Are successful entrepreneurs born or made? Are the skills you need for success natural gifts, or are they something you can learn over time or in a classroom? While the experts, whoever they may be, are free to debate this issue for ages, you can rest assured that many of the skills needed for success can be cultivated or improved. This alone may not guarantee your business success, but when you improve what you already have, you are more likely to do better, go farther and end up with more.
You may not need every skill in the book for your particular business, but it’s always handy to be well-versed and prepared in a number of areas. Here are a few skills you may need if you are an entrepreneur:
- Communication. Not a talker? This in no way precludes you from being a successful entrepreneur, as long as you are willing to step outside of your comfort zone occasionally. You must be willing to talk to people, answer questions and present your product or service in an effective way. If communication is an area of struggle for you, work on it. Preparation and practice can go a long way toward meaningful communication.
- Planning. Many of the most successful entrepreneurial ventures start with the “snowball effect.” One friend asks for your help, another friend notices, and before long, you realize that your particular talent, product or idea would be a great business. “Fly by the seat of your pants” is not great long-term strategy, and there comes a time when you must develop a plan and take control of the direction of your business.
- Productivity. Time-management is such an important skill, it really should be on this list at least three times. While some people thrive on independence, others need accountability and structure. If you struggle to stay focused and be productive, you must wrangle this issue once and for all, as soon as possible.
- Dealing with setbacks. Failure is unpleasant, but it’s an inevitable part of doing business. Things will not always go your way, but you can choose to learn from these experiences. When things go awry, successful people find a way to put on their grown-up underwear, glean some wisdom from their mistakes and keep moving forward.
Skills are important, but a willingness to learn, improve and seek guidance in these areas is even more so. If you need to improve in any of these areas…well, get to it. The best business people do not hide their weaknesses, but confront them head-on and work on being better, smarter and more versatile.
By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC