What Personal Skills Do I Need to Succeed in Business?

Entrepreneurs & Their Communities August 05, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Individuals looking to start a business often question whether or not they have the skills and traits necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. The good news is that there is no basic set of skills or traits you need in order to be successful. All of the skills that successful small business owners demonstrate are ones that you can learn. That being said, the following is a list of just some of the skills that you need to pick up on your way to starting your business. 

  • Probably the most important trait  or skill needed is "passion."  Passion can be defined in several ways - the "I think I can" mindset, being able to bounce back and keep on going, persistence, determination and initiative. These all represent just several ways of stating the fact that that you will persevere in achieving your goals. You will do what it takes to overcome, go around, move, or run over anything that blocks your way. In the case of owning your own business, it means never taking no for an answer, constantly asking more questions, and rarely believing that something "just can not be done. Some people may just call you goal-oriented. Passion must come from within but if you believe in what you are doing, passion often comes right along with it.
  • A related ability is that of a self-starter. This talent does not mean you may not stopand sit for a moment when knocked down. But you always get back up and keep moving forward. Along with being a self-starter, you need to be a hard worker. Starting your business will require untold hours of work, often at times of the day when you would much rather be relaxing or being with family. You must believe though in the end result thus helping you continue to always move forward. Needless to say that means finding a way to keep your energy level up.
  • To be a successful business owner, you must be honest and have a great deal of integrity. You must be authentic. You must be a listener.
  • Obviously you need to have a level of creativity or know who you can tap to get that creative spark. This means being inquisitive, looking at the world in terms of what are the problems people are trying to solve and do you have a solution to offer. This means you can demonstrate problem solving skills.
  • Entrepreneurs are often said to be calculated risk takers; in reality, they just do the homework before setting out on the journey. You want to maximize your chances of success. To give yourself the best possible chance, you are constantly learning and looking for advice and mentors. Networks are crucial to you as you know what they can offer in achieving your goals.
  • In terms of learning, you need some background in general management and decision making, accounting, and personnel management. You also may need to take some leadership courses and, of course, an understanding is a must.

After reading this list, you may be ready to give up your idea. Remember two things - (1) Everything on this list is something you can learn. You may not excel in the area, if that is needed you can hire someone to ehlp, you simply need to understand it so that you can direct, manage, and control the business. (2) Go back to the first item mentioned, passion or persistence. If you have that, then all of the rest of this list becomes additional "to-do" items on your list.

So if you believe that own a business is right for you, nothing says you cannot achieve that dream. There will be rough spots on the way. But the "journey is well worth the trip." 

Related article you might be interested in can be found at:

http://www.extension.org/pages/10846/ready-to-own-your-own-business

http://www.extension.org/pages/62371/hobby-to-business-six-questions-to-ask-before-you-leap

http://www.extension.org/pages/9177/looking-for-success:-try-a-coach

http://www.extension.org/pages/18881/are-planners-doers-pre-venture-planning-and-the-start-up-behaviors-of-entrepreneurs-february-2009

For more help as you consider business ownership, you might find the following assessments useful:

http://www.extension.org/mediawiki/files/f/ff/Family_Needs_Assessment.pdf

 

Connect with us

  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Welcome

This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by eXtension.org

LOCATE

Resources

- What's new? Follow our blog or subscribe to our newsletter

-Webinar recordings. Got an hour? Watch & Learn

Youth Entrepreneurship Program Highlights What do kids know about business? You'll be surprised!

    Articles of Interest:

    Build Your Business

    Other Blogs to Follow

    USDA / NIFA

    This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.