What are the most important skills, values, talents, abilities, and mind-sets one needs to cultivate as an entrepreneur?
There is no formula as such or a magic spell that you can chant and you’ll be a successful entrepreneur. It’s a continuous process of growing by doing and experimenting with things. It often involves failing and still getting back up on your feet to fight back strong. We tell a child when it falls down while it’s crawling, trying to walk to get up and try, try and try. The child fails thousands if not hundreds of time before it finally can walk but what do we do when we fail? Few times and we’re so demoralized and hopeless, one seeking to be an entrepreneur must thus have a strong set of skills, values, talents, abilities, and mindset to overcome all those hurdles that might come in the way. The person should be prepared to make his/her own way. In the paragraph to follow a few of the most important set of skills, values, talents, abilities, and mindsets which one needs to cultivate as an entrepreneur.
You must be a persevering person meaning that regardless of the times of failure that you might have, the problems that you might face, you must always have that fighting attitude (Sexton & Bowman, 1985). That belief in goal and the ability to face all the problems heads on. You must always have the energy level high and keep doing what you’re doing. You must also be ready to face the failure at times and learn from it to get back stronger. If you want to gain success, failure can function like a ladder for you.
Entrepreneurship is all about taking a calculated risk and the world of uncertainty. You might be doing all the right thing but still, fail if you are unable to cater to the needs of the customers like in the case of Nokia when it lost its charm from its number one spot to fall down and sell its IP rights out to Microsoft. There’s no set path to ensure the success, you must have to take instant at times completely out of normal decisions. This is why an entrepreneur must learn to anticipate failure and take lessons from it to develop oneself (Oosterbeek, van Praag & Ijsselstein, 2010). Take an example of a bus as a business and the driver as an entrepreneur. The bus has a serious problem including break failure along with damaged indicators all around. Will the driver add more passengers (resources) into the bus? Obviously not, the driver would try to stop the bus to get everyone out. Similarly, entrepreneurs must identify when it’s too much and stop adding more resources into it. But rather save those resources when failure is imminent and put it into another one.
Ability to manage time and the resources available is very important for an entrepreneur to have. One must be able to see into the future and plan the time in the best possible way for oneself and the company’s direction. The addition, reduction or usage of resources is what one must also be able to guide and supervise (Roberts, 1968). The entrepreneur must inspect all the resources that he/she has at his disposal including the workforce and not just expect from them and it goes on. One must also have the tenacity to stand behind what is said. If you say, the office will open 24/7, open it anyhow. You must always stand behind your idea and your words while managing the time in the best possible way to make the most out of the same time.
The entrepreneur must be a good communicator. He/she must be able to pass the message in simple and clear language to everyone. In today’s world, you can’t force people to do anything but you can certainly influence one. Personal influence to win the trust is vital in today’s world. You must have the charm to persuade staff to work and the clients and others to trust your business.
One must also be adaptive and flexible. You can’t just say that this is what I believed in and this is exactly how I’ll produce my product - I’m not going to change it at all. You must be flexible enough to cater the product to the need of the wider mass so while under the development stage, before or even after, if you know that the product needs some tweaking just do it. It’s perfectly fine to stand behind your idea, your wider goal but to reach that you must be able to adapt to any situation and environment and be flexible enough when needed to ensure product growth. If you’re not flexible and don’t care about the needs of the client, in near future, they won’t care about you or your product either (Kirzner, 1999). So, it’s always necessary for one to exercise flexibility.
Finally, entrepreneurs should always put the past behind, work on the present and think about the future in realistic terms. They can use their past experiences to drive the business forward in present and set strategies based on the past and present events/experiences. But, one should always be focused on the goal and think about the same going into the future. One can certainly change the path which will take the business and him/her to the goal. If you know where you’re going you’ll find a way to go there and chances are that you can actually reach there. However, if you don’t know where you’re going, where will you reach? You may end up nowhere with no goal in mind. Thus, entrepreneurs must also be forward-looking.
Kirzner, I. (1999). Creativity and/or Alertness: A Reconsideration of the Schumpeterian Entrepreneur. The Review Of Austrian Economics , 11 (1/2), 5-7.
Oosterbeek, H., van Praag, M., & Ijsselstein, A. (2010). The impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurship skills and motivation. European Economic Review , 54 (3), 442-454.
Roberts, E. (1968). Entrepreneurship and Technology: A basic study of innovators; how to keep and capitalize on their talents. Research Management , 11 (4), 259-266.
Sexton, D., & Bowman, N. (1985). The entrepreneur: A capable executive and more. Journal Of Business Venturing , 1 (1), 129-140.
Entrepreneurs are basically innovative, risk-taking persons, who try to advantage of new technology. Entrepreneur is in different types and nature. They are classified on the level basis of expertise, motivation and business nature. An entrepreneur should have basic skill i.e.
Starting a business
Develop the business toward the path of success.
Arrange financial for running the business.
Producing a product in an efficient way.
Manage the product in time.
The world is going competitive day by day, this basic skill alone is not enough to sustain the entrepreneurial venture. They should have possessed other special kinds of skills i.e.
Sales and Marketing Skill: Sales and marketing skill is needed to attract consumers, producing customer oriented products i.e., highly demanded products and make awareness among the customer about the product through wide publicity through advertisements etc.
Financial Management Skill: Profitability of the enterprise depends on availability of money, efficient utilization and handling of money. The balancing nature of finance is essential.
Self-motivating skills: The self-motivation among the entrepreneurs really leads the person to the great position and makes the business a sustained unit.
Time management skills: Time is a limiting factor in both the cases of product delivery and finance payment. Other than production, the timely delivery of product is also important for a business. It is very crucial in home based single person running business.
Administrative skills: Entrepreneur should be familiar of the basic job of an administrator such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting to make effective business administration.
For, Talent Entrepreneur should have following characteristics i.e.
Initiative: An entrepreneur should have the ability to initiate things in correct time and also in efficient manner.
Independent: An entrepreneur should have the tendency to face all problems and solve it in a strategic way. Even though obtains opinion from others, the entrepreneur should take decision independently.
Ideas: New idea should be backed by creative thinking to make your product unique and popular
A true Entrepreneur should possess these values:
Strong desire: Entrepreneurs should have a strong desire to achieve a higher goal and make their dreams come true.
Consistency: Entrepreneurs should be consistent in decision and follow up. Not to be deterred by difficulties and problems.
Risk taking: Entrepreneurs should take moderate risk rather than a wild speculative gamble.
Courage and perseverance: An entrepreneur should possess higher levels of courage and perseverance. For example: One must be courageous enough to leave his current job (which provides a stable income) and persevere all the defeats (Yadav, 2015).
Other values of true entrepreneur are Self-motivation, Time orientation, Risk taking capability, learning from Failure and mistakes, Decision making skill, empathetically thinking.
Mindset of an Entrepreneur:
They always have a growth mindset. When one has a growth mindset, he is paying attention to the process and be engaged in bringing success. This process may have given birth to failures but one can always learn from those failures and perform better next time. So, when one feels getting deep into fixed mindset thinking or being anxious about a challenge or feeling considered by a failure, one has to move oneself into the growth mindset thinking (Dweck, 2012).
Dweck, C. (2012). The Right Mindset for Success . Retrieved from HBR: https://hbr.org/2012/01/the-right-mindset-for-success
Tobak, S. (2016). What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur? Perseverance . Retrieved from an entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/269840
Yadav, M. P. (2015). Model of Entrepreneurial Success: A Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Advanced Academic Research, 2 (1), 40-58.
Entrepreneur is someone who runs a business or enterprise and should have certain personal traits that distinguish them from others. Sills, values, talents, abilities and mind-sets that are required for the challenging journey to become an entrepreneur and is something that is important to have.
Both soft and hard skills are required. Soft skills such as communication, interpersonal skill etc. and hard skill are those that are directly related to the enterprise at hand. Hard skills are more of acquired academic knowledge. It has become evident that having soft skill or non-technical skill has even greater importance. Soft skills has more to do with communicative skill, problem solving skill, working and managing in teams, entrepreneurial skills, ethics, leadership skills, and professionalism (Sabri, 2014). Having both would be ideal but even if there are some skill missing it is important to cover this up with the ability to understand the sources to acquire and apply these.
Managing these skill traits as per the need of the situation would be the talent. Talent also calls for understanding and managing customers’ perception. It also has to do with managing financial and the limited resources.
Values are developed over time and are based on principles. Values are respect that an entrepreneur receives over time, admiration that their followers have etc. It is something that makes a good leader and an entrepreneur should be a leader that aspires and shares thier vision with their followers.
One of the major ability for entrepreneur is to be able to adapt to situations and manage stress. It is said that every one in three entrepreneur face symptoms of depression. Achievement verses need, power verses need, and affiliation versus need are some of the major stress inducing agents in the world of entrepreneurs (Vasumathi, Govindarajalu, Anuratha, & Amu, 2003).
A strong mind-sets needs to be present in an entrepreneur. This is so because the goal of the venture should be attained no matter what the circumstance dictates. An entrepreneur should not be swayed with the highs and lows of journey but should be steadfast on the course. The first few years will be stressful and may want to stop the enterprise, this is where the strong mind set is required.
These are some important traits that are necessary in an entrepreneur.
Sabri, A. (2014). Soft Skill: Its Urgency and Development at Islamic Higher Education. Al-Ta’lim Journal; Padang , 239-251. doi:10.15548/jt.v21i3.109
Vasumathi, A., Govindarajalu, S., Anuratha, E., & Amu. (2003). Stress and Coping Styles of an Enterpreneur: An Empirical Study. Journal of Management Research; New Delhi , 43-51.
Entrepreneurs are the ones who work on their passion by converting their ideas into business. There is not any hard and fast rules regarding the traits and attributes that entrepreneurs should possess. As suggested by Spinelli and Adams, the seven dominant themes of an entrepreneur are commitment and dedication, courage, leadership, opportunity obsession, tolerance of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty, creativity, self-reliance and adaptability and motivation to excel. Thus, the important skills, values, talents, abilities and mind-sets one needs to cultivate as an entrepreneur revolve round these themes.
The major skills of an entrepreneur comprises of resiliency, focus, invest for long term, find and manage people, sell, learn, self-reflection and self-reliance (Forbes, 2013). An entrepreneur should not be distracted by undesirable and unfavorable circumstances and give continuity to venture despite the odds being patient. In addition, it is equally important to have the skill of selling ideas, products and services and leverage the available human resources for attainment of end results. Reflecting upon one’s performance to identify the strengths and weakness, areas of improvement, attitude of learning continuously and updating oneself to adjust with the changes in business environment will help an entrepreneur succeed.
Values determine the code of conduct. The most important value of an entrepreneur is innovation as entrepreneurship is all about finding innovative solutions to address the existing or new problems identified by customers. Similarly, personal integrity is also important. Being honest, trustful, sincere, fair and ethical is important to continue working on the passion. Since no heights can be achieved alone, the entrepreneur should also incorporate value of coordination, communication and team work (Bozward, 2014).
In order to start and grow a venture, an entrepreneur needs to have some innate as well as some learned and acquired talents. As per Badal (2014), ten talents of successful entrepreneurs are business focus, confidence, creative thinking, delegation, determination, independence, knowledge seeking capability, promotion, relationship building and risk taking. These factors should not be ignored if we want to be successful as an entrepreneur. However, it is important to acknowledge the inherent talents and work on building the ones that are not innate.
The distinct abilities that contribute to success of an entrepreneur are taking calculated amount of risks, learning from failures, seeing the bigger picture, delegating wisely and communicating effectively (Branson, 2017). Being an entrepreneur is all about taking risks and there is no assurance that one will be successful in the first attempt. Similarly, attaining the larger picture is not possible by working alone. Selecting the right team members, delegating the tasks and responsibilities effectively among them and communicating clearly about the expectations and desired outcome helps in making an entrepreneur successful.
Talking about the mindset, the entrepreneurs should believe that they were meant for the entrepreneurial journey they have started and show cent percent commitment towards what they are working for. Since perfection cannot be gained at once, the entrepreneurs should have the mindset of taking failure as a part of the journey and improving the business processes and procedures by learning from those failures. The another thing entrepreneur should be clear about is s/he alone cannot do it so the team work is vital (Flynn, 2018).
Badal, S. B. (2014). 10 Talents That Drive Entrepreneurial Success. Gallup Business Journal . Retrieved from https://www.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/10-Talents-That-Drive-Entrepreneurial-Success.pdf
Bozward, D. (2014, May 16). 6 Core Values of an Entrepreneur. Retrieved from Educating Entrepreneurs: http://david.bozward.com/2014/05/6-core-values-of-an-entrepreneur/
Branson, R. (2017, January 30). 5 Skills and Abilities that Successful Entrepreneurs Share. Retrieved from Virgin: https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/5-skills-and-abilities-successful-entrepreneurs-share
Flynn, P. (2018, February 12). Five Truths About the Mindset of a Successful Entrepreneur. Retrieved from Smart Passive Income: https://www.smartpassiveincome.com/mindset-of-a-successful-entrepreneur/
Forbes. (2013, November 26). The Top Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/aileron/2013/11/26/the-top-skills-every-entrepreneur-needs/#14044ac776e3
Spinelli, S., & Adams, R. J. (n.d.). New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century (Ninth ed.). Irwin: McGraw Hill Education.