10 Useful Skills That Will Make You A Better Entrepreneur

Working as a consultant for entrepreneurs is exciting and stressful at the same time. I know because I’ve done it for years. So I decided to share some of my observations that might be useful for entrepreneurs and not only.

Not having these skills will not ruin you but will certainly slow you down. But, again, this is not an exhaustive list, just a “top of my mind” approach that would be very precious, especially for those at the beginning of the road that makes the leap from freelancing to entrepreneurship.

  1. Creating rules based on your principles. Any company is similar to the entrepreneur who creates it. In the beginning, especially if you don’t have a lot of employees, it will be easy to express how other people should behave, act or think concerning your business to respect what you want to create. Principles are like a lighthouse in the dark and in the night. In the beginning, they might be straightforward and easy. But the best way to share them is to express them as laying the foundations for the rules: not too many, not too few, but clear for everybody. Once set, everyone must respect them. You must respect them the best. At the same time, it is important to train this skill because your principles evolve, and so do you.

  2. Express gratitude. Train yourself to use any anniversary, any opportunity to thank people who contribute. Thank your clients after buying from you. Thank your collaborators for doing a good job. Thank your employees for reaching their goals. Thank your partners for supporting you. If you believe in God, keep this in mind: do not wish for God to give you how much you can take! You can take and have as much as you want as a burden in this life. Whatever you want, God can give you. But, to keep it, you must remember to be satisfied with less and with more, to take any success as a gift from God and not as merit. Gratitude is a crucial skill for an entrepreneur.

  3. Recognize the teachable people. There are no absolute incompetents, only people who don’t manifest or have lost the capacity to learn. Therefore, choose wisely to work with only those who can be taught. Do not hope that giving chances to seemingly talented people will make them fly and become stars. Most often, the people you like the most are not those who necessarily perform the best. Welcome the people who you choose to improve their career working with you!

  4. Train yourself to make distinctions between options, possibilities, opportunities, and probabilities. All might sound similar, but they are very different. Anything is possible until you have to choose options. Then, those options must be at least probable. Between the possible options, you have to prioritize your opportunities and decide whether you want to choose them or create them. But remember, whatever you do, your options must be possible and probable also! Many young professionals start their entrepreneurship careers doing business plans like they did during faculty but fail miserably. Know your territory and act upon that knowledge!

  5. Constantly develop yourself. What happens when the one thing that you can do for your clients is the thing that stops you the most from developing yourself? The competition will likely take over in a matter of time. You need to constantly be a source for re-invention. Working for your own development should not be in competition with working for your customers or with your employees. Time for yourself to develop is also needed to enhance your business.

  6. How much do you allow yourself and others to act authentically in a relationship? First, find and recognize other people’s values, beliefs, and convictions. Beliefs are convictions we believe to be true. Attitudes are collections of beliefs and values around a specific topic. There aren’t such as “non-value” or “anti-value”; there are only different beliefs, values, and attitudes. Each person is motivated by different scopes, and if you learn to discover those asking specific questions (such as some from the LAB profile), it is worth using them and linking them with each of the critical actions that need to be taken for your business plans to work. Values lead to motivation. Motivation leads to vision. Vision leads to strategy. Why? Because where there’s a will, there’s a way. If the strategy does not consider the employees’ values, it will be challenging to implement the strategy. Read further here and here about values.

  7. Use the faults of the employees in favor of the teams. Knowing that a particular person has low performance in a specific area means that you know not to delegate to that person something (s)he might do which is wrong. Creating teams taking into consideration both their strong points and their weak points is a service that you can do, creating the kind of complementarity that the collaborators could and should appreciate.

  8. Constantly shape in your mind the model of the best entrepreneur that you can be. How does that feel? What does this model do? How do you see him or her? Remember, it’s a model; it’s not Superman; it doesn’t have to be perfect. Practice in your mind what you would do in different types of situations: with your employees, with the clients, with the partners. Put yourself in the shoes of people who need to make difficult decisions. What’s worth doing to become such an entrepreneur? What is it essential to give up to become this model?

  9. How do you communicate the truth diplomatically and be convincing without lying? Practice rhetorics and argumentation. What’s worth doing to prove that you are right? Sometimes, it’s not enough to be correct. It also depends on how you say it. Different reframing strategies are required to make each person think in his/her own way because not everybody will be convinced by the same arguments. It doesn’t matter who is correct; it matters what makes things profitable. Also, please remember that what others perceive as a message matters, not what we intend to transmit.

  10. Serve your clients for their own good, don’t please them. Politicians, coaches, and psychologists may often be “punished” for actually serving those who chose them. Satisfying the clients is something that others can do very quickly, but it takes some courage to educate your clients to recognize their own deep needs and to be glad they are actually served by what you are offering.

Marcus Victor Grant

Copyright © Marcus Victor Grant 2017-present, all rights reserved.

The materials on this blog are subject to this disclaimer.


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