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Learn entrepreneurial skills

 

 Everyone can be entrepreneurial. 

Entrepreneurs are often described as mythical beings, as if they are born with a special power that makes them stand out from the rest – and the terminology of ‘unicorns’ and ‘centaurs’ that surrounds start-ups reinforces this further. However, we know this isn’t true. 

When we break down the behaviours, approaches and attitudes of a successful entrepreneur, we unlock a treasure trove of tangible skills which anyone can practice, develop and hone. That is where the Seven Skills of an Entrepreneurial Mindset come in.

We have unpicked the mind and journey of an entrepreneur down to its fundamental parts so that we can help the King’s community of staff, students and alumni to learn and apply these skills for themselves.

The best part is these skills can be applied to any sector, any career, any future. Each one can take their entrepreneurial thinking with them into medical careers, legal professions, or companies helping to solve the world’s biggest challenges to make it a better place.

Compel

Ever binge-watched a series on Netflix? Read a book so good you could barely put it down? Or walked around the block another time so you could finish that really great podcast?

We're pretty sure you answered yes to at least one of the above, so you know what we mean when we say that being compelling is a skill!

Compelling isn't just convincing (in fact, some would say it's the opposite) and we see the importance of being compelling as creating a connection with an audience about your vision through spellbinding storytelling, as well as authentic and credible leadership.

Disrupt

People don't usually like disruption. A late train, plane or bus. A loss of internet connection. Even something like a global pandemic...

But in another context, disruption can breed opportunities. Disruption can challenge the status quo of established systems and progress new ideas and ways of thinking and doing things.

Everything from women's Suffrage and the Civil Rights movements to the internet and mobile technologies and even the pandemic that we're living through have challenged established structures and systems and created new opportunities for change and progress.

Think Lean

Our ideas are precious, and it's natural to want to preserve and protect them in an ideal form. When you're starting something new, you don't know where your journey is going to take you. You may not even know what the final product is going to look like, and we want you to know that that's ok!

Thinking lean is about conserving resources, working sustainably and bettering your chances of success by embedding iterative testing into your development stages.

Revealing a work-in-progress before you think it's finished might make you feel vulnerable, but by letting go of your ego and getting direct feedback from people on your drafts, you might avoid crucial mistakes and adapt and improve your ideas as you go.

Validate

"Is my idea any good?"

You wouldn't believe how many people come to us at the Entrepreneurship Institute asking this same question, and we always come back with the same answer: "have you asked your customers?"

It doesn't matter if it's a business idea, a proposal for a research project, or whether or not you should buy those new, expensive headphones. Speaking to other people is the first step of validating your assumptions, and one of the most important entrepreneurial skills.

Consider the headphones. Would you buy them without talking to any of your friends who already own them? Would you buy them without reading reviews (or at least watching an unboxing video on Youtube)? Meanwhile, loads of ads are telling you that they're going to change your life, but they might just be a little bit biased, don't you think?

The same validation process applies to your ideas. At the beginning, you may think it's an amazing idea that's going to solve all your customer's problems but in reality, your idea is also based on your own biases, assumptions and preconceptions.

Commit to Growth

Committing to growth means understanding that everyone has a never-ending ability to learn and develop. We also know this is true of ideas, they evolve and change as we learn and adapt. We will teach you how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable knowing that you develop most when you’re operating in your personal stretch zone. We’ll show you how developing a rich network of mentors, friends and peers who can help guide you and support you when the going gets tough so you can bounce back even stronger. It��s not about avoiding failure; it’s about knowing you will get through it when it does happen and you’ll come out the other side with more knowledge and experience than you had before.

Build Teams

From group assignments, to planning a friend's surprise party, to almost any work you'll have to do at any job, cooperation and the ability to work in a team are skills you are going to need in your arsenal.

Unlike your friendship group, you don't always get to choose (or even know in advance) who you'll be working with. This brings us to the concept of 'teaming', the action of making teamwork on the fly, with whoever you have on hand. coordination and collaborating with people across all kinds of boundaries (experience, time zones, distance) to get things done.

To make teamwork takes work! Like any relationship, teams need care and attention and of course, communication.

It's also important to highlight the importance of diversity in building teams - of thought, ideas, experiences, skills and backgrounds - as well as inclusive cultures in which everyone feels empowered to contribute.

Get it Done

What should you be doing right now?

Studying for your exam? Writing an essay? Finishing up that application?

And what are you doing instead? Obviously reading this very important email and skilling up for your future, sure. And reorganizing your sock drawer, cleaning out the fridge, watering the plants...

And more importantly, what's stopping you, and everyone else with deadlines, from getting these things done? Is it the work itself? When we catch ourselves procrastinating, it's easy to blame our work ethic or time management, when actually, we procrastinate when a task stirs up negative emotions like anxiety, confusion or boredom. And the science tells us that while it may make us feel better today, we end up feeling worse — and falling further behind — tomorrow.