The 2022 Sydney Film Festival Has Just Announced Its Full 2022 Lineup

Sydney Film Festival’s full program is officially here! You can now explore over 200+ films from June 8-19, with cinema from around the world sure to captivate, delight, and shock.   

Catch Australian and International films and documentaries directed by and starring women across our entire program. Watch incredible Australian films such as THE SWEETNESS, nominated for a Documentary Australia award, and SERIOUSLY RED, directed by Gracie Otto in her feature-length debut. Don’t miss the Europe! Voices of Women in Film program strand, dedicated to women directors and their stories. Watch LOVING HIGHSMITH, BLUE MOON, and GIRL PICTURE, only in the cinema, only at SFF. 

You can explore the program and book your tickets via this link. 

Don’t miss the Europe! Voices of Women program via this link.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Find Out More About Gila Kurtz, A #1 International Best-Selling Author & Serial Entrepreneur

Gila Kurtz is a #1 international best-selling author and serial entrepreneur who found her deepest passion in working with dogs and their people. Following a career in education, she built a successful dog training business and then co-founded the award-winning, highly recognizable lifestyle brand for dog lovers, Dog is Good. Along with her husband, Jon, Gila took the Dog is Good brand from start-up to a seven-figure company.

She is the recipient of several business awards, including recognition as one of the top 25 women of influence in the pet industry, Woman of the Year by the Women in the Pet Industry Network, and was featured in Success Magazine, Forbes Magazine, and on the Grow Wire Show.

Author of Fur Covered Wisdom…A Dog Can Change the Way You See the World, Gila’s dog-centric approach to life, leadership, and relationships is authentic and immediately relatable. She utilizes her skills as a canine expert and compelling teacher to engage audiences in “muttnificent mastery” and inspires individuals to “fetch a life worth barking about.”

Global Elite Media Group recently caught up with Gila to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur, and here’s what went down:

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

After marrying an “officer and a gentleman”, I quickly realized that maintaining my chosen profession as a teacher would be challenged by the moves that occurred every two years. I decided to launch a business selling lingerie at home parties. As I experienced success, I began looking for other businesses that I could easily transport from move to move. As often happens, with every experience new doors open and those doors opened to the roads which paved the way to where I am today as an entrepreneur.

How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?

My life did not look that much different. I am a lifelong learner and have always spent time focused on personal growth and development. I have always focused on delivering more than expected. I have always made my health and values a priority.

As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?

The desire to make a difference and have a positive impact on the world and community around me.

In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.

Magnetic: I attract what I focus on …and I focus on attracting only good people into my life, only good opportunities to align with, and I stay committed to my vision to change lives one dog at a time.

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

Create something stylish and meaningful that highlights the dog-human bond.

Build a family business.

Make a difference.

What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?

– Take time to identify the bigger picture vision and get clear on why you want to create your business.

– Identify and focus on revenue-generating activities

– Align with people who share your core values

– Never worry about the “how”…Identify the “ who”

– Ask for help

What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?

– Costly manufacturing disasters: found new manufacturers, shifted strategy on growing sales.

– COVID: regrouped, assessed core verticals, and leaned in on what was working.

– Team: early on we did not have the right people in the right places…learned to hire for values and work ethic.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Word of mouth, b2c conversations, email marketing, and Facebook.

As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?

I am a bottleneck for growth if I don’t empower others around me. Lead by example, empower others, trust but verify. I hold the vision – but I don’t know everything…learn from the experts I bring to the team.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Focus on where you are going…not on where you are at.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

Know where you want to go and who you need to help get you there. Get a mentor, fast.

Five Prominent Social Media Platforms Every Entrepreneur Needs To Invest In

If you are planning to launch a small business or you’ve started one just recently and you haven’t utilised the power of social media because you think it’s for teens only – then you’re definitely missing out! You have probably encountered a load of information explaining how you can use social media to promote your business which makes sense because social media is a powerful money-making machine as long as it’s utilised the right way. It doesn’t really matter if you think social media is for kids, bottom line, EVERYONE is on social media and it’s free communication.

Although there are millions of social media users all throughout the world, it is quite easy to get carried away by the number. Looking for the right social media sites to get your business promoted and maximize its potential is important to the success of a business, and it is the part where you should be concentrating your efforts.

What will your business gain from engaging in social media?

Social media is all about engaging through sharing, which means, in business, it’s targeting your services, your product range, or your articles at engaging a possible client base or customer. With millions of users worldwide, social media is covering every topic range that you would be able to think of.

Along with engaging a prospective client base and customer, social media also plays a big relevance to SEO. Social media has been a unique format because it is helping you promote your content directly to your audience, which in turn, would generate traffic through people who share your content with others, and through search engine optimization.

The most prominent social media sites and their uses:

Below are six of the most prominent and significant social media sites that you need to utilise right now if you want your business to succeed.

1. YouTube  – This site is about showcasing videos to a large range of audiences. It is being utilized by businesses at all times to sell products and services. While YouTube is owned by Google, videos have a tendency of featuring prominently on the search engine results. You are even given the chance to utilize the YouTube ads for making a secondary stream of income.

2. Facebook – This social media site has been predominantly built for sharing. These can be articles, products, or services. It is for sharing your content with as many people as possible.

3. Twitter – It is about sharing news on any subject. You should not let the word “news” make you feel as if it does not apply to products. Twitter is good for new stock ready to be sold, new product launches, and other press releases.

4. Linkedin – For the newbies out there who haven’t heard of LinkedIn before, it’s a social network that is designed for career and business professionals to connect with each other. Unlike Facebook wherein, you can ask to be a friend of anyone you like, LinkedIn is not about numbers, it’s about quality, not quantity. It’s about building strategic relationships and connecting with people that are relevant to your business.

5. Instagram – This social media site is good to use when it comes to showcasing visual products. If your business is selling something on the web, make sure you post on Instagram and as many bookmarking sites as you can find. Instagram has been around now for a while, and it doesn’t just end there. It keeps growing. More than 500 million people have an Instagram account, and 300 million of these users are actively using the platform daily. This is great news for social media marketers.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Introducing Boston-Based Entrepreneur and Psychotherapist Angela Ficken

Angela Ficken, LICSW is a full-time psychotherapist in private practice. She specializes in OCD, eating disorders, and anxiety-related concerns. She started her career at McLean Hospital, which is one of the top-ranking psychiatric hospitals in the country and affiliated with Harvard University. She was the head social worker on an inpatient unit that focuses on anxiety and depression.

During her time at McLean, she trained in exposure therapy and became certified in CBT and DBT. Shortly thereafter, she worked at Harvard University as a primary therapist for undergraduate and graduate students. During her time there, she taught students CBT and DBT skills to help them manage a range of challenging emotions that young adults face daily.

Along with her work at McLean and Harvard, Angela had a small private practice for years before she decided to move full-time in 2013. From there, she focused her attention on working with young adults and entrepreneurs primarily after noticing that both groups struggled with anxiety disorders and stress-related issues due to life transitions and the uncertainty of what was coming next in their lives.

She spent years fine-tuning her practice and building her business into something more than a standard full-time private practice. She began writing for Huffington Post as an expert, which then catapulted her into writing for other major online sources which include Marriage.com where she is a verified expert, YourTango.com, ThriveGlobal.com, and has been quoted in Oprah Magazine, and Fastcompany.com, Inc.com, Forbes.com, MSN.com, Bustle.com, Popsugar.com, Buzzfeed.com, Nylon magazine, Allure.com, and Justluxe.com. She has also been a guest on Onward Nation with Stephen Woessner where she talked about OCD and intrusive thoughts, as well as on the radio in Chicago and Reno speaking about stress and anxiety.

 Global Elite Media Group recently caught up with Angela to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

There are several things my team and I are working on right now. I have two brands ProgressWellness.com which is focused on my private practice, and then the WorriedtoWellBalanced.com brand, a wellness platform designed specifically for professional women with busy lives.

We focus heavily on marketing both brands through Pinterest, publicity, and organic search engine optimization.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

The best marketing strategy for my business has been Pinterest. My team has helped build ad campaigns for infographics that go directly to related articles I’ve written for the WorriedtoWellbalanced.com blog, and to Amazon where I have a CBT workbook and stress buster guide available for purchase. Pinterest has by far been the most cost-effective strategy we have used and will continue to use for the foreseeable future.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

While we’ve tested out Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, Pinterest has yielded the best results. The platform provides us with the biggest reach for sharing our message and letting people learn more about me and my brands.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

My team and I discussed goals for both Progress Wellness and Worried to Well Balanced, and the attention required for the business to grow financially. In order for each of the businesses to grow, I needed to be more present for it which meant I would need to spend fewer hours with clients.

Seeing less clients means I give up an immediate cash flow for the potential growth of both brands, and that was a tough and stressful decision, but one I needed to make.

How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Both of my businesses have seen an increase over the past two years. My private practice, which is Progress Wellness, has had more people interested in therapy because it’s much easier to show up in a virtual setting. Sessions are virtual so after we end, they are back at work without a commute. It makes it much easier than taking a ninety-minute break in your day to factor in a commute to therapy. 

Worried to Well Balanced has also done well. During the pandemic, I wrote the Covid Coping Kit which was available on Amazon. We are now working on an Everyday Coping Kit, and I am currently writing my first book which will be released late this year.

I have had more availability working from home to partake in more podcasts, be on live television and build the Worried to Well Balanced and Progress Wellness brands.

How have you adapted your business operations in response to COVID-19 and its associated impacts?

My private practice has been virtual since mid-March 2020 and will remain virtual most likely for the foreseeable future. I have also used this time to create more online stress and anxiety management products knowing that stress levels for many people were going up and would possibly have less access to support. I wanted to give people easy access to skills and strategies which is how Worried to Well Balanced came about.

What have been some of the most important lessons you have learned because of this pandemic?

The most important lesson I learned over the past two years is how precious time is. Time is our hottest commodity and being able to work from home has afforded me more time with my daughter and husband that I never would have had if it were not for this pandemic.

Before Covid, I did not have thoughts about how I wanted to spend my time, but now I do. How do I want to spend it and who gets my time? This has helped me think through my work schedule, time with loved ones, and quality solo time. It’s been the best lesson.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

For the US, my hope is that small business owners, no matter where they are in the country, can get affordable health care, paid maternity and paternity leave, and other benefits bigger companies are able to give to their employees. For the world, I hope smaller businesses have more opportunities to increase their brand awareness giving people more choices.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up a new business in this pandemic?

As the world is starting to go back to “normal”, many people will want to continue online shopping as their main way of purchasing products. With that in mind, I would encourage you to have a website that is easy to use, on point with your message, and customers can easily find and purchase your products.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Introducing Glen Bhimani, The CEO and Founder of BPS Security

Glen Bhimani is the CEO and founder of BPS Security, which is one of the fastest-growing security firms in the US. He has decades of experience in security and was discovered by Grow Disrupt as a phenomenal business powerhouse during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when he navigated the pandemic in such a way that created a 400% growth in his company. Glen’s company utilizes proprietary software and integrates technology in novel ways to protect clients and improve the security industry as a whole.

Global Elite Media group recently caught up with Glen to discuss hia journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Currently, we are pursuing effective marketing strategies. We’ve got a solid sales system going and we’ve developed some of the leanest operations I’ve ever seen along with proprietary software that allows us to offer better services to our clients. In short, we’ve spent the last few years working on building our company into the best possible option for security and now we’re working on spreading the word through our marketing.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

Ironically, we didn’t have much marketing when we started. I knew nothing about marketing when we started and didn’t think it was important, so we didn’t have marketing for the first few years. Now we’ve discovered that having our website highly SEO’d have made a huge difference. We went from having maybe one call a week to sometimes five calls a day once we optimized the website, and we’ve begun to see a lot more traction in our credibility since starting our public relations campaign.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

We use a variety of platforms, but right now we primarily use LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. Twitter is where we heavily interact with the public, and our other social media platforms are utilized as information, education, and entertainment disseminators where we can keep in contact with our clients and fans.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

The toughest decision has been turning away poor clients. We have had several potential clients approach us for security services in the last few months who would have been huge revenue generators for the company. But at the same time, they would have been a horrible fit for our company: the way that they run their businesses is completely contrary to the integrity we believe in and act out, and would have required us to compromise our standards. It was a painful decision to watch that potential revenue disappear, but I knew it was the best choice to make; because once you compromise once, it becomes easier and easier until you no longer have a standard you hold to.

How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Because we were extremely prepared for it, the pandemic has actually helped us grow. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was watching the way the virus affected the security industry in other countries and saw how it caused the demand for security to shoot through the roof as valuable buildings were left unattended. I knew it was more than likely that the virus would make its way to the United States, so I prepared us for it by interviewing massive quantities of guards and making huge bulk orders for equipment so that we would be prepared when it hit the United States. Because of that, we had a growth of over 400% in the second quarter of 2020 when we were the only security firm prepared for the massive spike in security demand.

Aside from that, we’ve had to institute some company policies surrounding the handling of the virus’s impact on the world, but otherwise, we haven’t seen any negative effects of the pandemic.

How have you adapted your business operations in response to COVID-19 and its associated impacts?

Our operations have changed very little. We have always worked very heavily via internet and phone communication, and security guards are regularly required to wear facial coverings so switching over completely was a non-issue.

We do believe very strongly in the rights of the individual, so our stance on COVID-19 policies has always been to let our clients govern what the guards have to do on-site. If a client doesn’t care, we leave it up to the guard’s discretion. If the client has rules, our guards are required to follow them. Additionally, we were never interested in forcing anyone’s hands so we never made the vaccines a mandatory requirement. However, we offered bonuses for fully vaccinated guards and have seen a lot of success with that method of risk management/mitigation for COVID-19.

What have been some of the most important lessons you have learned because of this pandemic?

The biggest one is that you can never just sit back and hope people don’t notice your policies. Eventually, you are going to have to make a decision about current events and where you stand, so it is best to immediately consult your core values and make a decision before you’re put in a high-stress situation. I had way too many friends who tried to just ride out the wave of chaos over COVID restrictions and they suffered a lot of backlash for it. Knowing what you stand for and making policies before you ever get into a situation is the best way to have a solid response to chaos.

This one is not so much one that I learned because of the pandemic, but one that was strongly reinforced to me because of it: prepare for the worst, expect the best. If you pay attention to the goings-on in the world and always prepare yourself in case it happens to you, you’ll rarely be taken by surprise and you’ll likely be able to discover opportunities for growth like I was.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

I would love to see self-awareness rise in small businesses all over the world. Too many small businesses have an idea in their head of what their business should look like, but it doesn’t match reality and they make poor decisions based on it. Then they end up in a worse place than before. I think if small businesses were all to become far more self-aware, we would see greater growth in small business success. This would be my ideal for the world of small business owners: that all of us find the quickest and most sustainable path to growth through self-awareness.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up a new business in this pandemic?

Don’t let the pandemic intimidate you. There are so many opportunities for growth if you will just look for them. Your natural instinct is going to be to shy away from the tough decision that growing a business in a pandemic brings, which is normal: we tend to flee what we fear, and tough decisions are scary. But push through the fear and be courageous, you will find there are so many opportunities in places you never imagined if you just act in spite of your fear.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Introducing Lindsey Carnett, The CEO & President of Marketing Maven

Lindsey Cartnett started Marketing Maven after working at a public relations firm in Los Angeles, being the Marketing Director for a Scandinavian publicly-listed biosciences company, and starting a PR division for a multi-million-dollar advertising agency in Los Angeles. After many hours on the road commuting, at 26 years old, she was fearless and started Marketing Maven at the beginning of the Recession. She wanted to bring accountability to the public relations industry the same way that direct response advertisers brought attribution to their media dollars spend. She announced that she was doing PR for DR, meaning Public Relations for Direct Response, and launched into the direct-to-consumer marketing world, which had been her work experience from the early part of her career.

Global Elite Media Group recently caught up with Lindsey to discuss her journey as an entrepreneur and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Today, Marketing Maven looks very different than it did in 2009. When Marketing Maven was born, the service offerings included Public Relations only. We have since added social media marketing, digital advertising, influencer marketing, email marketing, event support, market research, and creative services including copywriting, graphic design, and website development. Marketing Maven is now bicoastal with its headquarters in the Greater Los Angeles area and offices in New York City.

Marketing Maven continues to grow because we practice what we preach. We contribute articles to noteworthy media outlets, we speak at conferences, we have award-winning campaigns, we announce significant agency news, and we establish strategic partnerships that allow us to advance.

We also put our money where our mouth is in terms of having the core value of a growth mindset. This means being lifelong learners- something of paramount importance in an industry that is constantly evolving. Marketing Maven allows for education time for each employee and even sponsors it, so we are investing in employee education to improve our skill sets, learn more about the industries our clients work in, and cross-train our fellow staff. Our emerging leaders are strategically placed in leadership development programs and acquire new skills that they bring back to Marketing Maven.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

Marketing Maven uses LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to increase brand awareness. Each platform is important for current and prospective clients, new hire recruiting, and employee engagement.

What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?

Paid advertising only works if you have a solid strategy and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you’ve established to gauge success. It’s important to start with a competitive analysis, understand your target audience and know what’s going to drive them to convert into qualified prospects. It’s more than getting a lead to your website. You must have a plan to keep them, as a nurture campaign with a series of relevant emails that have a substance of value in order to ultimately have them convert into a valuable client.

What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?

Pre-pandemic, we’d walk tradeshows with clients and they would do all of the selling for us. The best advocates are your existing clients who can show others the great work you’ve done for them. Today, we are working with our clients on case studies that they are proud of that we can share with prospects to showcase the work we do. We are also submitting case studies for awards so we can highlight award-winning campaigns in our marketing efforts. It’s great for us and for our clients!

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

The best form of marketing that has worked well for Marketing Maven throughout the years is word of mouth. The majority of our business comes via referrals so LinkedIn connections, one-on-one consultations, and a very customized approach are something that has proven successful year after year. Many times, we’ll do unique direct mailers prior to trade shows to request appointments and express our interest in working with specific brands.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

The toughest decision I had to make in the last few months was about office space. It’s hard to predict the post-pandemic office environment but I think the hybrid office is here to stay, at least during the next 5 years.

What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?

When I started Marketing Maven at age 26, I thought it was bad to get a business loan, so I put all my expenses on my personal credit cards. It wasn’t until I got more education about business financing that I realized that was a big mistake. I received an excellent education about business finances through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

What new business would you love to start?

I have many ideas for new businesses in many industries. Some are service-based and others are product-focused.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

I would have invested more money in seasoned industry veterans with proven success in my industry who weren’t already from my existing network. I think that would have accelerated our growth in an even more meaningful way. The flip side is I have many great memories with people who I know, love, and trust. And to know I helped them get started and trained in their careers is very rewarding.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I received was from my first PR boss. He told me that to be successful in this industry, I needed to have tough skin. I couldn’t let the little stuff get to me or it could eat me alive. I was to think of oil and water and just let anything negative roll off me. I still remember the pep talk to this day!

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

My biggest advice to a newbie entrepreneur setting up their first business is to ask for help. I didn’t realize the number of free resources for entrepreneurs until I was years into my business. There’s SCORE, SBDC, WEV and the list goes on! Many entrepreneurs are too proud to ask for help but I will assure you that there are many blind spots along the journey and being humble will get you a lot farther than being proud. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. And to sit with that thought and be okay with it is the first step to seeking help from someone more seasoned who has your best interest in mind.

Five Simple Steps Employees Can Take Now To Boost Their Savings

With the quieter summer holiday upon us now might be a good time to make some super simple changes that could make a lifetime of difference in retirement.

Many Australians are concerned that they won’t have enough money in their super accounts to fund their retirement.

But there are five easy steps workers can take now to boost their savings:

First, check with your fund to make sure you are getting paid all your legal super entitlements. Unpaid superannuation impacts 3 million workers a year – costing them a total of $5 billion and while most bosses do the right thing there are still some employers out there who deliberately rip workers off. And with the super guarantee rate rising to 12% it is more important to check that the full amount is being paid.

Second, consolidate your super funds into one account, finding lost or unpaid super is simple now using the Australian Tax Office tools.

Third, compare your existing super fund with others in the market to make sure it is meeting your needs. New government ‘stapling’ laws mean that workers are likely to stick with funds for longer. Alarmingly only 7% of people switched after they were told their fund failed a government performance test. Being stapled to one of those dud funds can cost a worker $230,000 at retirement.

Fourth, make sure the type of fund and level of insurance is right for you. Make sure the investment strategy matches your needs and appetite for risk – which your fund can help you with. Also be sure to check the insurance coverage is the right fit for you and your family.

Fifth, if you find some loose change or get some type of windfall consider putting it in your super fund. It is a tax-effective way to make savings and with the power of compounding interest a little invested in super now, makes a big difference in retirement. A 30-year-old on average wages that salary sacrifices $20 a week into super has $67,000 more at retirement and gets a tax saving now.

Further tips on boosting your retirement nest egg can be found on Industry Super Australia’s website

Comments attributable to Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean:

“There are five easy tips to getting your super right and most can be done from the comfort of your deck chair, beach towel or at home.”

“Check you are being properly paid super, consolidate accounts, compare funds, select the right investment mix and make small extra contributions if you can.”

“With the Super Guarantee set to rise to 12 percent it is even more important to make sure you are getting paid your full legal entitlement and that the fund is working for you.” 

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Introducing The Entrepreneur Behind The Cover Of The March 2022 Issue Of InLife International: Kristina V Herreen

Download Now

When Kristina V Herreen was a little girl, she was always in trouble. She spent the first year of her life in hospital as she was born with heart disease. When she was finally brought home, she ended up becoming a handful to everyone around her.

When she was 14 years old, Kristina left home, lived on a farm, went to an agriculture school, and then studied university. Eventually, she became a counsellor and marketer, she got into health and fitness, and lots more. She discovered that she was the type of person that wanted to be around people and help people. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours was just not her thing. She has constantly been looking for that right fit for her all her life, but it felt like it was alluding her.

During that same period, Kristina gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of self-esteem, so that outgoing and fun girl she once was, disappeared. She started to listen to what others wanted for her instead of doing what she wanted for herself and her happiness. She started to have self-doubt, and with that, her self-belief was also on the rocks. It would take years before she was able to have the courage to rediscover and move back into that “me spot” after all, years of self-destruction and pain had made that a distant memory.

Kristina became very body-conscious and aware of her looks and weight, which affected her way of acting and connecting with people. She was raised to believe there is a specific order to life: get a government job, get married, have kids, get a dog, and then live happily ever after – but she had that inner calling telling her that she was here for something big, something that will help others, something that will make her special. So against all the odds, she has never stopped looking for that right vehicle to become that special person that she knew she could become.

When Kristina first came to Australia, she became a wife and a mother in a city she had never been to before. A city that was and still is, in many ways, very conservative. She found it very hard to connect with people socially. Life really changed for the better when she attended a business seminar one day and she had the opportunity to talk to the speaker. The speaker said to her, “You have an accent, and you are from a non-Australian origin, turn that into your advantage, what you have people would love to have.” That really made her think, and from that day, those words have always been on her mind to serve as a reminder whenever her confidence plummets.

Fast forward to today, and Kristina is now known as The Networking Diva. She’s the director at Diva Global Business Connections PTY LTD and FortunePi Holdings, where her position is a Wealth Builder, and she’s also a radio producer and host at Casey Radio 97.7FM.

InLife International recently caught up with Kristina to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?

Networking, networking, and more networking or, as some people prefer to say – connecting with people. For me, that is all about communicating and connecting genuinely with integrity and respect with everyone. Once you learn this skill, it will stay with you forever, and your referrals will start coming in floods as well.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

My marketing has always been to build my network through personal networking, both in-person and online. Nothing beats the opportunity you have to connect with people from all backgrounds and with different needs and wants. I always say: “No connection is a waste of time,” and I NEVER throw away a business card – you never know where a connection can take you.

What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?

I have always been a fan of Facebook, and I am talking about personal profiles, not business pages or group pages. Once you find someone that sounds interesting or a friend of someone, your work has started to connect with them and to do it well. Remember, they have friends, family, cousins, parents, work colleagues, and so on, so who knows who would be interested in your business today or another day? Your business changes, and so do people, so find a way to reconnect with people; everyone will respect and remember you if you ring someone up just to see how they are going.

What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

I always wanted to support people with what they want to achieve so when the personal events, face to face, was in a quiet place for a while, I decided to become a Wealth Builder and to help people to improve their financial situation and to support them to move on with their dreams of their new home and/or their plans to invest for the future. Being a Networking Diva, that move was common sense to me as my network was already there, and I know how to build a great strong network, so this was just an extension to be able to help more people.

How has your business been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

To Network Face-To-Face was, for me being in Melbourne, a big challenge as most venues were closed for almost two years, and to network in the “traditional” way was just out of the question. I then adjusted my skills to how to Network online but with the same basic skills, and I know it works either way, as long as you are following a system, like anything in business – when having a system that works, you will stick to it, and that’s what I did. With or without a pandemic, “Your network will always be your Networth.”

How have you adapted your business operations in response to COVID-19 and its associated impacts?

I had to adapt to the current situation in the market to stay as a business owner, and I did that by restructuring my business the way I choose my prospects and demographics for my connections. That meant that becoming a Wealth-Builder with Fortune Pi Holdings was just an adjustment of my type of prospects and to learn another professional skill on top what I was already doing. Offering people a way to stay on top of their finances as a team member with a Fortune Pi Holdings has been challenging but also very exciting as I just confirm that excellent networking skills are a must in any profession where you deal with people that includes most of us. We are a company that prides itself on understanding customer needs and mapping those needs against a wide range of superior products we have available, which gives us a comprehensive edge in the marketplace. Rule No 1 when Networking: Networking is never about you; Networking is always about others!

What have been some of the most important lessons you have learned because of this pandemic?

I find that if you are panicking, getting too over analytical it will be very hard to join whatever is changing around you, and this pandemic was and still is a very big change for all of us. I still live by the motto of “Work with what you have, not with what you don’t have.” For example, being a Wealth Builder, I will work with what you have to get to what you want, and I find that a lot easier to deal with, whatever it would be, family, life, or business.

What do you hope to see happen in the near future for small businesses all over the world?

Unity, we are here to support each other. Greed doesn’t support anyone, and karma will look after those too greedy ones. Start Networking genuinely and professionally, which will help you all grow, flourish, and succeed in the way you desire. Learn how to be an excellent networker, which will improve your life in so many ways. I dream that we could build a networking system online, maybe Facebook course I like it, and then just support each other in any way we can. Remember, don’t waste a connection course you never, never, never know where a connection can lead!

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up a new business in this pandemic?

Learn how to Network the proper way, find yourself a mentor or some sort of support on the way, and always remember to work with what you have, not with what you don’t have, and you will get what you want by helping others to achieve what they want. Be a problem solver, so don’t be afraid to “think outside the box” Be authentic, keep to the facts, and never stop learning. Last but not least, be a nice person, a nice human being and people will never forget you! Happy networking,

You can connect with Kristina by emailing her at kristinah@fortunepi.com.au
Via Facebook: www.facebook.com/thenetworkingdivashow
Or via her official website: www.fortunepi.com.au

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Find Out More About The CEO’s And Co-Founders Of Mad Rabbit

Oliver Zak and Selom Agbitor are two 23-year-old CEOs and co-founders of the brand, Mad Rabbit – they provide superior natural and unprocessed products to help improve the healing process for ultimate Tattoo aftercare.

Founding the company in 2019, the Columbus, Ohio natives, who were introduced in their college dorm, decided to put their business-savvy minds together to build a brand and dominate the tattoo aftercare market.

According to the duo, “we’re inspired by the tattoo artists that wake up every day to create beautiful art on their client’s bodies – the ones that create art to reflect personality and milestones. They put in the effort to create your art, so we are putting in the effort to make sure your tattoo maintains its natural vibrancy. Our mission is to provide the best performing line of tattoo aftercare products that meet all of your tattoo needs. We hope to deliver on our promise to you and keep you excited about all that our aftercare has to offer.”

Global Elite Media Group recently caught up with Oliver and Selom to discuss their journey as entrepreneurs and here’s what went down:

What were your top three motivations for starting your business?

– Identified an underserved market with misinformed consumers.
– Looking to grow our business acumen.
– Opportunity to innovate.

What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?

– Willingness and drive to always be learning and out-innovating.
– Self-discipline.
– Ability to adapt to market trends and customer feedback.

When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?

Selom: Barely seeing my parents due to them always being busy with their nursing jobs. There would be nights where they’d be gone on the same night, and it would just be my brothers and me at home. Seeing that made me want to make sure I could create a life where my schedule was not dictated by someone else’s needs.

Oliver: I grew up watching my father transition himself from a surgeon to an entrepreneur after an unfortunate life-altering event. I was inspired early on by his drive to succeed no matter the odds and found myself pitching in entrepreneurship competitions in high school.

As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?

– The ability to create and sell products that are truly revolutionizing the tattoo care industry and educating the market about how to best take care of their tattoos.

– Creating jobs and growing our Mad Rabbit family is one of the most exciting parts of our jobs as co-founders. The fact that we’ve been able to increase hires during the pandemic is a really exciting accomplishment for us.

– Facing new challenges – being an entrepreneur is not as easy and glamorous as it looks. A lot of things can cause disinterest. The new challenges bring the ability to learn and grow.

In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.

Evolving — Selom and I wear a lot of different hats throughout the week. Fundraisers, c-suite operators, ad copywriters, product line developers, etc. We are always adapting and evolving taking lessons learned forward with every misstep we take.

What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?

– Inventory: Being in stock at the beginning was very challenging. We now try to predict how much inventory we will need and order ahead of time.

– Keeping up with market trends: Conditions are always changing, and this can be good or bad for a business. For example, when COVID-19 hit, a lot of companies decided to stop or decrease spend, we decided to more than double our ad spend, which was a big risk, but ended up paying off because it catapulted us into being the top brand in the tattoo aftercare space.

– Time management: Time is money, and we have to be smart as to how much time we are dedicating towards certain things. To help overcome, we have begun to use a calendar more frequently, to help break down the tasks and goals we want to achieve.

What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?

– Using a range of influencers from micro to mega, on platforms like Instagram and Youtube.

– Social Media Marketing: Using Pinterest to drive traffic, and using Facebook and Instagram to drive sales.

– Word of Mouth: Our customers spreading the word of our product on their own accord.

– Email Marketing: Brings back past customers and engaging new customers.

As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?

Not only is it important to hire quality employees, but it’s possibly more important to make sure those employees are in the right roles. With a startup.. roles are fluid, walls are non-existent, and cross-functionality is expected. The downside is that nobody is good at everything and it is our job to place our people in the best positions to succeed.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The best advice we have ever given is to go out and start learning about e-commerce. We’ve noticed a huge drop-off in the excitement in our friends as they go from “I have an idea,” to understanding the learning curve ahead of them. You can expect over 100+ hours of e-commerce learning before you launch your first product — but it will be the best 100 hours you’ve ever spent.

What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?

Don’t try to do it alone. Get yourself a partner(s) that has a different set of skills than you do. If you’re the marketing guy, find a finance guy who can help you understand your business and your budget. Starting a business solo drastically increases your chances of failure in the early days of startups.

Celebrity Spotlight: Find Out More About Singer-Songwriter Skip Marley

By Allison Kugel

Singer-songwriter Skip Marley, born to the late Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella Marley and David Minto, was thrown into the deep end of the Marley music legacy when, at thirteen, his Uncle Stephen Marley brought him on stage to sing his grandfather’s iconic hit, One Love in front of thousands of fans. From that moment on, music wasn’t an option, but a providential imperative for the now twenty-five-year-old singer-songwriter. The Marley family dynasty and its mission of spreading love and social change through meaningful lyrics and reggae-infused beats has crowned its new prince in Skip Marley.

By 2017 Skip was collaborating with multi-award-winning and multiplatinum-selling pop artist, Katy Perry, when she featured him on her hit single Chained to the Rhythm, bringing him mainstream attention. The year 2020 led to another high-profile collaboration when Marley featured Grammy-nominated R&B artist H.E.R. on the remix of his single, Slow Down.

In spring 2020, Slow Down, with over 185 million global streams, became the quickest and biggest-streaming song in Marley family history, and elevated Skip to over 417 million total global artist streams, also Making Marley the first Jamaican-born artist to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Adult R&B chart. At the same time, Skip became the first Jamaican-born artist inside the Top 15 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart in a decade and a half.

Collaborations with family, including his Uncle Damian Marley, on the single That’s Not True deliver Bob Marley’s time-tested message, while Make Me Feel featuring rap icon Rick Ross and singer Ari Lennox introduce Skip to an audience that embraces a fusion of reggae, R&B and rap sounds.

Skip Marley is cultivating an eclectic catalog of music that speaks to a generation that refuses to be put in a box, but instead embraces the diversity of expression. The year 2022 shows no signs of slowing down, with Skip’s latest single Vibe featuring Jamaican deejay Popcaan, and Marley’s first U.S. headlining twenty city tour, Change.

Allison Kugel: You were born in Jamaica. When did you move to the states?

Skip Marley: I think officially when I was five years old, but we were always back and forth.

Allison Kugel: What three pivotal life events have made you the person you are today?

Skip Marley: I would say the first is when I was born (laughs). The second was in 2005, at my grandfather’s celebration concert in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. That was the first time I had seen a million or more people come out and celebrate my grandfather’s music and the message. It’s the reason we do what we do, so even at that young age it touched me, and I began to have more of an understanding…

Allison Kugel: Of who he was…

Skip Marley: Right, for the first time. And the third one was probably when my uncle Stephen [Marley] brought me on stage because that really gave me the push that I needed in music. That was my first shot, and I was about thirteen years old. He brought me up there to sing, and I sang One Love. That was the first time I really sang. They threw me in the water, so music chose me.

Allison Kugel: When you were growing up, was there ever a thought of maybe I’ll do something other than music? Or was it always a feeling that music was your destiny? 

Skip Marley: Although I was always involved in music from when I was very young – piano lessons, guitar lessons, and things of that nature – I was always more into sports. But it was really that moment when my Uncle Stephen brought me onto the stage that I thought, “Yeah, this music thing chose me. I think it’s for me.”

Allison Kugel: Wow. What does it feel like to carry the last name Marley? Does it feel like a tremendous responsibility?

Skip Marley: It’s an honor and it’s a responsibility because I have a duty. I feel like I have a duty as a next-generation Marley to keep on [going with] this legacy that we built; keep moving forward and taking it into the world. So, I do feel like I have a responsibility, but it’s not a dark pressure. People always ask me that, but what we do is like a light, the words of a speaker. It does a lot for people, and for me. If my song affects one person, it has done its job to me.

Allison Kugel: Yes, I know exactly what you mean. You’ve certainly reached a great number of people with your music. Your song Slow Down (featuring H.E.R.) has been streamed more than 185 million times, globally. I’m sure you know that.

Skip Marley: I don’t really check those things too much, but wow!

Allison Kugel: Well, I checked it and it was the biggest streaming song in Marley family history.

Skip Marley: I was aware of that part.

Allison Kugel: What did your uncles and your mom (Cedella Marley) say to you when they heard that?

Skip Marley: They were proud for me, but it’s not for me. It is always “we.” I’m representing all of them, so for me, it’s a family victory and it’s not just about me.

Allison Kugel: It’s interesting you say that. Obviously, I knew who your grandfather, Bob Marley, was. But it wasn’t until a friend of mine said to me, “You know, I really admire the Marleys, because they understand that the collective is more important than one person. They understand what it is to serve something greater than each individual.” 

Skip Marley: Right, right. We all strive together. We might not all sing, but we have our own lanes for us to go on, yeah mon. Music wasn’t forced on me. Music is something you have to choose. You have to pursue that for yourself. It wasn’t like I was told, “You’re going to make music.” My life was school, school, school growing up.

Allison Kugel: Were you an “A” student?

Skip Marley: No (laugh). I was in school and would always think about music. As I got to junior high and then high school, I was always just thinking about music, and even after school, I would have three or four hours of music. I had a drive to learn as much as I could.

Allison Kugel: I’ve heard that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master anything you want to do. 

Skip Marley: Yes. If you love something and have a passion for something, and if you are driven towards something, whatever it is, you are not going to give up when you love it. I have had countless hours where my mom would have to say, “Yo, that is enough [practice] for now.” I have such great examples of hard work, discipline, and dedication. From a very young age, it was instilled in me, that kind of work ethic. It’s taken me to where I am, and it is going to take me further and further.

Allison Kugel: You are very close with your mom Cedella, who is your grandparents, Bob and Rita Marley’s daughter, of course. What is the best advice she has ever given you?

Skip Marley: Work harder than everyone. Nothing is going to be given to you. Perfect practice makes perfect. You have to believe and get up and work for it. Nothing is given. She was a living example of that, and so every day was an example for me.

Allison Kugel: Is your Uncle Ziggy [Marley] the head of your grandfather’s estate?

Skip Marley: Yes. I think my grandmother, my mother, and my Uncle Ziggy all work together.

Allison Kugel: Do you guys have family meetings where you decide how you are going to license and distribute the Bob Marley brand, his music, and Bob Marley merchandise?

Skip Marley: Yes, for sure. Always family meetings. If it’s not in person, it’s Zoom [meetings].

Allison Kugel: Tell me how Covid, the whole pandemic, and everything that has gone on, how did it transform you as a person?

Skip Marley: I would say it made me focus more and made me more disciplined. You had more time to really think things out. It gave me time to work on myself and work on my music; to work on my mind and things like that. It was really a fitness thing. I worked out every day, six days a week, so that has been my thing from Covid.

Allison Kugel: One of my favorite songs of yours is That’s Not True, featuring your Uncle Damian Marley. How did that family musical collaboration come together?

Skip Marley: I had a couple of songs and brought them to my uncle, thinking I would love to have him on a song. He went through a couple of them and liked That’s Not True, so we took it from there and just built the song.

Allison Kugel: It’s very conscious and reminiscent of your grandfather, Bob Marley’s, social messaging in the lyrics. Who wrote it?

Skip Marley: Me, my Uncle D, and a guy called CyHi da Prynce.

Allison Kugel: Do you like putting social messages in your music?

Skip Marley: For sure, because the music is a message. Music is a vehicle and a tool. Music is used to unify people and spread messages of upliftment. For me, personally, I think we should use music as a benefit and try spreading messages of love, equality, and freedom. All of these things, for me, are important. I try to always make sure the music speaks.

Allison Kugel: Where do you place material things, objects, and material wealth in your hierarchy of priorities?

Skip Marley: That is not my priority. My family is my main priority, my first priority. For me, possessions are not. I can have nothing as long as my family has something. That is how I am, personally.

Allison Kugel: I feel the same way. Probably why that particular song, That’s Not True, really speaks to me.

Skip Marley: Wow! I love that.

Allison Kugel: I don’t understand people’s obsession with handbags, shoes, clothes, jewelry, and all of that stuff.

Skip Marley: Yes, those things are only for a while. It’s momentary. It doesn’t really have use.

But to each their own. I’m not going to tell people how to live, or whatever, but if you want more of that kind of living…

Allison Kugel: Your new song Vibe is definitely a vibe (laugh)!  I was listening to it on rotation over and over, and it is such a great chill, party, dance, feel-good song.

Skip Marley: That was the intention. I was doing that song during the whole Covid time and people just want to free up, feel good, be with each other, and dance. All of those things were missing. The human experience, the connection, and the good vibes. So, “(He begins to sing) She wanna catch a vibe, she wanna spend some time, into the light…”  It was just a light party kind of a song. Then Popcaan, who is featured on the song, was the perfect [collaborator].

Allison Kugel: My favorite line in the song is, “Face it, she don’t want notin’ basic.”  (Laugh) That really speaks to my soul!

Skip Marley: (Laughs) Well, that is reality. As time goes on, she realized she don’t want notin’ [basic]….  and finds something worth her time.

Allison Kugel: The first time I ever heard you on the radio was in the Katy Perry song Chained to the Rhythm in which you are featured.  How did that collaboration happen?

Skip Marley: It’s a funny story. At the time, around 2016 or 2017, that whole time I was actually working with the whole MXM camp, which was Max Martin and all those guys, top producers. He was playing my song, Lions in the studio when Katy [Perry] walked in and said, “Who is that?”  He said, “Oh, that’s Skip Marley.” She said, “I need him on my next single.” So he calls me and says, “Katy Perry needs you in her next single.” I said, “Katy Perry?!” He said, “Yeah, boom.”  I gave him a verse and she came in when I was finishing. I met her for the first time, and everything took off from there; Grammys, Brits, I Heart Radio. It was all a beautiful journey and I’m glad Katy reached out to me and I got to spread the message to such a big platform and audience.

Allison Kugel: When your grandfather, Bob Marley, was alive, he was so passionate about the island of Jamaica. But there came a point when it was dangerous for him to stay there, for political reasons. There were attempts on his life and he had to relocate to London, where he lived until the end of his life.  Are there still safety issues for your family in Jamaica, or is that something that is long in the past?

Skip Marley: That is in the past, but [we have] security for sure, always. That is our home and a place that we love, and we take care of. That is also part of my responsibility as the next generation.

Allison Kugel: And your grandfather’s home at 56 Hope Road is now a museum.

Skip Marley: Yes, that is a museum now.  It’s his home and a museum.  If you haven’t gone, I would suggest it heavily when you are in Jamaica, to visit Hope Road.

Allison Kugel: My son is half Jamaican, so I want to take him there.

Skip Marley: Really?

Allison Kugel:  Yes.

Skip Marley: Nice, well, it would be perfect for him then.

Allison Kugel: What do you want people to know about the island of Jamaica?

Skip Marley: It’s a very spiritual place with loving people. A very beautiful place. Nowhere else feels like Jamaica. The people speak for it and the music speaks for it. You can see how the world gravitates towards it because there is an energy there. It’s almost like a spirit that just moves you. That is what I would say about Jamaica when my grandma (Rita Marley) was there. It’s like a connection for me, personally.

Allison Kugel: Are you close with your grandmother?

Skip Marley: Yeah mon, very close with my grandmother. From her, I learned that when all odds are against you, don’t give up. When the whole world turns against you, my grandmother never gave up. My grandmother built Tuff Gong to where it is now, and my grandfather’s [legacy] to where it is now, and her humanitarian efforts as well. She’s also a doctor, Doctor Alpharita Marley, so I have a lot to aspire to and a lot to look up to. She took on the world. And my mother, they are both my examples in that sense, of the work ethic and discipline, and selflessness. It is rare nowadays, but selflessness is very important.

Allison Kugel: And how have they shaped how you view and relate to woman?

Skip Marley: Everything. And the way I carry myself.

Allison Kugel: This year you are embarking on your first solo headlining tour. Why 2022, and how do you feel about it?

Skip Marley: I feel great, and I feel excited. Why 2022? Why not (laugh)?  I was already supposed to tour two years ago, so now it has been a long time coming.  I’m looking forward to taking the message to the people and the music on the road.

Allison Kugel: Do you have anybody opening for you?

Skip Marley: I’m still figuring that out.

Allison Kugel: So, there is a job opening for somebody out there (laugh).

Skip Marley: Somebody, yes (laugh).

Allison Kugel: Your accent and your energy… I feel like my blood pressure is lowering as I sit with you and speak to you.

Skip Marley: That’s a good thing. Love is the key.

Allison Kugel: Yes, I can’t be a typical high-strung American around you. 

Skip Marley: You just have to be what you are.

Allison Kugel: The tour is called Change. Tell me about that.

Skip Marley: We have to make a change in this world so we can see it’s not impossible. You’re free to do whatever you want and free to be whoever you want to be. The whole concept of the album Change, and the name of the tour, is because people are always waiting on things to change, when people can be the change they want to see.

Allison Kugel: Are you a spiritual guy? 

Skip Marley: For sure, I think I’m spiritual, naturally. I feel like it has a lot to do with my family, even when I was growing up. I used to go study my grandfather a lot, so that opened up my mind from a young age and was so beneficial. You can’t have one without the other. You have mental good, spiritual good, physical good. and it goes hand in hand. You need balance. It’s like Yin and Yang.

Allison Kugel: Do you subscribe to any religion?

Skip Marley: No, it’s a way of life, of living. God is within and God is all around us. Where there is light, there is hope. Especially in these times, now, there is a lot of everybody against everybody and that’s not what we need or what we want. All it’s doing is causing more headache, suffering, and all of these things. How about we make a change as the people?  How about we decide, because the people change things. It is not some guy telling you he is going to do something for you. It’s really the people.

Allison Kugel: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Skip Marley: I see myself making more music, touring the world, keep doing what I’m doing.  Only God knows, so I don’t really think about that too much. I really focus on now.

Allison Kugel: When you are writing lyrics, do you ever feel like you have to hold back in terms of certain social or political messages? Or do you feel unrestrained, like you can just write whatever you feel that you want to write and sing about?

Skip Marley: Whatever inspiration comes to me; I always try to write about. Not saying there haven’t been times I’ve had to go back and adjust things, but I try to feel what the music is saying. I don’t really try to sit down and think too much.  I kind of feel it, because music talks to you if you listen. It can talk to you, so you can kind of hear what the music wants, in a sense.

Allison Kugel: What is your creative process?

Skip Marley: It depends. Since I play music too, I produce my own stuff as well as write, so for me, a lot of time it starts with me on guitar, piano, bass, or wherever. Or I am humming something, or I hear words in my head, or if I have an idea and start it from there and slowly build with a couple of chords and progressions. I slowly just build until I have a chorus, hook, or verse. Whatever it is first, and I just follow it. I just go with the feeling and follow the flow. I don’t really try to overthink it too much.

Allison Kugel: Where do you stand on substances?  Do you use marijuana as a creative conduit, or are you more of a sober person?

Skip Marley: Yes, herb opens up inspirations, opens up higher heights, for sure. Herb is beneficial.  I’m not saying you have to use it, but I don’t see why not. You don’t have to smoke it. You can eat it, drink it, boil it, apply it as lotion. So, it benefits. I don’t see why not and I’m glad to see America is slowly taking those steps forward in terms of the plant, and the plant can save the place, you know? The more the merrier (laugh).

Allison Kugel: (Laugh) Tell me about when you are on tour.  How is the show going to go?  Do you have a band you are going to work with?

Skip Marley: Yes, I will have a five or six-piece band. It’s like an hour to an hour and a half set.  My current songs and some new songs, some unheard songs; and my grandfather’s songs, of course. People will really enjoy themselves, have a good time, and catch a good vibe. That is what it’s all about. I want them moving, people feeling something. Music is food.  You have to be careful what you ingest nowadays.

Allison Kugel: You effortlessly drop gems. I can tell you’re a thinker and I love that.  

Skip Marley: Well, thank you.

Allison Kugel: It is so true.  You have to watch what you listen to.  What your eyes see, what your ears hear, and what you take in.  

Skip Marley: With everything. Subconsciously, you have to be aware of things you are doing. Trust me, it’s a temple, you know.

Allison Kugel: Since you brought up food, what kind of diet do you adhere to? 

Skip Marley: I’ll tell you what, I’ve been pescatarian for a while now. I just eat fruits, veggies, and fish. Sometimes I’ll eat a piece of chicken, but most times I eat fish, veggies, and fruit.  Clean eating, natural eating. I don’t really drink sugary drinks or anything like that. I make my own drinks, I make my own juices, and make my own food.

Allison Kugel: Any sweet tooth?

Skip Marley: Sometimes when I smoke, I get a little sweet tooth. Nothing really too much. I would eat something sweet, but I’m not a guy that craves something sweet.

Allison Kugel: Are you a guy who believes in monogamy and marriage? What is your take on that?

Skip Marley: Well, to tell you the truth I think marriage is still there if it’s really real.  It doesn’t have to be real nowadays, because everything is so wishy-washy, but if it’s really real then marriage is great and it’s a Godly thing. But as of right now, me personally, I don’t need to know about marriage right now (laugh). I mean, marriage is good. Marriage is a Godly thing.  It’s supposed to be a Godly connection, so it speaks for itself. What do you think?

Allison Kugel: Life is all about risks, right? You are never going to be 100% sure about anything you do in life. I think if I really felt that deep of a connection, now at this point in my life, I would do it. No risk, no reward. It’s like having kids. You are never ready to have kids. You’re never ready to go on tour, as you know. You’re never ready to move. You’re never ready to do anything, but that is the beauty of life. Sometimes you have to close your eyes and jump. 

Skip Marley: Sometimes you just have to stay ready (laugh).

Allison Kugel: I mean, I won’t be jumping out of an airplane anytime soon, but I would get married (laugh).

Skip Marley: That was a great explanation, one that lines up very much with what I’m saying. If it’s real, then why not? Me right now, I don’t know about marriage.

Allison Kugel: You’re still young and you’re doing awesome. All of you, the Marleys are such a talented family, and all of the music is incredible, but I feel like your music really feels… like a second coming of your grandfather. His spirit is in you.

Skip Marley: I understand that, and I appreciate that, thank you.

Allison Kugel: Your music is really beautiful, it’s diverse, and some of it makes you feel good. Some of it makes you think, and that is a beautiful thing.

Skip Marley: I’m glad that you appreciate it.

Allison Kugel: Yes, very much so, and that is why I wanted to talk to you. If you could have a conversation with your grandfather and ask him anything, what would you like to ask him?

Skip Marley: I would ask him which books to read.

Allison Kugel: Really? Okay.

Skip Marley: I have a lot of questions, but I would love to hear what kinds of books to read, too.

Allison Kugel: Do you know what some of his favorite books were when he was alive?

Skip Marley: I mean, The Bible. Some books about His Imperial Majesty (referring to Haile Selassie, the founder of Rastafarianism), The Wise Mind of Emperor Haile Selassie, and things like that. [He] definitely read a lot of African books. There are a lot of things I would love to ask him, but that is the first thing that came to my mind.

Allison Kugel: Do you believe in time travel?

Skip Marley: No, not right now. What do you think?  You think time travel is real? I’m not going to put you down. What do you think?

Allison Kugel: Well, thank you (laughs). I have this weird obsession with the concept of time travel.  I don’t know why, but I feel like sometimes time is kind of speeding up or slowing down. Sometimes things that happened twenty years ago feels like they happened yesterday, and something that happened last week feels like it was a year ago, and I think it’s strange.

Skip Marley: That is true. I can relate to that. Time is like a circle.

Allison Kugel: I don’t think time is what we think it is.

Skip Marley: I know what you mean. Hey listen, we only know what we know right now, so who knows?

Allison Kugel: I believe in things that we can’t perceive with our five senses.

Skip Marley: You believe in things we cannot see. You believe in things where people would call you crazy or label you for this and that. We should be free, and we should be what we want to be.

Allison Kugel: I feel like you can believe in your imagination more than you can believe in what you see with your eyes.  Does that make sense?  

Skip Marley: That is true, because it’s like the power of belief.

Allison Kugel: Yes, the power of belief. 

Skip Marley: Jump in the fire and never get burned. It’s like you walk by fate. You can only walk by what is inside.

Allison Kugel: Exactly. I ask this of everybody, and I know that you are young so I don’t know how you would contemplate this, but what do you think you came into this life as Skip Marley to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach?

Skip Marley: Well, what I came here to learn is purpose. Once you find your purpose, like for me, personally, it is to spread love. These messages are just within me, from the connection of my grandfather to my mother to me. I feel there is a responsibility, and these words and messages need to be spoken and things need to be said. I would say I’m God’s soldier, a music warrior. I’ve come to fight with music. I’ve come to take on the world with music and come shape the world with music. That is my thing, music, the consciousness, and the collective community of mankind; and restoring that kind of connection.

Skip Marley’s U.S. tour, Changes hits 23 cities from March 20th through May 27th. For information and tickets visit skipmarley.com/tour. Follow on Instagram @skipmarley and stream on Spotify and iTunes.

Watch and listen to the extended interview with Skip Marley on the Allison Interviews podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and on YouTube.