When we set out to change the world, we create. If you have an idea that can improve the way people live, it should be your moral obligation to bring that idea to the people. Elon Musk once said -
When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor!
Inspirational, but what he doesn’t talk about are the skills needed to take the leap.
During my journey as an entrepreneur, I have managed to narrow down certain skills that I believe every entrepreneur must have (apart from the obvious ones) in order to succeed.
Patience is a virtue worth living for
No one prepares you for this. Instant success happens the day after you have completed months of hard work. Everything around us is fast faced and in a startup, where you are constantly working on innovating and trying to change the world, you have to dodge and deal with several variables. Product, marketing, user growth, vendors, all come with their set of problems and delays, and each one of these problems has to be dealt with in conjunction with every other function within the organisation. This leads to long waiting times irrespective of the method of operations, and things that you should ideally complete in a certain timeframe do end up taking longer.
Delivery is better than perfection
It is very important to deliver, and deliver fast. With several hundred tasks active at any point, it becomes increasingly important to deliver. However, people expect us to do great things, we expect great from ourselves, and that can often lead to spending hours trying to perfect deliverables that need to go out. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is ever so often that what I worked on was improved by a suggestion from a colleague. Get your work to people faster, get feedback, fail, stand up again and move forward.
The ability to see the future
As Elon Musk quoted -
“When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, 'Nah, what's wrong with a horse?' That was a huge bet he made, and it worked”.
Like any entrepreneur will tell you, you need to be able to understand and fulfil a consumer's desire. Now, this desire may be in the form of a product, service, or a combination of the two. Whatever it may be, I believe the constant endeavour should be to stay ahead of it, and offer product/service enhancements that make your product highly desirable by its users. To do this, one must have the foresight that helps guide the company and business in turns that make you stay ahead.
Every fool is quick to quarrel
You’re going to have difference of opinions and interests with your partners, your investors, your vendors and your employees. Not everybody sees things the way you do. You have to be able to think on your feet and resolve conflicts. How effectively you resolve them and what impact your resolution leaves on everybody, gives out a lot about how cohesively your organization will function.
That which yields is not always weak
Technology, People, Marketing: As an owner of a start-up business, the single most important skill that you must possess is Flexibility. You will come across situations and times where you must change the way a particular process is planned to function. We all know what happened to Nokia when they rigidly refused to adopt Android despite the growing popularity of the OS! There may be times where you need to don multiple hats and change your organizational structure as well, and you have got to be up for it.
Some people are better equipped than others with the above and there is no set formula with which one can move ahead. That said, I do believe that if you do good work, keep your head to the ground, and hone your skills, success will follow.