This post is part of the Bootstrapped Startup 50 series. The goal for the BS50 series is to cover everything that matters when bootstrapping a new startup. The posts are sequential, so it wouldn’t hurt to read from the beginning if you’re just joining in.
Would-be startup founders are typically a confident bunch, knowing what they want to do and having the confidence that they can be a success. They also typically have a skillset that allows them to think big.
The Things That Make You Special
Successful business owners, and particularly founders, have special qualities that allow them to deal with all of the issues that arise during the process of building a company. They may have tremendous leadership skills that allow them to rally teams together to pull off the impossible or an innate creativity that allows them to see things in ways that no one else ever has. Maybe it’s drive and a passion to succeed that helps you overcome the never-ending series of obstacles to success.
If you’re considering starting a company of your own then you have something special inside of you as well. You need to fully understand yourself and the special traits that you have. Building a company may be one of the toughest challenges that you’ll ever face, so you certainly want to make the most of your abilities. Don’t leave anything on the sideline. Identify your special skills and cultivate them; always be improving.
Be Careful – Don’t Let Your Talents Get Stale
Working in a small company means that you have innumerable tasks that need to be done. Having to focus on all of those disparate tasks can have the unintended effect of taking you away from what you’re really good at. Try to continually keep your skills sharp by focusing on tasks that require your particular skills or even creating small tasks that could be beneficial.
I personally have experience with this problem. I used to be particularly good at several software related things, Microsoft VBA, development, and the like. Now, I can barely even read the code. I wish I would have taken a little time over the last few years to keep a couple of those skills sharp.
What are some skills that you make you particularly successful? What rare skills do you see in others that you think would make them good startup founders?
Next up we’ll talk about the pros and cons of cofounders.