If you are going to run an Entrepreneurial company, you’d darned well better be able to sell something!
Look, I’m not saying you have to be the second coming of Tommy Hopkins… but if you are going to run a company whose lifeblood is getting new clients and leveraging the relationships of the clients you have, some experience with what it takes to sell and develop sales relationships makes for much better marketing and innovation decisions. Plenty of really dumb decisions made by companies large and small would never have been made by a good salesperson. (“New Coke” comes to mind.)
Early in my life I sold fire alarms door-to-door because I wanted to get over my fear of approaching and selling people I didn’t know. Am I still rapping on random doors? Of course not. But the knowledge and skills I picked up about what it really takes to get someone to write a check for something they did not want when they woke up that morning has been invaluable in every business venture since.