By Nicholas Ferraro, Assistant Director, Career and Professional Development Center
Becoming an Entrepreneur can be an exciting and vigorous journey, and to make your venture a full time career can be very rewarding. To be successful in this journey, growing and learning certain critical skill sets can be of great benefit. Whether you are starting to explore an idea, or have already moved through to proto-typing, it is essential for you to gain these skills.
When trying to promote and share your venture, leverage and expand a network. Networking is a learned skill that can be practiced and honed. Ultimately, it can have a lasting impact on the success of your venture. Consider attending industry mixers and other on campus events to practice the skill of networking. At these events there will be a wide variety of people from peers, employers, and mentors that can be learned from. The key to network is being genuine with your conversations. Have a meaningful conversation to build a relationship instead of just trying to “sell the next idea”. Our Powerful Introduction tool is extremely helpful while networking. Growing your connections can promote collaboration, which is vital in today’s world of business.
Communication comes in many styles, especially as an entrepreneur, when you have to create a compelling argument of why your venture needs to be successful. Written communication can be one of the best skills to have in this industry. Strong persuasive writing is desired when emailing potential mentors, clients, as well as investors. Another style of communication is presenting- Here’s a great TedTalk that I recommend if you are looking for some more guidance in this art form.
by Guy Kawasaki showcases the importance of branding.
When you are your own boss, the days can slip by with little accountability to others. Consider how are you tracking your time, having a paper or online version of a calendar that can be helpful in ensuring that you are making traction on your venture, while arriving on time to scheduled meetings. Create a strategy to your morning in order to be prepared as possible going into the day, as an entrepreneur, it might just include you wearing multiple hats. Your day may include developing enhancements to your venture, marketing and promoting the venture, and seeking out funding for the next project, all in the same day. With this said, be sure to create boundaries and learn how to manage stress, which can help in reducing burnout and managing work-life balance.