Business is a tricky sport.
And although the barrier to entry is extremely low, only a handful of people are actually able to rise to the top and claim to be the prize winners in the game.
We’ve all got great ideas, but a true entrepreneur is the type of person who is willing to sacrifice years of comfort and a steady pay check for blood, hustle, and tears in order to see those ideas actually come to fruition.
Here’s the fact, one that we don’t hear often enough.
Having a great idea does not make you an entrepreneur.
But taking your idea (even if it’s a mediocre one) and turning it into a valuable solution to someone else’s problem… one that gets people excited to pay you for what you have to offer – is what does.
And through this process, to be able to use your drive and ambition in order to build upon your skills to a level where you are the best at your craft.
But what skills are the most important for a business to thrive?
What skills are necessary in order to rise to the top?
After years of trying to do business and chasing the entrepreneurial dream… often failing, and sometimes succeeding – here’s what I’ve come to learn.
For great success in business, you need to master:
The Skill of Sales:
Sales is the driving force behind any successful business. To be able to convey your message to a prospect in a concise and effective manner that gets them excited about purchasing your product is vital for the success of any business.
I’ve seen way too many decent businesses (mine as well) that spend too much effort and money on creating their product or service – only to crash and burn because of a lack of clients.
And without any clients, you don’t have a business.
Which is why mastering sales should be the main priority of any business.
The Skill of Being In Service:
As much as business is about ‘making money’ – being in service of your clients and customers is key to creating massive amounts of goodwill, and as a result – winning their hearts and wallets for life.
Just think of companies like Zappos and Innocent Drinks who dedicate a ton of money, effort, and resources on stellar customer service and giving back to their communities in all sorts of ways… from free concerts to VIP events – and it becomes clear as to why they have such a huge advantage over their competitors.
Most businesses behave extremely shady with a ‘milk as much as they can get’ attitude, which is all the reason why being in service of your fans and customers and generating goodwill by refusing to sell out is probably the best way for any business to stand out and get noticed.
The Skill of Finding Good People:
The fact is that a business is nothing more than a group of people working together for a common purpose. This means that the people you surround yourself with in your business are the ones who will be responsible for your success. And because of this, it only makes sense to craft the skill of finding the right people.
Sure, it might be tempting to work with a best friend or the cheaper alternative – but it’s important to ask yourself if these people really are the best option for the growth and success of the business.
Here are a couple of things you can ask yourself before finding a partner:
1 – Do they have any side projects / a portfolio that proves their skills?
2 – Would you stop and say hi if you saw them passing by on the street?
All in all, the right people for your business would help take your vision for the business to all new heights… bringing their own energy, ideas, and vitality with them – while the wrong person could really hurt your reputation and cause more frustration than anything else.
The Skill of Great Communication:
Communication is an interesting skill to master.
The fact is that stringing together the right words to get your message or story across is an undeniably powerful asset that is vital to the creation of your tribe.
Facebook status updates, website copy, video scripts, your newsletters – all of these are made up of words with the purpose of communicating a simple idea.
And the ability to get your story across can make all the difference.
Human beings are naturally drawn to companies that exist for a greater purpose (for example: inspiring the world to do good) – and if you can give your customers a reason to believe in your company and the purpose that it advocates for – then you won’t just have customers, but rather – a group of people who believe in what you believe and will be willing to do whatever it takes to spread your message (your true purpose).
And this all starts with authenticity and an ability for great communication.
The Skill of Working With Less:
And last, but not least – to master the skill of being able to work with what you have. Too many business try to get funding way too early and believe that a new office or a better location is the key to their success – when the fact is that those things don’t matter nearly as much as they would like to believe.
Here are the benefits of working with what you have:
1 – Working with what you have keeps you creative and innovating.
This means that you will have to keep finding ways of moving forward with little money or resources – and as a result, drastically improving your skills and your resourcefulness.
2 – Working with what you have keeps you hungry and away from comfort.
Hunger is the key to success in pretty much anything, and being too comfortable is a recipe for disaster. Working with what you have gives you a good balance between the two, and to be balanced is a wonderful place to be.
In any case, these are the most important things I’ve realised that I need to improve in order to see success through my next ventures. No matter where you are with your business – mastering the above skills will surely help you break into new heights.
What other skills would you add to the list?
And if you operate a business, what are the most painful lessons you’ve learnt?