Being an entrepreneur is more than just owning a business. A successful entrepreneur needs to be both a leader and a manager. Entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks. They see hidden potential in ideas. They understand the benefit of following new opportunities.
Becoming this kind of leader might seem intimidating, but you can do it if you develop the right skills. Here are six essential skills entrepreneurs need to master:
1. Understanding “why”
When preparing a speech or even a written message, it’s easy to get caught on the what and how of your content. First you need to determine what you are trying to say, and the call to action that you want people to take. You need to set objectives so you can evaluate your content against them. From there, you can craft content that leads them to that action.
2. Being a good listener
Communication is 93% non verbal. If you’ve ever spoken to someone who looked off to the side, crossed their arms, or otherwise appeared disengaged, it was no doubt a frustrating experience.
Pay attention to your movements when someone else is speaking. Nod your head, follow the other person’s movement, make consistent eye contact, and keep your face friendly. The other person is going to be appreciative of your intentiveness, and is more likely to be receptive when you’re the one talking.
3. Managing stress
A great entrepreneur needs to spin a lot of plates at once to keep the business running smoothly, and be making daily decisions that have unforeseen impact. Under this kind of pressure, anyone faces the chance of burning out.
Stop, take a breath, and look at that huge to-do list. What can you delegate to someone on your team? That’s why you chose them right? Remember that success is team effort and don’t be afraid to pass something off if you can. And remember to take breaks! You might feel like you don’t have the time, but you’re going to be more effective if your mind is well-rested.
4. Managing expectations
To avoid disappointment, set clear expectations on what you can deliver to clients, your team, and even yourself. Be realistic, not idealistic, when giving timelines. Anticipate results that you know you can achieve based on past work. Even if you know “you can do better”, don’t assume that is what will happen.
By using this tactic, the worst possibility is you deliver exactly what you promised. If you deliver more, it’s an unexpected surprise that will leave the other party impressed..
5. Surrounding yourself with the right people
People say “you are who you hang out with”, and this is true in the professional world as well. Build yourself a support system of fellow entrepreneurs, and you will increase your odds of success. These people will be able to give valuable insight and advice because they’ve faced the same issues you have now. You’re also going to be inspired by their success to keep moving forward.
If you’re looking for practical ways to make this happen, search out networking groups in your area. Many events are specialized and you’ll likely find one with entrepreneurs like yourself.
6. Embrace failure
Nobody wants to fail. But when you’re trying something new, it’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen frequently. Don’t shut down in the face of the failure. View it as a learning experience and take some time to analyze the mistakes. You can’t change the past, but you can create a system for a better future, because failure is simply the “data point on the way to success”.
Mastering these skills will not happen overnight, just like building your business didn’t! Be patient with yourself as you seek to improve. Find people who can hold you accountable and check in on your goals over time. You’ll be amazed how much more confident you feel when you master these entrepreneurial skills.