Saturday, February 09, 2008

Skill development

If I am really going to get serious about being an entrepreneur again, there are a number of skills and skill areas that I must improve:

  • Sales and salesmanship - at least starting with a more positive attitude
  • Communications in general and interpersonal communications in particular
  • Empathy for whoever I am dealing with as well as customers
  • Negotiation - when to push harder, when to back off and give a little, and when to walk away
  • Ambition - how badly do I want something, is it achievable, is it worth the costs, how to manage it
  • Patience, persistence, and pacing - going the distance but not off into the weeds
  • Demographics - deep understanding
  • Popular culture - deep understanding
  • Buzz - how to get it, promote it, leverage it, how to do something with it, how to manage it, how to keep it alive
  • Passion - understanding its role, but like fire mishandling can lead to either an incendiary disaster or dead lack of activity
  • Trends - which ones matter, how to measure, what to watch
  • Hits and blockbusters - do they matter for a given business, how they matter, how to get them, and how to manage them
  • Appearance, perception, and image - understanding their importance, cultivating them, managing them, exploiting them, evolving them as the world evolves
  • Reputation - what factors are controlling it, what forms of influence do you have, responding to weaknesses, responding to attacks
  • Public speaking ... ugh!
  • Graphics design - their role, achieving competence and credibility, measuring value
  • Brand - conceptualizing, creating, cultivating, managing, and evolving
  • Value proposition - getting the elements right and then getting the formulation right, how it manifests itself in every aspect of the business, products, services, and reputation
  • Generosity - role in making a business a valuable part of society as a side effect of delivering great business results and how that perpetuates a "virtuous cycle"

Obviously there are many other aspects of starting and running a business, but these are some that I would definitely need to improve dramatically to achieve a reasonable level of business success.

-- Jack Krupansky

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