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Daanish Azim – The Phonepreneur

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Earlier this week I was able to sit down with Daanish Azim as we discussed his journey and how he got to where he got today.

  • Hey Daanish, how old are you, where are you from, and what is it that you do?

I just turned 23 years old last month, I’m from Chicago, IL. I Currently run few online businesses such as an amazon dropshipping store, I’m building up an entrepreneur clothing brand, and I resell phones for profit as well as teach others my methods on how to flip phones for profit.

  • What was the first entrepreneurial experience you had that you can remember?

The first entrepreneurial experience I would say I had was buying and reselling phones when I was around 17/18 years old just so I can make some extra income so I can help my dad as he was going through some job issues. But as my first business owner venture, I would say it really began with joining a network marketing company.

  • When did you know that you wanted to work for yourself and go a different route?

I knew this at a pretty young age, but it wasn’t really until my last year of high school, that I really started studying the number of people who went to college and the amount of debt they took on for college and how long it took people to actually pay back all their student loans while they were maybe even working at a job they don’t even like. This is when I knew I had to figure out ways to work for myself and take a different route than the majority of people. Also, a quote that really stuck with me that I heard from a successful multi-millionaire was “watch the masses, do the opposite” this quote till this day sticks in my head.

  • How did you get into flipping phones?

It honestly happened pretty randomly, I was always amused by the fact of flipping things to make a profit rather than just working a job to make $10/hr(or whatever per $/hr). So as I was one day looking to buy a new phone I found a nice phone at that time called a Moto X for like $150 which I knew was a good deal, so I ended up driving about an hour with my dad to go buy the phone, pretty randomly I decided to list the phone for like $280 on eBay the next day and literally the phone sold within 24 hours of my eBay listing and I was in shock. Imagine I bought a phone for 150 and sold online for 280 without much work or time involved and netted about $100 profit on that one sale, that’s when I knew there was money to be made with flipping phones and that’s how my journey started with this side hustle!

  • How have you had so much success in your industry? 

In simple terms I was able to figure out how to flip a phone for a profit and by doing it enough times and learning through trial and error I was able to understand this hustle A-Z and by now I’ve been able to buy well over 300-400 phones in the past few years and flip them for a profit and done well over 150k in sales with it while never having a warehouse or shop or anything, just straight out of my house mainly just leveraging my phone to do it,  And now I’ve been able to start teaching some students 1on1 and coming out with a course soon to teach people how to resell phones for a profit to make additional income.

  • What would you say your 3 core values are? 

My 3 core values would have to be integrity, responsibility, and self-improvement.

  • How have you leveraged personal branding and social media to grow your business?

I had just opened up a business Instagram page like less than 2 years ago and I’m so glad I did. By posting content and being my true-self and connecting with others it has helped in many ways. I’ve built some great connections with other like-minded individuals, been able to partner up with other people just leveraging my personal brand as well as being able to take on a few students who I’ve never met but  just by leveraging and building up my personal brand it has given me so many opportunities and been able to connect and make some great friendships through it.

  • What advice would you give a young person looking to get started in entrepreneurship?

One of my biggest advice would be to just get started! Most young people tend to think more and act less. I would also tell them to focus more on self-education and first start by investing into themselves and start to go to any entrepreneurial events they can get a chance to go to and try to find a mentor/coach who is where they’d like to be and is willing to guide and help them.

  • What do you want your life to look like in 5 years? 

5 years from now my goal is to be totally financially independent, making a positive impact, speaking on stages, helping my parents in any way, having a partner, traveling the world, giving lots back to charities, and just overall being fulfilled while still chasing a bigger dream and vision for myself.

John Danes is a 19 Year Old Entrepreneur from Nashville, Tennessee. After being expelled from high school, John went on to start reselling rare sneakers and clothing. Not only did he see success in business, but he learned many lessons along the way. Now, he is the CEO of 99MEDIA, which is a top digital marketing company in Nashville. He is also the host of top 100 business podcast, The No Excuses Show, where he has interviewed millionaires and influencers all over the world.

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Freddie Achom on why effective listening is a key leadership skill

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Freddie Achom - effective listening

Frederick Achom is an entrepreneur and co-founder of the Rosemont Group Capital Partners, a private investment group with a portfolio including renewables, financial services, and digital tech.

What’s the most important skill for company founders, start-up owners, dynamic entrepreneurs? Passion? Communication? Business acumen? All of these are important, of course, but listening is the game-changer.

Research shows that just 10% of us listen properly. That is, a whopping 90% of us fail to listen effectively. Of course, we usually technically ‘listen’ but we find our minds wandering to other subjects.

Effective listening is vital for business leaders


In my career, across my businesses, investments and partnerships, I have always found listening to be the main driver of growth. Staying open, tuning in to other people and, above all, listening to our customers, helps drive business success. Most people assume they’re good listeners but taking the time to really master this deceptively difficult skill can pay dividends.

Bain&Company carried out a survey in 2016 on leadership traits. They asked 2,000 employees to rate 33 separate leadership skills and traits. Respondents selected ‘centredness’ as the number one characteristic they appreciate in a business leader. In this context, ‘centredness’ means the person demonstrating the ability to truly be present and give their full attention to the other person. It’s about making employees feel heard and valued.

Business leaders must make sure that every team member is listened to equally. That means the quiet ones who can be tentative about coming forward. It also means those who demonstrate different communication styles.

Don’t overestimate your listening ability


It’s all too easy to pay more attention to speaking our voice rather than listening to others. This is particularly the case with business founders, entrepreneurs and start-up owners. We tend to be extroverted personalities, with ‘Type A’ communication styles.

I admire anyone who can clearly communicate their thoughts to a room full of people, as and when they crop up. But I admire business leaders more when they really listen to other people. Listening allows an insight into new perspectives. It helps to understand what’s not being said and to find out what’s missing from the puzzle.

According to development advisor Melissa Daimler, there’s more than one listening style. In fact, she says there are three different listening levels: internal listening, focused listening and 360-degree listening. Internal listening is where we concentrate on our own thoughts rather than the person speaking. Focused listening is where we listen but don’t fully connect and so miss the subtext. The final level, 360-degree listening is where we listen to what the other person says and how they’re saying it.

How well do you listen to your employees?


And while we may assume that we’re always at the highest level of listening, cognitive bias says we probably aren’t. This is why it’s good to check in every now and again and see where you measure up to the four listening qualities, as defined by leadership consultants Joseph Folkman and Jack Zenger:

  1. Positivity – good leaders are able to give constructive, thoughtful feedback. If the other person thinks you’re listening properly, they are far more likely to take your feedback on board.
  2. Cooperation – bad listeners use the time when others are speaking to construct a combative correction or statement. This leads to a defensive, unproductive conversation. Feedback should flow in both directions more or less equally.
  3. Support – effective listeners boost the other person’s confidence during the conversation.
  4. Participation – great listeners ask questions and delve deeper into the subject.

How to become a better listener


If we’re busy, distracted or stressed, it’s all too easy to pay less attention than we should. During those times you realise you haven’t truly heard your colleague, team member or employee, use the following techniques to boost your listening effectiveness. Some sound obvious, but they’re simple to miss.

  • Make direct eye contact – this shows confidence and respect for the person speaking. Don’t let your gaze stray to your computer screen or phone and switch off notifications. The other person should have your total, undivided attention.
  • Ask open questions – if you ask questions that can only have a closed answer, you’re effectively stifling the conversation. This is likely to leave the other person frustrated and feeling unvalued.
  • Allow them to finish – don’t be tempted to speak over them and try not to even frame your response until they’ve stopped talking. Pauses are OK, don’t feel you have to immediately fill any thoughtful silence.
  • Try to hear what isn’t being said – around 80% of all human communication is nonverbal. If you pick something up from a facial expression, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Watch your speaking/listening ratio – if you’re not leading the conversation, watch how much you speak. As the business leader, you’re likely to automatically take control of the conversation. This isn’t ideal, when you need to listen to the other person.

Effective listeners work better in teams, learn and absorb information faster and contribute to a workable culture. They also tend to interact with clients, customers and colleagues better. Leading by example as an effective, meaningful listener will encourage your workforce to do the same. Cultivate this skill within your organisation for more effective business growth.

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THE MANDALAY GROUP SHARES NEW UPDATES FOR #PAY TAMPA BAY

The Mandalay Group today announced updates for the upcoming #PAY TAMPA BAY event, including additions to the advisory board, two of the keynote speakers for the February 20, 2020 Conference as well as a new community partnership in the Florida technology corridor.

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The Mandalay Group today announced updates for the upcoming #PAY TAMPA BAY event, including additions to the advisory board, two of the keynote speakers for the February 20, 2020 Conference as well as a new community partnership in the Florida technology corridor.

The theme for 2020 event is “Banking, Blockchain and Beyond”. Event proceedings are being co-sponsored by BlockSpaces, a Tampa based blockchain technology innovation studio. This unique event will be staged at the new Embarc Collective innovation hub in downtown Tampa.

“We’re excited to enter into these new partnerships leading up to the event” said Bruce Burke, CEO of The Mandalay Group. “These high-profile supporters and contributors will help amplify our message and attract attention and investment to our thriving technology community.”

Andrew Morris, Founder & CEO of new consultancy The Fintech Agenda LLC, will be joining the #PAY Board of Advisors. An expert in the technologies and trends shaping the future of financial services, payments and commerce, Andrew serves on multiple boards and is an advisor to several fintech organizations, including the Technology Association of Georgia’s Fintech Society and the HOPE Global Forums.

“Having served for 5 years as Chief Content Officer for the Money20/20 conferences, and thus helping to build the leading fintech events globally, I have seen how powerful events can be to move industries and companies forward,” Andrew explains.

“The #PAY event brand is in the right space at the right time. I’m excited to play a role moving forward in helping #PAY produce world-class events exploring the innovation that will occur over the next decade in payments.”

#PAY also announced several presenters for the event, including keynote speaker Matteo Rizzi, an unconventional Entrepreneur, Investor, Innovator and Author of the new book “Talents and Rebels, Dealing with Corporate Misfits”.

This book is an inspirational journey where – hopefully – misfits get a spot to be heard, and everyone gets an opportunity to understand a different innovation perspective. For three years in a row, Financial News has nominated Matteo as one of the “40 most influential Fintech executives in Europe”.

Matteo will be joined by executives from Arival, the first fintech bank. Arival was founded in 2017 by a dynamic trifecta consisting of two seasoned fintech venture capitalists and one young fintech entrepreneur.

Regarded for the team’s prior investments in pioneer digital banks such as Simple, Moven, Fidor, & RocketBank – they decided it was time to take the bull by the horns & build their own. CEO, Vladislav Solodkiy, CFO, Igor Pesin and COO, Jeremy Berger will participate in the #PAY event. Arival now boasts a pre-money valuation of more than $14.8 million.

“We’re proud to have so many fintech leaders as headline speakers for #PAY,” said Rosa Shores, Co-Founder of BlockSpaces. “These innovators will explore the most transformative technologies and ideas reshaping the banking, fintech and payments industry. 

We look forward to shining a global spotlight on Tampa Bay as an emerging fintech hub and, once again, show the nation we are a “go-to” city for blockchain innovation.”

The Mandalay Group also announced a new community partnership with the Florida based non-profit, Synapse. #PAY will host a panel session focused on Fintech investment during the Synapse Summit being held February 11-12, 2020 at Amalie Arena. Leading VC’s, institutional investors and well-funded fintech firms will provide information and insight with key strategies for successful exits.

“Synapse is glad to partner with #PAY to ensure our audience of upwards of 6,000 attendees from all parts of Florida’s innovation ecosystem have the chance to learn about the growing fintech and payments industry,” said Lauren Prager, Synapse Vice President of Community Engagement.

The #PAY TAMPA BAY agenda offers keynote sessions from global leaders in the banking, fintech and paymentsindustry, with more than dozen sessions on topics ranging from opportunities in blockchain, to shifting consumer payment preferences, digital identity, innovative payment solutions and how these changes will reshape the banking, payments and commerce industry.

Reserve your spot today at: www.paytampabay.eventbrite.com

Industry innovators count on #PAY to connect them with key decision-makers at financial institutions, venture capitalists, and fintech startups as well as service providers, analysts and media.

Get your brand message in front of executive-level stakeholders and buyers. #PAY TAMPA BAY has opportunities for speakers, sponsors and supporters.

For more information visit: www.paysymposium.com/contact

About The Mandalay Group

The Mandalay Group is a consortium of professionals focused on accelerating the future in the banking, fintech and payments industry globally. TMG is well known for bringing together thought leaders, innovators and decision-makers from across the financial services industry to discuss the tsunami of transformation changing the face of finance.

Attendees benefit from access to the world’s foremost experts focused on emerging payments technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptocurrencies, e-commerce, blockchain, cognitive platforms, digital identity and experiential customer engagement

Media Contact: The Mandalay Group: [email protected] (727) 612-5775

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Electronic Tattoos for Bio Authentication

Electronic tattoos might sound futuristic but the industries are adopting them very quickly, especially for their use in bio authentication.

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Bio Authentication
Bio Authentication

Bio Authentication: If you thought that facial recognition, fingerprint, and iris scanner is future ways of bio authentication. Wait till you hear the details about electronic tattoos. They have been around for a few years now but haven’t found the commercial success that the other forms of verifications have achieved. However, when you read their benefits you’d probably be looking to invest in a stock of these stamps.

Here is a succinct introduction to electronic tattoos. 

What is an electronic Tattoo?

E-tattoos, also known as Biostamps, is a bit different than the regular ink tattoos that inject within the skin. This slap-on, lightweight, gossamer and flexible electronic stickers have circuits and thin structures to carry and record information. Normally made of highly stretchable silicon, these stamps applly with a rubber stamp or bandage material. They normally have an electronic circuit and antennae.

“The technique is simple. The tattoos are ultrathin, very stretchable, and inexpensive to produce.”

  • Carmel Majidi, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

What is a smart tattoo?

A smart tattoo is simply a small computer built into the stamp. They help authenticate access to tablets and phones. Using these tattoos, one can easily connect with an electronic device. Using lasers they can cut into about any shape to fit in different devices and put on different surfaces.   

Is Bio Authentication through e-tattoos secure?

These tattoos create out of necessity due to a lack of security for logging in or getting access. In a way, they are making authentication more secure, so, by default, they are more secure than other methods of verification. They are very effective means of ensuring security, of say, public gatherings or events where only selected people can enter. Also, by storing medical history in these tattoos, they can be highly effective in communicating patient’s medical records with the hospital staff. 

Where are electronic tattoos being used?

E-tattoos have not found commercial success yet but they are gradually making their mark. At certain security checkpoints such as building entrances or entry to exclusive clubs. You might find these tattoos is use to verify the identity of the individual(s), and for biometric sign-in for different devices.

One name, Motorola, is making headlines in creating smart tattoos, with another one called vitamin identification. Simply put, this is a pill you swallow, which sends off signals, 18 bits, that can connect the person to surrounding devices. 

Why e-tattoos is the craze suddenly?

Every technological revolution precedes by a materials revolution. For example, the computer revolution was triggere and facilitated by semiconductors, silicon, in particular. Similarly, these tattoos are rapidly becoming popular because of the advent of flexible electronics. 

The revolution was fueled by the flexibility of these chips since complex systems and boards require bendable material to go around certain materials or fit into small devices. In fact, the reason for compact and small devices was made possible due to flexible electronics. So, roll, stretch and flex these boards, and make the devices that existed in the imagination alone, come to life.

Where are these modern stamps used?

Besides using these stamps for entrance or exit from offices or biometric login for electronic devices, they can be pasted onto the wrists of patients. Now their entire medical history is with them, easily accessible at any hospital or by any doctor with the correct equipment.

Medical tattoos can also read the vitals off of a patient. And with time, they are increasingly becoming sophisticated. There are other interesting uses of these tattoos too. For example…

Google has bought patents of tattoos that help with lie detection. It’s not difficult to imagine their usage in interrogation and courtrooms (perhaps). Similarly, they have a patent for another tattoo that one can stamp on their throat for easily communicating with electronic devices.  Another company Electrozyme uses a different approach, it helps monitor the athletic performance of athletes. It measures stress and lactate levels.

Smart tattoos will become prevalent in the near future. They offer tremendous benefits beyond ID validation, both for security and the health of people.

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