your reputation and continue to lose business, you’ll have to eventually look at creative ways to retain the customers and up your client-acquisition strategy. Both should already be a focus, but when they’re all you got, it’s a dire situation that adds a lot more stress to your business. 

Poor Cash Flow

When you start to lose business due to failure to deliver, it can be devastating from a cash-flow perspective and create more significant problems for your organization. If your customers begin to go elsewhere, then that’s money you won’t be seeing month over month. This can, in turn, affect other areas of your business if it continues on a long-term basis. You don’t want to have to start laying people off or reduce spend by removing certain perks and benefits for your team.

Letting people go is the worst part of being a business owner, and it’s something you’ll want to avoid as much as possible. You are responsible for your employees, and it doesn’t feel good for anyone when you have to let them down and lay them off because you couldn’t deliver for your clients.

Overpromising and under-delivering doesn’t just affect small businesses; it can also destroy the reputation of prominent organizations. It is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to making promises. Be realistic with your deadlines so you can under-promise and over-deliver every time. Your customers trust you, unless you give them a good reason not to. So be open about what you can and cannot do and strengthen your relationship with your customers, rather than pushing them away.

Source: Entrepreneur
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What Communicators Can Learn From Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech

On its face, it seems somehow glib to try to draw practical lessons from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Aug. 28, 1963.

This speech transcended speechwriting and speech-giving technique. This speech was magic, spiritual, history-making. This speech, and this day, are not about speechwriting.

But King’s legacy is, I’d argue, about communication — the power of a person, with words and ideas, to change history. Without examples like King’s speech, what reason would anyone have for sitting down to write?

So if King’s speech represents the hope that communication — real exchanging of ideas, sharing of reality among disparate human beings — can actually happen, then it’s appropriate to try to understand why this speech was so momentous and to try to figure out how to make more communications that actually communicate.

I believe King’s speech was the single most powerful speech in American history because, partly through historical fate and partly through design, every single relevant element of communication lined up at once. To wit:

The perfect occasion

As any speaker would, King opened his speech by saying he was happy to be here. Then he added that the event would “go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.” Though our speakers can’t begin to make such a claim, they all need to frame and to claim the larger social, if not historical, importance of the gathering they’re addressing.

Related: 3 Important Leadership Lessons From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The perfect moment

King hardly failed to note that his speech took place roughly 100 years after the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. But he didn’t dilute his message with any pedantic reference to “roughly”:

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

As King repeats his reference to this 100-year milestone, he sets the tone for his later suggestion that this isn’t merely a time to look back, but the precise moment to plunge forward with a new hope.

The perfect setting

As backdrops go, the Lincoln Memorial sure beats a PowerPoint screen. As backdrops for this speech, nothing could have been better chosen for its symbolism and majesty. To the extent that you can choose the settings where your speaker speaks, you should.

Related: 10 Inspiring MLK Quotes on Leadership and Purpose

The perfect person

A. Philip Randolph introduced King as “the moral leader of our nation.” Some in the nation might have argued with that, but not many in the crowd gathered there. It’s hard to imagine today, anyone being called the moral leader of our nation. But in 1963, King was as close as there was. In any case, he was the right person to be delivering this message at this moment, and it behooves all speechwriters to put their speakers on podiums where they belong (and keep them off of podiums where they don’t).

The perfect message

Americans still disagree on many, many issues, many of them having to do with race. But excepting extreme fringe elements, America is no longer divided on the principles that King laid out in this speech: Namely, that equality is ideal, and that all people should be judged “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” It’s not a subtle part of the communication equation: It helps to be right.

Related: Slideshow: Inspiring Words From the March on Washington

The perfect language

You can throw a dart at the text of this speech and any paragraph you hit will impress you with writing that uses every available rhetorical tool:

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

In the paragraph above, you know it is no accident that King chose “marvelous” to match “militancy.”

“Engulfed” is a powerful verb.

“Their destiny … our destiny. Their freedom … our freedom.” Great parallel structure.

And finally, note the progression of the sentence length — the first long and complex sentence expresses an opinion; the second, shorter sentence supports it; the last sentence makes an inarguable point, as abrupt as a simple fact.

Almost every other paragraph in the speech has such lessons to offer (which is why most speechwriters I know read this and other great speeches for inspiration and instruction).

The perfect delivery

Most song lyrics look dead and dull on a page. In this speech, the best prose is in the first two-thirds. But the music starts when King departs from his text — or appears to. He stops talking and he begins to sing:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

If those words moved you just to read them, it’s because your imagination is putting them in King’s voice, etched in your memory. But let someone read them in a tone-deaf verbal ramble, as we all did in grade school, and you realize how much King’s rhythm and melody are what made these lines immortal. Delivery isn’t all — but it’s a lot.

So King got all these elements just right, choosing the perfect occasion and the perfect moment to give the perfect message in perfect language and with perfect pitch. To the extent the rest of us have our own dreams, to create a communication masterpiece, we should know: This is the direction we need to go.

Somewhere I once read a short essay about this speech by the great American writer Ian Frasier, who said it does him good to watch the old reel at least once a year. Improbably, Frasier compared communication to a golf course driving range, where you hit ball after ball out into a field that is full of them. Usually the ball bounces and rolls and comes to a halt by itself.

But every once in awhile — and here Frasier asked us to look at the tape of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s audience on that hot day in 1963 and watch it literally vibrate and ripple — your ball hits another ball, which bounces into another ball, which hits two balls sitting together, creating a chain reaction that looks like it will eventually move all the balls in the field.

That’s what King’s speech did to his audience — and to America and the world.

That’s magic. That’s beautiful. That’s communication. And it’s what we strive to do.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Source: Entrepreneur
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8 Podcasting Tips From the Hit ‘Girls Gotta Eat’

Trauma may sound like a strange starting place for comedy, but then, Lenny Bruce once said, “All my humor is based on destruction and despair.” The ladies behind the sex, dating and relationships podcast Girls Gotta Eat are no strangers to this truth. When Ashley Hesseltine found herself in a relationship she desperately wanted to fix, but couldn’t, she did a deep dive into the psychology of relationships. That knowledge became the foundation for Girls Gotta Eat, which she started in 2018 with Rayna Greenburg, who’d experienced her own romantic trauma when her fiancé left her. Now, the podcast gets 2.5 million downloads a week, is a top 20 podcast on iTunes and Spotify, and after 50 live shows last year, Girls Gotta Eat is going on tour in Australia. 

It’s easy to write off entertainment successes as tales of pure talent, but Hesseltine is not starry-eyed about that: “We treated the podcast like a business from day one,” she says. Being an entrepreneur has always been a goal for her, given that, “I’ve had quote-un-quote ‘problems with authority’ my whole life.” Greenberg agrees that the greatest gift of building their brand from scratch has been the independence that comes with it.  “I’m in control of my own life and all the success and failure is my own.”

Hesseltine’s background is in TV, radio and stand-up comedy. She began freelance writing in 2010 and ran a blog before starting the viral Instagram account @BrosBeingBasic, which now has 959K followers. Greenberg started out in the restaurant industry, and eventually moved into startups before going to work at Amazon. Meanwhile, she started her hit food blog One Hungry Jew, and when she passed 200,000 followers, she quit her job. Now, her personal Instagram account, @Rayna.Greenberg has 383K followers. The ladies met on a press trip, and after becoming friends, decided to start the podcast. Fans come for self-help swathed in jokes about dating app mishaps and hot doormen. Greenberg and Hesseltine riff on their lives and respond to funny listener questions, and experts share their knowledge on a range of topics. Here, the ladies share their takeaways from building a podcast into a brand and a business.

1. Leverage past accomplishments, and always look for the next move.

“I have felt in my career like you have to constantly pivot and evolve, and use what you’ve already built to enhance your next endeavor,” Ashley says. “So for me, my blog basically turned into the Instagram account, which I was then able to take the followers and promote the podcast on day one. Starting out, Rayna and I had these Instagram accounts with collectively a million followers.”

2. Keep your material fresh and dynamic.

“Our content varies wildly from week to week,” Rayna says. “It’s always dating, relationships, it’s always wrapped in comedy. But we bring on people from different lifestyles, backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations. We’re not afraid to tackle things like financial advice.”

3. Take the time to create a structured, quality product. 

“Anyone is welcome to plug a mike into their laptop and start recording and throw it up on iTunes or Soundcloud or wherever,” Ashley says. “That is some people’s path, but that was not ours. We researched the mics and soundboards extensively. I learned the editing software. And we wanted to have structure. We didn’t just want to shoot the shit. We take a lot of time with the flow of the podcast, to make it sound tight. I cut dead air, and big chunks we don’t think are relevant. We really attribute a lot of our success to that.”

4. Ask your audience to share the podcast, on social media and in person.

“We ask listeners to go on social media and tag the podcast or tell people about it,” Rayna says. “It sounds like a small thing, but we asked people recently, ‘How did you find the podcast?’ And most people will say, ‘my coworker, my boss, a friend of a friend, my sister,’ things like that. So we ask people to share, and really utilize social media as a tool to grow the show.”

5. Instead of going after high profile guests, be a guest on other podcasts. 

“We learned early on that we gained new followers from guesting on other podcasts as opposed to having guests on ours and hoping they’ll bring their following over, “Ashley says. “That’s worked too, but when we ask people how they heard of the podcast there’s definitely more of, ‘I heard you on Barstool or Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast,’ than I found you because someone I follow was a guest on your podcast.”

6. Set up your podcast like a business, but don’t jump at the first chance to make money.

“We didn’t think day one we were going to start making money, but we did treat it like a business,” Ashley says. “Before the podcast even launched, the website and Instagram were set up and we had a photo shoot with promo photos.” Still, The ladies didn’t do any ads for the first six months, and then only one here or there for the six months after that. “We took a lot of time to take every phone call and really figure out what was out there before making a decision,” Rayna says. “We didn’t jump at the first person and I think that’s really important.”  Eventually they signed with an ad network that takes a cut of profits, but handles everything. “We know sales but podcasting is different and we wanted someone to manage it completely,” Ashley says. “We have a very detailed spreadsheet. We have someone send us the copy points, it’s all organized for us and that’s what we like.”

7. When touring live, don’t get fancy. The audience is there to see you.

“For the first few live shows we had openers and we were traveling with comedians, and we had guests in every city,” Rayna says. “But it costs a lot of money to fly someone out for a ten minute set. You pay for their hotels and flights.” Finding local talent was tough, too, because it was hard to predict if their audience would find a comedian funny, or a guest speaker engaging. Eventually they realized it was all a lot of trouble and expense when people were there to see them. “Basically I would say the audience is the guest now,” Rayna says. “We do a ton of audience participation. We read their emails, and we’re usually in cities for a little bit of time before a show so we do a lot of material about the city.”

8. If your content is based on your personal life, your life will change. But maybe not in the ways you’d expect.

What is it like to date when you talk to millions of people every week about your dating life? “There are always going to be people who don’t want to date you because you have a public platform and that’s certainly something I’ve faced,” Rayna says. “That’s a hard pill to swallow when you really care about somebody. But that person’s just not going to be my person.” Ashley says it’s tricky on the flip side too, when someone seems interested in part because of your platform. “Sometimes guys recognize me on dating apps and I don’t really know how to handle it. I feel like we would set out on unequal ground if I went out with somebody who knew every single thing about my dating life and I knew nothing about them. It’s a turn-off, it just is. So typically when a guy opens with knowing who I am, I do not entertain it.”

But both women say the podcast’s real boon to their personal lives has been in their non-romantic relationships. “It’s allowed me to travel to new places, and reconnect with people I probably wouldn’t have seen,” Rayna says. “And a lot of our friends and family listen to the show, so they’re able to keep up with us.” 

For Ashley, the best relationship she has now is the one with herself. “Overall my relationship status has changed in that I care less about having a relationship. When we started the podcast we ‘joked’ that I wanted to get engaged that year, and I really felt like I did. But over time I feel like I’ve been able to achieve this life that I always wanted. We’re making a difference—I know that sounds cheesy—but these are the listener’s words, not ours. We get to make people laugh, and enhance their lives, and perform. And make money while doing it!”

Source: Entrepreneur
Continue reading 8 Podcasting Tips From the Hit ‘Girls Gotta Eat’

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Go From Unmotivated to Goal-Oriented With These Hacks

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy discusses seven steps that will help you achieve your goals. As an example, writing down goals is more powerful than simply letting them enter your mind and then float away. For people who are goal-oriented, there are a few principles that can help goals become more achievable. Fortunately, Tracy notes, these skills are easily learned, so even those without the natural ability for each can pick them up. 

Here are a couple steps to follow if you want to achieve any goal: 

  • Know exactly what you want. Be specific about your desired lifestyle, level of health and income. 
  • Set a deadline. This is another great way to inject a bit of positive self-talk into your daily life.

Click the video to hear more from Brian Tracy. 

Related: Successful Leaders Incorporate These Steps When Creating a Company Vision

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.

Source: Entrepreneur
Continue reading Go From Unmotivated to Goal-Oriented With These Hacks

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Business Idea of the Day: Food Truck

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000

Part Time: Can be operated part-time.

Franchises Available?
Yes

Online Operation?
No

THE BRIEF:


Inspired by the Jon Favreau movie Chef or the success story of Roy Choi and want to start your own food truck? You’ll need more than a kitchen on wheels. Food trucks is the fastest-growing channel in the food service industry. In 2012, food truck revenue was $650 million, however that number has since skyrocketed, reaching a whopping $2.7 billion in 2017.


ASK THE PROS:


How much money can you make?


“If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, a food truck can be a much more affordable option than an actual restaurant. And for less than $100,000, someone can launch a food truck business that can make anywhere between $250,000 to $500,000.”—Why Food Truck Businesses Are Revving Up (Infographic)


“In five years, St. Louis native David Choi went from having $18,000 in his bank account to running a $4.5 million Korean-Mexican fast-casual-food chain with four restaurants and a food truck enterprise.”—How a Single Food Truck Helped Build a Multi-Million Dollar Taco Empire


What kind of experience do you need to have?


“I was familiar with Korean food from cooking with my mom and grandma, and I started making their recipes in a taco for my family. They thought it was weird, but my brother and two friends didn’t. They helped me raise $22,000. The first day we had a line of 40 people and ran out of food. I realized I had to rely on my experience from my teen years — working at a pizza shop, sandwich shop, coffee shop, Chinese restaurant — and replicate dishes at a rapid pace.”—David Choi


What’s the most important thing to know about this business?


“To succeed, you need to become cost savvy. There’s no set formula, but as in any business, especially when dealing with food, you need to know what you’re spending on the products you sell, whether it’s cookies, empanadas or steak. You don’t have to pay rent like a brick-and-mortar business, but you do have vehicle maintenance, kiosk space rental, parking permits and other costs that need to be factored into the equation.”—Are You Financially Equipped to Run a Food Truck?


Related


Food Truck, Cart or Kiosk: The Right Ride for Your Mobile Food Business


Are You Financially Equipped to Run a Food Truck?


Food Trucks 101: Where to Stock Up on Ingredients


Why Food Truck Businesses Are Revving Up (Infographic)


The Legal Side of Owning a Food Truck


How a Single Food Truck Helped Build a Multi-Million Dollar Taco Empire

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Source: Entrepreneur
Continue reading Business Idea of the Day: Food Truck

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Business Idea of the Day: Caterer

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.

Part Time: Can be operated part-time.

Franchises Available?
No

Online Operation?
No

THE BRIEF:


If you’re one of those fearless people who enjoys giving elegant dinner parties, get rave reviews from guests and/or your relatives beg to have holidays at your house because of your cooking, then catering might be your cup of tea. As a caterer, you’ll plan menus and elegant or playful presentations for everything from company picnics to debutante balls, then cook it all up, deliver it to the event, serve it and clean up afterward. You can specialize in affairs such as weddings; specific goodies such as cakes or cookies; or clients including corporations, charities or individual parties.


ASK THE PROS:


How much money can you make?


Established caterers can demand top dollar for their services, but starting out, you’ll have to have flexible rates. But the potential is there to bring in millions of dollars, which can be invested back into the business, as Jerry Baker of California-based The Food Matters told Entrepreneur. “I started with a $25,000 loan and $25,000 of my own. I’ve invested back into the business well over a million dollars in the past few years in order to have the right equipment to do the perfect job.”


What kind of experience do you need to have?


“From a cost-of-entry perspective, catering is probably the most flexible of all the food-service businesses. While you need a commercial location, you can start small and build your equipment inventory as you need to. You may even find an existing commercial kitchen that you can rent. In the beginning, if you need something unusual, such as a champagne fountain for a wedding reception, you can usually rent it rather than buy it. And your food inventory is easy to control, because in most cases you know well in advance exactly how many people you’re cooking for.” —Start Your Own Restaurant and More


What’s the most important thing to know about this business?

While your family may clamor for your meatloaf and mashed potatoes, you’ll need more than just the ability to whip up some spuds. You’ll also need a flair for presentation — the ability to make the fruits (and other foods) of your labors look fancy — as well as a talent for the latest trends in food and party ideas. You’ll also need an abundance of organizational, time-management and record-keeping skills. Catering requires lots of hard-core planning and pacing. Last but not least, you need a good grounding in safe food-handling practices, product liability laws and health regulations, and good people skills. The advantages to this business are that it’s creative and fun — you can throw a party any time you like and serve up all sorts of new dishes and new ideas — and somebody else foots the bill.


“Successful caterers are organized, consistent and creative. They enjoy working in an environment that in some ways changes every day, while in other ways stays the same. While a lot of the preparation, cleaning and serving becomes a bit routine, the places to which you’ll travel and the kinds of functions you’ll attend can differ greatly.”—Start Your Own Restaurant and More


Related


Catering


What You Need to Know Before Starting a Catering Business

The Market

Your clients can be people with something to celebrate–a wedding, anniversary, graduation or other milestone–or any other kind of bash. You can go after the corporate market, helping to make a splash at conferences, meetings, employee-morale boosters and grand openings, or you can set a course for businesses like yacht charters, sunset cruises and dinner theaters. To snag the celebratory types, develop a referral network–introduce yourself to wedding planners, bridal boutiques, cake decorators and bakers, florists, and card and party supply shopkeepers. Hand out brochures and business cards and check in often. Bring a few choice tidbits, snazzy hors d’ouevres or sinful desserts to give as goodwill gestures. Everybody loves an unexpected treat and the person who delivers it–this is a good way to ensure that they remember you fondly and refer you to their own clients. For corporate and other business types, send a sales letter and brochure, then follow up with a phone call requesting an appointment to discuss your services. Cater a charity event in exchange for publicity, then get your company written up in local publications. Volunteer yourself for a local radio chat show and answer questions about throwing successful parties.

Needed Equipment

Other than a commercial kitchen, the only things you need to get started are a phone and a delivery vehicle. A computer and printer are always nice but not a necessity for starters. You can get around the kitchen problem by arranging to use a restaurant’s facility for a small fee in its off-hours or by sharing the rental costs of a commercial kitchen and its use with other caterers.

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Source: Entrepreneur
Continue reading Business Idea of the Day: Caterer