Sidney Halpern, Chartered Accountant, Scottsdale, AZ

I attribute most of my success in a 50 year business and professional career to following best practices of successful people, seeking for continuous improvement and innovation and creativity and setting high standards of achievement.  Almost all of this was not learned in my academic career in the Chartered Accountancy school but from my mentors.

There are several ways to expand your skill set as an entrepreneur which include formal and informal mentoring relationships. Whether you are just starting out or been in the business for a while, learning should never stop. Here are some tips and advice to help improve your skill set:

1) The most effective way of expanding skills is to first identify a specific objective and identify the skills needed for achievement. What is it that you want to accomplish, and what are you going to do to be able to accomplish it?

2) Identify someone who has those skills that can work as a mentor with you, and be there to answer questions, plus offer insight. Having a relationship with a mentor where you can both learn from one another is a great way to have a relationship that is equally valuable.

3) Arrange for a meeting or series of meetings to pick the brains of successful people such as entrepreneurs, business professionals, or others in your line of work. You can learn a lot from others that have been through what you are going through.

4) Use formal education to advance your skill set, or attend workshops, conferences, etc. that will help you continually grow and learn.

On top of continual learning, I feel that it is important to expose young people to entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur there are things you can do to help expand the skill set and knowledge of entrepreneurship with the younger generations. Some ways you can do this is by:

–  Encouraging high schools and colleges to offer guest teaching positions to successful entrepreneurs to share experiences, or reaching out to schools to volunteer to come in and speak about your experience as an entrepreneur.

– Encouraging businesses to invite students from high schools and higher to spend time in operating facilities and teaching them about what it’s like to be an entrepreneur firsthand.

– Establishing a culture of motivation and encouragement in communities and education institutions.

Expanding your skill set and continual learning is crucial to achieving success and growing yourself and your business. Do you have tips on how to improve and accelerate your skill set? Share below in the comments!

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