Category Archives: Boundless Possibilities

Learn By Example With 50 Sparks

 

Mark Sparks, the serial entrepreneur responsible for over sixty start up businesses has written a book, “ They Can’t Eat You, My unorthodox path to outrageous success.” The book details Mr. Sparks journey from an average high school graduate; to the head of Timber Creek capital, a private equity company holding several portfolios. The book gives a journal of lessons and insights learned along the way.

After graduating high school in 1975 with only a C+ average, Mark Sparks experienced success and failure with numerous startup companies; these businesses range from cell phone companies to insurance holding companies, all of which Mr Sparks was the principal. Sparks made hugely successful and profitable companies during of his 34 year journey; and then at times experienced losing everything, to only to come back again with even stronger companies. This native of Austin, Texas seems to have a golden touch for getting start ups running and financially sound but not all his ventures have been successful. Sparks speaks of failing stating that “Don’t get me wrong, I love to win but you just can’t win them all! Its life!“

Sparks builds companies by taking the initial idea, adding capital and establishing a business model and systems for the company to thrive. He credits his successes to having a “no fear” attitude toward each venture and the real learning experiences have come from the failures. He has said there are volumes more lessons learned from the failures than the successes. After 34 years of being the ultimate entrepreneur, Mark Sparks is still actively involved in launching new businesses but now also makes time for philanthropic activities. One organization he is passionate about is the Samaritan Inn, a facility that provides help to individuals striving to make a new start.

It is in that same spirit of giving that Marc Sparks has written “They Can’t Eat You.”

Giving lessons learned over the years to up and coming entrepreneurs striving to get their business started. In the book he offers what he calls “Fifty Sparks.” Fifty essential rules or insights of wisdom that anyone can use to lay the groundwork and foundation of any business venture with or without a college degree.

Our Generation Stands Out, But Not Alone

In the last two decades, our generation has recognized that we need to stand out from the workaday crowd, and the masses who are content with being average and “everyday”. We demand that our fashion and beauty products need to be as versatile as our many and varied personalities. We take our cues from the daring and bold designs of artists such as John Galliano as well as the “no makeup” look that purportedly ruled the 2014 runways the world around. We have, without apology, begun taking carte blanche with the statements we make with our cosmetics.

Beauty products, and cosmetics in specific, have evolved dramatically since ancient times when men and women used them to cover flaws and create a sense of beauty and mystery about themselves. We now have what they did not: a rainbow of colors, not available to our predecessors, both natural and otherwise to choose from. Our faces are canvases waiting to be filled with our unique and dazzlingly beautiful personalities, and we have answered the call.

In response to our generation’s need for variety and individuality, cosmetics companies have jumped on this growing trend. Ever-conscious of what the public wants, many are now offering their own take on the endless number of unique color palettes that nature has to offer. Lime Crime may seem like just one of many, but they stand out from the crowd with their eye-dazzlingly bright color options paired with affordability. You don’t have to be a celebrity or frequent shopper on Rodeo Drive to put your best face forward.

Lime Crime, founded in 2008 by Doe Deere, understands the needs of our generation, and they have stepped up their game with a line of makeup that is wholly original and wholly cruelty free. No animal testing, no animal products; just pure color that will make heads turn when you walk into any room. One fashion trend this year has been glitter: in our hair, on our faces, on our bodies. The Zodiac Glitter line includes twelve colors to coordinate with each month’s birth sign, and is an absolute must-have for our generation’s make up arsenal. Sparkle and shine is what Lime Crime is all about.

Just as it’s important to have a well-stocked makeup kit, it’s equally important to have an arsenal of cleansers, exfoliators, and moisturizers to keep give your beautiful skin a good foundation upon which to build your unique personality. Makeup removers should be gentle and used only as needed. Cleansers should be as mild as possible and not contain harsh chemicals or detergents, since these can dry out your skin.

Lastly, your exfoliator should be, you guess it, as gentle as possible. Many exfoliators on the market use large, rough granules which can irritate your skin and encourage unsightly break outs. Look for an exfoliator that contains a natural product such as oatmeal or finely ground walnut shells.

Susan McGalla Steels for the Steelers

She’s inspired. She’s confident. She has a magic touch.

Susan McGalla is a veteran businessperson. An incredible success in every endeavor so far, McGalla is now Director of Strategic Planning and Growth for the NFL powerhouse Pittsburg Steelers.

She graduated from Mount Union College in Ohio, in 1986. Her first job, with retailer Joseph Horne, began a series of career successes. She left Horne after eight years for a 14-year whirlwind adventure at American Eagle Outfitters.

Starting as a merchandise buyer at American Eagle, she honed her skills in branding, merchandising and marketing while climbing the ladder – to the very top. In the years of her tenure, she launched the AE women’s brands, a full line of accessories and introduced the popular e-commerce sites.

As she rose to President and Chief Merchandising Officer, American Eagle sales climbed to $3 billion and the company grew to include 28,000 employees.

She put the retailer Wet Seal back on track, then stepped out with her own consulting company. Her clients were the nation’s largest retail, financial and real estate enterprises.

She now combines her love of Pittsburg with 30 years of expertise, creating a brand and growth strategy for the ever-changing Pittsburg Steelers. She’s steeling up for the biggest challenge of her career.

McGalla leads seminars for young women about how to succeed despite a male-dominated business world. Her attitude on gender is that it shouldn’t matter at all. She believes that hard work, innovation and never-ending energy make the difference, no matter the manager’s gender or level in the company.

Speaking on the Carnegie-Mellon speaker circuit, she discusses the difference between male and female CEO’s. Based on her presentations, it is sure that McGalla would say there IS no difference.

Confidence is what she was taught as a child, growing up in East Liverpool, Ohio. Her approach is good ideas, presented with confidence, will be accepted – and that the audience will respond. With her self-assurance, and the smarts to back it up, both women AND men are left in awe of Susan McGalla.

McGalla is a known philanthropist who serves on many boards. She’s active on the advisory boards for a women’s health research institute, a commercial real estate company and her alma mater college, among others.

She is a long-time resident of Pittsburg and an avid Steelers fan. McGalla lives with her husband Stephen, a wealth manager, two children, and a goofy dog.

NOTE: I ASSUMED THIS ARTICLE WAS FOR STEELERS-FOCUSED USAGE. IF NOT, A QUICK REWRITE IS AVAILABLE.

Pulse Evolution’s Fiscal Reporting and Future Economic Plans

Pulse Evolution Corporation has released the results of its second fiscal quarter, which ended late last year. In addition, the company has broadcast its future plans to file an S-1 and receive a listing on the national stock exchange. Pulse Evolution has been known for its innovation in holography, virtual and augmented reality and manufactured intelligence. Bloomberg told that their most famous creation is a holographic likeness of the late pop star Michael Jackson, which was developed with the permission of the Jackson estate.

As a leading developer in the field of digital imagery, Pulse Evolution has decided to bring the technology to the masses in a unique way. Much of the company’s expenses are used to develop computer-generated likenesses of real people, particularly celebrities. These holographic celebrities are used for live performances, and in time, will eventually be used to replace stage and film actors. The company feels that as the technology matures, these holographic people will gain intelligence of their own, projected through special glasses or headsets.

John Textor, the CEO of Pulse Evolution, spoke briefly about the company’s latest report. He stated that the company was doing very well considering how primitive and prototypical the technology currently is. He intends to lead the company into the mainstream, bringing the technology into many different forms of entertainment as well as progress on the still-emergent fields of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Textor also feels that the next step toward the company’s goal is to receive recognition on the national stock exchange, as the economic interest in the company’s products have increased over time.

Joseph Bismark: The Spiritual Entrepreneur

 

Joseph Bismark is a dynamic businessman with a unique philosophy that involves integrating business and spirituality in ways most would think impossible. Harmonizing the ruthless world of business with the the spiritual virtues he learned as a monk in the Philippines in his youth. A recent article posted on the word press blog Bring On The Random gave incite into how this unique business leader is not only changing the way business is done at his company Qi Group, but how he is spreading the word everywhere.

He accomplishes this integration through a combination of teamwork and realizing that the spiritual welfare of his employees is important, not only for the employee, but the company as a whole. Mr. Bismark understands that an unhappy stressed out employee will not provide the level of service needed to customers or be very productive. His philosophy of treating everyone with respect and encouraging a sense calm peacefulness is a refreshing change in the usually cutthroat world of business and his employees love him for it.

Mr. Bismark’s time as a monk has clearly left a lasting impression on him and he utilizes the philosophy he learned there to develop ways to resolve performance issues that have developed in business. Can one man change the way business is done and make the work place better for everyone? If that man is Joseph Bismark he just might.

The Past, Present and Future of Mental Illness

In today’s world, the field of psychiatry is growing by leaps and bounds. New research followed by clinical tries has helped thousands with a variety of mental disorders. Through new medications and therapy many people are now able to lead normal lives. This is a far cry from the past when most people with psychiatric problems were institutionalized. This area of medicine is not new; papyrus from ancient Egypt around 1500 BCE mentions clinical depression. It would be another 3,000 years until the first clinical trial for an antipsychotic medication – chlorpromazine – was performed.

One of the leaders in psychiatry and Nuclear Brain Imaging is Dr. Daniel Amen. Born in 1954, Dr. Amen is the founder of Amen Clinics. Located in California, Washington, New York, Georgia and Virginia the Dr. Daniel Amen strives to help people live healthier through brain health. His clinics boast largest database in the world of functional brain scans with almost 90,000. Besides being both a physician and psychiatrist, Dr. Amen is also a New York Times best-selling author with over 30 books and 60 professional papers. Considered as one of the most popular Psychiatrist in the world, Dr. Amen continues to make great strides in the discipline of Psychiatry.

These days there are six defined areas of psychiatric medication; Antidepressants, Stimulants, Antipsychotics, Mood stabilizers, Anxiolytics and Depressants. Each treats a variety of the many mental illnesses that have been identified. Although there is still no known cure for psychiatric disorders, most patients can live normal lives with the proper medication and treatment. It is believed that more than 26% of Americans over age 18 suffer from some mental illness. This translates to one in four adults, or about 60 million people. The problem is no less severe with minors. From ages 13 to 18 about 20% are afflicted and 13% for those 8 to 15 years of age.

In conclusion, there is still a long road ahead in the treatment of mental disorders. With advances in medication, research, emerging therapies and pioneers like Dr. Daniel Amen the future is bright for the millions of those suffering.

Redefining Luxury With The Dorchester Collection

Dorchester Collection, one of the fastest-growing luxury hotel company owned and operated by the Brunei Investment Agency, is a one-stop destination for resources related to accommodation – big or small. Providing millions of customers with luxurious amenities each year, this company offers them the inspiration they need to transform their vacation into an extraordinary getaway. The agency that is a part of the Ministry of Finance of Brunei takes care of nearly a dozen five star hotels such as Plaza Athénée, 45 Park Lane, Hotel Bel-Air, The Dorchester, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Meurice and Hotel Eden.

Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei bought this network of hotels in 1987 with the intention of expanding it to other countries but transferred it to the agency in 1991. Later, in 1996, the Audley Group was assigned to oversee these hotels, including hotel expansion and marketing. Currently, The Dorchester Group Ltd. owns the network of Dorchester hotels in Europe and the United States. The hotels are partly-owned by private partners as well. The UK hotels that are part of this company include 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park. The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air are located in the United States. In France, the BIA owns The Plaza Athénée and Le Meurice. Switzerland has Le Richemond in Geneva acquired in 2011. Hotel Principe di Savoia and Hotel Eden in Italy were purchased in 2003 and 2013 respectively. The possibilities to enjoy a vacation in these hotels are boundless and the benefits are soothing and relaxing to body and mind. In essence, there is more to spending time than simply staying at one of these hotels.

Restaurants from this group come in a wide range of varieties, from Asian cuisines to Mediterranean eateries. These include Alain Ducasse and China Tang, Restaurant le Meurice Alain Ducasse, La Terrazza, Wolfgang Puck, Polo Lounge, Le Jardin and Acanto. All these restaurants are inside the hotels owned by the group. Not only that, the hotels provide signature spas to its customers. Some of these spas are The Dorchester Spa, The Beverly Hills Hotel Spa by La Prairie, The Spa at Coworth Park, Spa by La Prairie, Le Spa by Sisley and Club 10. Quiet solitude in these spas and relaxing environment provide respite from the hubbub of the outside world. Add to that the rhythmic notes of music, nature ambiance for a natural look and tones of repose.