7 Skills Every Startup Founder Needs

Regardless of how incredible your business idea is, it’s a long road until you turn it into reality. More than 50% of today’s startups fail in the first four years of activity. This is often because many of today’s entrepreneurs lack the necessary skills to face critical challenges and setbacks during their first years as a startup.

Then again, if starting a successful business was easy everyone would do it. What most people won’t tell you is that without the proper mindset, knowledge, and skills, it’s close to impossible to develop a successful startup.

Let’s go back to those necessary critical skills. What do entrepreneurs need to start, manage, and scale their entrepreneurship journey to achieve business excellence?

1. Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is defined as the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. It means you get stuff done. This has nothing to do with how communicative, inspiring, or self-disciplined you are. If you’re not able to effectively handle your day-to-day problems and deal with uncertainty, your business will surely fail.

A resourceful entrepreneur is a persevering individual. They squeeze every single drop of their creative power to come up with constant solutions. This kind of resourcefulness never ends. It keeps going the entire time that the business is in operations.

2. Vision

A visionary entrepreneur is a person who is able to identify future business opportunities by looking at the present trends. These trends help predict the marketplace’s direction. As a founder, it’s your responsibility to make individuals assess and invest in your long-term vision. However, in order to build trust, you’ll have to prove other competencies to your audience. These include your communication skills, strategic thinking, confidence, leadership abilities, and passion.

Visionary leaders can also predict how people will react to future products and services. Before critical issues arise, they already have the proper solutions ready to save the business from losses.

3. Communication

It doesn’t sound too complicated to communicate your ideas, thoughts, and solutions to your employees in an effective manner. That is, at least not until you’re stressed out or in a difficult situation.

Often, entrepreneurs will find golden ticket ideas and successfully identify solutions necessary to their marketplace needs. However, they may not be able to communicate their business solutions clearly enough to make their efforts worthwhile.

If you want people to follow your lead, you’ll need to be able to improve your communication and effectively convey critical aspects, such as why your business is better than the competition, why your employees need to stick with you, why the future is brighter than your team perceive it, and so on.

4. Focus

New entrepreneurs are bombarded with tons of things all the time. You’ll have hundreds of tasks on your to-do list, and encounter overwhelming moments that won’t pass unless you’re strong enough to overcome them. That’s when the power of focus kicks in, a key skill that needs to be practiced on an everyday basis.

Developing a startup is often harder than running a functional business. Founders must focus on the tasks and responsibilities that truly matter during the early stages. Some aspects that can’t be neglected while starting a business are:

Each of these factors demands a huge amount of focus from you. If your mind is untrained and your thoughts, emotions, and actions are chaotic, then your startup has the potential to fall apart.

5. Leadership and Management Skills

Founders wear a lot of hats during the startup stages. They are leaders and managers. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs that lack leadership and management skills will find it impossible to deal with the overwhelming number of responsibilities.

As a leader, you’ll have to motivate, inspire, and organize your employees because nobody’s going to do that for you. Responsibilities, expectations, and task management all fall on your shoulders.

Great founders develop strong relationships with their employees, and boost their team’s productivity and efficiency. They also strengthen the foundation of the company. This is done by showing your team they are being taken care of, you respect them, and they can always come to you if they encounter any issues.

6. Grit

Startup founders will always encounter impossibly boring tasks. These tasks aren’t fun, but they must be done. During the very early stages of a startup, every single issue must be taken care of manually by the founder himself. As the business evolves, these assignments will be automated by software or outsourced with the help of freelancers and interns.

Until then, founders need to realize that they’re alone with their mission. If they won’t do it, nobody will. Ultimately, every important task must be done eventually. This is where the grit comes in. The term is very similar to the expression “getting sh*t done.” If you don’t like it, too bad. Endure and keep working until the job is done.

7. Patience and Resilience

A startup owner can’t expect overnight success, same as they can’t expect everything to be easy. Being patient means altering your expectations in a positive way. Shift your perspective from short-term to long-term thinking. Stop assessing your startup as a success or a failure. If you do that, you’re looking for results.

Owners that constantly seek short-term results to move forward will often run out of energy and motivation. If you shift your mindset and look at your business like you’re looking at life, you’ll understand what your startup really is — a journey.

During a journey, you’ll need to be patient and resilient. When you encounter difficult challenges, see them as necessary milestones and skill upgrades. When everything seems to be falling apart, keep in mind that there’s always something you can do to make things better.

Most importantly, don’t give up on your startup. Did something go wrong? Take your time to recover, build strength, skills, knowledge, and do it again. Patience and resilience are the keys to success!

Every great startup founder is recognized and praised for their end accomplishments. However, behind the scenes, the hustle and struggles are always omnipresent. Before you head out on this beautiful, yet incredibly challenging, journey reevaluate your present competences. Knowledge, skills, and attitude. Each one matters, and they should consistently be improved as your business keeps progressing!

Serena Dorf is a content writer and a blogger at EssayOnTime. She enjoys marketing, personal development, education, and public speaking. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature and learning Swedish. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.