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Interviews

Dyar Al-Ashtari’s 5 Best Tips On Being a Young CEO

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23-year-old Dyar Al-Ashtari is the CEO of a digital firm, Pivot Flow LLC. A startup that he launched at the age of 17, with his partner. The digital firm specializes in content creation, search engine optimization, and website development. Today, Pivot Flow LLC is worth almost 25 million US dollars and Al-Ashtari himself is worth 3 million US dollars.

 

Dyar Al-Ashtari achieving such career highlights at the young age of 23 is no small feat. That is why we caught up with him to share some inspiration and advice to young upcoming CEOs. These are his 5 best tips on being a young CEO.

 

On Life

 

Dyar Al-Ashtari believes that the most important tip on being a successful CEO, especially a young one, is to understand that success in your workspace is not the goal; the goal is success in life. Real success is not limited to financial success but also entails succeeding at having a wholesome life. Every other aspect of your life has to be on par with the kind of business success you want to achieve as a CEO. And the only way to achieve this is to integrate work ethic into your life.

 

It is not enough to demonstrate a strong work ethic at the office and within work forums only. Replicate that high level of organization, consistency, determination, productivity, and cooperation in all other aspects of your life. Al-Ashtari made his strong work ethic part of his lifestyle since the inception of his first business at 13 years old. Today, he attributes the success he has achieved as a young CEO to this decision.

 

On Goals

 

The biggest challenge that young entrepreneurs face today when coming up is being coined “too ambitious”. There are only a few people who will believe in their vision and even fewer people willing to support them. Dyar Al-Ashtari and his partner faced the same challenge when getting their startup off the ground but they did not give up. To the young entrepreneurs, he says “aim for the stars, you might just reach them.” Nobody believed Al-Ashtari would generate his first million dollar profit at the age of 18, but he believed it and he did it.

 

In his journey as a young CEO, one of the skills that have ensured Al-Ashtari’s consistent progress as an entrepreneur is the ability to set realistic deadlines. As a leader, you have to be aware of your capabilities and those of your employees both at a comfortable pace and under healthy pressure. This should dictate how you schedule tasks and set deadlines. Otherwise, you and your workforce will be under too much pressure, fatigued and suffer from burnouts leading to decreased productivity. And as the CEO, learn to listen to your mind and body, when you need a break take one, recharge and come back at a hundred percent.

 

On Leadership

 

Mistakes and setbacks are inevitable on any entrepreneurial journey. Dyar Al-Ashtari affirms that as a young CEO you will make numerous mistakes, some easily overlooked, some costly. And as the leader, you will be tasked with the responsibility of moving the business forward after such challenges. This will only be possible if you change your perspective. View your mistakes as less of failures and more of lessons. Take a step back, do your assessment, understand the lesson, refine your process and get back to your journey.

 

As the CEO you should always be at the forefront of learning. In today’s technological era, change is rampant and being caught unawares is not an option. So, in the struggle to remain relevant, you must actively and constantly learn, change and adapt. You have to know how to use the new tools from today to your advantage and your company’s. Your company’s survival and relevance will be dependent on the ability to provide solutions to today’s problems.

 

In Conclusion

 

Dyar Al-Ashtari has proven that being a successful young CEO and a successful entrepreneur is possible. He maintains that the journey, while well worth it, is not for the lighthearted. There will be challenges, but these 5 tips should set the foundation for you to overcome them. Al-Ashtari hopes that he inspires the next young CEOs by sharing his journey. It is your time to get out there and be great.

Entrepreneurship

Derek Hurtado – Building a Vacation Rental Business

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Recently, I sat down with Derek Hurtado for an interview. Derek is a social media influencer and owns a vacation rental company. We talked about his business model, how it works, and much more.

  • Hey Derek, what is the basic rundown of the Airbnb Business Model?

Derek: Our model tends to differ from the conventional by providing both a higher ROI and better quality tenants. To build out a luxury brand of vacation rentals, location is key! Our first step involves researching popular markets both on a city level and a zip code level. This allows us to use data from our research to best predict profitable properties. Once we have narrowed in on our location, we investigate which available properties will perform to our standards. We create an analysis of our predicted revenue and compare that to the overall expenses. Did I mention we don’t buy our properties? We are looking for 12-month rental properties where we sign a lease and usually pay a month or two upfront to appease the landlord. After that, we begin furnishing, decorating and stocking the unit to be staged for guests! Then we are ready to go live! As guests arrive and cycle through our property, we have cleaning and guest correspondence semi-automated. This removes the need to ever be on the location of properties and reduces our admin duties to only 10 hours a week!

  • Where did you discover the business model, and how did you start?

Derek: Vacation rentals have been around for decades! It is only recently that technology has been booming in this industry. This has allowed a big increase in creating monthly cash flow. As we grow our businesses and long term investments.. cash flow becomes ever more necessary. My business partner had millions of dollars in equity on real estate projects, yet that equity doesn’t pay the bills. This business model initially allows a consistent cash flow for those working on long term projects which is our exact case. As we get into bigger markets like resorts and commercial real resale projects, AirBnB allows us to get our bills paid and cash flow to spend each month!

  • What is the ideal rental?

Derek: The biggest fear of new Airbnb hosts are the nightmare guests. About 90% of bad guests can be avoided by the ideal rental and its setup. We look specifically for higher-end rentals that allow us to bring in high-income business guests or families. When you are dealing with higher income guests, they tend to be more respectful and tidy. Even offering a printer in the property will attract business guests. Those are the guests we are trying to build long term relationships with.

  • You own a social media agency, Pivotal Point. How have you leveraged social media to grow your rental business?

Derek: A great benefit of building your brand online is to create new connections. Although Airbnb is a completely different industry, human networking and connections are important no matter what space. Being able to leverage my brand, I have made deals and setup potential investors for scaling the rental business. Applying branding strategies to the properties will promote community and clarity on who we serve. Which are high-income business owners and their families.

  • What is an ideal rental location?

Derek: Recently most people are afraid to jump in with all these regulations and potential laws banning properties. Truth is that there are only a few cities that are strict on their policies. Just search on Airbnb for a location you are interested in and you can see 1000s of results that show up. Any place that has high traffic for travelers is ideal.

  • What are your plans with your business?

Derek: We are going to rapidly scale our AirBnB unit numbers to the 100s soon. As well as build out our new management agency that will take care of the property owner’s units that are suffering. We will take on management for a small fee and improve their revenue, sparing them the time!

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Entrepreneurship

Learn To Sit Back And Observe, Not Everything Needs A Reaction With Mitch London

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What’s your backstory?

I’m Mitch London and I am Wilderness Expert and a Lover of Jesus. I help men gain clarity in their purpose, grow in their leadership and walk in their God given Identity by slaying the giants of self-doubt, limiting belief systems and removing false ideas about their identity.

 I excelled in just about every area in life. Had a great marriage, wonderful kids, ascended to the top in just about every career I had……but it was empty. I was chasing a “task” and calling it a purpose. It wasn’t until I focused in on my Identity that things really opened up. My business quadrupled, marriage has never been better. I’m living life in a way that best suits me.

 After years in the corporate world and feeling the pull of Entrepreneurship I successfully built a location independent 6 figure marketing agency. Giving me the option to live life with purpose and intentionality. As a Sales and Marketing Innovator, I have over 15 years’ experience in Sales & Marketing as well as 10+ years in a coaching/mentor capacity.

 I have taken my love for the outdoors and knowledge of entrepreneurship, business and leadership and combined them to create a platform for men to breakthrough self-doubt, limiting beliefs and to finally face the giants on their path to success and truly excel in life, family and business.

 

What made you decide to choose this career path?

I have always had a passion for the outdoors and the transformative power of being in the wilderness. I have seen so many men struggling to find their purpose and calling in life but the day to day noise is too overwhelming and deafening to be able to quiet the mind enough to seek direction. Knowing that I can help guide and encourage men to find their calling and purpose in life drives me. It creates a ripple effect in the family and community. 

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that? 

Yes, thinking that “swag” is helping to build your business. And the promotional materials are needed even before you have a business developed. Promoting something that doesn’t really exist yet is just a waste of money…lol Ordering t-shirts and stickers makes you feel like a real business until you realize that’s the only thing your customers have to purchase from you.

 

What do you think makes your company/personal brand stand out?

The combination of breakthrough and mindset coaching that take place in the wilderness is a unique offering. By not only encouraging men but placing them in a location to make that transformation has been an incredible combination.

 

What’s a quote that you live by? 

“Man is not looking for pleasure. He is looking for meaning. When he can’t find meaning he drugs himself with pleasure.” – Viktor Frankl

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Interviews

Here’s How Companies Can Eliminate Dead Stock with Print on Demand Vs the Traditional Route

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It is no secret that many companies have at one point in running business dealt with a dead stock problem. You have goods stored that are no longer being bought. When you have dead stock, the business will most likely suffer a reduced cash flow that might have gone into more meaningful use. Dead stock also uses up precious storage space and other expenses that tag along. 

Not all companies, however, have had to deal with a dead stock problem. 

Teelaunch, a print on demand fulfillment company is making it possible for its customers to completely do away with dead stock. As such, the company is saving clients up to 30 percent, money they would have previously had to spend on expenses related to bulk production, transportation and storage. The following article discusses the print on demand model and how it can help companies eliminate a dead stock problem.

How To Avoid Dead Stock With Print on Demand.

The most important benefit of print on demand is the elimination of product storage costs, inventory, and raw material. While the inventory of finished goods was considered an asset in the traditional production method, it is not the case with print on demand. The latter has changed the status quo and now inventory is simply referred to as dead investment, waste, or in the fairest description possible, unnecessarily incurring additional costs.

With print on demand, a company is able to create products quickly and put them up for sale in a very short time. You just need to have the design ready, and as a matter of fact, you can use one design for several products. Once you have adopted print on demand there will be nothing like holding an inventory. As such, the business enjoys low investment and even lower risk. 

Design, Test, Sell, and Grow

Though critics have attempted to downplay print on demand by claiming that it is not as profitable as the traditional route, the former boasts of some unparalleled advantages. 

Firstly, print on demand adds value to finished products due to its increased efficiency.  

Secondly, the fact that you are not holding any inventory physically, it will be easier to add or remove products, test new ideas, and pivot business strategies. 

Thirdly, testing a design or a product like print on demand companies do allows them to avoid making costly mistakes. 

For instance, in the traditional method, a company would produce hundreds or thousands of products on a specific design, only to find out that they made a mistake in the process and now the products cannot go to the market. 

With the print on demand model, however, such mistakes are almost unheard of. Once the first product is done, if it is not up to the client’s specifications, edits can be done on the spot thereby avoiding a massive loss or stored products without a buyer. 

The print on demand model also allows the business to grow in terms of innovation. The reason behind this is that with customers always coming up with unique ideas for the products they want, the business can only steer in the right direction in terms of keeping up to date with the latest industry trends.

Eliminate The Traditional Guesswork

In the traditional bulk production model, companies had to invest lots of money in inventory management. There was always the need to accurately predict demand for a product, which in most cases ended up creating a dead stock problem for producers. 

Companies that still invest in forecasting demand are no better than any other establishment applying pure guesswork in business. Forecasting involves too many variables that make the process all the more unsure and unreliable. Print on demand is a surer and less risky production method. Companies that choose print on demand over the traditional route don’t have to go through the trouble of projecting the future. 

Conclusion

The key to avoiding dead stock in any business lies in first identifying the cause of ‘death’, and then monitoring and preventing future dead stock. The only sure way of hitting these two birds with one stone is to change from the traditional route to a print on demand model. 

 

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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