A smiling woman leans over an L-shaped desk. Both of her hands are flat on the desk, on top of a couple of large paper blueprints. Two rolls of brown paper sit next to the woman's left hand. To her right, further down on the desk, are a computer monitor and keyboard and a coffee cup. The woman has long brown hair and wears a maroon button-up shirt. Several sketches of lamps and chairs are pinned to the wall next to the desk.
Resilience is a necessity for entrepreneurs, who will inevitably face obstacles and setbacks on their business journeys. — Getty Images/StockRocket

It takes certain talents to build a company, sell services, or develop products, and these qualifications differ depending on your line of work. Yet there are a few entrepreneurial skills that apply to anyone. These capabilities help solopreneurs, small business owners, and freelancers succeed. Moreover, anyone can learn and use them in their professional and private lives.

Whether you want to improve your workplace skills, start a new company, or better manage your household, these five skills are essential. Discover how to increase your focus, make decisions, and communicate effectively while becoming financially literate and more resilient.


According to Stevenson University Online, communication “can be a make or break factor in securing a job, maintaining a healthy relationship, and healthy self-expression.” Indeed, it’s critical to entrepreneurs when pitching investors, building a team, or marketing services and products. How you communicate affects your ability to handle a crisis and manage day-to-day life.

The University of New Mexico listed five essential communication skills:

  • Written communication.
  • Oral communication.
  • Nonverbal and visual communication.
  • Active listening.
  • Contextual communication.

The best way to improve your communication skills is to identify and focus on your weaknesses. Take online courses to overcome challenges and practice communicating and observing in different environments, such as online communities and in-person meet-and-greets.


IRMP Consulting calls focus “the gateway to all thinking: perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making.” The ability to concentrate helps you be a better entrepreneur, employee, friend, and family member. And the best part is that anyone can improve their focus. However, many conditions and even medications can cause you to lose focus. Speak with a professional if your ability has changed or isn’t improving after working on it.

Ways to improve focus include:

  • Use time management tools.
  • Eliminate or reduce distractions.
  • Work on your cognitive abilities.
  • Explore meditation, yoga, and exercise techniques.

[Read more: Is Your Small Business Struggling? These Tips Can Help You Stay Focused]

How you handle money in your business and personal life affects nearly everything you do.


The American Psychological Association (APA) defined resilience as “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands.” Resilience helps you overcome challenges, handle stress, and avoid feeling overwhelmed. It’s a key skill for entrepreneurs who often face many barriers and setbacks. Moreover, today’s business leaders want to hire adaptable people.

Use these tips to improve the four types of resilience:

  • Physical: Healthy lifestyle choices help you recover from medical issues and physical demands. Focus on developing better eating, sleeping, and exercising habits.
  • Mental: Build mental strength through visualization techniques, avoiding negative self-talk, understanding your purpose, and having hobbies that bring you joy.
  • Emotional: Learn how to regulate your emotions and calm your mind during tumultuous times. Concentrate on developing self-awareness and creating work-life balance.
  • Social: Work on building social networks and identifying supportive spaces within your community, such as therapy or networking groups and health or fitness centers.


Good decision-makers take an evidence-based approach. They know how to research and overcome implicit bias. It’s important to improve your process and make choices quickly and accurately.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth suggested using a step-by-step process:

  • Define what the decision is.
  • Collect relevant information.
  • Identify possible solutions.
  • Visualize each alternative.
  • Make the decision that feels right to you.
  • Take action.
  • Review the outcome and adjust your process.

[Read more: 5 Processes to Help You Tackle Tough Business Decisions]

Financial literacy

How you handle money in your business and personal life affects nearly everything you do. It’s never too late to improve your skills through financial newsletters, books, and professional guidance. Investopedia has a comprehensive list of resources to develop your financial skills.

According to the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, the five principles of financial literacy include:

  • Earn: Understand your benefits and pay.
  • Save and invest: Create goals and put aside money.
  • Protect: Review insurance and emergency savings options.
  • Spend: Learn how to make good spending decisions.
  • Borrow: Know when to borrow and what it costs.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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