10 essential Skills for Becoming an Entrepreneur

Becoming an entrepreneur takes more than capital and a decent business idea; entrepreneurship is a mindset. To quote Paul Mckenna’s bestselling book, I can make you rich, “If you take away all of Richard Branson’s or Anita Roddick’s money, in a very short space of time they’d have it back.” In order to be rich and successful, you must already be there; not in your bank account, but in your head.

These ten essential skills are what separate the entrepreneur from everyone else.

Happy business people
photo credit: abundanceradio

1. Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is crucial. If you don’t have self-discipline you’ll never get anything done. To become an entrepreneur you will need to work at all sorts of strange hours, and for very, very long periods of time. If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, then perhaps the lifestyle is not for you.

2. Networking

Business isn’t always about skill or quality, sadly, in many circumstances it’s about making connections. It can be difficult to meet others and awkward to ask for their business, but once you get the grasp of it (along with a few rejections) it’ll become easier and easier.

business networking
photo credit: Oli Studholme

3. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is probably the most important skill of all. If you aren’t motivated about the future, how will you encourage employees and clients? Even if you don’t feel enthusiastic on the inside, you must always project an aura of excitement.

4.Public Speaking

The thought of public speaking may make your stomach turn, but if you’re striving for big things, then it’s absolutely essential. Fortunately, not many people are great at public speaking and like any other skill, you can improve with practice; therefore, even if you can’t visualize yourself addressing a crowd, there are courses available that can help you progress in the right direction.

5. Timekeeping

When you’re setting up a new business you need to think about a lot more than your own schedule. In fact, more often than not you’ll have to adapt to meet other people’s deadlines. Good time management is essential and without it, you’ll struggle.

6. Mathematics

Okay, so you don’t have to have a decent grasp of mathematics, but you’ll need to understand your accounts to accurately manage your taxes. If you’re truly useless at mathematics and can’t afford an accountant, some firms, such as Mercer and Hole, can provide less costly bookkeeping services instead.

Analyzing financial data
photo credit: Dave Dugdale

7. Basic IT Understanding

In this day and age it’s impossible to be an entrepreneur without some level of IT knowledge. Having a website and a social media presence is crucial to an entrepreneur’s success. It’s also important that you work on a good quality computer, as computer viruses or issues with speed can be highly detrimental to an entrepreneur’s work flow.

8. Passion

Passion is a must. Without it you’ll never succeed. Money should not be your only motivation. If you aren’t doing something that you love, you’ll sacrifice your happiness, and then no amount of money will help you.

9. Character Judgment

Reading people is a skill you’ll require on a daily basis. From guessing the budget of a client to hiring the right employees, judging character is a very important element of both sustaining and retaining business.

10. Balance

If you’re starting your journey as an entrepreneur, your business life will often take precedence; however, it shouldn’t be your world. A good business person knows how to separate working and home life and will find ways to place a clear division between the two.

While these are certainly ten essential qualities, there’s plenty more to becoming a successful entrepreneur. If you lack in any of these skills, start addressing them immediately. The business world runs like a machine and if a single cog is missing your venture could simply stop in its tracks.