What professional skills should I acquire to be successful in business?


Business success is as difficult to achieve as it is to explain. Mainly because to define it correctly it is necessary to distinguish both the business sector in which it occurs and the context in which it takes place .

Entrepreneurship and business success

Research consistently shows a positive relationship between entrepreneurial mindset and business success. This mindset is characterized by opportunity orientation, innovation, proactivity, self-confidence, and risk tolerance .

Entrepreneurs with this mindset tend to perform better on key success factors such as creativity, risk-taking, and growth mindset . Furthermore, it has been proven that specific dimensions of the entrepreneurial mindset, such as innovation capacity, proactivity and risk taking, significantly influence the organizational success of SMEs .

Developing entrepreneurial competencies, including these mindset dimensions, is crucial to business success .

Personality and motivations of the entrepreneur

In terms of personality, entrepreneurs have a character oriented towards accepting challenges and achieving results. They are people who are motivated by working for their own benefit rather than seeking external recognition, which indicates strong self-motivation .

In general terms, the entrepreneur can be considered as “a dreamer, an idealist, someone who has an innovative idea and who pursues his goal more with his heart than with his reason, so he does not care what it costs to achieve it in terms of of time, money and effort.”

Regarding motivations, on the one hand, there are those linked to reward . They are those that motivate you to start a business because there is the possibility of obtaining higher salaries, or other economic incentives, that could not be achieved by working as an employee. On the other hand, there are those linked to professional objectives and past experiences . For example, starting a business out of the desire to be your own boss and obtain greater autonomy.

Overcome the fear of failure

Therefore, having an entrepreneurial mindset is the most important aspect to achieving business success . As described, entrepreneurship requires people to have very specific attitudes, competencies and professional skills . Possessing these characteristics can help people who carry out business activities achieve professional success:

  1. Leadership and commitment : to be an entrepreneurial person you must have an open mind, assume the leadership role and inspire others to become a reference. Within this aspect, it is essential not to fear change and constantly look for ways to improve the company and develop new products.
  2. Innovation : since the classical authors, the entrepreneur was given the vision of being an innovator with the characteristics of initiative, vision and imagination. Having an innovative mindset means constantly looking for ways to improve processes, products or services within the company.
  3. Curiosity and creativity : the entrepreneur has the ability to become a driver of change and generate benefits through creativity and initiative. Thanks to his ability to observe the environment and generate fresh and creative ideas, he is able to address business challenges and opportunities.
  4. Passion : an entrepreneurial person is more motivated by the project than by profits . He is passionate about his work and the company’s mission, which drives him to do his best. He feels euphoria or excitement when he starts a business and channels his energy and passion into projects in which he deeply believes, focusing his goals on them.
  5. Open mentality and vision : Due to their innate curiosity, the entrepreneur loves to break with the established and try new things. It also has a clear, medium-term vision of how it can contribute to future business success. You often see opportunities where others don’t.
  6. Initiative and self-confidence : confidence in one’s business capabilities , a proactive attitude and the ability to assume responsibilities beyond the specific area in which one works are usually key skills to achieve business success.
  7. Persistence and honesty : being persistent in the search for solutions and improvements and having ethical values ​​that guide actions are also key skills to achieve business success.
  8. Risk taking : one of the most important characteristics of the entrepreneurial person is being able to live with uncertainty and knowing how to draw lessons from failures. Entrepreneurial people see failure as a possibility.
  9. Adaptability and autonomy : To successfully carry out any business activity in a constantly evolving world, it is important to be flexible and adapt quickly to changes.
  10. Teamwork and the ability to surround yourself with the best : entrepreneurs are aware of their limitations and must know how to relate very well . Lack of knowledge in all areas should not be a barrier to entrepreneurship. Instead of having exhaustive knowledge, the entrepreneur knows how to find advisors and consultants to make informed decisions.

What is the key to business success?

It can be said that the key to business success lies in having an entrepreneurial mindset. A mindset characterized by opportunity orientation, innovation, proactivity, self-confidence and risk tolerance.

At the same time, having the skills from the previous section allows us to adapt quickly to changes, take on challenges, motivate ourselves internally and learn from failures. Skills that are essential to thrive in today’s competitive business environment.

Author Bio: Javier Bouzas Arufe is Professor, Entrepreneur and Researcher in economics and business at the University of Santiago de Compostela