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Todd Baker : Must-Have Skills for Entrepreneurs in 2024

Todd Baker is a lifestyle transformation coach and the founder of Project 9 Life. Today, they share their tips on the must-have skills for entrepreneurs in 2024.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what got you into entrepreneurship?

My career has run the entire real estate industry, from being a loan officer to team manager, selling new homes for homebuilders and finally a real estate agent. The moment I decided I needed to go into entrepreneurship was a decade or so ago. My son and daughter are big into playing baseball and softball. One summer Saturday, I was sitting in an office/garage with three other salespeople watching my kids’ games on a primitive app, which had no video or sound and was basically just watching dots go around the bases. In that moment, I realized I was missing out on them growing up and having experiences and sharing those memories in person with them. I knew I needed something different, to be able to share those experiences and not just be supportive through conversations long after the games ended. I wanted to share those things with them and watch them grow and develop something they enjoyed in person. The next day, I walked into my manager’s office and resigned and started to create my coaching business.

What are the top three skills you think are crucial for entrepreneurs today?

Persistence, consistency and patience. Once you find, discover or create your vision you have to be persistent in the pursuit of that goal. Focus on growth and getting better every single day. Things will come up all the time to try to derail your path and goals, if you believe in what you are doing, be consistent in going after it. Have plans for when things come up so you can adjust as they do and be consistent in your message, efforts and focus on your clients. Whether it is starting something brand new or buying into an existing business, success will not happen overnight. Be patient for your success and stay true to your message and your purpose. Not everything you do will end with large success but have the patience to stay true to your purpose and keep moving forward.

How do you think the role of technology has impacted these skills in recent years?

The biggest impact that technology has is access and being able to share your message globally with ease to a larger audience and collaborate with a lot more individuals and groups. The second is automation, as a business owner you could spend hours or days getting information out to everyone that contacts you. With automation, that same information can go out to anyone interested without having to do it manually or hiring staff to do it all for you.

Could you share a story with us about how you used some of these skills to overcome a challenge in your journey?

I used to be the business owner that responded to every potential client by myself as I didn’t have a system or software in place that could take that off my plate. A number of years ago, I announced that I was going to be hosting a webinar and to email me for details, time, date, benefits and payment. By the second day, I had 150 inquiries and I was overwhelmed with responding to each of them to get them the requested information. I am sure there were some potential clients that ended up not moving forward because of the time it took to get them the information they wanted. With automation, when I make a similar announcement, I have all the information already set up so I can just include a link and everything goes out without having to respond manually. Not only does it ensure that potential clients are getting the information, but it allows me to focus on growing and developing my business instead of simply working in my business.

In your opinion, how important is it for entrepreneurs to adapt to changing trends and what do you see as the biggest trend in 2024?

It is extremely important for entrepreneurs to adapt and change as the desires and focus of their clients change. What was successful one day may not work at all the next. Potential clients, markets, approaches and messages are always changing and not only do you have to pay attention to those items but be prepared to change your approach with the changing market.

I think the biggest change we will see in 2024 is more and more people owning their future and their own lives. They will be less dependent on others, companies, 9-5 jobs, etc... People want to live extraordinary lives and 2024 will see more and more people putting actions behind those ideas and taking ownership of their futures.

What's one common mistake you often see new entrepreneurs make, and how can they avoid it?

They got into entrepreneurship for the wrong reason, they got into it thinking it was going to be freedom of schedule and that they would share their idea and it would take off and they could just sit back and reap the benefits. Personally, I discovered very early on that I had to become much more diligent with my calendar and, like anything else, true success requires hard work, flexibility and understanding who your ideal client is and serving them daily with what you are delivering.

How do you keep learning and growing as an entrepreneur?

I read a ton and watch and listen to what other successful entrepreneurs have done, I go to online events and listen and learn from the messages and wisdom they are providing. On a daily basis, I am seeking out and developing better ways to deliver more value to my clients. My goal is always to get 1% better each and every day. Paying attention to trends and desires and more and better ways to reach my target audience, and ensuring that I am over delivering on the expectations they have when they started out.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone just starting their entrepreneurial journey in 2024?

Do your work before you start something new. Make sure you know your audience and what they are looking for. How do they learn from information or a product and how are you delivering that to your clients? Don’t go in thinking it will be easy or immediate, it is a different mindset and attitude that successful entrepreneurs have. Always be on the lookout and aware of opportunities that can present themselves. Make sure you are clear on your purpose and why you are taking this path.

Lastly, once you do the work, don’t wait! If it is a side gig or a new full-time responsibility, go for it. You will have doubts and questions and uncertainty, do not let them stop you from making progress on this entrepreneurship journey.


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