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5 Skills You Need to Evolve From Being an Entrepreneur to Being a Leader

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 6/10/2015 Young Entrepreneur Council

2015-10-01-1443733406-4747047-SohinShah.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-10-01-1443733406-4747047-SohinShah.png In 2012, Sohin Shah successfully crowdfunded   Valuation App   with 57 backers and went on to start New York-based iFunding, a leading real estate crowdfunding platform. Shah is also an angel investor and a mentor to startups who can be reached at
You will rarely find someone who hates cooking but opens their own restaurant. Nor will you see someone who despises reading open a bookstore. Only a person who is passionate about a skill, an opportunity, a science or an art will choose it as his lifelong career by investing his time, energy and finances into it.
Entrepreneurship is most often fueled by an individual's passion for sharing his vision with the world. When I was working at an investment bank in New York, I was extremely frustrated by the hours I spent daily on putting together valuation models. So, to identify a solution to help with the same, I crowdfunded and built Valuation App, which provides entrepreneurs and finance professionals with pre-saved templates for financial analysis. 
This passion was what kept me motivated to work every moment, to the point of obsession. This obsession, for myself and others, is fueled by inspiration to create, innovate, educate, succeed, lead, evolve, solve, express and sometimes de-stress. It is often followed by frustration when others do not see the scope of your vision; one that you cannot stop seeing and believing in. Those who are truly successful are those who continue to pursue their idea, even when others ridicule it. To do so, I've learned that you need to excel in the following five arts -- which I think could help other aspiring entrepreneurs as well.
Most aspiring entrepreneurs do not have the seed capital required to start a business. Seeking outside investors can prove to be one of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur faces. In order to get people to invest in your business idea, you need to be able to transform it into a vision, and then sell this vision to investors by making them believe in its potential. These investors will not only look at how good of an idea you have, but also at your level of commitment. Unless you are truly sold on your own idea, you will find it very challenging to convince others to partner with you. 
When Michael Schneider had the idea for his product Service, he started on a $10 seed investment by putting together a Squarespace website and using Twitter as a source for customer acquisition to start solving customer service issues for people. He didn't let lack of capital be an excuse. This allowed him to connect with real people, help them save money on customer service issues and eventually use that as traction when approaching investors during fundraising.
Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurs are not the ones who possess all of the know-how of their business or industry; they are simply the ones with the skills to extract knowledge and experience from others. They are not subject matter experts. Rather, they are generalists with the ability to identify and manage resources. As long as you have passion and the resolve to learn, you will find ways to succeed by hustling.
Given that entrepreneurs are almost always struggling with cash flow, a very important skill they need to learn early on is how to incentivize skilled professionals to work in lieu of immediate compensation, typically in exchange for stock. For example, when Facebook was a fledgling startup in 2005, they hired graffiti artist David Choe to paint their office walls. He had the option to get $60,000 paid in cash, or to collect stock for his services. He chose the latter. When Facebook went public, his modest stock ended up being worth $200 million.
Running your own business, no matter how small, is extremely stressful. As an entrepreneur, managing a team of diverse personalities, responsibilities, expectations and insecurities can be overwhelming. It takes skill to make these dynamic personalities function in unison. Entrepreneurs need to learn this on the go.
Pakible co-founder Philip Akzkar has built a well-developed culture of morning standup meetings to keep everyone in role check. In this video, he shows us how he has identified the different personalities that help make his team function as a successful unit.
You will not find a leader who claims to have never experienced failure. In the real world, failures are stepping stones. But frequently, people don't see the vision beyond these temporary setbacks. And regardless of what they tell themselves or the world at large, it isn't those obstacles, but rather their refusal to look past them that eventually gets in the way of success.
Leaders are those who can stay optimistic when the the odds are against them, because they are confident in their ability to succeed, and they refuse to settle for anything less. I didn't, and neither should you.
To summarize, entrepreneurship is grueling. It makes you put everything on the line, with nothing to fall back on. You learn to get things done. Unknowingly, it turns you from one who tries to identify solutions, to one who makes things happen. You end up being the individual that holds down the fort. You keep your team's spirits high, the team atmosphere positive and set an example to follow.

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