For many entrepreneurs, the prospect of launching a new company can be a life-changing experience. But to get to the point where their start-up is ready to take on investors, prepare a marketing plan, and adequately prepare a product or service for release to the public or to other businesses, most entrepreneurs will have to develop a reliable set of soft skills that will enable them to reach new heights of success within their field.
Here are just a few great soft skills that every entrepreneur must familiarize themselves with at some point in their careers, and why these skills definitely matter in 2020.
- Communication Skills
To launch a successful company and achieve big results, it is no secret that an entrepreneur will need to communicate with a wide variety of different professionals over the course of their careers. These include employees, investors, business partners, and marketers. In the business world, there can be little doubt that networking is also an essential communication skill.
Communication skills come in a variety of forms, but even entrepreneurs who experience anxiety in social situations should regularly practice their ability to hold engaging conversations. Even the most basic social niceties make in-person meetings much easier and far more productive in the long run. Entrepreneurs don’t have to be social butterflies, but even shy business leaders need to speak up once in a while.
- Leadership Skills
It almost goes without saying that entrepreneurs will need to have good leadership skills in their wheelhouse if they are to take their companies to the next level. However, being a top-tier leader doesn’t simply mean telling other people what to do: After all, persuasive arguments often do far more good than commands in the workplace.
Moreover, good leaders need to earn the respect of the people around them by making good on big promises. Above all else, trustworthiness is essential to the development of good leadership skills.
- A Strong Work Ethic
Building a company from scratch doesn’t just require a clever idea or a winning marketing strategy. Becoming an entrepreneur is hard work: There is a reason why famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk were known as veritable workhorses in the early days of their respective start-ups.
Having a strong work ethic shouldn’t require a person to sacrifice their personal life or health, but entrepreneurs should be prepared to put in long hours while they are getting their company off the ground.
But working long hours isn’t necessarily an effective business strategy if an entrepreneur loses time by focusing on the wrong tasks. Indeed, deciding what to work on is often just as important as deciding how to work on it. This is why many successful entrepreneurs use the so-called “80/20” rule.
In general, this rule suggests that there is a disproportionate relationship between problems and solutions. For example, Microsoft executives and employees discovered that fixing twenty percent of company coding errors actually solved eighty percent of the company’s general software issues.
There are no two ways about it: Entrepreneurs must choose their battles in the workplace if they want to avoid a veritable avalanche of unnecessary busywork. When every minute counts, entrepreneurs should not have to worry about unnecessary problems. Truly, that is entrepreneurship at its best!