Skillset Vs. Mindset: How to Master New Skills in Business
Written by Marissa B. on May 19th, 2021

Say! Yes Enterprises works hard to educate business owners and investors about valuations.

During a weekend workshop for public speakers, one student seemed out of place. The student, a programmer by trade, had an unassuming personality. The seminar began and ended with each student giving a speech for the entire class. The goal was for each speaker to improve by the end of the weekend, however, this person seemed to have a lot more than a weekend's worth of work to do.

For his first speech, the programmer talked about his profession. Within minutes, he lost the room because he lacked foundational public speaking skills. What could this student do in one weekend to make up for his lack of skills?

One factor in his favor was his wholehearted willingness to become a better public speaker. Over the weekend, he dedicated himself to learning and applying as much as he could. His efforts paid off. His last speech rivaled those of the more experienced speakers in the group.

After the class, he continued developing his newfound skill to advance his business. Today, he captivates audiences by making programming understandable for the average person.

The programmer's willingness was part of his mindset, and that positive mindset primed him for learning a new skill. Mindset, the ability of the mind, precedes skillset, the ability of the hand. To learn more about mindset, see our mindset article.

The belief that success is possible, coupled with great skills and a willingness to learn new ones, makes an entrepreneur capable of anything. After working on mindset, developing the right attitude about skillset is essential. Skillset is the often learned ability to complete a task.

How to Gain a Skill

To master a new skill, it is never necessary to reinvent the wheel. Instead, find a leader and follow them. Find someone to emulate and work backward to get to where they are.

For example, Christopher Wick has looked up to Warren Buffett since childhood. When Wick learned that Buffett started his first business at an early age, he worked to achieve the same goal.

When gaining a new skill, beware of getting lost in Google searches. There are plenty of resources on Google, but sometimes that can be a problem. Learning a new skill does not require becoming an immediate expert.

If Wick had Googled Buffett's earliest businesses, this is what he would have found:

Warren Buffett had plenty of financial endeavors well before he was 18 years old. He collected and sold stamps. He sold gum to neighborhood kids, and he even sold Coca-Cola from door to door. Like many young boys in his time, he had a newspaper delivery route. As an older teenager, he started a business selling and servicing pinball machines. He even collected and cashed in the betting tickets that adults at the race track threw away.

That is information overload. If Wick tried to copy Buffett exactly, he would have been unsuccessful. By the time Wick was a teenager, Coca-Cola was not sold door to door. Wick didn't live near any horse races, and pinball in the age of video games would have been a lost cause.

Instead of copying Buffett's actions, Wick learned Buffett's mindset. Buffett paid attention to what people wanted, and he positioned himself to profit from fulfilling those desires. He also looked for holes in business transactions where others left money on the proverbial table.

Wick implemented that intrepid spirit into his mindset, and he was able to use Buffett's example to become a successful, young business owner.
Rather than relying on Google, Wick found a person worthy of imitation. Instead of becoming a carbon copy of Buffett, Wick learned from his mindset, which helped him to cultivate lasting skills.

Why Entrepreneurs Need A Strong Skillset

There is a line of reasoning that a successful business owner does not need many skills. Business owners who make enough profit can delegate tasks to capable employees and outsource to the best professionals.

There is some truth to that reasoning. Operating a successful business requires the mastery of hundreds of skills, but it is unreasonable for one business owner to try to master all of them. There are situations that necessitate delegation and outsourcing. Having enough revenue to pay for the completion of any tasks is ideal, but all business owners need core skills because income does not replace ability.

There is a marked difference between skillsets and skills. Skillsets transcend skills because they stretch beyond the ability to complete a task. For example, running payroll is a skill while having the human resources knowledge to determine if an employee needs overtime pay represents a skillset. Entrepreneurs need a balance of know-how and knowledge to oversee their business.

There is a delicate balance. Entrepreneurs do need many skills, but they must determine which skills are the most important to learn. The most prolific entrepreneurs still have twenty-four hours in a day. Rather than becoming an expert on each task that happens in their business, entrepreneurs should focus on their brilliance.

Business owners that are adept at certain aspects of business should shore up those skills. A business owner should not allow the pursuit of skills to become burdensome. Learning some skills can be a misuse of time. The dichotomy of which skills are and are not important will look different for every business owner. There are two essential skillsets that are not worthy of delegation.

How to Improve Financial Mastery

The first essential skillset is financial mastery. Entrepreneurs do not need to be bookkeepers, but they do need to grasp financial statements. A business owner must understand the financial health of their business. It is also important to verify documents presented by hired financial professionals.

The key financial statements to master are profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets.

Consider this helpful excerpt from our 5 Pillars of Business Article:

"Here is a simple way to remember the three statements: The profit and loss statement compares the amount of money made to the amount of money kept. The cash flow statement shows where the cash went and where it is now. A balance sheet shows what is owed compared to what is owned.

Suppose that Christopher's Coffee Shop makes $100 when 10 customers buy $10 coffee. If the net profit margin is 20%, the coffee shop made $20 net profit.

This day of sales needs to go on the coffee shop’s profit and loss statement. Out of $100 in sales, there was a profit of $20. Hence, there was $80 in operating expenses to acquire that profit. Simply said, it costs the business $80 in expenses and payroll to produce that $100 of sales.

Think of the same scenario in terms of a cash flow statement. $100 entered the business as sales. $20 of those sales was earned as profit. The $80 difference relates to purchases made weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, the vendor for coffee beans and cups charged 50% down. Some of the $80 in expenses that ate away at revenue also go towards paying baristas. There's a journey with cash, and that journey is often not complete after a single day. The cash flow statement helps business owners track the flow of money.

The balance sheet also factors into the functioning of the shop. Let’s suppose that Christopher purchased the land his coffee shop sits on. The mortgage is for $100,000 over the course of 10 years. The property costs $200,000, but he put $100,000 down.

The balance sheet shows that he owns $100,000 (the money he put down) and he owes $100,000 (the money he still owes.) The percentage of the property that he already owns is an asset, and the percentage of the property that he still owes for is a liability. Assets are things that you own, and liabilities are things that you owe.

Take action by practicing your new skills by asking your accountant or bookkeeper to review the financial statements from the past month with you.

How to Master Habits and Routines

The second skillset to master is habits and routines. To cultivate these skills, the proper mindset is necessary. Skillset and mindset go hand in hand.

Disorganization, lack of a schedule, and having a hectic schedule are all common issues among entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs often make statements like “My schedule is insane.” What does that word insane say about the entrepreneur?

In other words, the entrepreneur is saying, “My schedule is illogical, crazy, and mental.” When trying to work out an acquisition deal, that can be unbecoming to partners. A scheduling problem is not a personal problem. The problem leads to being late to meetings and missing deadlines, which casts a negative light on the entire organization.

Getting a firm grasp on a schedule and routine starts with mindset. Here are some of the limiting beliefs that cause a poor mindset towards a routine:

“I’m unorganized.”

“I can’t follow a schedule.”

“I’m not disciplined.”

What’s the deeper mindset issue? Entrepreneurs by nature want to make their own rules. They set the stage and come up with new ideas. Entrepreneurship takes a level of creativity. Some people think that discipline is not creative and routines are too structured.

A sense of structure does not have to be stifling. After all, each person is still in control of their own schedule. Even the most creative humans accept routine in other areas of life.

Think about how each person gets to work every morning. Three different people may have three completely different routines, but each one of those people sticks to their routine every morning. People usually do not usually blow dry their hair before they wash it. Creative people do not go to work, go back home to brush their teeth, and then return to work because of a burst of spontaneity.

Morning routines are so organized and familiar that people can complete them half asleep. Entrepreneurs are capable of developing routines in business. They are not new or hard to understand. This is a skill that most have already mastered in elementary school. Entrepreneurs simply need to learn to apply organization and structure to their business.

Train yourself to ask whether your problems are skillset issues or mindset issues. Mindset problems stem from the mind while skillset problems stem from the hands. Often, solutions require a blend of learning to improve thinking and learning to perform a new skill.

Additionally, the next time you encounter a problem, try looking at it differently. Considering whether a problem is a mindset problem or a skillset problem can transform your workday. Business owners face mindset problems more often than skillset problems. For more help with mindset problems, consider our article on the topic.

A Final Note

“As an entrepreneur, there should be a really long list of the things that you do not do, the skills that you will not pick up… for example, there are things that I automatically refuse to know about. I'll say, ‘hey, that's not a task for me.’ I'm sure one of my team members can do it or we can hire someone. I really need to keep my brain cells for what I’m really brilliant about to perform at the highest level.” -Christopher Wick

About Say Yes! Enterprises

Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
About Christopher Wick
Investor, 9X Award-Winning Entrepreneur, and 5X Best-Selling Author & Speaker

*Founder/Principal of businesses that have been featured by Huffington Post, ABC, NBC and Wall Street Select*

Christopher Wick is an award-winning entrepreneur who has built, bought and sold various companies relating to social media marketing, e-commerce, real estate, retail and investing.

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Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
Say Yes! Enterprises
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STE 100 
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Copyright © 2020 Say Yes! Enterprises | All Rights Reserved. 
Copyright © 2020 Say Yes! Enterprises | All Rights Reserved. 
Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
Say Yes! Enterprises
5900 Balcones Drive, STE 100, Austin, TX 78731
Say Yes! Enterprises
5900 Balcones Drive, STE 100, Austin, TX 78731
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