Some people have just been entrepreneurs since childhood. Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA furniture, grew up on a family farm not too far from Stockholm. He discovered that if we went into the city and bought matches by the box, he could sell them individually to the villagers around his farm and make a great profit. He expanded his little business and was soon selling fish, ballpoint pens, pencils, and other items.
His father gave him a cash reward for doing well in high school, and he used it to set up a mail-order business that sold small furniture pieces that he bought wholesale in Stockholm. His little business became a global enterprise. If you ask people like this what they think the most important skills for success are, they will give you lots of stuff like “take risks,” “don’t be afraid of failure,” and so on, but we don’t find them really helpful. Rather than try to put together a list of skills, here are some practical things that will help you “do” what they “do.”