In Michael Gerber’s book, The Power Point, he states that there are five essential skills every entrepreneur must have in order to create a great business. Whether we are working in Tampa or Timbuktu, every entrepreneur does these things to some extent in their business. However, if you master these skills your business will grow and bring transformational impact to the local community.
Here’s a summary of Gerber’s 5 skills:

  1. Concentration
    The inner force and energy that allows you to focus your attention. Without the ability to focus, you can not live on purpose. There’s many distractions in the B4T work. If you have three projects on your desk, a truant son, and friends from home visiting, without the ability to concentrate you’re not likely to get anything done. Not to mention the fact that when you spread your attention too thin, you’re just not capable of doing your best work. Concentration allows you to zero in on that which needs to be done.
  1. Discrimination
    Discrimination is ability to prioritize.  You need to determine what, where and who your attention (or concentration) is directed. It’s through discrimination that a business develops standards and discipline. Discrimination is about choosing to work on the things that will deliver the biggest return for your efforts. This skill more than any other is the one that trips people up. When you’re bogged down in the day-to-day activities of running a business, prioritizing can be a struggle.
  1. Organization
    Organization is the ability to turn chaos into order. Once you’re able to concentrate and discriminate you need to create order and predictability so you can successfully grow your business. This involves the creation of systems that allow your business to run efficiently. With good systems in place, you should be running and controlling your business and your business should not be controlling you.
  1. Innovation
    Once you’ve begun to hone your focus on the right things, and you’ve achieved some order to your world, you can begin to innovate. Innovation is that spark of genius that all B4Ters should have and should be seen as an asset. The ability to innovate and make adjustments on the move is an asset that will add value to the business value. In our line of work there are too many unknowns. Remain flexible. When good ideas come, an innovative person is able to take that inspiration and capture it, recreate it and most importantly: take action on it.
  1. Communication
    Communication is the ability to transmit ideas with clarity, precision, passion and purpose. People want to be inspired and be part of something important. You must communicate your passion, your vision and your ideas to your employees, your customers, your vendors and your stakeholders — everyone who is touched by your business.
As Gerber emphasizes; concentration provides the energy and attention needed for action, discrimination provides the intention and standards to know what action needs to be taken, organization provides the room for right actions to take place, innovation spurs new ideas and communication is the channel through which the ultimate vision is realized.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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