HOUSTON, TX / ACCESSWIRE / April 17, 2019 / For some of us, 2018 was an uphill battle. Whether this was due to the political and economic uncertainty that has impacted entire industries or the sudden boom in ecommerce space as experienced with Amazon (AMZN) and Ebay (EBAY), most of us can agree that 2018 could have been a little bit better. Most of us are really looking forward to this new year. 2019 offers hope for new opportunities, including both areas for growth and the potential of success. It is a brand-new door for us to walk through to pursue the things we didn’t get done in 2018. The U.S. alone gained more than 400,000 millionaires last year, and most of us are curious about how to become one.
I reached out to some of the most successful industry leaders to follow in 2019. With their fresh takes and great ideas for disrupting their industries, there is every reason to feel hopeful about this coming year.
M.L. Billion is the co-founder of Billion-Schmidt, a private equity firm that provides innovative solutions and intellectual capital for the purpose of delivering meaningful economic impact. He has diversified into a global investment portfolio ranging from franchises, to independent fueling stations, and marketing companies. He has an upcoming Youtube Red series titled “Through The Eyez,” which shares insights into his life and approach to business. It is set to premiere this spring. M.L. Billion has built an ethos that emphasizes financial education and literacy among underserved communities. His ideological approach to business reclaims automation not as a frightening and looming threat against jobs, but instead as a powerful tool to maximize efficiency. He also sees automation as a way to help individuals and businesses develop wealth through the market. This approach means there are opportunities for equity, as well as for businesses to diversify their holdings. This will be welcoming news to many after the market roller coaster ride of 2018. M.L. Billion’s drive to bring access to resources means that he offers building blocks for wealth. He provides a wealth of knowledge through his social media platforms, and to those who need it the most. This knowledge will serve to benefit hundreds, if not thousands, in 2019 and beyond.
Medical marijuana has become mainstream in recent years, with increasing numbers of states legalizing it. In 2018, CBD exploded into the mainstream as a less provocative alternative. However, sometimes enthusiasts are not able to quickly make the leap to entrepreneurs in this field. Yet Cody Alt, owner of several brands in the THC / CBD sphere, has managed to succeed with his portfolio of companies by utilizing a strategy of vertical integration. The use of this strategy has allowed him to plant the seeds of an empire in the fast-moving world of marijuana. Alt’s approach facilitates the legitimization of marijuana as a business, since the strategy of vertical integration is one that people associate with longstanding and high-quality businesses, like Target. Applying this strategy to new spaces is a profoundly innovative move to keep an eye on in 2019 and beyond.
Victor Garibay offers a roadmap to success that begins with entry-level investment and that has transformed into the development of a production company poised to become a household name. Garibay’s initial investment in some YouTube channels allowed opportunities for networking that led to Fratto Entertainment. Realizing that content creation remains a major growth opportunity, Garibay has managed to pivot from a specific investment strategy with significant risks into a production strategy that allows for greater control and ownership. Even for those outside of content creation, Garibay’s approach illustrates how there will always be a need for media and that becoming a platform is a viable strategy. With the markets experiencing so many rises and falls, this type of approach might be a winning strategy in 2019 and beyond.
High school dropout Iman Gadzhi is another individual who has successfully implemented vertical strategies. He started a lean & stealthy online advertising agency for e-commerce and coaching businesses that recently generated his first million in pure profit. He strongly states his mission to reform the education system and the first step in that is his online education company ‘GrowYourAgency’. He continues to run his agency and education business with a focus on results, efficiency and scalability. Gadzhi’s focus has been on self-management and individual interventions to spark success, with a strong tenant that focuses on the customers & clientele.Gadzhi has developed a template for his own success that builds his own ethos and professionalism and that facilitates his ability to continue building a brand that promotes success for others. This strategy will serve him well in 2019 – and beyond.
Shane Gregoire, founder and owner of Rocket Powered Sound, is a creative individual. However, he managed to leverage this creativity into a business path that solved many problems in the EDM (electronic dance music) world. Gregoire’s software innovated in an industry he knew well. While some would be content to pursue their own artistic endeavors – and doing so is not mutually exclusive with developing a business – Gregoire conducted a deep dive into the world that he knew in order to develop a profitable solution to some of the technical problems encountered by EDM and to give other creatives another tool. This problem-solution approach would be a great template for businesses and individuals looking to jump ahead in 2019.
Nick Filchy has been the driver behind some of the biggest account launches on Instagram. Filchy’s account, @Bangerbuddy, has managed to carve out a space for itself in the oversaturated market of social connections and social media. Millions of active users follow and engage with Bangerbuddy on a daily basis. This Instagram account synergizes with Filchy’s influencer expertise by creating partnerships with influencers in order to promote events, rather than just products as is the norm in the world of influencers. The success of Filchy’s concept shows that there is still room for innovation – even in spaces that others might shy away from due to perceived oversaturation. Filchy took a careful look at opportunities to leverage the needs of a specific market, and has reaped the reward.
David P. Mullings is a general partner at Tessera Venture Partners, a venture fund focused on building the next frontier of digital companies. He is also founder and CEO of Blue Mahoe partners, a private investment firm managing investments between the Caribbean and the USA, as well as co-founder/advisor of RunLive, a running startup that is wrapping up a seed round after graduating from IeAD Sports Accelerator in Berlin, Germany. David is poised to make tremendous impact in his space with his investments predominantly supporting under-represented minorities and having a few NBA players as investors.
San Diego-based entrepreneur Lawence Kourie is another name to watch in 2019. A franchisee and owner of eight gas stations, car washes, and convenience stores, he’ll be launching the first Kangaroo Convenience store in California. Kourie currently generates more than $70 million in revenue per year and is also a principal in a leading Crypto Hedge Fund. If that wasn’t enough, in his ”spare” time he is helming a stealth health food QSR project and has plans to expand globally in March. Spreading his bets among different enterprises has helped Kourie generate the resources necessary to expand into other ventures. The quintessential evolution from employee to entrepreneur evident in the way he has moved from gas stations to finance, but Kourie is more than a hard worker. He has strategized and leveraged his resources so that he is involved in both stable as well as high-growth industries, which is a great position for success given the uncertainties of 2018 and its shadow into 2019.
Cameron Fous has made a name for himself in the fast-paced world of day trading, but carved a niche for himself in the world of advising and training would-be day traders. While Fous has developed an eye for an impressive approach to strategy, he has managed to leverage his talents with visual design and communication into a powerful brand, which in turn launched him into the glamorous world of influencers. However, unlike many in this industry, he grew dissatisfied with material rewards. He reexamined his values, became a digital nomad, and launched a new video series, IKNK (”Iconic”). Focusing on authenticity, Fous has expanded his business while finding a way to maintain his values. With Fous’ track record for invention and reinvention, he’s definitely one to watch in 2019!
Matt Hubble got his start in influencer marketing, and currently focuses on developing business in the diverse and promising market of North Carolina through his creation of relevant media. Hubble credits his strategic approach to networking for his success, and focuses on developing authentic relationships with potential networking partners and businesses. This relationship-based approach has served his company, Sygnature, well as it develops brands and creative content. After all, relationships and networking are nearly synonymous, and developing a brand depends on understanding the story the client wants to tell – itself a function of networking and getting to know people. Knowing how to develop relationships authentically and professionally will help many businesses maximize this next year.
This diverse list of inspiring entrepreneurs may seem daunting, but some ongoing themes are visible. None of these people reinvented the wheel. They developed meaningful value propositions that helped their customers. Instead of lamenting unfortunate circumstances, they built success by sensing opportunities. And in 2019, you can do this, too. Perhaps next year, you’ll see your own name on this list.
SOURCE: SV Advisory Group
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