Blog | Entrepreneurship

Skills Entrepreneurs Need

Your technical knowledge may make you a savvy specialist, but it doesn’t guarantee you success as an entrepreneur

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Taking your business idea from a flash of inspiration and into a cash-flowing endeavor takes time, patience, and a little bit of luck. And it’s the final thing, luck, that isn’t always obvious. Not to mention, it isn’t something that can always be considered “good” luck.

For example, if it weren’t for my “friend”, Richard, who completely botched our licensing situation, I would not have experienced the specific details necessary to run an alcohol addiction and treatment center.

After we decided to part ways with Richard, I took it upon myself to establish a working relationship with the licensing board. It became apparent rather quickly that it would take some time to form a positive relationship with them.

Aside from the lost opportunity cost and income we were losing, the business was already more than $60,000 in the hole due to Richard’s “lesson.” (The $60,000 included $40,000 in payments to Arvis and another $20,000 in operating expenses.)

The Skills of a Big Business Owner

Though it was an expensive lesson, it was also a valuable lesson for two new entrepreneurs to learn at that moment in time. Lisa and I learned that in order for us to build our business correctly, and prevent further manipulation in the future, we needed to choose our direction more carefully and learn everything we could about all aspects of the industry.

Robert insists that business success requires owners to become generalists, not specialists. This means that we, too, were required to develop new skills. We needed to know what questions to ask, whom to ask them of, and what had to be done to move forward.

Skills Required for the Right Side of The Cashflow® Quadrant

If you have been following Rich Dad any amount of time, you may be familiar with the CASHFLOW® Quadrant.

The actions of those who pay themselves first.

If you look at the skills required of people on the left side of the quadrant, you’ll notice that they are all specialists. Both Es and Ss have specialized skills. In fact, one of the biggest differences between the two is who pays them, an employer or their clients.

But the skills needed from people on the right side, the Bs and Is, require very different skills.

I discovered exactly what those skills were in short order, after I returned to our new office in Utah.

After learning the painful lessons from Richard’s negligence, I was determined to handle the licensing stuff myself from that moment on. I knew it meant a complete overhaul of our policies and procedures, which wasn’t a strength of mine. Fortunately, both Lisa and Charles, our Director of Marketing, pulled together countless forms and compliance documents that were required for us to open our healing centers.

But licensing was just the tip of the iceberg, however. I took it upon myself to learn many new skills including—cleaning floors, cooking, driving, dealing with labor boards, answering phones. The list of roles I filled could populate a job recruitment website. I had become exactly what Robert and Kim have been preaching for decades: a generalist.

It was a painful yet humbling experience. Both Lisa and I vowed to never again trust our livelihood and our family’s future to someone who says “I know a guy… trust me.”

In the next post, I’m going to discuss how marketing was our next teacher.

If you want to read more about our story, grab a copy of our book The Social Capitalist.

Original publish date: June 10, 2019

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