Its the beginning of a new year, what are your goals for the year? Is becoming an entrepreneur on the list? If so read on and if not still read on, you never can tell when you might need the knowledge for yourself or someone else.

Being an entrepreneur is a high-risk, high-reward venture. It’s a lonely path that is oftentimes very demanding, but it’s also laden with rewards and accomplishments. It’s not as hard as it seems, it’s a sandwich of diligence, patience, great ideas and of course that feeling of being your own boss!

Things to Consider

1. Assess your priorities. Ask yourself some questions about what you want out of life, as well as out of your business. What does achieving your goals in life mean to you? What is important to you? What are you willing to sacrifice? What do you need to make these priorities and goals happen? Is it a certain amount of money? A certain amount of free time?

2.  Is your personality a good fit for entrepreneurship? Becoming your own boss is a goal for many people, but some people are better suited to this lifestyle than others. Knowing how you are likely to react to events will help you achieve your goals.

  • Are you comfortable with a lot of responsibility? Entrepreneurs often have no backup and are responsible for the success or failure of their business.
  • Do you enjoy interacting with people? Almost all entrepreneurs have to do a lot of customer service, particularly at first. If you aren’t good with interacting with people, you may have difficulty getting your business off the ground.
  • How do you deal with failure? Even the most successful entrepreneurs. For example, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson have had businesses fail on them before they found a formula that worked.   
  • Do you thrive on problem-solving and creative solutions? Entrepreneurs at all levels face many problems that they need to find creative solutions for. A high tolerance for frustration and the ability to think through problems will serve you well as an entrepreneur.

3. List your strengths. Be honest with yourself as you consider your strengths and weaknesses. When you talk to potential investors or sell to clients, you will need to have a very clear idea of what your strengths are so you can communicate them to others. Also, ask friends and family to list their opinion of your strengths and weaknesses.

4. Determine to succeed. Energy and determination will get you through many of the hurdles you will face as a startup entrepreneur. Be idealistic enough to believe in yourself, but pragmatic enough to examine the realities of your situation.

Every profession requires a certain skill set to be successful in them and Entrepreneurship is no different. To become an Entrepreneur the acquisition of some entrepreneurial skills is a priority. They are but not limited to:

1.  Personal Skills

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five Minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.” -Warren Buffett

Personal skills are skills you must develop as an entrepreneur and they are simply those skills that are attached to your personality, more like habits. For instance – if you are a professional proofreader, then it’s important you develop a keen eye for spotting errors. So as an Entrepreneur you must be a ‘think tank’.

2.  Negotiation Skills

As a business owner negotiation is a ‘must do’. You negotiate with customers and suppliers over goods and services offered. You negotiate with bankers over bank loans terms and conditions, just as you negotiate with investors over equity and stakes.

Bill Gates became the richest man in the world in his thirties because he strategically negotiated a deal with IBM in his early 20s. If Bill Gates lacked persuasion skills, his name may not have been imprinted in the sands of time. So if you cannot negotiate, if you lack persuasion skills; building a business may just be a dream to you. Negotiation or persuasion is an art that can be learned, all you have to do is to devote your time to learning it and you will become a master at it.

 3. Communication skill

“If the customer says they are not interested, it means you are not interesting.” -Jeffrey Citomer

A famous speaker once said that “the fact that you are talking doesn’t mean someone is listening.” I don’t know who made this statement but I know there is an atom of truth in it. To be a successful business owner, you must be a powerful communicator. Steve Jobs successfully launched the iPod and iPad because he was a powerful communicator. Whenever Warren Buffett gives a directive or recommendation, people act.

“The most important thing in your business relationships

is your reputation for honesty. If you can genuinely and sincerely fake honesty, you will be a success. Never doubt it.”

 -The Mafia Manager