Anatomy of an Entrepreneur Part 1 (10 Necessary Talents)
According to Gallup "The world's most successful entrepreneurs are born with rare talents. These business builders can turn ideas into customers."
So what are these mysterious rare talents? Do you have them? Do I? Will our businesses be doomed to failure if we don't possess this rare, potent mixture of business-savvy skills?
Well, Gallup has created a talents-based assessment to find these "diamonds in the rough" and for only $12 you'll discover in 30 minutes or less if you've hit the nature/nurture jackpot. Nope, I haven't taken the test but I do want to talk about these "rare talents".
I'm not going to cover all 10 in one TL;DR post. Let's face it you didn't click on this to read a novel about entrepreneurial skills. So this post will only cover the first 2.
It's kind of a misleading title. I mean who starts a business and then decides to focus on other things? Like gee, I've got this business now but I always wanted to take up scrapbooking or learn Mandarin (for the record I never wanted to take up scrapbooking).
Business Focus actually means you "make decisions based on [an] observed or anticipated effect on profit." In other words, you consider how everything will affect you bottom line. You also look to the future and set goals for yourself to make sure you're on track.
This can be difficult when you're first starting out, especially if you're offering a service. You're struggling with the catch-22 of needing your first few clients to build up a portfolio and also having clients demand to see a portfolio of work. How do you ever get that portfolio without clients? What if you have clients who for reasons of confidentiality don't want the work you've done for them shared with others?
It can all get pretty sticky and a lot of creatives or entrepreneurs who offer intangible services ask themselves if they should do some work for free...just to start out. But remember you need to keep a business focus. How is that going to work for your bottom line? How do you plan to transition to paid work?
There's plenty of advice on both sides of that barbed-wire fence. Here's what I want to say: you need to know the value of what you're providing for your clients. You need to clearly communicate that value through marketing (ahem copywriting) and when it comes time to ask for payment.
If you're struggling with asking for money. Or raising your rates. I suggest you check out this course (third one down) from my girl Ash, at TMF project. I love everything she does. It might also help with #2.
And I'm not talking about the kind of confidence it takes to bend over in super-skinny jeans. I mean the kind of confidence that says you know yourself, you trust abilities and you understand others.
The business confidence that Gallup suggests is necessary for talented, successful entrepreneurs really boils down to 3 things:
1. You don't get stuck analyzing a decision from every possible angle and avoid ever making a decision.
2. You have the mindset that sees obstacles as opportunities and are not easily defeated - time to roll up your sleeves baby.
3. You see every obstacle as a chance to expand your knowledge in an area you're not familiar with (self-professed knowledge junkie right here).
Like anything in life, too much of a good thing can be...problematic. Read no one likes an overconfident bastard. And like wearing stilettos for the first time to a client meeting (without practicing first) sooner or later life will smack your overconfident ass down.
If you happen to be a fellow creative entrepreneur your confidence will be a bit of a rollercoaster ride - at first. Every time your creative output connects with people or is loved by clients your confidence soars. I got this.
Then you create something, release it into the noisy, self-absorbed world and it barely makes a blip. Not even a ripple. Your confidence nose-dives kamikaze-style into the pit of your stomach. How did I ever believe I could do this?
It's hard to disengage creative work from our sense of selves. But if you want off that stomach-churning ride you need to learn to take a step back. Create a little space between you and the thing you've just poured yourself into. No one gets it perfect every time - so relax. You were successful before, you can do it again. When self-doubt creeps in, read this. And check out this audio course.
And remember you're a talented, confident, kick-ass entrepreneur. So see this as a learning opportunity, analyze the shit out of it and try again.
In the next post, I'll give you my take on the next 2 necessary talents for successful entrepreneurs according to Gallup: Creative Thinking and Delegating.