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Lessons from Obama – monetising your persona and diversifying sources of your income



This may not seem at first glance as an "entrepreneurial post". However, I found this case study quite interesting, as it shows some "high level hustling", and ways to, essentially, bring in more money. (And at the end of the day, that's what every business is trying to do). Personal brand + diversification is a great way to increase the cashflow – be it into your personal bank account or for your business. So, I hope you find this useful form this standpoint (the original and full article can be found [here](

If you are at all engaged with entrepreneurial threads on Reddit, Quora or Facebook, you will see at least once a day advice on how the wealthy got their current wealth and how they stay wealthy. One of the key lessons of the 21st century is that now anyone can monetise their persona. With the introduction Instagram, having your “personal brand” became a real thing. The concept is not new. However, over the past decade it has become far easier to enrich yourself by establishing your own personal brand, especially after the introduction of social media.

How do you monetise your persona, and how do you continue to find alternative sources of income? One of the most common examples that is usually given is the Kardashians. However, this time around, we decided to take a different point of view, and look at the former U.S. president – Barack Obama.

Why Obama

Obama has not (yet) been in any movies, tv series or commercials. Yet, in 2018, it has been reported that the Obamas net worth increased 30-fold, since the 2009 election win, making his net worth as of 2018 $40 million. This means that a look into his financial life offers us a chance to consider other revenue streams, which could be generated by someone who has made the most use of their personal brand.

Book deals

From 2006 to 2016 Obama has been reported to earn $15.6 million from books, such as: “The Audacity of Hope”, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters” and “Dreams From My Father”. We can only assume that sales surged dramatically following his first election win in 2009.

A book deal is a great way to increase your income if you have a big following. If Kim Kardashian published a book on endangered pigs from Papa New Guinea, regardless of the topic, because of her social status, a minimum number of sales is pretty much guaranteed.

Attention sells. If you are known by thousands of people globally, they are more likely to stop by the bookshop (or search an online kindle shop) and open the first page of your new book. Publishers know this.

Finding someone who would not know who Barack Obama would prove difficult. It’s an easy bet for any publishing house, and this proved to be a very good deal for all parties involved.

Key lesson: build your following and “sell their attention” at a later stage.

Speaking at events

Business Insider reports that since leaving the White House, Obama has been paid on average $400,000 for any public events that he spoke at. Why the big bucks for an ex-president? Well – same reason as the above. Who wouldn’t want to take a picture of the former U.S. President or even potentially shake his hand at a live event? Put “Obama” on your event’s guest list and it will sell out.

It is no wonder that most former politicians made the big bucks this way: as an example, CNN reported in 2016 that Clintons made up to $153 million between 2001 and 2016. Not too shabby!

Fees for speaking at events can vary – if the audience’s credit rating is higher than average, fees are likely to be higher as well. Obama earned $800,000 for speaking to Northern Trust Corp and Carlyle Group in 2017, and an astounding $1.2 million for three Wall Street talks.

Key Lesson: Keynote speaking can be a great way to earn more. Become an expert on a topic, or, once again, utilise your large following to ensure that any event organiser would be estatic to have you on board.


Every truly wealthy person has dabbled in investments, one way or another. Mr. Obama is no exception. For starters, in 2007 the former president bought Bright Direction College Savings 529 Plans for his daughters, to pay off their college in the near future. Each account had somewhere between $100K and £250k in them.

As of 2015, Barack and Michelle Obama have been reported by CNN to hold somewhere between $1 million and $5 million in U.S. Treasury Notes (gaining about £15-50k in interest per year), £250k-500k in U.S. Treasury bills in a SEP-IRA and $300k-$750k in three different Vanguard index funds.

As you can see the former first couple clearly knows how to diversify their investment portfolio!

In addition to the above, Obamas are also no strangers to real estate investment.

In 2018 they purchased a house in Washington, DC, having previously rented it. The house’s price was $8.1 million.

In 2019 they also purchased a house on Martha’s Vineyard for another $11.75 million.

Key lesson: Invest your money. Diversify your portfolio. Look into bonds investment and real estate if you wish to build passive income and have savings after you get tired of continuous personal brand promotion.

“Obama Production”

In 2018 Barack and Michelle Obama agreed a deal with Netflix to produce movies and tv series for the streaming service. The new production company became known as “Higher Ground”. In 2020, their first project, “American Factory” would win an Oscar for the Best Documentary.

While the particulars of the deal are unknown, similar five-year deal with Ryan Murphy, for example (“American Horror Story”) was worth $300 million. So, there is no reason why Obamas couldn’t come close to this figure, earning up to $60 million/year from the deal.

While this may seem like a long way from “monetising your personal brand”, however if you are well-known, you can: attract high-skilled professionals who would love the idea of working with someone of your stature, attract other well-known celebrities and actors (which in turn would lead to higher viewership of the new film/series) and you can also secure more financing for your project. The majority of finance firms/banks would love to count their own “Obama” as one of their clients.

Key Lesson: entertainment industry can be cruel, but it can also be very lucrative. Are you well known outside of your inner circle? Use it and tap into this goldmine.

Hope you enjoyed the read! You can read the full article and more case studies + find helpful resources for entrepreneurs [here](

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6 Ways To Incorporate SEO While Building A Business in 2020



There’s no quick fix, or “one and done” solution when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). You have to be prepared to play the long game to see the full advantages of SEO when developing a site — and it’s worth it to see your site rank highly on search engine result pages.

That said, there are some methods that will give you a quick boost. Shift more attention to the most significant ranking factors and tactics that will give your site the ability to rise to the top of the search results this year.

Choose a Responsive Design

User experience is a big deal these days. Google loves to serve its users the best results possible. If your website isn’t easy to use on a mobile device, you’re going to suffer a setback in ranking. Think about it, have you ever landed on a site where you had to zoom in to read the text and scroll side-to-side to read all of the content? This was most likely the desktop version of a website. It was made for larger screens and doesn’t reformat to fit on different screen sizes.

Responsive sites will resize images and reorganize the blocks of content according to the size of the screen. If you want to test whether a website is responsive, open up a web page on a desktop or laptop. From the full screen, shrink the window by clicking and dragging, and you’ll see the sidebars move, the navigation and header will take on new positions and the content and images will line up differently. 

Mobile search volume accounts for more than half of the total searches made online (see chart below). A responsive, mobile friendly site is no longer an option, but a necessity, when it comes to providing an enjoyable user experience.

Create Keyword Clusters

Making a list of keywords that your ideal audience would use to find the content you’re offering will also boost your SEO ranking. Plug each keyword into a keyword tool to generate additional ideas. Assess the best options for keywords to include in your content strategy by grouping them into pools based on search intent. You’ll notice that many of those keyword options will be subtopics large enough to write an entire blog post about, in which you can provide more detailed content optimized for a related keyword.

For example, if you own a home improvement business, a central page on your site would be kitchen renovation. And because there are so many choices to make when renovating a kitchen, you could then go into depth and create a new page for every option, from counter tops and backsplash tile to faucets and refrigerators. When you’re planning your content, structure the website to feature central pages that are optimized for the most central, competitive keywords and most important aspects of your business.

Publish articles on the related subtopics in full detail in order to provide as much information on those major keyword topics, to show your expertise in your field, and to demonstrate authority within the content of your site. Google looks for this as partial evidence of your status as an expert in your niche.

Google also loves when there is a distinct organizational structure. By linking the subtopic posts to your major product pages, you signal what pages are most important to your site by creating a keyword cluster.

Image source:

Optimize Your Content

On-page optimization enhances the likelihood of your page being ranked for your target keywords. Avoid keyword stuffing and place your keywords strategically. For instance, use your target keywords in the front end of your titles, and keep your titles under 60 characters or they will get cut off in the search display.

Place your keyword in your URL. The most effective URLs are those that are under 5 words and summarize the title or content on the page. Keywords should also be included in the meta description. Using your keyword in the beginning of the meta description will improve the click-through rate for users. As will placing your keyword within the first 100 words in the first paragraph of your content, and using keywords and keyword synonyms in the subtitles.

Use structured data markup whenever possible. If you can provide a rich snippet, you may get a boost in the position your site is displayed.

Make Your Pages Quick and Nimble

With a heavy emphasis on user experience, page speed can make a huge difference in how your site performs. If you’re an ecommerce site, it becomes extremely important because every second your page takes to load will cost your business money from lower conversions.


 mPulse Mobile Case Study on Page Speed Vs Conversion Rates, Image source:

Test your mobile page speed here. You can improve your site speed by reducing image file sizes, using plugins, and using a content delivery network to give your website additional page speed.

  • To reduce the size of your images use Kraken or Smush.
  • W3 Cache is one of the most popular WordPress plugins that increase page speed, but you can decide for yourself by choosing one from this list.
  • Choose a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to reduce your pages load time from a list of options here.

Get Other Sites to Link to You

Establishing credibility and authority is a necessity to be competitive in search results. Backlinks are a powerful way to prove that your content is credible and authoritative because essentially it is being endorsed by the websites that link to you. But stay away from paid links, or any link scheme used to manipulate ranking in an underhanded way. Unnatural linking will lead to penalties and should be avoided altogether.

One approved method of link building is to become a guest author. There are guest posting sites in every niche and having knowledge about your business is all you need to create an article that can be submitted to a site for publication. It may take a few weeks to get a response, and you may need a few submissions before receiving acceptance. Get into a routine for guest posting to build backlinks as fast as possible.

Ask People to Share Your Content

A social network is a priceless asset for expanding your audience and getting more traffic to your website. Build your network by being active on the social media site that has the most impact on your business.

Install social sharing icons on your site and include a call to action to get the most shares. A retweet study revealed that content with share icons received 4 times as many retweets with the phrase “Please RT”.


Although there is a lot to put together to achieve a first page result, it’s a long-term game plan. Start building your website with SEO in mind to give your site the best chance at the top positions in search results.


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Private Limited Company Registration



Private Limited Company Registration

Private Limited Company is most preferred & popular when it comes to setting up a new company in India. It can be registered with minimum 2 members & maximum with 200 members, out of which there should be at least minimum of 2 Directors.

A private limited company is the separate legal entity which carries on business for making the profit and to enjoy the benefits of an incorporated entity, particularly limited liability of members. Private Limited Company is the most widespread and popular type of corporate legal entity in India.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs governs private limited company registration in India. Companies are incorporated and regulated under the Companies Act, 2013 and the Companies Incorporation Rules, 2014. Lawgicalindia can help you with company registration across India at a very affordable price point.

Normally, an individual can be both a director & a shareholder as well. Additionally, a Private Limited Company is also prevalent to NRIs, Foreign Nationals & Foreign Corporate Entities as they are allowed to be Directors or Shareholders or both. A Minimum paid-up capital of INR 100000 is required to start a Private Limited Company. However such requirement is not mandatory by the law but it is advisable to have at least such capital with them.

Benefits of Private Limited Company:


The primary requirement of growing business is to have funding which in private limited company is possible because of ease of raising capital from an Angel Investors, Venture Capitalist or Private Equity Firms. This makes the scope of expansion in private limited more higher.


A private limited company is considered as a separate legal entity as the advantage & the liabilities of the company & that of directors are considered. As the advantages & liabilities cannot be treated as it is of directors or Vice-versa.


A Company being a separate legal entity is not affected by the departure or death of any member. It will continue its existence until it is legally dissolved.


In private limited company shareholders can easily transfer their shares to the existing shareholders or other specified group of individual, normally by signing & filing of Share Transfer Deed & handing over the share certificate by way of preferential allotments.

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In this ‘new normal’ it’s not more time, but THIS, that’s the holy grail of life and business



Has anyone else secretly worried that they accidentally manifested a worldwide pandemic? Because the top 3 things in my future vision journaling for about a year now have been:

  1. My husband works at home (so I don’t have to do all the childcare)
  2. I run my business in just a few short hours a day
  3. We spend lots of time together as a family

“Not like this!” I journal frantically on day 1 of lockdown.  It feels like those awful wish reversals you get in fairytales where your wishes are indeed granted, but only in the most ironic and terrible ways.

Abracadabra! The world’s now in peril, your kids rarely leave your side, your husband’s going to work from home (but only emerge to look in the fridge), oh and here’s your new work day: AKA the crack of dawn, and “crikey, it’s midnight!” Enjoy!

On day 2 of lockdown I realise I do not have the patience of Mary Poppins and that our teachers are indeed underpaid; perhaps my children are going to have to settle for ‘The School of Life’ for a few weeks (or even months?!).

On day 3, I have a mini meltdown in the shower and sob into the soap dish over the future of the world, my business and my children (who are apparently now destined to be educated by a mentally unstable mother who doesn’t even know what a number bond is).

But on day 4, something miraculous happens: I feel better!

Months and years of mindset work and gratitude finally kick in, and I emerge from that dark place of fear, mourning and worry we all seem to have been tipped into, and realise that:

Yes, we’ve been forced to slow down, and yes, we’ve been forced to create space, and yes, it’s happened in the most horrible way; but even with all the extra scariness and worry and uncertainty; without the rush of the old world and the necessity to live our lives around someone else’s timetable, I can finally see the truth in that saying that, with change, comes opportunity.

We can either use this time to freeze and bemoan all the plans and dreams that will now have to be postponed or forgotten; or we can stop focusing on all that we’ve lost, and redirect our attention to all that we’ve gained.

I hate to say this, but for me and anyone else with children and/ or a job that can be done from home, more time isn’t necessarily one of those things we’re gaining – so don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you’re suddenly going to be able to write your book or launch that new membership program…

But actually, after a few more days in our ‘new normal’, I realise that although my days are definitely longer and fuller and involve far more parenting and far less actual working than ever before; it has also meant that I’ve had to pare back everything to the pure essentials, and there’s no doubt about it, this forced simplicity has created something I now suspect is more precious than that holy grail of more time: it’s given me back my headspace.

Because without the rush that bookends my days; the school runs and the work trips, the homework, the social events, the clubs, appointments, obligations, and all the other mental acrobatics that go into running a 21st Century life, I realise that it’s not lack of time that’s been stopping me from doing all the things I want to do, like write my book, or tap into my business vision, have more self care, or be more present with my kids (time is just an illusion, after all).

No, the thing that’s really been holding me back, is a lack of room in my mind to see things clearly, a lack of space to daydream, and a train of thought that’s constantly being stopped and diverted.

Maybe it wasn’t the new skeleton schedule, or personal development seminar, or more help around the house that I needed to help me achieve those dreams. Maybe what I really needed all along was a pattern interrupt; something that would slow me right down. And suddenly here we have it; the mother of all pattern interrupts; not really holding us back so much as reining us in, so we can slow down and see the opportunities already here.

So 2020 isn’t exactly panning out how I’d planned it – I’m sure you know how that feels – and while I know there’ll still be moments of frustration, fear and sadness for all of us, I’ve decided to take what the universe has given me (more family time and more togetherness), embrace the change, go with the flow, trust, and look for the opportunities that were here all along.

And you know what? Maybe that’s how slowing down to speed up really works; because in the little under 2 weeks since this all began, that book that’s been sitting outlined in my google docs for months has already been turned into a mini ebook ready for my VA to make pretty in Canva (and the extended version is on its way); and that membership I’ve had all the content for but no ‘time’ or energy to launch – it’s going live later this month so I can serve more people who need what I’ve got.

Yes, the road ahead is uncertain right now, but I’m beginning to trust that I’ve got all the tools I need within me to weather the storm (or at least Amazon Prime, probably does). So now’s the time to stay out of fear and stay in momentum; to show up and serve with no other agenda than serving; to be scared without being scary (as Brene Brown very aptly said); and to look for the opportunities that were already there.

And hopefully, when this is all over, l may still not know what a number bond is, but at least I’ll be ready to rise with the tide. Will you rise with me?

Words by Cate Butler Ross.

The post In this ‘new normal’ it’s not more time, but THIS, that’s the holy grail of life and business appeared first on Female Entrepreneur Association.

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