5 Academic Skills that Make You a Better Entrepreneur

By Rruchi Shrimalli

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Louis Pasteur, the famous French chemist and microbiologist, said, “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goals: My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”

‘Tenacity’ and ‘Resilience’ are the two key personality traits that mark any successful business owner. Everything else can be learned. Schools and colleges help us to pick up several skills that can help us succeed in our respective lives and chosen careers. Here, we will discuss the five academic skills or study skills that can give you an edge over others as a business owner and an entrepreneur:

Rote Learning

Entrepreneurs are often seen as radicals – mavericks in their own right. They are creative, enthusiastic, determined, and problem-solvers. It might be difficult to imagine how rote learning can help them but the truth is that the memorization techniques are crucial to make it big in the business world.

At school or college, rote learning helped you to learn things in such a manner that you are able to recall them during the exam or a test and get good grades. As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to remember several things too – appointments with your clients, investors, and vendors; addresses and telephone numbers of key personnel in your office and in your power network, experiences, maps, business strategies and decisions, and much more.

One way to remember all this information is to note them down and go through them again-and-again – just like students do in college.

Here are some memorization techniques you may use.

Reading and Listening

An entrepreneur who is not interested in reading about his industry, competitors, latest market trends, socio-political conditions that might affect his business, financial reports, business plans, and other documents and papers can never be successful. Besides, you also need to learn to listen – carefully and patiently to everyone you are dealing with.

Many entrepreneurs opt for business and management courses in college. Many of them must have approached experts who provide marketing plan assignment help to students and entrepreneurs (as well as to those who came to them as students first and start their own businesses later). Almost all these experts agree that passive reading and listening is just as bad (or even more) for entrepreneurs as it is for students. You need to think critically, and question and weigh the evidence as you listen to someone or read something.

Two study techniques that can help you make a better reader are:

  • REAP (Read, Encode, Annotate, and Ponder): where you read a text, encode or try to state its key ideas in your own words, annotate or write what you understood from it, and ponder or think upon it on how you can use it for your advancement.
  • PQRST (Preview, Question, Read, Summarize, and Test): where you glance over the Table of Content, index, or major headings of the text to get a quick idea of what it is about. Then, you form quick questions to which you’ll try to find answers while reading the topic.

Next, you read through the material and try to relate it to the questions you formed earlier. You follow it up by summarizing whatever you’ve read by making notes or making diagrams or flowcharts. You can even make a voice recording of what you’ve understood from the text. In the end, you might write answers to the questions you had first stated or note down any other key points that can help you in different aspects of your academic or entrepreneurial projects.

Time Management

Besides hard-core academic skills, you pick up several other skills in college that go a long way in making you a better entrepreneur later in life. These include time-management, avoiding procrastination, and self-motivation.

One good way to prioritize things is the follow the traffic-light system in your academic or work schedule. Tasks that are most important and can be done quickly can be highlighted in green (and done first), projects that are important but are more time-consuming can be highlighted in orange or yellow (and can be picked up next), and things that are complex and not crucial to keep the things functional can be highlighted in red and can be done at a time when the work is lean.

Learning Style

As a student, you need to find your learning style. An auditory learner in school may benefit more from discussing things with others, listening to mentors and speakers in business conferences, and read things out loud. If you have a visual learning style, you can use that as an advantage as an entrepreneur too and learn to form spider diagrams, flowcharts, graphs, illustrations, pie charts and other visual techniques to understand and remember important data and facts that can help you make informed decisions.

Concept Mapping

Concept maps are diagrams too but they are used when you have to represent how one concept or idea is related to other ideas, theories, and processes. Mindmaps are a form of concept maps where you identify a central idea and link it to terms and formulae and other key facts related to it all around it.

As an entrepreneur, you can find concepts maps increasingly using in finding patterns between different things and identifying key connections missing in your business processes. You can also use them in your employee training programs to show how each department of your business contributes to making the company a success.

Do not forget to share the article with your network of friends and fellow entrepreneurs.

Rruchi Shrimalli is a Content Marketing Manager for transtutors.com, askIITians.com, GoAssignmentHelp.com and several other websites. She is a writer and a journalist at heart, and has been writing articles on various aspects of the Education domain since 2010. Her articles have been published at Shiksha.com, India.com, and Employment News among others.

Academic stock photo by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

This post originally appeared on SmallBizDaily.com