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Clear Change Group Business and Leadership Coaching Articles for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Success Factors

By Audrey Seymour

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Are you considering whether to launch your first business? Many capacities are needed to build and maintain a successful business, and it's not realistic or necessary that they all be met by a single individual. This is one of the reasons that collaborative leadership is increasing in popularity—responsibilities can be shared depending on individual strengths.

The following checklist will help you assess some of your own strengths and weaknesses, so that you can see where business partners or further professional development work might be appropriate.

Here is a partial list to begin your assessment:

  1. Vision - ability to see and clearly articulate the long term picture.

  2. Passion - choosing work that inspires you so that it will bring out the best in you -- and so that you will inspire others to do business with you.

  3. Communications skills - an ability to express your ideas effectively and authentically will inspire others to work effectively on your behalf.

  4. Relationship skills - the capacity to build and sustain long-term collaborative business relationships with others is what will bring your work to fruition.

  5. Initiative - ability to work well alone is a key quality to motivate you when the buck stops with you

  6. Focus - keeping your eyes on your vision and priorities in the midst of risk, stress and distractions.

  7. Persistence and discipline - staying committed to the course without immediate or constant reward.

  8. Adaptability - changing course midstream as needed under changing circumstances.

  9. Time management skills - knowing what to focus on in the absence of external accountability.

  10. Strategic and tactical thinking - managing daily operations and planning for growth while delivering your services and/or products.

  11. Love of variety - to insure that you will have the capacity to take on all the different roles needed to meet your business goals.

  12. Financial resilience - capacity to ride out the inevitable ups and downs while building your business.

  13. Vibrant health and energy - to keep driving the course of your business, which requires the discipline for Self-care and life balance that will allow you to sustain your energy over many years.

  14. Domain knowledge - to keep you current with expertise in your chosen area(s).

Reflect on your level of confidence and strength in each area. Add any other entrepreneurial qualities that come to mind. Choose a measurement system that works for you, such as plus/minus or a scale of 1-5.

Then, what patterns do you see? What strengths could you be using more often and which weaker areas need support or training? For example, if managing details is not your strong point, hand off daily operations to someone else. Visionary founders can actually interfere with long-term stability when they prefer following new ideas to completing existing plans.

Also consider what knowledge and skills you will need to develop. For example, if you have trouble staying motivated, find a colleague for weekly check-ins or hire a personal coach. If you get distracted easily, consider taking a time management course. If you want to become a better public speaker, join a Speaking Circle® or Toastmasters group.

By designing a professional development path specific to your needs, your capacity will grow to meet the demands of your vision.

© 2005-2011 Audrey Seymour. All rights reserved.