My Top 3 Skills

This November I started Praxis with the goal of improving my capabilities as an independent employee and future business owner.
At first glance, Praxis is seen as just another apprenticeship but it is so much more than that. It is an opportunity for many young folk like myself to show the world what we can do. It is going to be a challenge that I most excel in solving if I am going to prove that I am capable of even more difficult tasks. So what is the first step you ask? Today Praxis has tasked me with describing my top 3 skills. I must admit that this was a bit difficult figuring out what my top 3 skills where instead of my top 3 personality traits. I believe that my top 3 skills are networking, leadership, and being prepared.

Networking

I have asked friends, family, and clients what skills seem to stand out when they think of me. The most common answer was my ability to walk up to random people and start conversations. A lot of people have trouble with talking to people but I lack that fear that keeps people from speaking with each other. I have made some good friends, made people’s day better, and even opened opportunities for myself for simply talking with random strangers. One of my best examples is when I started looking for work two years ago. I was doing Running Start at the time so I was taking both High School and College classes. I wanted to make something of myself instead of just sitting in the classroom so I started knocking on doors in my neighborhood and posting on my neighborhood’s Facebook styled website called Nextdoor asking folks if they needed any work done. What started as just one job grew into two then four then six. By the start of that summer, I was working with around five regular clients and dozens of odd jobs people in my community needed help with. I was getting so much work I had to hire my first employee; a friend from my Boy Scout Troop to help me stay on top of everything. At that point in time, I stopped doing ads and knocking on doors because I was happy where I was at and didn’t want to overdo myself, however, the calls kept coming. I had learned that my clients were so overjoyed with my service because before I came around there were no polite and reliable yard maintenance folks in the area. I made it my mission to make sure that I was kind to my clients and that they were happy with my work. As a result, my clients were leaving positive reviews on Nextdoor and were referring my service to others who were tired of disrespectful lawn companies and wanted to get their yards in order. At the time of this writing, I had slowed down my work schedule so that I can focus more on the Praxis apprenticeship but I leave clients who are more than happy with my work and have helped me point me towards more opportunities that are more favorable to my schedule. By the end of this month, I shall be working part-time and will continue to work on projects similar to this blog.

Leadership

Leadership positions came up quite a lot during my life. To me being a leader was the ability to get a group of people to complete a task. I held leadership positions mainly in Boy Scouts and in my small business.

I was the Senior Portal Leader in my Boy Scout Troop for two years. I was in charge of planning camping trips and teaching my Troop how to overcome different challenges that we faced. The most memorable challenge I had to face in Boy Scouts was when I was working on my Eagle Scout Rank. Now the rank of Eagle Scout is the highest rank a scout can reach and the main requirement for it was to complete a project that betters your community. I had decided to complete my Project at the Waller Road Garage where my group of volunteers and myself would clean out the old stables and turn them into a new venue for the community. I went to local businesses asking for donations to go towards the project. I had managed to earn enough in donations to acquire wood chips and materials to construct three picnic tables. That was the easy part. The hard part was getting enough volunteers to saw up for the work days. It was mainly my Troop and I who did most of the cleaning of the stables and built the tables. However after almost a year of planning, fundraising, and building we had put together a beautiful new venue for our community to enjoy.

Being Prepared
Seems like my time in Boy Scouts has really been a blessing for me. In the Boy Scouts, the motto is to be prepared. I have taken that motto and it has shown in my work.
In my small business the Yard Boys, whenever I would go out to a client’s house I would bring my notebook and pen to write down what it is I would be doing, how much I am charging, how long it may take, and the equipment I would need to complete the job. My clients were often impressed that a 16-year-old would even show up and taking notes was simply amazing.

There are many skills out there to learn and improve.
What skills have helped you out the most in your life?

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