5 essential life skills you need to make it in business

Every top businessmen has mastered these five things…

Peter Iantorno January 7, 2015

The business world can seem extremely complicated at times, not least when your desk is piled high with paperwork, your email inbox is full of urgent messages and there's a queue of people waiting outside your office hoping that you'll be able to solve their issues.

But the most successful businessmen are all equipped with a strong core of key skills that enable them to handle this stress and not only keep their heads above water, but thrive in the high-pressure environment of business.

Of course everyone is different, and many people specialise in specific areas and have carved out profitable niches for themselves doing just that, but in order to get your feet off the ground in business, and in fact in life, these five skills are absolutely essential:

Communication
First and foremost, good communications skills are an absolute necessity in business. Why? Because communication is the very backbone that supports every other skill that's important in almost every facet of business. From sales and team management, to customer relations and even dealing with rival businesses, good communication skills are absolutely imperative. Almost every aspect of business relies on interacting with others, and if you can't do this effectively, the chances of success are slim to none. man on phone

Leadership
Your personal time and resources are finite, which means there's only so far you can go as a one-man band. At some point or another, you're going to have to lead a team of people in order to expand and eventually hit the big time. This is easy enough when everyone is on the same page, but the real challenge is to take on a team that's lacking in motivation, unreliable and pulling in different directions, and inspire them to come together and back you, your ideas and the company as a whole.

Decision-making
Decision-making isn't about having a gung-ho, shoot-from-the-hip approach and making brash calls just for the sake of it. Neither is it about dithering and endlessly weighing up the pros and cons. A good decision-maker is able to quickly assess the situation and make the best decision for the benefit of the company. It's tough at the top, and sometimes the right decision is not the easiest one (maybe you have to replace a member of your team due to poor performance), but if you can't make the big calls, you have no place at the sharp end of business. businessman looking out of window. Negotiation
In the uber-competitive world of business, success is defined by extremely fine margins. Only the most ruthless reach the pinnacle, whereas those with meek, mild personalities so often fall by the wayside, unable to speak up and argue for their cause. Whether it's bargaining to get the best deal on supplies, negotiating to secure a lucrative contract or convincing the board of directors that you need an extra member of staff on your team, the ability to sell yourself and your ideas to others is key.

Time-management
Not just important for arranging your affairs in the office, time-management is vital in all aspects of your life. So not only do you need to make sure each and every meeting is as efficient as possible and work is prioritised, but you also need to ensure that there's enough time left in your day for a healthy work-life balance, in order to avoid business burnout. At the top, every second is important and any time from your workday that's wasted results in both your personal time and the company suffering.