Step into entrepreneurship, and you’ll soon realize how vital your soft skills are.
Yes, talent is important. Hard work matters too.
However, the soft skills you have often determine whether or not you make it. Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize relationships with other people and complement hard skills in the workplace.
The good part is that soft skills are relatively easy to master.
If you’re looking to make the most this year, here are some potential soft skills you can easily practice while working to grow your business.
Leadership is the ultimate skill among entrepreneurs!
Putting words into action, taking charge, and pushing a project forward are all part of leaving the employee mindset behind and becoming a great leader.
How to practice leadership:Leadership comes naturally when you’re working on a project you’re intensely passionate about. Find your why, tie it to a vision, and then see how that story can help you change the world.
Making business decisions swiftly and efficiently is often the difference between successful and not-so-successful business stories.
How to practice decisiveness: Make more decisions! The more (complex) choices you have to make, the easier it becomes. I’d also like to point out the importance of your gut. Learning not only how to hear your gut but actually listen to what it has to say will make a tremendous difference in the day-to-day decisions you make!
3. Time management
I love to refer to time management as the ultimate form of self-respect.
You respect yourself enough to set healthy boundaries between go-time and down-time. Without it, it all becomes one big chaotic mess!
How to practice time management: For starters, acknowledge the difference between being busy and productive. Moving the needle in your business will have you prioritize tasks, and let’s just say, that’s often easier said than done.
Also, here’s your reminder to find a way to track your time and your tasks… usually, a calendar (digital or paper) really helps you stay on the right track.
Creativity as a soft skill? Well, why not!
Actually, the truth is that great ideas rarely happen on an impulse; often, they’re the result of laborious work and hours and hours of creative play.
How to practice creativity: Waking up your inner child is the best way to tingle your creative spirits! Express yourself in whatever creative manner works the best for you: writing, painting, singing, dancing, cooking… it really doesn’t matter! What matters is regularly nurturing the right side of the brain so it’s ready to go.
5. Strategic thinking
Planning the right strategy is a job half done. Being able to visualize the final goal and the actual milestones you need to get there is a priceless skill!
How to practice strategic thinking: With proper time management (see #3) and SMART goals, nothing (and I really mean nothing!) will be out of reach. Another thing that may help is a basic whiteboard. Set it up on the wall, write point A (starting point) and point B (final goal), and then break everything you need to do in between. Easy and simple but very effective!
6. Communication skills
Polishing your communication skills doesn’t only mean learning how to talk to people; it also means practicing how to listen well!
How to practice communication: This one’s really simple. Talk to people. Your prospects, your clients, the people you meet outside of work… and then listen to what they have to say. Don’t forget to ask the right questions. Asking the right question is absolutely crucial to get the answer you’re looking for.
Being happy and cheering not only yourself but your team as well can make a world of a difference in the business you build.
How to practice optimism: In my opinion, looking at the bright side of life is only possible if you embrace failure. Why? Well, things don’t always go according to plan. Life happens. You will be disappointed, and heartbroken (yes, in business!), and hopeless… but don’t take those events personally (or seriously!)
However, being able to learn your lessons and make the most of even the most difficult times really proves you’re in it for the long haul!
Which one of these seven skills are you going to improve?
You can choose more than one, but you don’t have to work on all of them at once.
Figure out what’s most vital to your business, and start there.