11 Startup Skills that Schools Fail to Impart



 
Start-ups are mushrooming all around the globe, and so are training institutes that offer to coach aspiring individuals in the skills required for setting up one. Some go in for advanced management degrees, while some benefit from formal entrepreneurial training. However there are some things that the best of schools cannot imbibe in an aspiring entrepreneur, things which only-hands on experience can teach, as testified by a few successful entrepreneurs.
 
One classic example of a startup that has became successful in a short span of time is the business venture of Gupta Family. Initially, entrepreneur Atul Gupta started off with local hardware distribution in 1990’s, but over the decades this company has evolved into becoming South Africa’s most sought after ICT solutions provider.
 
Such entrepreneurs have a few tips to share with the budding business men of today, lessons that they have picked up long the way:
 
1) Need a new facet of leadership:
A small team set up completely differs from a ripe corporate environment. There is a lot of multitasking to be done, no chalked out ladder for progress, and people who need to train themselves and get cross trained as well. Startup employees need to be much more forward thinking and empowered in comparison with their peers working in traditional set ups. A school may not be able to teach this.
 
2) Networking dynamics:
A major chunk of success in an entrepreneurial venture can be attributed to the contacts you have and the power that your circle exhibits.  Schools usually fail to talk about cultivating and growing networks or the many realms of networking, either passively or actively, but every beginner needs a network and building on it would help grow the business.
 
3) Grit in the aftermath of failure
A classroom does not teach grit. It is all about creating something meaningful from nothing. You need grit, determination and dedication to overcome all hurdles, and jump back to your feet if all goes wrong, even if it means this happens more than once. Success has its cost and you need grit to invest 100 percent energy in times of uncertainty, and even more of it to come back again the next day and pursue the same.
 
4) Need to deal with the loneliness of being the founder:
Yes, being a founder is lonely as you have nowhere to run, nowhere to go and no one to fall back on. You have to be there and solve the problems, find solutions and spread positivity to keep the flame of motivation burning. Nevertheless it is an interesting challenge for those who enjoy living on the edge, and getting hold of valuable mentors and advisors is a very crucial part of the game.
 
5) It’s not a sprint, but a reckless marathon
Schools hone the talents of ambitious individuals who rush to the finish line and try to answer every question in class, but in the real world outside it is a different ball game altogether. You will learn from the mistakes you make, and there will be unavoidable disappointments. At such a time instead of drowning in self-pity or playing the blame game, you need to remind yourself of your true purpose and larger goal. Winning the war is more important than revelling in the victory of small battles.
 
6) Determining exact time to scale-up
None of the schools can teach you when would be the appropriate time to expand, take on newer responsibilities and ramp up the hiring process. Many times this comes from the strategic relationships you have built and more often than not from a gut feeling. Text books fail to impart this skill.
 
7) The intricacies of an impactful sales process are a matter of trial and error:
Schools hone your skills as far as marketing is concerned, but skip the effective sales part. You have to learn it yourself, all along the way, from prospecting to suspecting, lead generation and nurturing, to eventually closing the sale.
 
8) Hustle to the optimum:
No school can teach you to work energetically towards achieving your goal. These are tricks of the trade which you pick up while you are at it.
 
9) Product designing and creation:
You can learn business operation strategies and marketing theories in school, but a school will not be able to teach you the right thing to sell. You need to study the market and analyse which product will be best consumed. It’s a good practise to design MVP products or maybe just landing pages that have been formulated to promote an altogether imaginary item. These can really bring the item to life and can help you learn a lot about what product creation in reality actually is.
 
10) Adapting to changing environments:
Schools are often static, with a pre-designed road map of how to pass out. They fail to impart the dynamics of scrapping an existent roadmap and completely changing your destination, as is mandatory in the course of the changing market scenario during entrepreneurship. Learning the skill of adaptation to environment is essential for long term success, for thriving in this dynamic global market.
 
11) Sustenance under pressure
Equipping yourself to live with constant stress and pressure is something that cannot be taught, and need to be inculcated in your attitude, by taking highs and lows in your stride. It is a challenge you have to face in the face and prevent yourself from succumbing to its ill effects.

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