To successfully launch and grow a company, an entrepreneur needs a unique skill set as well as ample knowledge and patience. Almost every startup has its ups and downs, and very few follow a straight, upward path to profitability. If you want to increase the likelihood that your new startup will be successful, consider nurturing and refining these specific skills that can serve an entrepreneur well.

Ambition

To succeed with your startup venture, you need to have an ample supply of ambition to combine with your talent and vision. Ambition can give you the drive to work harder and smarter while remaining committed to your endeavor even when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Ambitious people are generally willing and able to put in the extra effort to get the job done right, and they do not look for shortcuts along the way. You should mix your ambition with a clear plan of action so that you know how to act to achieve your goals.

Willingness to Learn

Some people stop educating themselves when they graduate college, but learning is a life-long activity. You should always focus on evolving and improving yourself, such as through books, articles, documentaries, seminars and more. Your industry is in flux regularly, and you need to stay updated in order to properly lead your company. You should be in regular communication with industry leaders, or you should at least be in touch with their blog post or other published works so that your knowledge remains relevant.

Assertiveness and Confidence

You need to instil a sense of confidence in others, and the only way to ensure that others believe in you and trust you is to have full confidence in yourself. After listening to what others have to say and after developing an educated stance on a subject, verbalize your thoughts with confidence and assertiveness. People often trust assertive people. When you feel unnecessary pressure to act against your will or instinct, put your foot down with a firm response that voices your opinions tactfully.

Creativity

The most successful entrepreneurs embrace creativity in themselves and in their team members. You cannot expect to run a successful business always walking the tried and true path. There will be times when you need to be a trailblazer by thinking outside the box. You can encourage creative thinking by always talking to new people, reading new books, ordering new meals at a restaurant you frequent, changing your office or living room layout and more. Keep your mind open to new possibilities, and always push yourself toward innovation by setting lofty yet attainable goals for yourself and for your team.

Ability to Listen

Communication is critical to the success of any business owner, and active listening is a vital component to effective communication. You must be a people-person, and you should have open, honest, two-way communication with your customers. If you are striving for success you will need to commit to providing a great customer service, which includes listening to what your customers have to say, especially complaints.

Always listen to what other people have to say, and avoid the rude inclination to interrupt others. Bothersome chatter and self-promotion can also be irritating to others and could reflect negatively on others. If you are talking, you likely are not listening to the thoughts and ideas of the other person. Know when to be quiet and focus on what others are saying, and focus on their non-verbal cues as well as your own for more effective communication. However, you also need to know when to speak up, such as when your team needs extra motivation to push forward.

Courage and Risk-Taking

It is not enough to simply think creatively as an entrepreneur. You also need to be bold and courageous enough to act on your innovative ideas. While some ideas will be clear winners, others may require you to stick your neck out there and to be gutsy. In the words of John Burroughs, “Leap, and the net will appear.” Never be afraid to take chances even when they seem far different than anything ever attempted before, but in the same token, you should research all options before deciding how to proceed.

Perseverance

Almost all successful entrepreneurs can describe a series of road bumps and hurdles they had to navigate over on their path to success. These individuals who accomplished their goals did not turn around or grow fearful when faced with a challenge. Instead, they remained patient and optimistic through various challenges. You cannot possibly succeed if you give up, so the best thing to do in order to succeed is to keep moving forward.

Entrepreneurs are often highly successful people, but the path to be successful is rarely easy. You need to have strong knowledge in your field, and you also need to develop each of these skills carefully. While they can help you to be a better business professional, they could also help you to enjoy a more meaningful, productive life.

Helen Eagleton
Helen Eagleton, a freelance blogger from Boston, follows topics in the realm of education, technology, digital marketing, and business in general. When she’s not researching for her next article, she enjoys watching documentaries and exploring the nature. Reach her @eagleton_helen