6 Must-Have Skills of Every Entrepreneur
So you want to take the plunge. You want to set out on your own, be your own boss, make money by monetizing your idea, product or service. You are an entrepreneur at heart, but you’re ready to become an entrepreneur by doing not just dreaming. Do you really have what it takes? Sure, you have the passion. But what other skills are absolutely vital to possess if you’re going to make your endeavor a success?
Successful entrepreneurs must be able to articulate their plans, schemes and thoughts so others can understand. A stream of consciousness explanation will not win anyone to your vision unless you can go in-depth in a categorized, organized fashion andtruly communicate your points. Why is your business or product unique? What do you have to offer that no one else can? The best communicators are the best understanders. If you’re going to talk about your idea or product, it has to be thought out and deeply known by you yourself first.
Then there’s the basics of communication such as proper grammar when typing a letter or email. Make sure people take you seriously – don’t mispell words and send disorganized content to your clients or partners. As an entrepreneur, you have to constantly remember that how you present yourself affects how others view your business more strongly than you might believe.
2. Financial Management
You have to be able to work within a budget to be successful in all areas of life, but most definitely when you are an entrepreneur. You have to know how to properly price your services and products so that you receive enough value to keep your business afloat, but not high enough that your target market is turned away by price. Also, once the money flows in, you have to know how to allot the funds. How much should go towards marketing efforts? How much revenue is needed for supplies? Then, besides the actual management of the money, all transactions must be meticulously documented and accounted for, otherwise you will have a major headache come tax time.
3. Work Ethic
If you’re going to be a winning entrepreneur, you need to be able to pull yourself up from defeat and keep going, even when you don’t feel like it. Your work ethic has to be the most driving factor about your personality. It’s more important than passion or creativity. Hard, consistent work is what sets success apart from mediocrity. Don’t settle for being second best – keep working even when everything in you says to give up.
4. Ability to Prioritize
Spending too much time on Priority B because you aren’t aware of Priority A is detrimental to your efforts. You absolutely must be able to list tasks in order of importance and complete them in succession, or else your business’ success rate will suffer. Another skill that goes hand in hand with the priceless ability to prioritize is the ability to multitask when it matters and focus when it counts. If you are able to do task A and C somewhat at the same time, it may call putting task B on the back burner momentarily even though it goes against your original plan. But a skilled entrepreneur knows when to make that judgement call and when to stick to their original plan. It takes a combination of thoughtful logic, gut instinct and experience.
5. Self Awareness
Yes, working yourself to the bone might be a necessary part of being an entrepreneur at the beginning, but you have to know your limits. Getting burnt out is not a path to success, it’s a way to quit. Know when enough is enough for your mind and your body and step away from your pet project to experience what else life has to offer. You also have to be able to recognize when one task is too much for you to handle all on your own. When is it time to call for reinforcements? Every great entrepreneur knows when to add other aspiring entrepreneurs to their team so they don’t have to do it all alone. If one of these skills isn’t your strong suit, make sure the people you partner with complement your weaknesses with strengths.
Above all else, entrepreneurs must be open and willing to change. If the first way doesn’t work, have a plan B ready to go and be willing to admit defeat and work around the setback. You can’t have a stiff, rigid mind if you’re going to create a product, business or service that is truly innovate and unique. Be willing to take a risk and stay flexible to changing markets and ideas.
Keep these skills in mind as you set off on your journey as an entrepreneur and learn from your mistakes as you go. Enjoy the taste of true freedom that comes from forging your own path and making your own way instead of following the crowd and staying in your cubicle.