We are all different, and each of us possesses a valuable business skill that gives us the upper hand in everything we do. Whatever your talent, being able to master your valuable skills in business will set you apart from your peers.
Whether it’s learning to write for the first time or solving complex quantum physics’ equations, what you may find easy may be difficult for the next person. In business, there are many such skill that separate one entrepreneur from the next. From problem-solving to leadership and marketing, we all have one or more valuable business skill.
Whatever doesn’t come as a natural talent to one business person may often be a valuable skill for you. For this reason, most people can be considered experts at writing because of their creative ability with words. There are also people throughout the world who are great at solving fascinating mysteries through quantum physics and that makes them valuable to the people they work with. This article is about how you can master your valuable business skill after you have identified with it.
Understanding the Basics
If you and I go down the list of simple tasks like tying shoes, riding a bicycle or learning a new language, it will become apparent that everything is difficult in the beginning. What we may also find is that our ability to learn or master these skills will come in varying degrees.
I do not remember the first time I learned to walk as an infant, but I am positive I failed many times before I was successful. Now, years later I walk without effort. The same is true when it comes to tying my shoes or running a complex organization which employs thousands of people.
Every Skill can be Learned
Even though most people master the basics like walking, tying shoes, mathematics, speaking a language, few people turn walking into running at record speeds like Usain Bolt. It seems easy to explain Bolt’s performance after the fact but the reality is every skill can be learned. He was not born running, he learned how to run by harnessing a skill that came naturally to him.
People use explanations like genetics, luck, being in right place at the right time, etc. for people who seem to outperform the norm. However, if you look closer, you will recognize patterns that are inherent in people who achieve extraordinary success. The apply themselves to the skill they want to develop.
Everything is difficult Ta the Beginning
If you and I can accept that everything is difficult in the beginning, even the simplest tasks like walking, then you begin to see that limits are self-imposed. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, his research showed that people who practiced anything for 10,000 hours or more became masters at that craft.
If we stick with the simple task of walking, you never hear people explain a child walking as a matter of luck or genetics. The child practiced over and over, even in the face of many failures. With that said, perhaps nothing is difficult. It is just a matter of how committed you are to put in 10,000 hours of practice.
Practice, Practice, Practice
In Gladwell’s book, for example, he said that musicians who practiced 10,000 hours or more from age 5 to 18 usually found a job in a world-class symphonic orchestra. Those who practiced 8,000 hours were able to make a living as a musician by playing in a band that traveled often. Except, the band never made it big. Those with 4,000 hours or less became the high school music teacher. The same was true for dancers, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs.
These are patterns that can be seen in any profession. More importantly, every profession has opportunities that are recognizable to the master of that craft. Whether you are an investor, teacher or gambler, over time, you acquire the ability to see opportunities that laymen are unable to recognize – this is your valuable skill. With practice, you can predict how the situation will unfold. With that knowledge, you can exploit the opportunity. The observer would call it luck. Why? Because the layman would find it difficult to produce the same result.
While everything is difficult in the initial stages, simplicity arises from of hours of focused practice. With practice, the most complex task becomes as simple as walking. It only requires the innate tenacity we all possess as infants.
What will you begin to master in your life?
Make a list of skills that come naturally to you. Writing is a skill. Speaking is a skill. So are creativity and thinking in business. Make this list and see which of these are you valuable skills. You can do this also for your children. The earlier you can identify the skill the sooner you can start harnessing the value you can derive from your natural talent.
Once you have identified your valuable skill, learn about it. Immerse yourself in the knowledge of how you can improve that skill or talent. Most of all, make sure you apply your skill on a day to day basis through practice.
Essential Business Skills
What business skill come to mind and how can they be valuable to your business? Your business will be different. You need to identify what skill or skills key to your business’ success and master that. The following skills are the most basic essential skill to your business:
Being able to effectively manage your finances is critical. You will need to be able to forecast your cash flow and sales, as well as, monitor your profit and loss.
Marketing, sales and customer service
It is important to be able to promote your products or services effectively. Providing good customer service and having a marketing strategy in place will help you to generate sales.
Communication and negotiation
You will need to communicate and negotiate with your suppliers, potential investors, customers, and employees. Having effective written and verbal communication skills will help you to build good working relationships. Every communication should reflect the image you are trying to project.
If you employ people leadership will be a key skill. You must be able to motivate your staff in order to get the best out of them and improve productivity. Allocate time to mentor and coach your employees.
Project management and planning
Starting a business means you will have to manage a range of projects, such as setting up a website, arranging the fit-out of your premises and developing a range of policies and procedures. Knowing how to effectively manage your resources, including time, money and staff will help you to achieve your goals.
Delegation and time management
Failure to delegate is a trap many business owners fall into usually because they are reluctant to let go of control. Managing your time effectively may mean delegating responsibility to someone else in the business or outsourcing. Identifying who you can delegate tasks to allows you to concentrate on those tasks that generate revenue.
However much you plan, you will encounter problems in your business. This means you need to be able to make good decisions, sometimes under pressure.
Building good relationships through networking will help you to grow your business and give you the support you’ll need. Consider joining an industry or business association to grow your network.