Any great entrepreneur will tell you that they're different than most and has a personality all their own. While this may be true to varying degrees, there are some traits that the majority of successful entrepreneurs share, and nearly all of these hard working individuals would be proud to confirm they possess them.
Are you a budding entrepreneur and wondering if you've got the make-up to see a prosperous future? Consider the traits below and see if you have any or all of them in your DNA. Chances are, if you're already on the path towards innovation and determination in your business idea, you'll see yourself reflected in this list.
Entrepreneurship is not easy. A successful entrepreneur must be determined to make it in the no-nonsense, hard-hitting, highly-competitive business world. Confidence, passion, and motivation are all part of the steadfast determination any smart and serious entrepreneur must possess.
Monster.com confirms, "Entrepreneurs are enthusiastic, optimistic, and future-oriented. They believe they'll be successful." Entrepreneur adds, "You have to be determined from the beginning to be successful -- before you even start. If you aren't fully determined to make it there is a good chance you will crumble under the pressure. Entrepreneurs that have a high level of confidence are able to get the job done even under the most stressful conditions. They understand that big challenges breed big rewards."
Does this sound like you? Without the initial drive and the fuel to continue to push you forward, you'll never make it past the starting line. There are lots of good ideas, but the force behind them is what yields the biggest impact.
A successful entrepreneur knows of the liabilities they may encounter while working to develop their business. Not everything will be a home run no matter how good a player they may be. With risk comes reward though, if the right balance of fearlessness and fierceness for the end goal is found.
Monster has a method to make things as smooth as possible, "You can reduce your risk by thoroughly researching your business concept, industry and market. You can also test your concept on a small scale." Refer to family and friends for an initial sounding board before hitting the masses.
With risk-taking comes the chance for failure, but a driven entrepreneur won't give up without a fight. The Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce says, "Entrepreneurs are often successful because they are calculating and able to make the best decisions in even the worst of cases. Even if they make the best decision possible, things don't always go according to plan and may fail anyhow. There's not one successful entrepreneur out there sitting on his couch asking, 'what if?'"
And Entrepreneur reminds us of an important lesson from Richard Branson, "Few first ventures work out. It is how a beginning entrepreneur deals with failure that sets that person apart. In fact, failure is one of the secrets to success, since some of the best ideas arise from the ashes of a shuttered business."
If you know you'll need to put it all on the line with the chance your idea could flop and still believe you've got what it takes, you have the mindset of a true entrepreneur.
Eager to Learn
Entrepreneurs are smart and well-versed in their vision for a new endeavor. That said, any truly intelligent entrepreneur knows that there are always more to learn, new and different ways to do things, and changes they can make in order to be a bigger success.
Like Entrepreneur notes, "You have to stay sharp, and that requires that you are constantly learning. Industries constantly change and evolve -- only those that are also growing through constant learning will stay ahead. Read books and wake up earlier in the morning to read industry news -- do everything you can to constantly learn and absorb new information."
Minority Business Development Agency adds, "Successful people welcome change and often depend on it to improve their effectiveness as leaders and ultimately the success of their businesses as many business concepts rely on improving products, services and processes in order to win business."
Even if your business gets off the ground and begins to succeed, never forget to keep on taking in more information and advice with an open mind. Always be on your toes in order to stand the tallest!
It's important to be able to think outside the lines when it comes to starting a business. Even the best laid plans will need to be repaved and reexamined as you go through the exciting, yet unpredictable adventure of your entrepreneurial endeavor. Creativity and flexibility are key to making your dreams a reality.
Monster says it well, "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."
Entrepreneur notes, "If you are extremely adaptable it gives you the ability to respond quickly in any situation. This allows you to make decisions that will navigate you out of trouble and allow you to thrive in environments that would sink those that aren't adaptable."
And don't sabotage yourself. Being open to a new way of approaching an idea or testing something that wasn't in the initial plans will help, not destroy your success. Sticking to a plan just because it took a long time to develop doesn't make it the one that's the best. Hone in on your natural creativity to foster a new and better outcome.
So you've created a business that has the capability to do well, but without the customers, clients, and partners to keep the business afloat and going strong, you may just sink.
Your business skills must be sharp and your leadership and networking skills on point. According to Business Insider, "Whether you're a born extrovert or introvert, as a founder/CEO, you'll find yourself always selling. You'll be selling your vision to prospective partners and funding sources. You'll be selling prospective recruits on why they should quit their day jobs and join this startup they've never heard of. You'll be selling your products and services."
The amount of time and passion put into developing your idea must be put towards convincing others how great it is as well. Under 30 CEO says, "The entrepreneur has strong communication skills to sell the product and motivate employees."
Of course, if your idea is groundbreaking, much of the attraction will come naturally, but even so, in order to reach your highest potential, a persuasive attitude will bring your business in front of the eyes that matter most. Be fearless, firm, and friendly. Your success depends on your ability to impress, influence, and entice those who will help make your business soar.
How much of an entrepreneurial spirit do you have based on these traits? Are you up for the challenge?
Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.
In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.
In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.
But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.
Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.
In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.
Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.
Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:
1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan
2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.
3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.
4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.
5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.
Here are charities offering support in Haiti:
1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.
2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.
3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.
4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.
When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.
Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.
The aesthetics were undeniably luxe and historic. The campaign showcased the rarely-seen Basquiat painting Equals Pi (1982), which the brand acquired for the background's proximity to its distinctive Tiffany blue. Also notably historic is that Beyoncé was the first Black woman to wear the 128.54 carat Tiffany Diamond.
Before Beyoncé, the only other stars to wear the yellow diamond were Mary Whitehouse, wife of American diplomat Edwin Sheldon Whitehouse, Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn, and singer Lady Gaga.
"Beyoncé and Jay-Z are the epitome of the modern love story …. Love is the diamond that the jewelry and art decorate," said the press release accompanying the campaign.
The campaign, titled "About Love," is stunning and has both classic and contemporary references. The image of the couple posing in front of high art recalled the iconic stills from their "APESHIT" music video, for which they famously rented out the Louvre and posed in front of the Mona Lisa.
THE CARTERS - APESHIT (Official Video) www.youtube.com
Their "APESHIT" photo made a giant cultural impact for its juxtaposition of Western beauty and Blackness. Tiffany's campaign seemed to have similar goals — showcasing Beyoncé and Jay Z as the peak of luxury, this time juxtaposing the Basquiat and the Tiffany diamond.
As a Black couple, their appearance in such a luxury campaign was a big move for representation, but in a post 2020 landscape, there was an outcry of criticism.
Despite the aesthetic beauty of the image, the high capitalist undertones didn't sit right with some on the internet — largely younger demographics. Though this campaign was an effort by Tiffany's to appeal to younger audiences and make the brand feel more relevant, Twitter's verdict was clear: a blood diamond wasn't the way to go.
The diamond, which was mined in South Africa in 1877, comes from origins laden in the implications of colonialism. The practice of mining in South Africa at the time was exploitative and destructive, eschewing the livelihoods and safety of African miners and their communities for... what? Money? So Tiffany could try to sell us some dream of affluence using Black celebrities as to "Blackwash" the history behind their treasured piece?
The Washington Post also had some choice words, saying: "Its campaign does not celebrate Black liberation — it elevates a painful symbol of colonialism. It presents an ostentatious display of wealth as a sign of progress in an age when Black Americans possess just 4 percent of the United States's total household wealth. If Black success is defined by being paid to wear White people's large colonial diamonds, then we are truly still in the sunken place."
Alongside the campaign, Tiffany & Co have promised to donate $2 million to HBCUs to fund scholarships and internships. But this measly amount (considering the multi-billion dollar net worth behind LVMH) is not enough to cover up that, despite their performative efforts to promote "diversity," Tiffany's is entrenched in a colonial history that neither beauty nor Beyonce can make us ignore.
While Black representation has been increasing over the past few years, the question of how we are represented is starting to be considered with more nuance. And as we examine the structures of wealth and hierarchical values, many people are starting to ask whether these should be the standards we aspire to anymore.
Jay Z and Beyoncé have come under fire before for their promotion of Black Capitalist values — which the kids don't seem to want. Jay Z especially seems invested in the trappings of traditional (read: white) success and wealth. His cannabis line recently unveiled a campaign based on the work Slim Aarons — which was famously focused on "attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places" — and its unashamed opulence raised some eyebrows.
Images like this aren't as revolutionary as they once might have been since they reinforce the status quo and tell marginalized people to reach for the same luxuries and lifestyles deemed aspirational by the people who have oppressed them.
Anti-capitalist theory has been around as long as capitalism has, but younger generations are more likely to question the status quo — even when it comes packed with Basquiat and Beyoncé.
The conversation about the Tiffany campaign is indicative of how Gen Z thinks differently about money and what it means to them. They are less likely to be seduced by the luster of the aspirational, and more receptive to relatability.
No more does financial literacy seem restricted to the pretentious or the elite — we get it, finance bros; you love capitalism. With Cleo, understanding your money is something that can align users with their values.
And those values don't look like blood diamonds or corporate pandering.
- Sorry, Beyoncé, but Tiffany's blood diamonds aren't a girl's best friend - Washington Post
- The Black-white wealth gap left Black households more vulnerable — Brookings
- The Unashamed Opulence of Jay Z's Luxury Cannabis-Themed Slim Aarons Photoshoot — Popdust
- ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE DOING ATTRACTIVE THINGS IN ATTRACTIVE PLACES WITH SLIM AARONS — Elle Decor
Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.
From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.
1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance
If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.
2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping
All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.
camping road tripConde Nast Traveler
If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).
3. Bring Food From Home
Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.
Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.
4. Avoid Tolls
Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).
You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.
Road TripThe Orange Backpack
5. Save on Gas
Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.
6. Get a National Park Pass
All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.