What Skills Are Needed To Be An Entrepreneur?

Panel of successful business leaders.

From keeping a steady mind to bouncing back from setbacks, here are 14 answers to the question, “What are the skills you need to be an entrepreneur?”

  • Staying Calm
  • A Creative Inclination
  • Networking
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Good Time Management
  • Security in the Insecure
  • Self-Motivation
  • Persistence
  • Critical Thinking
  • Ability to Take Calculated Risks
  • Sales Skills
  • Adaptability
  • Finance Management
  • Resilience

Staying Calm

One skill you need to be an entrepreneur is the ability to stay calm. When things get stressful, a good leader knows how to relax and move from a smart place.

Being able to trust the surrounding people is a big help in staying calm. Once a leader knows their team can handle any situation, they’ll always be able to operate at a higher level.

Maegan Griffin, Founder, CEO, and Nurse Practitioner, Skin Pharm

A Creative Inclination

While it’s unnecessary for entrepreneurs to be creative in the artistic sense, they need to have a creative inclination. This can come in handy when they need to solve problems uniquely or put forth their ideas.

This underlying creativity can make any idea they want to sell seem interesting and innovative. If they’re able to cultivate this skill, they’re more likely to impress their clients and those on their team.

Harry Morton, Founder, Lower Street


A business can only be sustainable through its ability to grow, and in order to do that, an entrepreneur must be skilled in the art of networking. Whether it is growth in production, locations, or simply a customer base, businesses have to access resources, and many times, this requires resources that are outside their own internal workings.

Being able to talk to the management of outside entities, seeing synergistic possibilities with other businesses, and knowing how to identify common points of benefit and interest are critical to accessing new resources.

An entrepreneur who has the skill to network will ensure that they will always reach beyond their own resources and tap into the ones possessed by others, helping to reinforce their ability to grow their business.

Cody Candee, CEO, Bounce

Emotional Intelligence

As an entrepreneur, you need emotional intelligence not only to understand the needs of your customers but also to manage effective teams and build a strong network of peers, mentors, and support.

You will also need emotional intelligence to ensure that the stresses of building a business don’t negatively affect your team. Leadership requires a steady hand and a positive outlook, which is frankly impossible if you are reactive, mean, or unable to meet the emotional needs of others.

Gates Little, President and CEO, altLINE

Good Time Management

When you run your own business, you’re pulled in multiple directions at the same time. Figure out a way to manage your time effectively. What needs to get done first? What can wait until later? These are questions entrepreneurs have to think about every day.

When you’re able to keep a to-do list, an up-to-date calendar, and a stellar team around you, it’s much easier to be productive.

Kim Walls, CEO and Co-Founder, Furtuna Skin

Security in the Insecure

While there are many skills and talents needed to be a successful entrepreneur, one of the most valuable is being comfortable with uncertainty. You cannot take the risks necessary to start and grow your business if you need stasis and predictability to feel secure.

From employee upsets to frustrating clients to changing markets, there is no way to guarantee security. Accepting unexpected outcomes and learning to appreciate the opportunities to use your problem-solving skills during difficult times will help you succeed as a business owner.

Maurice Harary, CEO, The Bid Lab


Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of hard work, and it also means having the drive and focus to stay on top of it all.

Without self-motivation, it’s difficult to stick with a business plan or complete important tasks in a timely manner. Having the ability to motivate oneself is essential for success as an entrepreneur.

Matt Teifke, CEO, Teifke Real Estate


While talent can certainly be an advantage in many areas of life, persistence is often more valuable in the long run.

Persistence refers to the ability to keep working towards a goal, even in the face of setbacks, obstacles, and failures. It requires resilience, determination, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

Talent alone does not guarantee success, as it may not be enough to overcome challenges or sustain motivation. With persistence, one can develop skills and expertise through practice and effort, which can lead to greater achievements and personal growth.

Ultimately, while talent may offer a head start, persistence is the key to achieving success and realizing one’s potential.

Andy Ide, Founder and Director, HorseRecords

Critical Thinking

As a business owner, you need to make informed decisions quickly, while considering both short-term and long-term implications.

This requires understanding the overall context, examining potential risks and rewards, and gathering feedback from key stakeholders.

Being an effective problem solver who can think outside of the box and come up with creative solutions can help take your business to the next level.

Stephanie Jenkins, Founder, Stephanie Jenkins Photo

Ability to Take Calculated Risks

One skill needed to be an entrepreneur is the ability to take calculated risks. Entrepreneurs must be able to identify opportunities and be willing to take risks to capitalize on those opportunities.

They need to develop strategies for managing risk and be ready to adjust those strategies as needed.

Michael Chen, Growth Director, Notta

Sales Skills

Sales skills are crucial for anyone looking to become an entrepreneur because virtually everything you do as a business owner has a sales component to it.

Whether you’re pitching your business idea to potential investors, convincing a client to choose your product or service over your competitors, or persuading employees to support your vision, the ability to sell your ideas and products effectively is essential.

Sales skills encompass a range of abilities, including the ability to communicate persuasively, identify and understand the needs of your audience, and build relationships that lead to long-term success.

Without strong sales skills, even the most innovative and game-changing business ideas may struggle to gain traction, making it difficult for entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and realize their full potential.

Cynthia Davies, Founder, Cindy’s New Mexico LLC


As an entrepreneur, we constantly face unexpected challenges and changes in the market and business environment. To navigate these challenges, it’s essential to adapt and pivot quickly.

This means being able to identify when something is not working and being willing to change your approach or strategy to better address the situation. Adaptability also involves being open-minded and receptive to feedback and new ideas.

Successful entrepreneurs will listen to their customers, employees, and industry experts to stay on top of emerging trends and technologies. They will experiment with alternative approaches and take calculated risks to achieve their goals.

Jimmy John Liautaud, Co-Founder, Jimmy John’s

Finance Management

Entrepreneurs focus on creating products and growing their businesses and frequently overlook the importance of financial management.

Entrepreneurs who manage their finances effectively can make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and make investments that will drive growth and success.

They can also avoid common financial pitfalls like overspending or running out of cash, which can jeopardize their businesses.

Sunny Kumar, Founder and Marketing Specialist, TheWPX


Entrepreneurship is a journey full of trials, and the ability to bounce back from setbacks is crucial.

To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to have a strong mental game and remain optimistic and focused, even in the face of difficult circumstances.

In addition, you must be able to keep pushing forward, even when progress is slow! My personal advice would be to prioritize self-care by getting at least 7 hours of sleep, exercising regularly, and taking breaks when needed, even during the workday.

Jan Cizmar, CEO and Founder, Tolgee

Disrupt Magazine Article Link: What Skills Are Needed To Be An Entrepreneur?