Being an entrepreneur isn’t a walk in the park. You need a truckload of perseverance and grit. The following is a list of skills entrepreneurs need to survive in a competitive digital environment.
Visualize Your Goals
This might sound a bit abstract for the newbie entrepreneur. But this is one of the skills every entrepreneur needs.
It doesn’t mean closing your eyes and visualizing a mansion in Palo Alto or a Lamborghini Huracán Performante. It means entrepreneurs should define their goals in detail and make them measurable.
Don't use a generic, “I want to be a successful entrepreneur”. Be more specific. Say “I want to be a successful entrepreneur who will provide [the service you provide] that will help solve [a particular problem] in [your specific target niche].”
The trick is to articulate your goals clearly and visualize them. You have to believe in yourself or your customers will never believe in you.
Find The Right Team
Have you heard the saying, “No man is an island?” This is true especially if you’re planning to start your own business.
This might seem a bit duh, but successful entrepreneurs aren’t created in a vacuum. They need a great team that will help the company grow.
When it comes to hiring team members, stick to A-team players whom you like and who have a positive attitude. Entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed with a team of other like-minded professionals, than going about work all by their lonesome.
Don't be in a hurry to scale too fast. 74% of startups fail due to premature scaling and 29% run out of cash.
Putting together the right team and getting the timing right is without a doubt an art.
Listen To The Customer
Let’s be honest. The in-your-face approach to selling only aggravates the customer.
People know what they’re getting into before they step into the used car showroom. Instead of using some sleazy salesman pitch, listen to what the customer wants, and offer something better. And more importantly – deliver a great product or service that helps solve a particular pain point the customer has.
A successful entrepreneur treats the customer’s criticism or suggestions with respect. Listen to the customer. Because, at the end of the day, it’s the customer who decides whether your product (or service) is of value or not. It's the customer's willingness to take money out of his wallet that keeps your business profitable.
Learn. Unlearn. Relearn.
The philosopher and futurist Alvin Toffler once said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Nowhere is this truer than in the digital marketing space, where the only constant is change.
The successful entrepreneur who’s interested in how to develop entrepreneurial skills knows the importance of learning. As an entrepreneur, your goal should be to absorb new information fast and create new solutions to challenges.
Remember, you don’t need to be a genius. All you need is a willingness to learn. Luckily for you, there are many books and online sites where one can learn critical business skills by taking part in training and mentorship programs.
Accept Failure As Part Of Success
Yep. You heard it right. If you want to be honest with yourself, you need to accept that you’re going to come face to face with failure more times than you would like to. It’s best to accept that upfront and remember to maintain focus. When you fall, get up, and try again.
There are plenty of examples of the most successful entrepreneurs who have some huge failures. But they succeeded to move past failures and setbacks.
Steve Jobs was fired by the company he helped found after two products that he pushed and that Apple lost millions of dollars developing. Jobs eventually found his way back to the company in 1997 and helped lead the company with innovation.
Thomas Edison was expelled from school for being unteachable. His mother believed in him and even resorted to teaching him herself at one point. He was fired from his first few jobs because he was not productive enough. It took him almost 10,000 failures before getting the light bulb to work. He turned out to be a prolific inventor with several patents, including the light bulb and the movie projector.
Asked by a reporter, “How did it feel to fail 10,000 times?” Edison simply replied, “I didn't fail 10,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 10,000 steps.”
Your mindset is crucial. Accept failure is part and parcel of success. What matters is not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up.
- Define your goals in detail and make them measurable.
- Hire A-team players whom you like and who have a positive attitude.
- Don't be in a hurry to scale too fast.
- Listen to what the customer wants and offer something better.
- Treat the customer’s criticism or suggestions with respect.
- Your goal should be to absorb new information fast and create new solutions to challenges.
- You don’t need to be a genius. All you need is a willingness to learn.
- Your mindset is crucial. Accept failure is part and parcel of success.
- What matters is not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up.
Being an entrepreneur is stressful as it is, the last thing you want is to have a cloud of impending doom hovering over every decision you make. Hitting a brick wall now and then is the ideal time for some self-reflection and building up those critical business skills. Like the motto of the LA Clippers: “Regroup. Recover. Onward”.
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