It is said that every year only three to four percent of the total population on earth are courageous enough to start on their own. Out of that, I think only one percent successfully establish their business while the rest join the ever growing list of failed entrepreneurs.
Although every business requires a specific skill set and related domain knowledge, there are some general qualities which you must develop if you want to get going in any business. I say 'develop' and not 'have' because I don't think these skills are rocket science and if you've got the willingness, you can easily develop them and carry on your business in a better manner.
Be A Visionary
Yeah, I know what you are thinking. Here comes the first cliche; I'll agree. But when I say be a visionary, I don't mean you should have grand visions right from the start. There should be a definite goal in your mind and you should work towards achieving that goal. You could always start with small goals initially and every time you achieve them, set yourself new challenges. And soon you'll find that you've got a vision, a vision which you never thought you could achieve and now, it suddenly seems possible.
Now here's the thing - you develop a strategy and start working towards your goal. But the world's changing everyday and soon you realize that the strategy isn't working. In this case, you should immediately adapt to the changes and adopt new methods of working while keeping your vision intact.
Mix Passion With Planning
If you aren't passionate enough, chances of your succeeding in your business are slim. But if you get carried away by passion, that's equally harmful for your work. Hence the idea is to mix passion and enthusiasm with planning and execution.
Communicate Like A Pro
It's not only about talking to the other person or to your client. It's about every form of communication, be it on phone, through email, through a letter or any other way of sending your thoughts across. Effective communication is one of the must have leadership skills and if you think you aren't very good at this, prepare to learn how to communicate in the most effective manner, convince others and get more business.
Network Like A Pro
Another essential ingredient for success in business. Identify the right people and establish relationships which are long lasting. Apart from helping you in your business, these relationships can also help in your personal life.
Being aggressive doesn't mean you are always pumped up and blindly grab every opportunity that comes in your way. It means you are ready to take risks, sometimes calculated and sometimes out of your gut-feeling. It means you aren't satisfied with an achievement and are hungry for more. It means you are available 24X7 for your work. And yes, it also means you are ready to make sacrifices when required.
Without a doubt, persistence is a must-have trait for anyone who hopes to make it big in his business. So what exactly is persistence? Here's how Seth Godin defines it:
"Persistence isn't using the same tactics over and over. That's just annoying. Persistence is having the same goal over and over."Do Things Differently
That's what winners do, isn't it ? Apply new techniques and tricks to an already existing business model instead of trying to search for that new idea. You'll save time. ( And this is what I've been trying to do with this article too I guess :)
Really, the learning never stops when you are self employed. And you should never let it stop either. No matter how big your business grows, you should keep learning everyday and apply new techniques to make your business better.
Never Be Complacent
If organizations like Enron and WorldCom can bite the dust then anything can happen. No business, absolutely no business can be considered fool-proof. One mistake and the empire could crumble. Complacency is usually the first step towards this destruction. So better not be complacent.
I'd love to know what do you think. Do you consider yourself successful in your business ? If you do then do you think the aforementioned skills are essential ? Let me know in comments.