“Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.”
– Lori Greiner
For nearly thirteen years I was someone else’s employee. I either worked in the restaurant business or retail industry. But both types of jobs had a commonality: I was miserable. I was working my way through college and just needed income. It would be years before I discovered I could make money from home or even from my writing. But I wish I had done then what I’m doing now.
If the entrepreneurial bug has bitten you as well, consider yourself to be in good company. While I love what I do now, I’ll be the first to say that it hasn’t been easy. Quite frankly, I fell into being an entrepreneur by accident. In 2012, I had only been out of college a year when I began working at a small-town newspaper. But that job wouldn’t last long. Three months into the job, a car accident broke twelve bones within three limbs. I had to learn to walk and write again. Eighteen months later, I was left with arthritis in my foot and the inability to drive. But back then, and even now, I have never let that get me down.
Being an entrepreneur is not for everybody. But if you have the skills below, I am certain that you will succeed at whatever endeavor you set forth to accomplish. There’s not a goal that’s too challenging for you to do. Without further ado, let’s find out more about these entrepreneur skills!
Determination. You must be self-driven to get out of bed each morning. What is your purpose as an entrepreneur? Do you want to make a difference? Do you want to reach others on social media? Do you want to change lives and perspectives with your products? These are all worthy purposes. You have to stay determined to achieve each of your goals. Don’t let anyone tell you that a goal is too difficult, nor don’t accept that a product won’t sell because it’s not the right audience. You have to get your feet wet. Try different ideas. Only then will you grow.
Comfort to be alone. Ninety percent of my work is completed while I’m home alone. If you want to be your own boss—if you want to break out the 9-5 grind—then you have to be okay with this. You’re not going to meet co-workers at the water cooler or hear office gossip. How you communicate will also change. You may Skype or FaceTime more than text or talk on the phone. Ultimately, whether work gets done is up to you. There isn’t a boss pressuring you to write a report or to complete a project. You set your own deadlines; you meet your own deadlines.
Sales. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re making money from home. This means that you’re selling products and/or services to customers. Most of the entrepreneurs choose online and offline marketing strategies. A majority of entrepreneurs, however, focus on marketing via social networks. This means that they pay for advertising on sites such as Instagram or Facebook. As an entrepreneur, this means that you’ll have to develop a marketing strategy. It includes how much you will spend on each marketing campaign, when you will advertise, where you will advertise and which demographics you will target with your advertisement. You have to advertise on a constant basic, too, in order to help your brand make a difference.
Money management. If you struggle managing money, it may be wise to take a course in how to improve this. As sales flow in your products, you’re going to have to track expenses. There are tax write-offs for your business of which you can take advantage, but the money in your business should also return to your business. Use it to purchase office supplies, books if you’re going to a book signing, or travel expenses if you travel for your business. There are apps and computer programs that do the math for you if you just input the numbers.
Branding. If you’re a company, your brand has to stand out to your customer. Your logo and slogan speak to what your company values the most. Your mission statement, company’s about us page and their FAQ page all help customers understand who the brand is behind their logo. Furthermore, your interaction with customers on social media speaks volumes. Are you personable or aloof? Do you present giveaways or promotions to your customers? This is all part of your brand. It’s what makes you recognizable.
Exceptional customer relationships. Finally, you wouldn’t have a brand without your customers. Respect the golden rule when it comes to your clients: Treat them as you would want to be treated yourself. If you treat your customers like family, they are going to sing your praises to their family and friends. In turn, these additional people will theoretically become your customers. But if you’re rude and aloof, can you imagine what they would say? I’m betting it wouldn’t be anything good. Bad customers are a dime a dozen, but you should you encounter one—shower them with promotions. Give them coupons and free entries to your promotion. This, hopefully, makes up for your mistake.
So do you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur? I must say that it’s wonderful being my own boss. I’m not planning on working for anyone else in the near future.