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Ethel Cofie | 3 practical ways to learn the entrepreneurial skills you need before you quit your job

I wanted to provide to a practical guide for aspiring female entrepreneurs on the skills to start developing as they plan their entrepreneurial jump from their day jobs

  1. Volunteer to fundraise for your favourite Charity

When it comes down to it, a large part of starting and becoming successful as an entrepreneur is the ability to sell, persuade and communicate effectively .That is a muscle every entrepreneur needs to grow and strengthen, so go on and volunteer to help you local charity collect funds, think about innovative ways you can get friends, neighbours and coworkers to donate money /time/old clothes. Set yourself a target and makes sure to do this so often you can consistently meet and surpass your targets learning how to sell, move and persuading is central to:

  • Customer growth and sales, without sales well it’s a hobby not a business…
  • Persuading and selling you vision to employees to enable understand the core tenets of your company and to live it
  • Persuading and selling to venture capitalist to fund you

Volunteering is a very effective ways of picking up skills that you don’t have and might not be able to easily learn in your day job.

2. Do something out of the norm, at least once a month

If you are a lawyer go and spend a day helping a friend who owns a restaurant or go to a conference that has nothing to do with your profession of job.

Or

Pledge to talk to one stranger each week, not just idle chit chat, ask questions around their problems, what most irritates them, what would they like most solved in their life’s.

Or

Take a class totally new to you, if you are a medical doctor take a programming class, if you developer take an improve drama class.

The idea here is push you at you comfort zone whilst broadening your sphere of knowledge and a skill helpful to you as an aspiring entrepreneur.

3. Learn to become a power listener

There are 2 things you can do to become a power listener:

  • When someone is talking to you or you are involved in a conversation, make a conscious effort not to think about your answer. Give them your full attention (listen to what they are actually saying)
  • when it’s your turn to speak wait a full 5 second before you answer it might seem odd, but it will help you also think through your response before you start talking

Becoming a power listener will serve you well in becoming attune to the customer need and desires. An entrepreneur who learns to listen to his/her customer is a winner

[post written and originally published by Ethel Cofie here]