The list of potential skills an entrepreneur is required to have can be incredibly long. Most entrepreneurs wear a lot of different hats and may not be able to outsource all of the key activity that needs to take place when first starting out. Whether you’re just getting starting or already running an established business, here are a few key skills that all entrepreneurs, sales professionals and business leaders should consider developing. Skills are critical to success and the more you have, the greater your results will be.
In no particular order:
1. Speed Reading
Yes, reading is a skill! If you want to continue growing your knowledge base and improving your skills, then reading will have to play a large role in that development. All leaders are avid readers and being able to read as quickly and efficiently as possible will be a skill that pays huge dividends over the long run.
2. Rapid Learning and Skill Acquisition
Learning itself is a skill and understanding how to learn anything quickly and efficiently can put you miles ahead of the competition. Additionally, using techniques to develop an incredible memory will give you an edge.
3. Public Speaking & Presentation
As an entrepreneur, you will be presenting often and explaining your ideas. This can also include other forms of effective communication such as verbal and written communication.
4. Technical Skills
You probably shouldn’t be the best programmer or graphic designer you know (unless that is your business) but having a basic level of technical skills will have huge benefits in today’s highly technical world. Being able to quickly edit a web page, create a mock-up of an app or query information in a database could give you just the edge you need. Additionally, since just about every business will now have some sort of technical aspect to it (web marketing/mobile apps/graphics/databases/etc.) having technical skills will also let you communicate with engineers and designers more effectively. This is also true for being able to review and understand financial spreadsheets and financial metrics.
Whether pitching your idea to potential investors & customers or recruiting highly skilled people to work for your organization, having sales skills will be critical to your success. Even if you don’t plan on working in direct sales capacity, these skills are needed for almost all areas in life and should be developed.
Negotiation is something you use everyday in both your business and personal life. Deal making is an integral part of business and negotiation will play a key role here. As an entrepreneur, this skill also goes far beyond just getting a better price or favorable terms. Being a good negotiator makes you more efficient because instead of spending time arguing with others or trying to force people to do what you want, you can use negotiation skills to reach agreements, find win-win solutions and keep you focused on the priorities.
7. Interpersonal Skills
Having good people skills is critical and are often counted among the most valuable skills to have. If you’re already familiar with SHARK Belief, then you know Relationships are key to high levels of success. There is always more you can learn about being a better people person.
Ideas are wonderful but they are worthless without effective execution. Being able to successfully execute is what separates the winners from the losers. Admittedly, execution is large group of skills but there are few key sub-skills that generate high execution skills. These are planning and project management, delegation, people & priority management and problem solving just to name a few. It’s about being highly productive.
Even if you plan on being a one-person business working from the comfort of your laptop, you must still become a leader. Leadership is critical in all aspects of business and especially when building a new company.
Maintaining a “laser-like focus” on the ultimate goal and working on the task at hand without being distracted is a skill that we all need to develop. When trying to build a business there will be a seemingly endless list of distractions that have the potential to derail your progress. By nature, entrepreneurs are curious and prone to seeing new opportunities or better ideas everywhere. This skill is not easy to master.
Skill is not the same as talent. Talent describes a natural aptitude while skills are developed and mastered through learning, repetition and focus. Anyone can become highly skilled and it has more to do with out-working those around you than it does with being gifted. To be a successful entrepreneur, begin to master the skills listed above and you’ll see your game go to the next level.