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Get Ahead in Business: Discover the Top Networking Groups to Join Now

 

Introduction

Are you a business owner or entrepreneur looking to expand your network and grow your business?

Joining a business networking group can be a great way to connect with other like-minded professionals, share ideas and insights, and potentially gain new clients or customers. However, with so many different networking groups out there, it can be challenging to know which ones are worth your time and investment. In this article, we will explore some of the best business networking groups to join and why.

 

C-Suite Network:

The C-Suite Network is a community of influential business leaders. The network is designed to provide its members with exclusive access to resources, knowledge, and connections that can help them grow and succeed in their roles.

The network offers a range of services and benefits to its members, including networking opportunities, educational events, and access to business resources such as whitepapers, podcasts, and webinars. The network also provides a platform for members to share their experiences and knowledge with one another, helping to foster collaboration and innovation among the business community.

 

BNI (Business Networking International)

BNI is a global networking organization that provides members with weekly networking meetings to share referrals and build relationships. Members are expected to bring referrals for other members and are also given the opportunity to give a weekly 60-second pitch about their business. BNI has chapters in over 70 countries, making it a great option for those looking to expand their business on a global scale.

 

Chamber of Commerce

Most cities and towns have a local Chamber of Commerce, which serves as a hub for business networking and advocacy. Members of the Chamber of Commerce have access to networking events, educational workshops, and resources to help grow their business. Additionally, many Chambers of Commerce offer discounts on products and services to their members.

 

Meetup

Meetup is an online platform that connects people with shared interests and hobbies. While Meetup is not specifically designed for business networking, it can be a great way to meet other professionals in your area who share similar interests or work in a similar industry. Many Meetup groups also host events specifically geared towards networking and professional development.

 

Rotary International

Rotary International is a global service organization that brings together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services and promote goodwill. Rotary has chapters in over 200 countries and offers members the opportunity to network, develop leadership skills, and make a positive impact in their local communities.

 

SCORE

SCORE is a nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring and education services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, SCORE also offers webinars and workshops on a variety of topics related to business growth and development.

 

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are online forums where professionals can connect and share insights on industry trends and best practices. Joining LinkedIn Groups that are relevant to your industry or area of expertise can be a great way to connect with other professionals and potentially generate new business opportunities.

 

Industry-Specific Associations

Depending on your industry, there may be industry-specific associations or organizations that offer networking opportunities and resources. For example, the National Association of Realtors and the American Bar Association both offer networking events and resources for professionals in their respective industries.

In conclusion, there are many different business networking groups to choose from, each with their unique benefits and advantages. Whether you are looking to expand your business on a global scale or connect with other professionals in your local community, there is a networking group out there that is right for you.

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Inside the FTX Scandal: A Shocking Look at Cryptocurrency’s Dark Side

 

The FTX Scandal Unraveled: How it Impacted the Cryptocurrency World…

Cryptocurrencies have come a long way since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. Today, there are thousands of cryptocurrencies available, with a total market capitalization of over $2 trillion. However, with the rise of cryptocurrencies, there has also been an increase in scams and scandals. One such scandal that has rocked the cryptocurrency world is the FTX scandal. In this article, we will discuss the FTX scandal, how it impacted the cryptocurrency world, and what lessons can be learned from it.

What is FTX?

FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2019 by Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang. The exchange quickly gained popularity due to its advanced trading features, such as leverage and futures trading. In addition, FTX was known for its strong focus on user experience and customer support. By the end of 2020, FTX had become one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

 

Who is Sam Bankman Fried?

If you don’t know him, Sam Bankman-Fried is a computer scientist and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency trading firm, and FTX, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange. He is also the founder of Alameda Charity, which provides grants to projects aimed at improving the cryptocurrency industry. Bankman-Fried is an outspoken advocate for the cryptocurrency industry and is well-known for his involvement in blockchain projects.

The FTX Scandal

In early 2021, the FTX scandal came to light. It was revealed that FTX had been engaging in wash trading, a form of market manipulation. Wash trading is the act of buying and selling the same asset simultaneously to create fake trading volume. This can deceive traders into thinking that there is more liquidity than there actually is, which can cause them to make trades that they wouldn’t have made otherwise.

The FTX scandal was particularly shocking because FTX was one of the most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges at the time. The exchange had built a strong reputation for being trustworthy and transparent, and had even received investments from prominent firms such as Binance and Coinbase.

Impact on the Cryptocurrency World

The FTX scandal had a significant impact on the cryptocurrency world. The news of the scandal caused FTX’s trading volume to plummet, and many traders withdrew their funds from the exchange. In addition, the scandal damaged the reputation of the entire cryptocurrency industry, which was already struggling with a perception problem due to its association with scams and illegal activities.

How Big Was the FTX Scandal?

As 4th largest crypto exchange, at one point FTX was values at an estimated $32B. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sam may have illegally taken about $10 billion in FTX customers’ funds for his trading firm. His company has collapsed and in additional to it’s default on $32b in debt, the FTX scandal caused $800b worth of crypto to leave the crypto market overnight.

Lessons Learned

The FTX scandal serves as a cautionary tale for cryptocurrency exchanges and traders alike. It highlights the importance of transparency and honesty in the cryptocurrency industry. Exchanges must be transparent about their trading practices, and traders must be wary of exchanges that engage in market manipulation.

In addition, the FTX scandal underscores the need for regulation in the cryptocurrency industry. While the industry has largely operated outside of traditional financial regulations, the FTX scandal shows that there is a need for greater oversight to prevent market manipulation and protect investors.

Conclusion

The FTX scandal was a significant event in the cryptocurrency world. It highlighted the importance of transparency, honesty, and regulation in the industry. While the scandal had a negative impact on FTX and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole, it also served as a wake-up call for the industry to address issues related to market manipulation and investor protection.

Here’s the bizarre story here…

WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20BEJouWBgY

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Dumpster Diver Created the $1Billion Patagonia Cult With His Last Fifty Cents…

The Billion dollar Patagonia brand was started by a bullied teenager living off fifty cents a day learning how to be, a falconer

And the original source material for the products he made, came from the dumpsters he was diving in.

 

The Bizarre Beginning of the Patagonia Brand

From it’s very beginning, the brand never really cared about being cool or even making money. Instead, it focused on making gear for the sport they loved while being environmentally responsible. Today they’ve become a status symbol for the biggest and richest companies in the world.

Here’s the story of how the Patagonia company was born…

 

WATCH:

 

 

Patagonia’s Roots in Black Smithery, Falconry, and Rock-Climbing…

Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard was born in 1938 in Lisbon , Maine and raised in a French-Canadian community that spoke little English.

His father, a hard working blue collar man, moved the family to Burbank CA when Yvon was only 8 years old.  An experience that turned out to be a pretty shitty one for little Yvon.

Shitty because Yvon was bullied at school for not being able to speak English. He was also the smallest kid in his class which didn’t help his position. Not knowing what to do, Yvon would just simply run away. He spent most of his time alone in the wilderness. Hunting and fishing by himself.

Then one day, Yvon discovered, of all things, falconry…

 

 

He joined a local falconry club where he made friends and learned how to train hawks and falcons. For the first time, Yvon belonged to something.

One of the members, Don Prentice, was a mountain climber who trained the club how to rappel down cliffs to in order to access falcon nest located high up on mountain rock ledges.

 

So What’s the Blacksmith Connection?

The club became obsessed with the sport. Traveling all over the country rappelling down America’s tallest cliffs. They did it for the most part, without any gear…

Eventually the group turned their attention from rappelling to climbing. Were they’re lack of equipment became problematic (opposed to repelling down, climbing up requires a lot more than a rope).

With only 200 mountain climbers in those days and no store to provide their climbing gear, the group was forced to make their own in the early days of the sport. One of those items were pitons (the stakes mountain climbers hammer into the rock face to clip onto for, “safety”).

 

 

 

“Hey Mountain Climbers, Clean Up Your Shit!”

The problem with the original pitons was they were permanent. Climbers would just  leave the stakes poking out of the side of the mountain for others to use later on…It became an eyesore and Yvon wasn’t having it.

Yvon taught himself how to be a blacksmith (in a chicken coop in his parents backyard) where he invented the first sets of removable pitons, changing the sport forever. They even turned out to be stronger and more reliable than the permanent European pitons they originally used.

He didn’t even charge his friends for them in the beginning. He would just hand them to other climbers to help clean up the mountain side. They were an instant success.

 

 

From Climbing Gear to Clothing Icon…

Pategonia eventually got into the clothing business after Yvon took a climbing trip to Scotland where he bought a Rugby shirt because the material looked tough enough to climb a mountain in (and it looked cool). Plus he thought the collar would help keep the climbing ropes away from his neck.

Climbing in his Rugby shirt back in the states, Yvonn stuck out like a sore thumb in his flamboyant colored shirt. In a good way. Other climbers asked where they could get a “fancy colorful climbing shirt”.

Here’s a review of some of the original 1980s rugby shirts they launched with:

 

WATCH:

 

So Yvon licensed a series of durable and colorful rugby (I mean climbing) shirts. They sold like hot cakes…

But while the clothing brand famously went through many ups and downs over the years, Patagonia today is one of the most recognized clothing brands on the planet.

All thanks to a badass little kid who climbed his way up in life on his own terms.

Watch for the full story…

 

WATCH:

 

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Ford’s Future Car Looks Absolutely Stunning!

Ford Motor Co.’s luxury division on Thursday debuted the Lincoln Model L100 Concept at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California. And it’d totally badass…

Lincoln debuted the new futuristic product branding scheduled for 2040 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The new Model L100 concept pushes the boundaries of Lincoln’s “Quiet Flight” design to create connected experiences that reimagine the ultimate vehicle sanctuary of tomorrow.

WATCH the video explaining Ford’s plans to dominate the future of transportation design…

WATCH:

At the product launch, Ford’s Executive Chair, Bill Ford, said;

“Lincoln has been one of the most enduring and stylish automotive brands in the world and in many ways, it is perfectly positioned for a second century defined by great design, zero-emissions and technology-led experiences. Lincoln has always been special to me and my family, especially my father and my grandfather. If there is one secret to Lincoln’s longevity, it is the brand’s ability to balance its core values with a desire to innovate and create the future.”

“Concept vehicles allow us to reimagine and illustrate how new experiences can come to life with the help of advanced technologies and allow our designers more creative freedom than ever before,” said Anthony Lo, chief design officer, Ford Motor Company. “With the Model L100, we were able to push the boundaries in ways that evolve our Quiet Flight brand DNA and change the way we think about Lincoln designs of tomorrow.”

WATCH:

 

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WATCH: Abandoned by Parents, Kid Vows to Be Successful. Builds $4B Wendy’s Fortune

Dave Thomas was an orphan. Growing up, eating hamburgers in restaurants was the only thing that gave him a sense of belonging and purpose. When he was 8-years-old, he set out a plan to open the best restaurant in the world and later founded Wendy’s.

But even at an early age Dave knew that in order to grow a successful business, he was prepared to learn everything about the business from the ground up.

WATCH:

 

15 year old Dave started as a busboy at a Hobby House Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana where a guy named Cornel Sanders was touring the country, trying to convince restaurant owners into converting their buildings into Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises.

Thomas’ boss, Hobby House owner Phil Clauss, was one of those restaurant owners.   Hobby House became Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Thomas became one of KFC’s first cooks.

A new waitress, Lorraine Buskirk, caught his eye and they were soon married in 1954.

Dave and his wife Lorraine grew their family to include five children – Pam, Ken, Lori, Molly and Melinda (Wendy was her nickname and who Dave named the business after). All the while, Dave worked toward his goal of owning his own restaurant.

He was pivotal in helping grow KFC. He simplified the menu and came up with the classic rotating red bucket sign. Thomas also convinced the colonel to appear in TV ads for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Thomas’ success eventually enabled him to sell his stake in the four franchises back to the colonel, for $1.5 million. He used the money to open his first Wendy’s and became multimillionaire by the age of 35.

Today there are 6,900 restaurants worldwide.

Dave Thomas passed away in 2002 with a net worth of $4.2 billion. Dave wins.

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A Poor Single Father Raising 4 Kids (Who Burned Down His Workshop) Invented LEGO

Holy S@#$ LEGO Has Sold Over 400 Billion Plastic Bricks?

Having sold over 400 billion plastic bricks worldwide (75 billion annually), LEGO is easily the most popular and best-selling toys on the planet. It also holds the title one of the most painful things you can step on in bare feet…

But few people today know just how insanely unlikely the founder was to succeed against the series of tragedies that plagued his pursuit to success.

As successful as they are today, LEGO’s history is one of unexpected misfortune. Here’s why…

WATCH:

 

The Tragic Beginning of the World’s Most Successful Toy

In 1916, Ole Kirk Christiansen was an independent carpenter who primarily built wood furniture and home goods. He purchased a workshop in Billund, Denmark, that would ultimately become the birthplace of LEGO. He immediately faced a number of setbacks and tragedies during his first years in business:

  • His workshop burned down in 1924 after his sons accidentally set fire to it (losing all the inventory)
  • He (and the world) was hit hard during the Great Depression from 1929-1939

Effectively erasing any demand for furniture and toys for an entire decade. It wouldn’t see consumer discretionary spending increase until after ww2 ended in 1945.

But Wait, There’s More…

  • His wife passed away in 1932 leaving him alone to fend for himself and his kids
  • With the economy in shambles, he was forced to lay off half of his employees.

To stay afloat, Christiansen began carving cheap wooden trinkets, eventually landing a wheeled duck that became the company’s first popular toy.

But he still wasn’t generating enough sales to pay the mounting bills he owed. Christinasen’s brothers had to bail him out to save him from bankruptcy.

 

 

 

He Had to Beg His Family For Cash to Avoid Bankruptcy

Ole’s brothers agreed to bail him out on the condition that he stop making toys and turn his skills to a more practical profession.

But Ole refused to give up his passion of making innovative toys. So he changed the name of his workshop to LEGO (derived the Danish phrase leg godt, or “play well”).

Plot twist, his shop burned down for the second time…

Still unwilling to give up on his dream of breaking into the toy market, it was in this moment where Ole said: “Fuck wood! I’m moving to plastics!”…That’s not a real quote but you know he thought it.

 

Is This Why LEGO Went From Making Wood Toys to Plastics?

Because when Ole rebuilt his factory for the 3rd time, he turned his attention to making plastic toys (which was a brand new thing at the time).

During the 40s, plastic injection molding machines were introduced into the toy market to mass produce toys. But they were hella expensive. Buying one with the lack of much if any funds, would be a major risk.

He did it anyways…

The early toys included the Ferguson tractor, a plastic vehicle available as either a finished model or a buildable set that could be taken apart and put back together, (which later became the core feature of LEGO products).

 

 

 

How Lego Was Invented. After a 39 Year Struggle!

It wasn’t long before the idea of bricks to assemble a small house in the form of building blocks was invented. They designed literal plastic bricks that clipped together.

He patented the design and they released its first set, the LEGO System of Play – in 1955. 39 years after starting his toy business.

In the beginning of LEGO’s growth, they were still selling both wood and plastic LEGO toys (even though LEGO sales were much higher by this time).

 

But Then His Factory Burned Down Again…

Then, a lightning strike to the workshop caused a fire to burn down the entire workshop for the 3rd time. He rebuilt it again but decided this time, to switch the operations entirely to plastics.

Which turned out to be a good call…

Fast forward to today, the LEGO brand as of 2021 was up 27% (that’s a whopping $8B in sales) compared to the previous two years with $55.3 billion in revenue. The company saw massive gains during the pandemic as consumers of all ages looked for new ways to entertain themselves at home.

Which is pretty impressive growth for a company that for the most part, shouldn’t still be standing.

 

WATCH:

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Recent Video Explains Why Sri Lanka Just Declared Bankruptcy…

Sri Lanka Just Announced They Are Bankrupt. And Out of Fuel…

A country thriving and wealthy in 2012 just announced they are bankrupt in 2022.

Before it’s recent bankruptcy Sri Lanka  had a thriving economy. In fact its economy grew at an accelerated rate, ranked above Singapore, Ireland, and South Korea.

Located in the center of the world’s most important shipping location, the country was set up to be a world economic import superpower. But a crisis hit…

On Tuesday, the country’s president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, told the Sri Lankan parliament that the country is not only bankrupt and that it also has no fuel left. Government employees have been told to stay home due to fuel unavailability.

Inflation spiked 54.6% in a year and is expected to hit 60% soon, and transportation costs have gone up 128% in only one month, according to Bloomberg.

At the G7 Summit last month, the US pledged $20 million to assist Sri Lankans in the fight for food security. This came in addition to a previously donated amount of $12 million.

But despite global assistance, the nightmare is far from over for Sri Lanka. Premier Wickremesinghe said that the country was participating in negotiations as a bankrupt state, and the worse is yet to come…

“Due to the state of bankruptcy our country is in, we have to submit a plan on our debt sustainability to (the IMF) separately. Only when they are satisfied with that plan can we reach an agreement at the staff level. This is not a straightforward process,” he said, and CNN reported.

A recent video explains the full story.

 

WATCH:

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Is This the End of Shopify? Shopify Lays Off 10% of Employees

Shopify Inc. SHOP 1.90% is cutting roughly 1,000 workers, or 10% of its global workforce, rolling back a bet on e-commerce growth the technology company made during the pandemic, according to recently shared internal memo.

Leaving many people wondering why?

According to the Wallstreeet Journal reported today, Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke says company made wrong bet on pandemic-fueled boom in e-commerce growth.

The main reason for the layoffs was rapid hiring to accommodate increased ecommerce shopping trends.

Basically, Shopify was betting on that the rapid Covid-era lock downs would increase in ecommerce shopping would continue as a trend, hastening a greater adoption of online shopping.

That didn’t happen…At least not for Shopify.

 

What is Shopify?

Based in Ottawa, Canada, Shopify is an e-commerce service that allows merchants to quickly build and customize websites for selling products online. In addition to plan fees, Shopify makes its money in part by taking a percentage of customer transactions. In short, they are a platform that enables users to create drop shipping sites.

 

WATCH:

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WATCH: Olive Oil and Tomatoes Will Cost More Now. Here’s Why…

Northern Italy’s worst drought in 70 years is about to take a big hit on olive oil and tomato prices.

Farmers say the drought could dramatically impact crops on olive oil, tomatoes, and rice resulting in yet another increase in prices for these products.

The Italian government declared a state of emergency in northern regions of Italy as the weather dried out entire stretches of the Po River, the countries longest river and major source of water irrigation for the north of Italy.

The drought has already cost billions of dollars in damage to Italian crops resulting in higher prices around the world…

 

WATCH:

 

Italy embraces as their severe drought dries up it’s longest river (the Po River). The Po River irrigates one of the biggest bread baskets in Europe. And it’s all dried up.

Farmers are extremely exhausted, and the situation is only getting worse. Here is a video of how the river depletion is causing havoc on the region…

 

WATCH:

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He Ran Away at 16 and Built a $4 Billion Business. John Nordstrom

Did you know that the $14 billion Nordstrom chain stores were started by a sixteen year old who fled to America with only $5.00 (roughly $119.00 in today’s currency) in his pocket?

His name was John W. Nordstrom, who’s dad died when he was eight. In need of money John fled his home at 16 and emigrated to New York City  in 1887.

WATCH: 

Nordstom Did a Series of Back Breaking Jobs Just to Get By….

John labored in mines and logging camps for years as he crossed the country to California and Washington. In 1897, he headed north to Alaska and the Klondike in search of gold. Two years later, he returned to Seattle with a $13,000 in Alaskan gold ready to make his next move.

Nordstrom partnered up with business partner Carl F. Wallin, a Seattle shoemaker Nordstrom had met in Alaska. Wallin offered him a partnership in a shoe store with zero retail experience. In 1901, the gold rush veterans had opened their first store, Wallin & Nordstrom, on Fourth and Pike in Seattle.

Then Nordstrom’s Son Scaled the Family Business into an Empire…

Nordstrom’s sons took over in 1928. By 1960, two stores had grown into eight. The Seattle flagship was the largest shoe store in the country, and Wallin & Nordstrom became the nation’s largest independent shoe chain.

Under a third generation of Nordstrom sons, Nordstrom, Inc. entered into new markets well beyond Seattle. Clothing was added to the shelves in the 1960s and the company was renamed Nordstrom Best in 1969. In 1971, the company went public with its first stock offering  and by 1973, Nordstrom Best formally changed its name to Nordstrom

Today, Nordstrom is doing $14.79 billion in revenue. The family still runs the chain of 247 rack stores across 40 states from their headquarters in Seattle.

WATCH:  

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