What are the 3 Most Important Skills Any Entrepreneur Should Learn Before Starting Their Own Business?
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About This Episode
In this episode, I answer a listener question which is:
What would you say are 3 skills any entrepreneur should learn before starting their own business? And how have those skills helped you get to where you are today?
The next question comes from my friend Michael Argyou based over in London, Mike is somebody that I've mentored for a number of years, we've done some business together. He's a good guy, and he's the guy with the fitness meals company that I was talking about earlier in the episode. So let's get into Mike's question.
What would you say three skills any entrepreneur should learn before starting their own business? And how have those skills helped you get to where you are today?
That's a really great question. And I think this actually applies in life generally, not just business. I think business just reflects life. Mike, what I would tell you is empathy is the greatest skill, understanding what that person is trying to achieve, and figuring out how you can help them do it. And in a way where your intention is actually pure, you're not doing it to get something back. It's not about the money. It's not about the deal. It's about that person because you actually want to contribute to their life.
That is the biggest difference. Every single piece of business I've ever done, has gone beyond that initial deal. Because of that intention in that seed.
For example, when I freelance on Upwork, every now and again, I really only do it to get new projects. And what will happen is, I know my hourly rate is quite high for, you know what that market offers. So a client will come along, and I will do things in a way that's so fast that it saves the money, they will tell me, Hey, can you do this? And I'll say, look, it's actually better if you get somebody on 15 bucks to do that, and you let me do the strategic stuff. That kind of stuff costs me money in the short term, but they're so appreciative, that, you know, I did that and it demonstrates that I do have their best interests at heart.
And what that means is they're then just they're kind of taken aback and they then want to work with me long term. I get testimonials. I get case studies. I get long term projects. So everything really just starts to work because where I started from was not Using that person was not looking at that person as a deal, or seeing dollar signs, but actually seeing them as a person, taking the time to understand what they need, and figuring out how to give it to them.
That is really the secret of life, relationships business. So empathy is absolutely the most important thing. The second thing I would tell you, is your ability to listen. And everyone skips over this one and just thinks, well, I'm a good listener. And actually, we're usually not. And, you know, I've really, really learned this in my 15 months in Dubai, working with energy at register energy.
He really showed me that our listening skills are so stupid. There are seven deadly filters of listening as he calls them. One of them is I already know where you think you already know what that person is going to tell you. So your mind is switched off and you're actually thinking about something else.
Another one is you're judging, as they're giving you the information, you're putting it into a good and bad bucket. So you're processing in that Moment rather than being present and listening to that person. There's the already always, I always already know what this person is talking about. So what I found incredibly helpful was to just be completely focused and present on that person.
And just listen and absorb and take in. Don't be in my head thinking about what I'm going to say next. Don't be, you know, judging. Just listen, and you've actually learned so much. And some of the phrases that make a really big difference in the amount of information you get. One of them that I love is say more. People love that they love being invited to share their opinion. That's why people like coming onto the podcast. So they will say something and I'll go, that's interesting, say more or Tell me more. And they will just expand upon that and you get so much more information. And that knowledge really is power when you know a lot more about what they're trying to achieve.
It really really helps you understand things From a deeper perspective, the other things that I do in terms of listening, is I operate across the five areas what who, when, why, how? So I'll ask, you know, why are you doing this? And that uncovers the emotional reason, which is a huge driver for everything.
They'll then tell you the logical reason anyway. But usually most people do things for emotional reasons and they rationalize them with logic. They rationalize with logic so they can go home and tell their wife or husband. Yeah, I bought because it was a really good deal. Not Oh, my God, that kitchen is so cute. I want it.
So you have to give them the logic to go with the emotional reason it validates them making a choice to work with you or buy from you. Especially when your price is higher than what is you know, what are you trying to do? And what is a case of you know, where are you? Where are you trying to get to?
That's really all that is. Who is Who do you have on your team? Who needs to work on this? Who needs to sign this off? Who do I need to work with? For you who pays the bill? Who do I send the invoice To there's a whole range of questions that come off the who branch, when? When does it need to happen? When do you need the proposal by when is the first deadline? When are you going to pay the invoice? And how, how are we going to do it?
And that's really about that gap between where are we now? And where are you trying to get to? And that's the how. So just in listening, say more, and who, when, what, why, how, and asking questions on those five branches. They just do wonders, because that person is so used to people coming in and trying to pitch them and sell them and talk too much, when actually what we need to do is come in with empathy, and listen and ask questions around those five things.
I swear to you and you won't believe this may be when you go in and you do 10% of the talking and let them do 90% when you leave, they're going to say I really like that guy. You know, I feel like he really gets me and he understands when all of the competition go in there and they do all the talking and they're trying to impress and it's all about them and they're trying to sell it Got no hope. So that's how you differentiate yourself also in a crowded market is by actually caring the most.
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