Blog Posts

Expenses Versus Investments: What’s the Difference?

Merriam-Webster definitions

Expense – something expended to secure a benefit or bring about a result

Investment – the outlay of money usually for income or profit : capital outlay; also : the sum invested or the property purchased

Expenses are basically things we pay for to bring a benefit or result. We have expenses like car notes and groceries to help us move around and eat.

Investments tend to be things that we think about a little more and don’t necessarily need right now. The idea is that we pay something now for the chance of a greater return later.

What someone sees as an expense may be considered an investment to someone else

Believe it or not, one person might consider something an expense that another considers an investment. This all comes down to mindset. I’ll explain further.

Let’s take books, for example. Someone who isn’t interested in learning much might consider buying books “for fun” as a waste of money, an unnecessary expense. However, someone else who is passionate about learning new things or about a certain topic would consider that purchase to be an investment.

The thing is, investments don’t always have to bring monetary return. The return can be intangible as well. Learning more and spending money to educate yourself is an investment in yourself. Something interesting happens when you learn more and become an expert in your craft… the more you learn and improve, the more monetary return you can usually generate.

An example of shifting perspective: my self car wash story

I posted a status a few years ago about how I couldn’t believe people waste money on expensive car washes when they can do it themselves for just a couple of bucks. I’d spend 30 minutes or or so going to a self car wash or washing my car in the driveway. This involved scrubbing the car down, hosing the soap off, then using a chamois to dry it all off. Sometimes it was hot outside, other times it would be cold. But hey, I washed the whole car for maybe $2!

I considered getting car washes as an unnecessary expense at the time.

A few years later, I have perspective and a better understanding of the value of time. Yes, I had heard that time is money, but it really rings true today.

After you’ve had a little taste of generating a decent hourly income that far exceeds the cost to get something done, you don’t mind paying for the convenience. I now look at paying to have my car washed as an investment as it helps free up my own time.

My time is better spent finding a resell deal or closing a sales funnel client instead of hand washing my car for 30 minutes or an hour.

What changed? MINDSET.

The guy who last commented on this post is someone who had the right mindset… a mindset it took me a few more years to develop. His comment was: “what if you make enough money where $25 is viewed like the $2.50?” BOOM. If you’re generating decent money, it’s not worth spending time on a task that you can just offload.

This is similar to hiring virtual assistants or freelancers to do things you’re not good at so you can spend time and resources on those that you are.You see, I was looking at things with a small-minded perspective. I was probably earning $35/hour at my “good” oil & gas job. So comparing to an hour of work, $25 would mean giving up about 70% of what I got paid in an hour.

I’m sharing my previous salary and my small-minded mentality with you because I want to be completely open. I want you to learn what I know now instead having a small-minded mindset another few years.

Look, it’s all about where you are in life. At that time in life, washing my own car to save $25 was kind of a big deal. However, I’d rather just have someone else do it so I can spend my time working on other things or doing things that are more important to me.

Moral of the story: THINK BIGGER

The moral of this story is to think bigger. Some things like drinks at a bar may be a waste of money. Or maybe it could be an investment if you’re taking a client out to talk about a deal. Perspective and mindset play a huge role in whether you consider something to be an expense or an investment with a return of some sort.

The main takeaway is to value your time. Pay for things that are non-value add activities if possible and focus on those things that are. Don’t be afraid to spend money on courses or books that you know will help you get to the next level. Pay for flights and tickets to a conference where you’ll connect with like-minded individuals. Lastly, don’t just think of things as a waste of money. If it’s an experience, enjoy the experience.

Of course, be careful with this mindset. Don’t spend money you don’t have. But don’t be afraid to spend some money to enjoy life. Get a fancy, overpriced dinner with tiny sushi plates. Check out the experience. Learn how the rich operate and how they think. Focus on GROWING wealth, and you won’t have to worry about expenses. There’s a quote I remember hearing that I want to leave you with:

“Revenue solves all problems.” Remember to add value and the revenue will come. Better yet, “Profit solves all problems.” If you have high expenses, high revenue might not be enough.


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Chris Bello

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Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast: Season 3 Episode 4 – The Pitch (Josh Muccio)

Today we are covering The Pitch hosted by Josh Muccio from Gimlet Media. This show covers real entrepreneurs pitching to real investors. It’s like an audio version of Shark Tank. It delivers on the high-stakes promise of a live pitch without shying away from nitty gritty details of what happens after everyone shakes hands and walks out of the room. I’ll be running through the highlights of the first episode so you can see what it’s all about. The episode is 36 minutes long, so I’ll give you the 30,000 foot version.

Feel free to reach out with questions or comments at and remember, less dreaming, more doing.


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Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast: Season 2 Episode 2 – Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Today we’re going to run over a book I really enjoyed called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Kiyosaki helps break down some financial knowledge into easy to understand stories and concepts. This book focuses on shifting your mindset to think like the rich do. Work smarter, not necessarily harder.

You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

Feel free to reach out with questions or comments at and remember, less dreaming, more doing. 


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Blog Posts

How To Find The Next Big Thing: 3 Tips For Spotting Opportunities

Raise your hand if you missed the “invest in Amazon” train. Is your hand up like mine? Now, keep your hand up if you also missed the Bitcoin train. Mine’s still up too. Okay, last one. Keep your hand raised if you’re tired of missing the next big thing.

If you’re tired of missing out on opportunities, you’ve got to start acting on them early on. Do your research, identify potential pros and cons of a potential opportunity, and take action before you miss the train. In all sorts of investments, people tend to jump aboard when things are taking off. As soon as things start looking bad even in the slightest bit, people jump off the wagon, and that’s where they incur losses.

Like I always stress, action is key here. Sitting back and being indecisive will leave you in the dust while those that take action see success. If you never take risks, you’ll never potentially reap rewards. Now you should take action for new opportunities in general, don’t just look for the “next big thing.” Thinking of what will be big in 10 years is tough. Technology is always changing, a lot happens in 10 years. All we can do is make the best judgments possible with the available information. To be honest, I’m not even sure what’s happening next month, so I personally won’t try to guess what the next 10 years will look like. The only constant is change.

I want to review some things that seem like common sense. You may have heard some of them before, but they are extremely important. Be sure to truly understand them follow them closely.

3 Tips For Spotting Opportunities

1. Pay attention to things that a few people are starting to talk about, but the masses don’t yet know about.

Bitcoin is an example. I remember hearing a small amount of people talk about Bitcoin years ago. I had no idea what it was, most people didn’t. Heck, most people still don’t quite understand what it is or how it works. Those folks that got into it years ago and held onto that investment are the ones who benefited immensely recently.

2. Do your research. Is this really a viable opportunity that has legs?

Don’t just take your friend’s advice on investing in a new opportunity. Start reading up on the topic, listening to any relevant podcasts, and watching YouTube videos to learn more. Learn all the ins and outs and what risks you may be taking in the event that you decide to invest time or money in something new.

3. Diversify your portfolio. 

Seems like common sense, but common sense isn’t always common. Don’t put your life savings into the next cryptocurrency in hopes that it will become the next Bitcoin. That’s how people lose everything when things don’t work out. Split time and money into various areas across multiple industries. Try to invest in things you have researched and understand. Invest in what you know.

When Investing Money, Always Remember:

Buy low and sell high. When markets are doing poorly and stocks drop, that is the time to buy (everything is on sale!). Don’t buy after everyone and their mom has invested in a stock. At that point, you’ll be the sucker buying it at it’s peak. This also goes for reselling items, which I’ve been pretty successful at. Find items at clearance racks or garage sales and sell them online at regular price for a profit. 

Never invest more than you’re willing to lose. When investing, assume you will lose all the money you are putting in. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best. People get into trouble when they invest more than they are willing, or can afford, to lose.


Note: this should not be construed as financial or legal advice. This post simply expresses some of my personal opinions and how I choose to invest my own time and money. 


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Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast: Season 2 Episode 1- Think and Grow Rich

Welcome to Season 2 of the Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast. If you were here for last season, you’ll remember we covered a lot of topics from inventing a product to online tools I recommend checking out.

This season will be a little different. I’ll be running through some of the important points I’ve come across in various books I’ve read. Whether you’ve read them before or not, I’ll be sure to offer some fresh perspectives and highlight key takeaways. I definitely recommend you check the books out that I’ll be running through, as my short podcast can’t truly do them justice.

Here is the link if you’d like to purchase on Amazon.

Feel free to reach out with questions or comments at and remember, less dreaming, more doing. 


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Chris Bello

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Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast

Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast: Episode 10 – Market Testing And Feedback

Today’s focus will be on market validation, testing, and feedback. Different people look for different types of things in products or services, and you can’t make everyone happy. I’ll review how to segment your target customers, identify various needs, and take that information into account when getting feedback.

Feel free to reach out with questions or comments at and remember, less dreaming, more doing.


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Chris Bello

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Blog Posts

Picking The Right Team

In a recent post, I stressed the fact that you shouldn’t get so hung up on a name. I honestly think that it’s best to brainstorm a decent amount but to ultimately just pick something and move on. Every day you waste thinking about the “perfect name” is a day you cannot spend growing your business. When it comes to picking a team, this is NOT the case. You’ll want to do your due diligence here to make sure the team you’re assembling is the best possible fit.

Who should be on your team?

People with complementary skills should be on a team. You don’t want two marketing guys and zero web developers. It’s best to have a representative from each key function who is skilled at their craft. Here’s an example of a great mix:

  • A graphic designer – good with editing photos, videos, creating marketing material, etc.
  • A product developer – if creating software or a website, this person should be capable of creating an SEO optimized website and customize areas as necessary. If creating a physical product, this person should help design, prototype, and test products.
  • A sales lead – responsible for finding new customers, distributing marketing materials, etc.

Chances are that the functions will overlap in some areas. The sales guy may be involved in video editing or filming. The web guy may have to use Canva and do some free, easy edits when the graphic designer is tied up. Be flexible, but always reach out for clarification from the subject matter expert when in doubt.

Complementary skills

Experience Pooling

Make sure that members have experience in their areas. One cannot simply decide to be a graphic designer. He or she should have previous experience, have gone to school for it preferably, and have a proven track record and portfolio. Once you pool all this talent together, you’ll be able to achieve things quickly and effectively.

Assigning Equity 

Before getting excited, assigning equity, and drafting up business papers, you should do one thing: work together. Try working together for a few weeks at minimum. Heck, even a few months. Gauge everyone’s work ethic. Are there slackers? Are there “talkers” that don’t get to the “doing” part? If so, really see if those individuals are necessary. If anyone does not add value or consistently lets the team down, avoid them like the plague. That’s some solid advice I wish I had myself on my first LLC, so I could have avoided some issues down the road.

A recent podcast I listened to, “How To Start A Startup” by Y Combinator, recommended having vested equity. You can either check out the podcast or feel free to see the recorded videos here on YouTube. Vested equity means that founders earn certain percentages over time. This way, they can be in it for the long haul. If a founder leaves early, they won’t take a huge chunk of the company with them.

Are you trying to pick a team now? Or do you have a team member currently that isn’t contributing? Feel free to ask any questions or post any comments below.


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Startup Software
Recommended Software

Startup Necessities: Software to Consider

You’ve invested in some equipment and it’s time to discuss software. If you want to reference my equipment recommendations again, you can check them out here. I’m assuming that you probably already have a basic laptop or desktop computer. If not, please consider making an investment in that as there are still many things that are difficult to do on tablets or mobile. I’m personally eyeing Macbooks, as I’ve always been intrigued, but I still haven’t managed to break up with PC yet.

Software is tricky because there are multiple options and various pros and cons all over the place. Paid is usually better, but there are many valuable services also available to you for free. I’ll highlight a bunch of software or online tools I personally use, what they do, and how they’ll benefit you no matter what it is that you are working on.

I’m not currently paying for a lot of software just yet, so my investment costs are very low. A lot of tools out there also have tier pricing where they offer free as well as paid versions with varying features depending on price.

Alright, so here’s my list:

Website / Sales Funnels

WordPress – Create Your Own Website Now

  • TLDR Version: Build websites that are SEO optimized for free. There are also various paid versions with varying features.
  • Create a free website or easily build a blog on WordPress offers hundreds of free, customizable, mobile-ready designs and themes. It also offers free hosting and support. This is what my websites and are built on.
  • There is a free version, but there are also other paid tiers where you can get more features depending on what you’re looking for such as extra storage.
  • There are other options as well such as,, and , but WordPress is extremely easy to use and much more SEO (search engine optimization) friendly, so that your website can be found easily by others.



  • TLDR Version: Easily build great looking, converting sales funnels to drive traffic to via ads. Free 14-day trial, and then $97 a month after that for the Startup Package.
  • Use ClickFunnels to quickly create high-converting marketing & sales funnels. If you don’t know what a sales funnel is, don’t worry. I had no clue either. Russell Brunson, a ClickFunnels founder, has tons of great videos on the site and on an email sequence where you learn how easy it is. As people move through the funnel, they’re getting closer to becoming a paying customer.
    • Let’s say 600 people see your ad. Out of that, maybe 10% click the link to download your free PDF or eBook. So, 60 people now enter their email address to get your free gift. You then make the offer for your paid product or service. Out of the 60 people in your funnel, you may have 5% that ultimately convert (3 people). If your product sells for $197, that’s $591 in revenue. Obviously, the goal is to increase your conversion rates to get more people taking your free offer and ultimately your paid one, as well.
  • Still confused? This funny video from ClickFunnels does a great job explaining it.

ClickFunnels Sales Funnels

  • ClickFunnels offers a free 14-day trial, and is then $97 monthly for the Startup Package. They offer an upgraded package with other tools called Actionetics and Backpack for $297 a month. I personally am using the Startup Package and finding a ton of value. It might seem high to pay this if you are a startup but think of how much you can get in return from using amazing tools? This is a business expense. For that reason, I didn’t hesitate for a second to sign up full-time after I used the 14-day trial and saw the potential. “You’re only one funnel away” as Russell says.


Email Automation

MailChimp – Free Marketing Automation‎

  • TLDR Version: Utilize email automation to send messages to various subscriber lists (the only work you need to do is the initial content creation, then it’s autopilot). Completely FREE if your subscriber list is below 2,000 and you’re sending 12,000 emails or less a month.
  • MailChimp provides marketing automation for e-commerce businesses. Send beautiful emails, connect your e-commerce store, advertise, and build your brand.

MailChimp Email Automation

    • To be honest, I signed up for MailChimp months before I ever dug in and learned the ropes. It ended up being quite easy to use and integrate with other tools such as ClickFunnels and WordPress. The best part is that it is free if your list is below 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. This way, you can keep it free until you reach a point where it makes sense to pay. If you grow it to above 2,000 subscribers, chances are, what you’re doing is working so you should continue.


SendLane – Results Driven Email Automation

  • TLDR Version: Email automation to send unlimited campaigns and newsletters to your subscribers. The lowest tier allows you to send emails to up to 1,000 contacts for just $25/month. 
  • I have considered using SendLane after reading The Circle Of Profit by SendLane Co-Founder Anik Singal. On a side note, this book was amazing and so helpful in understanding step-by-step how to create a sales funnel and drive converting traffic to it. Check it out if you really want to open your eyes to the possibilities sales funnels can unlock. The book has “video breaks” where you can go to a link and watch a quick video to recap or further explain certain things.

SendLane Email Automation


Graphic Design

Unsplash – Beautiful Free Images

  • TLDR Version: Get access to tons of high-quality, copyright-free photos, all for free.
  • This is my go-to site for high quality, copyright-free photos. In fact, many of my blog posts and some social media posts have pictures I’ve found on Unsplash. You can give credit to photographers if you like as a way of showing appreciation, but it isn’t required.


Canva – Amazingly Simple Graphic Design Software 

  • TLDR Version: Break free from reaching out to your graphic designer with this easy to use software. You can pay for some premium content, but you get amazing value and can get by on the free version alone as well.
  • This has been a true game changer for me and has made me much less reliant on my graphic designer friend. There are a few premium things you can pay for, but you get so much valuable uses with the free options. You can create banners, Facebook Ads, YouTube video thumbnails, logos and so much more, all for free.


Screen Recording Software

Open Broadcaster Software

  • TLDR Version: Free screen recording software.
  • Like most tools, I Googled “free screen recording software” and came across this gem.
  • OBS does a great job of capturing your screen all for free. I am currently using OBS as opposed to paid software as I’m not recording a ton of screen footage at this time.


  • TLDR Version: High quality, paid video editing / screen recording software. Get a single user license for $199.
  • Camtasia is a software suite for creating video tutorials and presentations directly via screencast, or via a direct recording plug-in to Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • I’ve used the software before and it works very well. I just don’t record enough right now to justify the investment.


  • TLDR Version: High quality, paid video editing / screen recording software. Sign-up for the basic option for $129.
  • ScreenFlow is basically the Camtasia version for the Mac. This was highly recommended by Anik Singal in the book I mentioned earlier, but I do not own a Mac and have not experienced the software yet myself.


Video Editing Software

Windows Movie Maker

  • TLDR Version: Free video editing software for windows. Enough to get by for basic video editing.
  • Windows Movie Maker is a discontinued video editing software by Microsoft. It is a part of Windows Essentials software suite and offers the ability to create and edit videos as well as to publish them. If you have it on your computer, consider checking it out. If not, you’ll have to use another program.
  • While many may roll their eyes at this basic video editor, I’ve used this for nearly all of my video editing for years and have few complaints. If you just need basic editing functions such as splitting or trimming footage, check this out.


  • TLDR Version: Free video editing software for Mac. Great tool for video editing.
  • iMovie is a video editing software application sold by Apple Inc. for the Mac and iOS.
  • I have seen my Mac-using friends edit footage on iMovie and it looks extremely user-friendly and easy to manage. Mac users, check this out and see if it suits your needs prior to paying for expensive software.

GoPro Studio

  •  TLDR Version: Free video editing software for GoPro footage. Can work well but sometimes crashes.
  • Free software if you have a GoPro to edit footage. My version has crashed on me several times, but I still try to use it when I have a manageable amount of video to edit from my GoPro. It tends to mainly crash if you upload way too much footage. Maybe that’s because my computer isn’t powerful enough, or maybe it’s because it’s a free software.
  • You can do a few more neat things with this than with many other free editors, such as change video filters and color schemes.


Royalty-Free Music


  • TLDR Version: Royalty-free music! Just leave credit.
  • NoCopyrightSounds is a record label dedicated to releasing FREE music for the sole purpose of providing creators with the finest sounds to enhance the creativity and popularity of their content, safe from any copyright claims or infringement.
  • Don’t forget to leave credit where credit is due:
    • NCS Music is free to use for independent Creators and their UGC (User Generated Content) on YouTube & Twitch – please remember to credit the artist, track and NCS and link back to our original upload.



  • TLDR Version: Royalty-free music! Just leave credit.
  • Free music (copyright-free). Just be sure to leave credit.
    • Title Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Remember to reach out or comment if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. I’m happy to help explain things in more detail if you’re confused on any points. All of the above comes in extremely handy for my business and personal life. I love editing videos, building sales funnels, and automating things by using email autoresponders. I’ll talk to you soon. Remember to stay connected!


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Chris Bello

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Startup Tools
Recommended Products

Startup Necessities: Tools To Consider Investing In 

Whether you’re inventing a product or you want to create an online course for something you are good at, there are some tools you’ll want to consider investing in. Save yourself hours of YouTube research on these items. Trust me, I’ve already digested hours of footage myself and have summarized the best deals below to make your life easier. Here’s my list of startup necessities:

  • Camera
    • I personally use the Canon G7X and absolutely love it. You can also check out the Mark II version if you like as well. My photographer friend with fancy cameras like a DSLR bought one for himself and uses it more than any other camera he owns. It’s so lightweight and easy to carry!

  • Flexible tripod
    • Check out the JOBY GorillaPod Flexible Tripod. You’ll see famous vloggers walking around with one of these. It can be used as a selfie stick, wrap around oddly shaped objects, or provide a perfect tripod for you to set up as you record yourself speaking.

  • Lighting set for product photography or video recording
    • Whether you’re taking pictures of products or recording footage for an online course, good lighting will be very important. Check out the CowboyStudio Lighting Kit  as it’s a true game changer.

  • 1080p webcam
    • My Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is very helpful when I want to record videos at my computer or even do Skype calls with freelancers I’m working with.

  • USB Microphone
    • Consider the Blue Yeti USB Microphone for an absolutely amazing mic. I have this set up on my desk to record my podcasts and any other audio where I want the quality to be perfect.

  • Pop filter
    • Check out the Dragonpad Pop Filter to reduce the popping sound when you use words that start with the letter “P” in words such as “paper” or “partake.” This stays right in front of my Yeti mic to further clean up the sound.

  • Lapel microphone
    • Save yourself some headaches and get a lapel microphone. I recommend this one from PowerDeWise. I record directly into the Voice Memo app on my phone while I am recording footage on my Canon G7X. I then sync the MP3 track to align with the video. Your camera will record great footage, but without a lapel mic, the camera audio will pick up background noises and echo.

Please feel free to do some extra research on your own. I encourage you to click through the links and check out the Amazon reviews on all my suggested products (they’re all extremely good!). These are absolutely startup necessities if you plan on bootstrapping and doing a lot of the work on your own. Keep in mind that getting agencies or professionals to do any services for you such as photography, video editing, or more will be much more expensive than just purchasing the equipment on your own. Stay tuned for another post coming soon on software I recommend using (both paid and free).


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Blog Posts

Picking a name for an idea or business

I don’t have any children, but I can imagine that picking a name for a kid can be very difficult. There are so many potential names and you want to make sure to pick the BEST one.

Picking a baby name
Picking a name can be hard

However, nobody cares what your kids’ names are, sorry to break it to you. Not until they make something of their name. Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos were names that meant nothing 100 years ago. Today, of course, those names are known globally.

The same, in my opinion, goes for company, product, or app names. Think of huge companies out there where consumers likely don’t know the meaning of the company names themselves. Uber, Spotify, Adidas, even Amazon. Those companies meant nothing until they made something of themselves and became known.

I suggest that you not get too hung up on names. As I’ve progressed in side-hustles and my business ventures, I’ve gotten less and less hung up on names. Coming up with Flexthetics took forever. We had to do all the research, make sure the domain and social media handles were available, and all that good stuff.

Now, I’ve built a sales funnel for iPhone X cases I’m selling and I made up a name in about 5 minutes. I made up a random word, Siirenz, in an attempt to find an unique spelling for the word “sirens.” Sirens, from Greek mythology, are those tempting mermaid type women that would cause ships to crash upon the rocks. It has nothing to do with phone cases, but again, I don’t want to spend weeks coming up with a name, I just want to put a logo on there and start selling products.

If your side-hustle products become wildly successful and start selling a lot, then I would consider filing a trademark and doing all of that good stuff. Otherwise, why set up an LLC, file a trademark, etc. for something that might not even work (again, I’m drawing from my own experience of filing an LLC and trademark then throwing it all away for another name anyways)?

Remember this when coming up with your own name in the future. You can also consider naming it something very obvious. An episode on the Podcast Side-Hustle School mentioned a woman who invented coffee for moms and literally named it “Mommy Coffee.” It doesn’t have to be difficult, you just have to pick something! From there, you can move ahead with creating your logo, website, marketing materials, etc.


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