Being an entrepreneur requires a particular skill set. The best in the business have honed this with years of experience that has seen them encounter and overcome adversity, luck, and everything in between. These skills are not just gained as byproducts of experience as most of these skills can be learned and practised on your own and can be passed on when you see fit. Many entrepreneurs are looking at viable ways to obtain and develop these skills, but time is of the essence of being a successful entrepreneur. Learning and understanding the job is vital rather than devoting time to a workshop developed to combat this.
Here are a few exercises that you can incorporate into and follow in your daily life, thus improving your leadership skills and helping you better your communication, man management and ability to take and implement important decisions.
1. Using random words within your sales calls.
Handling sales is all about thinking on your feet and spin a yarn that can keep the customer interested in the conversation or the product. Trying to predict a conversation is a futile task, but you should be able to engage with the customer to make the sales call forward. So you must try to think on your feet and keep your head in the conversation at hand, as this is an essential skill for an entrepreneur.
To improve your spontaneity, you can engage in exercises like making a sales call recorded and telling a co-worker or friend to tell you a few random words to speak a few sentences on. This exercise may be challenging at first, but it will improve your speaking and creative skills drastically.
2. Always do your research before a meeting.
The importance of meetings and widening your network cannot be understated when running a business. Entrepreneurs must engage in thorough research of potential clients, companies and other executives before a meeting. It is vital to possess the information and the biodata of these potential clients.
Both companies and individuals should be well researched on. Something as simple as a Google search can provide you with essential information about a client or a company. People like to do business with businesses and people they can relate with, and a simple search can give you a great deal of influence over these meetings. Research should also be one of the strong suits for any entrepreneur.
3. Read the news every day.
Being up to date with current affairs should be a prerequisite for working in a multi-million corporation. It is vital to pick a news channel or newspaper of your choice and start following it as a staunch habit.
Working knowledge on current events is also essential for the head of any business as events in the real world have genuine repercussions in business world. Business meetings also heavily involve current affairs, so knowledge about them is necessary to survive at the very top.
4. Always learn hard statistics.
Any businessman can quote policies and empty projections. Only a successful entrepreneur can back up said policies, projections, and business plans with adequate data from reliable sources. Learning these complex numbers provide you with an extra sheen of authority, as to refute or question them will be to go against any logic.
Cost of the raw material, profit margins and labour charges are often overlooked yet vital information in your company. Customers can often put you in a spot with these questions and knowing these numbers. You will have a more holistic idea of the business while also being able to answer the customer.
5. Enjoy life in between.
Business can often be a full-time job but finding that bit of time to spend with friends and family is also a step toward success.
Caught up in the web of meetings and deadlines, you should never forget to have fun, as constant pressure can lead to burnout. A break helps you revitalize and re-centre your work and professional life. This makes your career leap forward in massive bounds.
6. Never judge.
Forming judgments is typical human behaviour. But who likes being on the receiving end? Entrepreneurs must overcome this nature to evaluate a person based on their professionalism and work ethic rather than using other parameters.
In business, it takes courage to go beyond a first impression and form educated opinions on people rather than risking a potential partnership due to harsh judgment.
7. Get straight to the point.
Beating around the bush in a conversation is universally hated. If you want to say something, getting to the point with minimal background noise is the best way to deal with any situation. You should adopt this directness into every conversation and get over your irrational fear of hurting people by being too direct. Addressing the real issues shows you are a person of integrity, class and leadership.
8. Conversation on trivial things.
Since entrepreneurs are constantly required to get into and promote new networks, conversational skills cannot be ignored. A simple exercise is to talk on silly and banal topics in any conversation to hone this skill.
This may seem to be a pointless exercise, but going up to random people and holding a conversation on a silly topic for at least 30 minutes will improve your conversational skills and help catch the listener’s attention.
9. Remembering the little things.
People like to be remembered. No matter what heights a person has reached, noticing the intricacies in their demeanour or daily work attire can be worked into an intelligent conversation starter.
Memorizing details like this, especially of clients and boards members, help establish a rapport, which could be crucial to carrying the relationship forward. By paying attention to the people around you, you will inadvertently train your memory into incorporating their intricacies into your memory.
10. Conquer your stage fright
What pulls an aspiring entrepreneur back is the lack of confidence in executing and planning something truly inspirational. The reasons are usually that they are afraid of failing or taking a risk.
It is essential to conquering this fear by actively embracing something silly or trivial in public and going through with it. A small step in this direction, every day fan wonders for your confidence and makes you care less about public perception. This, in turn, will do wonders for your professional career.