I don’t watch TV much, but when I do, it’s usually because something has caught my interest and I am going to learn something essential. When Million Dollar Listing (New York) first aired some years ago, I was hooked. For the uninitiated, Million Dollar Listing is a reality TV show following the trials and tribulations of successful Realtors in New York City. These realtors were living the dream and striking fantastic deals in the heart of one of the most exciting cities in the world. The reason I loved watching was so I get to see their collective entrepreneurial skills in play.
As you can imagine the characters of the realtors were larger than life. Many of the scenes were great for the camera, even if somewhat staged for popular consumption. However, despite some of the storylines being a little fantastic, what I did find fascinating is how the characters demonstrated the entrepreneurial skills which ensured their success.
A few years ago, I explored some quotes for a fairly major building project at my house. A particular business kept coming to my attention. I thought I’d ask them to give me a price. When I met the owner, after a very entertaining half an hour, it struck me that he demonstrated the same entrepreneurial skills as that of the realtors on Million Dollar Listing. His business indeed has just gone from strength to strength.
I realised that what was coming into my consciousness were the personal entrepreneurial skills which leaders and business owners who wanted to be exceptionally successful would have to demonstrate. Not only that, but the second revelation which struck firmly home was that although some people naturally exude them; people who are willing and have the desire can learn and harness these skills to get exceptional results.
Here are the skills I identified.
1. Unattached Vision
An entrepreneurial vision is not only being able to envisage a great future. Or being able to create a vision to achieve; It is the ability to be able to create a vision which exceeds what has happened in the past. One that bypasses current reality. For the realtors, they were smashing records again and again, because they were able to see past historical and current data and restraints and in their imagination, were able to create a reality based on vision alone.
2. Being Enthusiastic
Every listing was the “best apartment in New York City, or that particular area of NYC” if not the best; the property had some unique and remarkable features which made it eminently sellable. If there wasn’t a unique selling point, then the realtor created one. The common theme each of the realtors displayed on every potential listing is exuberance and enthusiasm. Whether staged or not, the enthusiasm was and is infectious. You have to ask the question, if the person selling can’t be enthusiastic, then how on earth can the buyer be? It’s simple really.
3. Demonstrating Intrinsic Optimism
They had a “can do” attitude and were able to turn real barriers, drawbacks, and obstacles into a positive. Also, they weren’t daunted by unrealistic sellers who wanted too much for their properties; they were able to still close a deal despite the odds. Although some scary moments, they overcame most challenges and positively learned from those they couldn’t overcome.
4. Displaying Dogged Determination
Time and time again, it looked like the deal would not be done, the sale would be lost and the realtor out of commission. Relentlessly though the realtors kept on pressing to make the deal like a terrier with its teeth around someone’s ankle. Only in very exceptional circumstances, and when it was simply a “no-brainer”, did the realtor give up. Their sheer determination to make the deal was audacious at the least and entirely inspirational to watch.
5. Insistent Propulsion
What the realtors demonstrated was an ability to get things in motion and then to keep moving things forward. This energy was apparent in every transaction. There were never pauses, just some new information and a way to figure out what must happen next to push a transaction nearer to a close.
6. Taking Big Action
Their marketing strategies were often unique, from shooting professional films, including helicopters and fast cars, to luxuriously staging properties, creating and telling stories about the listings, and innovative “open houses”, they understood that taking big action got big results. There was never a time when Newton’s third law was demonstrated.
The Right Entrepreneurial Skills For Success
So do you have the right entrepreneurial skills for success? You may wish to check off the first 6 outlined above, and also here are some further skills you might want to self-assess against.
1. Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is a cornerstone skill for any entrepreneur. It involves setting long-term goals and mapping out the steps to achieve them. This skill requires a deep understanding of your market, competition, and resources. Entrepreneurs must be able to anticipate trends, adapt to changes, and make informed decisions to steer their businesses towards success.
2. Effective Communication
Communication is key in entrepreneurship. Whether it’s pitching to investors, negotiating with suppliers, or leading a team, the ability to convey ideas clearly and persuasively is crucial. Effective communication also means being a good listener, understanding others’ perspectives, and responding appropriately.
3. Financial Acumen
Understanding finance is critical for making informed business decisions. This includes budgeting, forecasting, managing cash flow, and interpreting financial statements. Entrepreneurs must be comfortable with numbers and use financial data to guide their strategies and operations.
4. Marketing Savvy
In today’s competitive market, being adept at marketing is essential. This involves understanding your audience, crafting compelling messages, and choosing the right channels to reach your customers. Entrepreneurs should be skilled in both traditional and digital marketing techniques.
5. Sales Expertise
Sales skills are vital for business growth. Entrepreneurs need to know how to identify potential customers, build relationships, understand customer needs, and close deals. Effective selling requires a combination of empathy, persistence, and strategic thinking.
6. Networking Ability
Building and maintaining a strong professional network can open doors to opportunities. Networking involves connecting with peers, mentors, and industry leaders to share ideas, gain insights, and find potential collaborators or customers.
7. Leadership and Team Building
Good leadership is about inspiring and guiding a team towards a common goal. Entrepreneurs must be able to recruit, motivate, and manage a team, fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and efficiency.
8. Problem-Solving Skills
Entrepreneurship is often about overcoming obstacles. Problem-solving requires creativity, critical thinking, and the ability to evaluate solutions. Entrepreneurs must be adept at identifying problems, analyzing their root causes, and implementing effective solutions.
9. Time Management
Managing time effectively is crucial for entrepreneurs who often juggle multiple tasks. This skill involves prioritizing tasks, setting deadlines, and minimizing distractions to increase productivity and meet business objectives.
10. Adaptability and Flexibility
The business world is constantly evolving. Entrepreneurs must be able to adapt to changes, pivot strategies when necessary, and remain flexible in the face of uncertainty.
11. Resilience and Perseverance
Entrepreneurship can be challenging. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks, while perseverance is about persisting in the face of difficulties. Both are essential for long-term success.
12. Negotiation Skills
Whether it’s securing a contract, settling terms with a supplier, or resolving conflicts within a team, negotiation skills are invaluable. Entrepreneurs must know how to find common ground and reach mutually beneficial agreements.
13. Customer Focus
Understanding and meeting customer needs is vital. This skill involves researching customer preferences, providing exceptional service, and continually seeking feedback to improve products or services.
14. Risk Management
Entrepreneurs must be able to identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. This includes financial risks, market risks, and operational risks. Effective risk management involves careful analysis and strategic planning.
15. Innovative Thinking
Innovation sets successful entrepreneurs apart. This skill involves thinking creatively, challenging the status quo, and developing unique solutions or products that give a competitive edge.
16. Emotional Intelligence
Understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as empathizing with others, is crucial in entrepreneurship. High emotional intelligence can improve leadership, team dynamics, and customer relations.
17. Tech Savviness
In an increasingly digital world, being tech-savvy is a must. This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert in all technologies, but understanding the role of technology in your business and industry is important.
18. Learning Agility
The willingness and ability to learn quickly is essential in the fast-paced entrepreneurial environment. Entrepreneurs must be open to new ideas, continuously update their knowledge, and apply new insights to their business.
19. Business Law and Ethics Understanding
A basic understanding of business law and ethics is important to ensure your business complies with legal standards and operates ethically. This knowledge helps in making informed decisions and building a reputable business.
20. Personal Branding
Developing a strong personal brand can enhance your credibility and visibility in your industry. It involves communicating your values, expertise, and unique selling proposition to your target audience.
How did you do?
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.
I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.