The Road to Freedom
As I continue my journey of entrepreneurship, the road is long and wide. The mountain steep and winding.
Without guidance, the journey is nearly impossible to complete. Fortunate for us, we live in the digital age, most notably characterized by the internet. Through the internet, farfetched fairytales have become reality for millions of people.
To this date I have attempted to learn the inside outs of both business and life in general. This is best done in two ways. The first being actual exposure. Trial and error, if you will. By putting yourself in a situation with failure as a realistic possibility, you are able to learn the most. Secondly, studying successful individuals in similar fields. Observing and learning from their experiences.
In an attempt to do both the above, I have witnessed, first hand, 5 essential skills all entrepreneurs must have fundamental knowledge in. Some you may be proficient in and others you may lack, however it is important to at the very least understand their influence in the world of entrepreneurialism.
- Understand People
First and foremost, you must have a deep, intrinsic understanding of human nature. You must go further than being charismatic and friendly. Anyone can be friendly, not everyone understands how humans fundamentally operate.
What do I mean by this? What I mean is you must understand the why behind consumers. It is not enough to simply identify consumer trends, you must identify why these trends are upcoming. Once you are able to better understand the why, you can assert yourself into the market ahead of competitors. Furthermore, you are able to quickly realize the optimal time to leave one market and enter another.
This fundamental knowledge of why consumer’s behave in the manner they do, will give you a major leg up relative to those you are competing with.
2. Marketing-Sell yourself and Product
After obtaining proficiency in the above, marketing in general becomes somewhat trivial. However, understand this is the core concept within any business. Whether selling a product or service, marketing is key. You can have the best product at the cheapest price, but without successful marketing, consumers will have no idea the product exists.
Lucky for all reading this, the internet allows marketing to be easier than ever before. Whether you reach out to a social media following or simply purchase ads on Facebook and Twitter, advertising a product has become a relatively straight-forward process. The difficulty will be impressing customers with what you have to offer after they click the ad.
If you are new to the idea of entrepreneurialism, self-discipline is often something you overlook. And I know this because this happened to me. I always did well in school and went on to become a public auditor immediately out of college at 21 years old. I always considered myself an extremely prudent and diligent worker. However, once you decide to walk the path less traveled (entrepreneurialism), the reality you once lived in, is no more.
There is something liberating about engaging in work, not because you are told to, but because you are required to in order to make ends meet. However, for whatever reason, this work also becomes more difficult to focus on. Whether it is out of fear that the work will be unsuccessful or something entirely different, understand you must be disciplined on this path of entrepreneurialism. Likely, for the first time in your life, there is absolutely no one telling you what to do.
4. Basic Finance
Please do not cringe at this. I understand most don’t share an unweathering fondness for numbers in a way the accountant side of me does. But understanding basic personal finance and accounting will make life much easier.
Understand basic accounting. This simply involves different accounts (such as revenue and accounts payable) and when to increase/decrease these accounts.
Become proficient in personal finance, this includes concepts like checking/savings accounts, interest rates, and the ways loans work.
The truth is gaining a basic grasp on the above can be done with relative ease, whether you like numbers or not. Take the time to read a couple books about basic finance and you will amaze yourself over how much you learn and how useful the knowledge is.
5. Learn and Adapt on the Fly
Last, but certainly not least, upcoming entrepreneurs must be capable of learning and adapting to situations in a timely matter. When you put yourself in a position of dictation, you inevitably become the bearer of adjustments. By this I mean, if you want to call the shots, you better be able to adjust the play when necessary. Having the intuition to be constantly learning and adapting is a skill few have.
Haphazardly going through the motions is no longer good enough. You must create a system that allows for constant learning and adaptations to strategy based off the new knowledge.
No more coasting through life. You must be calculated at all times.
I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read what I have to say. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I want to take as many people on this journey to independence as possible. The last thought I want to mention deals with resilience and persistence. This road to freedom will be difficult and long. It will knock you on your behind more than once. Get back up. Tread on. You can do it.