by Debra Arko, Featured Contributor
LOOK ALL OVER the internet, and you’ll find an abundance of articles on entrepreneurial skills. All the different beliefs are enough to keep the new entrepreneur awake at night; who to listen to is a difficult choice.
The truth is there is no secret bundle of tips that ensure your success. Finding what works best for you may be different from your friends or competitors. Instead, lets’ look at six key things most leaders agree upon and possess; after all, they have experience in what to do and not do.
In part one, we delved into the idea that we should take the sales out of the job and become a leader ourselves. A quick review of the first three skills follows as a refresher.
Finding The Inner Leader Within You
We lead from within ourselves. Developing this talent is not hard nor is it something scary. If you could recall learning to walk, you might have felt excitement, wonder, and a little anxious after your first tumble. It did not stop you. The sheer joy of doing something like walking rather than crawling was so liberating, it meant the world to you.
Letting your inner leader surface is like learning to walk. It takes practice; there is a change that happens too. That change is in whom you become as you realize a sense of confidence, but I am getting ahead of myself.
1. Do you still need to be the salesperson pushing goods or services? In the 21 century, your focus should turn to your ability to ‘sell’ yourself. Getting yourself through the ‘door’ is first. It may be that your client comes to you, so the door is to commit to a time and date to come to your office.
Ask yourself: Would I come see me without meeting me first? If your answer is no, then you have some work to do on your communication skills. The same holds true if you visit your clients or do business online.
Communication is the New Selling. Never go in with the used cars sales attitude. It is a world of relationships. People invest in you not a product.
It is about caring enough about the other person to make a relationship with them. When we do this, it may take more time to build trust and loyalty but it is worth it.
2. Build a network of people. These patients, clients, or buyers believe in you and recommend you without thinking about it.
You customer is not free advertising. If you treat them like a billboard, they feel it. Treat them like someone you want in your business life for a long time to come. It is leading through building a relationship. You do not have to make your clients personal friends; you just need to make them feel like it.
3. Self-Directed Learning. A college degree will get you employment but not a career these days. The extra’s make you a self-made-woman [or man]. It is what and whom you read not if you read. It is important to be up on the latest topics and issues of our time including personal growth. Remember Jim Rohn said, “Readers are leaders.” Top picks you must know are “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Magic of Thinking Big.”
These are mindset books. Other authors that talk about goals, business, and personal development include Brain Tracy and yours truly.
Increase Your Communications Skills
4. Communication used to mean you comprehend the language being spoken; now it is all about the way you communicate; we touched on this in 2. Are you able to take something abstract and deliver into others in a persuasive and easy way to understand?
I do acupuncture. That is pretty abstract to the western mind; we heal imbalances in energy that flows throw everything including the human body, but you cannot see it. When I treat new patients, my job is to find a simple way to explain that our bodies have meridian, similar to blood vessels. This energy or Qi flows through the meridians like blood moves through our vessels. Modern medicine has not developed x-rays or other tests to see the Qi or meridians.
Developing effective communication is like any other skill; it takes practice and time. Imagine you speak a different language from the country you reside. You can learn that language because your life likely depends on it. The same is true in business; your future depends on you ‘reading’ or watching videos on how to communicate. Taking classes local classes can be fun too. Many of my mentoring students listen to audios in their car.
When I learned Asian medicine, it was like learning a new language; although it was learning a new way to think about disease and illness.
The Confident Leader
5. Self-Confidence is apparent in some people. Many feel leaders ooze self-confidence and empower others. This skill is so important you will find full day workshops to guide you to live more confidently.
Self-confidence is empowering to others because they want to be with people whom they can respect. Clients want to do business with others whom they respect; employees want to work for someone they and others trust.
Think about something you do well. Don’t you feel great about it and have confidence? When someone compliments you on this skill, you feel enlightened or ‘lighter.’
Webster says ‘Enlightened’ means: having or showing a good understanding of how people should be treated and not ignorant or narrow in thinking. It also means: freed from ignorance and misinformation.
If you are their leader or someone, they admire they feel empowered when you take the time to thank them and express gratitude for their compliment.
6. Time management is the ability to focus you. Most entrepreneurs lose out here. There’s no boss to fire you, so it is easy to put off today to tomorrow. You have to plan your hours and your days. Imagine you do not get your paycheck if you do not come to work, because it is true.
Start by setting a goal for the things you can begin working on now. What 2-5 things can you accomplish or put into action to lead you toward your goals and dreams. It may be sending out five emails, calling six people, or having attending local networking groups to build connections with other business folks.
Be sure to plan out a week or more in advance. Make a loose plan of what you feel you should do this week and comfortable that you will succeed. It is okay to under plan; trying to complete too many tasks leads to failure causing you to lose confidence in yourself. We’ve all done this. It is not a race; it is your dreams fulfilled.
Time management is the ability to stay focused on your dreams every day until you reach them. This quote sums it up perfectly.
All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.” –Brian Tracy
These six entrepreneurial skills standout when we look at people who are successful in their lives and business.