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Leadership Quotes for Business Leaders to Live By

Sometimes all it takes to get through the day are a few words of encouragement. Running a business can be tiresome and, at times, disheartening, but don’t fret: everyone feels down on occasion. Take these quotes and use them for leadership inspiration.


  • “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” — Woodrow Wilson

  • “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” — Ronald Reagan

  • “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” — Douglas MacArthur

  • “I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through–then follow through.” — Edward Rickenbacker

  • “Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

  • “Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” — Warren Bennis

  • “A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” — Lao Tzu

  • “The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” — Tony Blair

  • “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

  • “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

  • “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” — Colin Powell

  • “Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people,’ that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” — Peter F. Drucker


You can bookmark this blog, write down the quotes on post-it notes, or put them wherever you’ll be able to find them. The next time you feel down, pull these quotes out, take a deep breath, and be the leader you were born to be.

The post Leadership Quotes for Business Leaders to Live By first appeared on Ray Shafazand | Business & Entrepreneurship.

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The Best Jobs for Graduates With a Finance Degree

Whether recent or otherwise, college graduates have much to look for in terms of jobs with a degree in finance. The skills you learned during your time getting your degree will make you incredibly attractive to prospective employers: you have analytical skills, can appraise the financial standing of a company, can dissect financial statements, and so much more. All of these skills can come in handy when applying for jobs—but what jobs are available for someone with a finance degree? Here are a few options to mull over while you’re job searching. 

Financial Planner


As a financial planner, your job will be to advise clients on how to manage their finances. Having a degree in finance is incredibly useful for this, as you’ll be able to decipher market trends and apply these observations to your planning sessions. Financial planners need to be able to crunch numbers and apply the accounting principles to their planning to make sure each plan is suitable for individual investors. You must also have strong interpersonal and persuasive skills to do well in this profession.

Budget Analyst


Budget analysts take finance principles and apply them to projects and proposals in different sectors: business, educational, governmental, and not-for-profit. As a budget analyst, you’ll analyze budgets and evaluate how different ventures will financially impact the organization you work for. Finance majors do well in this job as they develop the analytical and communication skills needed for success. 

Credit Analyst


Finance majors who become credit analysts can expect to evaluate loan prospects’ financial standing, and the risks that come with offering them said loans. Having a finance major teaches you how to appraise entities’ financial viability and assess their financial records, letting them figure out the legitimacy of the financial information provided to them. 



Lawyers aren’t limited to a specific bachelor’s degree. People with a finance degree can be attorneys and still put their knowledge to good use, as all lawyers can benefit from financial understanding. Lawyers who investigate financial irregularities especially benefit from a background in finance, as they have to read and understand all of the financial statements available to them. Additionally, lawyers who take on civil cases can use the knowledge to estimate the appropriate amount of compensation for settlements.

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Common Leadership Values

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Being a leader is something that you have to take very seriously. Not everyone has the right skills to be an effective leader and some don’t have the right values. If you possess some of the following common leadership values, then you’ll be in a good position to succeed. Read on to learn more about leadership values and how beneficial they can be. 

Being an Approachable Leader 

Approachable leaders are great at communicating with their teams. They are excellent at forming bonds with employees and they help to facilitate communication with other team members as well. These types of leaders generally have very warm personalities and they will always work to bring out the best in others. An approachable leader must have superb emotional intelligence to be able to relate to others while managing their own emotions. 

Being a Very Credible Leader 

Of course, most successful leaders are going to want to be considered to be credible. A credible leader is someone who is resilient, knowledgeable, and humble. These leaders are good at making difficult decisions and they never put themselves ahead of the team. A credible leader understands that you have to lead by example and they’re more than willing to put in the hard work to ensure that a project is seen through to completion. 

Being an Aspirational Leader 

Aspirational leadership is a bit different because it is about the desire to take things to the next level. An aspirational leader will possess the ability to elevate others while also having faith that great things can be achieved. The positive nature of these types of leaders helps to inspire people to do their best. If you are a leader who wants to raise others up while working toward big goals, then you just might be an aspirational leader. 

Which Set of Common Values Is Best?

All of the above three sets of common values are great in their own ways. Some leaders even make use of values from each set so that they can provide a very thorough leadership style. You should try to figure out what your leadership style is so that you can focus on the values that you think will resonate with your team. Do your best to keep improving as a leader and try to cultivate positive qualities like the ones listed above. 

The post Common Leadership Values first appeared on Ray Shafazand | Business & Entrepreneurship.

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Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know


You probably know that being an entrepreneur is not simple. It involves putting in a lot of hard work and it’s also going to require a large chunk of your time. If you want to move forward with your entrepreneurial ambitions, then there are certain things that you should know. Learning to recognize these things will help you to find success with your business idea. 

Market Research Is Crucial

Market research is a big part of ensuring that your business idea will be successful. You need to look at the state of the market to determine whether your business ideas will have a chance of working out. It’s also good to research your competition and the local economy. There are many factors that can influence your business and having more information will allow you to make good decisions. 

Listening to Customers Helps

Listening to your customers really does help when you’re trying to find entrepreneurial success. Your customers need to be treated with great respect and you should always try to meet their needs. If you take customer feedback seriously, then you’ll be able to make adjustments to your business. It can make it simpler to know which direction your business should be going to keep customers happy. 

Finding a Mentor Is Beneficial

Being able to learn from someone who has found entrepreneurial success can set you up to succeed. If you can find a mentor figure, then you should latch onto them. They will be able to give you a lot of knowledge and you can use their knowledge to avoid mistakes that new entrepreneurs often make. Having someone experienced like this that you can turn to for advice will be invaluable. 

Networking Can Make a Difference

Knowing certain people will be advantageous for your business. This is why it’s good for you to take networking seriously. You should try to attend networking events when possible and you should also network your business using online networking platforms. You never know when having a healthy list of industry contacts could come in handy. 

Develop a Long-Term Plan

Developing a long-term plan is going to be the best way to set yourself up for future success. The day-to-day operations of your business will be just a part of the puzzle. You need to make moves to ensure that you’re ready for what’s to come years down the line. Remember that marketing, training new employees, engaging with the community, and upgrading your equipment will be important for the future of your business. 

The post Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know first appeared on Ray Shafazand | Business & Entrepreneurship.

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How to Build Your Business’ Credibility

ray shafazand business credibility

If you want your business to stand out from the competition, then it’s important to differentiate yourself in positive ways. You need to work on building your business’ credibility over time. There are actually several ways to go about doing this. Read on to explore how you can build your business’ credibility and put yourself in a great position. 

Focus on Consistency

Focusing on consistency is an excellent way to build credibility in your industry. If you can consistently provide great service, then people are going to stand up and take notice. It’s also good to be consistent when it comes to marketing materials and your business website. Think about your tone and try to present your business in a consistent way across all platforms. 

Build Trust 

Building trust is another great way to become more credible. If people come to trust your business over time, then your credibility is going to be understandably high. This means that you should always be honest with customers and you should keep your word. Be transparent with your employees as well and build a company that is among the most trustworthy businesses in your area. 

Let Your Customers Speak for You

Sometimes letting your customers speak for you will do the trick. Adding a testimonials page to your website is a fantastic idea and this will showcase that you’re doing a good job. Customers can comment on the work that you’re doing for them or the services that you’re providing. Potential new customers can look at the quality of your work while hearing the good things that your customers have to say about you. 

Focus on Improving 

Improving your business over time is also going to be imperative. You don’t want to become complacent if you’re trying to become the leader in your local market. Improve your products and services so that you can meet the needs of your customers better. Take customer feedback into account and work on ways that you can offer better experiences to boost your credibility. 

Consider Guest Blogging

Guest blogging can help to boost your credibility, too. It’s a good way to get more eyes on your business and you can speak to a different audience from an authoritative position. Take guest blogging opportunities when they become available. 

The post How to Build Your Business’ Credibility first appeared on Ray Shafazand | Business & Entrepreneurship.

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Ways to Finance Real Estate Investments

ray shafazand real estate finance

So, you want to start investing in real estate and you need to figure out how to finance things. You will actually have several different ways that you can consider. Financing real estate investments doesn’t have to be overly complicated if you understand the method that will work best for your situation. Read on to examine the ways that you can finance real estate investments. 


Taking out a mortgage on an investment property is one of the most common ways to finance things. You will likely need to have a credit score of 620 or higher to make this happen. A higher credit score makes it possible to get more reasonable interest rates on your mortgage. This is a good choice for financing a real estate investment if you plan on flipping a property or renting it out to cover the mortgage payments. 

Government Loans

There are also certain government loans that you might qualify for depending on certain circumstances. FHA loans and VA loans are government-backed and they have great interest rates. To qualify for an FHA or VA loan, you’re going to have to live in the investment property for at least 12 months, though. It can still be practical for house flippers and often appeals to those who don’t have the best credit scores. 

Taking Out a Home Equity Loan

This option might be a little risky in some ways, but investors often get funds for real estate investments by taking out a home equity loan. This is a loan type that involves borrowing against the equity of your home. You might be able to get the money that you need so long as your home has enough value. The silver lining to this option is that sometimes refinancing your home can lead to a lower mortgage payment and this can make things easier to repay. 

Portfolio Loans

Portfolio loans are another option that you have to look into. This is mostly for seasoned investors who want to invest in multiple properties at once. If you’re thinking of investing in a block of homes, then this is the type of loan that you’ll want to try for. 

P2P Lending

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a good way to get funds without having to cut through a bunch of red tape. There are P2P lending services that will connect borrowers to investors who want to profit. Many investors seek out these types of loans so it’s important to know how to market your loan request.

The post Ways to Finance Real Estate Investments first appeared on Ray Shafazand | Finance.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Finance

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Are you just starting out as a small business owner? If so, then you might be worried about learning finance and what small business finance entails. Read on to explore this beginner’s guide to small business finance. It should give you the information that you need to feel more confident about handling your small business finance matters. 

Know Your Funding Options

One of the most immediately important aspects of small business finance to consider is your funding options. There are actually quite a few funding options that you should take a look at. Some small business owners are able to finance their businesses with personal funds and others have family members that they can ask for financing assistance. If this isn’t true in your situation, then you’re going to need to turn to traditional lenders. 

Getting bank loans is likely the most common way that entrepreneurs finance small businesses. In modern times, people are starting to make use of options such as crowdfunding as well. Private equity, venture capital, and angel investors are also options to look into even if they aren’t as common for most small business owners. 

Managing Your Books and Handling Taxes

Next, you’re going to have to figure out how to manage your books while also considering taxes. Some small business owners will choose to hire a professional accounting firm to handle all of this. That would be the easy route to take, but you can learn how to handle bookkeeping responsibilities yourself, too. Bookkeeping really involves paying attention to three main financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement) so that you can keep things afloat. 

Taxes can be complicated for those who aren’t familiar with the tax code, but you can take the time to learn. The software can make figuring things out simpler and many major tax businesses offer user-friendly tools for handling things yourself. It’s advisable to invest a bit of money in software to handle accounting and tax matters. It’s much more reliable than handling things manually and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort. 

The post A Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Finance first appeared on Ray Shafazand | Finance.

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Things to Know Before Starting a Company

ray shafazand starting a business

Starting your own company is a daunting task, but it might be something that you’re passionate about doing. If you want to find success as a small business owner, then you need to do your best to go about things in the right way. Take a look at the following things to know before starting a company. This information will help you to focus on the right things. 

Why You’re Starting the Company

Why are you starting the company and what are your overall goals? Some business owners don’t take the time to answer these questions and they wind up stumbling through the initial months or years of being in business. Having clear goals makes it easier to come up with a solid business plan. It’s also good to have a vision for your company and to clearly communicate that vision to both employees and customers. 

The Market for Your Business 

Knowing the market for your business type matters and you need to understand the state of the industry that you’re getting into. For example, opening a video rental store in modern times isn’t likely going to be a good idea. You want to know if your business type is a rising business or if it’s a business type that is in danger of going away in the next several years. Do your research and try to honestly analyze the market so that you can make good decisions for your business idea. 

Your Potential Customers

It’s crucial that you take the time to get to know your potential customers. This is going to involve doing some market research and ensuring that there are customers who are interested in what you want to do. Once you locate the customers that you want to appeal to, it’s going to be prudent to learn about their expectations. Knowing what customers want will help you to tailor your business to meet their needs. 

Your Role in the Business 

Some entrepreneurs are a huge part of business operations and others are mostly investing their money in the project. You should know your role in the business before starting your company so that you can plan ahead. If you’re going to be handling a lot of the daily operations yourself, then you need to find staff that will complement your skills. If you’re just putting up the money and coming up with business ideas, then you have to find someone who knows the industry to manage your new company. 

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Strategies That Help Improve Management Skills

ray shafazand management skills

Your management skills need to be on point if you’re going to find the success that you desire. It’s good to try to improve your management skills over time so that you can be more effective at your job. Being in a leadership role is a great responsibility and it’s good to show initiative by learning new strategies. Take a look at the following strategies that help improve management skills. 

Work to Strengthen Your Decision-Making Skills

Decision-making skills are absolutely imperative when you’re in a management role. You’ll be making important decisions all the time and you need to be able to analyze a situation to come to a good conclusion. It can be helpful to engage with your team during the decision-making process to get their input. It’s also good to consider possible outcomes before finalizing your decision. 

Become Self-Aware

Self-awareness is a good thing when it comes to being a manager. You have to be self-aware enough to be able to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t understand your limits, then you’ll likely wind up putting more on your plate than you can handle. Knowing yourself well allows you to improve, too. 

Work to Build Trust

Being an effective manager is also about building trust with your team. You should work to forge bonds with the people that you work with so that you can all work together to solve problems. Having more trust in the workplace will lead to lower stress levels for everyone and you’ll be substantially more productive. 

Communication Is Key

Communication is also key when it comes to becoming a better manager. You need to learn how to communicate with people properly and this involves listening. Learning how to listen to employee concerns will make you better at solving problems. 

Regularly Check in on Employees

Check in on your employees or team members regularly to make sure that things are going smoothly. You don’t need to look over everyone’s shoulders while they’re working, but it’s good to be a proactive manager. Being ready to help solve problems while also handling your own work will make your team feel confident that you’re doing all you can for them.

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Tips to Improve Business Finances

ray shafazand business finance

Running a business is going to present you with various challenges over the years. If you want to put yourself in a better financial position, then you need to make smart moves. The following tips to improve your business finance should come in handy. 

Keep an Eye on Your Numbers

If you aren’t following your numbers closely, then you aren’t going to be able to make good decisions. The numbers should be viewed as important data that will allow you to see how things are going in specific areas. If you use this information properly, then you can make changes to your business to improve certain things. Use a spreadsheet or some type of software to keep your financial data organized and then endeavor to review things often. 

Don’t Underestimate Social Media

Underestimating the power of social media would be folly. Social media should be used to spread the good word about your business and what you have to offer. This is an inexpensive way to market your business and you can gain many new customers by just cultivating a social media presence. You can also build a strong relationship with customers while getting useful bits of feedback from them. 

Avoid Trying to Handle Things Alone

Overworking yourself isn’t going to be good for your finances. You can’t handle more than you’re capable of and hiring more people might be necessary. You can’t afford to disappoint customers or clients and you need to hire the right people to make everyone happy. Remember to pay attention to the hiring process and to seek out employees that have the right experience while also being passionate about what your company is doing. 

Keep Learning About New Things

If you can keep learning about new things, then you’ll be able to get better as a business owner. Learn about marketing and figure out how to get the most out of your marketing dollars. Become an expert in your field and earn the respect of everyone in the community. Just understand that you should never stop learning as a small business owner and that becoming complacent could mean risking failure. 

from Ray Shafazand | Finance