Sunday, February 17, 2008

More entrepreneurial skills

In addition to my previous list of skills and skill areas that I must improve to be a top-notch entrepreneur, here are some other entrepreneurial skills:

  • Morale - how to build it, maintain it, and grow it
  • Team building - not all interesting ventures can be accomplished by a lone entrepreneur
  • Community - customers and partners can provide a foundation for growth of your venture far beyond the financial value of business transactions
  • Inspiration - how to help people feel that they are part of something special, an opportunity to be a part of something much more satisfying than their financial compensation and work environment
  • Inspiring faith and trust - the ability to get people to accept your vision and apprach because they really believe in you rather than strictly because you sway them with detailed logic
  • Vision - beyond simply the product or service ideas at the heart of the business, an entrepreneur needs to supply the aspiration for the business, in "big" terms, what the business is really trying to achieve
  • Creativity - the ability to handle the unexpected and even thrive when operating in uncharted territory
  • Energy, reserve energy - just when you think you have no energy left to give to your venture, you need to have the ability to find more more energy than you thought you had
  • Balancing long and short term - some people are good at focusing on the long term and some are good at focusing on the short term, but really good entrepreneurs figure out how to balance both
  • Decision making - discarding cherished options and pursuing risky options can be devilishly difficult for many people to do
  • Delegation - figuring out what responsibilities to retain and wish to offload to others can be painful as well as uncertain
  • Pricing - putting a financial value on your products and services, especially if they are new and innovative or your cost structure is non-traditional, or especially if you lack the confidence to ask for more money
  • Confidence - even if you have the right answer or product or service, lack of confidence destroys its value
  • Self-motivation - not needing to look to others for your motivational energy or inner drive
  • Leadership - the ability to set out on a path and get others to follow along with you because they find your vision and approach compelling
  • Building value - beyond the value of your core innovation, how to layer additional product features and services and package them in a way to maximize total value
  • Focus - pushing aside all manner of good and interesting ideas and approaches in favor or a core set of ideas and approaches that will lead to rapid success in your chosen market
  • Cherry-picking - no person or business can do it all, but the ability to sort through the many options and select those options that will really matter is a critical skill
  • Flexibility - ability to change and discard what may be intensely cherished as change is warranted for maximizing success of the business
  • Partners - always looking for partners to leverage your resources into a larger business success than
  • When to walk away - persistence is a crucial skill, but sometimes it really is best to cut your losses and move on to greener pastures
  • In touch with customer needs - beyond basic market research and technical requirements, what is it that the customers in your market segment really need to feel that your products and services are worth paying for, as well as your intuitive sense for changing needs without the need for market surveys
  • Peripheral vision - ability to avoid being blindsided by new competitors, new technologies, and other emerging changes in your business environment
  • Improvisation - even the best of plans can go astray, as well as the emergence of unexpected opportunities that demand a response faster than normal planning would permit
  • Mentoring and coaching - sometimes you or people you work with simply do not have all the answers or all of the skills, so you want to leverage the skills and insight of others or to help others leverage your skills and insight
  • Good enough and excellence - sometimes good enough really is good enough and sometimes aspiring for much better than good enough is really what is needed, but balancing between the two is the critical skill

All right, what else am I missing.

-- Jack Krupansky

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