How to Become an Entrepreneur
Let’s review what are the top skills required to be a successful Entrepreneur.
What do you think is the single best quality of an entrepreneur?
Skills required to be successful entrepreneur:
#1 Manage Money
To put it simply, if you can’t manage money, you can’t manage a business. Do you know precisely where the money goes each month? If you spend more than what you earn, what is your “runway” (number of months before reaching zero)? What are your earnings or fundraising perspectives? These are fundamental questions you need to know the answer to if you don’t want to struggle. Managing money starts with budget planning.
#2 Raise Money
Once you can manage money, can you get more? In order to receive funding, you need not only to understand where to look for money, but also how to convincingly make a case that shows that investing in your business is worth the risk.
#3 Relieve Stress
Stress is no laughing matter. If you allow yourself to get frustrated and upset by setbacks, you’ll struggle as an entrepreneur. Learning how to use stress to your benefit is essential.
#4 Be Productive
This is a big topic, because there’s no one right way to be productive that works for everyone. Learn about your peak energy times, your routines, and the productivity tools that work for you in order to create your own plan for success. Try techniques like Getting Things Done(David Allen) and the Pomodoro Technique (Fransisco Cirillo) and use productivity apps if needed. Learn to use the “Do not disturb” setting of your phone and a timer. Remember that you can’t afford to not be productive.
Note: We will cover these techniques later on but you can have a look here:
#5 Make Entrepreneur Friends
According to entrepreneur Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So who do you want to be? Improve your odds of success by finding entrepreneur friends who will be able to understand your struggles and give you much needed insight. You are probably more influenced by your environment than you think. Since you will have little time, carefully select people you spend time with: positive, motivating people, experts that can help you, etc. It sounds a bit cynical, but try to see it as a win-win relationship. That’s why you have to also help entrepreneurs around you, time permitting.
#6 Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
We mentioned it earlier. As a business owner, you don’t need to be perfect at everything. You do, however, have to understand where you’re strong and where you’re weak. Assessing this will inform everything from the business decisions you make, from the partners you bring on, to the employees you hire.
#7 Hire Effective People
Speaking of hiring, this is easily one of the most important skills any entrepreneur could have. Having great people on your team will give you access to new strengths, while also building a company culture that people want to be a part of. Hiring the right people is essential to get where you want to go.
#8 Train New Staff
When you bring on someone new, a robust onboarding process will ensure that they know what to do and what not to do. Not only will this help keep your company moving in the right direction, it will also increase the commitment level of good employees and give you grounds to follow up on misconduct.
#9 Manage Staff
Once you have the right people, you need to manage them well. Early on in your business’s growth, you’ll be everyone’s manager, so it pays to be effective. If you don’t already know how to manage, take the time to learn how to motivate, encourage, and develop your staff.
#10 Conduct Basic SEO
In the beginning, you’ll be doing the work of every business department, from taking strategical decision to even cleaning the toilets. The marketing world is getting more and more digital and even if you have a local business, you must have an online presence. With that in mind, do you understand basic SEO and digital marketing? If not, you’ll want to brush up on this area before you launch a business.
We’ll cover SEO later on but if you are curious, you can start with:
#11 A/B Split Test
A split test is a simple process that involves running a scenario two ways to test a possible change. It’s commonly used to make websites effective, but it can be used in many areas of project management and marketing as well.
We’ll cover AB Testing later, but if you’re curious, check out the link below:
#12 Connect Via Social Networking
Along with SEO, social networks represent a key part of any business’s marketing strategy. Not only will you need to understand each platform, you’ll want to arm yourself with the best strategies for getting your startup and personal brand noticed on each one.
#13 Focus on your Customers
To be clear, without customers, you have no business. Make sure all of your pitches, products, and services are focused on actual customer needs. If you don’t know what these are, research and ask questions so that you’re able to give great customer service.
#14 Ability to Close a Sale
Letting customers know that you understand their pain points is important, but asking for the sale is where many entrepreneurs get stuck. If you’re nervous about this step, try enrolling in a sales workshop to learn these much-needed skills.
#15 Spot New Trends
Business moves fast, so you’ve got to have the ability to see changes coming in your industry. Make it a point to keep up-to-date on new startups and the advances in technology that could be poised to disrupt your field.
#16 Be Able to Deal with Failure
No business venture is a straight line to success; knowing how to deal with ups and downs is essential. Remember that every successful person out there failed dozens of times before getting a win. Failure isn’t the end – it’s just a point on the way to success.
#17 Desire to Improve Your World
In the end, the best and most enduring motivation is to make a positive change in the world. When you focus your business and your success on that top priority, you’ll find yourself ready to weather any storm in order to meet your goal.
Let’s summarize with an interesting infographic about the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs:
[Optional] 15 Signs You’re an Entrepreneur
Watch this 6-minute video by Entrepreneur Magazine if you want a deeper insight into the qualities required to be an entrepreneur.