Here’s a simple guide for becoming a better entrepreneur.
“It’s a cliché to say the world is changing. It has and will continue to do so. What’s indisputable is that the pace is getting faster. To have a thriving career, you need to keep your skills relevant and continuously refine and adapt your operating style,” says change and leadership expert, and Change Meridian founder, Michelle Gibbings.
Gibbings works with leaders and teams to help them accelerate progress. She says if you don’t upskill, you’ll quickly become outdated: “This is not a responsibility that can be outsourced to someone else… successful people know it’s their responsibility to direct their career and that learning is a critical part of that process. Everyone learns differently, but what’s common is that people learn better the more involved they are with their learning.”
She encourages business owners to adopt a tailored plan in order to help them target what they want to learn and how they go about the process. Here is Gibbings’ seven-step guide to auditing your personal skills:
1. Examine the present Write down all the areas where you currently posses a strong degree of knowledge, these skills should be technical, practical and behavioural.
2. Imagine your dream job Think about what you really want to do. What comes to mind? What would your ideal position involve? What would it take to get there? Don’t limit your ambitions.
3. Identify the skills Consider what new skills you would need to achieve your goals, whether that is to evolve your business, attract new customers or become a more successful entrepreneur and stronger leader.
4. Know where gaps lie Look at the gap between the skills you have and the skills you need in order to achieve your goal. Think about the skills that are important when it comes to pursuing your ambitions, and assess what level you are at:
- No current skill or knowledge
- Some skill or knowledge, but not proficient
- Competent at this skill and have knowledge
- Expert with a high degree of skill and knowledge
Concentrate your efforts on the skills you do not possess or need to improve.
5. Get creative Think about what activities and courses you could undertake to close these gaps in your knowledge and skills, and what activities you should prioritise. This might include courses you could enrol in, new people to make contact with and new practices to perfect.
As we get older we become more reluctant to try new things and do things differently. Fight this instinct and focus on overcoming fear of failure, and similarly, don’t fall into the trap of being complacent with where you are – there’s always room for improvement.
6. Build your plan Building on the previous steps, create a personal development plan that maps out your learning goals, including what you will do and by when. Having these dates in place is critical as you need to hold yourself to account.
Ensure the plan includes clear measurements so you can monitor progress and know when you’ve closed a skill or knowledge gap.
7. Get busy doing The last step is to put your plan into action, and constantly monitor your progress. Also, don’t forget to reward yourself. Celebrate your learning and the progress you’ve made. Learning to love learning is a life skill, and it’s even better when you are learning with purpose.