THE BLOG
08/19/2014 09:00 am ET

Most Important Entrepreneurial Skills Not Taught In Business School

Business school is ideal for building the strong foundation that a career in entrepreneurship needs in order to succeed in the long run. However, many successful entrepreneurs know that there are several essential skills an entrepreneur needs in order to develop their business that are not taught in the classroom. These four keys to successful entrepreneurship will not be learned in a classroom but can mean the difference between succeeding and failing.

Raising money

Though an entrepreneur needs to develop an array of skills, raising money is the number one skill required of an entrepreneur or a would-be entrepreneur. If you cannot raise money, unless you are personally wealthy, there is no way for you to establish and capitalize your business opportunity. While it is also good for entrepreneurs to have a stake in their own venture, it is smart to use investors too, to avoid tying up all your capital in one project. Becoming skilled at raising capital, especially in the early stages of entrepreneurship, is vital in order to have a 'nest' of money available as expenses arise most frequently during this stage. This also frees up the entrepreneur to attend to the many other 'hats' that he/she must wear in order to succeed in business.

Selling

This is effectively first on the table of entrepreneurial skills, since it is a fact that if you cannot sell you are highly unlikely to succeed. You can, and should, read and study books written by entrepreneurial experts about the art of sale. However, like many other skills in business, sales skills are learned and mastered with regular, consistent practice. It is wise and in your best interest as an entrepreneur to seek out and find a mentor in order to gain skills before setting out on the entrepreneurial path. Before you even begin your initial entrepreneurial project, make this critical investment in your business and yourself.

Other Peoples' Time

You cannot do everything yourself although many entrepreneurs try to do so. Remember the old adage 'There is no 'I' in team" and the oft quoted "It takes a village." This cannot be emphasized enough. Entrepreneurs that attempt to do it all themselves often finding themselves simply self-employed. Going back to the first key in this article, the entrepreneur's first job is raise financing. After that the entrepreneur's job is grow the business. Employees should be used for run-of-the-mill, routine or repetitive tasks. It's unwise for the entrepreneur to use up their energy completing tasks such as these that can easily be farmed out. And should be.

Teams/Support Structure

After raising funds, the entrepreneur needs to establish their support team very early on -- this includes an accountant, bookkeeper, lawyer and other support professionals needed on a regular basis. These professionals have the skills and knowledge to complete their jobs at a level of expertise that the entrepreneur cannot. And they will do so in less time than the entrepreneur might end up expending. At all times the entrepreneur needs to remain focused on their business, keeping their mission statement and goals in the forefront at all times.

The entrepreneur who strives for success and longevity in their business must be continuously learning. Expanding your knowledge on these four critical keys to successful entrepreneurship can come through extensive reading of a variety of business books and networking with other successful entrepreneurs. The value of talking to and learning from other successful entrepreneurs is priceless and as worthy an investment of your time as an education that is the beginning, but not final, step in building the foundation of a strong, successful career.

CONVERSATIONS