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What are the Skills Required to be a Successful Entrepreneur?

Below is a list of the skills we teach at The CEO & Entrepreneur Boot Camp. Lacking any one of them can kill a company or doom it to the “living dead” barely surviving. No one builds a successful business alone; it requires a team.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Only about 1 in 17,000 companies reaches $100M, and only 0.4% will break even $10 million. This is because as the company grows, more skills become necessary. However, companies with over 100 people become easier to run as systems, people, and teams are in place. The role of a startup CEO is often considered the hardest job in the world, requiring the most valuable skills. These skills have been learned by every self-made billionaire.

Yet, many young and naive entrepreneurs dream of building a $1 billion company. This is a rare occurrence that requires a combination of skill, experience, a great team, and even a bit of luck.

Any good CEO needs to excel in these areas, which take years of experience to develop. These skills are not just simple skills you can learn rapidly; they are “arts” that require practice and refinement.

  1. Recruiting
  2. Management
  3. Marketing & Branding
  4. Product Development & Innovation
  5. Operations and Customer Service
  6. Finance
  7. Sales
  8. Raising Capital
  9. Leadership
  10. Competitive Intelligence
  11. Market Research
  12. Vision
  13. Competitive Strategy
  14. Organizational Development (OD)
  15. Industry/Domain Expertise

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Kenneth Blanchard

While the CEO does not need to be an expert in all these areas, it is essential to have expertise within the team and the ability to manage each aspect effectively. Recognizing when someone else is better suited for a particular role and allowing them to execute is a crucial skill for a CEO.

We have created a free 3-part video course called “The Entrepreneur’s Journey,” which provides a more detailed review of these skills. We believe that our CEO Boot Camp will significantly increase an entrepreneur’s chances of success, as it addresses 18 of the top reasons for startup failure, as voiced by CEOs who have shut down their companies.

“Great leaders are willing to sacrifice their own personal interests for the good of the team.” – John Wooden

Bob Norton is a long-time Serial Entrepreneur, CEO and investor who founded six companies with four exits that returned over $1 billion to investors for a 25X ROI. Two others are still in development. He has trained, consulted and advised thousands of Entrepreneurs, CEOs and boards since 2002. Mr. Norton works with companies to 2X to 10X growth rates and valuation using AirTight Management™, the world’s most comprehensive Leadership Operating System. He also helps companies raise capital to fund growth. He is also the Founder of The CEO Boot Camp™ and Entrepreneurship Universityfor early-stage companies that have not reached product-market fit and $1M ARR.

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