The One Skill Entrepreneurs Must Master in order to Succeed
Every single entrepreneur dreams about the end of the story. The big pay day, building the successful company that changes the world. But far too often, entrepreneurs never focus on the skills they will need to master in order to get there.
The biggest overlooked skill that is critical for entrepreneurial success is organization.
This skill is often overlooked because it is not taught in K-12 schools. It’s not even a focus in colleges and universities. There is a mass assumption among the educator community that organizational skills are just obtained through academic study and practice.
Put another way, educators assume that any college student “must have” developed good enough organizational skills, otherwise they couldn’t earn good enough grades or study habits to make it into college in the first place.
This is literally a joke.
But there are some reasons behind the false assumption, namely that a lot of educators themselves, teachers, principals, administrators, and professors are notoriously disorganized people. Take a look at your favorite professor’s office and you will see stacks of papers, books, files strewn all over the place in no real rhyme or reason.
The truth is that the type of organization and thought process it takes to be an educator or professor is a much different thought process and type of organization required to be a successful entrepreneur.
One of the key fundamental differences in this mindset is the lack of safety and security. A professor is not worried about where his/her paycheck is coming from. An entrepreneur must hustle to get paid.
Not having the security blanket of the school system or the university behind you, creates a much higher level of urgency to your actions.
Entrepreneurs need to hustle every single day. They need to make new contacts and network every single day. They need to make connections to the next level of their business every single day.
In my own example, I founded my think tank, Education Development Institute in 2013. It started as a side project, but I knew it would become extremely important in the future, so I was hustling everyday to continue to build it from the ground up.
I started with one in-person workshop (In a virtual “zoom” world, I feel it’s important to highlight in-person) and then expanded to lectures, and seminars.
In 2019, I started to research and work on YouTube.
In late 2020, I launched the social media campaigns that led me to Medium, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Everyday since the Pandemic shut down schools in March 2020, I have been in over-drive to expand the reach of the think tank and last week I was successful in garnering a one-on-one conversation with Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, who is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on curriculum and curriculum design.
None of that would have been possible if I did not have the highest levels of organizational skills.
Over the years, I have used multiple methods to keep everything organized. I highly recommend one piece of software called MindGenius, which allows you to create mind-maps that help give context and a bird’s eye view of your organization or roadmap.
In 2020, I decided to upgrade my organizational software to ClickUp, which allows me to create projects and within those projects I can create to-do lists and set deadlines and it sends me email alerts if I’m hitting my targets or not.
For me, I need to do a full reorganization every few weeks. I need to organize the research that I’ve done into new folders on my Google Drive so that I only focus on the projects that are currently due. I use Click Up to set new deadline dates to help organize what is the current priority.
I have been successful my whole career because I have the mindset that if you accomplish any goal today, it will lead to accomplishing a new goal tomorrow, so I try and make each day count toward moving the ball down the field.
There was an old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and that holds true today. You cannot build the next YouTube, Facebook, or Uber in one day. It will take some time, how long does depend on your organizational skills. The more organized you are, the less money you waste in your business. The more organized you are, the less time you waste in your business. The more organized you are, the less mistakes you make along the path to success.
Therefore, if organization is not your strong suit, or you recognize that you have not mastered this skill, as an entrepreneur or business owner, you must make a very important decision.
One, hire someone to keep you organized. I began helping small business owners in January 2021 with business coaching, but all of my efforts have been focused on organization.
If you don’t want to hire someone else, or if you feel like this is a personal mission, then you must develop your organizational skills each and everyday.
In the beginning, it’s more important to practice being organized. It’s less important how perfect it seems, the more you work on this skill the better you will become with it over time.
If you are interested in learning more about how to start being more organized, leave a comment and I will write a new article specifically on organization skills building.