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20 Essential skills an entrepreneur must have

There is no magic formula to become a successful entrepreneur. Business success is about developing a set of skills that can be acquired over years of dedication.



Essential skills an entrepreneur must have

Skills such as self-confidence and initiative are innate to all entrepreneurs, but they can and should be enhanced.

If you think you need to develop superpowers to be a successful entrepreneur, think again, when you have the potential and the desire to be an entrepreneur, your senses expand on their own, your capacity increases, and new ideas flow, fueling your every move.

The energy that leads you to make your dreams come true is already a superpower person. To achieve it, you can use the internal potential that all entrepreneurs carry internally.

Search, and you will see that within you is everything you need, and all you have to do is develop it.

These are the 20 essential skills an entrepreneur must have

Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” –John Maxwell

Therefore, entrepreneurs’ skills are rarely discussed; People prefer to talk about the quality of an idea or point to famous entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs or Tony Robbins as role models.

This can lead future entrepreneurs to think that they need to have superpowers to be successful. Business success is about developing a set of skills that can be acquired over years of dedication.

In this article, we will take a detailed look at some of the skills entrepreneurs need to be successful.

“The skills needed to be successful.”

1. Achievement orientation

In successful entrepreneurs, the need to achieve their own goals translates into a great capacity for work and the tenacity and perseverance necessary to stay on course. But this ability should not be confused with the initial enthusiasm of the entrepreneur setting up a business.

They often fail because they plan little. Or they have problems maintaining the business because they are always starting things but do not know how to maintain them over time if they do not put someone else in charge of the business.

How to develop it

Your tenacity and perseverance will be tested from the first moments as an entrepreneur. To not get blocked, you have to think about winning small battles, not trying to win the war.

Small achievements help achieve big goals. Think, for example, how you would eat an elephant. Many people will immediately say that it is impossible to eat an elephant. An achievement-oriented person will say little by little.

Of course, if you plan well and divide it into parts, you can surely eat it.

2. Need for independence and initiative

All the experts say that it is impossible to become an entrepreneur when you don’t have initiative.

What’s more, race entrepreneurs have so developed the need to create something of their own that they know they will be entrepreneurs before even knowing what business they are going to start.

But many other entrepreneurs simply look to their business for a way to do the work they love. This profile of entrepreneurs loses the enthusiasm and drive necessary to achieve success when problems begin.

They are people who have started a business because they wanted to be independent. Still, they had not appreciated all the sacrifices that that decision entails, and they realize too late that they are not willing to assume that price.

How to develop it

The first thing you should do is identify the barrier that is holding back your initiative to design the most appropriate strategy for your problem.

The initiative can be held back by habits that limit your orientation to action, such as the tendency to analyze everything excessively, the loss of vision of your business, a lack of clear priorities or the tendency to be too perfectionist with the results.

It is also due to causes beyond your own control, such as the lack of capital or the necessary support to carry out the business. Try to develop your initiative by promoting habits that facilitate decision-making, even in the most complicated moments.

For example, get used to analyzing the cost-benefit of your decisions on paper and jump into the pool when the risk is not high. You should also get used to planning things by setting priorities and avoiding tasks that deviate from your goals.

Organize a short, medium and long-term agenda and write down the small achievements to regain your project’s confidence. If you have lost the initiative because you are no longer clear about your business idea, try to recover your vision, identify what things still excite you about it and analyze if you have the means to achieve it.

If you can’t identify how to start it, you are chasing an unattainable dream. If you have lost the initiative because you are no longer clear about your business idea, try to recover your vision, identify what things still excite you about it and analyze if you have the means to achieve it.

If you can’t identify how to start it, you are chasing an unattainable dream. If you have lost the initiative because you are no longer clear about your business idea, try to recover your vision, identify what things still excite you about it and analyze if you have the means to achieve it.

If you can’t identify how to start it, you are chasing an unattainable dream.

3. Eagerness to improve and learn

Curiosity is a personality trait of many entrepreneurs. If you are always looking for new challenges, if you enjoy learning and continually try to overcome your goals, you have one of your best strengths there.

The entrepreneur’s curiosity is used to find new lines of business, new markets, and even to start new companies completely different from each other. But it also happens that some successful entrepreneurs become self-limited by an excess of confidence that makes them close to others’ ideas.

We remind them of a Chinese proverb that goes like this:

“when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” – Chinese Proverb

How to develop it

Learning is closely related to self-knowledge and the ability to accept criticism. In this sense, the first step to improve is to accept that you do not know everything.

Learn to identify the beliefs that limit your vision of things and accept your mistakes. If you don’t, no learning is possible.

Routine is another of the main traps to improve learning ability. To not restrict your mind, get used to looking for new ways of doing things and remember that everything can be improved.

Feed your intellectual curiosity by collecting all kinds of information, which is not directly related to your business.

Detecting your own limits is one of the keys to self-confidence. In personal learning, the point of view of others is also key. Try to boost the critical spirit of the people you trust and analyze in which areas you should improve.

It enhances other skills directly related to learning, such as creativity, the ability to accept mistakes and communication with others.

4. Intuition and vision of the future

Intuition and the ability to anticipate the future are two essential values ?? in today’s markets. All entrepreneurs have to face the litmus test of solving problems with minimal information at the beginning of business development.

Or they are forced to make key decisions for the business’s future in times of maximum uncertainty.

Don’t anchor yourself to the past.

These two abilities, which are often considered innate, have a lot to do with dealing with problems. It is widespread that when problems arise, we wonder why I have not done this?

These types of questions anchor us to the past. By contrast, questions of the type what for? Help us to position ourselves in the future: why am I going to do this? What do I want to achieve?

How to develop it

To improve intuitive thinking, you must get used to analyzing the market and your company from an overview. If you stay in the small details, you are limiting your ability to anticipate the future.

But remember that being carried away by intuition does not mean that you have to give up gathering as much information as possible before solving a problem.

Or that you make important decisions without analyzing the consequences. The key is to learn to simplify the information, to be able to detect the most important ideas to explain complex situations and try to identify relationships that are not obvious at first.

5. Self-confidence

“If you think you can as if you think you can’t, in both cases, you are right.” This well-known phrase by Henry Ford reflects the importance of its promoters’ self-confidence in the success or failure of a business.

If you think you can, you may well succeed, but if you think you can’t, you will fail. And that does not mean that the entrepreneur has no doubts about his business.

Where I’m going

Self-confidence is especially tested in times of crisis. You must be clear about what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. And be aware that the path is made by walking because many things will not turn out as you had planned. If you are confident, your fears about what will happen tomorrow are overcome. If not, you sink.

How to develop it

Self-confidence is learned, starting with improving self-knowledge. You must stop to analyze what your successes and failures have been based on, to detect where your limits are.

Many people do not trust themselves because they do not know who they are, they fall into defeatism, and they depend a lot on the opinion of those around them.

Self-confidence is reinforced by the successes achieved. Dare to take on challenges and write down your successes, along with an explanation of the causes that made them possible.

This information will help you make the right decisions when you face similar situations again. Do the same with mistakes, to avoid repeating them.

6. Resistance to failure

Henry Ford said that failure is the opportunity to try again more intelligently. A maxim that surely helped make the Ford Motor Company successful after having failed two previous auto-manufacturing projects.

Almost all entrepreneurs have had to overcome some failure on their path to success. The best entrepreneur makes a lot of bad deals.

Entrepreneurs are not afraid at first, and we learn through blows. That is the best course of learning that can be done.

How to develop it

Since many failures cannot be avoided, the best vaccine against them is to enhance the so-called resistance to failure. The main risk of those who suffer a failure is that they come to feel like a failure.

It is essential to differentiate between facts and judgments. Judgments make you feel like a failure and keep you from moving forward. But if you focus on reality, on facts, you can see failure as learning that brings you closer to your goal.

Write down on a piece of paper the sequence of events that led to failure and analyze the possible causes that led to it. Also, ask for the point of view of other people who have been involved in the project, so as not to limit your ability to analyze.

Yes. Before you give up, find some way to turn that failure into success. Remember, for example, 3M created the Post-it after failing to find a new type of glue.

7. Keep emotions under control

The ability to keep a smile in difficult negotiations or manage the most negative emotions in front of hostile people can be key to getting the necessary support for the business. However, experience shows that not all entrepreneurs can withstand the pressure and stress that the process of creating a company demands.

Design emotions

Emotions are often unavoidable. If someone yells at you, you get scared. But you can learn to control your response and generate a different emotion. If you take a break in a moment of anger or tension, go away with a friend and relax, after a while, you have generated a new emotion.

How to develop it

The break of the situation is, in most cases, the best way to get out of a moment of tension. Whenever the decision or conflict can be postponed, it is good to follow this strategy to analyze the problem more calmly.

Most people who get hot easily have violent reactions when they feel personally attacked by their interlocutors. Therefore, in difficult negotiations or when you have to defend your project in front of hostile people, you must learn to separate the ball (your project or your ideas) from the player (yourself).

If you think that when people attack your project, they are not attacking you personally, it will be easier for you to avoid negative reactions. The limitations may be up to your project, not yours.

Many times the opposing positions are related to the lack of dialogue. Whenever a situation can lead to a conflict of interest, try to listen to the other party, put yourself in their shoes, to try to find a situation between the two of you. If the other does not collaborate,

8. Ability to accept mistakes

Mistakes are not the same as failure, although both serve as learning for the future. The difference is that failure can be due to other people’s problems, while mistakes are always our responsibility. Therefore, assuming the responsibility that we have in them is the first step to avoid them.

Nobody is infallible

Another important difference is that error does not always lead to failure. An error caught early can be rectified before it is too late. You have to accept that the possibility of being wrong is part of the job. The important thing is not to avoid screwing up but to know how long we will have it inside. Those who assume that they can make mistakes can learn to identify why they make them and identify the difficulties that lead them to make them and anticipate a response before making them.

How to develop it

Some people tend to throw balls out when they are wrong. They blame the market, others for not being able to achieve their goals. With this attitude, you cannot learn. You have to take responsibility for problems and errors to solve them. If you are not part of the solution, you will never find it.

Another attitude that limits this ability is passivity. Phrases like ‘this product do not fit in this market’ prevent you from overcoming errors because you consider that the solution does not depend on you. You have to get used to rethinking everything, from the most obvious to the most absurd.

9. Measure risk

All entrepreneurs have a strong risk-taking orientation; otherwise, they would never take the final step. What often fails them is the ability to measure the risk they are willing to take – many discover too late that they are not willing to sacrifice everything the business requires of them – and the level of risk they can take without dying trying. . The initial euphoria and the rush to make the project a reality lead them to overestimate their capabilities.

How to develop it

When assessing the risk involved in creating a business, many entrepreneurs limit themselves to analyzing the economic investment they will make and forget about the personal and family risk involved in this decision.

If they have left their job, they must assess whether they are willing to give up the financial security that the monthly salary provided them. Or if they want to assume the personal and family sacrifice that running a business requires.

To measure your decisions’ risk, some professional trainers recommend carrying out the following visualization exercise: Try to see yourself in your business and ask yourself what you had to do to get here. This way of looking at your project will help you anticipate future situations that may otherwise be overlooked.

10. Business ability

Despite the importance of this ability in all phases of a company, it is one of the main pending entrepreneurs’ subjects. Most recognize that they lack the necessary capacity to attract clients, do not have sufficient knowledge of the market or do not know how to organize their services and products.

The good news is that this skill is easy to develop, although many entrepreneurs dispense with it by looking for a partner to take care of this area of ?? the business.

How to develop it

Experts recommend modifying sales behaviour through role-playing exercises. The entrepreneur faces real sales situations, which are recorded, viewed or analyzed.

In this way, you can reflect on what aspects of your behaviour, both verbal and non-verbal, may have elicited the client’s response, positive or negative. If it is positive, it must enhance that behaviour; if it is negative, it must modify it.

The ultimate goal is to enhance your most effective skills and modify the inappropriate ones in different sales situations. It is also recommended to replace the sale based on the product with a more emotional sale, oriented to the customer, who is the one who decides the purchase.

In short, improve active listening, control of emotions and empathy to understand the client,

11. Communication and persuasion

Your ability to influence others is as important to achieving your goals as your own effort. Of course, remember that persuading does not mean manipulating others for your own benefit. Long-term commitment can only be achieved based on trust.

How to develop it

The ability to persuasion is closely linked to your communication skills: enhance your verbal and non-verbal communication and ensure that there is always coherence between what you say and what you do. Your credibility is the key to being followed.

To persuade others, you must know what their motivations and interests are. Remember that communicating is not talking; it is talking little and listening to the other. Communication is the key to all interpersonal skills: persuasion, negotiation, selling …

12. Create a good network of relationships: ‘networking.’

Either you create a good team and good relationships, or you alone cannot do anything. You have to make an effort to plan and prioritize the necessary contacts in the agenda like any other company’s activity.

Obviously, contacts are important for the entrepreneur; however, many neglect this aspect, either because they focus too much on building the business day by day, or because they are one of those who still think that contacts arise, not are provoked.

Nothing is further from reality. A good network of contacts should provide you with all the resources that you have to look for outside your company: information, technology, financing, advice…, and for this, you must plan and design it in advance.

How to develop it

To make yourself known, invite your prospects to free presentation and test sessions of your products. Try to establish a dialogue with the most significant people in your sector, proposing cooperation in the market, alliances …

Business associations are a good place for this. Do not limit relationships to strictly professional issues, try to exchange personal information to create some complicity: football, children, projects … they open the door to future confidences about the market, to possible alliances in the future …

13. Ability to negotiate

The main cause of failure of many negotiations of inexperienced entrepreneurs. And it is the first lesson that anyone who decides to enhance this ability must remember. Negotiation is an essential skill for business, and you have to prepare it.

How to develop it

During the negotiation, you must adopt a dialogue stance, seek a win-win position, and not beat the other. Also, you should try to connect personally to the other party. I do business with many foreigners, and I always try to show them respect for their culture… Empathy is essential.

If your interlocutor is a financial institution, do not go thinking that they are doing you a favour; Ask before in other entities the conditions they offer and go to the bank with which you are going to negotiate with a position of ‘I have this, what can you offer me?’.

14. Leadership

Leading a company is not the same as simply telling each employee what to do. Between one way of managing and another is the entrepreneur’s ability to transmit his own illusion to the team—a basic requirement for them to be personally involved in the project when the business starts to grow.

How to develop it

Assertiveness is essential for others to get involved in the project. You must put yourself in your employees’ situation and make them also put themselves in your shoes by making them feel like a customer so that they understand why certain decisions are made.

Dialogue is also key. It is also important that each one is very clear about their obligations. Communication is also key to knowing your people, to detect their motivations and their needs. For people to follow you and be motivated, don’t forget to put all the necessary means at their disposal to achieve their objectives.

Finally, remember that your actions are like a mirror in which others look at themselves. To gain their trust and respect your rules, try always to admit your mistakes when necessary and not hang all the medals for the successes achieved. They must feel part of the success.

15. Ability to make decisions, even in difficult situations

Decision-making is a skill closely linked to initiative and the achievement orientation characteristic of all entrepreneurs. But even people with initiative and self-assurance can feel blocked, for different reasons.

Most of the time, what happens is that business promoters have to make tough decisions on issues they can’t master. Your insecurity on those issues can limit your ability to adopt a response.?

Other times, they are blocked in the first phase of the company’s start-up because they are not clear about the business’s focus, or they do not know how to move forward when problems arise for which they cannot find a way out.

The value of experience

The entrepreneur’s experience directly influences the ability to make difficult decisions.

Those who have gone through a prior business creation process have an easier time making decisions in crises than novice entrepreneurs.

For the latter, we recommend that you strive to translate intentions into action and try to be more flexible as entrepreneurs. Decision-making capacity is closely linked to flexibility.

How to develop it

Analyze what the origin of your mental blocks is. If your problem is that you are too analytical, try to speed up your decision-making capacity by getting used to assessing and synthesizing problems in writing.

Try to detect criteria that have helped you make successful decisions in different situations to put them into practice in similar situations.

If the inability to make decisions is due to a tendency to put off difficult decisions, force yourself out of this trap by setting limits. You have to plan, prioritize tasks based on your time.

Some complain that they lack time, and others, at the same time, achieve great things because they act. This is the difference.

Another way to force ourselves to act when we are at a dead-end is to get out of the comfort zone we sometimes settle, which prevents us from looking for new ways of doing things.

Look for different approaches to problems. It enhances other skills related to it, such as taking risks and creativity, a key skill to devise creative solutions in times of crisis.

16. Adaptation to change

Changes in the market, technological innovations, legislative modifications … As an entrepreneur, you must be very clear that when you have a vision of a business, and you say to yourself ‘that’s my way,’ the day after tomorrow the market may have changed, and you have to adapt.

Logically, the survival of the company will depend on the flexibility of the promoter. But also the ability to adapt to change from the rest of the team. In managing change, the entrepreneur must involve all the people involved in the process.

For example, if you are going to implement an ERP in the company, you may find that there are people who are disoriented with the program who do not want to be involved in the change … You have to make them see that they are also part of that gear.

How to develop it

Get used to making the least risky decisions on the fly, to improve your reaction capacity in a short time.

Try to surround yourself with a team of people that is as diverse as possible, both in terms of their training and their personality. It will help you enhance the ability to adapt to different ways of seeing and doing things.

Do not let yourself be overcome by routine and try to vary as much as possible the way you do your tasks at the company’s head. This self-improvement exercise will help you remember that there are always different paths to the same place.

Finally, try to improve your ability to anticipate changes by enhancing intuition and your vision of the future.

17. Creative ability

The influence of creative ability on success or failure goes beyond the mere ability to invent innovative objects or create a groundbreaking communication campaign.

In reality, this skill can be applied to all processes in a business. It is key to detect business opportunities, find effective solutions in moments of crisis, and get out of a complicated negotiation.

And it is not more creative who has extravagant ideas, but who finds more solutions to a problem. And this ability depends on self-confidence and the environment in which we move.

A free environment, without restrictions, without subsequent punishment for mistakes, enhances the creativity of the whole team. In contrast, those who punish themselves for mistakes block their creativity.

How to develop it

The most creative people are those who look beyond the established. Get used to breaking the rules and questioning everything.

When faced with a problem, focus on the processes without thinking about the results. The obsession with finding a viable solution limits creativity. Nonconformity also has a lot to do with innovation.

Try to find as many answers as possible to your problems. A good way to do this is to learn to see problems from new points of view. Finally, remember that the lack of creativity can also be filled with more people’s participation in decision-making.

If there are more points of view, it will be easier for you to find new solutions.

18. Planning ability

Planning is key to anticipating problems and being able to resolve several conflicts at the same time. Generally speaking, entrepreneurs are good planners. If they are very clear about what they want to achieve and direct their business, they can organize and plan the project well.

When this skill fails, the entrepreneur is not very clear about his business’s focus.

How to develop it

A simple way to clarify ideas – and which is very useful for planning an organization’s processes – is to capture the ideas in the most condensed way possible. For example, using a diagram or a mind map.

It consists of making a drawing similar to the trunk of a tree from which more or less thick branches emerge depending on the weight of the ideas they represent. It begins by placing the central idea or problem in the trunk, and from there, branches are made with the key ideas of the process.

These main ideas are added, in turn, new branches with secondary ideas. This exercise allows you to see the connections of all ideas and processes with each other at a glance, thus facilitating new ideas.

19. Ability to create opportunities

Two out of three people who started a business in the last year did so because they had detected an opportunity. The observant nature and innate curiosity of many promoters are two traits that undoubtedly facilitate their vision of business opportunities.

The problem can arise when these visionaries are unable to distinguish between real opportunities and deceptive opportunities. Many see an opportunity to detect a market niche, without stopping to analyze if there really are unmet personal needs.

That is, without checking if the idea has a potential audience. Another trap is to consider that any innovative product is an excellent business opportunity. Many innovative products fail because they are too expensive to produce or because the public cannot use them.

How to develop it

To detect real opportunities, you must know well the market in which you want to move. It carefully analyzes the competition and its customers and tries to detect unmet needs or possible changes in consumer tastes and/or behaviours.

Of course, before jumping into the pool, make sure that your business idea is sustainable over time and is not based on a fad. Remember also that many business opportunities arise by giving a little twist to existing businesses.

For example, applying technology to traditional businesses as many businesses have done through the Internet. Another fundamental idea is that the opportunities are more in the market than in the products.

Specialize in small market niches that are not covered by multinationals, like fashion for plus size people. Another way to find your opportunity in the markets may be to sell traditional products outside of your country. Or the other way around, copying a successful business abroad.

20. Ability to create teams

The lack of skills to create effective teams has complicated the growth of more an entrepreneur, precisely when everything seems to be starting to go smoothly. And there are too many factors that determine the formation of a team.

Many fail to select their employees because they have not well defined the profile of the position they will occupy. Others make the mistake of promoting the people they started the business with or putting the wrong people in key positions.

And most fail in managing the people on the team. They do not know how to motivate them; they communicate badly; it is difficult for them to delegate … The inability to delegate is possibly the greatest difficulty of almost all entrepreneurs. For them, their company is like a son,

How to develop it

Good teams should be used to the maximum. Don’t try to do everything yourself and learn to delegate. The more your business grows, the more responsibilities you must delegate.

You must remember that if you are self-employed, your company always travels with you; If you are an entrepreneur, the company works when you are not there.

Finally, to retain the best, you must listen to your employees’ opinions and not always try to impose your own criteria. Take care of your team’s communication, since when the company grows, part of the internal communication is lost.

In Summary

There is no magic formula to become a successful entrepreneur, but seeing it as a career with a skill set that can be developed over time is a good way to think.

Good luck on your trip!


The Brilliance site is a unique blend of my personal life-experiences, common sense and education with a healthy dose of humour all woven together to enable you to turn your "what-ifs" into your own accomplishments! To Empower Your Brilliance through Personal Development so you can believe with a little encouragement, motivation and a “can-do attitude” you can achieve all your goals. You will find what drives you toward your goals. What keeps you going when things get tough and also reasons for you to wake up early each day. Behind the brilliance is a formula based on my own personal endeavours, encounters, insights and successes that will equip you with an understanding of knowing where you are in life and where you would like to be and how to get you there. I publish my articles for helping people and groups believe in themselves and achieve more in their lives.

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