I was fortunate to attend a great conference for entrepreneurs recently. One of the many things that had me in awe was the vast range in ages. It was a day that was packed full of great information for those that were just starting their entrepreneurial journey as well as those that are already down that road but wanted to keep on learning and sharing. Not just the ages varied, the level of experiences ranged from “thinking about starting a business” to “sold my company for several hundred million dollars”. I took tons of notes and learned lots from my peers but what I want to share is an observation on the 3 most important skills that I noticed were a must have for an entrepreneur to succeed.
Dreaming – Like the Motley Crue song that starts off with “You know I’m a dreamer” all entrepreneurs are dreamers. It’s what we do. If you know an entrepreneur it might be frustrating at times but realize that our society would never have the progress it does without the dreamers. Most people see problems and complain about them. Entrepreneurs see problems and think how they can solve them, improve the quality of life for everyone. Eventually they start to think about how to make money from the idea but that’s never the genesis. It’s always about improving our quality of life and providing value. Some ideas might seem far-fetched and ridiculous and others hit you like hammer and you think “Why didn’t I think of that?”.
Self Starters – You’ve heard the expression “Ideas are a dime a dozen”. Well, I’m not sure they are still that inexpensive but the point is that without follow through on an idea, they really are worthless. How many times have you heard someone tell you that they had this or that great idea. They even had it before someone else. But they never took action. Successful entrepreneurs take action. They understand that it is okay to fail so they might as well get to success or failure as soon as possible. It’s in failure that we learn so much. The worst thing you can do is stand still. Since the world is moving so fast, standing still is falling behind. Failing and failing fast can be just the thing you need in order to succeed. Story after story I heard about entrepreneurs failing and out of failure came the idea or the learning lesson they needed to propel themselves to the next level. Clearly, successful entrepreneurs take action right away.
Relationship Building – Yes, that’s right, lastly, the best entrepreneurs are relationship builders. They get out of their basement or bedroom and interact with others. They go to networking events and meet new people. They call prospective customers and ask about problems they are having. Then they ask them if they can solve their problem would they do business with them. They show gratitude when someone helps them. Relationship builders know that it doesn’t cost a lot to send a thank you. Relationship builders get to know people and get to know about their family. Relationship builders know that the way to build a great team around you is to build relationships. People want to be in business with people they LIKE, KNOW and TRUST.