What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

It certainly helps to have strong technology skills or expertise in a key area, but these are not defining characteristics of entrepreneurship. Instead, the key qualities are traits such as creativity, the ability to keep going in the face of hardship, and the social skills needed to build great teams. If you want to start a business, it is essential to learn the specific skills that underpin these qualities. In the section, which follows we will look at some of the must have traits and skills of successful entrepreneurs.

Let’s look at the difference between skills and traits.

Skills are tasks you can do well, whereas traits are typically defined as features of your character.  You learn and acquire skills in life/work, whereas traits are theorized as integral to you either through genetics or experiences in life.  Skill acquisition is achievable and manageable through training and you can strengthen/unlock new traits and passions at different stages of your life.

As an entrepreneur, you may be born with certain traits such as vision, intuition and drive. You might even have an overflow of invention ideas. There is a popular saying: Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard enough. This is especially true in the world of entrepreneurship. It does not matter how much passion or creativity or drive you have as an entrepreneur, without the right skills and perspective, you will struggle to grow your business.

There are several different types of entrepreneurs, but most successful entrepreneurs have defining skills and attributes that have helped them achieve phenomenal success like the ability to deal with failure, focus on the right customers, increase productivity, hire effective people and manage money.

As an engineer you already employ a mixture of skills on daily basis. Leadership and communication are interpersonal skills that successful engineers employ on a regular basis. These soft skills complement your “hard” technical skills, such as programming or a working knowledge of chemistry which relate to your field of work. Engineers are natural problem solvers and creators in everything from biology to computer programming. Engineering as you know, is fundamentally about problem solving and multi-tasking, and that means finding new ways to apply existing knowledge—a truly creative process. You may have been attracted to engineering because of its creative element?!

How to Improve Your Entrepreneurial Skills and Characteristics!

  1. Join an Entrepreneur Community: Interact with entrepreneurs who have already been through all the hardships and gain new knowledge that you can apply
  2. Find A Business Mentor: Business mentors usually give you specific advice about your business and can help you improve your entrepreneurial skills.
  3. Read More: It expands your knowledge and gives you new insights into business management. Read small business blogs to learn and improve your skills.
  4. Listen to Business Podcasts: Podcasts give you detailed insight into how entrepreneurs are using the internet to grow their businesses at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.
  5. Learn from Your Mistakes One thing you should always do is reflect on your past decisions and ask yourself: How could I have done that better?

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

What kind of entrepreneur are you?

What are your entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses? 

What kind of leader are you?

How resilient are you?

Check out EMERGE Module 3 to Access Your Entrepreneurial Potential!