The Most Important Skills to Owning a Business - Path & Compass
Path & Compass is a boutique marketing and strategy firm with an intentional & holistic approach. We serve small businesses, specializing in wedding, event & hospitality businesses, wellness professionals, creative entrepreneurs and artists. Services including website design, branding & logo design, content marketing, SEO services, business coaching, sales training, graphic design, budgeting, goal setting and thoughtful growth.
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The Most Important Skills to Owning a Business

Business owners need to be leaders and as a leader, you must cultivate certain personality traits that will support your success as a leader. Here’s our checklist of the most important skills you’ll need to get you through the good times and the hard times on your path to owning a business.


Every business will hit a rough patch or face hard times. You will have to make difficult decisions and things won’t always work as you hoped or planned. Your ability to physically and emotionally cope with hardships, to pick yourself back up and start again, will determine your success in business and often in life.


The only constant is that things will change. The world is constantly evolving and so must your business practices. In order to withstand the test of time and retain customers long term, you have to be able to adapt to the new technologies, new best practices, changing marketing opportunities. The unwillingness to adapt (dare we say pivot) can set you up for a slow death. Those that stay open to learning new skills, adjusting tactics and adapting strategies are more successful as business owners and leaders.

Sales & Self Promotion

It’s not enough to have a product or a skill or even an intense passion. Crucial to owning and running a successful business is your ability to sell and self promote. For some, this is challenging – feeling boastful and even manipulative. Here’s the thing… you are the person who is most committed to your success. You have to be your own best champion, particularly in business.  Hang-ups related to sales can be fixed. You can improve your skills and overcome mindset hurdles. Check out our 3 Way Selling is the Same as Consulting as a starting point.


Compassion may be perceived as a ‘soft skill’ that make you vulnerable or weak, we think this is far from the truth. Studies show that compassion in the workplace fosters positive emotions and make those who work for you feel valued which leads to more productive and engaged teams. Compassion is also about being able to understand the point of view of all the stakeholders in your company – including your community and how your business can truly serve and empower vs. strip & disenfranchise. As business owners, we have a unique position and responsibility to create things better. Compassion is an important skill to have for this.


As a business owner, there are a plethora of scenarios in which you will have to act quickly and effectively, and you need to be unwavering in your actions or decisions. Second-guessing the path you have chosen can stall your efforts as well as waste a lot of money while you waffle back and forth. Being decisive can be difficult for people that struggle with perfectionism – but this can be overcome. One great way to learn how to be decisive is to work with a business coach to build confidence as a leader.


By far one of the most important skills to owning a business is self-awareness. This is your ability to identify your strengths, weakness, blind spots and opportunities to grow within yourself or even your team. By being open to recognizing gaps in your business or expertise, you are at a significant advantage over your counterpart who is not. Unfortunately, business owners that lack this ability can be so blind to the reality of a situation, it ultimately becomes their downfall in business.


Gratitude turns what we have into enough. It releases us from the rat race, keeps us present and humble. While ego and power may say otherwise, this is how we find long-term success and fulfillment in our work and with our business. The best leaders embrace practices of gratitude and because of this perspective, they are more successful in everything they do.

Vulnerability & Empathy

Similar to compassion, being vulnerable is how you cultivate human relationships and established personal and professional connections that will serve your business for the long haul. People want to work with and buy from people they like and feel connected to. They want to feel heard, understood, and empathized with. When a business owner can embrace important skills like vulnerability and empathy, they are able to connect to their clients and customers in ways those who are not willing to be so open can. That said, it’s really tough to be vulnerable – especially in a professional setting. It’s a good idea to be intentional about what you will share and what is just for you, even mapping out a vulnerability strategy and then baby-stepping into this space over time.

Are you ready to take your skills and launch your business? Get started with our guide to Launching Your New Small Business – sign up for your copy below:


Our 1:1 business coaching services can help with a more custom plan as well. Apply for a free coaching call with Krista – our expert small business coach & consultant – where you’ll get personalized insight and actionable steps to tackle your mindset hurdles.