Entrepreneurship may start out as a dream, but entrepreneurs must develop certain skills and traits to succeed, according to a panel of innovative Kansas City entrepreneurs who gave some career advice recently.
C2FO Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Gupta, Featuring Athlete Network Co-Founder Chris Smith and Mycroft Co-Founder Kris Adair shared their wisdom on risk-taking, positive mindset and the value of networking with about 120 aspiring entrepreneurs.
When asked about the most important skills students and aspiring entrepreneurs should develop, the panelists touted flexibility, determination and passion.
Adair said entrepreneurs will quickly become unhappy if they’re not passionate about what they’re doing. “If you don’t love it … it will destroy you. This is hard and you absolutely have to love it.”
Gupta said passion is crucial in running a business, but that building a firm requires a balanced approach. “Many founders spend 90 percent of their time trying to raise capital, instead of creating the product that they are creating the funds for. You’ve got to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.”
Smith said entrepreneurs “have to be flexible and well-versed in a lot of different aspects … and have a strong mind.”
Adair said aspiring entrepreneurs can learn to develop the skills they need and hone their approach by following entrepreneurs they admire via their blogs, books or social media.
The three panelists agreed that networking is an essential yet often misunderstood skill.
Gupta said human interaction is crucial to entrepreneurship and that entrepreneurs should never stop networking, no matter how successful they may become.
And successful networking is a “two-way street,” Gupta added.
The panelists represent three firms on Startland News’ Top Startups to Watch in 2017 list. The event was hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Regnier Institute as part of its First Wednesdays programming.