Business Skills To Give You The Edge
Success Quarterly is a tech and business blog that focuses on the intersection of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, including technology, business, mobile, entertainment, media, and related topics.
As we’ve highlighted time and time again, firms at all levels of industry — from airlines to health care to travel — are imploding.
Whether it’s because they lacked a solid understanding of their customers’ needs or were enmeshed in a greed-based culture, firms are constantly being disrupted by smaller, nimbler firms who are taking over lucrative markets and niche niches.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every industry is doomed. The key is to understand which skills matter most.
With that in mind, here are 9 career skills you’ll need to become a survivor:
Research shows that innovation and change is the only constant in any industry.
These days, nearly every industry, from the aerospace sector to the biotechnology industry to the retail sector, is being shaken up by firms who are looking to cash in on the latest technologies and trends.
That means it’s up to you to make yourself an indispensable employee by using your creativity and innovation to spot business trends, consumer preferences, and untapped opportunities and figure out how to cash in on them.
When it comes to business strategy, there’s no one better to learn from than Warren Buffett. His investment philosophy? “Sell cheaply at a good price.”
It’s essentially an investment in the “Barbarian Economy,” where you should be looking for companies that are doing something unique and market-defying.
Like Berkshire Hathaway’s clever use of insurance to increase its market share, or Apple’s revolutionary approach to consumer product design.
Companies that are doing business in this “Barbarian Economy” are competing in a world that rewards skillful persuasion.
Even if you’re just going to be the boss’s secretary, you can’t rely on your sales skills alone.
Instead, you have to take advantage of the market’s ultra-competitive, cutthroat mentality and hone your ability to convince others to do things your way.
This is where you’ll focus on making your own sales, but instead of selling your services, you’ll be selling your expertise. Basically, instead of letting your attention wander, you’ll be hyper-focused on your clients.
You’ll be relentless in your pursuit of knowledge, but you’ll have a nose for action. You won’t make any major decisions unless you have the right information in hand, and you’ll be constantly researching your next opportunity.
Now, you’re going to have to prove yourself to your clients, so the last thing you want to do is let them down or steal from them.
These days, this is a trait that’s pretty much required of every successful business owner. Most of them start out simply by simply telling the truth, no matter how uncomfortable that may make them.
6. A soft skill
If you want to survive in the days of the Barbarian Economy, you’re going to have to learn how to keep your cool.
You’re going to have to stand your ground while maintaining your relationships and relationships with your competitors. You’ll have to get good at prioritizing.
Because it’s not going to be enough for you to just deliver on your promises; you’ll have to keep your promises — no matter how unreasonable or unreachable those promises are.
The fact that the Barbarian Economy is all about continuously innovating means that there’s no end to the opportunities out there. That means there’s no end to the learning that you’ll have to do.
You’ll want to study your industry and work with experts in your area to stay current with the latest trends and technologies.
You’ll also want to find ways to learn what makes your competitors tick. You’ll want to analyze their strengths and weaknesses and figure out what they do best.
You’ll also want to analyze how you can be better than them.
Everyone who has successfully survived the Barbarian Economy has developed some form of humility along the way. To survive, you’re going to have to realize that you have a lot to learn.
You’ll also have to recognize that the people who thrive in this economy know that they have something special to offer.
You’re not going to be the smartest guy in the room — you’ll be the only smart guy in the room, and you’ll have to be able to accept that you don’t have all the answers.
9. Effective communication
Many people have trouble communicating. It can be difficult for a lot of reasons, but the main reason is because they don't listen.
Most people listen when someone talks to them, but they don't really listen. They listen with their ears, not their mind.
The problem is, if you don't listen, you'll miss important information.
For example, many people don't know how to listen properly. They take in only the information in front of them.
In fact, many don't listen at all. They aren't present and focused on what the person is saying.
You should develop listening skills as soon as possible. In fact, one of the most important skills you can get to develop is called active listening.