7 Life Skills an Entrepreneur Should Learn

It takes more than just technical and business proficiency for an entrepreneur to succeed- it takes particular life skills.  These are abilities that extend farther than the normal primary layer of expertise and are critical in order to maintain proper business relations and function.  Success in the business world goes beyond intellect and embraces emotional qualities and other life skills.

Let’s look at what these are:

  1. Keeping Calm and Braving the Storm
  2. It’s More than Just Please, Thank You, and Sorry
  3. Negotiation- and why it’s Non-Negotiable
  4. Ask – Don’t be shy
  5. Courtesy and politeness
  6. Maintaining a Positive attitude
  7. Playing to Your Teams Strenghts
  1. Keeping Calm and Braving the Storm

This area is generally the most volatile.  Most people can agree that they have trouble keeping calm and sometimes lose their temper in times of crisis.  Crisis is known to bring out the devil in us.

Source: Google Images

This is why you, as an entrepreneur, should practice keeping calm and braving the storm, rather than letting the crisis (and your temper) get the best of you.  Easier said than done, right?  Meditation is an advisable technique that comes highly recommended by many entrepreneurs.  Remember, when walking the path of an entrepreneur, you are bound to encounter a few storms along the way.  For example, Maggi Noodles have forever been a consumer giant and fan favourite- but did encounter some dangerous storms and scandals.  However, the Maggi Corporation braved the storm and are once again favourite!


  1. It’s More than Just Please, Thank You, and Sorry

There are words that work wonders on you, the other party and the situation and these words go beyond the usual and default ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Sorry’. As is the case, many people and cultures shy away from using even these, but these are a must. And so are the others. Such as, giving positive strokes and appreciating things that you genuinely like about others and their work – may it be your team, partners or competitors even. In emails, try to be courteous and always use a salutation.  Do not forget to say ‘Hi’ ‘Hello’, ‘Dear’. Check who you are talking to and accordingly customize your salutation. Not using a salutation is a strict no-no. Your tone of voice speaks mountains, so always use a polite and courteous tone whether you are talking on the phone or writing an email or message. And yes, avoid texting-lingo in formal communication.  Keep your LOL and TTYL out of the message, even if it takes extra time to type the message.

  1. Negotiation- and why it’s Non-Negotiable

As an entrepreneur, Negotiation is a skill you need to master. It is not a difficult skill to master. When negotiating it is important to keep an open attitude and to remain alert. The situation is often dynamic and you may have to make quick decisions that you would not regret later. Negotiation merits patience, stamina and a calm mind. Do not show you are desperate-show you are keen on the deal. Although you may go wrong initially, you later will know how to do it correctly. A good tip is to be well rested, well fed and in a pleasant mood when you head for crucial negotiations. However, if you do not have adequate time to prepare, you can still try deep breathing, visualizing good outcomes, and calming your mind before beginning negotiations. Additionally, your travel/commute time can be used to prepare yourself.

  1. Ask – Don’t be Shy!

Don’t ever feel shy or hesitate to ask something that you don’t know, want to know more about, or are not clear about. Ask as many times as you need to until you understand. Ask until you know and understand. Sometimes, asking solves everything and not just gives you answers, but also lightens your troubles and worries. It’s good to ask! It’s excellent to ask your customer things – has he liked your product? What are his buying plans? Maybe ask him to visit your site, ask him to write to you- Ask

Recently, a professional who worked for a start-up was looking for space partners (free space) for an event, with whom they would co-brand. She thought, why would anyone give space for free? But she decided to ask-and the first space partner agreed. If she hadn’t asked, she wouldn’t have known that there are people willing to give free space.

  1. Courtesy and politeness

It is always good to practice courtesy and politeness in every situation. Unfortunately, these virtues are things that we typically forget when we are in panic mode or caught in a situation or crisis. However, we should never stop being courteous.

Source: Google Images

Being polite and courteous are signs of good leadership and great entrepreneurs.  Moreover, practice this also in non-verbal and written communication. It’s an excellent habit to cultivate. As we know, good habits are built in 21 days.

  1. Maintaining a Positive attitude

This is one asset that every entrepreneur should have. An entrepreneurial journey is strewn with challenges, obstacles, setbacks, and people who pull you down. If you can face all these and maintain a positive attitude, then you are well on your way to success and happiness. A positive attitude means accepting setbacks and picking yourself up again with a smile, zest, and a new found optimism. If you do not succeed in one project, do not worry. Find out what went wrong, and try and correct it the next time. Steve Jobs, the CEO and Founder of tech giant Apple, was asked by his company’s board to leave the company.  He remained unfazed and worked his way back up after proving his worth. If he had he given up and let himself sink, we would never have been able to see such amazing products come out of the Apple company.

  1. Playing to Your Teams Strengths

Successful entrepreneurs are only as strong as their team. Pool your teams strengths together instead of focusing on their weaknesses in order to go far ahead in your business and life. For example, someone may be a good at organizing but may not be good at generating ideas. Another one may be disheveled and bad at organizing but may be very good at generating ideas. If you pair the two together, you will have twice the productivity and twice the success!.

Source: Google images

Try building one life skill every three weeks, and experience the transformation within.


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