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Build a profitable business- the baby steps part 5

The lessons we have discussed so far are precious indeed, but there is one skill set which we consider to be the most noble gift of being an entrepreneur. There is one skill set that is in our experience a lot more important than one might think. A skill set which you can´t learn in school, no matter how fancy or prestigous. We are talking about the skill set of dealing with, understanding and “reading” people. Any experienced entrepreneur reading this is probably nodding his head right now. If you´ve been around, you understand the profound importance of this particular skill set. We know entrepreneurs who are extremely successful because they just seem to “get people”. They understand what people want, what they need and what they feel. They understand what makes people “tick”, and they base their own behaviour around that knowledge. By now there is always someone asking us “isn´t that deceiptful”? Not really. We are all doing it to a certain extent. As soon as we interact with other people there is a process going on that incorporates so much more than what is actually being said. What´s being said makes up such a tiny part of the complete puzzle. It´s the other stuff that conveys the real meaning in a meeting. The tonality of voice. The body posture. The gestures. The eye movement during key parts of the conversation. The

These are all giveaways that contain a wealth of information about what is REALLY being said in the conversation. The words are but words. Often the truth lies hidden in what is not said, but conveyed. And that is where the trained eye, and keen understanding of people really starts to stand out and bring some serious value to the table.

Sounds cynical? We don´t think it is. It is a natural part of human interaction. Whether we like it or not we are all judging what is being said by looking at other aspects besides the actual words. How would you react to a motivational speaker who conveyed a low level of insecure energy? Would you buy something from a person who sounded desperate to sell? Would you trust a person who didn´t give you any eye contact whatsoever, or answered your questions by dodging them? Would you believe a person who claims to be happy if they told you so with a dull, uninspired look upon their face?  If you answer these questions honestly you get our point. There is alawys more being said than that which is being said. And as human beings our subconscious mind will always try to decipher the true meaning of each interaction we have in our lifes.

As an entrepreneur you quickly aquire this skill set. If you do not, chances are you will perish. When you do business you will encounter lots of people, attend to lots of meeting, be part of many negotiations and be on the giving and receiving end of numerous sales pitches. In many of these encounters you will have quite the opposite incentives of those you meet. You want to buy something cheap, they want to sell it dear. You want to pay fixed price for the project, they want to go with an hourly rate. They want a higher salary, you want increased effort. You want this, they want that.

When you find yourself in situations like these you need to be able to understand what makes people tick and what your best course of action is. We have found that the ability to deal with these situations in an effective manner is one of the most important aspects of making it as an entrepreneur. If you are a bad negotiator and you negotiate 20 times a year, that will be a massive hit to your profitability. If you are gullible, you will quickly find yourself in shark-infested waters. If you are a bad judge of character you risk entering into costly business relationships with bad companions, or even worse you stand a chance of hiring a terrible employee. There are numerous other mistakes you could make, but we believe you got the point.

The ability to thoroughly understand and deal with other people is one of the most important skill sets of an aspiring entrepreneur. And by learning more about people, you will find that you also start to understand yourslef a little bit better. And once you understand yourself and what you are about, you will begin growing as a person, which in turn will lead to an even better intuition regarding other people and their motives. Once you start developing that intuition you´ve entered the road evey good entrepreneur must embark upon sooner or later. After a while you will gain a lot of experience and your will learn to trust your initial feeling about something. Embrace your intuition. Listen to your gut feeling. It often knows a lot more about what is going on around you than you will ever understand.

We would like to sum up this part by conveying what a very wise and successful old man once told us. Many years ago he said: “If you want to understand people stop listening to what they say, and start paying attention to what they do”.  These are words of wisdom. We have found them to be more and more true as time has passed by.

Words are cheap. But actions very often speak the truth.

Less listening to what they say, more looking at what they do.

It took us decades to fully understand the profound wisdom of those words.

That´s it for now. It´s time to continue our journey with the next part of our guide, “Build a profitable business- the baby steps part 6″. We sure hope you would join us.


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