One of the most common myths I hear is that people are born entrepreneurs. It’s true to an extent: some people have the natural grit and determination to make it happen from an early age. But there’s no reason anyone can’t develop a similar mindset. So, today, I’m going to go through some of the essentials that are needed to be an entrepreneur – and how you can train yourself to get there yourself.
Learn about business
First of all, entrepreneurs are known to have great business nous. But there is nothing that they know that can’t be learned from lectures, website guides, seminars and real world experience. In fact, it’s that last example that gets them where they are. Born entrepreneurs start businesses earlier than most, so they have experiences that others may not.
The answer for you, then, is to soak up everything you can about business. Go to employment law seminars and events and find out the ins and outs of protecting your company. Look into marketing techniques and how different channels work for various products or services. Surround yourself with other business owners and talk to them about how they got to where they are.
Pick up better habits
Everybody can pick up bad habits. The big question is, have you got what it takes to lose them again? There is no reason you can’t. Use what you have learned from your research phase and start to make practical use of those hints and tips. Track your results, too. One of the best ways of breaking bad habits is to measure your successes.
When you work with purpose and leave your old mindset behind, you will notice the difference. You could be more productive, or have more success on the phone getting sales. You will notice a change in your thinking, and start making better connections between your working practice and your success.
Know your weaknesses
Being an entrepreneur is really just one long process of learning – and taking things on board. I’ve already mentioned you should try and learn as much as you possibly can, but you should also be aware of your weaknesses. You can’t be great at everything, and at some point you will need to let go and hand over the reins to someone that can do a better job.
So, it’s important to understand those areas where you are weakest, and surround yourself with people that can help. Combined knowledge is powerful for any business – way more than a single person trying to do everything themselves.
Get a mentor
I can’t stress enough how important a mentor is to anyone looking to become an entrepreneur. You have to have someone around to give you feedback and help you progress. You don’t have the benefit of someone in a regular job who might have a line manager to guide them through difficult or complicated times. And, if you have no experience, there are many common pitfalls that could trip you up within your first year or two of business.
But where do you find someone? There are plenty of options out there – you could even give me a call if you wanted! Or, you could head over to Startups.co.uk and read their guide. Give this a lot of consideration by the way. If you want to make it as an entrepreneur, then a mentor is just about the most valuable tool you can draw on.
Learn how to communicate with people
Great entrepreneurs know how to talk to people, whether it’s their customers or colleagues. But the key thing to remember is that you shouldn’t talk at people. You should ask them the right questions, and listen to what they say. Great communication is a two-way process, and it doesn’t involve being pushy or making constant sales pitches.
There’s a lot to learn from your customers and colleagues. You might think your product is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they are both likely to have other ideas. Your customers can tell you where it doesn’t work, and your colleagues can give you the solutions to fix it. Learn how to communicate properly, ask the right questions, and, above all, listen. It will make you a better entrepreneur.
Get sales experience
Your passion for your product will shine through – but it takes a time to learn how to sell consistently. It’s a good idea to get some sort of experience in selling as early as possible, whichever way you can. There are plenty of sales training programs out there that could help, and you may even benefit getting some work in a pure sales environment.
You will learn a lot about what pushes people’s buttons. There’s a fine line between being pushy and effective, and those are skills that you have to have if your are to become a success. Learn people’s reactions and find out what works and what doesn’t work. And, when the time comes to scale out your fledgling business, be sure to have plenty of people on your sales team, too. There’s a lot you can learn from being around experienced sellers and watching them in action.
Learn how to be flexible
Finally, if you’re going to make it as an entrepreneur, you have to be flexible and adaptable. A lot will change in the process of forming your initial idea and getting it to market. So, if you are a bit of a stick-in-the-mud about change, then it’s going to be hard to find your success. Flexibility is key to entrepreneurialism – never forget it.
And there you go! Of course, there’s a lot more to becoming an entrepreneur than these few points. But, if you can get them into place, the rest will be a lot easier to pick up as you become more experienced. I won’t lie – it’s not going to be easy. But it is possible. I’d love to hear from you if you have ever been through the experience of becoming an entrepreneur. Why not share your secrets in the comments section below?