The world is shifting to an era where technologies merge and blur the lines between physical, digital and biological dimensions. This age is marked by continued exponential growth in such fields as artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, nanotechnology, the Internet of Things (IoT), biotechnology, autonomous vehicles, and 3D printing.
Any economically stable person can start a company, but many fail to do so because they lack necessary expertise — skills that most formal education systems fail to provide. Vast entrepreneurial opportunities are available to anyone who cultivates within themselves the following five skills.
1. Complex Problem Solving
A complex problem has many variables. For example, successfully managing a team requires you to take into account each members’ competencies, desires, perspective, work patterns, etc. Each new member and interaction between members makes the problem of managing a team exponentially more complex.
Entrepreneurs need heuristics to help them handle the framing, understanding, resolution and implementation of solution to complex problems. Only entrepreneurs with the ability to solve complex problems can impact in the modern business environment.
Creativity is the ability to come up with innovative ideas. It’s not only a cognitive ability but also a function of five behaviors that are essential for your mind to constantly discover new things.
These behaviors are:
- Questioning. Challenging conventional wisdom.
- Associating. Making connections between ideas, problems and questions in unrelated fields.
- Networking. Meeting people with varying perspectives and ideas.
- Observing. Watching the behavior of competitors, suppliers and customers to find new ways of doing things
- Experimenting. Creating interactive experiences and developing uncommon situations to see what emerges.
An entrepreneur can make huge leaps once they understand the problem and identify patterns that they can use to come up with unique solutions. Moreover, anyone can learn these behaviors. You can train yourself to be creative. Learning to unlock your creativity and test your innovations lets you create impactful entrepreneurial ventures.
3. Managing People
People management is all about leading and directing. Leading involves encouraging, motivating and inspiring, whereas directing involves recruitment, training, evaluating and disciplining. Effective entrepreneurs balance these two components as they steer their team to achieving its vision.
As an entrepreneur, you need to get the best out of your people. To lead others, though, you first need to be able to lead yourself. Familiarize yourself with your internal rhythms and aligns your actions with your goals. Cultivate the discipline you need to stay resilience in the face of the inevitable hurdles that every entrepreneur has to jump.
For instance, how would you respond if one of your employees told you that a rival company has offered them a better position, and they’re considering taking it but want to check in with you? In such situation, your responses should ideally bring out the best in yourself, the employee and your company.
The challenges of managing people can be exacerbated when there’s a language problem. So, if you want to expand to new markets, consider using special tools as translate.com/dutch-english or learning the local language.
4. Emotional Intelligence
Closely associated with the above skill is emotional intelligence, which is the ability to understand and manage your emotions as well of those of others. Emotional intelligence involves three sub-skills: emotional awareness, harnessing emotions and managing emotions.
When you’re emotionally aware, you recognize feelings present in themselves and other people. You can label emotions and respond to them accordingly. On an advanced level, you can anticipate emotions from internal and external stimuli and regulate them.
Once you mark out and understand emotions, you harness them to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Doing so lets you effectively lead interactions and manage conflict in a mutually beneficial way.
The culmination of emotional awareness and harnessing emotions is being able to anticipate, understand, and proactively manage your emotions and those of others. You respond appropriately rather than reacting. You can calm yourself and focus on the task at hand. You’re able to be emotionally present by regulating your internal state.
Negotiation involves mediation of differences. Ideally, people should reach agreements and compromises without disputes or arguments. To negotiate successfully, entrepreneurs need to master the principles of fairness, mutual benefit, and maintaining relationships.
For you and your partners, suppliers, employees and customers to be enablers, rather than obstacles, in each other paths, you need to learn how to develop trust, transparency and mutual understanding. Every interaction is a negotiation of beliefs, desires, uncertainties and hopes with the people around us.