10 Most Valuable Career & Entrepreneurial Skills for Filipinos Philippines: Becoming a successful entrepreneur or climbing up the career ladder is no easy feat. But what separates successful people from the rest?
While the internet is filled with a multitude of ideas and tips needed to excel in your chosen path, it all comes down to honing useful skills.
If you haven’t done your research before, don’t panic. After all, Henry Sy and Lucio Tan weren’t born with these skills. It was something they developed over time, and you can do the same too.
If you are serious about succeeding in your chosen field, make sure to master the following skills.
Most Valuable Career & Entrepreneurial Skills Philippines
1. Clarity of Thought
“Clarity affords focus.” -Thomas Leonard.
If a genie walked into your life, having clarity of thought should be one of your wishes. This is important especially when it comes to making smart leadership decisions, weighing options, and dealing with problems.
Clarity of thought is a skill that is developed and maintained over time. It involves being aware of your thoughts, analyzing them, finding their source, and thinking about their consequences.
Distractions around you make mastering this skill more important. For example, many people deal with cognitive distortion, which is characterized by irrational thoughts. Another common distraction is called “all or nothing thinking.” When it comes to this distraction, you see the world in black and white, but the reality is more complicated than that.
Aside from that, you may also be easily influenced by your emotions. There may be days when you feel like you can rule the world, while there may be instances when you feel like your world will fall apart after facing a minor problem.
When you finally gain clarity of thought, you can harness all the difficulties to accelerate your career.
But how exactly can you do this? What strategies can improve your clarity of thought?
Identify the things that matter
Before you engage in decision-making, you need to identify the things that matter in the first place. If you can only focus on one thing, what should it be? Let this be your north star.
To master clarity of thought, you need to set principles. You may see principles only as arbitrary rules that you need to adhere to. However, principles are integral in decision-making. Every time you deal with a problem, refer back to your principles.
Clean your surroundings
This tip is very straightforward. You can’t expect yourself to gain clarity of thought in a messy setting.
You’ll be surprised at how removing distractions such as clutter can clear your mind. This does not only apply to your surroundings but also to your gadgets.
To put it simply, your diet plays a big role in how you think. A poor diet increases your chances of having imbalanced blood sugar levels in your body. This makes way for fatigue and energy slumps. On the flip side, eating well fuels your cognitive function, concentration, energy, self-esteem, and mood.
Writing and journaling can do wonders to help you detangle your thoughts. The main challenge is developing the habit of writing. Discipline yourself to write for at least 10 minutes per day.
Mindfulness involves concentrating on your breathing and observing your thoughts and feelings. This helps you understand your emotions and how they affect you.
It also teaches you how to deal with emotions, manage them, and remain calm when you face adversities.
2. Tech Skills
“The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything.” – Sean Gerety
If you want to grow your business or become successful in your career, you can’t be left behind with tech skills. In the 21st century, more and more businesses are using technology to increase efficiency and results.
Tech skills can be the lifeblood of your business or career, regardless of whatever industry you are part of. Therefore, you should make it an essential part of your education.
You don’t have to be an expert in coding or programming, but you must understand basic tech skills. Here are some tech skills you should master.
The role of data science goes beyond crunching and analyzing data. With data science, you can develop algorithms, recognize trends, and turn data into valuable information.
Many companies spend more on app development than on other marketing investments. Knowing the stages involved in app development can help you serve your customers better.
At a time when devices are getting smaller and more complex, the importance of User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design is growing as well.
UX/UI design involves planning how users can interact with software, computer systems, and applications through intersecting principles of technology, psychology, and design.
The role of web design/dev is crucial in the success of your business. A website is the company’s storefront, and it’s the first thing potential customers see.
Hence, it should be functional, user-friendly, and visually appealing.
Related Guide: How to Learn to Code in the Philippines for Beginners
3. Financial Skills
“Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” -Benjamin Franklin
Financial skills are essential in making vital business and career decisions. For example, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, knowing the profitability of your business is a must.
Based on our research, 64% of Filipino netizens consider themselves financially literate – yet this doesn’t reflect the overall proficiency of the entire population when it comes to handling their finances (seeing that the poverty incidence rate in the country averaged 46% in 2022).
When you are skilled in this area, you can avoid making poor financial decisions that can impact your business and personal life.
Here are some actionable steps you can take to hone your financial skills.
Know common financial terms
It pays to know some financial terms. This enables you to understand what you’re reading and makes you a better decision-maker in the long run. Here are some examples:
- Compound interest: the amount of money you deposited or borrowed
- Net worth: the difference between your assets and liabilities
- Rebalancing: the practice of bringing stocks and bonds back to your preferred percentages
- Capital gains: the difference between how much one thing is worth compared to the original price of its purchase
- Asset allocation: refers to how people spread money across various investments or asset classes. This can include stocks, bonds, or cash and cash equivalents
Managing your budget
You’d be surprised at how many people don’t know how to budget. One of the main benefits of setting a budget is that it helps you get organized and live within your means.
Aside from that, it reduces your stress because you won’t be worrying about how to afford certain things.
Negotiating or bargaining
Negotiating is a strategic discussion where two or more parties arrive at an acceptable middle ground. Aside from being able to save money, you’ll be able to use this technique to get what you want.
Reading balance sheets
Balance sheets are one of the most important things for a business. It refers to a statement of the assets, liabilities, and capital at a certain period.
Failure is often attributed to business owners who fail to understand this report. If you want to be successful, you need to understand how a balance sheet works. This will help you make decisions that can lead to success in the long run.
Reading income statements
An income statement is a financial statement that shows the business’s revenue, expenses, and profits. It’s also known as the profit and loss statement.
You should be familiar with this so you can determine its accuracy. This will also help you know whether your business is on a positive or negative trend.
4. Complex Problem Solving
“There’s no use talking about the problem unless you talk about the solution.” – Betty Williams
As a leader, you need to think creatively when dealing with problems. You also need to be able to think on your feet. Complex problem solving can help you with these. Here are some techniques to keep in mind to improve your problem-solving skills.
Identify the problem/issue and break it down
The first step in problem-solving is identifying the problem you’re dealing with. You need to find the cause and then break the problem into smaller, simpler problems.
For example, if you’re having problems with your sales, you can’t just go on a marketing spending spree. You need to break it down and find the root cause. This could be a communication issue, a pricing issue, or a marketing issue.
Use a solution that you used before
Your previous experience can be a great source of ideas when you’re dealing with a problem. For example, you can look back at an old project and see how you coped with the same issues.
If the strategy listed above did not work, try to brainstorm possible solutions. Brainstorming involves creating a list of possibilities and then deciding which ones are feasible and working well. Some of the most popular brainstorming methods include:
- Rapid ideation
- Mind mapping
Use the Kipling method
This method is helpful if you want to extend ideas. To do this, you need to challenge issues with what, who, where, when, how, and why questions. Doing will enable you to expand your perspective and force you to think of new questions that could be helpful down the road.
5. Strategic & Organizational Skills
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” -Benjamin Franklin
The role of a leader is more than just being someone who can make decisions. You need to possess the ability to motivate your team and lead them to success. Strategic and organization skills can help you do just that.
Having these skills will enable you to think ahead and prepare for the future. More than that, you should also find a way to transfer these skills to the people you manage.
Here are some strategic and organizational skills that can help you get ahead in your professional life.
Strategic planning involves defining your vision, mission, and goals. It’s a process that helps you build a foundation for future growth.
Time is money, and you need to make the most of it. Time management refers to scheduling your day or dividing your tasks – whatever works best for you.
Your time management skill will help you achieve better and bigger results in a shorter period. In turn, you can enjoy more freedom.
You’re not a superhero, and you can’t expect yourself to do all the work. Delegating is a skill you should master especially if you are managing a large team.
When done right, this also helps develop the skills of other professionals and inspires them to do better.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” -Anthony Robbins
When you’re running a business, you can’t just keep to yourself. You have to communicate with your team and other stakeholders so they can be involved in your business decisions.
Communication encompasses verbal and nonverbal communication. It involves listening, reading, and understanding other people as well. Here are some communication skills you must possess.
When you’re a decision-maker, you need to communicate with people through written reports, letters, and memos.
Your written communication should be clear, concise, and logical. It should also have a purpose so you know what to write about.
Your nonverbal communication can say a lot about your image. Aside from the words you use, your body language is a significant factor in shaping other people’s perceptions of you.
Speaking with people face-to-face is a great way to strengthen your relationships. It helps you connect with your team and other stakeholders.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to present your ideas whether you’re pitching your business to investors, or pitching your business idea to your team.
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” -Steuart Henderson Britt
Marketing is an essential part of any business. It’s what makes the difference between the one who wins and the one who loses.
Even if you have people in your marketing team, you should be familiar with marketing tactics that work for your target audience. Here are some marketing skills that you should know.
Understand your customer
First of all, you need to know who your customers are. What do they look like? How old are they? What devices do they use? Where do they live?
This information may seem trivial but it can help you cater to their needs and wants better.
To make people relate to your product, you need to tell a story. Tell the story of how your product was made, the people behind it, and everything that went into its development.
From that, your customers will feel that they have a personal connection with your brand. They will also feel like they’re part of your brand and what you’re trying to achieve.
You need to know how the human mind works to be successful. Business is all about the human element, which is why you need to know how it works.
Public relations (PR) involves reaching out to the public, media, and other stakeholders. It’s more than just making your customer satisfied with your product, but also ensures that your public image remains spotless.
Branding is a process where you create a distinct image of your business. This involves the following:
- Color scheme
- Brand voice
“The first person you have to conquer is you. This is because when at last you win over million people, the first person to bring you down could be you.” -Israelmore Ayivor
The way that you approach your life says a lot about you. Self-leadership is about fully understanding who you are, identifying your goals, and guiding yourself to achieve what you want.
Leadership is not just about being good with words and commanding respect from your team. It’s about having the willingness and courage to walk your talk and take the lead.
To work on your self-leadership, you need to practice the following:
Get to know yourself
The more you know about yourself – your values, limits, and beliefs- the stronger you become. Self-knowledge enables you to embrace your true self and learn what you can do to be better.
Self-monitoring is the practice of being conscious about how you act and how you lead. It involves keeping an eye on your emotions and taking note of what you observe. You need a healthy dose of self-monitoring to be in control of your actions and values.
9. Business Management
“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.” – Paul Hawken
As a business owner or team leader, you need to know how to run a business – from its operations, customer relations, marketing, and even the human and financial sides.
Doing so will help you respond to specific challenges and developments in your industry.
Here are some common business management techniques that you need to know about.
This method refers to getting to know your employees and understanding their needs, values, and strengths. It also involves setting a higher goal for them to reach.
Benchmarking involves looking at your competitors’ data and measuring your performance against theirs. This will help you determine where you’re lacking, and the areas where you can improve.
Change is inevitable, and this applies to your career or business as well. When you know how to manage and deal with change, you can future-proof your company better.
Do not forget that the role of a leader like you is to make sure that the change is good for the company. You should also be able to align the change with your vision and goals and see how it can be beneficial for everyone involved.
Learn More: 39 Small Startup Business Ideas Philippines
“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.” -Bruce Garrabrandt
You need to be able to think outside the box to come up with original ideas. This is what makes creativity essential in your career or business.
When you develop your creativity, you can solve problems with an innovative mindset. It also helps you see the big picture, instead of being imprisoned by your closed mindset.
Spontaneity is a great way to develop your creative ideas. Randomness can help you let go of the inhibitions that stop you from thinking outside the box.
Let your imagination run free
Free your mind by allowing your imagination to run wild. You don’t have to worry about being judged or care if your idea is practical. Just let your mind create something that you want to see in the future.
After this exercise, assess the ideas you thought of and use this as a foundation to develop something new.
Work on new goals
You may not realize that the things that are making you stuck are your outdated goals. Developing new goals can help you break out of your comfort zone. This will help you think outside the box and come up with new ideas.
Author Bio: Jason Acidre is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Grit PH – one of the fastest-growing online publishing platforms in the financial & business space in the Philippines. Follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre.
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