Internet businesses — they’re all the rage right now. Everyone from yoga teachers to chefs are taking their business online, but is an online business right for you? What skills do you need to run an online business?

It turns out, there are a few skills that will get you started on the right foot with an online business, and in this video, I’m going to go over what they are and why they’re important.

Skill One: Flexibility

The first skill any internet entrepreneur needs is flexibility. The benefit of running an online business is that you can more easily pivot and change direction as the need arises. But one of the drawbacks of running an online business is that you MUST be ready and willing to change direction when tools and trends online change. So, flexibility is key either way you look at it. Don’t become so married to any one way of marketing or doing business that you can’t make a change when it becomes valuable or necessary.

Skill Two: Eagerness to learn

The second skill I think every online business owner needs is an eagerness to learn. Because tools and technology online change at the speed of light (almost!) online entrepreneurs need to cultivate a healthy love of learning. There will always be some new tool to learn, and there will always be basics like copywriting, marketing, code, or design that you can learn more about. Developing a love of learning can make growing your business that much easier.

Skill Three: Self Management

Next, I think all online entrepreneurs need to develop a strong ability to manage ourselves. On the one hand — hooray! — you’ve got no boss or manager looking over your shoulder making sure you get things done. On the other hand — uh oh — you’ve got no boss looking over your shoulder making sure you get things done! Being able to manage yourself, set a schedule and stick to it is vital if you want to run your own business. It might require an app that disables Facebook and other time-suck sites, or it might require an accountability partner you check in with a few times a week.  Whatever you need to stay on track, find it and get it in place, and you’ll discover you’re much more productive.

Skill Four: Being an action-taker

The next skill on my list is becoming an action taker. It might seem simple to say that you won’t get anywhere if you can’t learn to take action, but it’s one of the biggest problems I take on new coaching clients. They have been stuck in idea mode, dreaming of “someday” and have never moved those dreams to today. Remember: any action, no matter how imperfect, is better than no action at all. Better to start out imperfect and improve as you go along than wait for the stars to align magically in your favour. (Because that probably won’t ever happen!)

Skill Five: Risk Management

And finally, the fifth skill I think is essential to running an online business is a healthy tolerance for risk. This goes with taking action, because every action you take in your business carries with it some amount of risk. Now, I’m not saying that I want you to just throw caution to the wind here, but rather take considered, managed risks.  In other words, look before you leap, but take the leap anyway. Any progress requires change.

So what does this mean for you?

Now, I hope you aren’t feeling a little discouraged. Maybe you’re realizing you don’t have one or more of these skills, or thinking that it sounds like a lot of WORK to run an online business.

First, don’t worry: Even if you aren’t naturally flexible or a good time manager, these are skills that can be cultivated and learned. It’s better to know where your skills might be lacking and work proactively to improve than to let those things remain blind spots holding you back.

A good strategist or coach can help you identify any gaps in your skills set and provide suggestions and resources for cultivating the skills you need. We’re especially good at helping you manage your progress and getting you to take MUCH more action!

And finally, don’t be daunted by this list. Running an internet business might require a slightly different skill set than running a bricks and mortar business, but that doesn’t mean they’re any more difficult to learn or acquire.

What’s your take?

Do you think I’ve missed anything off? What do you see as the key skills for an online business owner?

I’d love to hear your take in the comments below..

If you’d like more about how starting an online business could look for you check out my free training:

Free Training Find Your Business Idea & Get Paying Clients


  1. Becky on January 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I loved this, Cat. Each new skill that I read I would say, “Yes – THAT’S the most important one!”. You need to be so flexible. This is a great list!

  2. Amanda on January 24, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Haha! You’re so wonderful! I just adore you! Thank you so much for doing what you do and for being so open & sharing :)

    • Amanda on January 24, 2015 at 8:01 am

      Love that I typo’d my own name responding to your first bloopers post. *sigh* Thank goodness it’s Friday!

  3. Tracey on January 21, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I love this Cat! Great points and keep the bloopers coming. As I always like to say, but don’t always practice (yikes) is, 80% out the door is better than 100% in the draw!

    • Cat LeBlanc on January 22, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      That is an awesome way of wording it! :-)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.