I do the same thing at the end of every year.
I take my pen and moleskine and lock myself in a room until I’ve filled at least five pages with new business skills and lessons I learned that year. Sometimes, these lessons don’t reveal themselves until I actually do this exercise in reflection.
And that got me thinking about our startup community here at Verge and the collective wisdom we must be sitting on.
I got some insightful answers from founders, investors, and thought leaders from the Verge community when I tweeted out this question:
What was the most influential new business skill you developed this year?
When you think about this question, where does your mind go? Is it a new sales/marketing technique? Or are they softer skills? Think about what areas you need to develop as you read through these new business skills:
Want it done right? Sometimes, it’s best to NOT do it yourself.
Get your team members to where they are playing the right position. Put your point guard in a place where he can dish the ball and make shots (not against the giants in the post). Rocky Walls, founder of 12stars Media knows it’s all about playing to your team’s strengths:
@hunckler How to accomplish more by building and growing a team based on each member’s individual strengths.
— Rocky Walls (@RockyWalls) November 26, 2013
It’s like getting married. So, make the decision with eyes wide open.
We all know that you can your business can benefit greatly from partnering with the right co-founder. But, it can make an equally bad impact on operations if you pick the wrong partner. Take Melissa Perri’s advice:
@hunckler learning to pick cofounders wisely
— Melissa Perri (@lissijean) November 26, 2013
Accelerate innovation with this counter-intuitive trick.
You’d think that innovative products and service comes from testing and tinkering on many things. But the reality is, you’ll innovate more if you hone in a few things to really excel. Take it from Perq co-founder, Scott Hill:
Sweat the details.
Founders need to keep their eye on the big picture and continue to align the vision of their company. But, as Pete the Planner points out, it’s the details that can hold us back from real growth. So, take it from him:
Get to your core.
What is your business all about? We’ll always be optimizing and developing (and maintaining) our systems. Core values can help align organizations and tools like the Core Values Canvas can help. Thank Michele for this tip:
If getting started is the most important part, don’t leave it up to chance.
Do you have a formula for getting “in the flow?” Get your routine down to a science to maximize your mindfulness before you jump into your first to-do. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but Rahul Gupta from Big Wheel Brigade knows what’s up:
@hunckler A sideways answer to the question, but: establishing a morning routine.
— a Rahul Gupta (@hul) November 25, 2013
Keep your inner optimist in check.
As founders, we sometimes need to psych ourselves up to do the work we know we need to do. But we need balance. Dig up that inner devil’s advocate and check yourself before you wreck yourself. Use this skill submitted by Homesense:
@hunckler Learning to ask “why won’t this idea work?”
— Homesense Heat & A/C (@TrustHomesense) November 25, 2013
Learn what new business skills other Verge members discovered through their work this year. Join Verge and more than 200 founders, investors, educators, and lifelong learners on December 11 at 6pm EST in downtown Indianapolis at The Conrad. First batch of tickets available Mon, Dec. 2 at 1:30pm EST at vergestartups.com. Video preview: