What secrets or entrepreneurial skills are needed to build a successful business from scratch? Have you ever compared yourself with entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs or Larry Page? What entrepreneurial skills do these great entrepreneurs possess that you don’t?
How did Mark Zuckerberg attain a net worth of $6billion in 2010 while commanding a network of over 100 million users on Facebook? How did Aliko Dangote emerge the richest black man in the world? If the answers to these questions interest you, please read on.
“I wanted to be an editor or journalist. I wasn’t really interested in becoming an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.” – Richard Branson
I hope you know that to be a successful footballer, you must possess the necessary skills of a footballer. The same goes for every other profession including entrepreneurship. In this article, I will be tearing apart, the important entrepreneurial skills that set apart; the great entrepreneurs from others. If building a business is your concern, then you should make the acquisition of these entrepreneurial skills a priority.
“Skills make you rich, not theories.” Rich Dad
Without beating about the bush, below are five important entrepreneurial skills you must develop to build a successful business from scratch.
List of Entrepreneurial Skills You Need for Fast Business Success
1. Personal Skills: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five Minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.” – Warren Buffett
The first skill you must develop as an entrepreneur is your personal skill. Now what do I mean by personal skills? Personal skills are simply those skills that are attached to your personality, more like habits. They are the characters possessed by successful entrepreneurs. For instance; if you are a professional proofreader, then it’s important you develop a keen eye for spotting errors.
“Great men are ordinary men with extra ordinary determination.” – Abraham Lincoln
When I talk about developing your personal skill with respect to building a business, I am talking about developing your entrepreneurial mindset. You have to be in the right mindset before ever starting a business. Being in the right mindset entails you have abandoned the get rich quick mentality and above all, you must have integrity.
“The most important thing in your business relationships is your reputation for honesty. If you can genuinely and sincerely fake honesty, you will be a success. Never doubt it.” – The Mafia Manager
If you carefully study the lives of successful entrepreneurs, you will observe they are courageous, passionate about their entrepreneurial calling and most of all, they think outside the box.
“Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared, but only men of character are trusted.” – Arthur Friedman
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill
2. Communication skill: “The test of a real comedian is whether you laugh at him before he opens his mouth.” – George Jean Natha
The next important entrepreneurial skill you need to develop is communication skill. A famous speaker once said that “the fact that you are talking doesn’t mean someone is listening.” I don’t know who made this statement but I know there is an atom of truth in it.
“Your words have the power to start or quench passion.” – John Mason
To be a successful business owner, you must be a powerful communicator. Look at Bill Gates; whenever he speaks, people listen with rapt attention. Steve Jobs successfully launched the iPod and iPad because he was a powerful communicator. Whenever Warren Buffett gives a directive or recommendation, people act.
“If the customer says they are not interested, it means you are not interesting.” – Jeffrey Citomer
Investors scramble for Buffett’s annual letter to his CEOs. Why? They do so because Warren Buffet has taken time to perfect his communication skill. Now how do you develop this communication skill? Warren Buffett; the billionaire investor once confessed in an interview that he took a public speaking course at Dale Carnegie’s academy to improve his communication skill.
“The more I risk being rejected, the better my chances are of being accepted.” – Rich Dad
3. Negotiation skill : In the course of building a business, you are bound to negotiate deals. You negotiate with customers and suppliers over goods and services offered. You negotiate with bankers over bank loans terms and conditions, just as you negotiate with investors over equity and stakes.
“If you cannot negotiate, you will end up getting good deals at exorbitant prices or worse still, you will get nothing.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
Bill Gates became the richest man in the world in his thirties because he strategically negotiated a deal with IBM in his early 20s. If Bill Gates lacked persuasion skills, his name may not have been imprinted in the sands of time. So if you cannot negotiate, if you lack persuasion skills; building a business may just be a dream to you. Negotiation or persuasion is an art that can be learned, all you have to do is to devote your time to learning it and you will become a master at it.
4. Leadership skill: “In business, leadership skill is not an option. It’s a necessity.” – Rich Dad
Business is all about your relationship with people. It entails uniting people with different backgrounds, beliefs and skills to a common cause. It entails forging people with different skills and ideologies into a business team.
“Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” – John D. Rockefeller
I have never seen a great business without a great leader at the helm of affairs. Building a successful business therefore requires you become an excellent business leader. Take a look at Bill Gates, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Aliko Dangote, Steve Jobs and so many others. These men are great leaders in their respective businesses.
“Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationship.” – Henry Ross Perot
Successful entrepreneurs were not born business leaders; they were made. They became business great leaders because they desired it; they humbled themselves and learned the art and science of leadership. Today, they are leaders in their game with a huge number of followers.
“Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people.” – Mary Kay Ash
It’s within you reach to become a good corporate leader or but you must first develop the first three entrepreneurial skills listed above which are: personal skill, communication skill and negotiation skill. This is necessary because these three skills are vital components of effective corporate leaders.
“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable as a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other thing under the sun.” – John D. Rockefeller
5. Sales skill: “If you cannot sell, you will be sold.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
This is perhaps, the most important entrepreneurial skill of all. I decided to list it last so that I can explain its details in full. The reason I regard this as the most important is because I have never seen a business that doesn’t sell one thing or the other. If you are not selling tangible items, then you are probably selling intangible items such as services.
“A man’s success in business today turns upon his power of getting people to believe he has something they want.” – Gerland Stanley
I regard sales skill as the most important because life is all about selling. To get a good job, you must sell yourself to your employers. Even before you get married, you must sell yourself to your spouse, convincing him/her that you are the best partner. Success in business is also all about selling; you must first sell yourself to your investors, next to your suppliers, your business team and employees and then to your customers.
“The best way to turn a woman’s head is to tell her she has a beautiful profile.” – Sacha Guitry
Many people shy away from selling because they are afraid of rejection. Bill Gates sold himself to IBM before he became a billionaire. Steve Jobs personally sold his products such as the iPad in the media. Thomas Edison and Ray Kroc started as salesmen; I am also in the business of selling. The moment I stop selling; I will cease to be an entrepreneur. So my last note to you today is this “start selling something.“
“The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don’t bother thinking about becoming a business owner.” – Rich Dad
In conclusion, I want you to go over the five entrepreneurial skills again and decide which one is missing in your life. As a last note, I leave you with this quote;
“Skills make you rich, not theories.” – Rich Dad