Common Sense – The Real Successful Skill You’ll Need

Everyone’s trying to tell you what attributes and skills you need to be successful in business.  And they seem to have gotten it down to a science telling you exactly how many skills and how to apply them.   And of course, they go on to explain how to obtain these imperative skills if you don’t already have them and why they are so important to have for a person self employed.  What many experts, gurus, critics and know-it-alls fail to acknowledge is common sense.  Let’s be real here.   Most people don’t have it and a good number of those who do, don’t exercise it.  More importantly, common sense is the conduit to obtaining all the other skills you will ever need to be a successful entrepreneur, no matter the order or the quantity.

  • Listen – No matter what business you’re in, you’re always going to be working with and among people.  Which means, you’re always going to need to stay in tune to the needs of clients and/or customers.  By listening.  Call it feedback, call it customer service, call it complaining, call it whatever you want.  If you’re not listening to the people who you are doing business with, your ship is already sunk.
  • Communicate – Most people get a little nervous when they have to speak in front of crowds, even in front of small groups of people, say like a presentation or a sales pitch.  But if you can’t speak in front of people, how will you ever be able to sell yourself, market your business and network with your industry?  Yeah, you can tweet and post something from time to time, but there’s nothing like an in-person  interaction.  Word of mouth is still a powerful tool.  Work it.
  • Write Well – Just about everyone who texts uses shorthand lingo (except me).  And twitter makes it no better forcing us to say and spray it in 140 characters or less.  But at some point, you’re going to have to write a letter, a proposal, an email, a thank you, a invitation, a business plan, a budget, a brief or a report.  And if you think you can get away with it by hiring an assistant to do those kinds of things for you, you better know how to proofread.
  • Be Honest  – You cannot be everything to all people and you surely can’t be everywhere at once.  Know your shortcomings, know your limits, but emphasize your strengths.  Yeah, you may excel in graphic design and know next to nothing about creating websites.   Say so, but also mention the wonderful projects you’ve been on board and the success of those projects because of your creative direction and talent.
  • Learn – What you don’t know, figure it out.  Again, the reason why you can’t be everything to everyone is because you do not know everything.  But learn as much as you can about what you do so you can be better at it.  This may require some independent study, this may require a few classes at a local college, or finding someone who’s done what you’re doing that doesn’t mind being your mentor.

Logically speaking, we tend to go after the things we want and search out the things to help us acquire them.  There’s no secret formula and it’s definitely not rocket science.  Those with successful attributes plant successful habits, successful behaviors and successful attitudes.  It’s just common sense.


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