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Dien Rice April 8, 2013 11:17 PM

I think that's great advice, Ankesh!
Thanks Ankesh! An incredibly valuable post, as usual!

By the way, I've been reading (and occasionally contributing) to Ankesh's "Warrior Bulletin" ... It's a good place to find articles with interesting and useful info (and to share good articles too)...


Originally Posted by Ankesh (Post 32615)
Business skills are something that you can learn on the fly

I agree. In fact, I think learning "on the fly" is the best way to learn!

You can also learn it by picking the right jobs. For example, to learn sales skills, get a sales job! (I did this - on Gordon's advice...)

I found Gordon's White Bread Post very helpful -

I think Zig Ziglar's theory - that "Selling is a Transference of Feeling" - is for most things, right on the money.


as long as you keep a few things in mind:

- Protect your downside. Don't risk what you can't afford.
- Start with the demand - the problem. And not the product.
- Pre-sell if possible. Bring in the sales before you begin production. (Today this is easier than ever with kickstarter etc.)
Great advice!


More than business skills, I think what is more important is the skill of building a thicker skin. Not be put off by rejection or failure. I love how most copywriters recommend that you get some experience with door to door selling. It teaches you persuasion - sure. But it teaches you how to build a thicker skin.

If you're not afraid of failure, you will hustle your way and find success sooner or later.

Everyone should play the rejection game:

That will help you more than any education in business.
I agree - building a "thicker skin" is needed if you are to reach your full potential. You can't be afraid of rejection!

In that way, it's a little bit like asking a girl (or boy, if you're a girl) out. If you never risk rejection, you'll never get a date - and could end up being very lonely!

I found a "side benefit" of getting selling experience was that I have no problem telling sales people "no" now. If I get a call on the phone, I don't stand around listening to them for half an hour (wasting my time and theirs), in order to be "polite." If I'm not interested, I interrupt them and politely tell them it's not really for me, and thank them, and say goodbye. In fact, it's better for both them and me - since then neither of us waste our time!

Because I've been on the "other side" I know that I am actually doing them a favor (even if they don't realize it at the time!). Less time wasted with me (if I'm truly not interested) means more time calling other prospects who may have a greater interest in their offer.

I've never played the "rejection game" (apart from, of course, getting rejected regarding sales, which I'm "immune" to now)... However, it does sound like it could be a lot of fun. I should give it a try. :)


As for business knowledge, here are a few book recommendations:

- Running Lean by Ash Maurya. Geared for the startup crowd. But its the best book I've read that shows you how to systematically control your risk and build a "minimum viable product" while you begin. How you should write a Hotsheet before you write a book.

- The Essential Drucker. Excellent book on management, summarizes Druckers entire life work.

- Any marketing book by Jon Spoelstra or Joe Sugarman. Or by Jill Konrath if you're selling B2B. Brain Audit by Sean D'Souza for copywriting and communication.

- Hiring. Lou Adler's One question interview.

- And then read as many biographies of successful business people as you can.
Thanks. There are a lot of those I haven't read yet! I'll try to get them. I am a huge fan of Joe Sugarman and Jon Spoelstra!


If I had to summarize my advice to people who want to start their own business, it would be this:

Find a market and pre-sell your concept.
I think it sounds like great advice! :)

Thanks Ankesh!

Best wishes,


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