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So you want to be an Entrepreneur or you have been told to become one… good, but, do you have what it takes? Being one is not a mean feat. While some like it for the title – I am an Entrepreneur! – Others have been counselled to resign from their jobs and become Entrepreneurs because they look it. True, many have become rich and successful being entrepreneurs but many others have also lost out because they didn’t ask themselves - Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Here are 10 characteristics that set successful entrepreneurs apart: 1. Passion Although there are many traits that make an entrepreneur successful, perhaps the most important would be passion. Is there something you can work on over and over again without getting bored? Is there something that keeps you awake at night because you haven't finished it yet? Is there something you have built and want to continue to improve upon? Is there something you enjoy so much you want to continue doing it for the rest of your life? 2. Adaptable and Flexible Being passionate is important, but being rigid about client or market needs will lead to failure. An entrepreneurial venture is not simply about doing what you believe is good, but also making a successful business out of it. Successful entrepreneurs welcome all suggestions for optimization or customization that may enhance their offering and satisfy client and market needs. You have to be adaptable and flexible 3. Risk Taker Entrepreneurs are risk takers, ready to dive deep into a future of uncertainty. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to risk their time and money on unknowns, but they also keep resources, plans and bandwidth for dealing with "unknown unknowns" in reserve. When evaluating risk, a successful entrepreneur will ask herself, "Is this risk worth the cost of my career, time and money?" And, "What will I do if this venture doesn't pay off?" 4. Product and Market Knowledge Entrepreneurs know their product inside and out. They also know the market. Most become successful because they create something that didn't already exist or they significantly improve an existing product after experiencing frustration with the way it worked. They are aware of changing market needs, competitor moves and other external factors. 5. Strong Money Management It takes time for any entrepreneurial venture to become profitable. Until then, capital is limited and needs to be utilized wisely. Successful entrepreneurs are strong money managers. A successful businessperson keeps a complete handle on cash flow which is the most important aspect of any business. 6. Exit Preparedness Not every business attempt will result in success. The failure rate of entrepreneurial ventures is very high. Sometimes, the best solution is to call it quits and try something new instead of continuing to dump money into a failing business. Many famous entrepreneurs weren't successful the first time around, but they knew when to cut their losses. 7. Leverage On The Right Connections Many people are happy to complain about the global slowdown, poor demand, or unfair competition and seek comfort in commiseration from friends, colleagues and neighbours. Sadly, that won't improve the bottom line. Successful entrepreneurs leverage on relationships and reach out to mentors with more experience and extensive networks to seek valuable advice. If they don't have the necessary technical or marketing skills, they find someone who does and delegate these tasks so they can focus on growing the business.
DEBT & EQUITY INVESTMENTS What Are the Differences between Debt & Equity Investments While both debt and equity investments can deliver good returns, they have differences with which you should be aware. Debt investments, such as bonds and mortgages, specify fixed payments, including interest, to the investor. Equity investments, such as stock, are securities that come with a "claim" on the earnings and/or assets of the corporation. Common stock, as traded on the New York or other stock exchanges, is the most popular equity investment. Debt and equity investments come with different historical returns and risk levels. DEBT INSTRUMENTS Debt investments tend to be less risky than equity investments but usually offer a lower but more consistent return. They are less volatile than common stocks, with fewer highs and lows than the stock market. The bond and mortgage market historically experiences fewer price changes, for better or worse, than stocks. Also, should a corporation be liquidated, bondholders are paid first. Mortgage investments, like other debt instruments, come with stated interest rates and are backed up by real estate collateral. EQUITY INVESTMENTS Fortunes can be made or lost with equity investments. Any stock market can be volatile, with rapid changes in share values. Often, these wide price swings are not based on the solidity of the organization backing them up but by political, social or governmental issues in the home country of the corporation. Equity investments are a classic example of taking on higher risk of loss in return for potentially higher reward. LEGAL DIFFERENCES Debt instruments, whatever they may be called, are corporate borrowing. Instead of procuring a straight commercial bank loan, the organization "borrows" from a variety of investors. This is why debt instruments, such as bonds, come with a stated interest rate, as a loan would. Equity investments offer an ownership position in the company. Owning stock makes the investor an owner of the organization. The percentage of ownership depends on the number of shares owned as compared with the total number of shares issued by the corporation. INVESTMENTS GOALS AND RISKS Depending on your investment goals, these differences may strongly influence your preferences. All investments come with risk. However, debt instruments offer less risk than equity investments. Your investing targets may favor equity investments, if you're seeking striking growth or profit potential. Conversely, you might focus on debt instruments when you prefer consistent income and less risk. Tailor your investment actions to match your objectives and risk tolerance.