What Does It Take to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

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What Does It Take to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

Apr 02, 2021


There are both hard and soft skills that you’ll need to become an entrepreneur and do so successfully.

For example, there are skills you might learn when you’re pursuing your degree, like accounting skills. Then, there are skills that aren’t taught, but you can learn them over time, such as critical thinking.

The following are both hard and soft skills that you’ll likely need to be a successful entrepreneur in a modern world.

Business Strategy
While there are a lot of entrepreneurial skills that you can’t learn in school, one area that you can get an education is business strategy.

There are technical elements that come with building a business.

You need to be able to look at current projections and also figure out where you want to be and the specific steps it’s going to take you to get there.

You also have to know how to structure your business appropriately, and you should have at least some understanding of finance and tax laws.

If you have a broad general understanding of the financial elements of a business, you’re going to be in a better position to make the right decisions that will allow you to grow.

You need to be able to manage your finances including cash flow and sales and monitor your profit and loss.

In line with these concepts is strategic planning. Strategic planning means that you’re able to create a larger vision for your business, and then, through small, incremental goals, you can realize the vision.

Ability to Accept Criticism and Rejection
The ability to accept both criticism and rejection, as well as overall failure, are not skills that you can learn through your education, unlike business strategy skills. You have to teach yourself to be able to weather the hard times because they will undoubtedly exist.

Learn how to accept criticism and rejection and use it to strengthen your business or change direction if that’s what the situation calls for.

One of the best things you can do for your business is understanding where the weaknesses are and be willing to change them.

There are both hard and soft skills involved in delegation. Delegation requires hard skills like the ability to assess how people fit into your overall strategy and where to budget for contractors and employees.

The soft skill component is based on the fact that you have to understand you can’t do everything. You have to recognize where your own value most lies and focus there while delegating other tasks as needed, without micromanaging.

Learning how to delegate will also help you become more effective at time management.

People Skills
It’s so important for entrepreneurs to have people skills and if it’s not something that comes naturally, you may have to push yourself into it.

You need to be someone who can articulate a vision to your employees and investors. You’re constantly selling your ideas and your business as an entrepreneur.

You also have to motivate others.

Along with communication skills, you have to be an active listener because that’s where you’re going to learn.

Analytical Skills
Being an entrepreneur relies on also being a problem-solver. In fact, that’s probably where your original business idea came from. You saw a problem and wanted to fix it. You have to be someone who can analyze a problem, break it down into small parts, and then develop creative thinking strategies to solve whatever it is. This is true of big and small problems.

Along with this is the value of critical thinking skills.

With critical thinking skills, you can assess situations and problems from different perspectives as you make decisions.

How Can You Improve Your Skillset?
It’s okay if you don’t naturally have some of the skills above. Even with the soft skills, you can learn them, although it might be outside of a traditional classroom environment.

Taking individual courses on business is always a good idea. Networking events and workshops for entrepreneurs can also help you learn what you might be lacking.

Mentorship can also be incredibly valuable. You can work with someone who has more experience running a business than you.

Overall, the takeaway is that some entrepreneurial skills you’ll gain through your education. Others might come naturally to you, and then there are those skills that won’t be as easy for you, but you’ll gain them over time. You’ll gain them through experience and by seeking out opportunities that will build your skillset.

Meet The Author:

Susan Melony

Susan Melony

Susan is an avid writer, traveler, and overall enthusiast.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

Courtesy of NASE.org