Do you ever want to sell your business?

If you’re a business owner, one of the things you should always consider is whether you’d like to sell it at some point. This probably shouldn’t be your biggest concern of course, but it’s something you should keep in mind.

If someone wanted to buy your business, could they run it without you after a transition period? This is critical, because if you’re irreplaceable, you really don’t have a business you can sell without binding yourself to years of additional work.

Think about it, and it will probably trigger some additional thought as to how you structure your business. Think about what you should be teaching your team so that others can run certain aspects of your business that you control.

This is difficult for many entrepreneurs, but it’s essential if you ever want to have a real exit strategy.

The 5 Different Faces of Entrepreneurs

opportunity just ahead

Creating a sustainable, profitable business as an entrepreneur is an extremely challenging feat. Some individuals, however, manage to go all the way to the top and are now some of the world’s wealthiest people. While all entrepreneurs share basic characteristics such as hard-working, innovative and persistent, more often than not they will be labelled or pigeonholed in a certain way. Below you will find just five of the different ways entrepreneurs are perceived.

1. The Visionary

This is probably the entrepreneur that you are used to hearing and reading about. They are often larger than life, a beacon to others who only dream of making it. They are the face of their companies and are very gifted at clearly articulating and conveying their goals, thereby getting their entire team of employees and customers on board. Think of Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg.

2. The Troublemaker

While the word troublemaker is rather harsh, certain individuals in the business world have certainly garnered a reputation for being demanding and lacking people skills. Steve Jobs is a prime example of this; many colourful words have been used to describe his personality and there are plenty of stories regarding his unconventional management style.

3. The Optimist

These are the figures that take defeat in their stride and refuse to give up. They are always looking to the future and trying to decide what business venture they should try next. Australian businessman Ron Bakir experienced personal and legal trouble that left him without much of his fortune. A few years later he managed to reinvent himself and is now the CEO of a very successful property development company.

4. The Mentor

This type of entrepreneur is regarded as being gentle, nurturing and positive. They will often be seen engaging in motivational or charitable activities. Tony Robbins has built an entire empire on the motivational speaking and mentoring movement but don’t forget that he is also a savvy businessman who found his niche in the marketplace and played to his strengths.

5. The Philanthropist

At some point in a successful entrepreneur’s career, they start to think less about profits and more about giving back to the world. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda are some of the world’s most famous humanitarians, donating large amounts of money through their foundation. Another well-known philanthropist is of course Oprah Winfrey, who has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of education for women and children through her foundation.

In reality, entrepreneurs are three dimensional people with virtues and faults. In fact, most individuals in the business world will be a visionary, dictator, optimist, mentor and philanthropist rolled into one. Media coverage and PR spin are often the reasons why we receive a particular view or opinion of someone.

Which figure do you identify most with? Was it Ron Bakir’s story of triumph against the odds that struck a chord? Or is it Richard Branson’s brand of innovative fun that appeals to you? Whatever your opinion, let us know by commenting in the box below.

The importance of focus for entrepreneurs

Many of us are guilty of this. Instead of focusing on the execution of our most important initiatives, we keep coming up with new ideas. In some ways this is critical in the new economy, where everything moves very quickly. You have to be alert and opportunistic.

That said, there’s a real danger in spreading yourself too thin. You have to learn to focus on what’s important. This article explains the concept in the terms of domain names for Internet entrepreneurs. If you have over 300 domain names, maybe you’re brainstorming too much and not executing enough?

Start-ups offer free college education

The cost of college tuition is skyrocketing, so it’s not surprising that some entrepreneurs are trying to fill the void.

Technology start-ups are cracking into the higher education market and there pitch is an enticing one: A college education for anyone at almost no cost.

Sound to good to be true? The founders of tech start-ups behind this revolutionary idea say they have already had success with their models, but they say there needs to be more momentum if their idea is to succeed.
“The 99% should be protesting college campuses,” says Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford University artificial intelligence professor, who recently co-founded Udacity, a technology start-up dedicated to providing higher education at a very low cost.

Two companies doing this are Udemy and Udacity. The new trend is self-education with all of the tools out there, including free lectures on iTunes and Khan Academy.

Smart employers will start to figure this out as well, and I suspect in the future we’ll see job applicants will put a Self-Education section on their resumes. It shows initiative and prospective employers can always quiz applicants on what they learned for verification.

Kathy Ireland discusses entrepreneurship

When you watch this interview with Kathy Ireland, you get a real sense of the determination and persistence that’s required for someone to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to expect failures but then be prepared to learn from them. It’s easier said than done of course, but you have to be prepared for this.

Watch the video, and you can see the character traits that make a successful entrepreneur.

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