Anyone can start a business (yes, really).
But there’s no denying that some entrepreneurs have skills and strengths that help them achieve success.
As you pursue a path to becoming an entrepreneur, you’ll likely focus most of your attention on your business: your plan, your strategy and what you need to launch.
Yet it’s just as important to take some time and reflect on yourself, too. What strengths do you bring to the table as a business owner? And what are your weaknesses?
As you start thinking about your applicable skills and entrepreneurial strengths, let’s take a closer look at the importance of evaluating both your strengths and your weaknesses.
KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS
Starting a business is challenging. That’s why it helps to know going in what personal strengths you have that can help you be successful.
Maybe you’re a person who embraces challenges not as obstacles, but as opportunities. Perhaps you’re highly motivated and/or goal-oriented. Do you excel at meeting deadlines? What about your work style: do you prefer to operate at the 50,000-foot level, or do you thrive in the midst of details? Are you creative? A people-person? Competitive or disciplined (or both)?
Try this: think of your work history, your professional achievements and your new business. Then list your top 3 entrepreneurial strengths.
Once you’ve identified three of your biggest strengths, start to think about how those particular skills or strengths will help you launch and sustain your business. When you write a business plan, for example, you’re essentially creating a road map that will help guide you to your ultimate goal.
Identifying and embracing your entrepreneurial strengths can also help with that journey. It’s not uncommon to use a variety of tools and resources to help you get your business off the ground, and you can think of your entrepreneurial strengths as yet another resource to help your business go from dream to reality.
Consider a couple of examples. If you’re a people-person and love networking, tap into that skill to spread the word about your business and make valuable connections that can help you fill gaps or offer insight or feedback.
Is creativity among your strong suits? Not only can you use your creativity to help with key business elements like your personal vision, but it will also likely come in handy when you need to find solutions, whether to unexpected obstacles or the product or service you’re bringing to the market. How will you and your business stand out from the crowd?
It’s important to know, embrace and cultivate your strengths. And for both aspiring and established entrepreneurs, it can be just as vital to know your weaknesses.
RESPECT YOUR LIMITS
When you think about how to become an entrepreneur, juggling might be the first thing that comes to mind.
That’s because entrepreneurs have to wear a lot of hats, at least until the funding is there to build an employee base or outsource particular tasks and roles.
As an entrepreneur, be ready to multi-task. But at the same time, it’s so important to understand this key lesson:
“You can’t be good at everything.”
You may be nodding your head, or you might be cringing. That statement is no knock on your professional skills. Instead, it’s the truth. And by understanding your weaknesses, you’ll know what sort of help you need so that you don’t inadvertently constrain your business and instead set yourself up for long-lasting success.
Earlier, you identified three of your biggest professional strengths or skills. Now, let’s do the opposite. What are your weaknesses or things about running a business that you dislike?
Maybe you have trouble meeting deadlines. Or you’re befuddled by numbers and accounting. Do you shy away from managing others? Does the thought of writing anything about your business—a website, marketing content, etc.—make you want to run screaming in the opposite direction?
It’s not always easy to admit what you’re not good at, but think of it as yet another strength. Because you can’t be good at everything, it’s important to focus on the areas in which you excel. Then, view your weaknesses as opportunities: gaps you need to fill to unleash your full entrepreneurial potential.
This is typically where other professional services come in, including accountants, lawyers and marketers. If, for example, you’re not good with the business side of running a business, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to failure. Instead, it simply means you need help—and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“IT GAVE ME THE CONFIDENCE…TO LAUNCH MY BUSINESS”
Speaking of help, here’s an idea. Are you struggling with isolating your entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses? Or have you identified a particular area of need?
That’s where Kauffman FastTrac can help. The free, online business courses walk you through the process of starting a business while also giving you ample opportunity to recognize and build on your entrepreneurial strengths.
Or if you’ve spotted a possible weakness, FastTrac’s business courses can help you navigate that challenge.
Tom Paolini, founder of Paolini Garment Company, is an ideal example. He enrolled in FastTrac to help launch his luxury custom menswear company. And along the way, he got the push he needed to take the next step.
“FastTrac built my knowledge and provided a blueprint for business success,” he says. “It gave me the confidence necessary to launch my business idea.”
A lack of confidence is a common obstacle that many entrepreneurs face. And for good reason—it’s scary to go out on your own and start a business! But few things are as rewarding as being an entrepreneur. If you find you need a similar boost to launch your company, consider FastTrac your personal support system. All you need to do is register!