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In terms of business ownership, what are some skills that are commonly missed and should be adhered to for beginning and future entrepreneurs.

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I am currently a junior in high school, and plan on majoring and getting a degree in architecture. I also plan to own my own architectural firm someday and am all ears to tips as well as recommendations towards the success of my becoming an entrepreneur in the near future. career coachable allears

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Serena’s Answer

Hi Devin,
Well done for planning ahead and getting ready for your entrepreneurship!
I have close friends who are successful entrepreneurs and they all have varied backgrounds,
Who were engineers, beauticians, doctors before they devoted into entrepreneurship.

The one quality they have in common is the habit of growing their knowledge.
From reading entrepreneurial books, participating in online forums,
Seeking entrepreneurial mentors to studying courses related to their business;
They are always learning and growing in breadth and depth to enhance their business.

There are a few books that are great in building fundamental habits of to make a successful entrepreneur:
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
Grit by Angela Duckworth
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Building a solid and discipline mindset is key to thrive in entrepreneurship.
And also equip yourself with marketing knowledge,
Especially SEOs and social media ads - no matter what your business may be,
You will eventually need to rely on marketing to enhance your reach.
Good luck!


I really appreciate the feedback as well as the recommended list of books that will be relevant to my desire for growth in entrepreneurship. I will most definitely look into checking out some of these books. Thank you so much Devin H.

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Jason’s Answer

Hi Devin,

This a really good question and there are a number of skills that would potentially apply. It may be a good idea to brainstorm a quick SWOT analysis. This is a practice of considering 4 areas: Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats to your business plan. This exercise can potentially illuminate a number of areas that you had not previously considered. That said, the one that I would call out specifically is business prospecting and sales acumen. In order to have a successful firm any business owner needs to have a client base to work with. How will you get your customers? There are many ways to increase your market share but most of them ultimately come down to finding prospects (or helping them find you) and then selling them on the services you offer. There are many talented professionals out there who struggle to bring in new business and ultimately fail because of it. This is always something to think about if you intend to start your own business - how will you attract your customers so that you can delight them with your offerings. Best of luck to you!

Thank you so much for your feedback. There are definitely some new things that have come to mind; like the importance of prospects as well as the stature of a sales acumen. Devin H.

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Mary Jane’s Answer

Great question and you are obviously a very forward-thinking individual. As an entrepreneur you need many skills in designing your future business, developing a business plan and being able to collaborate with others.
Some entrepreneurs are very independent which is a strength, yet they also need to be able collaborate with others. As an entrepreneurial business grows, the founder needs to transition into delegating rather than doing everything him or herself.
To answer your question, entrepreneurs need skills in managing and coaching others as well as task delegation. Being able to collaborate with others, listen to various opinions and perspectives is an added bonus. And, in every job, being a strong communicator and able to manage conflict, will give you the skills to be a successful team player and team member.
Good luck in your career exploration and you are on the right path as demonstrated by asking this question! Nice job!
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Simeon’s Answer

You'll want to have a good understanding of marketing, be able to budget effectively, and create and maintain a detailed business plan. Additionally, you'll want to invest in upskilling in anything software or tech related.
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Samantha’s Answer

Hi Devin. I think it's great you're already thinking about this! My advice would be to make sure you have a solid understanding of accounting and finance, as entrepreneurs don't always invest in developing those skills as often as they should. It can be easy to get carried away by big ideas, but it's essential to be knowledgable about the the more administrative aspects of running a business as well. If you want to be an architect, you should certainly spend lots of your time studying architecture, but I'd also recommend you have a good understanding of accounting. While you can always hire others to help you with the specifics, you'll still need to be able to think broadly about bookkeeping, budgeting, and taxes.
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Michael’s Answer

Wow, great that you're thinking so far ahead! One of the biggest things that is overlooked is how to sell yourself. As you outlined, you may do this three times: sell yourself to a school, sell yourself to gain work experience, then sell yourself for your own business. So beyond being good at architecture, you need to have the confidence, skills, and organization to:
-understand your customer or audience
-what you do well, and what you need others to do for or with you
-how to communicate that to all the stakeholders you have: partners, bosses, customers, employees, etc., including public speaking
So there's a lot of softer skills in collaborating and communicating you'll need to develop . I suggest starting now. Leadership in school activities, work or internship experience, volunteering, or even partnering or helping with someone else on their business (many entrepreneurs start young) are all ways to get some experience with those skills, especially if you're not comfortable with "soft" skills.

Dan mentioned "courage". In addition to courage to make the hard decisions, you also need the courage to know how to ask for help, engage with customers, and collaborate with people. Remember, the answer is always "no" unless you ask!
Good luck!

Michael recommends the following next steps:

Engage in a school or community volunteer activity in some leadership role
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Dan’s Answer

Devin, wonderful plan you have and I am rooting for you to succeed!

I think allot of entrepreneurs (all ages!) lose sight of just how hard it is to start a business...Any business! Its all about hustling around, creating a need for your services, and once selected for a job/project, seeing that through until completion. Another skill that people need is to have the courage to stop what you're doing if it's not successful and look at it from different perspectives. Could you have managed your funding better/differently? Could you have hired more/better people? Did you ensure that running your business didn't get in the way of allowing your business to thrive/survive? The hardest thing anyone can do is admit failure. Be ready to fail, assess what went right/wrong, and be brave enough to start again.

In the field you're looking at, it might be a good idea to find a College/University that has a strong internship base and has alumni(ae) that can assist you in finding a firm that is right for you. I would also work at one of the larger firms and become a sponge. Learn all of the ins and outs of their business model and, once you're ready to go out on your own, take the best of what the larger firm did/does and make it your own.

Dan recommends the following next steps:

Find a school with a great internship network
Work at an established firm and learn everything about how they became successful
Seek the help of a mentor in your field
Be prepared to succeed/fail
LOVE what you do!