When I set out on my entrepreneurship journey, I knew I needed to grow a thick skin. I also knew that I would need to be patient and to be open to learning. What I did not know, however, was the skills I would need to grow this thick skin or be patient or be open to learning.
It has been an interesting journey – learning and discovering, seeking and finding but mostly, an arrival and sojourn into entrepreneurship. I have combined an absolute must have skills if you are to be a successful entrepreneur. Read on.
You have to be resilient – This is a journey littered with rejections, unfulfilled promises, last-minute disappointments, heavy workloads but it is also a journey of great fulfillment and joy and greatness. You will need to be resilient in order to get past the brick walls. You will need resilience to ensure that you do not quit your business just because you have received three consecutive rejections. It is resilience that will give you the grit to sit down once again, to think and restrategize for your next move. It is resilience that will make you patient and grow your thick skin and make you open to learning.
Networking skills – You must have networking skills because it is through networking that your business will grow its clientele, partners, get new investors and so on. Networking will also grow your referral pool, build your confidence as an entrepreneur and also raise your profile. As an entrepreneur, therefore, you have to actively research about your field and discover all the existing professional bodies, networks and fora. Thanks to technology and social media platforms, you do not have to break your back researching about networking opportunities. You can even write direct messages to industry leaders you esteem and ask for their help. With technology, a lot more is accessible.
Time planning – As an entrepreneur, I begun to realize that the phrase, time is money, actually has real-life application. If you manage your time well, you will find that you have enough time to research, meet people, go through all the possible iterative processes you may need to and so on. While 72 hours may just fizzle out like that, from an entrepreneurial perspective, you will realize that is enough time to measure the progress of an idea you are testing for your market. You have to sharpen your time management skills to keep away from certain avoidable challenges that could crop up on you just because you did not plan your time well.
You have to be a good communicator – It does not matter whether you were a mechanical engineering major and you are in the business of making military fatigues. From experience, if you have to succeed as an entrepreneur, you will need to have good communication skills because that is the way you will communicate with clients, with your associates, your staff… It is how you will negotiate, participate in meetings and interviews and so on. If you are not very good at crisp, succinct and clear communication, it important to invest in building this skill.