Nov 17, 2014 @ 12:46 pm Marisa Sung
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground white or dark meat turkey
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
Yield = 4 to 6
Red Hot Chile Peppers-Snow (Hey Oh)
Nov 17, 2014 @ 11:01 am Marisa Sung
During the Holiday Season, guests often drop by unexpectedly. Therefore, it is advisable to keep appetizers in the refrigerator and pantry. An excellent choice would be multi-grain tortilla chips, low-fat pita chips, fresh cut vegetables and frozen cut vegetables. I have two amazing dips to serve over the Holiday Season = Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Easy Tzatziki! :)
Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
16 ounces chickpeas
6 ounces roasted red bell peppers
1 jalapeno, seeded, diced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobo
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients, except olive oil and pita bread, in food processor until pureed, then slowly add in olive oil.
Let set up for 1 hour prior to serving.
Serve with toasted pita bread or tortilla chips.
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
1 pound (1 pint) plain yogurt (whole milk or low fat)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled and seeded
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve and set it over a bowl. Grate the cucumber and toss it with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt; place it in another sieve, and set it over another bowl. Place both bowls in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt and cucumber can drain.
Transfer the thickened yogurt to a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid from the cucumber as you can and add the cucumber to the yogurt. Mix in the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can serve it immediately, but I prefer to allow the tzatziki to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Yield = 2 1/2 cups
Seinfeld - The Chip Dip
Robert Downey Jr-River
Is there no end to RDJ's talents?? :)
Nov 17, 2014 @ 09:29 am Marisa Sung
It is as impossible to find a perfect man as it is to find 100 percent pure gold.
The Spy Who Loved Me • Nobody Does It Better
Nov 17, 2014 @ 09:20 am Marisa Sung
Pitching South Carolina as a "number two" vacation spot in the world, its Governor Nikki Haley today sought to woo the Indian tourists, asking them to not miss out the place.
"This is here where magic happens. I want my Indian community to visit South Carolina. Whether you want to have board meeting or vacation South Carolina is the place," she here said.
Haley is on a 10-day trip to India, which began from November 11. She and her delegation are scheduled to have as many as 90 ..
Nikki, the youngest sitting governor in the US, on her visit said that "India is the most spectacular."
Describing the place as the most "friendliest" in the US and she invited more tourists from India to explore many facets of the state.
South Carolina is also home to many gifted fashion designers such as Lucinda Eden! :)
Carolina in the Morning
Nov 16, 2014 @ 03:43 pm Marisa Sung
The Washington Redskins had a special visitor to their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday morning.
Rob O'Neill, who has been identified as the man responsible for killing Osama bin Laden, visited the Redskins pregame. In a feature about O'Neill in Esquire magazine, O'Neill is identifed as a Redskins fan.
Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon posted on his Instagram page a photo with O'Neill, mentioning the Navy SEAL spoke to the team, and captioned it:
"We had the honor of meeting and listening to a real HERO tonight before our game tomorrow and he's a Redskins fan. Navy Seal Team 6 Rob O'Neill thank you for the inspiring words. #HTTR"
O'Neill also visited with other players, including linebacker Adam Hayward.
There is an awesome Genuine Navy Seal Watch by Hammacher Schlemmer that is featured on www.skymall.com! Check it out:
Nov 16, 2014 @ 03:04 pm Marisa Sung
I know you don't want to know where other guys want to be touched, but the thing is, do you even know where you want to be touched? After talking to thousands of women amid my career as a sexual correspondent, I realized that guys have only two places they usually think about being touched: their penises and their balls.
I mean, come on. Women are always complaining that guys head straight to their vaginas and breasts the second the clothes come off, and they want something more. Are you sure that you don't? oh... oh... yeah, right there
Of course you do, and so here I am to help you figure out where you want your girl to touch you before she heads to the parts that'll result in splash.
Without further ado, here they are, in no particular order:
If you don't know it yet, women love being touched, kissed and licked in this area, so chances are you'll enjoy it just as much as they do. The next time your woman is on top in the bedroom and comes close to your face, elongate your neck and let her do her thing.
2- Hair & head
No, I'm not suggesting that she lick your hair, but having a woman run her hands through your hair or squeeze her fingertips all along your scalp will help you relax and prepare for whatever else she wants to do to you.
Given that they're clean, having a woman lick and nibble on your earlobes, or even doing something as simple as telling you some nasty things she wants to do to you, can have a lasting effect on your erection.
On to other areas that women would love to explore...
Located between your scrotum and your anus, this area can provide plenty of fantastic sensations for you. The next time she's greeting your penis with her mouth and hands, encourage her to apply some pressure with her fingers and/or her tongue. You'll be surprised at how much you'll like it.
Now, this is not for every guy. Some guys love to have their nipples manipulated; others can't stand it. The only way to find out is by letting a woman try it. Let her lick and perhaps suck them. Who knows, if she enjoys doing it to you that much, this might be your "in" to getting her to try it on another woman next.
If a woman has ever sucked your fingers, you know that it almost feels like she's sucking your penis. The next time you're engaging in foreplay, stick your middle finger in her mouth and let her suck on it, and see what comes up.
Some guys get freaked out about their backsides, but if you just open your mind, you'll discover that that's where your G-spot is. Whether you let her lick the rim of your anus or place a finger inside and make a "come hither" motion, you'll discover that letting a woman have her way in that area will make your sexual experiences that much better.
8- Back & coccyx
Sometimes lying on your stomach and letting your girl run her hands and tongue up and down your back is the best feeling in the world. From massagingyou to giving you the chills by lightly running her tongue down the baby hairs on your back, submit to your girl and let her enjoy rubbing your back and your tailbone.
Get to know yourself. The only way to figure out what you like is by experimenting. So the next time you crawl into bed with a woman, let her have her way for a little while, before you have your way with her.
The Doors - Touch Me
Nov 16, 2014 @ 02:56 pm Marisa Sung
As curiosity is part of our genetic makeup, most men remain curious as to what turns a woman on. What spot can we touch to drive her absolutely crazy? Well gentlemen, today's your lucky day because I have the top 10 answers.
Whereas it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to discover men's erogenous zones (the penis, the testicles and the anus), women get aroused through very diverse body parts. Ah women, what an exquisite species!
Top 10 tantalizers:
Let's get started on our journey through a woman's body, shall we?
10. Inner Thighs
The inside of the thighs are highly sensitive to touching, stroking and licking. Just like the back of the knees, inner thighs also have many nerve endings, therefore when you fondle them, you will turn her on like crazy.
Remember not to bite because the area is very sensitive and doing so would only cause her mild pain, which will, in turn, cause you plenty of pain.
9. Behind the Knees
Because of all the nerve endings behind the knees, you'd be surprised at how crazy a woman can become when you gently lick or nibble on the back of her knees.
Be careful not to overdo it — the area, after all, is very sensitive and you must be careful not to make the sensation annoying by getting too rough or tickling her too much.
Yes, it's true. Lots of women like it when you play around with their behinds. A lot of women like mild spanking and squeezing of the buttocks. But there's more...
Some women like having their butts licked, sucked and penetrated (with fingers, penis or both). For those who shudder at the thought of sticking their tongues out at Uranus , I'm sure that anal penetration, on the other hand, sounds quite inviting, huh?
7. Nape of the Neck
Just breathing on this part of her body will give her goose bumps all over. So just imagine her reaction when you use your tongue or teeth to get her aroused.
Use your hands too; lift her hair up gently as you bring your mouth closer to her neck. Then, as you sink your teeth into it, pull on her hair slightly so as to give that "I want you sooo bad" impression.
This part of a woman's body is also a good place to start giving her that sensual massage you are famous for and no woman can resist.
Many women enjoy having their ears licked, sucked or kissed. Although blowing in her ear is acceptable, it's not what women enjoy most. Besides the aforementioned things that they like having done to their ears, women like it when you whisper in their ears.
Many women enjoy having their feet touched, massaged and some even enjoy having them licked and sucked. Assuming that their feet have been properly cleansed, women enjoy it when their men spend time caressing their soles, toes and ankles. Because these zones can all be ticklish, the sensation of ticklishness can be pleasant for the recipient.
While some men cringe at the thought of wrapping their mouths around a body part that spends most of its day sweating in leather, many guys are actually pretty keen on the idea of giving their women a good toe lashing every now and then.
This may come as a shock to most guys (women have wrists??!?), but women love having their wrists nuzzled and nibbled by their lovers. The next time you're getting into the foreplay of things with your woman, begin kissing and caressing her wrists and just check out how impressed and turned on she'll become!
3. Breasts (Nipples)
As I'm sure is no surprise to anyone, the breasts are very sexually sensitive and gentle fondling, squeezing, caressing, licking and sucking of the nipples can be extremely arousing.
Just as well, many women like it when their guys get a little rough with their little mountains , so find out how she likes it and give it to her the way she wants!
The clitoris can be stimulated by using the tongue, the finger or, for the multi-talented Joe, both simultaneously. Some women like to guide their lovers as to the specific amount of pressure they enjoy.
For those who don't get that luxury, it's usually quite evident whether or not she's pleased with your performance. If she begins getting squirmy, make sure that it's because she's enjoying it and not because you're giving her that "annoying" feeling.
In the vagina, the G-spot may be a little difficult to locate, but some women find the search quite worthwhile. There is an area inside some women's vaginas that produces intense sexual feelings when stimulated. Once located, very gentle stimulation gives an incredibly pleasant and unusual sensation.
And the number one female erogenous zone...
Yes, it's true. If you know how to manipulate her lips just right through kissing, licking, sucking and biting, it is very possible that a kiss will lead to a lot more than that. Use your lips, your tongue and your teeth to play with her top and bottom lip and kiss her with absolute passion.
And there it is, the top 10 spots that will drive her crazy. Remember that all women are different and have their own likes and dislikes. Get to know her body and experiment. There's so much more to women than just their sexual organs!
Don't whisper things like, "Can you wash my gym shorts tonight?" Try to be somewhat erotic and give her the shivers up and down her spine instead.
What do you say about foot fetish? Beautiful Indian Foot Bands by Marisa Sung are great to wear for any barefoot activity = including sex! They really accentuate the beauty of your foot and the movements of your toes! :)
The Touch Of Your Lips
Nov 16, 2014 @ 02:07 pm Marisa Sung
This isn't Philosophy 101. There won't be any debates or unearthing and dissecting of the secrets of tantric sex. You're not interested in converting to a tantric lifestyle, but you would like to try some techniques that will enable you to last longer, orgasm harder and leap tall buildings. Okay, so you won't be able to leap tall buildings, but you will be able to keep your pleasure at its precipice while you take her over the edge again and again. If you're interested in giving her a good time that she won't soon forget, read on. With these tips, you won't succumb to sexual pleasures until you're both gasping and you decide to take that plunge. It's all in your control.
PC Muscle Contractions
You may notice that it is difficult to keep going or even to stay awake after you've ejaculated; in tantra, it is believed that ejaculation depletes your energy. This belief has led to new practices that train the man and his muscles to recognize energy flows and release them without losing his own vitality.
The pubococcygeus muscle (PC muscle), also known as the "love muscle," is located from your pubic bone to your tailbone. This amazing muscle can intensify your orgasms as well as stop ejaculation from occurring. To tone and strengthen this muscle — and, ultimately, to increase your level of pleasure many times over — all you have to do is exercise it.
To locate it, urinate and try to stop the flow of urine. Now that you know what it feels like to contract this muscle, practice flexing it 20 to 25 times a day. Perform a couple of sets each day and increase repetitions when you're able, but be careful not to overdo it. During sex, combine PC muscle contractions with the breathing tips that I've listed below. Relax and enjoy.
Testes Tug and Penis Tip Squeeze
These techniques also sustain the tantric belief in delaying ejaculation. The aim is to retain your semen, energy and vitality by not spilling it all through sexual acts. It's believed that lovemaking will allow you to attain heightened states and gain an awareness of energy flows. Try these simple techniques to reach a higher state and energy level.
As you near orgasm, delay the overwhelming urge to ejaculate by pulling your testes down and away from your body; this is known as the testes tug. You can practice this technique by yourself to train your body to reach pleasure without ejaculation or you can have your girl do this for you.
Another way to sustain lovemaking is to perform the penis tip squeeze. Gently squeeze your penis just below the glans and you will prolong your sexual experience. Experiment and play with yourself or have her do it for you. Either way, you will learn how to gain more pleasure.
If it seems like this is all about you, that's because it is. Though it may take longer for a woman, she can have multiple orgasms. You do not have that same ability... yet. With time and practice, you will gain the ability to achieve orgasm without ejaculation, but it does take patience to acquire this skill.
While you work on your multiple orgasms, try these tips to experience lasting lovemaking. If you've read or browsed the Kama Sutra , you've seen and possibly tried the multitude of possible positions. These varied positions come from the philosophical belief that a man's health requires the reservation of his fluids and energy, and that by changing sexual positions, the flow of increasing sexual arousal is broken. The buildup then begins anew because the sensations and the rhythms have changed. You can experiment with new positions and find the ones you both enjoy as you give her a lengthy and passionate experience.
Tantra can take you to different levels of lovemaking. Used in nonsexual and sexual ways, breathing is an essential part of tantra. Learning how to breathe will enable you to extract energies from her and the world around you. It also allows energies to flow back and forth between the two of you. Tantra uses many breathing exercises and lingers over each, gradually building upon gained expertise before moving on to the next level. However, you don't need to master them all to master yourself.
When men and women are excited, they often quicken their breathing or pant, which increases their arousal. And when they near climax, both tend to hold their breath. Thus, controlled breathing is an effective way to stave off your orgasm. Remember to be steady and relaxed and to breathe deeply, slowly and rhythmically.
Tantra trains the mind as much as it does the body; it is about a feeling of wholeness. Tantric sex isn't dualistic, and it does not want the separation of the mind and body. Rather, it seeks to join them in something greater and to make that union palpable and entirely enmeshed. It does not seek ejaculation, as sex isn't about the orgasm or how long it takes. The techniques used in tantric sex are designed to enhance your relationship and bind you emotionally and spiritually. It is all about the intermingling and interplay of energies. Above all, she'll love the techniques and appreciate the new, longer-lasting you.
A.R. Rahmin Mohabbat
Nov 16, 2014 @ 01:52 pm Marisa Sung
This recipe is my late Nana's. She used to cook this dinner all the time while working at Buckingham Palace and then later for a very wealthy family on Park Avenue. This Menu = Dinner for 4 people.
Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce and Baked Potato with Sour Cream and Chives. For Dessert: a decadent Chocolate Cranberry Cake. The upcoming Holiday Weekends give you a free pass to indulge. They only come but once a year so enjoy! :)
1. Prime Rib
Prime Rib Roast (standing rib roast), at room temperature (very important)
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pat the room-temperature standing rib roast (prime rib roast) dry with paper towels or napkins. Smear the cut ends only of the roast with the butter.
Do NOT salt the outside of your prime rib roast, as salt draws out moisture from the meat while cooking. You can use other seasonings, if desired, but I find it is not necessary. I know that some people do salt their prime rib roast before cooking, but trust me and don't salt - the result will be a juicy, delicious roast to serve your family and guests!
Place the roast, ribs down or fat side up, in a heavy stainless-steel Roasting Pan or other metal roasting pan. Select a roasting pan that has sides at least 3-inches deep. (I do not recommend using nonstick pans, as these pans yield fewer of the cooked-on bits that make the tasty au jus juice or gravy.) The rib bones are a natural rack; you will not need a metal one.
Sear the rib roast (prime rib) for 15 minutes at the higher oven temperature (450 degrees F.), then turn the oven to the lower temperature (325 degrees F.) for the rest of the cooking time. Every 1/2 hour, baste the cut ends of the roast with the fat accumulated in the roasting pan. Do Not Cover the roast.
About 45 minutes before the estimated end of the roasting (bake) time, begin checking the internal temperature (use a good instant-read digital meat thermometer). Play it safe and start checking early, as you don't want anything to go wrong. This is even more important if you are adjusting for High Altitude Baking.
For a perfectly cooked rib roast, invest in a good meat thermometer. Internal temperature, not time, is the best test for doneness and you don't want to blow this meal!
When checking the temperature of your prime rib roast, insert meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat or touching bone. Cook until rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F. (or your desired temperature). Remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let sit approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cutting into the meat too early will cause a significant loss of juice. Do not skip the resting stage.
2. Yorkshire Pudding
Yield = 6 Servings
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pan drippings from roast prime rib of beef
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until light and foamy. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the drippings into a 9-inch pie pan, cast iron skillet, or square baking dish. Put the pan in oven and get the drippings smoking hot. Carefully take the pan out of the oven and pour in the batter. Put the pan back in oven and cook until puffed and dry, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise
Yield = 4 Servings
1 pound medium asparagus
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Trim the woody ends from the asparagus. Spread the spears in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roll to coat thoroughly. Roast the asparagus until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes, giving the pan a good shake about halfway through.
Meanwhile, put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and cayenne in a blender. Pulse a couple times to combine.
Put the butter in a small microwave proof bowl and heat in a microwave until just melted. With the blender running, gradually add the melted butter into the egg to make a smooth frothy sauce. If the sauce is really thick blend in a teaspoon of lukewarm water to loosen it up. Season with the salt and serve immediately or keep warm in a small heat-proof bowl set over hot (but not simmering) water until ready to serve.
Spread the roasted asparagus on a serving platter. Grind a generous amount of pepper over the top. Please note that this recipe can be easily doubled. If you double the recipe, be sure to place the stems on the baking sheet so that the tips are pointed toward the center, and the bottoms are pointed out, toward the edges of the pan. Since the tips are thinner than the stems, they tend to cook faster. However, when roasting, items at the edges of the pan cooked more quickly than those in the center. Taking the time to lace them this way helps the asparagus cook evenly.
4. Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives
4 baking potatoes
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon coarse salt
A good grinding white pepper
1/3 cup freshly chopped chives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Skewer the baking potatoes with metal skewers, so they cook through faster and place them directly on the middle oven baking rack for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Meantime add the sour cream to a bowl with the whole-grain mustard, salt, white pepper and chopped chives, leaving a teaspoon back to sprinkle on top. Stir all the ingredients together and scatter over the remaining chives. If you are not eating it straight away store it covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
When the potatoes are ready with a crisp skin and soft inside, remove them from the oven, take them off the skewers and cut a cross in the top of each of them and slightly squeeze them so they open out and place them into bowl. Serve the potatoes with the chive sour cream on the side and have people help themselves.
5. Chocolate Cranberry Cake for Dessert:
Cooking spray with flour
1 box chocolate cake mix (15-16 oz) or make chocolate cake from scratch like I do.
1 (14-oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 1/4 cups water
3 large eggs (or 3/4 cup egg substitute)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
whipped topping (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients (except morsels and sugar) in medium bowl; mix with electric mixer 2-3 minutes or until well blended. Stir in morsels; transfer to baking dish.
2. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out dry. Let stand 10-15 minutes to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar; serve with whipped topping.
A few bottles of The Carletto Estate Ricco Rosso 2012 would serve as an excellent accompaniment to this lovely meal! :)
Dinner at Downton Abbey
I'll Be Home For Christmas - Michael Bublé
Nov 16, 2014 @ 01:22 pm Marisa Sung
Pressed to describe the stereotypical entrepreneur, which words would you use? Passionate? Dedicated? Optimistic? Sure, those apply. But insecure and troublemaker are more accurate, according to 'treps who know a success when they see one. Do the following traits, characteristics and quirks describe you? Well then, you might be an entrepreneur (at heart, if not yet in practice).
1. You take action.
Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group, co-star of TV's Shark Tank and author of Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business, says people who have a concept but not necessarily a detailed strategy are more likely to have that entrepreneurial je ne sais quoi. "I hate entrepreneurs with beautiful business plans," she says.
Corcoran's recommendation? "Invent as [you] go," rather than spending time writing a plan at your desk. In fact, she believes that people with life experience have an active problem-solving ability and think-on-your-feet resourcefulness that can be more valuable than book smarts alone. Those who study business may be prone to overanalyzing situations rather than taking action.
2. You're insecure.
"Many entrepreneurs judged as ambitious are really insecure underneath," Corcoran says. When evaluating potential investments, she adds, "I want someone who is scared to death." Those who are nervous about failing can become hyperfocused and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. If you feel insecure, use that emotion to drive you to achieve your b
3. You're crafty.
"One of my favorite TV shows growing up was MacGyver," confides Tony Hsieh, CEO of Las Vegas-based Zappos, "because he never had exactly the resources he needed but would somehow figure out how to make everything work out."
A lifelong entrepreneur, Hsieh has done everything from starting a worm farm to making buttons and selling pizzas, so he admires MacGyver's "combination of creativity, optimism and street smarts. Ultimately, I think that's what being an entrepreneur is all about--playing MacGyver, but for business." It's not about having enough resources, he explains, but being resourceful with what you do have.
4. You're obsessed With cash flow.
Before founding Brainshark, a Waltham, Mass.-based developer of technology for business presentations, Joe Gustafson bootstrapped a venture called Relational Courseware. "All I ever thought about was cash flow and liquidity," he says, admitting, "there were seven times in [the company's] eight-year history when I was days or hours away from payroll and didn't have enough cash to make it."
How did he respond? "In the early days, you could step up and put expenses on your personal credit card, but that can only go so far," he says. "You need cash--even if you have the best company and the best receivables in the world--to fight the battle one more day." Other strategies he recommends include working with a partner who can provide cash advances on projects and maintaining close communication with suppliers.
5. You get into hot water.
Stephane Bourque, founder and CEO of Vancouver, British Columbia-based Incognito Software, says true entrepreneurial types are more likely to ask for forgiveness than permission, forging ahead to address the opportunities or issues they recognize, even without approval from higher-ups.
"Entrepreneurs are never satisfied with the status quo," says Bourque, who discovered he was not destined for the corporate world when he kept coming up with new and better ways of doing things--ideas that were not necessarily appreciated by his bosses and often were interpreted as unwanted criticism. Now, he says, "I wish my employees would get into more trouble," because it shows they are on the lookout for opportunities to improve themselves or company operations.
6. You're fearless.
Where most avoid risk, entrepreneurs see potential, says Robert Irvine, chef and host of Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible. True 'treps are not afraid to leverage their houses and run up their credit card balances in order to amass the funds they need to create a new venture. In some ways, he says, they are the ultimate optimists, because they operate under the belief that their investments of time and money will eventually pay off.
7. You can't sit still.
Entrepreneurs have unbridled energy that fuels them long past the time when their employees have gone home. They are eager, excited and energized about business in a way that makes them stand out. Irvine would know: He owns a restaurant in South Carolina, is opening another in the Pentagon and has a line of food and clothing products, on top of hosting his TV show.
8. You're malleable.
"If you have only one acceptable outcome in mind, your chances of making it are slim," cautions Rosemary Camposano, president and CEO of Silicon Valley chain Halo Blow Dry Bars. If you are willing to listen, your clients will show you which of your products or services provide the most value.
Her original vision for Halo was part blow-dry bar, part gift shop, "to help busy women multitask," she explains. But she quickly learned that the gift shop was causing confusion about the nature of her business, so she took it out, replaced it with an extra blow-dry chair, and things took off. Smart entrepreneurs constantly evolve, tweaking their business concepts in response to market feedback.
9. You enjoy navel gazing.
Without direct supervisors, entrepreneurs need to be comfortable with the process of evaluating their own performance, says Laura Novak Meyer, owner of Pennsylvania's Little Nest Portraits. That requires "a willingness to solicit feedback from those around you to self-improve," she says, as well as paying close attention to feedback you may not have asked for, such as customer complaints or being outpaced by competitors. Little Nest surveys every client to ask for opportunities for improvement, and Meyer has worked closely with a business coach for the past five years to identify personal areas where she needs to improve.
10. You're motivated by challenges.
When confronted by problems, many employees try to pass the buck or otherwise wash their hands of the situation. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, rise to the occasion. "Challenges motivate them to work harder," says Jeff Platt, CEO of the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park franchise. "An entrepreneur doesn't think anything is insurmountable … He looks adversity in the eye and keeps going."
Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, agrees. Despite naysayers who questioned her idea for a bakery in the midst of the carb-fearing early-2000s, she persevered and now has locations in eight states. In fact, she was one of the first entrepreneurs in a business that became an ongoing craze, sparking numerous copycats.
11. You consider yourself an outsider.
Entrepreneurs aren't always accepted, says Vincent Petryk, founder of J.P. Licks, a Boston chain of ice-cream shops. They may be seen as opinionated, quirky and demanding--but that is not necessarily a bad thing. "They are often rejected for being different in some way, and that just makes them work harder," Petryk says. When his former boss didn't approve of his off-duty research into ice-cream quality, he went out on his own to develop a made-from-scratch dessert in bold flavors. Rather than copying what most other ice-cream shops were doing, including buying from the same well-known suppliers, Petryk forged his own path. His early competitors? All but one are no longer in business=My life story. Things do not work out in particular environments for a real underlying reason! Listen to the signs and choose the right path! :)
12 . You recover quickly.
It's a popular notion that successful entrepreneurs fail fast and fail often. For Corcoran, the trick is in the speed of recovery: If you fail, resist the urge to mope or feel sorry for yourself. Don't wallow; move on to the next big thing immediately= I need to work on that one!
13. You fulfill needs.
Many people recognize marketplace holes, but it is the true entrepreneur who takes them from cocktail napkin to reality, says Jennifer Dawn, partner in New York City-based Savor the Success, a business network for women. "Entrepreneurs think of a way to fix it and take steps to fix it. They are innovators." So when Savor's network of women began asking for advice and input from co-founder Angela Jia Kim, she and Dawn created a new product: Savor Circles. These mastermind groups connect four members who give each other tailored input and expertise; even better, they provide Savor the Success with a new revenue stream.
14. You surround yourself with advisors.
Actress Jessica Alba, co-founder and president of Santa Monica, Calif.-based The Honest Company, which sells baby, home and personal-care products, notes that "it's important to surround yourself with people smarter than you and to listen to ideas that aren't yours. I'm open to ideas that aren't mine and people that know what I don't, because I think success takes communication, collaboration and, sometimes, failure."
"Success takes communication, collaboration and, sometimes, failure."
--Jessica Alba, The Honest Company
In other words: True 'treps don't hire yes men; they talk to those with experience and conduct thorough research, gathering as much information as they can to make informed decisions rather than taking a shot in the dark.
15. You work and play hard.
"Entrepreneurs fall down and pick themselves up until they get it right," says Micha Kaufman, who snowboards and sails in addition to running Fiverr, the fast-growth online freelance marketplace he co-founded.
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