Should you avoid angel investing?

The lure of angel is investing is very strong for successful business people looking to leverage their knowledge, judgement and wealth to generate even more successes. That’s a great thing, as we’ve seen a staggering amount of innovation driven over the past generation with venture capital funding and early stage investments.

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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.

3 Ways the Internet Can Improve Your Career

Today, young professionals can advance their careers better than ever before thanks to the Web. Professionals with HughesNet Internet plans, cable Internet, or any other type of Web connection have access to an online landscape that’s ripe with opportunities for improvement and advancement. The digital age has ushered in a new era where business opportunities aren’t just conducted on the phone or at the office.

If you’re aspiring to get better in your career or in your role as an entrepreneur, take advantage of these 3 major affordances of today’s Internet:

Professional Development
Getting better at your job or learning more about your industry doesn’t have to end with workplace training sessions, tutorials or guides and manuals. With the Internet, you can become an expert in your field without having to leave your couch, and without having to spend a dime. Numerous online resources offer courses in business strategy, technology, design, coding, finance and countless other subject areas related to what your professional specialty.

Check out sites like Udemy.com, Coursera.org, w3schools.com and Udacity.com for free resources that can help you become better in your role. Not only will you be able to apply your knowledge to your job and improve your work, but your team leader will probably notice, too.

Personal Branding
In today’s professional landscape, it’s important that you differentiate yourself from the thousands of other people who do what you do. It could mean the difference in you getting that next big promotion or position at a prominent firm. Social media and blogging offer opportunities to engage in personal branding and to establish your presence online and become recognized as a leading authority and expert in your field. It takes time and considerable effort, but you’ll find that your own brand equity makes you a more valuable part of the workforce.

Networking
Last but not least, the Web 2.0 landscape offers more networking opportunities than were available 15 years ago. Not only do personal branding, social media and blogging play a prominent role in how professionals reach and interact with one another, but large-scale professional networking sites like LinkedIn offer legitimate opportunities to connect with others in your field. If you’re not using the Internet for networking purposes, start today so you can take advantage of all possible opportunities.
How will you go about online professional development, personal branding and network in the future?

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?

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