Careers in Entrepreneurship: Skills and Requirements

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Skills and Talents Required

Entrepreneurs are a diverse set of people — with a range of personalities and a range of temperaments. In fact, they are
difficult to pigeonhole. Entrepreneurs tend to need a well rounded portfolio of skills since they frequently only have
themselves to depend on and do not have the luxury of others making up for any deficiency they might have. Entrepreneurs are
not risk-focused, but opportunity-focused. Many of the traits found in successful entrepreneurs are found among successful
leaders and managers in all types of organizations, not just entrepreneurial businesses.

Core Required Skills:

Communication Skills High
Flexibility and Adaptability High
Energy Level Very High
Need for Achievement Very High
Work Ethic Very High
Honesty and Integrity Very High
Initiative Very High
Optimism Very High
Self-Confidence Very High
Tolerance of Ambiguity Very High
Total Commitment Very High

Some Key Skills and Traits Associated with Success

Get Used to Rejection.
For every entrepreneurial venture that succeeds, ten fail and ten more never get off the ground to be recognized as
a failure. Did you know that Colonel Sanders tried to license his famous chicken recipe 1,009 times before he got his first
yes? You not only have to be able to deal with failure, but learn from it for future business ventures.

Networks Offer Great Opportunities.
Your ability to partner with others will greatly enhance your chances of success. You need the skills and personality
that allow you to cooperate. You can tie businesses together so that they share regional, national, or worldwide production,
purchasing, distribution channels, information systems, data bases, and R&D.

You Need to Sell, Sell, and Sell.
Entrepreneurs are always selling — to customers, to bankers, to vendors, to employees, to investors, to
suppliers, etc. Your ability to sell your concept, your business, and
yourself to others is important. You need excellent persuasion skills. And keep in mind that the most persuasive
pitch comes from a true believer, so the first person who has to be truly sold on the idea is you.

You Need a Strong Cross-Functional Skill Base.
If you’re just starting a business you usually cannot afford to hire other employees at first. Thus you have
just yourself to depend on (unless you have a partner). You need a solid business background with understanding of all
functional areas. You have to be a one person multi-functional team.

Poor Business Skills Account for Most Failures.
Most small companies fail due to: 1) managerial incompetence or inexperience, 2) neglect of the enterprise,
3) ineffective business controls, and 4) undercapitalization. If entrepreneurs did their homework and made sure
that they had the necessary portfolio of skills and knowledge concerning the business, many could avoid at least
some of these pitfalls.

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