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Business Skill Sets You Must Have to Be Successful Online

What are you building online? Are you focused on building a blog-based business, developing freelance services for clients, or deep in the writing of your eBook?

If you’re a solopreneur, the business you are building online is you. That’s right, you are your business. You are the process. Your are the potential. You are the ability your business possesses.

There are a handful of skill sets that will serve you well in online business. Not developing them will kill your long term opportunities.

1. Patience

Patience is an under-appreciated skill online.

I want results today. I want to publish my next blog article and get 1,000 tweets. I want my next product to bring in loads of sales. I want to get invited to speak at conferences. I want to reach out to the world and I want to be heard. I want to make moves.

I’m willing to work hard. I’ll hustle, but I wan to be rewarded for that hustle, and now damn it.

Does this train of thought sound familiar? When you sit down to write, or work on your business, does your mind run to quickly toward the payoff?

2. Practice

Writing, designing, building websites, crafting a blog posts, developing your marketing message, coming up with your next business idea, putting these ideas to action, these things don’t come quickly. They take practice.

Results come from working, building up of processes, procedures, planning, and developing effective ways of tackling problems. It’s built on the back of reliable experience and skills you can draw on for your next project.

I recently listened to pro PGA golfer Phil Mickelson discuss the science of his swing on NPR’s Science Friday.

He has practiced his golf swing to the point where he knows he can hit a golf ball a specific distance. He knows how to do that consistently, and what that swing feels like. If he needs to hit it a bit further, then he adjusts by giving his swing just a bit more action, or he cuts it down if he needs to hit a shorter shot.

The science bit comes from adjusting his swing to variables, like the altitude of the city he’s playing in or the angle of the green, but he’s able to play so well because he has a baseline to work from. He has a swing he’s developed, practiced, and has built a feel for. He has a process for adjusting that swing to the conditions that are needed for the next shot.

When you’re working on your next blog post, think about what your swing is like.

Have you developed a reliable writing style? Do you have a consistent approach to your content creation? Maybe you write a quick summary, then draft a few bullet points of what you’ll cover in the post, then dive into writing. You stop, make coffee, edit a bit, brainstorm, then write more until it feels potent and ready to publish.

Do you write every day? It’s not just that you’re practicing, building up habits, but that it becomes your practice. A skill you put to use so often that it feels like a comfortable and reliable swing. Now can you adjust your writing, as needed, so that it has potential for getting those multitude of shares.

You want to increase sales, but have you developed your sales channel? If you want to speak at conferences, have you built your publish speaking skills? Whatever you want to achieve as an entrepreneur online requires practice. Each skill requires honing.

3. Perseverance

I recently watched a video with Jason Glaspey, who’s an interesting solopreneaur. (Note: viewing this video requires Fizzle membership). He has a formula for launching his web based projects quickly. He can come up with a business idea today, have a site built, and product out making sales in three weeks. That’s fantastic.

My mind runs to the idea that I can do that too. Yup, three weeks to good income. Let’s start the countdown.

Realistically, that’s not what I can do. Jason has built a reliable business process over the course of many failed projects, before he learned what worked. He built his habits, his skills, and persevered until he had a success – one single success. Then he did what any smart entrepreneur would do, he worked on repeating this success. He developed a practice of it and made it into a reliable process. He condensed it until he could see an opportunity and act on it quickly.

Alright maybe I can do that too. Or at least, I can eventually do that too.

But not with my impatient, green, lizard brain running toward a quick payday. Rather, it requires aiming with specific goals in mind, working toward them, and building patient practices.

If you can push through failure, learn from it, and push some more, then you can build your success online, then do it again, and again. You can build a reliable swing.

It is doable.

Skills to Develop Long Term

What are the skills you’re working on building? When you get up at five in the morning or stay up well past a normal bedtime, what are you working on? Here are a few critical skills that will serve any entrepreneur well. Choose a few of these to focus on, hone these skills, practice them, build daily habits, and put them to work.


Develop your ability to see opportunities? Recognize what is a good fit for your interests and pay attention to overlapping opportunities in the market? Practice researching, doing competitive analysis, and collecting potential business ideas.


We see skills as crafts, like becoming a graphic designer, or becoming a writer. At it’s core these crafts are ways of thinking. Design is the practice of using fonts, colors, shapes, and space to communicate an idea. Writing is thinking, it is the crafting of words, messages, and thoughts.

Your ability to craft an idea is at the core of what you bring to the table as a solopreneaur. Your ability to analyze, develop, and communicate your insights is the fuel for the business you do online. Learn to think and learn to craft your thoughts.


Action is daily; it’s your practice and your processes. Develop your actions, hone them, and combine them. Live them. They are you.

From Ideas to Action

Drop your ideas into Evernote, collect them, and shape them. Develop your critical filter, your analytical lens, then work on putting those ideas into action.

Writing, designing, building sites, crafting posts, developing marketing, ideation, these things don’t come quickly. They take practice. They take action.

If any two letters define you, and mark the potential for your online business, it’s “d” and “o”. You can “do”.

What you do each day with your business? How you do it? This will define the success of your online business.

Graphic Credit: Golf designed by Edward Boatman from the Noun Project.