One of the greatest things I started doing before I started turning my business around was to start turning me around – developing myself as a person into what I needed to be to be a great business person. Now I am by no means perfect but I do aspire and work towards honing the skills that I think are important – the skill set if you like of the great entrepreneurs that I know. And I try and remember these elements daily so I thought I would share them with you.
And I make a particular point here that you don’t have to be perfect at these today – these are all characteristics that you can work on and improve. There are important ones here that I was particularly crap at but with discipline and focus I improved these bits – and bugger me if my business didn’t improve too.
Number 1 is I made sure I learnt something new every week to improve my business – reading business books, subscribing to business associations learning stuff through organisations such as the Entrepreneurs Circle and the Supper Club. This takes a lot of commitment outside work – but a THIRST FOR THIS KNOWLEDGE is the number one factor in improving yourself and your business so make the time and put in the effort to learn.
The next one is to be open to the learning of the new knowledge. I have heard many a closed minded entrepreneur saying – that doesn’t apply to my business, that cant possible work, my business is different. Well funnily enough they tend to be very unsuccessful entrepreneurs who may grow a micro business but certainly won’t scale it. You have to be open to new ideas, new input – and be willing to adapt and amend your methodology for your changing and evolving market. So to clarify, the number 2 feature of great entrepreneurs is to be willing to adapt new learnings and methodologies to their business.
Number 3 is to actually implement these learnings too. A lot of people spend a lot of time learning about stuff – and then do bugger all about it. One of the best entrepreneurs I know is Sian Nisbett – and she is the Queen of implementation. Absolutely learn new stuff – but it is vital you actually implement and apply also.
Number 4 then fits neatly after this one – and it’s to be a good completer/finisher. Now I am a bit shit at this one – I am very good at starting things and then I get distracted and fail to 100% complete. I have to really focus on this one – and it been key to transforming my personal performance – choose carefully what to implement – and then 100% implement in your business. A job only 80% complete is almost as pointless as not starting at all. I have hundreds of ideas – my challenge is to actually 100% complete their implementation – and I know many of you out there find this too. So really focus on this one.
Number 5 kind of ties in with number 4 actually – it’s to be a good planner. If you create a plan, and then work to it, and only implement the things that work in your business within that plan, then this will help you implement the things you need to in your business. It stops the overwhelm. When you have a plan you wake up every day knowing what to do. When you have a plan you know what latest and greatest ideas fit in to that plan. When you have a plan you know what opportunities to say yes to and to say no to. And if you have a plan it gives you the daily organisation and focus to work on your plan every day, week, month and year until it is achieved.
Number 6 – is you have to be a people person. And here’s the thing – I’m not. Seriously if I had a choice I would be like the Wizard of Oz tapping away on my computer undisturbed and unseen. But that ain’t going to take my business forward. To grow your business you need people and that’s going to mean you are going to have to work on your people skills if you don’t naturally have them. Again you don’t have to be a natural – try an NLP course if you think you need to hone your people and communication skills, it was really helpful for me. But to grow you need people – and to keep people they need to be well managed and communicated with. And for many of us we are not naturals at this.
So to summarize here’s the skills you need to really work on to hone your skill set as an entrepreneur.
- Learn new stuff
- Be open to these new learnings
- Complete and finish
- Develop your people skills
Happy homework. Next week I am going to be discussing the natural traits of entrepreneurs so look forward to chatting then.