Top 10 Skills For An Entrepreneur
Many of us have always wanted to get into the game of being our own boss. We crave control and flexible work time.
This is because of the freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur, but the truth is that becoming an entrepreneur takes a lot of work, and success relies a lot on having some essential skills.
The question now is, ‘how do you know if you have the skill sets needed to achieve long-term entrepreneurial success?
This article will help you navigate the most important ‘must have’ skills as an entrepreneur, and they apply to every entrepreneur regardless of their industry.
These skills are categorized into three categories
- Interpersonal skills
- Personal skills
- Critical and creative thinking skills
As you read further, we will reveal the specific skills under these three categories for you to quickly identify the areas where you need to develop or improve.
Are you ready? Let’s get right to the top 10 skills for an entrepreneur.
Interpersonal skills are skills you use every day to interact with others effectively. No successful entrepreneur is an island, for you to become one, you will have to interact with people and work closely with them.
This is important for you to build a good relationship with your customers, business partners, team, shareholders/investors, etc.
Some people find it difficult to interact with people but fortunately, you can learn and improve these skills. We have selected some of the top interpersonal skills every entrepreneur needs to guarantee success, they include;
- Communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Listening skills
- Negotiation skills
Communication is a daily function that is used every day either with your team, customers, business partners, or investors and it is no secret that it is an important skill for every business person to have.
Have you ever wondered why? Without the ability to communicate i.e to tell your vision, pitch your ideas, educate or inspire, entrepreneurs cannot sell their products or gain the attention that they need to drive sales.
You might have the best business idea or the most fantastic vision for your business but if you lack the ability to communicate it, you don’t stand a chance to be visible in the market space.
The ability to communicate also helps you to sustain good relationships with your network and helps them connect with you on a personal level.
Also learn how to improve your communication skills for free here.
Leadership does not mean that you’re always strategizing or yelling and ordering others around.
The question is, can you lead and inspire your team to follow you and run with the vision of the business? Are you able to delegate responsibilities for efficiency in delivery?
As a leader, you should be able to influence and maximize the effort of others toward achieving the vision and goals of the business.
The capacity to be a good listener can make you a successful entrepreneur. It is not just the ability to hear what is being said but to understand the underlying reason behind what has been said.
This is particularly important when it comes to dealing with customers. By listening to them you can quickly and effectively provide solutions to their problems and in return, you earn their trust and loyalty.
The world of entrepreneurship revolves around negotiation. It is the main essence of entrepreneurship and an unavoidable factor in the business world.
Negotiation is the ability to persuade the other party to agree and find a common interest in an issue. These issues vary from reducing debts, increasing prices, improving the interest on a contract, getting a better deal, and so on…
One key thing that you must take note of when negotiating is to ensure that the other party is fully empowered to agree or make commitments.
You don’t want to be in a situation where you think you have made a deal only to find out that your agreement must be approved by a superior ( one with higher authority)
Personal skills are attributes possessed by an individual. These skills are not necessarily taught, it only takes discipline and determination to acquire them.
It is important to examine yourself to know if you have what it takes personally to give value to others. Some of these personal skills are;
- Resilience and focus
- Ability to learn quickly
- Taking risks
Resilience and Focus
Every entrepreneur at one point encounters hurdles in their journey, It is the ability to stay focused and keep pushing that brings good results.
No matter the struggle an entrepreneur goes through, to be a successful entrepreneur you need to be unwavering, keep your eyes on the goal and push till it is achieved.
Also, you have to learn and grow from your mistakes, and failures and see the good in every situation.
Ability To Learn Quickly
Knowing how to grow and build capacity and knowledge is a skill that should not be undermined. This is one skill that every entrepreneur who wants to thrive should possess because no man is an island of knowledge.
There’s a saying that ‘The capacity to learn is a gift and the ability to learn quickly is a skill. What this implies is that you have to be intentional about your growth by being consistent in building your capacity and gaining knowledge.
This will enable you to always give value and make yourself a competitive advantage in the business world.
It is believed that all entrepreneurs are risk-takers. So many entrepreneurs have taken risks to get their businesses to where they are now.
This however does not mean that you should start up any business blindly without going through all the details. It is important to trust your instincts and carry out thorough research before taking risks.
Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
This set of skills enables you to make logical, rational, clear, and informed decisions without any bias and also come up with compelling strategies or ideas that can cause the business to thrive. What then are these skills, they include;
- Creative thinking
Creative thinking is a must-have skill that an entrepreneur must possess in order to create new and excellent ideas especially when things aren’t going so well.
Creativity allows the business to devise new strategies that can give the business an advantage against competitors.
When engaging in creative thinking, you must know that coming up with solutions may take longer than expected. It may take a few attempts in some cases and others may take days and even months too.
However, it is important to keep at it until you succeed by finding new ways to tackle the problem until you find a solution.
It is vital to understand the importance of creativity in the life of an entrepreneur as it is crucial for all aspects of the business and plays an outstanding role.
Some people think that it is a kind of natural skill or talent that very few people have and others think you can learn how to become more creative. However, it is important to know that if you set your mind to something and work diligently on it, the results will definitely show up.
Problem-solving is an underrated but highly important skill for any entrepreneur to have because of the mere fact that things will almost certainly not always go as planned and problems always occur.
It is important to be able to understand the best way to tackle problems when they arise and the best place to start is Identification.
Identifying a problem is almost as important as solving it because you definitely cannot solve a problem you do not know exists and many problems are beneath the surface manifesting as completely different situations.
While identifying problems is an important part of the entrepreneurial process, managing problems is also a critical aspect once a venture is off the ground and running.
An entrepreneur is not privileged to avoid problems and is often responsible for all problem-solving in a startup or other form of business.
One thing to bear in mind is this; you don’t have to be a genius to solve problems, you simply have to be willing to think through all scenarios and possibilities to find solutions. Once you can do this, you can become an expert problem solver.
Decisiveness is as the word implies: the ability to make a quick, effective decision, without letting too much time go by in the process.
Entrepreneurs have to be productive, even in the face of risk and under pressure. As an entrepreneur, it is important to ask the right questions and find the right answers in the quickest possible time.
When decisions need to be made, they must be made decisively and confidently, the best decisions are the ones made informed by research.
Decisiveness is the catapult to progress. Jeff Bezos who is the founder of Amazon is quoted to have said “Being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure”
As an entrepreneur, going with your instinct while looking at facts, research and data are all important to your success.
There are many skills that you can acquire as an entrepreneur but the ones listed in this article are the basic skills that every existing or upcoming entrepreneur should have. The good thing is that it cuts across every business owner regardless of the industry you belong to.
You’d want to learn about why you should start your own business