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Question – How can I become a good entrepreneur?

Wondering how to become a good entrepreneur? Our career coach gives a lowdown on the preparation you can make to help boost your chances of success.

Question: What qualities do I need to be a good entrepreneur one day, and is there anything I can do now to work on them and be prepared? – Praise, Nairobi

There’s plenty of advice about entrepreneurship online, and the quality is really mixed, some of it is great, some of it is awful.

There are three ways to address this.

Firstly, speak with existing entrepreneurs and ask them about their experiences. How do they answer your question? Second, work in a startup and see what you observe. Third, start something on your own and see how it goes, however small it is.

Experience is the best teacher. There really is no substitute. In my view, these are the best ways you can prepare for entrepreneurship. Having said that, here are my thoughts on some of the less talked about qualities you need.


People often associate entrepreneurship with having ideas, but actually ideas are fairly common.

Executing them well – bringing them to life – is what makes the difference. If you can get things done, you have a shot at building a successful business.

Work on project management skills, breaking down complex tasks into manageable steps, and then managing resources and people to complete those steps on time and on budget. There are plenty of free tools and resources online that can helps you with this.


Cash is king as an entrepreneur. You’ll need to be able to manage your cash flow, and have a strong sense of where the business is financially. This helps you make the best decisions for the business.

Again, this is an area where there are plenty of free tools and courses to help you learn the basics.


You need credibility to be taken seriously by potential employees, suppliers, investors, and customers.

Credibility can come from many places.

It often comes from previous success in well-known organisations, from qualifications, or from recommendations from others. If you have some of these markers or credibility, that’s great, they’ll open doors for you, but I often think-of this as just ‘borrowed’ credibility.

Over the long run, more impressive is the credibility that comes from your business plan, the quality of your pitch, and a track record of small but hard-won successes.