What makes someone a successful entrepreneur? It certainly helps to have strong technology skills or expertise in a key area, but these are not defining characteristics of entrepreneurship.
Instead, the key qualities are traits such as creativity, the ability to keep going in the face of hardship, and the social skills needed to build great teams.
If you want to start a business, it's essential to learn the specific skills that underpin these qualities. It's also important to develop entrepreneurial skills if you're in a job role where you're expected to develop a business, or "take things forward" more generally.
In this article, we'll look at the skills you need to be a successful entrepreneur, and we'll explore resources that you can use to develop the traits needed for success.
Some experts think of entrepreneurs as people who are willing to take risks that other people are not. Others define them as people who start and build successful businesses.
Thinking about the first of these definitions, entrepreneurship doesn't necessarily involve starting your own business. Many people who don't work for themselves are recognized as entrepreneurs within their organizations.
Regardless of how you define an "entrepreneur," one thing is certain: becoming a successful entrepreneur isn't easy.
So, how does one person successfully take advantage of an opportunity, while another, equally knowledgeable person does not? Do entrepreneurs have a different genetic makeup? Or do they operate from a different vantage point, that somehow directs their decisions for them?
Though many researchers have studied the subject, there are no definitive answers. What we do know is that successful entrepreneurs seem to have certain traits in common.
We've gathered these traits into four categories:
Critical and creative thinking skills.
We'll now examine each category in more detail, and look at some of the questions you will need to ask yourself if you want to become a successful entrepreneur.
First, examine your personal characteristics, values, and beliefs. Do you have the mindset that's typical of successful entrepreneurs?
Optimism: Are you an optimistic thinker? Add to My Personal Learning Plan Optimism is truly an asset, and it will help get you through the tough times that many entrepreneurs experience as they find a business model that works for them.
Vision: Can you easily see where things can be improved? Can you quickly grasp the "big picture," and explain this to others? And can you create a compelling vision of the future, and then inspire other people Add to My Personal Learning Plan to engage with that vision?
Initiative: Do you have initiative Add to My Personal Learning Plan, and instinctively start problem-solving or business improvement projects?
Desire for Control: Do you enjoy being in charge and making decisions? Are you motivated to lead Add to My Personal Learning Plan others?
Drive and Persistence: Are you self-motivated Add to My Personal Learning Plan and energetic? And are you prepared to work hard, for a very long time, to realize your goals?
Risk Tolerance: Are you able to take risks, and make decisions Add to My Personal Learning Plan when facts are uncertain?
Resilience: Are you resilient Add to My Personal Learning Plan, so that you can pick yourself up when things don't go as planned? And do you learn and grow from your mistakes and failures? (If you avoid taking action because you're afraid of failing, our article on Overcoming Fear of Failure Add to My Personal Learning Plan can help you face your fears and move forward.)
As a successful entrepreneur, you'll have to work closely with people – this is where it is critical to be able to build great relationships Add to My Personal Learning Plan with your team, customers, suppliers, shareholders, investors, and more.
Some people are more gifted in this area than others, but, fortunately, you can learn and improve these skills. The types of interpersonal skills you'll need include:
Leadership and Motivation: Can you lead Add to My Personal Learning Plan and motivate others Add to My Personal Learning Plan to follow you and deliver your vision? And are you able to delegate Add to My Personal Learning Plan work to others? As a successful entrepreneur, you'll have to depend on others to get beyond a very early stage in your business – there's just too much to do all on your own!
Communication Skills: Are you competent with all types of communication Add to My Personal Learning Plan? You need to be able to communicate well to sell your vision of the future to investors, potential clients, team members, and more.
Listening: Do you hear what others are telling you? Your ability to listen can make or break you as an entrepreneur. Make sure that you're skilled at active listening Add to My Personal Learning Plan and empathetic listening Add to My Personal Learning Plan.
Personal Relations: Are you emotionally intelligent Add to My Personal Learning Plan? The higher your EI, the easier it will be for you to work with others. The good news is that you can improve your emotional intelligence!
Negotiation: Are you a good negotiator Add to My Personal Learning Plan? Not only do you need to negotiate keen prices, you also need to be able to resolve differences between people in a positive, mutually beneficial way.
Ethics: Do you deal with people based on respect, integrity Add to My Personal Learning Plan, fairness, and truthfulness? Can you lead ethically Add to My Personal Learning Plan? You'll find it hard to build a happy, committed team if you deal with people – staff, customers or suppliers – in a shabby way.https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_76.htm