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Hardest Skill to Master??

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RobD88

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At 47 I’ve had more than my fair share time in corporate America. About 20 years ago I found my current career path in supply chain operations. In that time I’ve worked my way up to a director level positions and have held just about every position in supply chain from dock hand loading trucks to purchasing & inventory control to running the entire supply chain (sourcing, purchasing, warehousing, logistics) for a multi-national consumer products manufacturer.

I guess you could say at this point I have some niche expertise in the business world. Before my I found this niche in operations I held a myriad of jobs including retails sales associate, car salesman, call center customer service representative, home health aide, and was even a behavioral science counselor in the Army. At times I feel like I am sort of a jack of all trades but I do realize my weaknesses.

I am somewhat of an introvert and have to really push myself to be outgoing and put myself out there with people. While I have been successful (slow lane style) in Sales and have a decent knowledge of sales techniques and even hold a marketing degree I know sales is not my greatest strength. However, having been in operations so long and seeing so many not so smart people become successful in sales, I’m wondering what is the hardest skill to master in business. Knowing that most of the people on here are entrepreneurs with small businesses and wearing multiple hats with your business what do you find is the hardest skill to become proficient in?

Aside from direct technical skills (i.e. coding) what is the hardest part of your business to master?

Sales?

Accounting?

Operations functions (i.e. sourcing, inventory management, logistics)?

Marketing?

Finance?

Something else?
 

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Xeon

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Marketing IMO, followed by sales.
These stuff are probably natural for some people but it's my Achilles heel.
 

Supercar

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Time managenent. Can't understand how some people can turn themselves quickly on in the morning and then off in the evening or on a weekend.

My work and rest/relaxation tend to merge in one big smudge when I am working on a business project. I either cannot turn myself off and go to bed (my old pitfall), or cannot put in enough hours (as of lately).

Any tips would be appreciated.
 
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WJK

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At 47 I’ve had more than my fair share time in corporate America. About 20 years ago I found my current career path in supply chain operations. In that time I’ve worked my way up to a director level positions and have held just about every position in supply chain from dock hand loading trucks to purchasing & inventory control to running the entire supply chain (sourcing, purchasing, warehousing, logistics) for a multi-national consumer products manufacturer.

I guess you could say at this point I have some niche expertise in the business world. Before my I found this niche in operations I held a myriad of jobs including retails sales associate, car salesman, call center customer service representative, home health aide, and was even a behavioral science counselor in the Army. At times I feel like I am sort of a jack of all trades but I do realize my weaknesses.

I am somewhat of an introvert and have to really push myself to be outgoing and put myself out there with people. While I have been successful (slow lane style) in Sales and have a decent knowledge of sales techniques and even hold a marketing degree I know sales is not my greatest strength. However, having been in operations so long and seeing so many not so smart people become successful in sales, I’m wondering what is the hardest skill to master in business. Knowing that most of the people on here are entrepreneurs with small businesses and wearing multiple hats with your business what do you find is the hardest skill to become proficient in?

Aside from direct technical skills (i.e. coding) what is the hardest part of your business to master?

Sales?

Accounting?

Operations functions (i.e. sourcing, inventory management, logistics)?

Marketing?

Finance?

Something else?
The hard part for me is none of the above. Those are all business skills that can be learned, mastered, and/or out-sourced.

The hard part for me is daily having to making decisions that truly impact both my life and other people's lives, in situations where there is no right or wrong answer. My businesses are full of these decisions in a world full of gray areas. They are simply a fork in the road. Do I turn left or right? And most of the time, since I own the place, the decision falls squarely on my shoulders. Although I do listen and try to factor other people's opinions into the mix, at the end of the day, it's still solely my decision.
 

Andy Black

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The hardest skills in business?

Getting started and keeping going?

Working out the right thing to do at every moment?

Asking the right questions?



Employees are paid for their hours, and their activity.

The market doesn’t pay for the hours we put in, and we can’t invoice for activity.

“The market doesn’t pay for input, only output.” (Blaise Brosnan)


Our job as business owners is to work out what needs to be done, and then arrange for it to be done.

Business owners need to ask the right questions. Business owners often hire others to answer them.

So the hardest skills are along the lines of asking good questions, prioritisation, and decision making.

Maybe the all encompassing skill would be “leading”?
 
Last edited:

Maxboost

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At 47 I’ve had more than my fair share time in corporate America. About 20 years ago I found my current career path in supply chain operations. In that time I’ve worked my way up to a director level positions and have held just about every position in supply chain from dock hand loading trucks to purchasing & inventory control to running the entire supply chain (sourcing, purchasing, warehousing, logistics) for a multi-national consumer products manufacturer.

I guess you could say at this point I have some niche expertise in the business world. Before my I found this niche in operations I held a myriad of jobs including retails sales associate, car salesman, call center customer service representative, home health aide, and was even a behavioral science counselor in the Army. At times I feel like I am sort of a jack of all trades but I do realize my weaknesses.

I am somewhat of an introvert and have to really push myself to be outgoing and put myself out there with people. While I have been successful (slow lane style) in Sales and have a decent knowledge of sales techniques and even hold a marketing degree I know sales is not my greatest strength. However, having been in operations so long and seeing so many not so smart people become successful in sales, I’m wondering what is the hardest skill to master in business. Knowing that most of the people on here are entrepreneurs with small businesses and wearing multiple hats with your business what do you find is the hardest skill to become proficient in?

Aside from direct technical skills (i.e. coding) what is the hardest part of your business to master?

Sales?

Accounting?

Operations functions (i.e. sourcing, inventory management, logistics)?

Marketing?

Finance?

Something else?
The hardest skill to master that is not talked about in the corporate world is a$$ KISSING. It's held me back from progressing in the corporate world and is something that I will NEVER do. I hate golf and disagree with almost everyone in the work place about politics and their mundane hobbies that I don't give 2 shits about. I don't give a F*ck about your kids and don't feel like shelling out 10$ for a box of chocolates to send your kids to camp even though you make more money than I do.

The corporate world is RIFE with these a$$ kissers and suck ups. These a$$ kissers are fake and are only there to move up ahead in the rat race. These same a$$ kissers will talk shit about you behind your

Time and time again I see a$$ kissers move up which brought me to this place. End Rant.
 

Andy Black

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Time managenent. Can't understand how some people can turn themselves quickly on in the morning and then off in the evening or on a weekend.

My work and leisure tend to merge in one big smudge when I am working on a business project. I either cannot turn mself off and go to bed (my old pitfall), or cannot put in enough hours (as of lately).

Any tips would be appreciated.
This might help:
 

Andy Black

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The hardest skill to master that is not talked about in the corporate world is a$$ KISSING. It's held me back from progressing in the corporate world and is something that I will NEVER do. I hate golf and disagree with almost everyone in the work place about politics and their mundane hobbies that I don't give 2 shits about. I don't give a f*ck about your kids and don't feel like shelling out 10$ for a box of chocolates to send your kids to camp even though you make more money than I do.

The corporate world is RIFE with these a$$ kissers and suck ups. These a$$ kissers are fake and are only there to move up ahead in the rat race. These same a$$ kissers will talk sh*t about you behind your

Time and time again I see a$$ kissers move up which brought me to this place. End Rant.
When you run your own business you’ll have people as customers. Sure, some people might be playing politics and you might disagree with it, but they’re still people with fears and worries, hopes and dreams.

I forgot to mention one of the most important skills in business is the ability to build relationships.

The most important formula in business is R+R=Profit. And we don’t get Repeat Business or Referrals if we don’t build Relationships.

Just some friendly advice... consider not ranting or being so frustrated you rant. If you want to run your own business then the ability to keep your head and keep calm is going to stand you in good stead. As are the abilities to understand and empathise with people.

(Hmmm... is that four more “skills”?)
 

Flybye

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Controlling your emotions and being patient.
THIS
Nothing is more infuriating than dealing with the ignorance and impatience of others. One needs to rise above the rest and take control of the situation without causing further harm.
 

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RobD88

RobD88

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Marketing IMO, followed by sales.
These stuff are probably natural for some people but it's my Achilles heel.
I feel your pain there for sure. Having been on the ops side for so long I am so much more comfortable as the man behind the curtain. I like to say I deliver the impossilbe promises sales people make.

As I start my own business I'm realizing I am going to have to be the one to be out there making those promises and delivering on them.
 
Last edited:
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RobD88

RobD88

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Time managenent. Can't understand how some people can turn themselves quickly on in the morning and then off in the evening or on a weekend.

My work and leisure tend to merge in one big smudge when I am working on a business project. I either cannot turn mself off and go to bed (my old pitfall), or cannot put in enough hours (as of lately).

Any tips would be appreciated.
I have the same problem with turning myself off to get some rest. I've taken to meditation and white noise through my phone next to my bed.
 
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RobD88

RobD88

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The hard part for me is none of the above. Those are all business skills that can be learned, mastered, and/or out-sourced.

The hard part for me is daily having to making decisions that truly impact both my life and other people's lives, in situations where there is no right or wrong answer. My businesses are full of these decisions in a world full of gray areas. They are simply a fork in the road. Do I turn left or right? And most of the time, since I own the place, the decision falls squarely on my shoulders. Although I do listen and try to factor other people's opinions into the mix, at the end of the day, it's still solely my decision.
This is actually where I feel I have the least trouble. I like to think I am a very ethical, loyal, and generous person. I am confident that the path I set forth in reaching my goals (business or personal) is the best available with the information I have for all involved. My primary goal is to add value to the market knowing the market will return value to me in exchanged. I assess situations in a fair amount of detail and make decisions quickly and rarely feel I made the wrong one.
 
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RobD88

RobD88

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The hardest skills in business?

Getting started and keeping going?

Working out the right thing to do at every moment?

Asking the right questions?



Employees are paid for their hours, and their activity.

The market doesn’t pay for the hours we put in, and we can’t invoice for activity.

“The market doesn’t pay for input, only output.” (Blaise Brosnan)


Our job as business owners is to work out what needs to be done, and then arrange for it to be done.

Business owners need to ask the right questions. Business owners often hire others to answer them.

So the hardest skills are along the lines of asking good questions, prioritisation, and decision making.

Maybe the all encompassing skill would be “leading”?

Great insight. Thanks @Andy Black
 

Supercar

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I have the same problem with turning myself off to get some rest. I've taken to meditation and white noise through my phone next to my bed.
I sleep with a blindfold, earplugs, and a ceiling fan. This way I am listning to my own breathing. I have been trying to adhere to a set bedtime. I must be getting old because overleeping is no longer a problem, getting a good night's rest is.
 

Dave Daily

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@RobD88 I agree that sales is the hardest thing, second only to staying in the fastlane for as long as it takes to build something meaningful. Somehow your brain finds a way to make you quit, unless you have a big enough FTE to keep you there. I've done a lot of sales, and it seems I have only been able to do sales if someone else was watching, i.e., I had a boss or a supervisor. In 2015, I started investing in apartment buildings with no money of my own and no partners. I found a deal and was negotiating with wealthy property owners and brokers. It was scary, but I pushed myself to call every day. I almost closed the deal, but then it fell through because I showed my valuation to the owner. The dentist owner, who was ready to sell, saw my valuation and decided to keep the property.

Stupid! I showed my cards.

That process took about 3 months and I was calling on other properties at the same time. Cold calling. So I was doing a kind of sales while trying to create a habit of getting on the phone with brokers and owners on a daily basis. Well this only lasted until early 2016 and then I bailed.

Now I'm considered going back into this or working on other business ideas, but I realize that no matter what, I'm going to have to stay the course, whether I'm building a business or looking for apartments to buy (still a business). In the meantime, I've killed almost 2 years of opportunity by not staying on the phone and just learning.

The point is, that it doesn't matter what's hard. You have to decide or find out what's important for what you want to achieve and just do it. If you need a partner to be accountable to, get one. I'm considering doing just that, thus creating a sort of surrogate boss. LOL. I don't know if it'll work or even if I should do that, it's just an idea, and if I don't try it, I'll have no idea if it'll work. Any takers? ;)
 
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RobD88

RobD88

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If you need a partner to be accountable to, get one. I'm considering doing just that, thus creating a sort of surrogate boss. LOL.
Being on this forum and seeing all of the success stories, trials, and tribulations keeps me focused and motivated. Most of all, knowing there are many others out there facing the same things I'm facing and still finding success is inspiring.
 

vth

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My work and leisure tend to merge in one big smudge when I am working on a business project. I either cannot turn mself off and go to bed (my old pitfall), or cannot put in enough hours (as of lately).

Any tips would be appreciated.
Quoting this not as an expert in the field, but as a peer with the same issue.

I've found what works best is trying to create a clear separation between work and leisure so they don't 'smudge' together. When they do, I've found its prime action faking time. By keeping work separate and always doing it first (delaying gratification) I've found the most success.

As someone who works at home this looks like separating my work / play in both time, physical space, and most importantly priority. Work first, remove games, youtube, distractions etc from your work computers. Have a specific place and device devoted to play and keep it away from your work stuff.

YMMV, would love to hear any tips you come across.
 

Xeon

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The hardest skill to master that is not talked about in the corporate world is a$$ KISSING. It's held me back from progressing in the corporate world and is something that I will NEVER do. I hate golf and disagree with almost everyone in the work place about politics and their mundane hobbies that I don't give 2 shits about. I don't give a f*ck about your kids and don't feel like shelling out 10$ for a box of chocolates to send your kids to camp even though you make more money than I do.

The corporate world is RIFE with these a$$ kissers and suck ups. These a$$ kissers are fake and are only there to move up ahead in the rat race. These same a$$ kissers will talk sh*t about you behind your

Time and time again I see a$$ kissers move up which brought me to this place. End Rant.
TOTALLY THIS. Worked in this company once, there was this girl who's the ultimate legendary a$$-kisser.
Never seen one more powerful than her.

She can talk to the boss like she's his childhood friend. Each time the boss remarks or make some mundane comment, she would laugh. Not just normal laughter, but those huge, overly-exaggerated laughter with her body gesturing wildly. And behind his back, she gossips about him lol
I pity the boss though. If there's one thing I learnt in life, extreme a$$-kissers (like my colleague) are people to be avoided.

Yes, I understand building relationships is important but there has to be a limit to that, and doing it genuinely.

I feel your pain there for sure. Having been on the ops side for so long I am so much more comfortable as the man behind the curtain. I like to say I deliver the impossilbe promises sales people make.
Same here, I love to be in the backroom doing all the work while the sales people go out there to flash their smiles and talk shop with clients. It feels very natural to me to work behind the scenes.
 

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Controlling your emotions and being patient.
Hardest to learn... Damn right. Rep+

I would add effective leadership as a close runner up to patience. Effective doesn’t mean bossy or screw you. It means influential. It means believing in yourself enough to help other key players get the same vision.
 

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Aside from direct technical skills (i.e. coding) what is the hardest part of your business to master?
Doing the things I have to do but really, really don't enjoy doing.

We all have the things we love doing, that are easy to do, and we're drawn to, but business by necessity is more than the things we enjoy. Forcing yourself to sit down and wear a hat that doesn't fit you properly is the hardest damn thing in the world when every fiber of your being wants to pull you back to what you enjoy and are good at.
 

WJS

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For me it is developing a sense of humour. It helps to break down the tension between conflicting parties and develop trustful relationships. Makes life really easier if one can master this skill
 

Supercar

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I am a night owl. My best and most creative work happens late in the evening, right when I am supposed to be winding down and going to bed. I end up trading work for sleep, or vice versa. It works, but it is costing me my health. I hate this.

I started giving my sleep and sanity a priority higher than work. If I do not have my health, none of the fruits of my work will matter.
 

TonyStark

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I am a night owl. My best and most creative work happens late in the evening, right when I am supposed to be winding down and going to bed. I end up trading work for sleep, or vice versa. It works, but it is costing me my health. I hate this.

I started giving my sleep and sanity a priority higher than work. If I do not have my health, none of the fruits of my work will matter.
I'm the same way!
 

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