The Building Blocks of Entrepreneurship are PRIORITIES, PEOPLE SKILLS, and PROCESS.
People skills are the single greatest outward predictor of success in any business that involves human interaction of any sort. The ability to get along with others, collaborate, cooperation, and collegiate are so essential that it almost goes without saying that without them, failure is certain.
We can grow in our ability to work with people. If we don't have the skills now, we can acquire them. Great books have been written on the subject. Seminars abound. Mentors are waiting to coach us. Challenging life situations are our ready teachers. Difficult people are available to help us with the project. We can learn the skills when we are ready and willing.
The three areas that the Entrepreneur's table recommends for a starting place are.
- Collaboration - Make a decision to stop being a loner and come out of isolation. Initiate a project that requires you pool your efforts with another person. Start small, but divide the responsibility and the authority. It is not full collaboration if you have the last word in everything. To collaborate, you will have to communicate freely, honestly, and regularly. None of this will be easy for you if you've never done it, but it is absolutely necessary. It is also intrinsic to the way we have been designed by God. We were made for community and ensemble.
- Cooperation - Cooperation is a bit different because it sometimes means lending a hand on projects that are not our own. It is also one of the ingredients necessary for sharing resources, time, space, and attention. Cooperation requires that we read the section on attitudes again and apply the principles expressed there. It necessitates our stepping aside, relinquishing control, and divorcing ourselves from selfishness and pride.
- Collegiation - As used here, it is the process of thinking together, sharing ideas, and listening to other people's views as if we really believed they had something important to say. This is a big part of what the TABLE is all about - people who are working in different areas, have different backgrounds, and bring different perspectives all having a voice to speak and an ear to hear.
We will need to post more on people skills because the subject is so vital.
On the subject, Peter Murphy has an excellent article entitled 12 Reasons Why You Should Never Neglect People Skills.
I was at the Clovis Big Hat Days Saturday with our Mangosteen juice. During a lull in the action, I was walking around and met a most compelling young lady of 16, hosting a booth all by herself, telling the story of a product she had manufactured herself and was marketing single-handedly. As soon as I have permission from her and her father, I would like to promote her and her product - essentially goat's milk soap with a twist or two. Her product was high quality and her presentation was polished, but what was most pronounced about her booth was HER - She had GREAT people skills. She was natural, enthusiastic, respectful, friendly, and utterly (not to play on words - she does milk her own goats) delightful.
Most people know what poor people skills are; let's start collecting some examples of excellent people skills. In the process, we will develop some of our own.
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