• Helen Cooper

Practice makes perfect but skills make it possible

Key points:

  • Entrepreneurs need to be generalists which causes huge stress

  • No time for in depth training but the need for some knowledge is clear

  • Collection of specific skills guides designed to help entrepreneurs

  • 'Graze-able' training to use as and when you need it

Photo credit: Providence Doucet on Unsplash


Someone once described being an entrepreneur like being asked to perform a virtuoso violin performance even though you have never picked up the instrument before.


And the audience is waiting!


For many people who decide to ‘go it alone’ there is an expectation of some hard work and stress, but the whirlwind of excitement in taking your idea to market seems to dull the pain – until reality hits.


No one could really anticipate the extreme highs and lows that you’ll experience in a week (or even a single day) that'll have your emotions screaming for some respite. And the stress levels are stratospheric, having moved yourself so far out of your comfort zone that it's now just a dot in the distance.


And it's not just the usual money worries and the pressure to get to market quickly, or even the sense of being isolated from the usual social contact at work that causes stress for entrepreneurs. It is often the sudden and urgent need for you to multi-task and make decisions on things that you've never had to deal with before.


Moving from being a subject matter expert to being a generalist is one of the biggest issues that many entrepreneurs face.


During the last ten years, I've had the privilege of working a number of start-up and early stage ventures. In the course of my time with them it became clear that they often seemed to struggle with the same group of core business skills, simply because they never needed them before. This was affecting their self-confidence, slowing them down in running the day-to-day operations, and preventing them from creating strong and defendable businesses.


So last year I decided to test my theory by running an online survey amongst entrepreneurs who had been in business for up to 5 years. More than 30 responded and they confirmed what I thought: there are some essential skills that having just a bit more training or knowledge of would have significantly reduced the early days' stress levels.


Many of these skills are often never really taught, relying on you to pick up on how to handle them through trial and error, which takes time and can cost a lot of money. Having even a little basic knowledge of processes, techniques, and even terminology just helps to get over that initial panic when thrown in at the deep end.


That's why I decided to write a series of ‘How To’ Guides using the experience and expertise gathered over my 35-year career.


These Guides are designed to be ‘graze-able learning’. They’re easy to use and can be easily applied to your business using tips and workbooks provided. They are ideal to quickly ‘upskill’ yourself or pass on to your team to develop their skills.


Investing in yourself, as well as your business, is important.


No one is born an entrepreneur, and it takes time and inspiration to achieve success. Having the right core skills can really help make you feel more confident in how you manage your business, and that can have a big impact on how successful you ultimately will be. Prices start from £115 inc. VAT.

Go to www.helencooper.com/decoding-business to find the right skills training for you today.

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