EVERYTHING. I’m half-kidding. As founders, we kind of have to be a Jack of all trades. Know some coding, know some marketing…But let’s look at what’s the top skills which some successful entrepreneurs have said, because fortunately, we can't rely fully on technology yet.
Always Be Selling
“You can’t have a business unless someone buys something from you. So the skill I focused on was how to sell.” Tim Conley, Timconley.co
Selling has a bad rep – people think of used cars salesmen, or insurance agents. The past mantra of sales was ABC – Always Be Closing. That’s where the aggressive, super-pushy type of sales originated from.
But don’t let that image stop you from talking about your product and asking people if they would buy it. No one will get offended and go “OMG! That guy just tried to sell me an e-wallet! I can’t believe he has the nerves to!”
In today’s world of sales, we all need to learn how to be authentic, flexible, a good listener and attuned to what our potential customer needs.
Source: The Oatmeal
“A new business lives or dies based on its ability to get customers. I knew that if I could sell successfully, in person or online, I’d always have a source of income.” John McIntyre, McMethod
We’d say that this is another related part to sales and marketing. Whether it’s in the form of written words for an ad, on our website, or writing the script for our business videos.
But, what about programming?
If you’re under 20 now, you should definitely learn to code and design. These fundamental skills are crazy important.
Lots of great companies are built by genius coders (Facebook, Google) and designers (Airbnb), and although you don’t need to be the main coder, a good founder knows what code and design can and cannot do. You know the possibilities, you know how to hire, you can talk to your programmers in the same language.
No one wants a founder like this:
To cap it all, Perseverence
Founders face a sh*tload of rejections. From investors, from customers, even from potential employees! But the rewards are amazing – you’re creating change, and hopefully making money from it. So, you’ll need to be mentally and emotionally strong, and open to learning from feedback.
But we're not superhuman - This is also why we always recommend having a co-founder! So that one of us can take time off and rejuvenate while the other handles the startup.
If you get tired, learn to rest and take a break. Don’t quit.