Dow Hits 20,000+ For the First Time

Dow Hits 20,000+ For the First Time
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Written by Harveer Singh

Today the Dow Jones hit 20,000 points for the first time ever. To give you an understanding of how much it has gone up, its lowest point in recent history was on March 9th, 2009 at 6,626.94. Since that day the Dow has risen by 13,419.89 points, more than double its lowest point in 2009. The Dow has increased roughly 1,666 points since Donald Trump’s victory in November.

Yes, this is a historical day showing the increased confidence of the average investor in the economy. A bull Market! What is a Bull Market? It is when share prices are rising in the stock market and investors are buying. The opposite of this would be a Bear Market. A Bear Market is when share prices fall and investors start to sell (For more definitions, check out our post, the Startup Dictionary).

How has it gone so far up, breaking the 20,000 point? It seems as though the White House wants to take all of the credit. Kellyanne Conway certainly thinks it is due to President Trump when she recently tweeting “The Trump Effect.”

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I do not know what the real reason is and I do not plan on getting too far into politics. Anyone who personally knows me already knows where I stand. That being said, I know for sure that the only way the Dow would go up is if people are confidently buying.

What am I doing now that the Dow is at its record high? My strategy has always been to buy low and sell high. Therefore, I have been selling portions of my portfolio over the last week. That puts me against the grain I guess, but here is my reasoning:

The Dow is at the highest point it has EVER been. I am not sure where it will go from here as I do not have a crystal ball, but my thought is, what goes up must eventually come back down. This is why I started selling portions of my winning stocks.

What do you guys think about the Dow hitting its record high? Are you buying? Selling? Waiting and watching? Let us know in the comment section below!

Disclosure: The article above should not be used to make stock decisions. These are my thoughts and opinions and I can be wrong! Do your own homework and make your decisions based on research and facts, always.

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10 Ways To De-Stress

10 Ways To De-Stress
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Written by Harveer Singh

Life can be quite stressful and I think it is universally known that 2016 was one hell of a year no matter how you look at it. If you do not reduce your anxiety and stress, it can take its toll on your body and mind. Professionals of all fields feel it. Stress is a killer.

It is important to find ways to relax and clear your mind. So in this blog post, I am going to go over some of the tactics I use to de-stress.

Try to keep an open mind, as some of these suggestions may seem silly at first, that is until you actually need them.

 

Alleviate

  1. Work Up a Sweat: Go on long walks, to the gym, ride your bike, do an at-home workout (YouTube has good workout videos), do some stretches. The idea is to sweat out the stress.
  2. Meditation & Breathing: Breath slow and deep, close your eyes, and clear your mind.

How-To: During deep breathing exercises, close your eyes focus on your breath. Breathe in deep through your nose for 3 seconds, hold it for 2-3 seconds and exhale through your mouth slowly and repeat for a full minute. Do this whenever you can, but at least once a day.

There are some apps that go through different breathing exercises. I use the app breathe (clever name) on my iPhone.

  1. Massages: When you are stressed you sometimes tense your muscles and get stiff. This discomfort is going to work against you and stress you out more. You can also get at-home massages with the app Soothe: With the following code, you will receive $30 off your first massage: MHKON
  2. Think Positive: Stop being so negative. The more you think of negative things the more you will experience them. Even when you are feeling the worst, you have to try to think of the positive aspects of your life. Focus on what you are grateful for and picture yourself achieving your goals. Think positive and good things will start happening to you.

Distract

  1. Read a Book/Watch a Movie: Sometimes diving into a new world can get your mind off a stressful situation.
    1. Reading: Read something relevant to your business or something different altogether. Go with what you think will relax you most at the time. For good business book recommendations, check out my blog post Essential Business Reads.
    2. Audio (Audible & Podcasts): Listening to someone else’s voice can help calm you down. As far as podcasts go, there are so many different genres out there. Some of which relate to business, mystery, horror, movies, reviews, etc. My favourite non-business related podcast is the first season of Serial. The best motivational podcast I have heard is School of Greatness.
  2. Make Yourself Feel Closest To Home: Studies have shown that at times of great stress, one feels most safe when closest to “home.” Do things that relate to your youth. Things you liked to do when you were a child. Maybe go back and watch a childhood movie, play with Legos, do a puzzle, build a blanket fort, etc.
  3. Go on a weekend trip: Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. Look at local trips within a few hours driving distance. Book a hotel and just get away from it all.

Hotel Tonight: I use this app a lot. It allows you to book hotels up to a week in advance for pretty cheap! With this code, you will receive $25 off your first booking: HSINGH117

Blade: Go to the Hamptons in a helicopter. If you are a high roller/big baller, you can receive $100 off your first flight with this code: HarveerS71

Lyft & Uber: If you live under a rock and haven’t used lyft or uber before, you can use this code to get $10 off your first ride with Lyft: HARV3 and this code to get $15 off your first ride with Uberharveers7ue

  1. Cleaning & Organising: Sometimes focusing on tedious activities like cleaning and organising can help to distract you. Not to mention that a clean and organised environment can be relaxing.

Take Action

  1. Make Lists & Plan: Make lists. Today’s To Do list, This Week’s To Do List, This Month’s goals. Planning things out can seriously reduce stress. Procrastination is the killer and makes things SO MUCH worse when you are stressed and anxious. The only way to feel better at this point is to plan things out. It will make a complex situation seem simple.
  2. Get to Work: If you are procrastinating, it may just be helpful to get to work. If it is a lot of work that you need to get done that is stressing you out, pushing it off will only make it worse.

 

Alright, let’s enter 2017 relaxed and ready to rumble!

 

Mentioned Apps & Promotional Codes:

Audible: Look up their current promotions. They usually give the first month free.

Blade: Receive $100 off your first flight: HarveerS71

Breathe: This free app will help you meditate and focus on your breathing.

Hotel Tonight: Receive $25 off your first booking: HSINGH117

Lyft: Get $10 off your first ride: HARV3

Soothe: Receive $30 off your first massage: MHKON

Uber: Get $15 off your first ride: harveers7ue

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How to Calculate Your Net Worth

How to Calculate Your Net Worth
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What am I worth!? No, I am not talking philosophically, I am talking mathematically. I figured this would be an interesting post because it is so easy to calculate and it is always good to know how you are doing financially.

An individual’s Net Worth is their current economic position. Basically all of the assets you own minus all of the liabilities on your head. Sounds simple enough right? Let’s jump right in. I’ll make it even simpler by giving you an example with MADE UP numbers.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-1-13-41-pmNote: This is just an example. There may be other line items that I am missing. The idea is to have your assets subtracted by your liabilities.

 

Notice that I did not add Salary. This is because your Net Worth calculates what you already/currently have and not what you may have in the future.

If after calculating you end up with a negative number, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you are worthless (you guys are all invaluable to me)! This usually means you may be young with a significant amount of student loans or perhaps you have a lot of credit card (or other forms of) debt. Over time, as you pay them down your net worth will increase.

You can usually find Net Worth calculators online where you can just fill in the blanks with your numbers.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time…

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The Essence of Entrepreneurship

The Essence of Entrepreneurship

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Fostering Business Solutions, Inc.

By Antonette Hudak

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When you go to a coffee shop, movie theatre, boutique or restaurant. You normally aren’t thinking about what it takes to give you that experience. You arrive, pay, make your memories and might go back.

I just began working at a restaurant part-time. You begin to see what goes on behind the scenes of the establishment. The vision, preparation, and attention to detail that makes a customer want to come back.

There’s a quote that comes to mind, “A great entrepreneur gives people what they want before they ask for it.”

My experience on the first day was feeling welcomed. The restaurant opens at 5:30 pm and everyone is expected to get there by 4:30pm. The employees have a “family” meal together. Everyone talks and sits around a table together.

After the meal concludes, everyone gets together with the chef to try the specials. He explains every ingredient, where it comes from, and what the night’s dishes are. He talks about the sauces, nuts, spices and vegetables. The menu goes according to what’s in season. The chef buys the produce himself, usually from Amish Farmers in the area.  My job as a hostess is to call all the reservations for the next couple of days to confirm their bookings. I am to keep a log of cancellations and seating walk-ins. Each reservation is pre-set with a table, time, name, and how many people will be in the party. It’s also the hostess’s job to walk around and mark the status of each seated table and if they are on their appetizers, entrees, or desert.This is to keep the waiters up to date on what is going on so that they are always in the know.

Sometimes VIPS arrive that need extra attention and complimentary items like a bottle of wine. The mood is set with lighthearted music in the background. The environment is always alive.  Rustic at home feel, white brick walls. The chef inspects every dish because presentation counts before a customer is served.

Thinking of this business and how it all came together makes me realize how much work, vision, and details goes into it. A consumer needs reasons to pick a place.  Why would they have dinner here? Is it how aesthetically pleasing it is, the organic food, incredible service, good music, an opportunity to enjoy oneself or a mixture of them all?

It takes people, training, leadership and lots of planning.

This is what I believe is the essence of entrepreneurship. The essence of attracting a crowd. Attracting a certain clientele that expects a specific experience. It was all planned. However, the planning did not stop at the opening of the restaurant; it continued to grow, like all great businesses. Entrepreneurship takes artistry, creativity and planning. Perfecting your craft. With failure and experience. Continuously discovering with trial and error. Creating a brand the entrepreneur and consumers are passionate about. It doesn’t come overnight. It takes practice, failing, learning, and interchanging roles. Going into it for the right reasons and using practicality. Most importantly, organizing people and taking the time to properly train them.

As an aspiring entrepreneur. What to study can be your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, bar, film or business of interest. The memories and joy they gave you. Pay attention. With that said, in your own business, you can see what you can offer to the world. Service the world. Giving the customer what they want before they ask for it.

About the Author: 

Antonette Hudak is an entrepreneur working in the entertainment and hospitality industries. She is also a writer and actress. Some of her achievements include writing, directing, and acting in the play “How to Love A Drug Addict” which is now being created into a short film, “Failure isn’t something you should fear, it’s something to embrace” Published by Thought Catalog February 2016, and she is a Reservations Manager for the Nolitan Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel in New York City.

 

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Calculating the ROI of a Rental Property

Calculating the ROI of a Rental Property
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Along with the management consulting and social media work, I also invest in residential rental properties. It is important to know how to calculate if a property will be profitable and what the return on investment (ROI) will be. The first thing you should know is if you are Value or Cash Flow investing.

Value Investing is when the primary purpose of purchasing a property is to hold it with the hope that the value of the property will increase. Purchasing a property in a high growth area for $100k and selling it a few years later for $500k would be an example of this. With these properties, it is okay to just break even with rental income.

Cash Flow Investing is when the primary purpose of purchasing the property is to make money through rental income. All costs considered, your rental income should be high enough that you can consider it income.

Of course, the ideal case would be that you find a property that falls within both parameters. That can be hard depending on where you are located and how much capital you have.

For the purpose of this post, we will be focusing on Cash Flow Investing.

Now let’s get into calculating if a property is profitable if you are financing the property.

Firstly, let’s go over all of the costs that you have to consider initially and then on an ongoing monthly basis of owning a rental property.

Out of Pocket Cost:

Initially, you would have to consider how much money you have to put down to purchase the property. Usually, it can be anywhere from 5-20% depending on your credit and the type of property. Let’s say you are purchasing a property that is worth $150,000 and have to put down 20% ($30,000). You also have to consider closing costs. For this example, closing costs are $10,000 for calculation purposes. Another cost that you usually have to pay that most people don’t consider is the following year’s property taxes. Say that property taxes for this property are $10,000 per year.

In total, the initial cost of purchasing this property will be $50,000. Meaning you will need this cash on hand right off the bat to purchase this property.

EDIT: I forgot to add Inspection costs. I have seen them range from $500-$2,000 depending on the property size and location. For this blog post, I will keep the math the same, but be aware that it is usually mandatory to have an inspection done.

Ongoing costs:

Now it is time to calculate what your costs will be on a monthly basis. Continuing with the example from above, we will have to finance $120,000. People usually pick between financing over 15 or 30 years. We will finance over 30 years here. For investment properties, the interest rate is around 7% or 8%. We will use 8% to be conservative. You can use many online tools to calculate your monthly mortgage costs. Google search Mortgage calculator.

The monthly mortgage cost alone will be $880.52 per month on the $120,000 over 30 years at an 8% interest rate.

Next, you will have to also factor in the property taxes for the next year into your calculation as well as a Landlord Insurance Policy. Our property taxes for this property is $10,000 and let’s say the insurance policy is $2,000 per year.

The total monthly cost of this property is $1,880.52.

Other hidden costs to consider:

-In some cases, if you put less than 20% down you will be charged what is called PMI. PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance and you will have to add this to the monthly mortgage cost if needed. I have seen it being anywhere between $150-$300 per month.

Common Charges: Some properties charge common charges to maintain the property (cutting the grass, snow removal, pools, etc.). These costs will also need to be considered on a monthly basis. The price of common charges really depends on the type of property and where it is located.

Is it profitable for Cash Flow Investing:

Now its time to do some research on the average rental costs in the area. Look on Zillow and other sites like it to see what the rental prices are for properties on the same block/building and in nearby locations.

If the average rental is $2,400 in the area, this may be a good Cash Flow property.

If it is $1,900 or below, I would not consider it for cash flow.

I usually only choose properties that can generate a monthly return of $600 or more, but it is based on personal preference.

Calculating simple ROI:

For rental properties that you have financed, it is good to calculate your return on investment.

For the purposes of this example, our monthly cash flow from the property is $500 per month (rental income minus ongoing monthly charges). This would result in an annual return of $6,000 ($500 x 12 months) from rental income after all costs.

If the out of pocket cost (initial cost) of purchasing the property is still $50,000, our ROI will be calculated as follows:

$6,000 (annual cash flow) ÷ $50,000 = 12% ROI

This formula can get very complex as some people use an amortization table to also factor in the principal (mortgage) paydown. I would say that a 12% simple ROI is very good. It would take roughly 8 years to break even on your initial investment ($50k/$6k).

I would also suggest reading the book HOLD: How to find, buy and, rent houses for wealth by Steve Chader if you are considering residential real estate investments.

You can also find other great books to read in one of my older posts called Essential Business Reads.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. More will be coming soon! Until next time…

 

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How to find a cofounder for your Startup

How to find a cofounder for your Startup

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Fostering Business Solutions, Inc.

By Christopher Kogge

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A problem many startup founders face is finding a co-founder. Someone who will not only share the burden and workload but someone who can bring something to the table, someone whom you can trust and someone who shares the vision you have for your company. That is a tall order especially when you consider they will not see any returns for some time, if ever. Luckily, we have put together a few tips to helping you find your future partner in business.

Before starting your search, you must first look inward. How solid is your idea? Have you done any research? What aspects of the business are still unknown? How to you plan to finance, market, and grow? If you want a serious partner, you must be serious about your company.

Once you have taken the time to figure out the in’s and out’s of what you want to do, the next step is to start your search. Our first recommendation should be an obvious one, your personal/professional network. People who already know you and what you are capable of are going to be the easiest and most likely to stand along side you. Moreover, if they are not able to help you themselves, your network can still be powerful advocates to finding someone who can help. Talk to friends, family, past or current colleagues. Anyone you know could be the answer.

Let’s say you are like myself, I am a marketing guy, but I went to a business school that is known as more of an accounting school, my family all are healthcare professionals, and my childhood friends all went into finance or unrelated fields. What do you do then? If you have exhausted your connections, then it is time to step out of your comfort zone. Start looking into conventions and in-person events in your area for startups. Meeting people face to face will keep people from ignoring you and will let you convey your passion and energy. It is never easy going to things alone; we also suggest bringing one of your personal network friends to talk to and support you. Trust us, doing this will help tremendously.

Maybe you are not near any conventions, or they will not be happening anytime soon, what do you do in the meantime? You guessed it, the world wide web is the greatest invention of our time, use it! There are numerous communities and networks to meet people. Build relationships, expand your professional network. Maybe someone you talked with in your industry cannot do it, but he may know someone that can. Every person you connect with multiplies your reach. Always make sure you do your due diligence before agreeing to anything, but that being said, there are plenty of real people out there that could be the yin to your yang.

Now, if you have a groundbreaking idea or invention that you know will work, and you can prove it, you may be a little protective about advertising it for everyone to see. If this is the case we suggest finding a reputable V.C. (Venture Capitalist). They will have all the connections and resources you will need. Finding one can be a task on it is own, but don’t worry, just stay tuned for my next article where I will discuss How to find a V.C.

Take this information and make it happen, entrepreneurs. You have the map now it is time do the work. This is your idea’s first test, now is the time to prove it can be more than just an idea. Hard work pays off; I wish you luck. Remember FBS here to help please don’t hesitate in reaching out in the comments or via email. Goodluck!

 

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Why do businesses incorporate in Delaware or Nevada?

Why do businesses incorporate in Delaware or Nevada?
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Most do not know that incorporating your business can have different implications depending on where you do it. You can strategically incorporate in different states to take advantage of various state rules. Delaware and Nevada seem to be everyone’s favorites, but why?

 

Delaware

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It is usually best for large businesses to incorporate here as they are more flexible with them. The state:

  • The business law here is the most flexible in the country, and the Court of Chancery (focusing on the business law) is governed by Judges, not juries. This flexibility can be beneficial in most cases.
  • Delaware does not have state corporate income tax or personal income tax for non-residents.
  • Does not require shareholders, directors and officers to be Delaware residents.
  • Shareholders outside Delaware do not owe the state any taxes.
  • The state DOES, however, have substantial franchise taxes.

These are just a few of the benefits of incorporating in Delaware.

 

Nevada

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Nevada started to compete with Delaware with their strategies.

  • Protects against hostile takeovers.
  • Has no corporate income tax, franchise tax or personal income tax.
  • Does not require shareholders, directors and officers to be Nevada residents.

 

Fees between the two differ and these are only a few of the differences between the two. Always consult your lawyers and/or accountants when incorporating your business.

 

SOURCES:http://www.bizfilings.com/learn/incorporate-delaware-nevada.aspx
https://www.rocketlawyer.com/article/incorporating-in-delaware-or-nevada-whats-the-best-option-for-my-business.rl

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Mobile Screens are now the passion of the American Majority [Infographic]

Mobile Screens are now the passion of the American Majority [Infographic]

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Fostering Business Solutions, Inc.

By Christopher Kogge

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In the 1950’s America’s mobile move was all about connecting the country through Interstate Highways. In the 20-teens, mobile has taken on a whole new meaning with the rise of smartphones. As of 2015, more time is spent looking at smartphone and tablet screens than computer and televisions ones.

This swing is nothing surprising as the trends have been drifting in mobile’s favor for the last five years, which in tech years is more like 20. In other words, it has been a long time coming. What will come to a surprise to some is the opportunity that is currently open for advertisers. As illustrated in the infographic below, the amount of advertising dollars spent on mobile ads is disproportionate to the audience size with a 25 Billion difference.

 

Move2Mobile

 

These findings should be setting off bells and whistles to the leaders of small businesses and startups alike. The lack of advertising spending pumped into the mobile space means lower rates, which means more exposure for less money. If you have not allocated a hefty amount of your ad budget to mobile already, I would suggest doing it now as this opportunity will surely be in existence for but a small moment in time.

The last tip I will leave you with is this, SmartTvs look to be emerging as next screen people will be using more and more in the next 5 to 10 years. If your company isn’t a unicorn and is currently on the shoestring budget, I would keep an eye on the popularity of SmartTvs and look to advertise when they have an upswing of popularity.

 

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10 Quotes to Inspire Dreamers

10 Quotes to Inspire Dreamers
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Being a professional in any field these days can be stressful. It is easy to be swallowed up by other people’s negativity, which is why I find it necessary, as cheesy as it may be, to keep motivated. I love reading inspirational quotes by unique people, who have accomplished great things in their lives. Whether you are an entrepreneur trying to make it in the world on your first or 30th business or if you are a business professional working in the corporate world, it is critical to stay positive to move forward. Here are some of my favorite quotes and what they mean to me.

Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. – William Faulkner.

William Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize winner. I like this quote because it means that you have to keep trying to be better. I will never be content with where I am. I will always try to be a better version of myself, this is how I will continuously grow.

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. – Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. This quote is vital to the entrepreneur as it tells you to be imaginative. It is similar to the quote above in that it tells you not to be content in who you are.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain

Mark Twain was an American author and humorist. Twain challenges you to question your motives and understand why you make the decisions that you do. Do not blindly follow the crowd. Make sure your choices are right for you.

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most never happened. – Mark Twain

Another quote by the great Mark Twain. Many of us live in constant fear of minuscule things. To me, I always felt like the first step was the hardest. You question yourself at every corner. What if this happens, this won’t let it happen, etc. Don’t let your fears stop you from becoming the person your potential will allow you to be.

What we fear is usually what we most need to do. – Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferris is an American author, entrepreneur, angel investor and public speaker. Here is another quote about fear. Procrastination is a killer. The sooner you get your work done I promise you that you will feel better. Pushing something off will put weight on your shoulder that you do not need.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln as 99% of you know is the 16th president of the United States of America. You only have one life so don’t let your fears hold you back. If you want to do something, do it. If you want to start a business, try it. If you want to talk to that girl/guy, go for it. I ask myself one very dramatic question when I am making big (or even small and scary) decisions. Will I regret this on my deathbed? If the answer is yes, I am going to do it.

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing. – Aristotle

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist. I love this. If you are afraid of what everyone else thinks of you, you will get nothing done. The innovators of this world did things that others thought was impossible. They won’t understand you and they will discourage you. Don’t let them get to you. Block out the haters.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. – T. E. Lawrence

Thomas Edward Lawrence was a British archaeologist, military officer, and diplomat. Everyone dreams but entrepreneurs make their dreams a reality.

I have promises to keep and many miles to go before I sleep. – Robert Frost

Robert Frost was an American poet. This quote is important for an entrepreneur, but also those in managerial roles. Promises are important. When you start a business people working for/with you are relying on you. I know that is a scary thought, but being in a leadership role means that you need to be responsible. Remember, a man/woman is only as good as his/her word.

Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. – George Carlin

George Carlin was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor, and author. I wanted to end this off on a lighter note. I know this is hard, and sometimes even I cannot resist, but try not to argue with a tool. There are times you can win someone over and there are times you cannot change the mind of someone stubborn. Pick your battles and refrain from stooping low.

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10 Traits To Be A Great Leader

10 Traits To Be A Great Leader
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During my time in the industry, I have been introduced to amazing leaders and dreadful poseurs. I have gained many mentors and advisors over the years, and I have compiled the following traits that make some an actual leader.

1. Positive Reinforcement: Not Negative punishment

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I have gained the understanding that you will get the best out of people when you reward them for success rather than punish them for their failures. Those who you punish will start to despise you. One thing that I know for sure is that negativity is an infection that spreads and destroys a corporate culture, especially for new companies & startups. There is no room for negativity when you are trying something new. Lead by rewarding and you will be giving people the motivation to do better.

2. Lead By Example: Don’t Be A Hypocrite

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Everyone hates a hypocrite. If you want people around you to act in a particular manner, you need to lead by example. Some would call this the “tone at the top.” Be what you want others around you to be. People will respect that you practice what you preach and will be more likely to follow suit. Don’t go around smoking in people’s faces, while condemning others for doing the same. You will lose respect and people will realize that if your policies aren’t relevant enough for you to follow than it doesn’t matter for them to follow.

3. Be A Leader, NOT A Boss: Command Respect, Don’t Demand It

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People who say or act as if you MUST respect them solely because they are older or in a higher position are wrong. This will, in fact, result in the loss of respect. If you have to go around telling people you are a King, then you probably aren’t one. Now I am not saying that you should disrespect the higher ups, so don’t go around dismissing everyone. Most of you will be able to think of a person in your lives who tries to be a BOSS and not a LEADER. My favorite example of a leader was when I consistently pulled over 100 hours a week at my first job, and my senior manager sat there working with us, it increased my respect for her and made me believe that we were all in it together.

4. Communication Is Key

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It is often not what you say that makes the difference; it is how you say it that changes everything. Words can be sharper than a sword. They can bring tears of happiness or sorrow to one’s face. They can make or break a deal. For those who do think they need help with this, read Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends & Influence People. After you finish reading this book, read Leil Lowndes book, How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships. The first will give you the big picture while the latter will tell you exactly how to do it.

5. Confidence in Decisions: You Have To Mean It!

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If you are pushing a topic that is important, make sure that you have convinced yourself first. If you don’t believe what you are saying, no one else will. Two people can tell you to invest in an ideal opportunity for example, but you will always feel more comfortable with the individual who is sure of themselves. Lastly, after you have made a decision, stand by it. People will hold it against you if you flip flop without a good reason.

6. Own Up To Your Mistakes

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Having confidence in your decisions is one thing, but it takes a real leader to admit when they are wrong. It is better to point the thumb at yourself than to point the finger at someone else. Throwing people under the bus when you made a mistake will only create animosity. Owning up to your mistakes will create respect.

7. Discipline in Private

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If you ever have to have a serious conversation with someone or have a disagreement, talk in private, whether it is business partners or even those working underneath you. If you yell at someone in front of others, you will look like a jerk, embarrass the other person (create animosity) and no one wins. Have an adult conversation in private. The person in question will respect you more for it, and you will have a higher chance to make a difference. Exception: On very rare occasions when you need to make an example of someone.

8. Do Your Research: Know the Facts

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Don’t be a know it all, unless you actually know it all. One of my personal favorites is when people run their mouths about a topic they know nothing about. Have you ever heard the line in the movie American Gangster, “the loudest one in the room is the weakest in the room?” Make sure that you have the facts and do your research. It will make you and the people you’re representing, look weak if you’re ignorant about the argument you’re making. It is better to stay quiet if you do not know a topic than to pretend like you do and make a fool of yourself.

9. Don’t Complain Unless You Have A Solution

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You are wasting everyone’s time if you complain about things and don’t propose a solution. You will only be adding to the problem. I have been to so many meetings where I have seen people complain about issues without finalizing the discussion with a solution. These actions are useless, and nothing will change.

10. Keep An Open Mind: Hear Everyone Out

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You are not always right contrary to what you may or may not believe. Open your mind to criticism and do not shut people out. Sometimes you employees can give you another perspective that you may not have considered that can change everything. Put your pride aside and sometimes allow others to have a say. It will give them the importance, and you may learn something.

 

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