5 Business Lessons You Can Learn from Everyday Life

business lessons

Human beings love to compartmentalise.  Tucked away in English provincial towns you can still find Victorian museums and in them you’ll find hundreds of drawers each containing hundreds of species of butterflies or beetles.  It’s a model of compartmentalisation which still haunts us.  Think about your school experience: maths at nine, geography at ten, science at eleven, art at twelve; discrete chunks of knowledge with no connection.  What everyday life teaches us is that everything is connected and success in business is about making connections.

  1. Negotiation: Is there a more important life skill?  Successful negotiation is about realising your goals and bringing other people along with you.  You deploy it when your unreasonable neighbour plays loud music late into the night; you hone it through protracted negotiations with a teenager who thinks that you must have been born on a distant planet.  The solution to all business problems is locked within the mastery of this skill and everyday life presents us with endless opportunities to practise.
  1. Research: Most of us don’t hold academics in very high regard.  So, she’s got a detailed knowledge of sixteenth-century Italian love poetry, what use is that?  Well apart from her detailed knowledge of a specialised subject, she’s also got a highly developed set of research skills and more importantly she’s trained her mind to assimilate a dauntingly large volume of information.  Thanks to the internet, research is no longer just the preserve of academics, we can now all train ourselves to develop research skills and the better you are at research the better informed are your business decisions.
    We can even discover other ways to broaden our knowledge and further our education without having to attend a traditional university. Taking an mba in strategy online, for example, is a great opportunity to succeed in business while doing our everyday routine.
  1. Ignoring short-term variance : Poker players know all about this, or at least the successful ones do.  It’s all about risk management, good poker players don’t get distracted by short-term profit, they’ve got their eye on the long game and in business so should you.
  1. Working as a team Now you could argue that when they built the pyramids it was the supreme example of working as a team, one chap with a bull whip and a group of slaves heaving on ropes is, unfortunately, not an uncommon business model, but it’s not the one you should be adopting. Real team work requires the ability to accommodate people with diverse views, the ability to be flexible and the ability to focus on the positive.  We learn these skills in our social intercourse with friends, partners and family.  In team sports, we learn that knowing when to pass the ball is as important as scoring the goal.
  1. Watching for the early signs of a problem‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’ Is one of those less than helpful adages which hinder successful business.  If there’s a problem with your lifestyle: you’re eating too much, drinking too much, working too much, worrying too much, then it’s not a good idea to wait until the consequences land you in the hospital.  Early, honest recognition of a problem is the key to business health, just as it is the key to physical health.
About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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