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IMF Increases 2023 Global Economy Outlook

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Photo by John McArthur on Unsplash

The global economy’s prognosis is improving slightly as China relaxes its zero-COVID policies and the world demonstrates unexpected resilience in the face of high inflation, soaring interest rates, and Russia’s prolonged war against Ukraine.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy will rise by 2.9% this year. This forecast is higher than the IMF’s 2.7% growth forecast for 2023 but lower than the 3.4% growth forecast for 2022, reported the AP.

“Global conditions have improved as inflation pressures started to abate,” said the IMF chief economist, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas.

The IMF now predicts that China’s economy, the world’s second-largest behind the United States, will rise 5.2% this year, up from 4.4% in October.

Using ChatGPT for Content Creation

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ChatGPT can generate new content, and its applications are nearly limitless, ranging from whole essays to blog entries and song lyrics to cover letters and resumes.

ChatGPT can be utilized in almost any industry and for companies of any size due to its broad range of features. According to an Entrepreneur article, below are just a few possible applications.

ChatGPT can create blog entries or social media posts that meet your needs while also helping to come up with fresh ideas for content in an online economy where content is king.

You can ask it to generate a list of podcast or video ideas, then build a whole script based on these ideas. If you don’t like the results, ask it to rewrite in a different tone and/or to simplify or make the material more detailed and intricate. It can also edit pre-written text to ensure that the outcomes are error-free and follow the tone and guidelines that have been defined.

ChatGPT can be used to manage client inquiries and answer routine concerns, freeing up time for a customer support team to deal with more sophisticated or demanding situations as an alternative to the frequently noticeably ineffective results of live chat queries on websites.

Reading through cover letters and resumes might be time-consuming, but ChatGPT users can simply copy and paste cover letters and ask it to search for essential job criteria. Then, it will sift through text to see if candidates have relevant experience, perhaps removing the need for outside recruiters and saving time.

As Economy Cools, Visa Revenue Growth Slows

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As the post-lockdown travel fever subsided and consumer spending slowed in a challenging economy, Visa Inc.’s revenue growth fell back to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter.

The largest payment processor in the world nonetheless outperformed Wall Street earnings expectations, pushing its shares up 1.4% to $227.82 on Thursday in after-hours trade, reported Reuters on Friday.

Cross-border volumes increased 22% since the previous year as a stronger dollar boosted out-of-country travel by offsetting the impact of inflation and rising interest rates.

Total payment volumes increased by 7%.

However, the increase was significantly less than a 40% increase in cross-border volumes and a 20% increase in payment volumes in the first quarter of 2021.

Visa’s revenue increased at the slowest rate in seven quarters, increasing 12% to $7.9 billion.

From A Broke World of Warcraft Gamer To A 7-Figure Self-Made Dropshipper: Eduard Beschea’s Most Amazing Success Story

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From A Broke World of Warcraft Gamer To A 7-Figure Self-Made Dropshipper: Eduard Beschea's Amazing Success Story
From A Broke World of Warcraft Gamer To A 7-Figure Self-Made Dropshipper: Eduard Beschea's Amazing Success Story

Tell us about yourself

Hey, I’m Eddie. I currently own & run multiple eCommerce stores, which is my main source of income, but things haven’t always been this good. Becoming financially free & finding success in business took multiple years. Multiple years of failure, work, and more failure. Let me tell you how I got here.

I grew up in Romania with just my mom. I was in love with computer games when I was little, playing World of Warcraft every single day. Everyone thought I was just wasting my time. No one had a clue that this was going to be a stepping stone that, a few years later, would lead to me being able to build an eCom store where I sold more than $1 million dollars in less than 3 months (along with many others).

Once I finished high school, my mother encouraged me to go to law university & become a lawyer. I went for one year and dropped out because I was highly uninterested, and – at the time – my mind was stolen by an English girl I fell in love with. I couldn’t focus.

I was completely broke though, so I had no choice but to get a job, which – with my lack of qualifications & no degree – wasn’t going to be anything special. That’s when I started working in a Microsoft call center.

My life was going nowhere; I was just an insignificant pawn in someone else’s game. Even at the time, I was telling my workmates that we were just ants in a glass cage, just numbers.

That’s how I wasted 4 years of my life, until one day in 2018, when I received – what at the time appeared to be – bad news. They fired me & everyone else who worked there, but little did I know how much of a blessing that was going to be.

I remember writing a resume so that I could find a new job and stopping myself in the middle of it. I couldn’t do it. I was tired of being a pawn, a nobody. So I went home and did the only thing that I knew, the only thing that I was good at: I played World of Warcraft.

Eduard Beschea

How did you get started with Dropshipping?

When I lost my job, two other guys who got fired along with me told me that we could start an online business: Dropshipping. That’s the first time I heard about it. I remember we estimated we could earn about $500 per month, which sounded great at the time (considering I live in a poor country), so I was hooked.

I went home and started learning everything about eCommerce on the internet that I could, every single day.

Periodically, I’d meet up with the two guys and share everything I learned with them; however, I felt like they weren’t putting in the same amount of work I was. Feeling like we were not making enough progress, I started giving some directions, (which I don’t think they liked) and I guess they saw no value in me because they eventually cut me off. They must’ve thought I was naïve, an idiot. A dreamer. I thank them for that because I probably would’ve blindly shared my future success with them.

Either way, I was completely broke at the time. I still had no job, and the only thing I was good at was World of Warcraft. I became so good at it that people started paying me to coach them, which was just the opportunity I needed!

So there I was, getting paid per hour to teach others how to play the game at my level, for more than 10 hours a day, every day. And I did that for months while simultaneously learning everything about eCommerce.

It was exhausting. I was barely sleeping. My eyes were so irritated it felt like I had sand in them, but there was absolutely no way I was ever going to get another job. I took every single dollar earned from coaching in World of Warcraft and burnt it on failed dropshipping stores. Loss after loss, after loss.

I remember calling my mom on the phone, telling her that “I wish I could at least make $0” because I was in the negative with every single store I made. Imagine that.

I poured every drop of energy into coaching and eventually made $1000 from World of Warcraft. Besides my naïve, unbreakable ambition to become successful, that’s all I had left. I told my girlfriend that we had to make eCommerce work for us, we had no other option.

Every failure taught me a lesson, and every lesson brought me closer to my first successful store, selling dog products.

I finally started making a bit of money, so I had my Golden Retriever named Blue model in my ads, and it worked! It finally did.

When I reached $500 per day in revenue, I quit playing World of Warcraft and fully switched my obsession to eCommerce. That’s where my passion was, and still is.

Every single day, without exception, I continued learning eCommerce & amplifying my results & success. Know that while you’re reading this, I’m still working, because that’s what it takes: obsessive passion & unfazed ambition.

Skip forward to today, I’ve found that a lot of people enjoyed my journey and wanted to learn from me, so I’ve built a community of ambitious entrepreneurs on Discord, called Mavenport. To my surprise, it blew up very quickly and now there are over 13,000 of us. All passionate about eCommerce.

Eduard Beschea's Dog

Do you have any tips on how to find winning products to sell?

Selling the right product is the biggest lever for success in eCommerce. I like running Facebook ads, and the most efficient way to see what sells best is by looking at your competitors. Facebook made that very easy and built an entire library of active ads, which you can use to spy on current successful stores – for free.

That’s where I found the best winning products for all of my stores. I search the ads library for simple terms that Dropshippers use in their ads, such as “50% off” or “worldwide shipping”, and then pick out the ads that seem to be successful.

An indication that an ad might be profitable is having multiple copies of it running at a time, like these:

Facebook ad library

I take that as a clue that the store owner may be spending a significant amount of money, and no one would do that without being profitable, right?

Scouring the ads library for winning products does require multiple hours a day, but that’s a small price to pay for a massive reward.

Finding such ads that also have comments from people who show interest in the product, or even bought it, is another important success indicator. Positive or negative, these comments usually sound like this:

“How long does shipping take to New York?” / “I love/dislike it!” / “I haven’t received mine yet.”

Using the data explained above, I build a list of potential winning products and test them one by one.

Let’s talk about numbers, what was your sales record and the story behind it?

It took years of failures sprinkled with some small successes until I started hitting it right. What made the difference for me was that I stopped overthinking everything.

I believe that speed & action will get you further than anyone who spends most of their time learning & perfecting every part of the process.

Last year, I picked speed over perfection. I picked a product, built a store for it very quickly and tested it. In just about 1 month I was able to scale that store, along with a few others to over $35,000 per day in sales. That was a significant milestone for me because I made more profit in a day than I did in an entire year at my old call center job.

Mavenport Shopify store sales

I’ve continued building more stores since then, one of them selling more than $1 million dollars in 82 days. I made a YouTube video about it, too (https://youtu.be/FetknSfFiGc).

Eduard Beschea $1,000,000 in sales

What do you think about the new TikTok Dropshipping trends?

TikTok changed the game for eCommerce. If you want to be successful now, you must adapt the way you advertise to the short-form, quick-video trend brought by Facebook’s competitor.

Ugly ads and UGCs (user-generated content) are what work best nowadays. Adapt & surf the wave or drown.

The great thing is that these types of ads work extremely well on both Facebook & TikTok, and that’s pretty much all I’ve used on the million-dollar store I talked about earlier.

Do you think Dropshipping is still the best business model to start in 2023 for people with small budget? Why?

eCommerce is a tough game, however, Dropshipping allows you to skip over the complicated process of being an inventor & innovator, and lets you pick a product that’s already making other people money, and sell it, too.

You can ship products straight out of China rather than bringing them over to a warehouse in your market (such as the USA) which allows you to deliver worldwide at a reduced cost.

So due to the low entry barrier, Dropshipping is an amazing way to start an online business and learn the ropes. It helps build valuable, life-long skills that can be applied in any other business venture. It genuinely changed my life, so I wholeheartedly recommend it.

5 tips for someone who’s just getting started

Here are five tips for someone who’s just getting started with Dropshipping:

  1. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t limit your belief of how far you can go. I started this whole journey by trying to make $500 per month, and ended up realizing that, with self-belief & confidence, you can achieve anything.
  2. Don’t overthink, just start. Put action above everything, nothing will take you further than relentlessly pushing yourself closer to the person you want to become.
  3. Greatness requires sacrifice. Imbalance. Mediocrity never lead to anything special. The most successful people on Earth sacrificed everything in order to get there. If you want to make a living by doing what you’re passionate about, be ready to put aside hanging out with friends & watching Netflix.
  4. Welcome failure. The road to success isn’t smooth. Develop a thick skin & an unfazed mind if you don’t want your dreams to stay dreams – and don’t ever let failure deter you.
  5. Never stop being a problem solver. You don’t want to have a boss tell you what to do anymore? Then be prepared to absorb the risk & responsibility a leader carries on their back. Building your own success comes with endless fires that you have to put out.

So what’s next?

I’m grateful, but not satisfied. I know I’m capable of reaching higher & growing into a better person, so I will continue to learn & apply. I haven’t treated myself to any luxuries or vacations, I haven’t even moved from the old apartment I’ve lived in for so long. I put personal growth first & I will reward myself later.

And, very likely, I’ll soon pour my passion & creativity into building a long-term brand that I can be proud of.

eCommerce & Mavenport (the community that I’ve built) are my main focus now, so I’ll continue to build them up even further, brick by brick.

I’m grateful to have so many people look up to me, some of which have now also reached records of $10-20K per day in sales.

I’m committed to continuing being a role model, and in a world full of fakers & snakes, I want to be remembered as the man who did it the right way.

Where can we interact?

Mavenport discord: https://discord.gg/mavenport

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eduardbeschea

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@eddie-b

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eduardbeschea

Eduard Beschea

Shopify Increases Prices

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Photo by Roberto Cortese on Unsplash

In 2023, the economic environment has undergone a tremendous transformation, stated Shopify in an email to customers on Tuesday.

“Today, we’re making some adjustments to reflect some of those underlying costs. This is not a decision we take lightly. It’s a decision that will allow us to continue innovating and empowering our merchants with the scale they demand,” stated Shopify.

Shopify decided to change the price of its Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans.

“These prices will automatically apply to all new merchants starting today. Existing merchants won’t see a change for three months,” said Shopify.

The monthly cost of the Basic plan is now $39, and $29 if you sign up for one year. Shopify is now $105 paid monthly or $79 if paid yearly, and Advanced is now $399 monthly and $299 paid yearly.

Britain’s Clothing Market Questioned after Slow Holiday Season

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After seeing a decline in share during the holiday shopping season, the British online clothes market’s maturity should be called into question, the owner of Primark’s finance department stated on Tuesday.

“You’ve got to start to question the maturity now of online in the United Kingdom,” John Bason, finance director of Associated British Foods, told Reuters, highlighting a fall in online clothing’s market share.

After two years of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, people returned to physical shopping for the Holiday season in 2022.

Staff of TikTok, Not the Algorithm, may Choose What Goes Viral

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Photo by Olivier Bergeron on Unsplash

TikTok says that staff can manually increase the reach of videos by utilizing a “heating” button, bypassing the algorithm that drives the TikTok experience.

Following the initial Forbes article, TikTok has since confirmed that certain of its employees can promote videos to “introduce celebrities and emerging creators of the TikTok community, reported Search Engine Journal.

According to a Forbes investigation, six current and former US-based employees of TikTok and its Chinese-owned parent firm ByteDance can artificially increase the reach of particular videos.

This contradicts TikTok’s claims that its suggestion feed works by curating a personalized feed based on each user’s preferences.

“We promote some videos to help diversify the content experience and introduce celebrities and emerging creators to the TikTok community,” TikTok spokesperson Jamie Favazza told Forbes.

“Only a few people, based in the U.S., have the ability to approve content for promotion in the U.S., and that content makes up approximately .002% of videos in For You feeds.”

Google Planning Response to ChatGPT

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With the founders who left three years ago re-engaging and more than 20 AI initiatives in the pipeline, a competing chatbot has jolted Google out of its routine.

According to a report in The New York Times on Friday, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met with company executives multiple times last month. The subject was a competitor’s new chatbot, a brilliant AI tool representing the first significant challenge to Google’s $149 billion search industry in decades.

According to two people with knowledge of the discussions who were not permitted to discuss them, Page and Brin, who had not been present at Google much since they quit their daily duties with the business in 2019, examined Google’s artificial intelligence product plan. They approved plans and suggested adding more chatbot features to Google’s search engine.

According to a slide presentation reviewed by The New York Times and two people with knowledge of the plans who were not allowed to discuss them, Google now aims to introduce more than 20 new products and demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot characteristics this year.

US Economy Losing Steam as Retail Sales Post Largest Loss in a Year

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Consumer spending and the broader economy are on a lower growth path going into 2023 as US retail sales dropped by the most in a year in December, driven down by declines in purchases of motor cars and a variety of other products.

The second consecutive monthly decline in retail sales, predominantly comprised of goods, is impeding factory production, reported Reuters.

According to other statistics released on Wednesday, manufacturing output fell the most in nearly two years in December, while monthly producer prices also fell.

The broad indicators of weakening demand and subsiding inflation will likely prompt the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of its rate hikes next month but not to suspend its monetary policy tightening anytime soon as the labor market remains tight.

Retail sales fell 1.1% last month, the most since December 2021. As a result, the data for November was amended to show that sales fell 1.0% rather than 0.6%, as initially reported. Reuters polled economists, who predicted a 0.8% drop in sales. In December, retail sales increased 6.0% year on year.

Auto dealer sales declined by 1.2%. Service station receipts fell 4.6%. Online retail sales fell 1.1%. Furniture store sales fell 2.5%. Food and beverage receipts, the only service category included in the retail sales report, decreased by 0.9%.

Bankman-Fried says FTX US is Solvent Despite $415m in Hacked Crypto

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In a filing to creditors on Tuesday, bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX stated that around $415 million in cryptocurrencies had been taken in cyberattacks.

According to Reuters, In a filing to creditors on Tuesday, bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX stated that around $415 million in cryptocurrencies had been taken in cyberattacks.

FTX reported that it had recovered more than $5 billion in cryptocurrency, cash, and liquid securities, but severe shortages remained at its international and US crypto exchanges.

FTX blamed some of the shortfalls on hacking, claiming that $323 million in crypto had been stolen from FTX’s international exchange and $90 million had been stolen from its US exchange since the company declared bankruptcy on November 11.

According to Bankman-Fried, FTX has more than enough money to compensate consumers in the United States, who he estimates are due between $181 million and $497 million based on his “best guess.”

Bankman-Fried has pled not guilty to the accusations of fraud, and his trial is set for October.