Three essential entrepreneurial skills

Three Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

There are three skills that are essential in business and as an entrepreneur.  They are:

  • Systems Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Optimism

Each one is very different from the other.  And they are all essential to a highly successful business. It’s important that YOU have these skills.

Let’s look at each of these skills individually.

Systems Thinking is the ability to be able to systematize processes to ensure that you perform functions with the highest level of consistency and efficiency.  It provides your employees the ability to perform functions with the same level of proficiency and produce a product or service with the same standards and outcome.

Creativity is the ability to see new ideas and solutions where others may not. To make connections between various items creating new and novel products and services.

Optimism is the trait where you look at the positive side of something.  It’s the ability to see the glass half full…and not half empty. To feel positive.  To look at the potential of a situation and not be paralyzed by the potential pitfalls.

Although these are very brief descriptions, I believe you can get the idea of what these three skills represent.  It is possible to describe each of these skills in much greater detail, but these simple definitions will suffice for now.  Why?  Because what I would like to discuss is the relationship of these three skills and how they function together. Furthermore,  there is even a greater depth of consideration that I would like to address.   It is…

What is the order of importance of these three entrepreneurial skills?  And why?

Yes, each of these skills is important.  But there is definitely an order of importance to them.  One is the most important to an entrepreneur, then there is a second and third skill, also important, but perhaps more dependent on the others for successful implementation in your business.  So let’s look at them and you can pick…

What order do you think they belong in?

In order of importance here are your choices for these entrepreneurial skills….(a) most important  to (c) third in importance.

  1. (a) Systems Thinking   (b) Creativity   (c) Optimism
  2. (a) Systems Thinking   (b) Optimism   (c) Creativity
  3. (a) Optimism   (b) Systems Thinking   (c) Creativity
  4. (a) Optimism   (b) Creativity   (c) Systems Thinking
  5. (a) Creativity   (b) Systems Thinking  (c) Optimism
  6. (a) Creativity   (b) Optimism  (c) Systems Thinking

I will give you a hint…you need to think about what each of these different skills contributes to the success of an entrepreneur and  business person.  And what would be missing if any of these skills were not well developed?

Choose what order of importance you feel that these skills hold.

Will it be one? Two? Three? Four? Five? Or six? And WHY did you choose that order?

Write your thoughts down, because I will want you to contribute your thoughts in a comment below…and I don’t want you to be influenced by the discussion that will follow.

So let’s look at the three skills again, but this time in a little different context.

Creativity allows you to come up with novel ideas, concepts and solutions.  It’s an essential skill that can help you develop products and services that are new and unique.  The opposite of creative is dull, boring and uninspiring. This skill is where you transform your thoughts and ideas into concrete possibilities.

Systems Thinking helps you create uniform systems that help keep your business running efficiently…regardless whether or not you are there. The opposite of systems thinking is chaos, disorganization and anarchy. This is the most concrete of the three skills.

Optimism provides you will the vision of being able to achieve something great.  The opposite of optimism is pessimism. This is the most nebulous of the three skills. How do you feel or touch or even describe optimism?  I am not sure that you can.

So did you figure out what MY order is?

Let me share my thoughts with you, one at a time.

First….OPTIMISM…is the most important skill for an entrepreneur and business.  Why? Because without optimism, you have no motivation. You are not inspired to achieve something.  You are unlikely to stretch yourself to accomplish your goal.  Without optimism, you will have pessimism. You won’t see the opportunity and will only see the bad and negative aspects of what you are looking to achieve.  In a state of pessimism, rather than optimism, you won’t have the vision or belief that you will achieve your goal.  Only with optimism will you take the steps necessary to strive for your goals. Without it, you will never start your quest to achieve your goals.

Creativity…is next in importance.  Once you have created your optimistic vision, you need the creativity to “create” it. As the leader of your business, the entrepreneur, it’ is up to you to create the vision.  To see opportunities and goals that others do not. To find ways of doing things that are unlike any other that have been done before. You won’t be creative without having the optimism fueling you with energy.  Pessimism is like starting a trip with an empty tank. You won’t go far, regardless how creative you are about it.  Optimism is the fuel that helps creativity run long, hard and fast.

Systems Thinking…although a current buzzword in many entrepreneurial and business circles today, is less important that the other two skills. But it still is very important to allow you to develop your business to be consistent.  Logical and systematic thinking can be performed by others…provided you supply the vision and creativity…all fueled by your optimism.  There are many people who can qualify as a “COO” and do a perfectly good job at ensuring that systems are in place and faithfully executed. But those same people may not (probably do not) have that same level of creativity and optimism…that sets you apart from them, as the entrepreneurial leader of the your business.  If they were…it’s likely they would not be working for you, but rather have their own business. Also, systems can be automated and performed by machines.  You should be able to oversee the  development of systems, but they should function autonomously, without your oversight.

It’s up to you to supply the optimism that gets the ball rolling and supplies the energy to keep it moving.  It’s then for you and your creative team to tap into your creativity to find novel solutions and opportunities, and last it’s your guidance of your support team that can help ensure the consistency of delivery from a well developed systematic business. From “ethereal” to “conceptual” to “concrete”.

So there you have it.  My answer to the question originally posed would be (a) Optimism (b) Creativity (c) Systems Thinking. Option #4.

Was that the same answer you had?  Do you agree with me?  Why or why not?  Take a look at your original notes…and share your thoughts below.  I look forward to seeing your creative thoughts.



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