There are skills you can learn from textbooks, skills you can learn in business school, and skills and lessons passed down from mentors and peers. Then there are the skills that can only be learned in the school of hard knocks and the real world. An entrepreneur who wants to be a true leader must understand which skills are the most important in order to lead a healthy and growing business. Here are eight of the most critical skills which differentiate successful entrepreneurs from others.
1: Patience and Persistence
The life of an entrepreneur includes facing many closed doors. Successful entrepreneurs have grit. They focus on the end goal and have the patience to see it through to completion despite the roadblocks.
2: Planning Skills & Time Management
Entrepreneurs must wear many hats and are often pulled in many different directions throughout the day. It’s critical, therefore, that plans and goals are flexible enough to handle unexpected surprises when they occur. Successful entrepreneurs set the GPS for their lives and businesses so they know where they are going every hour of every day.
3: Communication & Persuasion
Whether speaking with a prospect, a customer, an employee, or a stakeholder, it’s critical that the message and key concepts are presented clearly. When the point is made with focus and clarity, the chance for ambiguity falls by the wayside. Leaders know how to communicate and how to persuade.
4: Confidence & Sales Skills
Successful entrepreneurs are able to sell their products, services, ideas, and passion not only to the outside world of customers but also to their internal team of employees. That requires confidence and sharp sales skills. Successful entrepreneurs can sell anything.
5: Knowledge and Learning Skills
Successful entrepreneurs are passionate about continuous growth and improvement. When others think they know all there is to know, these leaders will push themselves to expand their horizon. They set aside an hour or more each day to read and learn about new, noteworthy industry advances they can apply to their business.
6: Realistic Optimists
No one can avoid bad news. Losing customers and having employees quit is part of life for any entrepreneur. The difference comes in how people view these challenges. The successful entrepreneur doesn’t hide bad news under the rug, but has learned instead to deal with it quickly and move on to the task at hand without being dragged down.
7: Resourcefulness and Managing Cash Flow
Resourcefulness is a great trait for any entrepreneur. The ability to think creatively and come up with out-of-the-box solutions is a must-have skill. This goes hand in hand with being able to manage the cash flow of the business. It’s a skill that shouldn’t be outsourced and one that the most successful entrepreneurs have learned very well.
8: Intense Focus
What separates the most successful entrepreneurs from others is their ability to focus intently on the goals and tasks at hand. In a world of short attention spans and constant noise, these leaders are able to put blinders on when needed, unplug from all the unnecessary distractions, and see the task all the way through. That is perhaps the biggest difference between successful and ultra-successful entrepreneurs.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not about what you are now, but what you do today and tomorrow. You now know eight critical skills to work on to be what you are meant to become. Start working on them today.