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15 Signs You Have What It Takes To Be A Real Successful Entrepreneur

15 Signs You Have What It Takes To Be A Real Successful Entrepreneur

Unemployment rates are diminishing and more jobs are available than there were in the past couple years, but it’s still one of the best times to become your own boss. If you’re thinking about opening your own business, go through this list and see if you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

1. You have a never-ending passion.

If you’re thinking about opening your own business, you obviously already have great passion. Whether you want to become a business consultant or open a bakery, you love what you do enough to want to do it for a living. Your passion means that you can not only work full time, but you can live and breathe whatever you choose to do without burning out.

2. You serve as a fountain of ideas.

Do you have one good idea for a business that keeps coming to mind? That’s not a bad start, but to be successful, it’s best if you have a nonstop flow of ideas. You need to be able to think up the basis for your business, a way to refresh your image after awhile, how to get your name out there and how to make sure what you’re doing is necessary for the community. The ideas should just keep coming to you, whether it happens naturally, while you’re sleeping or during a scheduled brainstorming session.

3. You’re not afraid to work really hard.

If you think owning your own business is fun, you’re wrong. It helps that you have the love and passion to make it fun, but it’s going to take a long time to get there. First you’re going to have to work really hard. You’re starting with nothing, building a business and a name for yourself. You not only have to think about your business name, identity, logo, storefront, products and website, but you also have to think about what you’ll charge to make a profit and the taxes you’ll have to pay. If you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, none of that scares you because you’re willing to work really hard for what you want to achieve.

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4. You don’t like to give up.

You’ve made it this far, so you seem like you’re eager to stick with things. If you’re going to be a great business owner, you don’t like to give up, and it’s really hard to make you give up. You don’t get discouraged if there’s a lot to be done, or someone says something negative, or something doesn’t go the right way. In fact, obstacles like those make you work even harder!

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    5. You’re willing and able to learn from everyone.

    Entrepreneurs don’t ignore people who might not be in their field or have their best interests in mind. You have to be willing to listen to anyone, because you never know who might have good advice or inspire a great idea. You can’t write someone off because they don’t own a business or don’t seem successful, because you can learn lessons in the most random places.

    6. You’re a calculated risk-taker.

    Opening your own business is a huge risk in itself, but it’s just the first. You need to be ready to keep taking more risks in order to keep your business afloat. This means you have to be open to uncertainty, but also that you know what risks are worth it. You can’t put all your money into one venture and hope it succeeds and can fuel the rest of your business, because if it fails, you’re out. You can, however, put a great deal of money into something innovative to see if it works, because then you might be on the cutting edge of something new. If it fails, you’ll have lost some money and learned from the risk so you can appropriately further your business in the future.

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    7. You can see the big picture.

    When you’re excited to open your own business, it’s easy to stop looking at the big picture because you’re ready to get started, and you naively think you’re going to succeed immediately. Successful entrepreneurs don’t get caught up in the excitement, and instead can see the big picture. They know there will be hard times but don’t get discouraged because they know ups and downs are part of the big picture.

    8. You keep up with the times.

    Business owners have to be on the cutting edge of technology, the community they’re in, marketing and more. For example, anyone selling their wares remotely, like from a food truck or at a crafts fair, will have the ability to run a credit card through their smartphone. If you’re not up on this type of technology, you could lose a lot of business by only accepting cash if you’re working remotely. Successful entrepreneurs know what’s going on that will help them push their business even the tiniest bit farther.

    9. You’re not afraid to ask for help.

    Just like listening to advice from a variety of people, successful business owners aren’t afraid to ask for help. Just because you’re branching out on your own and being in charge doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Ask for help from your family or your employees if you need it, whether it’s physical help or just emotional support. Ask fellow business owners for advice if you need a push to stay positive. The more connected you are with those around you, the more help you’ll find.

    10. You’re able to complete things.

    Business owners have to step up and complete everything that’s on their plates. You can’t only do the easy tasks, or the ones that can be done quickly. If certain projects seem too daunting, divide them into smaller tasks that seem more manageable. Tackle your To Do list and make sure you complete all that needs to be done, or else your business will suffer.

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    11. You don’t procrastinate.

    When you’re your own boss, you can’t put things off. There’s no one higher up than you to take care of the important things, and no one below you to shove the boring tasks off on. You have to do it all yourself, and you have to be able to do it in a timely manner. The longer you put things off, the harder it is to do them; when you own your own business, this might make the difference between landing a major client and losing a job bid completely.

    12. You’re excited about what you do.

    Excitement is crucial when you’re your own boss, because you don’t have anyone else to motivate you. You need to keep yourself positive by constantly having a drive and desire to get up and work every day. As soon as your excitement starts to falter, your business will suffer because you’re not putting in enough love and effort to keep it afloat.

    13. You use your imagination.

    Business owners are innovative; they stay on top of their game and use their imaginations to brainstorm anything from business names and logos to marketing ideas and ways to reach out into the community and stay fresh. You can’t depend on hiring outside help to implement all of this – it’s your business, so you need to be the brains behind it! Your imagination runs nonstop and you never toss out an idea because it seems ridiculous; good entrepreneurs will give anything a try, because you never know what will work!

    14. You’re a social person.

    Being your own boss or working by yourself can seem like a lonely endeavor, but in reality you need to be a social person. Business owners have to network way more than people who are employees within a larger company. Entrepreneurs have to reach out into the community and see what is needed and what they can do to make their business important. They can’t just stay faceless behind a computer, they need to socialize with their customers and clients and have good people skills.

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    15. You like to give back.

    Entrepreneurs can’t be selfish and successful — you have to give back! So many small businesses donate a portion of their profits to charity these days that it really sticks out when they don’t. Giving back doesn’t have to be limited to financial giving, though. Entrepreneurs who volunteer or give motivational speeches at schools are also giving people, and don’t mind donating their time and knowledge to such appointments.

    Do you fit these characteristics? If so, get out there and make it work!

    Featured photo credit: the UMF via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on November 5, 2019

    5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

    5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

    Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

    This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

    Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

    Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

    Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

    To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

    What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

    Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

    LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

    On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

    Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

    5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

    There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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    With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

    Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

    Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

    1. Canvas Network

    Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

    Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

    Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

    To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

    Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

    Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

    Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

    The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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    In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

    Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

    2. Google Classroom

    This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

    Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

    Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

    With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

    Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

    Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

    3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

    If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

    Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

    It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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    Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

    Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

    Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

    4. Absorb

    This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

    Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

    Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

    The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

    Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

    The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

    Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

    Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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    5. Watershed Collaborative

    Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

    Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

    While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

    If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

    Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

    Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

    Honorable Mentions

    There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

    Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

    1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
    2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
    3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
    4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
    5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

    Conclusion

    There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

    Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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