6 life skills to adapt for successful entrepreneurship
After my most recent post on our corporate blog of my Digital agency Techdivine, on “Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2017 – Click here to read the complete article), I got a message from one of the readers, asking me if I could share a blog post on “Life skills for an Entrepreneur“.
Even though I have always considered myself as being at the infancy stage of this journey, I thought of writing few pointers, not as an advice, but rather as an experience from my journey so far.
Well, life is challenging, difficult and adventurous, at least for most of us. Others, have either learnt to adapt extremely well or as the old quote goes, ‘ignorance is bliss’.
Needless to say, it’s always great to have few life skills which go a long way in building a successful business.
I have worked for about Seven to eight years in the corporate world prior to starting my entrepreneurship journey. In the past six to seven years as an entrepreneur, I can honestly say that it is extremely challenging and that too not on a few occasions, but rather on a daily basis and it’s an amazing learning experience every single day.
There is no doubt that working as an employee whether as a trainee or a middle management level professional or being at the helm of corporate affairs as a top management key decision maker etc, has its own massive level of challenges, but the journey of entrepreneurship is like no other. The levels of stress, pressures, unpredictable responses and results on a daily basis etc takes its toll on thousands of business founders every day to great and grave extremes.
Life is unpredictable, but, here are few day to day skills that I felt have come handy to me to sustain, survive and flourish:
- Health, Managing Stress, low self-esteem and confidence: In the year 2012, I underwent two massive health related life changes that put me into a bed-rest for a long time. But that was not the worst part, for me, the biggest concern was the fact that I was just two years into my entrepreneurship journey and I could not afford to lie down (pun intended). Luckily for me, it was a digital business that I was running and I was blessed that I could conduct my day to work and business even in that state, logged in online from a remote location to a great extent. The moment I was slowly on the verge of completely recovering by March – April 2013 or so, I pushed myself and got into long distance running. Soon in 2014 and 2015 I had completed 2,000 Kms of total running across marathon events etc In 2016, due to an excessive amount of daily travel across different cities and locations and that coupled with my numerous excuses to work out, I completely lost my focus on health again and have just now got back into it, right from day one of 2017. No one cannot afford to fall sick, true! But as an entrepreneur, it’s impossible to even imagine it. So the first thing you as an entrepreneur need to adapt in terms of your top LIFE SKILL for 2017 is “Health”. This includes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating right, working out, etc and also aspects like managing stress. There might be times when health affects us without a warning or due to no logical reason, but other than that, it is our duty to ensure great health to be able to deliver exceptional work for our client brand partners at all times. No excuses! I have also added skills such as self-esteem and building up confidence within the context of HEALTH as I strongly believe: “Our confidence and the way we feel about ourselves, has a lot to do with how our mind perceives it, our body reacts to it and how the world sees it”. So if you are an introvert like me, then put efforts, take steps, start meeting a smaller circle of people and slowly expand and grow with it. If you have low self-esteem because of where you have come from, then make that all the more the reason to go out there and make a difference. Remember, through good health, you have a lifelong commitment that improves the quality of your life & enables you to do great work consistently.
- Literacy: Reading, writing and of course, digital literacy: Make it a habit to read and if it is not your habit yet, then start by reading topics or subjects that you generally enjoy watching or discussing for eg. sports, wealth, life, fiction stories, finance etc The beauty about reading is that, there are legends, icons, industry experts who through their books are giving us a glimpse of things to do and not to do based on their decades of life experiences. I love reading: Some of my favorite authors are: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Dan Brown, Arthur Hailey, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Peter Drucker, Stephen Covey, Lee Iacocca, Sudha Murthy, Napoleon Hill, Tony Robbins, Paulo Coelho, Charles Dickens, James Joyce, Alan Moore, Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, Stan Lee, Scott Fitzgerald, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, etc I love reading Autobiographies, Management, Biographies, Fiction, Life and Self-help, Comic books and Graphic Novels, Business magazines etc. Reading on a regular basis empowers you in a way as an entrepreneur that I cannot explain. It’s refreshing! With that, make it a habit to start writing, may be in your own journal or diary or on a blog etc regularly as it helps you to forcibly keep yourself updated and upgraded with the know-how of the latest tools, process etc followed in your industry. This again helps you in delivering state of the art focused services and or develop innovative solutions for your clients consistently. With that comes, digital literacy. It’s no longer alright to say, I don’t know how to blog or to write a post on LinkedIn or to tweet! It’s not about whether it is essential. It’s about what is necessary. You don’t require to be on every digital platform, rather choose one or two and be consistently and sincerely across that platform and focus on delivering value to prospects, readers and end users at all times. Going global is no longer optional as the world shrinks into one big global village.
- Leadership: If you have the five skills shared below, you are a Leader:
- You appreciate others: You are among the first ones to appreciate someone for their skills, know-how, talent, hard work, nature etc and not just when you want something from them, but sincerely and always!
- You value others time, skill and money: You never expect and or ask someone to work for free for you. Imagine if you were asked to do it, would you sustain as a business or a professional? Those who perform exceptional quality of work always understand the value and respect others time, efforts and skills. Remember, it’s a business not a charity organization. If you want to do good, do it for people who are less privileged and who really deserve it, not because they are not ready to pay you. There is a clear difference between price and value in life. If you are good at something, never agree to do it for a price that you are not comfortable with, it devalues your hard work and skill.
- You Listen and are ready to learn: Every great leader is also a great listener.
- You are high on ethics, mutual respect and values: Everyone wants to grow, but never do it by compromising on ethics, mutual respect and values.
- You stand-up for what you believe and honestly know to be true and not just to defend your ego. Did you know, false ego is listed as among the top 3 reasons for failures in corporate and businesses across the globe. When someone asks me what I do, I have always said that I am in the business of building “client brand partners” and not customers. Customers come, join in and leave but client partners stay with you for an amazing successful journey. These are people who have mutual respect, who understand the value of time, money and skills. They know what it takes to build and deliver exceptional service. Most important of all, they know to look at all the facts prior to making claims that might affect business relationships forever. These are the wonderful professionals who know when it’s time to let go of that ego and focus on the positives to build a great business together and these are true leaders.
4. Time management: Each and every one of us has the same amount of time. It’s all about priorities. First things first!
5. Communication: Often it is observed that people who are not very good at public speaking or communication, tend to form their own inner circle of friends and group of people and keep themselves limited to them. So work on your communication skills, if you need assistance, reach me, I would be glad to share some guides, tips, helpful ideas, process etc to help you hone your communication and or public speaking skills to the extent I can.
6. Learning: The learning curve never ends. I learn digital marketing and upgrade myself on social media know-how skill sets etc not once a year or a month, but honestly, every single day. There is always something new and exciting to learn. The more you learn, the better quality of services and products you can create for your client brand partners.
Of course, Will Power, motivation etc are core skills to life, but nothing beats self-initiation. That is the greatest motivator as it works on not just a goal but on “WHY”, as in the WHY behind your reason to do what you do.
Remember, if you are the smartest person in your group, it’s time to get into a new group. If you are the happiest person in the group, well, then enjoy life, spread the cheer and have an amazing year ahead.
Do share your comments, would love to hear from you.