This is the first in a series of posts detailing my work with entrepreneurs and specifically how I can help you. Even if you don’t see yourself as an entrepreneur, the skills described below can help you excel in many fields.
Entrepreneurial skills are in high demand. From people leading their own businesses to people working within their own organizations to create new value. Being able to access these skills is extremely valuable in both your professional and personal spheres.
So what are these skills? Broadly defined I would describe them as a combination of attitudes and techniques that allow a person to manage a larger than average set of unknowns within an unproven environment and create new value.
For example, our traditional definition of an entrepreneur is someone who creates a new business (whether that be a product or service). In this scenario, our protagonist sees an opportunity in the marketplace and she deals with the process of creating the product that serves this need. There is no playbook or set of instructions for her to follow. Instead, she must deal with the uncertainty, solve the problems and bring the new into existence.
However, there are many more situations than this classic example that require the skill set I speak of. Take, for example, a teacher tasked with teaching students where traditional methods have failed, a company executive tasked with creating a new business line or a civic leader trying to bring services to a remote underserved environment. Are these people not also entrepreneurs?
The truth is that most, if not all, of us, call upon some measure of these abilities at some point in our lives. Congratulations, you are also an entrepreneur!
Back to our two categories; attitudes and techniques.
Attitudes govern how you will react to any given situation. Partly, this is nature but these are also learned practices. Even the most risk adverse person can develop the ability to operate in uncertainty.
Techniques are specific methods of achieving a task that you can use. Thankfully for our wish to improve, our attitudes can be shaped by deliberate and focused application of techniques both old and new. While you may not be what you do at the start, you’ll surely start becoming what you do.
So here’s a favorite technique of mine that you can use starting today…
One of biggest misconceptions most people have about entrepreneurs is that they love and seek risk. In my experience, this is far from true. What I have witnessed is that rather than seek out risks to take, the most successful entrepreneurs seek to understand, contain and mitigate risks.
Next time you are faced with an opportunity to take any decision you feel is ‘risky’ do the following. Imagine what could go wrong and what would happen then, write it down. Not just one thing that could go wrong, but everything. Every single thing.
Your result should be a list of exceptionally epic mishaps. Read that list closely. How likely are they really? Seldom does the worst really happen. Even when something goes badly, the fallout can be mitigated if you are prepared (even just mentally prepared) for it.
Now act, change your approach if necessary - but act. Acting after performing this exercise not only increases your possibility of long-term success but also starts to train the neural pathways in your brain to accept the presence of risk in your actions.
My next post I'm going to cover some of the biggest misconceptions about entrepreneurs around today - especially in our pop-culture and media.
Until then, keep moving forward. I would love to know if this is helpful to you in the comments below. As always I’m always available to work one-on-one with you. Just use this link to book a free session for us to work together on your agenda.