Are you a numbers person? Generally, you're either very good with number crunching or you hate it with a passion. Those of you in the former category possibly enjoyed mathematics in early schooling days. If you hated math early on, then it's highly unlikely you would have pursued it further into your profession.
For me, without sounding like a nerd, I love numbers. They give me a chance to reflect on statistics, probabilities, the state of my business and above all else, risk. It is this very number crunching, that reduces the uncertainty surrounding business.
Many people believe that being good at your job is the basis for business success. I disagree wholeheartedly. While it's important to have expert product knowledge and a fine product to offer the market, it's management skills driven by financial aptitude that provides this basis.
Your ability to understand numbers will help you to interpret figures, read numbers and evaluate profit and loss.
A former colleague of mine was responsible for placing out-of-work individuals, who had been working many years in the same job for the one organization.
Their skills were very high for the job they had been doing, but a change in demand or policy had seen the end of their suitability. Having worked in the same job for so long, many didn't have much to offer prospective employers outside of their highly skilled, but narrow scope.
Sadly, she told me, many of these displaced workers tried to make the move to self-employment simply because they knew the job. Unfortunately, most of these people had minimal business management skills and lacked the acumen to make it work. Invariably, many lost their shirt.
What was even sadder, she said, is they blamed others for their dilemma. They honestly believed it was not their fault.
I studied accountancy at college. It was a great way to fill in time between social occasions. I didn't fully understand its value at the time. Since then, I worked for an accounting firm for a few years before the dollar started to drop. As time progressed and my interests turned more towards wanting my own business, I started putting these skills to work for myself.
I can honestly say that it's much more personal and meaningful when you're doing it for yourself. Suddenly, there is purpose, a reason, a method to the madness, a sense about doing something for the most important person in the world—you.
We all tune into the famous radio station, WIIFM—"What's In It For Me". If we can see a personal benefit, we tend to give it more credence than we otherwise would.
Similarly, if you train yourself in the field of accounting and finance you'll be converting ignorance into knowledge. Knowledge breeds power and confidence. It's this very knowledge that reduces risk. Many say that business and investing are very risky. A truer word has never been spoken from those who are not financially adept.
It is paramount. It is mandatory. It is the "Edict of Business". The success of your business venture requires that you study accounting and finance. Read a book, take a course or buy a magazine. Whatever you do, if you want to run a successful business or invest wisely, then reduce the risk factor and get yourself up to speed today.
I know many business owners without a college education who have positioned themselves well by learning these skills. Their dedication and desire have made them very astute businesspeople.
I also know many college-trained people in the field of business studies who went on to contribute greatly to the wealth of others. They didn't take the risk themselves. There is no right or wrong way, just the one most suitable to you, your needs and ultimately, your goals.
This simply illustrates that anyone can be a successful businessperson. Pursuing what is important to you is only a decision away. After you have decided, all you need to do is develop and fine-tune your application.
Make your decision wisely by basing it on what is closest to your heart. Then go about making it a reality.
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