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

Microsoft Shares Plunge as Results Show Growth is Elusive in Post-PC Market

Michael Euler/ AP

The cloud may be the future, but the specter of the PC lingers. Microsoft is the latest tech giant whose earnings say that loud and clear.

Microsoft on Thursday posted substantial drops in revenue and earnings as it continues to navigate from its legacy PC business into emerging technologies — a day after chipmaker Intel announced a 11% workforce reduction. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN.)

The Redmond, Wash.-based company reported a 6% decline in fiscal third-quarter revenue to $20.5 billion. Earnings of $3.8 billion, or 47 cents per share, fell 25%in the same quarter a year ago. Microsoft reported adjusted earnings of 62 cents per share, shy of analyst estimates.

Microsoft (MSFT) shares plunged more than 7% on the news in early trading Friday.

A consensus of analyst reports from S&P Global Market Intelligence anticipated revenue of $22.1 billion and earnings per share of 64 cents. Microsoft’s Q3 revenue guidance was $21.1 billion to $22.3 billion.

The quarterly miss comes as the software giant continues to pursue its years-long gambit to transform itself from a license-fee-focused enterprise closely tied to personal computers to a major play in cloud services, virtual reality, gaming and emerging technologies.

But Microsoft’s future remains unclear after nearly a decade of struggles underscored by declining PC unit shipments. The slowly eroding PC market and tightening IT budgets have punctured revenue for Microsoft and others globally. Sagging PC sales were a major reason why Intel is slashing 12,000 jobs and IBM registered its 16th straight quarter of declining sales.

Microsoft said revenue from Windows software licenses dipped 2% during the March quarter, outperforming the overall PC market.

The computing giant has bet heavily on new technologies, and initial results are promising but uneven. Its cloud business, which includes Azure and server software, rose 3% to $6.1 billion in revenue in the quarter, a shallower growth rate than some expected.

Office 365, its subscription-based suite of productivity services, passed 70 million monthly users. And HoloLens, the company’s space-age holographic computer goggles, has wowed analysts and spurred interest among consumers and corporations such as Volvo and NASA over its possibilities.

Windows 10 is also Microsoft’s fastest-spreading Windows operating system, with more than 270 million installations on computing devices.

Monthly active users of Xbox Live surged 26% from last year, to 46 million.

Since he took over as Microsoft CEO two years ago, Satya Nadella has also cut ties with bum investments in Nokia and struck partnerships with the likes of Salesforce and Apple. The moves have resonated with investors, who have bumped up Microsoft’s stock 30% over the past year.

On Thursday, before the Q3 results were announced, Microsoft shares edged up 0.5% to $55.87.

Written by Jon Swartz of USA Today

(Source: USA Today)