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My Dream Job as CEO of a Porn Company

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Bella French of ManyVids

If you would have told me five years ago that I was going to build a successful porn company, chances are I’d say you’re crazy (or probably call you something worse). But here I am, CEO and co-founder of ManyVids, and I could not be prouder or more professionally challenged. This is my dream job, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

So how does a girl like me wind up in a place like this? It’s been a wild ride. Starting my own business was always in the cards, from setting up a lemonade stand as a child, to studying business in University. Everything seemed to be going according to plan as I was busy running my own clothing store, but when a flood destroyed my inventory and wiped me out financially, that’s when things went from bad to weird. Desperate for cash, a friend of mine suggested I could make some quick money as a cam girl. I had never heard the term before, so as soon as he explained that “camming” involved stripping or performing simulated sexual acts in front of a camera, I let him know exactly what I thought of his not-so modest proposal. There is no way I would EVER do something like that! But two weeks later, amid growing debt and no light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, there I was, adjusting the lighting, fixing my hair and setting up for my first cam show.

 

I soon put everything I had into being the best cam girl there was. I researched it day and night, worked on my wardrobe, my technique and building a loyal audience. Spending this time inside an industry that is pretty much in the unknown to most people, I was shocked to discover a world I had never given much thought to. The people who work in the adult entertainment business, from the men and women creating amateur cam videos to porn stars in adult films, they were all lovely, gentle, and clever human beings who deserved to be treated with respect and have greater control over what they do. Porn is a multi-billion-dollar industry and from what I can tell, these “porn stars” weren’t making their fair share of the profits.

So, I put on my entrepreneurial hat once again and decided to step away from in front of the camera to build a website that was an e-commerce platform for these sex workers that would make each one of them entrepreneurs as well. They would have their own marketplace, where they set up what they’d like to sell, setting the price, producing and promoting their content on their terms, and they would have full copyright ownership of their work, a huge deal in an industry full of pirated content. Plus, we would promote sex-positivity and raise awareness about the issue of abuse among sex workers. And so ManyVids was born. In the beginning it was just the three of us, Sed, my friend and now boyfriend who had originally introduced the idea of camming, along with our friend Gino. Together we worked in a basement apartment, the guys worked on the coding and the back end for the website and I came up with the marketing plans to launch our product and managed all the financial aspects of running the business.

After 3 months of intense work, things started to take off and it kept growing faster and faster.  As the company grew, success came with a whole slew of different problems: basically, how do we keep up? There were cash flow problems, lack of resources, lack of experience, lack of time and lack of space. We converted our apartment into our official ManyVids Office. We kept one room to sleep in and transformed the rest of space for working. At that time, every decision we took was a huge risk. Because of the lack of funds, one wrong move and everything, the business, our dreams would be over. We hired our first team members without having the proper funds. We believe it was the right decision and it was. We moved the MV Offices from the basement apartment into a much bigger, much nicer office space, moving a few times as the team grew, to our current 16 000 square feet office in Montreal, Quebec.

Today, almost 4 years after the initial launch of ManyVids.com, the MV Team is composed of over 100 dedicated team members that believe in our vision and mission and wish to help adult content creators from all over the world become successful independent entrepreneurs.

 

At ManyVids, we have the utmost respect for all our strong and courageous MV Stars. There are over 17,200 performers on our site and the most important thing that we want to get across to them is this:

“You are not alone! You are important and you can and will accomplish amazing things in this world”.

I am incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished and it’s just the beginning. There is an incredible amount of work ahead of us that to help change perceptions and conditions for these people who give so much of themselves. I truly believe that it’s possible to have a profitable business that considers caring and helping a top priority that influences everything we do. What could be better than that?

Bella French is CEO and co-founder of ManyVids, the world’s fastest growing adult clip site. She launched the platform in 2014 and brought with it her vision to revolutionize the adult industry by offering a safe haven that promotes sex positivity and the fair treatment of adult entertainers. A self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, ManyVids is her third business venture. She has focused her energy, passion and expertise into establishing the ManyVids marketplace platform, empowering content creators to become successful independent entrepreneurs in their own right. Bella studied Marketing and Logistics at business school HEC Montreal and lives in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Bella French also served as ManyVids CFO from 2014 until 2017.

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Business

Which Clover Station To Use for Small Business?

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Depending on what type of business you run, you may have been having a little trouble deciding what kind of payment processing system you should upgrade to. Figuring out exactly which one is best for your situation may seem a bit confusing since there are so many options available to replace the old stationary cash register model.

Clover Station is one popular option available with credit card processing service from Merchant Account Solutions that offers you different configurations depending on what type of business you operate. Here is a quick rundown on the available systems.

Clover Station 

For a traditional type store setting with a twist, you may find Clover Station best fits your needs. The Android tablet-based system is stationary but features a swiveling stand to allow customers interaction with the screen. 

Clover Mini

If you are tight on space, but you still the capabilities of a full-featured payment system, consider the Clover Mini. The Clover Mini has a small footprint but still sports a large screen and the same intuitive interface as the larger Clover Station system. It comes ready to accept all forms of payment types.

 Clover Flex 

Clover Flex lets your POS move to serve your customer better. Give them the convenience of checking out anywhere in your store. You also have the freedom to take your POS with you as you perform residential services.

Take the Plunge

Regardless of size, all Clover Station systems from Merchant Account Solutions come ready to go to work taking payments and tracking your key metrics. The power of integrating Cloud-based software into your operation will revolutionize your business by letting you see your information anytime from anywhere. A plethora of apps from the Clover App Marketplace will help you effortlessly customize the service you provide.

Prefer the iOS Apple interface? Try the Revel POS System for the same functionality on a more familiar feeling device.

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Business

What Do I Need to File When Starting a Business?

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Starting a new business can be an exciting time in someone’s life but it can be even
more stressful as you begin dealing with paperwork for things such as taxes. When
starting a new business there are several licenses that one must obtain but a very
important thing to get is an employer identification number or an EIN number. This is a
way for the Internal Revenue Services or IRS to keep track of your business for tax
purposes. It is how they can identify your business as a legal entity. When starting a
new business, you must first decide what entity you should file under such as:

 Sole Proprietor/Individual
 Corporation, S-Corporation, and Personal Service Corporation
 Limited Liability Company
 Partnership
 Estate
 Non-Profit
 Church Controlled Organization

After deciding which entity, you should file under, you can then apply for your employer
identification number, also referred to as a FEIN. To bypass dealing directly with the
IRS, you can use the website IRS-EIN-Tax-ID.com to file for your tax identification
number. They have broken the sometimes-confusing process into three simple steps.

1. Select Entity
2. Enter Information
3. Review and Submit

When you begin the filing process, they have agents that will help you with the filling
and processing. They have extensive knowledge that they will use to answer any
questions you may have. This ensures that all the information you are submitting is
correct and the application will not be denied. After applying, you will receive your EIN
number the same day, typically within an hour as long as it was filled during business
hours. It will come via email and will be formatted 12-3456789, which is similar to a
social security number. Filling through this website is much faster and helps you start
your business up sooner rather than later.

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Business

Back to school self-care tips for mom

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Tell me it’s not true! School has already begun?

These are the thoughts of millions of moms around the world, as they enter into the first few weeks of the school year.

Are you prepared? Do you know what you need to do to stay at the top of your game as a mom with kids in school?

For the past 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been helping millions upon millions of people every year get into the practice of self-care, and moms, you might need this more than anyone.

Below, David talks about the six key self care tips, they can help you keep sane, during the school year.

Almost 20 years ago, I worked with my first mom who was having a serious anxiety attack 30 days into the school year.

She was nervous and anxious, because one of her children was going into first grade, and the other child was going to high school… Two daunting experiences for most children in their lifetime.

And she was really feeling their anxiety, and her own.

So, we sat down, over the period of several months, and went over all the most important self care tips that she needed to be following in order to be at her best.

The problem is that she wasn’t doing any of them, and actually felt guilty and filled with shame that she was looking at taking time for herself when she really needed to be putting all of her free time into her children and family.

But she was wrong.

Many women, many moms are wrong when it comes to the amount of time they put into their own self-care versus that of their children and family.

Below, are the six most important key self care tips for all moms to follow, when you have children in school:

Number one. Exercise. I know, I know, I know. You have no time.

Nonsense.

Everyone has time to exercise, it’s whether you want to make it a priority or not.

Exercise of any type releases endorphins in the brain, feel good chemicals, anti-depressant chemicals, that can keep your mood elevated even when you’re going through the stressful experiences that your children are.

What type of exercises is best? The answer to this question is really easy: the type of exercise you’ll do on a regular basis. That’s it. No secrets. That’s it.

So, if you’re into yoga, Pilates, running, weight training, Zumba classes… I could care less what you’re into, just get engaged in the activity 3 to 4 days a week at minimal.

Do you hate all of the above?

Then walk dammit. I’m laughing as I write that, don’t take it personally, it’s just the truth.

No excuses when it comes to exercise. If you want to walk, or that’s the only thing you’ll do, 30 minutes a day minimal, seven days a week is what you need to try to say sane in this world.

Number two.   Stay in close touch with your children’s teachers. Don’t be a nag, but I recommend at least every two weeks to touch base and ask their teachers about your children’s behavior, performance, effort and the end result of their work.

Now for the millions of teachers out there that are also moms that are reading this, you’re probably going to be pissed off at me right now because I’m recommending parents to stay close in touch with you.

It’s OK that you’re irritated with me, but I can tell you from experience, that the very best thing a parent can do is to be in close contact with the only other person that has her children more than she does on a daily basis: teachers.

Number three.  Eat every 3 to 4 hours. Your energy levels, which is tied 100% into your blood sugar levels, need to be elevated throughout the day in order to reduce the chances of irritability, impatience, yelling… At the simplest thing that your children do.

We have found with all of our clients, when they eat every 3 to 4 hours a combination of protein and vegetables or a small amount of fruit, that they dramatically decrease their irrational reactions to the children’s behavior before and or after school. Never, ever, ever skip meals. Every 3 to 4 hours, eat something healthy.

Number four.  Remember, your children are children. I don’t care if they’re six, or 16, they’re kids.

Recently, one of my clients with a 14-year-old child, a young girl, snuck out of the house when she had a sleepover, got in a car full of boys, and they went on a joy ride at midnight.

Everyone was safe, no one got hurt, and when her daughter came back to the house she was filled with guilt and shame for breaking the rule surrounding not leaving the house during a sleepover.

Many parents would absolutely flip out, ground their children for six months or do some other outrageous rages disciplinary action… Because they’re being freaking children.

The role of the child, as they age, is to learn to become independent. To live on their own. To make their own decisions. And guess what mom and dad? They’re going to make mistakes.

If you were the perfect child, good for you, but that’s not normal. Most children will try to push boundaries and territories and we must be firm, without being ridiculous.

My client, recommended when she talked to her former husband, that they take away her privilege for sleepovers for several weeks, and get her involved in community action, whether it’s picking up trash on the side of the road or some kind of service… Which I told her was a brilliant move.

Her husband? He didn’t see it that way. He wanted to be the big bad Wolf. He wanted to go after and beat the hell out of the boys in the car. He wanted to take away her phone and ground her for months. He was being a bully, I’m sorry I’m just gonna call it the way it is.

If you can’t sit down and talk with your children, with a consequence yes, and not bully them and berate them and beat them down, you suck as a parent.

Please get into counseling with someone who can teach you How to be a reasonable adult. If this irritates you, you need a lot of counseling.

And if you really think I’m wrong? Hire me for eight weeks, I’ll work with you one on one and teach you how to be a phenomenal, loving, boundary setting parent… Something this world needs more of.

Number five.   relaxation techniques. Get involved with meditation, deep breathing, you can go and google my relaxation video on YouTube, a brief meditation, and do it every day.

It doesn’t matter if it’s four minutes a day or 30 minutes a day, get into the habit of doing breathing or meditation exercises. I recommend guided breathing or guided meditation, so you don’t have to try to do something that is so foreign for most of us.

This will lower your anxiety, decrease a percentage of depression, boost immune system functioning and much more.

Number six.  Journal every day. Right about the great things your kids are doing, and the challenges they’re offering you. Balance your writing. But get it out of your head on paper, and then you can actually share that with a counselor, minister, priest or life coach if you run into serious parenting issues.

Over the last almost 30 years, I’ve worked with children as low as 10 years of age who are filled with either anxiety or anger all the way up to 18 years of age as they were preparing to leave high school and go on their own… Struggling with alcohol, drugs, peer pressure and more.

There’s a darn good chance as a parent you’re going to need a support system outside of friends and family, once again a counselor, therapist or a life coach could be a saving adjunct, or tool, to your parenting experiences.

Over the last 40 years, I have had the greatest opportunity in the world, to learn how to be a parent to four different children.

A role model. At first, I was overly demanding, yes, I was a bully, and that was in 1980.

Recently, three years ago, I became the male role model for a beautiful 10-year-old little girl who now is 13 1/2, who never had a consistent, loving, caring, male role model… And it is been the most incredible experience for both of us.

But hold on Sally! That doesn’t mean it’s been easy. I’ve had to use incredible patience, outrageous communication skills, and allow her to grow at her rate… Not my rate.

Think about that as a parent.    I know, by following the above six tips, you can rock your own world, and become the parent that maybe you’ve always wanted to have in life.

(more…)

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