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Many people often write to ask us “How do I become an entrepreneur?” or “What should I study to be an entrepreneur?” Now, we will see some reflections and tips for you to start developing all the skills you need to start your journey.
What Should I Study to be an Entrepreneur?
While it is true that there are careers closely related to the business issue, the truth is that nowhere will you learn how to be an entrepreneur. They can teach you how to create a company and how to manage it. However, being an entrepreneur implies the development of skills and attitudes that can only be acquired through experience.
No matter how many courses you take or how many books you read, experience plays an essential role. That is the best entrepreneurship course you can take.
Now the question is: What are the knowledge and skills that every entrepreneur needs?
- Technical Skills: These are the skills to perform activities that include methods, processes, and procedures. Therefore, they represent working with certain tools, models, and techniques.
- Human Skills: They refer to the ability to interact effectively with employees, customers, and suppliers. You have to be empathetic, motivating, and inspiring to develop their talent, skills, and abilities to achieve the goals. You also need leadership, emotional intelligence, stress management, conflict management, and effective communication.
- Conceptual Skills: Those related to the generation of ideas, understand abstract relationships, develop new concepts, solve problems creatively, process analysis, innovation and creativity, planning, and management of the environment.
All these skills are very important. However, you should not become obsessed with believing that you should know everything from day one. Let’s see what are the essential skills in the different stages of the development of your project.
Stage 1: Development of the Entrepreneurial Mindset
You cannot build a successful company thinking like an employee. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, the first thing you should do is work on your mentality.
At this stage, the entrepreneur must be willing to leave his comfort zone. He should redefine old paradigms that have been implanted in his head for years concerning his way of thinking and working. It is not an easy task, especially for those people who are too accustomed to working for other people.
Some people have an innate entrepreneurial mindset. While others have been forced to develop it due to various circumstances. However, everyone can decide to stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like an entrepreneur.
At this stage, an entrepreneur will have to develop skills such as self-motivation and self-discipline. Besides, you have to work on the intuition that allows you to face challenges you will encounter along the way. Here’s how to develop an entrepreneurial mindset:
Surround yourself with enterprising people
Your personal and professional relationships dramatically influence your mentality. Make sure you are surrounded by people who inspire and retain you.
Read more books
In the market, there is a wide variety of business-themed and personal development books that will fill you with motivation to undertake. Check out the top 10 underrated books for startup founders.
Attend inspirational events
Listening to stories of other entrepreneurs is a very powerful source of motivation and learning. In addition to these events, you can meet other entrepreneurs like you.
Go out to sell
An excellent way to make the transition between employee and entrepreneur is to get work as a salesperson. Sales will help you develop very important skills and abilities for business.
As if you were learning to swim, put one foot in the pool to gain confidence and encourage yourself to take your first steps. Find a way to get your ideas into action, even on a small scale. The important thing is that you take action and start thinking and working as an entrepreneur.
Stage 2: Identification of Business Opportunities
After working on your mentality, you should focus on developing your ability to identify business opportunities. Great opportunities generally take time before becoming apparent in front of the entrepreneur. However, you must have the sensitivity and vision to detect the opportunities that come your way. Remember that an entrepreneur should be able to see a tree, even if he only has one seed in his hand.
At this stage, the entrepreneur must enhance his creativity to start seeing the world with different eyes. Thanks to this creativity, entrepreneurs turn every problem or need of the environment into an opportunity to build a business. Here are some tips to be more sensitive in identifying business opportunities:
Help your brain change the way you see the world
If you are immersed in a routine in which every day you are exposed to the same stimuli, it will be very difficult for you to generate different ideas.
If you want to think differently, then do different things every day: use your non-dominant hand to brush, change the route to reach your home, talk to people from different cultures, travel, put the watch on the other arm, try exotic foods, learn a new language, practice a new dance, change the order of things in your office, etc.
Everything you do to get out of the routine and to see and feel different things will allow your brain to create new neural connections that will help you creatively solve your problems.
Learn from successful businesses
Basically, the entrepreneur must ask three questions about each business that he or she finds interesting: What problem do you solve? What product or service do you offer? Who is paying for that product or service? Seeing business as the link between Problem – Solution – Client will help the entrepreneur to understand the business world better.
Ask yourself about everything
Never take anything for granted. Ask yourself constantly “What would happen if…?”, “How could this be done differently?”, “And why not…?”. Your curiosity is your greatest source of creative ideas.
Being aware of environmental trends will allow you to discover great opportunities to create businesses with a future and be a pioneer in the industries that are brewing.
Build a wall of ideas, problems, and opportunities
Put a canvas or sheet of paper on a wall to capture, in a graphic way, the ideas, problems, and opportunities that your mind identifies. Thanks to this visual thinking exercise, you will have a constant source of creative ideas for your projects.
Stage 3: Creation of Teams
Great innovations do not arise only from good ideas, but also from great teams. At this stage, the entrepreneur must be very skilled to identify talented people, join them to his or her team, inspire them, and lead them in favor of the development of his enterprise.
The so-called “Human Skills” are your most powerful tools for building a great team. The more you develop your leadership capacity and emotional intelligence, the more successful you will be to make talented people want to join your dream. Here’s how to make a great team:
Search for people with multidisciplinary profiles
In your team, you will need
- a person with a commercial profile who is very skilled for sales
- a person with a financial profile, who is very skilled in the management and administration of money
- a person with a technical profile who understands in depth the problem they are going to solve
- and a person with a leader profile who is visionary and manages to harmonize the work of the entire team.
Depending on your business model, you may require other specific profiles. Find people with stronger motivations than money. Unite people to your team around why they should do it. The people you attract with the illusion of making money will abandon you on the first obstacle. You need people with a purpose.
Do not look only at talents
Look for people with values and principles. People who are willing to give that extra effort that makes a difference in the business world.
A team is built step by step
A great team is not about quantity, but about quality. Be patient. You will find the right people along the way. It doesn’t matter if you start alone at the beginning. Maybe, it’s just you and someone else. The important thing is that each person who joins your team is committed and adds value to the development of the venture.
Empower your team
Nothing frustrates a talented person more than the lack of autonomy to do what he knows. If you choose well, trust the people on your team and let them give their best.
Have any more tips on how to become an entrepreneur? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.