It’s hard to get away from the concept of entrepreneurship this days. What was once written off by many as a niche, high-risk pursuit best avoided in favour of a nice, stable 9-to-5 existence, is now held up as an option for all to aim for.
This is largely a good thing of course, there’s an enormous amount to be said for the independence and freedom that the entrepreneurial path can bring to people’s lives. It’s not all plain-sailing though, and the reality of entrepreneurial life in the trenches is often a long way from the series of uninterrupted triumphs portrayed in the popular media.
If you’ve already taken a few steps down this road, you’ll already be aware of the sheer range of skills you’ll have to master to make it to the top as an entrepreneur – or even to stay afloat. Some are more important than others though. Here’s a quick breakdown of the key skills every budding entrepreneur should get to grips with sooner rather than later.
- Effective Communication
Entrepreneurship, in many ways, is about bending the wider world to your will but force is very much not the way to go about things. More often than not, you’ll have to prompt and persuade to get what you’re after and effective communication is the core skill that makes that possible.
You’ll need to master this art across the board as well. You’ll be dealing with an incredibly diverse range of people on a daily basis and you’ll have to be able to make an immediate connection with all of them within minutes.
Whether it’s a one-on-one meeting with an investor, a presentation to a packed room or a series of interviews with potential employees, you need to be at the top of your communication game on a constant basis.
- Being Able To Seal The Deal
Let’s not beat around the bush here – if you don’t have at least basic sales skills, you’re really going to struggle as an entrepreneur. We’re not saying you have to be a straight down the line “killer closer” here but you simply must be able to at least engage and convince people.
Having sales skills doesn’t mean the cliched set of tricks and traps many people take it to be either. What it really comes down to is the ability to identify people’s problems clearly and articulate useful solutions. Learn how to do that and the world will beat a path to your door.
- Learning How To Learn
You’ll end up acquiring a truly enormous amount of skills as your entrepreneurial career progresses, but there is one skill that unlocks the door to all the rest – learning how to learn. There is simply no greater skill to cultivate over time.
The more you improve your ability to quickly learn, the easier every single other aspect of your entrepreneurial journey will be. Every tiny incremental improvement you can make in this regard is money in the bank long term.
Surviving and thriving as an entrepreneur is a challenging path to take but nothing beats it in terms of personal satisfaction and the feeling of being in control of your own destiny it produces.
There’ll be ups and downs aplenty along the way, but focus on improving the three core entrepreneur skills we’ve outlined above and your long-term destination will be success.