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7 Essential Skills of An Entrepreneur

There are several important skills that entrepreneurs should cultivate to become successful .  Some entrepreneurs may already possess some of these skills. Most  entrepreneurs are good at a few and lacking at others. Savvy entrepreneurs are able to borrow the skills they need from a team.  All entrepreneurs should learn and improve their most important skills.

 

New  Research from the Harvard Business Review and quotes by successful entrepreneurs in Forbes, Inc., Under30CEO, Entrepreneur Magazine, and others have identified the following as essential skills for successful entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneur sunset

 

 

Leadership

Successful entrepreneurs must learn how to lead.  Successful leaders communicate compelling visions, are energetically self-motivated, goal oriented, and able to prioritize. There is so much that must be done in order to run a successful venture that the ability to manage time wisely, delegate and set the example for your team are extremely important. Entrepreneurs who try to do it all will never grow beyond themselves. The ability to build the right team, get everyone doing the right job, and give the team direction to do what is necessary in order to achieve a worthwhile vision is the most important role for the entrepreneur. Although it helps to already have some leadership qualities, many aspects of leadership can be learned. There are different leadership styles. Take time to study them and develop the style that is right for you and your enterprise. Lead by example and be a positive role model.

Persuasion

Entrepreneurs spend a lot of their time persuading others.  It is critical to recruit a team, raise money, and promote a product or service.  An entrepreneur will need to persuade the team, the investors, collaborators, regulators, and clients. An entrepreneur must know how to persuade their people to stay on task.  They must learn to persuade investors and bankers to continuously fund their projects. They must persuade collaborators to work together on a common goal.  They must be able to persuade their governing bodies to write favorable policies and show that they are following them.  They must persuade their clients to love their product and/or services and rave to their friends about it. They must perfect their negotiation skills to persuade vendors, clients, collaborators, landlords, partners, and others to agree to deals that are in the best interest of their company, employees, clients, community, and aligned with their core values.  All entrepreneurs should take time to master other the art of persuasion.

“The quality serial entrepreneurs displayed above others was persuasion, or the ability to convince others to change the way they think, believe or behave,” Bonnstetter, INC. Dec. 11, 2012

Marketing

An entrepreneur must learn how to market their product or service.  The landscape of marketing is constantly evolving but the basic principals still hold true.  An entrepreneur must learn how to market their product to reach their ideal customer and make sure they are aware of why their product or service is ideal. The entrepreneur must include a compelling reason for their clients to choose them over all other similar products and/or services available in the marketplace.  Marketing is incredibly important. Assembling a great sales and marketing team requires some knowledge of what it is you want to accomplish.  The entrepreneur must know what kind of results they are looking for in order to direct their sales and marketing team. The entrepreneur must be able to meticulously measure the results of every marketing campaign and be willing to experiment in order to get it right. This will save countless time and money and prevent one from becoming an advertising victim.  Either the entrepreneur or an excellent adviser will often make the difference on whether the enterprise will succeed. Entrepreneurs who understand and have the ability to effectively market themselves and their company have a distinct advantage over their competition.  Learn how to market and proceed with a clear strategy that is designed for measurable results.

Systematization

An entrepreneur must systematize the processes of their business. This is extremely important for growth.  A written plan, accurate customer records, updated books, technology process, policies and procedures are the foundations of your business. The systems allow new employees to seamlessly take over the jobs of others who have moved on or been promoted. It is the systems that allow a business to duplicate itself in different locations and markets. It is the systems that help a business become profitable and marketable.  Systems are key for dealing with the day to day operations and making sure everything goes smoothly.  Systems improve safety and help avoid fatal mistakes. Communicating those systems clearly and following them religiously is what helps an operation function like a well-oiled machine.  Systems help the operation do things better in less time with fewer resources being wasted.  Create systems, analyze, improve, test, and communicate them on a regular basis.

Finance

An entrepreneur must know how to manage the life blood of their business.  The entrepreneur must be capable of generating revenue, managing cash flow, keeping accurate books, controlling profit and loss, and creating protection.  Cash flow is key for buying inventory, paying for services, marketing, and repairing or replacing equipment.  Poor money management is one of the most common reasons businesses fail.  An excellent, trustworthy accountant as well as a competent attorney are invaluable.  Your reputation depends on getting people paid in a timely manner and having the resources to do so.  You must be able recognize where to direct the money to the highest priorities in order to keep your business in operation.  You must also create a series of checks and balances to ensure you are able to make adjustments before things get out of control. Learn to understand finance, create a solid cash-flow management system, and build a team of  trustworthy professionals.

Ability to learn and adapt

It is not the fastest, strongest, or best company but the one that is able to adapt quickly to meet the demands and changes of the landscape that will survive in the long-term.  An entrepreneur must be an avid learner.  They must be constantly willing to educate themselves and their team about changes in their industry and their marketplace.  Entrepreneurs spend their time educating themselves while others spend their time entertaining themselves. Read marketing books, magazines, reports, journals, newsletters, websites, and  industry publications and apply what you learn. Network and emulate successful entrepreneurs.  Join associations and build mastermind groups. Take small steps, learn, improve, and then take another step.  Repeat that until you are successful.

Self awareness

An entrepreneur must be in control of themselves.  They must be clear thinkers. They must make goal oriented, results-based decisions regardless of the emotional influences of their personal and professional circumstances.  They must know where their strengths and weaknesses lie and be able to ask for help when needed. They must have a clear vision and relentless work ethic.

Be persistent and unstoppable but know when to take a break and recharge.  Above all, have fun and build something great that is good for the world!

These are just a few of the essential skills that an entrepreneur must have to be successful.

 

Here are some more related articles:

http://outdooreconomy.com/resource-guide-entrepreneurs-entrepreneurship/

http://under30ceo.com/5-critical-skills-for-entrepreneurs/

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/12/new_research_the_skills_that_m.html

http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/5-essential-skills-of-an-entrepreneur.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/06/14/how-to-raise-an-entrepreneur/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488

 

 

 

 

 

Nature Inspired Inventions and Engineering for Aviation

Humans have long been inspired by observing nature. Leonardo Da Vinci sketched several designs of potential flying machines based on the observation of birds.
Aviation technology has made dramatic changes since the first flight of the Wright Brothers.  Engineers now look back to the masters of the natural world to find clues for amazing breakthroughs in aviation design.  The following are just a few of the nature inspired improvements in aviation engineering and technology:
Morphing Wings
Birds and insects are able to adjust their wing size and shape while they fly. They have skeletal and vascular structures that morph into different shapes in order to compensate for the ideal conditions needed to maneuver effectively in the air. Engineers are experimenting with several creative designs that mimic the birds to adjust the wings of  aircraft in order to fit every stage of the flight mission.
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Perching
When birds come in for a landing, they execute a series of maneuvers and adjustments that allow them to make extremely accurate stops on difficult perches.  Birds do not use the standard, linear landings made by most aircraft. Engineers are testing how to recreate bird-like adjustments in speed and direction to help aircraft land safely and accurately.  The aircraft of the future may not need runways or brakes!   Bird morphing wings and perching behaviors  that are influencing aviation design are discussed in the 2011 abstract by Elvin Pineda from the University of Massachusetts.
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Winglets from Outstretched Eagle Wings
The wing-tips of Eagles and other birds have also caught the attention of several aviation engineers.  Several airplanes have been designed with adjustable wingtip mechanisms. This allows the aircraft to make slight adjustments to their wing tips to reduce the drag of the aircraft and improve efficiency and handling characteristics as well as enhance safety for following aircraft without increasing the wingspan. This also provides an increase in lift generated at the wingtip by smoothing the airflow and reducing the lift induced drag . The increased efficiency and reduced drag also improves fuel efficiency.
Lightweight Superstructure
The skeletal structures of bees and butterfly are extremely strong and light weight and able to form different shapes to allow the creatures to flutter from one flower to the next with great maneuverability and ease.  Engineers are examining designed aircraft using similar patterns that mimic the shapes and curves of bees and insects.  Birds also have well designed beaks and facial features that are being studied by engineers in order to make more aerodynamic designs.  These designs have also proved to be incredibly durable.
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Harryemi
Shark Skin

Flying creatures are not the only natural teachers that are schooling modern aviation engineers.  Sharks have a groovy skin that allows them to glide through the water with the greatest of ease.  Engineers copy these grooves in the hull design of aircraft in order to reduce wind drag and increase speed and efficiency.
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Noise Reduction

Engineers are on a constant quest to reduce airplane noise.  A number of creatures are giving lessons on how to keep the flying machines from disturbing the peace.  The pistol shrimp emits a loud crack sound to stun prey and confuse predators while tuning the frequency out of his own brain.  Bees position their honeycombs in a certain way to dampen sound. Owls are experts of stealth and silent flight.  Engineers are also taking a close look at creatures such as cicadas, butterflies, and fish to provide some insight on how to develop potential noise reduction technology.  Some of the ideas include retractable brush fringe and serrated  engine casings.
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Aviceda                                                                             Pdx.rollingthunder
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These are just a few ways of how engineers are looking to the time-tested methods of the natural world to design the flying machines of the future. That is the reason why companies like Boeing and Airbus are sending their engineers off on outdoor adventures to examine the genius of the natural world.  It just makes sense to take flight lessons from those that have been doing it for thousands of years!
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Top Scientists, Engineers, and Entrepreneurs look to Nature for Inspiration and Guidance

 

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Who is the most influential educator in the world?

There is no one who has taught more people or created more things that we often take for granted. She has taught every one of the greatest scientist from Aryabhata to Albert Einstien. She showed André-Jacques Garnerin how to make a parachute and taught the Wright Brothers how to fly. She showed Ben Franklin electricity, taught Alessandro Volta how to harness it, and showed Nikola Tesla how to transport it. She has been responsible for the first sparks of fire to the modern match. She is the mother of all inventions from every industry from agriculture to drinking water.

 

Yet she has often been ignored, taken advantage of, and abused.

Now, top scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs are once again looking to her for guidance.

Even billionaire, Sir Richard Branson looks to her for advice on how to direct the many companies of the Virgin Brand. He calls her the “Original Entrepreneur” and insists that it is crucial we learn from her if we are to continue to enjoy the wealth that we have derived from her for hundreds of centuries.

Companies like Boeing, have sent their top engineers to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast to study her in order to come up with solutions for better aviation design. Nike and General Electric have also looked to her to create more effective products and systems.

She is teaching scientists and engineers from the Sahara desert project how to harness energy from the sun and grow food using saltwater in one of the world’s most hostile climates. Projects like these could lead to reforestation of deserts and new ways of sustaining struggling communities.

Mother Nature has had over 3.8 billion years for research and development to come up with innovative systems and designs that are extremely efficient and create zero waste. She is open to teach anyone who is willing to take the time to study with her.

Are we taking time to study?

As people in developed countries spend more time in front of electronic screens, it becomes more important to find opportunities to help them learn from the great educator that lies right outside in the natural world. That is why it so important to create opportunities for young people to learn from her.

More companies are recognizing the value of studying nature as a means for developing systems and design even though it is often counter intuitive for their workforce. Not only can new products and services be developed, but also systems of building a more harmonious relationship between nature and business. As Branson puts it, “…we must recognize the value of the natural assets on our balance sheets” .

In addition to traditional education, we should encourage students to re-learn how to ask questions and look to the great educator of nature for answers. They can then use what they learn to develop new technologies and systems, learn how to profit from her abundance and at the same time find ways to take care of her as she ages.

These are the critical thinking skills that innovative companies will be searching for.  How we use what we learn from the lessons of mother nature will determine our future.

Pay attention because class is in session!

 

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 Richard Branson:  Mother Nature, the Original Entrepreneur

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/4282197

http://saharaforestproject.com/projects/qatar.html

http://www.edinformatics.com/inventions_inventors/

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