Following Friday’s ruling by a Tokyo District Court to halt Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy proceeding in favor of civil rehabilitation, one of the world’s largest Mt. Gox creditors with a claim worth close to $250,000,000, retained Newport Beach Attorney Oliver Wright to explore litigation financing.

Bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox made headlines and history last Friday when the Tokyo district court presiding over its liquidation reclassified the bankruptcy as a civil rehabilitation. Not only does this set up Mt. Gox creditors for a potential windfall that would otherwise have accrued to shareholders such as infamous former CEO Mark Karpeles, but it also marks the first time in Japan’s history that a defunct company, with no plans of future operations, has, or will have been, “rehabilitated.”

Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency and the first decentralized digital currency, with a current market capitalization nearly double that of General Motors. As a recent Investopedia article points out, if you purchased $100 in bitcoin in 2011, you would have over $2,000,000 today.

Mt. Gox was once the world’s dominant bitcoin exchange, handling over 70% of all bitcoin transactions globally. But Mt. Gox’s crypto dominance came crashing down in February 2014, when it suspended trading and shuttered its website upon discovering that 850,000 bitcoins were missing from customer accounts. As suspicion and outrage fell upon Karpeles, the former CEO stumbled upon 200,000 bitcoin sitting in a long-forgotten cold wallet. Customers became creditors when Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy later in 2014, and that 200,000 bitcoin became their only source of recovery. Their hopes and dreams have risen and fallen with the price of bitcoin ever since.

But it wasn’t until 2017, when bitcoin value swelled to as high as $17,000, that the value of those bitcoin assets stretched into the billions and far exceeded Mt. Gox’s liabilities, setting the stage for Friday’s drama. Before Friday, Mt. Gox’s sole asset was valued at its liquidation price of $440 per bitcoin, according to The Verge. Under Japanese bankruptcy law, the enormous gap between the liquidation value and current market value of those bitcoins amounted to a billion-dollar capital gains bonanza payable to Mt. Gox shareholders such as Karpeles instead of its customer-creditors.

Friday’s stunning announcement to halt the bankruptcy liquidation and begin civil rehabilitation means that creditors will get the windfall instead of Karpeles and that their claims will be paid in bitcoin at its current value, instead of in cash at bitcoin’s 2014 fiat value.

On Friday’s news, one of the biggest Mt. Gox creditors in the world retained Newport Beach Attorney Oliver Wright Esq. to explore litigation finance options. Even with Mt. Gox payouts conceivable by 2019, the litigation road ahead won’t come cheap. Nor has it come cheap, with litigation costs–including the cost of Japan’s preeminent bankruptcy firm–running in the hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2014. Wright seeks to ease his client’s liquidity constraints through litigation financing. No stranger to cases like these, he was a corporate lawyer and trial attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, as well as a general partner in numerous high net worth and private equity investment vehicles.

In an interview, Wright gave us insight into the Mt. Gox case and his client’s significant role in it:

Q:   Can you give us some insight into your client and his place in the ongoing Mt. Gox saga?

A:  My client’s story is uniquely Mt. Gox.  Like so many other Mt. Gox claimants, he is someone who saw a lot of promise in crypto and bitcoin going way back to before it was fashionable.  But he was perhaps more consistent and deliberate than others in putting his money where his mouth was. Between 2011 and 2012 he acquired 35,000 bitcoin for under $75,000. The result is that he is now, I believe, one of the largest Mt. Gox creditors in the world, with a claim worth close to a quarter-billion dollars measured at today’s fiat currency conversion levels.  Not bad.

Q:  Friday’s ruling from the court in Japan, what’s the significance?

A:  I think this is a step in the right direction, as it would seem to deliver Mt. Gox’s surplus asset value to creditors like my client instead of shareholders like the former CEO, whose role in the demise of Mt. Gox remains an open question.  I think civil rehabilitation is the correct course from a valuation perspective as well, for it would credit claimants with the capital gains accompanying bitcoin’s rise since the bankruptcy filing, instead of fixing the value at 2014 fiat levels, as had been the case with the liquidation track that it was on before Friday’s ruling.

Q:  Why sell a portion of the equity in your client’s claim?

A:  Friday’s ruling does indeed put my client in a lucrative position since the Defendant holds over $1.2 billion in assets. But he’s an everyday guy like so many other Mt. Gox creditors. Interestingly enough, he finished law school not too long ago and has just been admitted to medical school starting next year. All of that schooling doesn’t come cheap. Between the cost of his case and schooling both past and future, litigation financing will allow my client to resolve his liquidity issues while bolstering his already impressive legal team lead by Japan’s preeminent bankruptcy law firm.

Q.Why buy a portion?

A:  Bitcoin wrapped in an uncorrelated asset like litigation finance equals a uniquely dynamic investment opportunity with appealing risk-adjusted returns. It is a way to balance risk in a larger portfolio and acts as a hedge against unprecedented geopolitical, macroeconomic, and currency uncertainty. Graduating as a lawyer-doctor debt-free is kind of nice too.

Q:  Why did he come to you?

A:  Only he knows that. But aside from my international legal background and education, I think I have a proven and somewhat unique track record in private investment.  I’ve been at the front end of prior trends in distressed investment, like the REO-to-rental space, where I invested in distressed residential assets following the 2008 housing collapse on behalf of high net worth and private equity investors. Most recently, I founded Vanquish Banking, alternative banking, and finance start-up.

Q.  Do you think you are setting a precedent in litigation financing for potential windfall clients or most plaintiffs with substantial claims in the future?

A:  Perhaps. I think litigation financing is a relatively new phenomenon with enormous potential as an uncorrelated asset class that offers the type of outsized, risk-adjusted returns that private equity has grown accustomed to. It also brings some balance to justice, giving the Davids of the world a powerful litigation tool to fight the Goliaths.

An Interview With Jamie Sparks, Author of Tchad: Cooking for Conservation

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie Sparks.

Jamie Sparks graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris in 2006. Since then she has worked on some of the largest and most luxurious private yachts in the world, in well-known Michelin rated restaurants in France and Las Vegas and, most recently, a camp in one of the most sought after safari destinations on the African continent. She is the author of the soon to be published book, “Tchad: Cooking for Conservation,” whose proceeds will benefit conservation efforts in Africa.

What is your “backstory”?

I knew I wanted to travel and work abroad from a very young age. In 2014, just before I turned 19, I left the United States to move to Costa Rica, never having been to the country before and with a bit of high school Spanish behind me. I craved big adventures and was curious about other cultures. From there I moved to France to go to culinary school – the Parisians really hated me! A young, naive American who would speak random Spanish words in the place of French words she didn’t know! After almost two years in France and significantly increasing my French language ability, I skipped over to Las Vegas to work for Thomas Keller at Bouchon, which didn’t last long! My travel bug bit hard and, at that stage, I found my sea legs, working on-and-off for seven years on private yachts ranging in size from 60’ to 390’, which offered me a “free ride” to destinations all over the world; New Zealand, Tahiti, Galapagos, the Caribbean Islands, the Mediterranean coastline, East and West Coast USA and Alaska. During that time I met one of my dearest friends who introduced me to Africa and the organization I would eventually work for in Chad: African Parks Network. Working for this organization awakened a passion in me for conservation and it has inspired me to try and “make a difference” the only way I know how – through cooking!

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

The most interesting story that happened to me didn’t actually take place in a kitchen but did happen when I was working in the bush at Camp Nomade in Zakouma National Park, Chad. In the middle of the night, near the end of the 2017 season, I had returned from the restroom and crawled back into bed. I was drifting back to sleep when I heard what I thought was a buffalo slowly plowing through the bush near my tent. It kept coming closer and closer, very slowly. Then, all of a sudden, it stopped and I heard a deep, raspy panting noise. I knew immediately that it wasn’t a buffalo. I grabbed my torch, flipped over onto my stomach and pressed my face up against the mosquito net. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw when I turned on the light; a leopard, standing over its kill, looked back at me from just six feet away from my pillow. I quickly turned off the light, expletives sounding in my head, and curled up in my bed as far away from the netting as I could get! To my astonishment, the next thing I heard was crunching of bones. Instead of moving off, she made herself comfortable and started eating her dinner right there by my bed! She was very relaxed and not bothered at all when I turned my torch back on and watched her. I observed her for an hour and a half before she moved off into the bush, just before the sun came up. Only when the euphoria wore off did I come to the realization that she had probably watched me walk to and from the bathroom not only that night but many more before it. She brought her to kill my tent because she knew I wasn’t a threat; she knew me better than I knew her!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My most exciting project is the book I’ve just completed, “Tchad: Cooking for Conservation.” It is a cookbook/travelogue about my experiences working in the canvas tented kitchen in the middle of the bush. I’ve decided to donate $100,000 of the profits from the sales of the book to African Parks to help aid in their conservation efforts on the African continent. After that initial goal is reached, 25% of the profits will continue to flow to them.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

There are too many to list so I will give you two – one who is still alive and one who has passed away.

Ellen Degeneres because I believe she takes kindness to a new level, she’s always giving, supports the underdogs, and she just started a wildlife fund! I find her comedy is full of positivity and hope – something the world needs more of!

Nelson Mandela because I think everyone could learn from the tolerance and forgiveness he displayed after he was released from prison in 1990. After he won the presidential election in 1994, he could have easily turned around and divided South Africa through hate, but he didn’t, he successfully brought that country together and worked with the very people who had had a part in his imprisonment.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

When it comes to cookbooks, I absolutely love Ottelinghi books. I think he has found the perfect balance between storytelling and recipes – plus beautiful photography.

Otherwise, I tend to read non-fiction books, which focus mainly on psychology and human dynamics. When I do read fictional books I really enjoy Neil Gaiman’s work.

How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?

One of my goals with “Tchad: Cooking for Conservation” is to show people a lighter side of a country that otherwise gets mostly bad press. On top of being a cookbook, the book sheds light on what it’s like to live in one of the wildest parks on the African continent and praises the efforts of not only the African Parks Organization, which manages the park, but also the local Chadians who work tirelessly and with an obvious sense of pride while protecting their national heritage.

There seems to have been an increase in xenophobia in recent years and, to combat that, I think it’s important to try and draw people out of their bubbles in any way possible; to expand awareness of otherwise unknown worlds will increase tolerance and acceptance – I think that’s one of the most important things an author can do and I hope that in some small way my book does that.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?

The first month of writing was the most difficult for me. I found the project so daunting at the beginning that I allowed myself to procrastinate. I would advise people to just sit down and start writing – even if it is not something that is going to go in your book! It will help get the creative juices flowing and once you start you should have an easier time transitioning to more relevant content to your project.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Well, unfortunately, this isn’t an original idea, but it’s a brilliant one and I would love to try and do something similar one day. I was browsing Kickstarter campaigns the other day and came across a campaign called, “Ugandan stories to support literacy and cultural awareness.” It’s a children’s book made up of Ugandan folklore which has been translated into English and illustrated by Ugandan artists. For each book you buy, you will also be supplying one year of reading books to a child in Uganda. So not only does it have the potential to teach a young child about the culture of a place that is so incredibly different from theirs, but it is delivering reading materials to a child who needs it. I guess this idea goes back to my response to an earlier question, about expanding people’s awareness. If we start educating our children at a young age about different cultures and people, society will evolve into a much more accepting place.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

The book will consume your life.

For nine months, all I thought about was finishing the book. I treated it like a job, sometimes working on it 10+ hours a day and, many times, if I wasn’t working on the book, I felt guilty. But this may have more to do with my Type A personality than anything else!

No matter how thick you think your skin is, if someone criticizes the work, it’s going to sting.

During those nine months, I didn’t give myself any distance from the project, so when I started showing friends and family the first draft, even an innocent, “You should think about changing the format,” felt so critical that I shut down. I wish someone had told me to pull away once in a while.

Getting people to care about the book’s subject matter and/or mission is going to be much harder than you think.

I compare this one to starting a business, which I did back in 2014. Every person who has an idea for a business believes it is going to be great and that other people are going to find it equally as great. Most of the time that doesn’t happen! Finding your niche market and then approaching it from the right angle is important.

This is not a project you will one day tick off your “todo list.”

I love todo lists and, even more than the list itself, I love ticking things off my todo list. Because I am self-publishing, I have to get used to the idea that this is a long-term project and I may never get that gratifying “tick!”

Start promoting way before the book is even finished!

As I was writing, I had not even considered the need to start promoting the book. How could I promote something that wasn’t finished? I had this list of things I “needed to do” before I could start on the others. Next time the order will be reversed!

Movers & Shakers Interview with Lisa Song Sutton

Tell us your name and a little about yourself.

Lisa Song Sutton. I’m a serial entrepreneur and former Miss Nevada.

What exactly does your company do?

I own several companies including Sin City Cupcakes – Vegas’ #1 alcohol-infused cupcake company and Ship Las Vegas – an independent mailbox rental/shipping store that provides solutions for small business owners.

What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced is being underestimated. I was the shortest contestant and oldest contestant at the Miss Nevada pageant the year I won. I have consistently been one of the only women in the room at significant board meetings and negotiations. I think it’s a strength to be underestimated. Make sure you know your information inside and out so that when the time comes, you shine.

What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?

Be confident because they will make room for you at the table.

Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?

My biggest influences are primarily my parents. They taught me multi-tasking, discipline and frugality. Next are some incredible mentors I have in my life. I’m blessed to have extremely mentors who also go out of their way to give back to the community.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

I am incredibly grateful to my business partners and operational staff. I am not a one-woman show. I have operational partners and amazing staff in all my endeavors and without them, I wouldn’t have been able to help build these companies.

What do you see as your greatest success in life?

I am grateful to be in a position to reach other young women and hopefully empower them through my journey. The impact I can make within my community is my greatest success in life.

You can contact Lisa Song Sutton…

Movers & Shakers Interview with Tiffany Ann Beverlin

Tell us your name and a little about yourself.

Tiffany Ann Beverlin I am the CEO/Founder of DreamsRecycled

What exactly does your company do?

My company helps divorcees recycle their life after divorce. We have resources, community, articles and even the only marketplace in the world, selling items from divorce. We are a one-stop divorce shop for any man or women who need support.

What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
Explaining in our marketing that even though we do not advocate divorce, we truly believe and advocate that your divorce in a positive way, allow for both you, your ex and children to move on to new happier lives.

What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?

That it wouldn’t be easy. Entrepreneurialism isn’t for the faint of heart or those who are afraid to fail. The challenges will be daily and you will have to even on the worse day not want to give up.

Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?

I really think Sara Blakely, Bethenny Frankel and Barbara Cochran are positive and inspirational female entrepreneurs, they all much like me took the path least expected. I also think we need more female business and thought leaders, to influence the new generations of smart women.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

I am very grateful to my first investor, I think it takes a certain kind of person with vision to be the first to invest in a new and unknown company and first of its kind concept. I think not just the financial piece, but the belief my investor had in my concept and myself really is what I am most grateful for.

What do you see as your greatest success in life?

I think just the fact that I am a female CEO and founder is something to be proud of. We account for less than 5% of tech companies. It is certainly not what anyone would have thought I was capable of, during my 12 yrs as a stay at home mother. I have no business or tech background, I am 100% self-taught.

You can contact Tiffany Ann Beverlin by clicking the link(s) below.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Entrepreneurial Success Is Far From What You Know

Money never comes easily.

So many people want to start their own companies and become millionaires, and this is where the problem lies. What exactly are people doing to move from thought to action? The world is not what it once was 30 years ago. Everything has changed. Entrepreneurs are all around us now, but the concept is not what you think it is. People today want success more than ever, but they go about it in the wrong ways.

Gary Vaynerchuk, a successful entrepreneur and man in charge at VaynerMedia was a guest on the podcast Breaking into Startups, and he gave some new insights into our economy and how young people can take advantage.

Too much is fake out there

Reality TV shows and their brethren have been deceiving the average person for so many years now. They force-feed us unrealistic successes and paint is the norm. Now, everybody wants to live their best lives without even lifting a finger. It now seems the sexy thing to do right now is start a business. Nobody wants to go to college anymore, and no one is saving for retirement. We all want to be the next big entrepreneur who cashes in millions overnight.

“Starting a company has become standard, and I think that is insane and scary. It is like going to the NBA is standard,” Gary explains. Most people don’t know how difficult it is to start a new business. 99% of startups end up failing. Everyone isn’t built to run a business, and there are so May challenges to be faced.

The media has painted entrepreneurial success as something that can happen overnight, but the true stories of success will tell you of a journey filled with failures, barely breaking even and a lot of learning. You can’t learn how to be a successful  business in the classroom just as you can’t play sports just by reading about it. You have to go out there and practice.

A lot of people talk the talk, but very few are ready or willing to walk the walk. And this is why people end up failing.

The future of successful online businesses

Facebook and Uber are typical examples of the most successful businesses out there, and they were created by “kids.” There will be new concepts and technologies developed by young people in the future, but a very interesting market of million-dollar business people is predicted to come up in the not so distant future.

Gary is predicting that folks who are in their 60s and 70s and having grown up with the internet will be setting up online businesses that will rake in millions of dollars. They will outnumber those in their 20s because unlike these youngsters that think they know it all, these old folks do. They have been through so much in life and have observed the true workings of the world. They will be strategically positioned to solve many different problems

“I have this great idea. Why not turn a retirement home into an incubator — like a Facebook campus? These people are in the game, and they are going to live to 110 or 115 because of it.”


Debt is a slow killer, and people willingly enter into debt just to keep up a façade that serves them no good. Unfortunately, when you look at the math, it doesn’t add up, and this will not bode well for the economy.

A lot of young people are spending way above their means. Gary offered an example: “When a college grad is $213,000 in debt, has a job that pays $84,000 salary and is still able to borrow $500,000 to buy an apartment, it is over.” College debt will probably do as much damage as the housing crisis did back in 2008.

The education terrain has changed so much over the last five decades. Back in the 30s and 40s, students picked up the exact vocational skills that were required in their jobs. As time went on and colleges became popular, people set out in pursuit of the American dream, but very few understand how to apply the skills that are gained in their time in college. And we have so many people still struggling with college debt.

Sooner than later, colleges will have to pivot and rebrand the same way the banks did after the housing crisis. College debt is a real threat to the economy, and the dangers are imminent.

Money doesn’t come easy

Apart from people who win lotteries and inherit fortunes, there isn’t any scenario where money just magically falls on your lap. People have become infatuated with the idea of becoming millionaires without doing anything. A lot of businesses start and end up going into heavy debt before eventually failing. 99% of startups fail because people aren’t approaching it correctly.

Your story can be different, and Gary believes that kids who desire to build their businesses must learn to start off small and humble and be patient in the first 5 to 10 years and learn as much as they can. Armed with this knowledge and experience, you can then build your business correctly in your 30s and 40s and success will be yours.

“People complain. People whine. And the problem with these people is that they need to work. I think people are unbelievably soft to the ambition coming out of their mouths.”
If you want to be successful in business and make those millions, build a solid foundation for success in your early 20s and 30s and then spring forth from there.

Ava Ukulele Resonates with Kickstarter Backers

Ava Ukulele has officially launched their Kickstarter campaign for Ava, a travel-sized ukulele with an on-board speaker.

Ava was borne out of an adventuring musician’s need for a compact, durable, and powerful sounding instrument, Ava easily fits into a backpack so you never have to leave your instrument behind.  Ava is your essential adventure companion.

Ava’s unique design is optimized for maximizing sound performance while minimizing its physical footprint. An on-board speaker projects a bold acoustic sound suitable for jamming out with friends.  The patent-pending Turnkey Tuner system is cleverly located in the back, saving space that would otherwise be taken up by a headstock. With the forearm rest retracted, Ava measures just 16” long lengthwise and fits in an average backpack.

The Ava Ukulele was conceptualized and invented by design engineer, Candace Chen.  Chen is a classically trained pianist and violinist, and self-taught on the ukulele and guitar, with experience teaching music.  She holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from MIT and has been designing, engineering and manufacturing products at her entire career. Her work has been a part of beloved products used by millions for brands such as Apple, Jawbone, and PXG.  In addition, she has consulted for multiple startups in the consumer and sports tech fields in designing products people love at scale. Personal projects include electric violins, electric ukuleles, an electric longboard, a hammering robot and a modified electric pocket bike.  She is also an avid traveler, who had her own ukulele broken in flight.

“The ‘Aha’ moment came during one fateful trip,” says Chen.  “Because of baggage limits, I was forced to check my acoustic ukulele.  Even though I had carefully packed and cushioned the ukulele, when I reached my destination I discovered the TSA had opened the bag and repacked it poorly, breaking my beloved instrument in half!  I looked into buying a travel-sized ukulele, but none were able to match the sound of an acoustic uke”

“Ava” is derived from the word “avian,” (bird) — a reference to both the wing-shaped forearm rest which slides into the body — as well as constantly flying to different places.




  • Retractable Forearm Rest
  • Extended for comfortable strumming position
  • Retracted for compact storage

Patent-Pending Turnkey Tuner

  • Located in the rear and saves space that would otherwise be taken up by a headstock
  • The “key” magnetically attaches to the tuning posts pegs while tuning
  • Magnetic key stores away easily in the body when not in use
  • Easily fits in average sized backpack

Excellent Sound

  • Onboard speaker projects bold acoustic sound (volume control for different settings)
  • Powered by rechargeable long-lasting battery (up to 6 hrs)
  • ⅛” (3.5mm) audio jack output to earphones for private sound
  • High-quality nylon strings play warm chords and clear bright individual notes


  • Exterior made of a high-performance polymer blend making it impact-resistant, scratch-resistant, shatter-resistant, warp-resistant
  • Comes with a custom-designed soft gig bag, hard case sold separately



“Novako” comes from Nova (sun/star) and Ko (company). We are the star company, made up of everyday stars like you. We serve as a reminder to shine bright and be your best selves.

Novako Music was founded as a commitment to supporting musicians by building them up through collaboration and cross-promotion, to boost exposure to their talent.

We’ll always encourage people to jam out with others and to share songs with each other. We also hope to be the tipping point for people who are considering learning to play the ukulele!

The journey starts with a single note. So come along!

How to be a Likeable Boss

Best advice to get the best out of your workers and keep them motivated.

Robert Sutton is a Stanford business professor known for his expertise with bullies and jerks. In his popular book, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One that isn’t, he presented the issues around poor management in a fun and thought-provoking manner.

He has now written a new book and this time it is titled, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best and Learn from the Worst. In this book, he examines real-life organizations and gives examples to explain better how good bosses work and what ticks people off about bad bosses. He was able to have conversations with entrepreneurs to provide new insights into the difficult part of being self-aware.

Sutton made it known that writing the No Asshole Rule exposed him to so many stories about terrible bosses. People had the most issue with bosses who were perceived as being nice but also incompetent. That is a very tricky situation to navigate, so his book isn’t just about bosses that are mean but also covers bosses that don’t quite know what they are doing.

He talks about a story where a company that was in the business of motivational content had a boss who was faced with the crisis of sales going down. His way of motivating his employees was to waterboard one of them during a picnic and describe to his staff how he expects them to work as hard as the poor guy was struggling for air. Incredible stuff.

It is easier for people who have worked up the ladder of an organization to become bosses and handle it well because they know what it’s like to be in different stages in the organization. Also, people who leave other companies to come to work for new companies will typically have the same characteristics. Where the problem mostly lies is with those who run their ventures. They tend to have a difficult time understanding what motivates people and why they may not necessarily be as excited as they are.

A boss’s attitude can affect employees positively or negatively to varying extents. If you examine successful startups, you find that the bosses always have a long-term perspective and this is evident in the manner in which they operate. Attitude is infectious, and it can quickly rub off on every member of the staff. When employees feel valued and protected by an organization, it is not surprising to see them ready to do anything to see to the success of that venture. Loyalty is two thing. It is important for a boss to self-aware and listens to the people around him to pick up signals that will inform how he handles people and circumstances.

To be the best boss, you need to find ways of motivating people without pushing too hard, be a positive influence, and make employees feel like you’ve got their backs. Make them see your loyalty, and they will, in turn, give you theirs. It is also important for your employees to know what to expect. Try to be a little predictable so they can be comfortable in their day to day activities.

3 Ways Your Startup Can Avoid the Bankruptcy Trend

It’s an unfortunate and well-known fact that the majority of startups ultimately fail. Many entrepreneurs think that if they can only keep their business alive for the first few years, they’ll be out of the woods. The truth is that more than half of businesses don’t make it past the first five years.

While this is especially true for small companies still learning their industry, many multi-million dollar companies—the likes of which can make investors drool—have found themselves in a state of bankruptcy. Just look at Avaya, Kodak, Karhoo, and a plethora of other impressive tech companies.

Big or small, countless companies that seemed relatively stable to outsiders have gone bankrupt. Why? It could be a simple lack of incoming revenue that stunts growth, or even the result of a product line not evolving to keep up with competition and becoming obsolete. It could also be overvaluation, poor investments, or expanding a business too soon.

Creating and growing a business can be a tricky balance. You want to move fast, but not faster than your budget can afford, and you have to spend money to make money. But where do you stop? Here are three tips to help keep your business above water and thriving.

1. Take one step at a time and focus on priorities.

It’s easy to spend cash faster than we can earn it. Many companies want to do everything from the very beginning. They end up spending thousands of dollars on trade shows, airfares, marketing efforts, prototypes, employees, and more.

Startups can burn through a majority of their investors’ cash before they see any return on their investments. One startup, Beepi, recently closed its doors. It was a marketplace for people to buy and sell used cars, and while they had raised almost $150 million in funding, they were spending close to $7 million a month at their peak. In business, it’s crucial to understand what you NEED and what you can do without.

John Pope, co-founder, and CEO of Jive Communications, recently acquired by LogMeIn, explained how he and his co-founders focused all of their time and energy on their product first. Founded in 2006, they didn’t even establish a marketing department until 2013. Instead, Pope said that everyone on their small team wore multiple hats and penny-pinched wherever possible.

2. Remember that money is made to be spent—responsibly.

Reinvest in your company. Most startups need to make this their primary focus. Why? Because new businesses can’t compete with the big dogs yet. If a business plans to be a serious contender in the marketplace, an aggressive expansion strategy means aggressive reinvestment — though it varies from company to company.  

Have a strategy and apply funds according to your development plan and company needs. Many businesses start by making improvements. Could you improve your infrastructure? Streamline manufacturing? Have customers asked for improved product features and capabilities?

These different endeavors can help increase your profits and decrease expenses. So with your future and growth in mind, reinvest responsibly.

3. Have a plan in place for paying off debt.

Debt can be a great way to raise money to finance the growth and expansion of a business, but it can also be dangerous. As a business owner, you need to have a plan in place to pay it off, and you’ll want to start early. With personal debt, you generally want to pay off the loans with the highest interest rate first, but with a business, it’s a little different.

Once you’ve paid your employees, you can focus on overdue bills from key suppliers. To improve cash flow and allow yourself more money to pay down debt, it can be a good strategy to delay payment to suppliers. However, once you’ve reached the latest deadline, pay off these outstanding invoices as fast as possible. These debts may not cost you interest, but they can be costly for your business’s reputation.

Next, you will want to pay off debts that impose steep penalties if you fail to pay on time — particularly if you provided a personal guarantee or the debt was secured with valuable collateral. Only after these steps will you want to focus on ranking and paying off debts by interest rate, paying them down one at a time while making minimum payments on the others.

4. Understand that there’s always an opportunity cost.

Once a business starts seeing a profit, many feel that they should spend more — even when they don’t have to. Focus on cash flow and growth rather than impressing people. Of course, you want your employees and office to be comfortable, but does it need to be excessive? Instead of throwing things out when they break, consider repair costs. Instead of staying in a five-star hotel while on a business trip, stay in a comfortable, but a reasonably priced three-star hotel.

Once you start opting for the easier, fancier, or more fun route, you’ll find that it’s hard to go back. And there’s always an opportunity cost. Consider the money that could have been made by reinvesting it back into the company to improve your product offering (and avoid becoming obsolete) or putting it somewhere more valuable.

There’s a healthy balance in everything. Don’t discard your frugality as you become successful. Big expenses should and will be made with the business’s strategy in mind. Simply remember that your startup doesn’t have to do everything right away. Take one step at a time, spend money responsibly, and take a good look at your opportunity costs.

Likability is a Female Boss Trait, it is a Fact!

The meaning of the mean and nice girls has always been popular, even in the pop cultures, for example, Mary Ann and Ginger, Betty and Veronica and so forth. But today, things have changed a lot. Women are always collaborating and supporting each other, instead of competing.

Fran Hauser, former president of digital Times Inc. and start-up investor, discusses the girl’s notion in her new book. She questions if we need to leverage a tough girl’s character to be a successful woman. In her book, she is trying to explain the common of being a nice girl.

So, without any further delay, let’s get the 6-core concept of the book- The myth of the nice girl’.

• Self-promotion can also be performed with humility

Taking credit for your work is an art, not just you have to take the credits of your work, you do need to ensure that you are humble, and inclusive while in it.

For example, at one page of the book, she adds and suggests that while promoting yourself on social media, be what you are. Being authentic is the key.

• People-pleasing should not be confused with being nice

Just because you are people-pleasing doesn’t ensure that you are a nice person. Pleasing people requires a complex persona and sometimes will even make you lie or manipulate. And, it certainly doesn’t make you nice. For example, in her context on the office-work environment, being afraid to give true feedback (even if being bad) doesn’t imply that you are a nice person, or you are being nice. Or, lying to your boss just to please him/her is not the kind of attire for being nice.

• Being sorry for everything is not good

We were taught as a child to say ‘sorry’ for every mistake we ever did. But, we should consider the fact that saying sorry in every matter implies that we are doing injustice to ourselves only. Sorry makes us weak at few points. For example, at certain points, even if we are right, we try to avoid the scene with our senior in offices by saying sorry. But, do we apologize? No, we do not.

• Learn to say no while being kind

Consider an instance where we are asked to perform a work by our Boss in office, even if we are indulged and wired up with a different kind of work. So should we say kindly answer yes, or straightforwardly reject the request?
Helping others has some certain boundaries. And, we must learn to say ‘No,’ but we must be kind at the same time. According to the author ‘Hauser’ of ‘The myth of the nice girl,’ here’s how to sound kind while saying No: Instead of directly saying ‘No,’ try saying, ‘I’m afraid I can’t accept that, but here’s what I can offer….’

• Being ‘Nice’ implies understanding the feeling of others and taking the appropriate action

Nice sounds like a very simple word, right? But, it has a deep meaning and is much more than being kind or helpful. According to the author, being a nice person implies that you are empathetic, collaborative and have the required confidence.

Nice is more like a combination of strength and kindness, and when you do learn to apply both at the same time, you are more likely to be a successful person.

• Being ‘Nice’ will lead you to a long-term win

If you are genuinely nice and leads the show with understanding and gratitude, you get to build a relationship. And, it ultimately helps you to develop a working relationship in the workplace, and people will like to work with you.

So always try being a confident, understanding, assertive and grateful person to win the hearts and kindness of people around you, because this is what helps us to build a relationship that stands forever.