This is usually the first step i recommend to anyone who wants to develop or improve his/her entrepreneurial skills. One thing i love about entrepreneurship is the fact that it can’t be learned within the four walls of school. Real entrepreneurial skills are picked up on the streets. It’s a kind of practical thing. Now suppose you were to attend a seminar on marketing and sales; how do you intend to put into practice what you have been taught if you don’t have a business.
Whenever i am asked the question; “how do i develop entrepreneurship skills? I reply, “Go and start a small business.” A small business can be a great source of information and practical experience with respect to running a business and improving your business skills. The main reason i emphasize you start a small business is this; mistakes can be made and corrected quickly in a small business. I wrote an article tagged “The magic of starting a small business.” I will advice you read it.
2. Read business, industrial and technological magazines
Another way to improve your entrepreneurial skills is by reading business, industrial and technological publications. This will keep you on edge and very well informed. Reading these publications will help you spot upcoming trends and innovations. It will also help you keep track of your industry leaders.
3. Read books on business and entrepreneurship
The next way to develop your entrepreneurial skills is by reading books on business, entrepreneurship and any book worth reading. Like i said in previous articles, entrepreneurs are generalist and must know a little of everything and one way to achieve this is by reading. Entrepreneurial skills development is all about continuous learning.
4. Attend seminars
Attending seminars is a sure way to develop your entrepreneurial skills. Good seminars are usually tough and straight to the point. Just like a mentor of mine says “Schools are for employees, seminars are for street smart entrepreneurs.”
5. Read autobiographies and biographies of successful entrepreneurs
When you read the autobiographies and biographies of successful entrepreneurs, you gain insights into their entrepreneurial lifestyle. Such books will help you prepare for the challenges of the business world. In such books, you will find the grass to grace stories of successful entrepreneurs. You will learn from the mistakes of these successful entrepreneurs, the challenges they faced and how they handled these challenges.
6. Join organizations such as toastmasters
I hope you know that entrepreneurial skills comprise of communication skills, people skills, leadership skills, negotiation skills and so on. Joining organizations such as Toastmasters will help you develop the communication aspect of your entrepreneurial skills. Before becoming an entrepreneur, you need to work on your charisma, confidence and self esteem. Without communication skills and other skills, forget about being an entrepreneur.
7. Network with other entrepreneurs
An adage says “iron sharpens iron.” When you network with other employees, you gain new ideas and information. Joining an entrepreneurial network is a sure way to develop your entrepreneurial skills because in such networks, you tend to discover your strengths and weaknesses. In such entrepreneurial networks, partnerships are formed, entrepreneurial skills are developed, ideas and strategies are shared and business opportunities are uncovered and analyzed. An example of such club is the CashFlow Club, which specializes on entrepreneurial skills development and financial literacy.
8. Find a mentor
The last step to developing your entrepreneurial skills is to find a mentor. Now who is a mentor? A mentor is a person who has passed through a given field and has decided to nurture you through that same field. Having a mentor will help you avoid certain mistakes new startups make. A mentor can also be a great source of leverage for you and your business. In all, i always advise entrepreneurs to use every opportunity they have to learn something new and improve their business skills. Good luck.
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