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5 Attributes and Skills Millennial Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed in Business

5 Attributes and Skills Millennial Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed in Business

A shifting trend has witnessed many millennial entrepreneurs joining the ranks of young business owners – 18% started their own companies in 2014 according to a global report.

Additionally, an ever increasing number of millennials consider themselves “entrepreneurial”; 70% were cited as saying that they would ditch working in traditional businesses to become full-time entrepreneurs, while one in five would quit their jobs and form their own company to become young entrepreneurs.

Did you know that the average millennial will most likely have four or more careers in his or her lifetime? No matter what industry you choose, as a young and ambitious entrepreneur, here are five skills and attributes you’re going to need to be successful in your line of business:

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1. Tap into Your Emotional and Social Intelligence

In the hyper-digital world where news gets around fast, you need to learn how to sharpen your emotional and social intelligence skills. The power of social media lets us easily connect with thousands to millions of people around the world. However, many believe that this has led to a general lack of creating real connections and meaningful person-to-person relationships. It’s important for a number of reasons and helps in building and retaining clients.

Communication mediums like email and instant messaging tend to put a cap on our ability to display certain emotions such as empathy and sincerity. As a millennial entrepreneur, you must understand the limitations these platforms pose, and learn a thing or two about effective communication. It’s all about making your client feel special and approaching them the way they’d like to be approached.

2. Be Your Own Best Manager

The number of professionals and freelancers working from remote locations has more than doubled over the past decade – millions today are seamlessly working without the need of any direct on-site supervision. However, to maintain high efficiency, you must develop exceptional self-management skills such as managing your own schedules, lines of communication, daily tasks, projects etc.

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Nobody knows your priorities or mind as well as you do. It is important to be in control of yourself and be your own manager. While you may need someone to manage your work, never count on them to manage you.

Tools like Basecamp, for example, can help you stay on top of daily to-dos and stay in touch with your team at all times to see what milestones are being achieved in real time. These tools also work great to let teams do “daily check-ins” and keep tabs on what they were able to achieve on a day to day basis. It’s exactly this type of consistent communication that allows every team member to own up to their tasks and eliminate the possibility of any bottlenecks.

3. Save Time by Utilizing More Productivity Tools and Third Party Resources

Being a millennial entrepreneur means you need to understand early on that time is one of your most valuable assets. You must know how to make good use of your working hours. Consider registering yourself on platforms like Upwork where you can save plenty of time by hiring experienced freelancers to oversee some of your daily business functions.

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Personal productivity tools such as Feedly and Evernote make it more convenient to stay organized, act on actions quickly and communicate with your team more effectively.  As your business start to explode and the time comes when you have to register your company, make sure you are with pros and cons of setting up different types of companies.

4. Capitalize on Mobile Digital Marketing

In the days of old, entrepreneurs had to make do with hard-to-scale and expensive marketing channels. As a millennial entrepreneur, however, you have the luxury of mobile digital marketing which makes its much more practical and quicker to identify your prospects’ needs, work on product ideas and test those ideas extensively before making your offer available.

Millennials are spending most of their time on smartphones – more than 65% of Facebook’s 8 billion video views come from handheld devices.

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If you truly want to be successful at selling and be an influential figure in today’s online business economy, you need to know how to tap into social media to get your message across. There’s such an overwhelming amount of meaningful content being produced every day on social channels that you need to stand out as a millennial entrepreneur. You might want to consider hiring a digital marketing firm with an established track record to take care of this aspect.

5. Understand How Financing and Investments Work

Owing to the 2008 worldwide financial crisis, a number of millennial entrepreneurs are still intimidated by the financial system. They’re using bots and computer programs instead of real financial advisors just to play it safe, and in some cases, not investing at all.

Financial information is something many people find overwhelming – to make matters worse, there are conflicting opinions or complex investment routes that millennials are often not willing to bet on. In reality, all you need is a good understanding of financial elements like debt vs. equity, cash flow statements, compound interest, balance statements and tax implications with regard to various financial decisions. Understand these and you’ll have full control over your financial goals and personal budget.

Good to know:

  • A new generation of millennial entrepreneurs is outperforming their baby boomer counterparts.
  • Millennials are embracing entrepreneurship much earlier than boomers did.
  • Millennial entrepreneurs today are generally more open to failure than boomers. They are also far more likely to keep going.
  • Millennials are focusing on much larger profit margins; 75% expect their profits to increase in the following year, which was 42% for boomers.
  • Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was a young millennial entrepreneur at the age of 31, when he became one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth of over $42 billion.

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

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

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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