The key skills for success that every entrepreneur needs

7 min read
Stefano Maruzzi

Some experts think of entrepreneurs as people who are willing to take risks that others don’t, while others define them as those who start and build successful businesses. No matter what your interpretation of entrepreneurship is, we are certain that it takes a certain set of skills for success to distinguish between an outstanding entrepreneur and a mediocre one.

But what are the skills that the entrepreneur needs to lead his business confidently? We've gathered some of them to give you inspiration.

Do you have the skills for success?

Will Smith once said:

“Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft.”

 An interesting question that is usually raised is: are people born with certain skills or do they acquire them? The truth is that it works both ways. You’ll find that some individuals are natural with certain skills; however, anyone can improve their set of skills for success with time and effort.

Let’s examine the skills that entrepreneurs need…


When you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll find yourself in a position where you need to lead a team. This team can be as small as four or five people or as large as a hundred employees. Can you lead and motivate them into delivering your vision? Jack Welch; the CEO of General Electric said:

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

 Leaders have certain common characteristics that include smooth communication, decision making, perseverance and persistence.

bowling pawn leadership skills
  • Smooth Communication

Communication is one the key skills for success that is essential in connecting with investors, potential clients, team members, and customers. The key to communication is listening; your ability to listen can make or break you as an entrepreneur. You simply cannot manage a great team or provide great customer service experience if you are not an effective communicator.

Communication is a two-way street, so in order to communicate outwardly in an effective way, you should pay attention to others’ motivations, hot buttons and study others’ body language carefully. You need to avoid coming off as self-promotional and strive to show that you are helpful and interested in others.

  • Decision Making

While listening is important for effective communication, you should also know when you need to take control of the conversation and assert your opinions. This is when your decision-making skills come into use, and this will help position you as an effective leader.

Ask yourself: How good am I at making decisions? Am I confident in the decisions I make? On what basis do I make decisions?

Grab a pen and paper, answer these questions and asses yourself and look for some off decisions that you’ve made in the past and make a lesson out of them for the future.

  • Perseverance and Persistence

The road to success isn’t easy. On the contrary, it’s paved with obstacles and failures. Successful entrepreneurs see these failures as opportunities to learn. Remember that you only fail when you stop trying, and that’s why perseverance and persistence are key skills for success.

Ask yourself: Am I self-motivated? Am I prepared to work hard for my goals? How do I deal with failures?

You need to learn to pick yourself up when things don’t go as planned and learn to grow from your mistakes. As an entrepreneur, you’ll find yourself going through a lot of rough patches, but this shouldn't stop you from pursuing your dreams.

woman holding mug like boss

Technical skills for success

Since we live in a technological era, you can do almost anything on the internet. The question here is, are you tech-savvy?

If not, you’ll need to invest some time and effort in obtaining some basic technical skills and knowledge. As an entrepreneur, you’ll benefit from setting up a digital identity for your business, which includes choosing a domain name and launching a website for your business.

If you’re looking for a cost effective and professional looking website, you can try GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing tool for free for a month and build a website in less than an hour.

Related: How to make your own website on a budget 

Creative Thinking

Did you know that creativity is one of the skills for success that you can develop by investing time and effort? As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to come up with fresh ideas for your business and make decisions about opportunities and potential projects.

Ask yourself: am I able to see opportunities from various perspectives and come up with original ideas?

Try to look for inspiration around you, do research, monitor your competition. There are also apps like BrainSparker to help ignite your imagination.

Courage and Risk Taking

Creativity comes hand in hand with courage and risk-taking. If you can come up with brilliant ideas and plans, then you’ll need the courage to act upon them and implement them.

In the words of the American astronaut Kalpana Chawla:

 “The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.”

Risk taking doesn’t mean jumping in blindfolded; it means you should to make calculated decisions after doing the required research and analysis, which is one of the key skills for success.


Ethics is defined as the moral principles governing or influencing conduct. Your ethics and behavior deeply affect people around you. So, when you hold strong ethics in the work place, it will affect your decisions, making them more integral and disciplined. These are the qualities that can help you get ahead in the world of entrepreneurship. On the other hand, the lack of a strong work ethic, favoritism or selfishness might lower your productivity and affect your credibility, which will have a negative effect on your team, customers, and investors. And there goes your good name!

Ask yourself: do I deal with people on the basis of integrity, fairness and truthfulness?

You might find it hard to build a happy and committed team if you deal with people – staff, customers or suppliers – in a biased way.

Planning and Organizing

Do you constantly miss deadlines? Do you feel lost when you’re asked to put together a coherent, well-thought-out business plan? As an entrepreneur, you may need to work on your planning and organizing skills. Being well prepared and organized will help make your life much easier, make better use of your time and it’s one of the crucial skills for success. To effectively plan and organize you need to:

  • Prioritize
  • Manage your time well
  • Delegate
  • Plan ahead

There are apps available to help you with your planning and organizing. Todoist helps keep track of your tasks and delegate them. Evernote will help you take notes, grab a screenshot and organize your tasks and keep track of them.

There are no shortcuts on the road to success. You’ll find you need to go through some detours and hard times; that’s how you gain experience and nurture your skills for success. And Bringing these skills up to a high standard can help your dreams can be realized.