Building a company from the ground up requires a lot of skill. You need to know how to maintain and improve your finances, handle what staff you have and hire even-more skilled employees later, and sell your product or brand. But what are some of the underrated skills that many entrepreneurs should possess, but don't?
A. Team Training
Businesses scale when the team grows in number and in skill. In a small business, you as the founder can often do every task better and faster than your employees at first. But if you keep stepping in, they will never grow and be able to take on more. Take the extra time to train your people and let them learn from their small mistakes. - John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation
People often underestimate the value of relationships and that people are tied to the resources we need. It's never time to develop relationships when you need something. You have to have them and be nurturing them well in advance of needing to take something from them. No matter what, spend time making, building, and cultivating meaningful relationships as they will open doors for you. - Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40
Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires falling and getting up, over and over again. A highly underrated skill that successful entrepreneurs possess, but many others don't, is the capability of getting back up again. Many entrepreneurs give up in the face of adversity, but critical to the long-term success of a business owner is being able to get up and keep trying. - Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
While the tech industry as a whole moves fast, on a micro-level, entrepreneurs must grind quietly for a long time before their success is noticed. With all of life's other pressures as well as the social stigma of running a company that nobody has ever heard of, the early days can be tough. Too many potentially successful founders quit because they feel success isn't coming as quickly as it should. - Kevin Yamazaki, Sidebench
As entrepreneurs, we often get blindsided by critique. We're used to having to deal with pitfalls, but personal critique just isn't something we deal with well sometimes. Having a positive mindset can be all you need to overcome that. By seeing the positive in any critique, you'll allow yourself to grow and become better than you were the day before. It can definitely help you grow. - John Hall, Influence & Co.
The most successful entrepreneurs recognize they do not have time to get all of the facts for the dozens of decisions they make each day. Instead, they just need to gather enough information to make sound decisions so the company can move forward. Some of those decisions will be wrong, but it’s better to learn from those mistakes and try again than to be immobilized by indecisiveness. - Doug Bend, Bend Law Group, PC
It's important to know when to take it easy and when to work hard. An entrepreneur usually just works hard and doesn't realize breaks and rest are important for recharging their mental and physical batteries. - Andrew O'Connor, American Addiction Centers
Entrepreneurs must be so steadfast in pursuit of their goals that it can be difficult to remain modest when experiencing success. Those who are will better ensure that their success is sustainable because they are better prepared to learn from customers and co-workers, as well as from their own mistakes. People are drawn to leaders with confidence, but also to people with a great deal of respect for others. - Charles Bogoian, Kenai Sports, LLC
A. Persuasive Writing
Writing is hard, especially when you're trying to sell your services or products. Take some online courses, do some research and learn how to effectively sell through persuasive writing. Find out how copywriting best practices can help your business grab your prospect's attention and reach them with content where they are in the sales pipeline. - Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
A. Saying 'No'
As an entrepreneur, you'll be presented with unlimited opportunities to scale and grow. Your resources, on the other hand, are limited. Successful entrepreneurs need to know how to strategically trim down the opportunities they're presented, and only go for the ones that make sense for long-term growth. Being optimistic is one thing, but stretching yourself thin is a completely different matter. - Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
A. Stress Management
Humans did not evolve to live in a constant state of stress: It's physically and mentally damaging. And yet, that's the position many entrepreneurs put themselves in. The result is burnout, lack of life satisfaction, damaged relationships and degraded health. Being stressed and constantly busy is not a sign that you're on the path to success. Smart leaders are calm, relaxed and successful. - Vik Patel, Future Hosting
A. Respectful Leadership
I'm a huge fan of Steve Jobs, but I see many new entrepreneurs who take the wrong lessons from his career. If you aren't a visionary of Jobs's stature — and you almost certainly aren't — you can't manage people the way he managed his employees. You'll alienate key talent and create a terrible working environment. Instead, try to cultivate an empathetic and respectful leadership style. - Justin Blanchard, ServerMania Inc.
Being organized is definitely a skill that’s underrated. Entrepreneurs are innovators. The world loves to make excuses for innovative, creative types. We think creative people are naturally disorganized, but this is a massive problem if you want to run a successful business. When you’re organized, you’ll be able to expand your business and increase your income quickly and with far less stress. - Ajit Nawalkha, Mindvalley
Listening is an important skill because it allows entrepreneurs to understand their customers better. Many times, entrepreneurs get caught in their own view of the world, without really knowing what their customers want. An open mind and ability to listen actively allows successful entrepreneurs to create the products that customers really want. - Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS
These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.