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Don’t Start a Business if You Don’t Have these 7 Things

Don’t Start a Business if You Don’t Have these 7 Things

Startups emerge constantly, and many young entrepreneurs are encouraged to start their own business and invest a great deal of time and money into them. However, there are some things no one tells you at the beginning, and are related to your skillset and abilities. Let’s go through the most important traits and abilities you need to possess in order to successfully start your own business.

1. Grim determination and willingness to sacrifice

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    Starting a business isn’t easy, and the fact that many businesses and startups emerge constantly on the market, doesn’t mean you should rush into becoming a business owner. You might think you are determined enough and prepared to make sacrifices, but the question is will you feel the same way when problems start to occur.

    Problems will occur, and you’ll make mistakes, and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, if you fall to pieces, then your business will fail as well. The most important thing is to learn to benefit from your mistakes, and stay motivated and determined no matter what happens.

    As a young entrepreneur, you belong to the millennials who are taking over the market. However, according to many studies conducted, millennials will face a lot of challenges in their career journey. When it comes to sacrifices, the hardest ones will be those related to private life and your family. Others are related to taking the right business opportunity, risking and making decisions, of which not so many will be the right ones.

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    2. A financial safety net

    As a business owner, you will need to make a lot of investments, but still make sure that you don’t suffer a huge loss that can lead your business to fail. If you aren’t familiar with bank systems and investments, consult with a professional, or several of them. If you consider their advice in the same matter, you will be able to make a good decision.

    Sometimes, whether you will profit or lose your money is a risk, which you need to take. However, at the beginning don’t make rash decisions and risky investments.

    3. Understanding of modern business technologies

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      Startups usually focus on technology helping them to be noticed on the market, which is the right move, but shouldn’t be the only one. You need to develop your professional profiles and gain followers.

      But, small businesses and startups need to focus on technology that will make their work hyper-productive by helping employees to work efficiently, and creating a great experience for the customers. There are many types of software made to improve CRM and track your goals, and you should definitely find the right one for you.

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      Depending on your business, go through different reviews to find great small business software and see if it suits your needs. Ask other business owners which they find the best, and why.

      4. People skills

      One of the most important must-have skills for every entrepreneur, and business owner are people skills. You need to have good verbal communication skills and you have to be friendly. These will help you make the great first impression that can land you a lot of good deals. Everyone will want to have a meeting with you, but the point is that they want to have a second meeting with you and work with you.

      Therefore, if you don’t have much experience working with people, call your friends and start practicing. Also, you can apply for different job interviews, even if you don’t want to work there to practice introducing yourself, and don’t be nervous when it comes to your meetings.

      5. A talent for haggling and problem solving

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        Problem solving is most important for business owners, as you will face many problems, and you shouldn’t point out all the problems, but try to find a solution to them. Don’t focus on the problem, but on finding the solution. Many people fail, because they don’t know how to deal with problems, and just become discouraged. If you are one of them, you might want to consult with someone who faced many problems and how they solved them.

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        Also, haggling is one of the things you will need to perfect. You might not love it, but it’s the key to getting some things at a reasonable price, as you are new on the market. For this one, you will also need people skills, and some help from people who are doing it for some period of time.

        Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, because it’s better to see their mistakes and successes in order to learn how to perform certain task.

        6. An idea that has something truly unique

        Your business and your idea must be different from others, and it’s up to you to find something original. You aren’t the only company that does offers certain products or services, and because of that you need to come up with a unique approach. Your customers need to know why they are choosing you, so you need to have a truly unique idea.

        If you don’t know how to make yourself differ, do a good research on different companies, and see how they made themselves unique. This way, you’ll certainly get a grasp of it.

        7. Great attention to detail

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          The whole business deal and project can fail because one small mistake. In the business world, it is something that shows your true value. Don’t let your talents go unnoticed or even decrease your value as a professional because of one small error. Also, it may happen that small detail ruins your whole effort in developing your business. Therefore, make sure you have your eye on every little detail and not make small errors.

          Starting a business is a risk you have to take, but also you can make sure you don’t fail after few months. Before you start your business, make a good business plan, consult with different business owners and work on yourself in order to create a successful business.

          Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gato-gato-gato/ via flickr.com

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          Ivan Dimitrijevic

          Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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          Last Updated on April 17, 2019

          10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

          10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

          What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

          Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

          They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

          1. Communication Skills

          Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

          To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

          Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

          Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

          After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

          2. Flexibility

          Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

          Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

          Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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          Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

          3. Being a Team Player

          Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

          What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

          This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

          Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

          4. Positive Mental Attitude

          There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

          Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

          Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

          It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

          Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

          5. A Strong Work Ethic

          People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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          If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

          Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

          • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
          • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
          • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
          • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

          For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

          6. Public Speaking

          Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

          Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

          If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

          For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

          Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

          7. Integrity

          From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

          • Always doing what you say you will do
          • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

          …even when no one is around to check up on you.

          There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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          Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

          8. Managing Your Time

          Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

          A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

          Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

          Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

          These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

          9. Assertiveness

          In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

          • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
          • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
          • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
          • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

          Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

          How do you use this information for yourself?

          It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

          Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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          How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

          10. Creative Thinking

          LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

          Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

          How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

          Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

          These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

          You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

          What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

          Final Thoughts

          The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

          So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

          The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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          Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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