Entrepreneur Magazine recently published the following article: 5 Job Every Entrepreneur Should Have… It’s got some good info and in an ideal situation, would be great experience to have prior to starting your own venture.
With that said, it’s not practical to expect an entrepreneur, especially a younger person, to be able to obtain such experience. Instead, it’s more important for a founder of a venture to spend time evaluating the skills, knowledge and abilities they have at the present point in their life and determine if obtaining such new skills would be of value considering the time and cost trade-offs.
An entrepreneur should identify what they are strong on and where they have weaknesses or limitations. One of the critical conditions I find with many entrepreneurs that seems to differentiate them is the realization that they can’t do everything and it’s ok to relinquish some control and authority. The entrepreneur has to develop the leadership abilities to hire good people,develop them, and allow them the freedom to do their jobs well. Additionally, the founder/entrepreneur must be able to continually evaluate the fit of the employees strengths so they can collectively build a strong organization. Included in this is the building of a culture for the organization and hiring employees that fit that culture.
Many of the articles on entrepreneurship that we see in magazines are well-meaning but not realistic. Instead, the founder must lead and build or instead let others do that for the good of the organization.