Dixie is our business manager and also a business owner with many years of wisdom to share with us. She has been kind enough to share some of that wisdom with us today in the article below. With many more of us heading into entrepreneurship these days Dix offers some great tips for us to utilize.
Starting a business is difficult at best but if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, there are a few core skills you need to have. The majority of these skills aren’t things that are taught in business school, but skills that need to be honed and refined in the real world. Fortunately, once you develop these skills, they can be applied to just about any venture you embark on.
These are the critical skills every entrepreneur should have.
Leadership (not management)
John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Fund, the largest mutual fund in the world, defines leadership as knowing what’s worth doing. Management is knowing how to do it.
A leader needs to be able to decide what’s important and what will actually impact the company’s bottom line. They need to be able to make moral decisions about when to go for profit and when to sacrifice profits for long-term values.
They need to be able to identify what’s really best for everyone involved, including clients, employees and shareholders, and make business decisions for the greater good.
A manager is someone who understands things like time management, project flow, tracking employee performance and such. But they aren’t necessarily the right people to steer a company.
A good entrepreneur needs to be a great leader. It also helps if they’re a good manager.
Persistence and Patience
In “Good to Great” one of the most highly acclaimed business books of the century, Jim Collins studies eleven public companies whose performance consistently beat the market average for 15 years in a row.
One of the key factors he found was persistence and patience. He likened it to a giant spinning metallic flywheel.
If you had to take this giant metallic wheel and make it spin, in the very beginning it won’t budge at all. You can put in immense amounts of effort, only to find it still not moving.
Yet once it does start moving, slow at first then getting faster and faster, it’ll build up momentum until it starts to move on its own. At that point, it would actually be harder to stop the flywheel than to push it faster.
Building a business is like that. In the beginning, you’ll be swimming upstream. But as momentum builds, it’ll get easier and easier. The trick is to have the persistence and patience to stick it through.
Team and People Focus
Whether it’s Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, one thing is consistently clear across the most successful companies: a relentless drive to hire the best people.
More than anything else, the success of your company is going to be based on the kind of people you hire.
Aim to hire people who are smarter and more competent than you. Don’t try to hire a team that you can lead, but rather a team that can lead your company and you to better results than you alone could create.
These are a few of the key skills every entrepreneur needs. These skills aren’t developed overnight, but they are skills that anyone who is committed can learn.