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How To Work From Anywhere & Travel The World For Free: With Zach Benson

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The life of an entrepreneur is a very hard and lonely road that most people often quit because of how hard and inconsistent it can be. Sure, there are a lot of successful entrepreneurs out there but there are even more that are barely getting by or some that are in massive debt. When it comes to social media it seems as if every entrepreneur and influencer is wealthy and happy but that’s not always true. It takes years of hard work and dedication for most entrepreneurs to even be able to hit the 6 figure mark. 

To be able to work from anywhere using just a laptop and a phone is the goal every entrepreneur wants to reach, but most don’t have what it takes to reach that goal. Zach Benson is apart of the few entrepreneurs who do have what it takes and more. Benson is a full-time entrepreneur, world traveler, influencer, speaker, and investor. Growing up was a bit difficult for Benson because he had a speech impediment which was the reason why he couldn’t pronounce the letter “R” until he was in his twenties. 

The kids Benson grew up with would always make fun of him for his speech impediment and especially because he looked different. He always felt left out and very different because he was born in Korea and was later adopted by his parents in Iowa, so of course none of the local kids understood his situation. Everything seemed to change for Benson once he found dance. In high school, one of Benson’s girlfriends gave him a “How To Breakdance” DVD and he watched it day and night while practicing. 

In his college years, Benson was traveling and competing in dance competitions. He actually made it onto the popular TV show “So You Think You Can Dance”. After all of that, he started teaching others how to dance and he was earning $1,000 an hour for it. Then, one day he hurt his back and the doctor told him he would probably never be able to dance again with his injury. Benson became depressed but he knew he had to do something, so Benson and his brother started growing Instagram accounts for money. 

Then something quite random happened, he had an opportunity to invest his last $10,000 into an Instagram account. He made that choice to invest every last dollar of his and with the new account, he used it to grow his client’s accounts. With all of the money he was making with the new investment he kept buying accounts and assets. 

Now, Benson is the founder of Assistagram, an Instagram growth, and marketing agency with an incredible network of 220 million followers. They specialize in the growth of Instagram accounts. He is currently working with some of the most famous brands and celebrities in the world: everyone from Ritz Carlton, Russell Brunson, etc. Benson also specializes in Instagram campaigns that are able to reach millions of people worldwide. He works with Tourism Boards and brings over destination influencers to different countries to create the most amazing content to share it and make that content go viral, which results in lots of exposure, growth and new customers. 

In the past 3 years, Benson has received over 500 completely free nights at the world’s most luxurious hotels and resorts. Luxury brands definitely see the ROI when it comes to Benson. Thousands of influencers, celebrities, and brands trust Benson with their campaigns and Instagram accounts because of the amazing results he is able to deliver in such a short amount of time. Benson is currently one of the best Instagram growth and marketing entrepreneurs in 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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