Ee 029 Got The Chops

EE 029: Got The Chops For EXECUpreneurship?

There are plenty of benefits of being an EXECUpreneur (mashup of executive and entrepreneur).  And just like most good things in life it is certainly no easy task to start your own business. Ask anyone who has been there.

Take Meredith…she just made it over the startup hurdle.  *High five Sister!

No time for resting on your laurels my friend…now it’s time to ride the momentum and hit your stride. Not sure what to do next to keep yourself in the EXECUpreneurial game?  You are not alone in that dilemma.

The roadmap for most professional endeavors is lain out with some method to the madness.  Executives have a corporate ladder to climb, for the most part. Just ensure your ladder is not leaning against the wrong wall. 

We entrepreneurs are not so lucky, on the whole.  There is no viable roadmap for us.  That is partially due to the wide breadth of areas in which we entrepreneurs do our thang.  Some go into service related ventures, others conceptualize a product and see it through to fruition. 

The fact our roadmap is more of a misguided jaunt with a drunk guy named McManus shouting at the top of his lungs in a thick Irish accent as we are just passing the next turn.  Added challenge…he can’t tell his right from his left. 

Yah, that guy is your co-pilot on this road trip called EXECUpreneurialism. 

After consulting hundreds of freedom-seeking (more like “seduced”) aspiring entrepreneurs over the years, I was inspired to develop the EXECUpreneur’s EDGE.  It was created to home in on the most important business asset you have…you

Let’s focus in on the entrepreneurs here. Successful entrepreneurs earn a living through their business and enjoy the many benefits of entrepreneurship.  They all have a myriad of specific traits. Some more than others. 

If you are considering taking the leap and following your EXECUpreneurship dreams then you will want to understand what these traits are so that you can instill the same traits in yourself. This will help ensure that you are able to achieve your dreams.

Successful entrepreneurs have “chops“. Along with grit, they:

  • have passion and a lot of it.
  • are tenacious.
  • are able to manage their fear of the unknown.
  • have a grand vision.
  • believe in themselves.
  • are extremely flexible.
  • are able to defy conventional wisdom.
  • are willing to take risks in life.

If you have these traits, or if you can teach yourself how to develop these traits within yourself, then your likelihood of becoming a successful entrepreneur increase. If you need some mentorship, work with someone who inspires you and doles out a healthy dose of tough love when warranted. We all require that and a BS flag or two from time to time.

In addition to those personality traits mentioned above, all successful entrepreneurs I’ve known possess a certain skillset. A complete list of skills to cultivate would be rather impossible to nail down, for every venture will call for some unique ones, no doubt.  

In that light, I’ve listed some skills necessary to traverse most entrepreneurial ventures:

  • Focus:  Running your own business requires dealing with any number of factors on any given day. Successful business owners are able to dial in their focus aimed at accomplishing specific tasks and goals at specific times.
  • Resilience: It is a skill to be able to weather the various ups and downs of business without allowing them to destroy your focus. Truly successful entrepreneurs are able to continue traveling down the path of success even when the future looks bleak.
  • Management Skills: Running a successful company requires finding, hiring and retaining the right people.  Successful entrepreneurs need to know how to successfully manage their team. Focus on hiring right.  My motto… “Hire slowly, fire quickly”. When you hire right, you rarely if ever have to exercise your firing muscles.
  • Long Term Vision: While it is easy to focus on what the company needs to do in the next several days or weeks to be successful, truly exceptional entrepreneurs (the ones who see real success in their business ventures) are able to plan years ahead of time while remaining flexible to capitalize on opportunity. 
  • Salesmanship: Regardless of what type of company you are running, you need to be able to sell your vision to others in order to become successful. Entrepreneurs need to have the skills to close the deal whether they want to be “a salesman/woman” or not.  (Everything you do is sales…parenting included.  So get over your stigma of “sales” and embrace the process.)
  • Self-reliance: This is one of the most important skills any entrepreneur can possess. It is vital for a business owner to trust that they can depend on themselves. Working on you is not optional.
  • Self-reflection: The ability to pause, reflect and learn is a very valuable skill for the business owner. Entrepreneurs must be able to learn from their mistakes and reflect upon what they have learned in life.
  • Learning: The skill of earning knowledge is one that every successful business owner has. It is also a skill that they never stop developing.

To be successful in your entrepreneurial endeavors you have to be able to learn from others. The best way to learn the skills of a successful business owner is to study the skills of successful entrepreneurs and then put what you learn into action to grow those skills in yourself.

Subscribe to my podcast as a starting point for honing your EXECUpreneurial skills.