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8 Essential Skills You Need to Develop as a Student Entrepreneur

Written by Christine Rees

So you want to make an impact in the business world? You have to prepare for greatness! Skills are necessary for anything in life, however, successful business entrepreneurs identify with 8 key traits. Skills such as perseverance, negotiation, entrepreneurship, leadership, responsibility, accountability, resilience, and collaboration are always appealing – no matter what industry you’re leaning towards. Why not land an entrepreneurial summer painting program position honing in on this special skill set? 

Additionally, these sort of skills are transferable between industries. Whether you obtain them while you’re taking leadership on a group project or working that part-time job, you will discover that these strengths can apply anywhere. So, use them to your advantage!

Now, what are these magical traits? 

1. Perseverance

Basically, perseverance is the drive (and ability) to continue doing something despite obstacles thrown your way. This shows the hiring manager that despite how hard something is or how long it takes to complete, you WILL get it done. This character trait is entirely important because honing this skill can lead you towards a successful life. Just look at Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Gates as examples. Perseverance means you will not give up when things are tough but, instead, carry on and see the project through.

2. Negotiation

From informal day-to-day interactions to formal transactions (i.e. conditions of a lease and other legal contracts), the ability to negotiate is crucial. Good negotiations can significantly better growing relationships since the purpose of negotiating is to reach an agreement that serves its own interests and contains mutual benefits. Negotiating can lead to conflict resolution, problem solving and better communication.

3. Entrepreneurship

We live in an ever-changing world that is always moving forward. When you’re in a job that encourages this continued change, it is often encouraged and expected to think outside-the-box. As a result, this skill can change the way we work and live. Innovations can improve our lifestyle or our way of living, and can potentially create more jobs. Entrepreneurship combines a sense of curiosity and problem-solving as well as strategic and creative thinking that drives entrepreneurial thinkers to explore new things that help us to progress as a society.

4. Leadership

Leadership is used to boost efficiency while achieving an organization’s goals. Many employers seek out this trait because it demonstrates solid interpersonal skills as well as an ability to motivate, coordinate, and shape a proper team. Leaders can initiate action while building group morale and relationships (Management’s Study Guide). Leaders are typically positive influences, passionate, committed, innovators, and strong communicators, which can notably improve a work environment. 

5. Responsibility

In general, being a responsible person creates a good impression. It means that you are reliable and trustworthy. People who share this trait do not make up excuses for themselves, complain, procrastinate or be inconsistent with their schedules (LifeHack). Additionally, responsibility ties in with leadership. When you are a leader, you understand that leadership is a responsibility rather than a power. As a result, leaders take ownership of group failures and successes, making them responsible for every group effort’s outcome. 

6. Accountability

When you are accountable for something, whether it’s a school project or a massive client, you are responsible for the outcome. That means both failures and successes. It’s important to accept that without trying to blame others for any misfortune, if that happens. This accountability develops your leadership skills and builds a desire for control (Mind Tools). Since you’re in charge of making big decisions, you also have to lead others and motivate them to continue working hard. Usually this is because others are helping to bring your vision to life. After all, you’re the student entrepreneur. You’re the one with the BIG idea. Therefore, if this doesn’t work out, you’re still accountable for the end result.

Knowing that you’re accountable for something often raises the stakes. It creates an initiative to problem-solve and take action, and to steer others in the right direction. Time management is key here, so there should be a schedule or plan in place. If there is a deadline, you are responsible for having it complete (and done RIGHT) by that time, which means you should be keeping track of what your team is doing. 

7. Resilience

How fast can you recover from difficulties and obstacles? The drive and persistence to overcome all odds and continue working on this project is what makes it possible to see it through. Life is never easy. Nothing ever works out the way we plan. However, if you’re resilient enough to push past all of that, you may reap the benefits. 

It’s understood as a student entrepreneur that you need to take risks. Therefore, before you make any decisions, weigh the risks and be one-hundred-percent certain that the risk is worth it. If things go badly, can you take that hit? Can you still find optimism when that happens? This all factors into what makes someone a successful entrepreneur. The ability to get back up when you’re knocked down shows a dedication to your vision, which makes others believe in it too. 

There is such a thing called smart failure. This is the ability to learn from your mistakes through feedback. Failure can suck but learning from it can lead to a successful outcome. Reviewing what’s been done and asking, “Is there a better way?” can significantly improve anything you do. Why not seek out new perspectives or methods for completing tasks? Perhaps someone’s thought of a more efficient way of doing it. 

8. Collaboration

Collaboration is all about negotiation. Identify what you need out of this arrangement and come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial. When it comes to working with others, it’s necessary to listen and communicate well because if you don’t have these qualities, it can break you as an entrepreneur (Mind Tools). You need to actively listen to what people are telling you, especially if it involves an issue, but you also must be able to communicate your vision in order to see it executed effectively. Emotional intelligence can work in your favour to improve personal relations and foster a strong work environment. 

Becoming a student entrepreneur is no easy feat, but it can be done with the right tools! If you already possess these skills, then you are bound to make a good impression. However, if there are any areas in which you could better yourself, why not try? Each of these skills work towards benefiting your future and your future career, so make them stand out. Jump start your career today with a top summer painting program in Canada and develop the right skills to make an impact!

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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.