‘Entrepreneurship Is Learned Not Taught’ – 5 Skills That You Need To Start Your Own Business

Maja Nawloka

27th of August 2020

Entrepreneurs are the driving force towards innovation and market growth. A new company means new problem solutions, new ideas, and new workplace creation. In 2018 there were almost 35 million self-employed people in Europe. However, not even half of them claim that the school gave them skills to run their own business (41%).  

It might explain why it is common to say that ‘Entrepreneurship is learned not taught’.

How do you know if you will be able to build your own company from scratch? And what does it take to be your own boss instead of being a dependent employee? Those questions have crossed the mind of many and could be a turning point in your career path. However, you need to remember that being an entrepreneur requires specific skills that ground qualities such as creativity, persistence, or leadership. Here are 5 skills that we perceive as the most crucial ones. You might have them already or develop them, as you start your venture.

1. Turn ideas into action – be determined

Becoming an employee is way easier than starting your own company. You will need to have the determination and inner drive to turn your ideas into action. Now you are your boss – and everything depends on your time management. The start can be full of frustration, as your hard work might not pay off immediately. That’s why your motivation here is crucial. The idea itself is never enough without the proper execution.

Let’s take a look at Amazon. Now, Jeff Bezos is getting close to being the first trillionaire and probably the most successful entrepreneur of the last decade.

However, he was facing humble beginnings as a young visionary CEO. He started his bookstore website in 1995 in his garage with a desk made out of a wooden door.

But his determination and clear business vision were present from the very first days. He saw Amazon, as an “everything store” and put strong believe in its future market domination. This is what you call giving ideas life.

Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown

2. Ability to spot trends/market niches – recognize the opportunities.

What if you already have the idea and determination? In entrepreneurship, there is one more factor that surely defines the success of your business – timing. Being knowledgeable about the market you are about to enter is crucial for your company to have a shot in the future. Even a great, innovative idea will not attract any investors if there is no possible demand for your product. As a prospering entrepreneur, you will need to develop this sixth sense as well as the ability to validate your assumptions. The best way to do it is through understanding the industry’s competition, business structure, or possible new technologies. It will help you anticipate any disruptions or major changes in the market just in time to think about possible business adjustments.

You might want to consider learning a little bit about market research techniques before making the first entrepreneurial steps. It will enable you to collect relevant data about the market, customers, or product itself. If you want to check some of the possible methods, you can read more here.

3. Networking – broaden your professional connections

‘Its all about networking’ might be one of those sentences that we hear too often. However, broadening your professional network is one of the keys to success. It will pay off in the most unprecedented ways. Possible investors, future employees, or maybe your next business partner, all those people are within your reach. You only need to go out there and give it a chance to happen. In the era of social media building your network is easier than ever. In the first stages of your company development, a strong connection system can save you a lot of time and make your business grow more effectively.

Photo by You X Ventures

As an entrepreneur, you need to understand the difference between just meeting people and networking. Your goal is to get to know people who want to do business with you. It might be useful to set a networking plan to which you can commit. Try asking yourself questions such as "How many new leads I want to create per month?" "What type of professionals would benefit my business?" or just simply "What do I want to achieve through my network?"  Then it will be easier to execute the networking process in a way suitable for your company's needs.

4. Thinking outside the box – creativity

Being an entrepreneur means being a creator. You need to think differently than others to build something outstanding and innovative. Your ideas should be far from “average” or “normal” and you should not be afraid to use them. That’s how your business becomes more competitive. But creativity does not always mean the execution of completely new ideas. You might want to develop a product that already exists in a novel way. In the end, it is all about creating a link between the creative and the business mind to get a head start over your competitors. However, creativity is not easily unlocked if you are used to a highly structured work environment. The good news is that there are plenty of exercises, which can help you gain a fresh perspective. You can start by reading this article.

5. Strong work ethic

Successful entrepreneurs understand the labor disadvantage they face. Now, you are the one who is organizing the workday and divide the workload. Without stable funding, you might need to cut your costs and complete more tasks on your own. It can be a curse for people lacking self- determination. Working with a growth mindset is a good start for your intrinsic motivation, which will spread into your team afterward. Your consistency will be translated into future solid business results.

Bill Gates, when talking about the early funding stage of Microsoft, said "I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one.” This might come across as extreme, however, the advice is there. The hard work pays off and you need to develop the persistency, the faster the better. Then you can set the pace for the whole organization.

Photo by Corinne Kutz

Becoming an entrepreneur is an exciting career change. No matter if you are already experienced or if you are making your first steps into self-employment, any career advice might be helpful. That’s why Kibo was created. It is a fully digital career coach accessible any time any day. You can check our website for expert advice on your career path. Need job-related resources? Follow our Instagram page for regular posts about your possible career direction.

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