While professors can teach you a lot of relevant information for running your business, there are some things you just have to learn on the job. Personally I experienced the same thing coming out of school and then opening up my first business. My school knowledge was useful but I was not prepared to address the challenges and situations that arise every day in business, which are not taught in school. One of the areas impacted by experience is the ability to know how to manage. The management team here at Data as well as many of our customers have to apply the on-the- job experience they have gained every day in our management approaches.
As I skimmed through the article below, I highlighted a lot of the areas I feel are super important to have and try to hone in on. Over the years these points really have made a big impact on me:
1- Active listening
2- Emotional intelligence & discipline
All of the points in the article are of great value and use but for me, these four hit home. I guess they hit home because when I was a young entrepreneur, I only possessed one of them… Hustle. My DNA is hardwired to win out at all cost and put the time in no matter what. This was all fine but I found myself working harder and not smarter. Becoming an active listener has helped me over the years. I turned my ears off early on in my career and quickly came to find out I was not always right. In most cases I had good ideas but others had great ideas. Yeah… this one I jumped on fast and quickly came to find there is a lot of talent out there if you give them a chance.
Emotional intelligence and discipline.. This was a challenge for me as an ex athlete, type A personality from NYC. Needless to say the deck was stacked against me here and I paid dearly early on by not harnessing emotional discipline. Frankly, you can’t take things personally in a business. Keeping a cool head goes a very long ways. I know it is not easy to accomplish as a business owner who has invested great sweat equity in your business but it is a must.
I have discussed collaboration since I came into this market and it is as important as ever. Our company cultures life’s blood is collaboration but it has also helped us build world class products for our clients who have told us what they need. Collaboration also allowed us to eliminate some of the things we were doing wrong because, once again, we listened to our clients. Talk it out. Debate is a good thing as long as it is healthy and has solutions not just identifying problems.
As for hustle. Well if you don’t love what you do then the foundation for any success is greatly compromised. Have a great December as we welcome in 2017.