When it comes to business, there are some skills that just can’t be learned in a classroom or from a textbook. Being able to “read” potential customers, knowing when to ask for help, and being able to manage your time efficiently are a few that come to mind. Developing such skills is a difficult process, as they can only be honed through the trails and tribulations that stem from a lifetime of experience. Once acquired however, the pay off is immense, and will put miles between you and your competitors.
We spoke to three successful startup and asked what skills are difficult to learn but prove beneficial in the long-run, here’s what they had to say.
Selling. Unless you’re investing (and perhaps even still then) it’s really important to learn how to sell. Whether you’re selling a product, yourself, or the vision for a company and its culture you will need to know how to sell in business. Some people are naturally good at this but it’s something that be can learned through practice.
Cameron Mclain, endorph.me
Empathy for customers. It’s not about customers telling you what to do. It’s about listening, observing and then telling the story of the customer and then asking: How could the life of my customer become either easier and/or richer, more meaningful? It’s not an easy skill because normally we ask for opinions, solutions. Empathy means to understand the need of the customer and then to provide the best of possible solutions thanks to the knowledge and expertise that exists in the company.
Rolf Ritter, People As A Service
The ability to take control of your thoughts is critical and learning how to do this is quite a job. Your thoughts, affect your perception and, therefore, your interpretation of reality. When you change your thoughts you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace and focus on what you do.
Mohsin Khan, hide.me