Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur?
Wanting to dip your toe into the crazy world of entrepreneurship but not quite sure you have what it takes to succeed? Entrepreneurs are a unique bunch of people, requiring a very specific set of skills to survive and grow in the business world. However, these skills might not be what you first think of for a businessperson. Knowledge and business insights are great, but what real skills do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Things can go pear-shaped pretty quickly when running a business, regardless of how much preparation and knowledge you have. The ability to think quickly on your feet when disaster does hit is a skill that is right at the top of the list for all entrepreneurs.
Having an action plan for the unexpected is a great idea to start the process of knowing what to do if the worst happens. However, there the skill to not get completely overwhelmed when the going gets tough in business isn’t something you can plan for.
If your business was in crisis mode, like a plane bracing for an emergency landing, imagine you are the flight attendant, and pilot, AND flight control, and the passengers are your customers. They are looking to you for reassurance and for what to do next. Even though you have to not only figure out how to fix the issue, you have to do it in way that doesn’t potentially scare clients and customers. You are an entrepreneur, and a small business owner. This means you have to be a leader through the good and bad times. The ability to be quick-thinking will make your leadership a great one.
Determination & Persistence
Just like the last skill, this will be to do how you handle the bad times in business, just as well as you handle the great. I’m not going to lie, small business can feel a little defeating. There will be times that you are soaring, feeling unstoppable. Then there will be other times that will leave you feeling not so great.
It will be your determination and persistence that will get you through those harder times, as running a business takes a hell of a lot of it. In business you will have set backs, and instead of falling down and crying, or exclaiming that you’re giving up (even if you might want to do that!), you get up, dust yourself off and figure out another way to get sh*t done. That’s determination and persistence, and it will take you anywhere you need to go in business.
Emotions run high in business, but not letting setbacks knock you down will see you grow.
Nobody becomes an overnight success. If you want to become one, entrepreneurship is not for you. There is one Monty Hall quote I particularly love that centres around this; “Actually, I’m an overnight success, but it took twenty years.”
As an entrepreneur, you might be seeing people cropping up almost instantly with a successful business, and then turning back to your own business and wondering what you’re doing wrong. Comparison is the last thing you want to be doing here, and instead, understanding that patience will lead you to the right road and eventually land you an ‘overnight success.’ Just like determination and persistence, this skill will help see you through the tougher times of business, or when you’re feeling deflated.
Sometimes it feels like all we’re doing is working – either on or in our business. It can be quite deflating to feel like we haven’t progressed as far as we thought we would, or that all our hard work is for nothing. But patience will allow us the clarity to know what we are doing is a marathon, not a sprint, and that every “overnight success” takes time.
Generosity & Empathy
Something not many people talk about is the loneliness that entrepreneurship and small business can sometimes foster. You will want to have a great team of support around you, people who are understanding of the difficulties and that will also celebrate your successes with you. Those people will more than likely be entrepreneurs too, as no one else quite gets what you’re going through like people who are in the same position.
Collaboration over competition is something we’re all about, and having generosity and empathy for other small business owners will ensure you will have the same kind-hearted response when you reach out for support and assistance.
You will never, or should never, get so ‘big’ or well-off that you are too important to help out a fellow entrepreneur. We all started somewhere, and in the early days, you more than likely had a mentor or someone that you looked up to that helped guide you. Offering that same assistance to someone else is a gift to both of you, and a skill that will see you through not just in your business life, but personal too.
Running a business is a lot like having 72 tabs open in a computer. There is so much going on at one given time, it can be hard to keep track of it all. Getting better at organisation and putting things in place to organise your business contacts, dates, to-do list and more is a much-needed skill for every entrepreneur.
I’m not too proud to admit this is one skill I personally need to work on, as it is such an important skill to have. However, thanks to technology, and a good old-fashioned planner, staying organised and up to date on everything doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process.
Having a diary, a year planner, or some really fantastic apps that keep you updated and in the loop with everyone is going to make your life a hell of a lot easier. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer technology based or paper and pen organisation, as long as you have a system in place, you will see that your business doesn’t get too jumbled.
So, whilst educational and practical skills are definitely a plus for any entrepreneur, we believe these more interpersonal skills will see the difference between an entrepreneur that lasts, and one that doesn’t. Do you think there should be any other skills listed here? Let us know in the comments.
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