Top Skills for Entrepreneurs by Ritu Mehta


Business Skills: Discipline to stay focused.

Starting Up, scaling up and running a business is not for the faint hearted. There is nothing like what we call overnight success. Overnight success takes years and sometimes decades. The one thing which is not mentioned explicitly out there but nothing really moves without it is discipline. Discipline to stay focused. Discipline to work hard. Business is not something you do when you get spare time in your week from your other life commitments. I meet so many people who want to do “something” but they have no clue what it is. Even when they have some ideas, they don’t know where to begin. And then when they start, they give up because of lack of focus and non-preparedness to deal with the challenges. It’s okay to be confused and overwhelmed in the beginning but your discipline and efforts should set you on the path of clarity and next concrete action steps.


  1. Ability to break down Long Term Vision into Short Term Tasks –

You should be able to translate your big picture in everyday short term tasks bit-by-bit every day, every week. Both the things are equally critical. Keeping an eye on your vision and direction you chose to reach there. Also day to day productivity and tasks to get there. You can’t achieve what you can’t measure. You should be able to track your progress and journey.  

Your short term goals or sometimes even end product may change with new insights and knowledge you will gain. You may not even know the clear path as you begin. Which is okay! You will evolve along the way.

  1. People Management – You will obviously be interacting with people. Actually lot of people. These can be your team, suppliers, customers or investors. Now having good people management skills means effective interaction with other parties to create win win situation for everyone involved. We all have read about strong communication skills, negotiation skills and many other similar ones. They are important for sure. What is also important is connecting at human level. Empathy, listening to others, be part of their success stories. Extend these at personal relations also. Their support is going to be very valuable for you. Many times we are at our best when dealing with outsiders and then bring all our anxieties home at the end of the day. You can create support system to keep yourself motivated and learn to deal with fears and insecurities. We will talk about this in detail little later here.
  2. Customer connection – The very basis of your business and revenue model is your customers. It is very obvious then connect with your customers has to be your number one priority. That is the only way you will survive and thrive.  Keep listening to them, their choices, and preferences and able to integrate what you are hearing back in your products is important. Also the speed of doing that. You should be able to spot trends early, catch the pulse of customer feedback in time and fine tune your offerings. You do that and you are all set! Amazon and American Express are two great examples of delivering delighters to their customers.

Stay tuned for more news on relevant skills for you as we partner with each other on this entrepreneurial journey. In next edition, look forward to skills around money, building lasting relationships beyond business, how to look at setbacks and how your ability to unlearn and learn is paving your road ahead. I welcome your thoughts and inputs. This is our safe space to brainstorm, learn and support each other. We all have something to give to others. Do remember to pay it forward.


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