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-   -   Why (in my opinion) everyone should learn business skills... (http://www.sowpub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8450)

Dien Rice April 2, 2013 09:23 PM

Why (in my opinion) everyone should learn business skills...
 
Most people make a living by having a job... And there's nothing wrong with that.

But when you learn business skills - you increase your options. You can still have a job if you want to (and business skills can be applied to almost any job as well).

However, it also means that you also have other choices too. With the right knowhow, you can start a full-time or part-time business if you ever want to.

The way I see it, this knowhow gives you greater control over your life. And who doesn't want that?

Just wanted to share. Further thoughts on this would be most welcome!

Best wishes,

Dien

-TW April 3, 2013 04:59 AM

More specifically, SELLING skills...
 
If you can sell stuff, you can always make $$$ -- even if just by commissions.

-- TW

MMacGillivray April 3, 2013 10:48 AM

Re: Why (in my opinion) everyone should learn business skills...
 
I can hear my former accountant scolding me for thinking that sales were the main consideration. If you don't know how much profit you're making for each sale, you could be losing money on each transaction. So, yes, it's great to drive sales forward but only if you've got a good handle on the costs.

Margaret

ps if Andy ever was to read this, I'm sure he'd be impressed that I actually listened to him, LOL.

Phil April 3, 2013 11:15 PM

A Crash Course on Creativity & Other Stanford MOOCs to Launch in April: Enroll Today!
 
Further thoughts...

Ditto! ... regarding Dien's suggestions... :)

Live and Learn! ...

So many Different ways of Living, Learning and {Earning}, 2013 and Growing into the [distant] Future and much, much more... ;)

Quickly! ... Listen, Watch the Video...

Good ol' Creativity & {Twistable} never-ending Ideas once Again! ... :cool:

A Crash Course on Creativity and Other Stanford MOOCs to Launch in April: Enroll Today...
http://www.openculture.com/2013/03/i...oll_today.html
http://venture-lab.org/creativity

All the best,
Phil

Dien Rice April 4, 2013 12:16 AM

Re: More specifically, SELLING skills...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by -TW (Post 32594)
If you can sell stuff, you can always make $$$ -- even if just by commissions.

Hi TW,

I agree that selling skills are very, very important and useful. However, I think there are so many other useful business skills you can use, too, to help get in full control of your life (and increase your "survival" options).

Some other skills which come to mind are recognizing and making good deals, including negotiating, how to get free publicity, and also motivating others, knowing how to hire the right people or outsource... and I'm sure there are plenty more... :)

However, I agree with you - if you are good at selling, you can always make money...!

Best wishes,

Dien

Dien Rice April 4, 2013 12:19 AM

Re: Why (in my opinion) everyone should learn business skills...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MMacGillivray (Post 32595)
I can hear my former accountant scolding me for thinking that sales were the main consideration. If you don't know how much profit you're making for each sale, you could be losing money on each transaction. So, yes, it's great to drive sales forward but only if you've got a good handle on the costs.

Hi Margaret,

Of course, if you don't know how much you're making in profits - you might not be making any! I wouldn't be surprised if it is not too uncommon that people make a lot of sales, but because they haven't fully counted their costs, they don't realize they're making little or no profit!

I know I've come across examples like this (I think it may have been watching the UK show "Dragons' Den" - which is like the UK version of the US show "Shark Tank"). Every now and then a business comes along where the business isn't making any profit (or is making very little profit) - but they don't seem to actually realize it, because they're focused on their sales only, and haven't fully counted their costs...

Best wishes,

Dien

MMacGillivray April 4, 2013 06:24 AM

Re: Why (in my opinion) everyone should learn business skills...
 
I sometimes check out the Ted.com website and came across this

http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html

It's another interesting take on problem solving, creativity and motivation.

Now if only the bankers weren't being rewarded with huge bonuses, do you think we'd get a better business banking model?

Margaret

Dien Rice April 4, 2013 11:11 PM

Re: A Crash Course on Creativity & Other Stanford MOOCs to Launch in April: Enroll Today!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil (Post 32596)
Quickly! ... Listen, Watch the Video...

Good ol' Creativity & {Twistable} never-ending Ideas once Again! ... :cool:

A Crash Course on Creativity and Other Stanford MOOCs to Launch in April: Enroll Today...
http://www.openculture.com/2013/03/i...oll_today.html
http://venture-lab.org/creativity

Thanks Phil,

Looks like it could be a good course! I've also added the instructor's (Tina Seelig's) book, "inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity," to my "wish list" to potentially get later...

Of course, creativity helps open doors in so many ways...

Sometimes you have to get past all the "obvious" ideas, in order to get to the really interesting stuff... :)

Best wishes,

Dien

-TW April 5, 2013 02:25 PM

Don't forget (the book) "Thinker Toys" (DNO)
 
it's excellent.

Ankesh April 8, 2013 05:42 AM

Re: Why (in my opinion) everyone should learn business skills...
 
Thanks Dien.

I am ambivalent about this. Because a lot of people use this as an excuse to not get started: "I don't have any business experience" or "I have not gone to any school or taken any business classes" etc etc.

Business skills are something that you can learn on the fly 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.)

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:
http://rejectiontherapy.com/rules/

That will help you more than any education in business.

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.

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.

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" http://www.warriorbulletin.com ... It's a good place to find articles with interesting and useful info (and to share good articles too)...

Quote:

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 - http://www.sowpub.com/story-whitebread.shtml.

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

Quote:

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!

Quote:

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:
http://rejectiontherapy.com/rules/

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. :)

Quote:

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!

Quote:

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,

Dien


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