As an online entrpreneur you will need to pick up quite a few skills and traits along the way. Here are 8 skills and traits I consider critical.
“Tony Hawk understands his audience because he is his audience” – Source: Entrepreneur.com
1 Passion: Make It Personal
Without passion you won’t get far. This is really the key to a successful project. If you make problems personal and put all your passion into solving them, you will succeed, no matter what. Because they are personal, you understand where consumers are coming from, what their problems are and how you can help to solve them.
2 Critical Thinking: Get A Multitude Of Opinions
You need to be able to make rational decisions, but more importantly you need to be very critical with yourself and others. Never accept a single opinion. Good entrepreneurs have a ton of advisors, because they realize they alone cannot make a proper decision. The big picture is what we’re after and for that we need a multitude of opinions from people with different backgrounds. If you don’t have access to that, you should at least get the opinion from your peers and people close to you and then evaluate every single opinion. Internet companies in Silicon Valley are so successful because they are not afraid of sharing their big plans with other people. Execution is the key, not your idea.
3 Trust: Giving Away Control
When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I had some major trust issues. I’m one of those micro-managers, I don’t like giving away control. But entrepreneurs need to be able to trust their co-workers so they can focus on the bigger picture. If you’re a micro-manager as well, you simply need to become aware of it and work towards improving the situation. Micromanagement is not the worst thing: Many entrepreneurs are said to be a little obsessed with the details (for example Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer). And sometimes that’s a good thing, because details matter, just don’t lose track of the big picture.
4 Persistence: Never Giving In
You need to believe in your ideas even when no one else does. Without a little confidence you won’t get far. That’s why naive dreamers are some of the best entrepreneurs: They cast doubts away. Self-doubt is an obstacle that you need to overcome early on.
If you have doubts, that’s ok, but if you simply collect more data and more information until your doubts are gone you will succeed.
5 Research: Making Educated Choices
Research skills are very important. You will have to research industry trends, product ideas and all sorts of pieces of information. Without some research you can only make guesses, but to make educated guesses you will have to collect and analyze data constantly.
6 Emotional Intelligence: Dealing With Mistakes And Loss Rationally
To be able to withstand the ups and downs you need a high emotional IQ. That means you need to be able to reflect on your mistakes and deal with them in a rational manner, not let them eat you up.
I find this very hard myself sometimes. When you’re a very competitive personality, dealing with mistakes and loss can be pretty tough. Finding a way to deal with mistakes on a rational basis is the key. You’re only human, mistakes will happen and they’re a good thing. Unfortunately, schools around the globe never really teach you how to deal with failure and don’t embrace failure as they should. Accepting failure for what it is (a vehicle for growth) will be one of the key lessons you need to learn as an entrepreneur and as a person to grow.
7 Emotional Intelligence: Resistant To Criticism
As an entrepreneur you can’t be perfect. There is no time for perfection. A MVP (Minimum Viable Product) will help you discover flaws early on and correct severe mistakes with your product, your assumptions and market research.
Being resistant to criticism is absolutely required. The internet is an anonymous place which gives raise to many absurdities that you would not encounter in real life. Be ready for it.
8 A Unique Skill/Trait And USP
Entrepreneurs are often generalists. But to succeed as an entrepreneur you need to have one skill that will set you apart from the competition. It can be a skill or a trait, it doesn’t really matter, you need to be really good at something and you need to become aware of the fact that you’re really good at something.
So, what sets yourself apart from others? Why should you create this product?
To sum it up, you not only need some decent skills, you also need a multitude of traits to be successful.
Luckily, most traits can be picked up along the way or learnt. Few things are genetically pre-determined. Learning by doing. Make mistakes and keep rocking.