As an entrepreneur, it’s useful to have strong business acumen—an almost intuitive skill that can and must be honed. However, good business sense alone isn’t enough; there are several other traits an entrepreneur needs in order to succeed.
As some of the top leaders in their respective industries, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council know what skills are required to succeed in the business world. Below, they share 10 underrated skills that all entrepreneurs should possess, but often don’t.
- The Ability To Ask For Help
Many entrepreneurs are used to doing everything themselves. If you want to grow your business and grow personally as well, you need to be able to ask for help. Asking others for help is not a weakness. In fact, it can provide many benefits for you and your business. For instance, if you ask someone else to take over a mundane daily task for you, it can free up your schedule to spend time on tasks that will grow the business. Asking other people for their opinions can help you see something in a whole new way. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
- Finance Management
It’s a great idea to hire a financial expert if you’re not good at numbers or finances. However, any entrepreneur should be able to read the health of their business with the help of financial statements. It’s an entrepreneur’s responsibility to stay on top of the knowledge they need to manage their finances to some degree. Being financially literate is a must and you can develop these skills with the help of books and free and cheap online courses. This skill is necessary, but it’s just one aspect of several key skills an entrepreneur needs. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
If you don’t listen to others, you don’t have the opportunity to learn and grow. Many people listen to respond rather than to understand, and this is something that leaders with big egos do constantly. Regardless of who you’re talking to, it’s important to listen to what they say and determine how to use it to your benefit. It could end up being advice that takes your business to the next level. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
Most entrepreneurs know that in the beginning, it’s important to do as much of the work as you can on your own to keep costs down. As your business expands, you need to learn how to let go of this strategy and entrust projects and responsibilities to those around you. If you don’t, your business probably won’t be able to expand as much as you want it to. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
- Stress Management
Everyone knows that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster, but not many business owners have the skills to manage stress. Long hours, financial stress and HR decisions are three of the biggest things that burn people out, contribute to disease and shorten our lives. The key is to have a toolbox of skills to manage stress—and you can’t wait until you need them to start practicing. If you don’t have an exercise or a meditation practice, don’t wait until the world around you is crumbling and it inherently will as an entrepreneur. Start these practices now, including a low inflammatory diet that optimizes cognitive function and good sleep hygiene. These things will make your good days better and train your mind and body to be less overwhelmed and more resilient on the bad days. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences
Entrepreneurs are visionaries blessed with a lot of great ideas. They can get distracted easily, lose focus on what’s most important and tend to chase the next shiny object. One thing I have observed about athletes who are good at their craft is that they’re super focused and have mastered their skills. Michael Jordan left basketball and went to baseball, losing time and not getting the momentum he had in basketball. When he came back to his focus, he was able to win three more championships. If he had stayed focused, he may have had seven championships to his name before he retired. I’ve seen college students change their majors three times only to drop out because they lost so much time. One word of advice I have for entrepreneurs is to have the skill of focus. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS – Integrated Marketing Solutions
- The Ability To Ignore Advice
When starting out, entrepreneurs are sponges for advice. They look for mentors or find friends who have industry experience to get advice. All of this advice, though well-intentioned, is often noise and overload. People you trust will pull and turn you in all different directions telling you, “Don’t do this”, “Never do that” or “You are an idiot if you do this.” For an entrepreneur who is starting out, being constantly turned around and paralyzed because you don’t know whose advice to take is detrimental. Moving and acting quickly is imperative. It is important to always seek advice, but you also need to be able to ignore it and make a decision. Make decisions that give you peace of mind and let you sleep, not the ones you make because other people say you should. – Jason Khoo, Zupo
Decision making is a huge part of being an entrepreneur and one of the biggest challenges. Having the facts in front of you helps you make the best decision for your business’ future, but what happens when you don’t have all the facts you need? One of the most underrated skills many entrepreneurs overlook is intuition. Being intuitive will help you make a decision beyond just having the facts, as well as help you develop a sense to continually be aware of all that is happening around you and not just in front of you in that moment. It also helps you to understand others and process their reactions and behaviors. Listen to that “little voice” and what it’s trying to tell you. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
The entrepreneur’s mindset differs from one person to another and we have different strategies and missions for our businesses. For me, I run my business with authenticity. We don’t edit our photos and share raw photos of customer and influencer transformations. We don’t filter our content nor do we make promises that are unattainable. Instead of aiming for perfection, we aim to feel good about ourselves. We are committed to empowering our followers/customers and inspiring confidence in them. With our initiative of authenticity, we know that people will set us apart from the others and stay loyal to us because we have remained consistent and sincere all throughout the years. Whether they buy from us or not, the objective is to inspire others through our content and always be relatable. – Daisy Jing, Banish
- The Ability To Say ‘No’
Everyone starting a business is always told to say “yes” to everything because it’s how you’re going to grow. A real skill that many entrepreneurs seem to lack is the ability to know when to say “no.” Saying no to people might be frustrating at first, but it’s going to save you countless headaches in the future. If you agree to everything, you’re going to be biting off more than you can chew and could very quickly veer off track of your end goals. Know when and how to say no. When you say no, always make sure to take the time to explain why that’s not a good idea for the company and why steering clear of it will be beneficial in the end. – Andrew Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings.