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Who else thinks financial freedom is cool Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks to https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/home-based-business-ideas-easy-to-start/#comment-193403

I have another to add to your list that’s almost as easy to do as going for a daily walk! Clean up litter outside commercial properties for property management companies. The work is done on foot using simple hand tools. I started this as a side gig in 1981 and grew it into a profitable full-time business that I continue to operate today. I share my experience in my book, Cleanlots, and offer free support.

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Thanks to http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmallBusinessTrends/~3/ousctzBUMeA/marriott-data-breach.html

Are you one of the 500 Million Affected by the Marriott Data Breach?
If you travel regularly for business and are among the 500 million customers potentially affected by the Marriott data breach, there are some actions you may want to take.

On November 30, 2018, Marriott announced the data of up to 500 million of its customers might’ve been compromised.

If you stayed at a Starwood-branded hotel from 2014 to September 10, 2018, and you are part of the almost half a billion people, this is what the Marriott data breach impacted.

A combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. This was the case for around 327 million guests.

There was another set of data limited to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email address, or other information (no specification as to what the other information is).

For some of the other guests, the above information along with payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates were also exposed. However, the company says this data was encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-128).

But this point could be moot because the two components required for decrypting the payment card numbers could have been taken, this according to Marriott.

The Starwood Brand of Hotels

You might’ve stayed at one of the Starwood brands of hotels and not know it is part of the Marriott data breach.

Here are all of the brands:

  • Westin
  • Sheraton
  • The Luxury Collection
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • W Hotels
  • St. Regis
  • Le Méridien
  • Aloft
  • Element
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Design Hotels

It also includes Starwood branded timeshare properties.

What Actions Should You Take?

According to Malwarebytes Labs:

  1. Change your password for any compromised accounts (Starwood Preferred Guest Rewards Program) with multi-factor authentication. Even if cybercriminals steal your login credentials, multi-factor authentication requires them to have at least one other authentication mechanism such as your phone.
  2. Look for any suspicious activity by monitoring your credit card and bank accounts. By law, you get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. You can go to annualcreditreport.com and get it.
  3. Consider freezing your credit because it will make it that much harder to open up a line of credit under your name. You can stop the freeze at any time but you will have to contact each credit bureau individually.
  4. Be very careful when you open your emails. Cybercriminals know Marriott is going to be contacting customers to address the issue, so this is a great time to send out phishing emails. The email will look like it is from Marriott, which will include a logo and similar looking email account.  If you are not sure where the email is coming from, do not open it. In addition to phishing attacks, you may also introduce malware into your system.

Company Action

Marriott has established a dedicated website (info.starwoodhotels.com) and a call center to answer questions for its customers. The call center is open 24/7 and it is available in multiple languages.

The company is also sending out emails to the affected customers along with a free year’s subscription to an identity-theft protection service.

The email will only come from this address: starwoodhotels@email-marriott.com.

The company said it will not request any personal information and the email will not contain any attachments.

As mention above this is a very important point to take note of because cybercriminals will use this time to launch phishing attacks with similar email addresses to request information.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Apply These Tips to Protect Your Business Following the Marriott Data Breach” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/micropreneurs-christmas-wish-list-119679-1.html

As I’m making my holiday wish list on Amazon and sending it to my mother (Don’t judge! Don’t you wish your mom still sent you fuzzy socks for Christmas?), I’m thinking about those less tangible things I’d love someone to give me that are perfect for a micropreneur like myself (someone who operates a business on a very small scale).

If Santa is reading this, here are the things this micropreneur hope to find in her stocking on Christmas morning:

1. A sounding board

Micropreneurs can be lonely souls. We make all the decisions for our business, so we have to be confident that we’re doing the right thing. It can be exhausting sometimes.

I recently started a second business with a good friend, and let me tell you—having a partner (the right partner) makes for an incredibly different experience as a business owner! It’s wonderful to have someone to bounce ideas off of, who gets just as excited as I do about possibilities for our business . . . and is quick to put the kibosh on dead-end ideas.

Micropreneurs don’t necessarily need to take on business partners to benefit from this. All we need is a business-minded friend to listen to us once in a while, cheer us on, or tell us that we’re making a horrible decision.

2. A day off

I’m actually pretty good about taking time off, but I know that’s not always easy for most micropreneurs. After all, we are the business. If we aren’t there, it doesn’t function. Even if it’s just a fantasy to have a single day off without having to think about our business, let’s add it to the list. No checking email. No texts from our employees if we have them. Just a solitary day doing whatever we want.

3. A financial guru

Yes, I have an MBA and can manage my FreshBooks account, but I still don’t know if I could be smarter with my business’s money. (I suspect I could.) One of the best things I did a few years ago was to hire an accountant to help with my taxes. Rather than scrambling in April to pay a big tax bill, he’s helped me manage my taxes throughout the year, and he checks in come December to make sure I’m organized and on track for tax season.

But, Santa, maybe I need some kind of financial advisor, as well. Someone to tell me where to reinvest—or whether I’m taking too much (or not enough) salary. Someone to see the bigger picture that I usually ignore to ensure my business’s financial future. Yeah, that would be nice. Not sure how he’d fit in the stocking, though . . .

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

4. A boundless supply of new clients

I’m pretty happy to say I’m closing out one of my best years ever, but I don’t take that for granted at all. I know that, as a micropreneur, business fluctuates from year to year, based on the economy and how much marketing I do—not to mention, which direction the wind is blowing. I’ve never quite gotten accustomed to the ebb and flow, so it would be great if Santa would bring me more business than I think I can handle because, let’s be honest, we can always handle more!

I’m at that funny place in my business where I’m doing most of the work, though I do have a freelance writer and an editor who help. But if I had just a teeny bit more work coming in, I could justify hiring more help. So bring it, Santa. I’m ready to grow in 2019!

5. A gift basket

We micropreneurs work so hard, and we usually don’t stop to pat ourselves on the back. This is something I’ve tried to do deliberately in recent years. Each December I send my clients something nice as a thank you for their business. Some have been with me for around 10 years, so I want to show my appreciation. I do the same in the summer when Egg Marketing celebrates its birthday.

But I add one gift to the list: one for me. I mean, who else is going to buy me a fancy cheese basket? And I also do something equally cheesy: I write myself a note of appreciation, what I imagine my boss, if I had one, would say about all my hard work. It’s silly, but when I get that gift basket or cupcake medley, I always smile.

We micropreneurs, entrepreneurs, and all small business owners need to step back and look at the fruits of our labor more often. Even if you can’t afford to buy a fancy gift basket, buy yourself a bar of chocolate or a bottle of wine and just congratulate yourself. After all, you’ve created a business from scratch, and continue to ensure its success every single day.

I know that Santa may not bring me everything on my list, so I am proactive about giving these gifts to myself when I can. When there’s no one else to tell you that you’re doing a good job, the onus is on you. Happy holidays to all!

RELATED: 10 Essential Things Every Small Business Owner Should Do Before the End of the Year

The post 5 Things We Micropreneurs Really Want for Christmas appeared first on AllBusiness.com

The post 5 Things We Micropreneurs Really Want for Christmas appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about Susan Guillory.

Stuff like this are why I like social media

Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/micropreneurs-christmas-wish-list-119679-1.html

As I’m making my holiday wish list on Amazon and sending it to my mother (Don’t judge! Don’t you wish your mom still sent you fuzzy socks for Christmas?), I’m thinking about those less tangible things I’d love someone to give me that are perfect for a micropreneur like myself (someone who operates a business on a very small scale).

If Santa is reading this, here are the things this micropreneur hope to find in her stocking on Christmas morning:

1. A sounding board

Micropreneurs can be lonely souls. We make all the decisions for our business, so we have to be confident that we’re doing the right thing. It can be exhausting sometimes.

I recently started a second business with a good friend, and let me tell you—having a partner (the right partner) makes for an incredibly different experience as a business owner! It’s wonderful to have someone to bounce ideas off of, who gets just as excited as I do about possibilities for our business . . . and is quick to put the kibosh on dead-end ideas.

Micropreneurs don’t necessarily need to take on business partners to benefit from this. All we need is a business-minded friend to listen to us once in a while, cheer us on, or tell us that we’re making a horrible decision.

2. A day off

I’m actually pretty good about taking time off, but I know that’s not always easy for most micropreneurs. After all, we are the business. If we aren’t there, it doesn’t function. Even if it’s just a fantasy to have a single day off without having to think about our business, let’s add it to the list. No checking email. No texts from our employees if we have them. Just a solitary day doing whatever we want.

3. A financial guru

Yes, I have an MBA and can manage my FreshBooks account, but I still don’t know if I could be smarter with my business’s money. (I suspect I could.) One of the best things I did a few years ago was to hire an accountant to help with my taxes. Rather than scrambling in April to pay a big tax bill, he’s helped me manage my taxes throughout the year, and he checks in come December to make sure I’m organized and on track for tax season.

But, Santa, maybe I need some kind of financial advisor, as well. Someone to tell me where to reinvest—or whether I’m taking too much (or not enough) salary. Someone to see the bigger picture that I usually ignore to ensure my business’s financial future. Yeah, that would be nice. Not sure how he’d fit in the stocking, though . . .

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

4. A boundless supply of new clients

I’m pretty happy to say I’m closing out one of my best years ever, but I don’t take that for granted at all. I know that, as a micropreneur, business fluctuates from year to year, based on the economy and how much marketing I do—not to mention, which direction the wind is blowing. I’ve never quite gotten accustomed to the ebb and flow, so it would be great if Santa would bring me more business than I think I can handle because, let’s be honest, we can always handle more!

I’m at that funny place in my business where I’m doing most of the work, though I do have a freelance writer and an editor who help. But if I had just a teeny bit more work coming in, I could justify hiring more help. So bring it, Santa. I’m ready to grow in 2019!

5. A gift basket

We micropreneurs work so hard, and we usually don’t stop to pat ourselves on the back. This is something I’ve tried to do deliberately in recent years. Each December I send my clients something nice as a thank you for their business. Some have been with me for around 10 years, so I want to show my appreciation. I do the same in the summer when Egg Marketing celebrates its birthday.

But I add one gift to the list: one for me. I mean, who else is going to buy me a fancy cheese basket? And I also do something equally cheesy: I write myself a note of appreciation, what I imagine my boss, if I had one, would say about all my hard work. It’s silly, but when I get that gift basket or cupcake medley, I always smile.

We micropreneurs, entrepreneurs, and all small business owners need to step back and look at the fruits of our labor more often. Even if you can’t afford to buy a fancy gift basket, buy yourself a bar of chocolate or a bottle of wine and just congratulate yourself. After all, you’ve created a business from scratch, and continue to ensure its success every single day.

I know that Santa may not bring me everything on my list, so I am proactive about giving these gifts to myself when I can. When there’s no one else to tell you that you’re doing a good job, the onus is on you. Happy holidays to all!

RELATED: 10 Essential Things Every Small Business Owner Should Do Before the End of the Year

The post 5 Things We Micropreneurs Really Want for Christmas appeared first on AllBusiness.com

The post 5 Things We Micropreneurs Really Want for Christmas appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about Susan Guillory.

Did this tip about having a business are helping! who agrees?

Thanks to https://christianpf.com/legitimate-home-based-business-ideas-opportunities/comment-page-2/#comment-1725746

Thanks for the inspirational post. Just like you I’d love to quit working entirely and live off the income my blog provides. It definitely takes persistence and hard work, but each month when I see income double, I realize that if I don’t give up, I’ll get there.
Of course, I believe that you should start a blog for all the right reasons. My reasons are not to own material possessions or to show off. I don’t need a big house or expensive car. And definitely don’t want expensive clothes. I’d like to buy more time to spend with family and loved ones. To enjoy life’s best experiences with them, and be financially secure to take care of them during rough times. People come before money, and maybe one day I can take a year off like you did.
Again, thank you so much and you’re a true inspiration.