Nine Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Have you ever thought about striking out on your own? After all, being your own boss can be an exciting prospect. However, owning a business isn’t for everyone. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must have — or develop — certain personality traits. Here are nine characteristics you should ideally possess to start and run your own business:

1. Motivation

Entrepreneurs are enthusiastic, optimistic and future-oriented. They believe they’ll be successful and are willing to risk their resources in pursuit of profit. They have high energy levels and are sometimes impatient. They are always thinking about their business and how to increase their market share. Are you self-motivated enough to do this, and can you stay motivated for extended periods of time? Can you bounce back in the face of challenges?

2. Creativity and Persuasiveness

Successful entrepreneurs have the creative capacity to recognize and pursue opportunities. They possess strong selling skills and are both persuasive and persistent. Are you willing to promote your business tirelessly and look for new ways to get the word out about your product or service?

3. Versatility 

Company workers can usually rely on a staff or colleagues to provide service or support. As an entrepreneur, you’ll typically start out as a “solopreneur,” meaning you will be on your own for a while. You may not have the luxury of hiring a support staff initially. Therefore, you will end up wearing several different hats, including secretary, bookkeeper and so on. You need to be mentally prepared to take on all these tasks at the beginning. Can you do that?

4. Superb Business Skills 

Entrepreneurs are naturally capable of setting up the internal systems, procedures and processes necessary to operate a business. They are focused on cash flow, sales and revenue at all times. Successful entrepreneurs rely on their business skills, know-how and contacts. Evaluate your current talents and professional network. Will your skills, contacts and experience readily transfer to the business idea you want to pursue?

5. Risk Tolerance

Launching any entrepreneurial venture is risky. Are you willing to assume that risk? You can reduce your risk by thoroughly researching your business concept, industry and market. You can also test your concept on a small scale. Can you get a letter of intent from prospective customers to purchase? If so, do you think customers would actually go through with their transaction?

6. Drive 

As an entrepreneur, you are in the driver’s seat, so you must be proactive in your approaches to everything. Are you a doer — someone willing to take the reins — or would you rather someone else do things for you?

7. Vision

One of your responsibilities as founder and head of your company is deciding where your business should go. That requires vision. Without it, your boat will be lost at sea. Are you the type of person who looks ahead and can see the big picture?

8. Flexibility and Open-Mindedness

While entrepreneurs need a steadfast vision and direction, they will face a lot of unknowns. You will need to be ready to tweak any initial plans and strategies. New and better ways of doing things may come along as well. Can you be open-minded and flexible in the face of change?

9. Decisiveness

As an entrepreneur, you won’t have room for procrastination or indecision. Not only will these traits stall progress, but they can also cause you to miss crucial opportunities that could move you toward success. Can you make decisions quickly and seize the moment?

 

 

 

Written By: Ruchira Agrawal
Source: Monster

How to Stop Social Media From Taking Over Your Life

 

In this day and age, it’s hard to live a full life without logging onto Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every now and then. The problem is that they can become a huge waste of time.

There are a couple of easy ways to prevent yourself from squandering hours looking at cat photos. Here’s how you can tighten up your social networking by several notches. There’s also one surefire way to prevent social media from ruining your life: delete everything. More on that in a second.

Turn Off Push Notifications (or uninstall your mobile apps)

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You might be surprised at how much control you have over the notifications pushed out by the social media apps on your phone. Take Facebook, for example. Head to notification settings and you can turn alerts on or off for wall posts, comments, friend requests, photo tags, photo invitations, messages, and more.

The next time you’ve got five minutes spare at lunchtime, rather than aimlessly scrolling through your feeds, cut down on the notifications these apps are allowed to send, which should cut down on the number of times they pull you into their reach.
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LinkedIn Shares Fall More than 26% on Guidance

Provided by CNBC

LinkedIn reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that topped analyst estimates, but shares in the company tanked in after-hours trading on weak guidance.

The company said Thursday that it saw adjusted earnings of 94 cents per share on $862 million in revenue in its fourth quarter. Analysts had expected LinkedIn (LNKD) to report earnings of about 78 cents per share on $858 million in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Despite the results beat, the company’s shares fell more than 26 percent in after-hours trading on weaker-than-expected guidance.

For the first quarter, LinkedIn said it expects revenue of about $820 million and non-GAAP earnings of about 55 cents per share. Wall Street had on average expected about $868.3 million in revenue and earnings of 75 cents per share for that quarter, according to StreetAccount.

The company’s guidance for first-quarter adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was about $190 million — analysts had forecast about $213.9 million, according to StreetAccount.

Still, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in a statement accompanying the results that the company enters “2016 with increased focus on core initiatives that will drive leverage across our portfolio of products.”

CFO Steve Sordello, for his part, said 2016 will see the company focus on “investing intelligently in our core member and customer value propositions to capture the large, addressable opportunity ahead of us.”

In the final quarter of 2015, LinkedIn saw a 34 percent increase in revenue from $643 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings increased 54 percent from 61 cents in Q4 2014.

The company said it ended the fourth quarter with 414 million members, topping average analyst estimates of 409.7 million, according to StreetAccount.

Shares in the professional social network have fallen about 26 percent in the last three months, trending worse than the major U.S. indexes.

Written by Everett Rosenfeld of CNBC

(Source: CNBC)

Facebook Close Sets Speed Record for $250 Billion Market Cap

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

It seems like just yesterday that Facebook Inc. went public. Now its market value has topped $250 billion.

The social network company’s 2.4 percent climb to a record close on Monday made it the first company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to breach that market cap so quickly. The previous record holder was Google Inc., which took about eight years.

Facebook’s rapid ascent may indicate investor confidence that the company will continue to increase mobile-advertising sales on its application and others. To some degree, the gain also reflects froth in tech stocks; the Nasdaq Internet Index has almost doubled since Facebook went public.

Its shares trade at 87 times earnings, almost five times the average in the S&P 500. Companies in the Nasdaq Internet Index trade at a price-earnings ratio of 27.

“When you see stocks with these high multiples, it shows you the market’s comfort in the longer-term growth story,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Investors think Facebook is more valuable than the average Nasdaq stock.”

Troubled IPO

The company’s quick rise to $90.10 a share on Monday is even more remarkable because the stock lost more than half its value in the four months after its IPO in May 2012. Facebook had a market value of $104.2 billion at its IPO, so the company didn’t have to climb as far as some other companies did to reach $250 billion.

With a market value of $253 billion, Facebook is now the ninth-biggest company in the S&P 500 — bigger than Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., which took decades to grow as valuable.

Facebook’s revenue from advertising — from which the company gets more than 90 percent of its sales — increased 46 percent to $3.32 billion in the first quarter from a year earlier. More than two-thirds of that came from mobile ad sales. Analysts estimate that sales rose 37 in the second quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Longer-term, the company plans to serve ads on other applications and websites and to make money from its rapidly growing Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger apps. Facebook also is betting on its $2 billion purchase last year of Oculus VR Inc., a virtual-reality headset maker, and efforts to expand Internet connections in developing countries.

Written by Michelle Davis of Bloomberg

(Source: Bloomberg)