Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?
Becoming an entrepreneur is a huge decision. Maybe you have the capital and the needed technical know-how to start a business. Yet, you still face the challenge of running your business and furthering your dream of becoming and staying successful despite all odds. How do you become a great entrepreneur? Is there a standard formula? Those who have reached this caliber share the ten most fundamental and high valued skills that every aspiring entrepreneur should have.
In this ever-changing world, no business can survive if it is unable to adapt to the challenges and demands of the environment. Even if you are highly focused on achieving your business goals, you cannot avoid being challenged by factors such as your competitors, economic and political developments, industrial climate, and a host of other variables that impact on the success of your business. Being flexible means being capable of dancing to the current tune without missing a step, even if the tempo becomes fast and hard to keep up with.
We are currently not planning on conquering the world.” – Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
You don’t go out to battle unprepared because, in all likelihood, you will fail and die. Running your own business takes careful planning before starting anything. Also, as you go along the way, you still have to make plans and continually review and update them together with your team.
Sound business planning takes into account an assessment of your current capabilities, opportunities, and threats. It is always best to start with a SWOT analysis to identify what you can do, where you’re good at and not, and how you can best respond to internal and external factors affecting your business. Doing the exercise will help you come out with a well-thought-out plan.
In this ever-changing world, no business can survive if it is unable to adapt to the challenges and demands of the environment.
As an entrepreneur, you eat decisions for breakfast. This means that you are called upon to make decisions day in and day out, whether they are simple or complex. It is not merely a matter of being decisive, but being able to make the right decisions. You do this by evaluating ideas and situations, doing your probing and analysis, and knowing when to make judgment calls when needed.
You have to accept the fact that you can’t run your business efficiently by yourself. That is why choosing the most suitable people in your team is highly necessary for your business to survive and grow. You would want to engage people who share your vision and goals. Select individuals who possess the knowledge and skills your business requires. Finally, embrace people who have the right attitude that is consistent with the company culture you’re promoting.
The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” – Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce
Once you have the right people on your team, the constant challenge is managing them to ensure that the work is done and goals are met according to your standards. Different people tend to require varying styles of management from your end. Therefore, you have to pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t. Flexibility is essential. Hence, you have to take your management role very seriously to get the desired results from each one of your staff.
The way you engage your team is another challenge that you have to overcome. A great leader has the ability to drive people to succeed and make them feel winners. You have to be able to motivate people to work towards achieving the goals of your business. Also, you have to be able to promote a sense of ownership and pride among them. Otherwise, chances are, you’re doing an excellent job in inspiring them.
Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
A true entrepreneur is not afraid to take risks. However, the skill does not imply impulsiveness or carelessness in decisions. Rather, it involves trusting the gut, having the confidence to take a stand, making a decision that may be frowned upon by some people, and facing the consequences of the decision made. Entrepreneurs take calculated risks. This requires experience, seeking the opinions of experts, and knowing the pros and cons of the decisions made.
Selling is not just the ability to sell your goods and services. More than anything else, it is the skill to sell yourself and your ideas to people. If you know how to lead people into thinking that they need what you are selling and that they will benefit from it, then no doubt about it, you have it in you to become an entrepreneur.
While it is important to think about the current aspect of your business, you have to consider how it will thrive given the challenges and prospects that may unfold. You need to be able to know how to position your business in the market and formulate plans and objectives to reach your goals. Your strategies will tell you how you expect to cope with competition, growth potentials, and other factors affecting your business in the short and long term.
There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” – Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote
Creating a positive change
As an entrepreneur, you are not just concerned about furthering your endeavors and making money. Rather, you aim to make a positive difference in the world slowly but surely. The basic way to do this is to keep your eyes always on the goals and purpose of the business and make them your top priority. You are not in it for the profits alone, because every business has a purpose that benefits people and other businesses. Think of the value that you bring to society and the world and by having this mindset, you will be well prepared to make your business work.
An entrepreneur always has a daunting task to do. However, no task is insurmountable if these high-valued skills are present. The good news is that all these skills can be developed and put to use at all times, enabling you to master them in no time.