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3 Important Skills You Need to Acquire in Order to Become Successful

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Why do some people seem to travel up the success ladder at warp speed, while you’re still stuck where you are? As frustrating as this can be, the good news is success in work and in life is not some random game of chance. Granted, getting a promotion or successfully launching your business is far from a 100% exact science, but there’s plenty you can do to tip the scales in your favor.

Investing effort to develop the following 3 skills should help you in your journey:

1. Creativity

You may not think of yourself as a creative person. But, as it turns out, things are probably not so black and white. Despite what you may have been led to believe, creativity is not a gift that nature randomly either assigns or denies you. It’s a skill that can be developed.

For example, I’m sitting in my garage as I write this article. As I look around I see a barbecue grill and a bicycle. If I combine those two items into one idea I come up with the possibility of some type of delivery service that instead of providing Chinese or pizza, delivers fresh barbecue to your door.

If I look around a little further I see Christmas lights. If I add that to the mix, I come up with the idea of helping the brand stand out by decorating the delivery vehicles with colorful, neon lighting. Is that the best business idea ever? Maybe, maybe not.

But, by strategically synthesizing different things into one idea, I’ve thought of a new potential business in about two minutes. Using the strategy of synthesizing, I could come up with several ideas every day. Eventually, I’m bound to come up with a winner.

With practice, you might be able to do something similar. This strategy could be used to synthesize new ideas for products, marketing campaigns, and management strategies. Just try combining multiple ideas, items, or strategies into one and see what you come up with.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

2. Public Speaking

Although terrifying to some, there are few activities that have more potential to enhance your success than public speaking. There’s no doubt about it, getting on stage in front of a large group of people is hard, especially when starting out.

However, when you think about it, even famous motivational speakers like Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar were once beginners. And chances are, they were pretty nervous back then too. If they could overcome their fear, then so can you.

Several years ago, my father shared something with me that changed the way I thought about public speaking. He taught me that pretty much anyone could give a 10 minute (or even longer) speech, because everyone has at least one thing that they could talk about for that long. It might be your field of study, a great book, a new video game or your favorite soap opera.

Whatever the topic, chances are there is something that you would gladly talk about for hours, given the chance. The major difference with public speaking is that you’re talking to a group instead of an individual.

Public speaking can be an outstanding way to build authority for your brand and increase your income. So, how do you take advantage of that? First, you make a commitment to not let fear hold you back from achieving success in life. Next, educate yourself on a relevant, useful topic to such a degree that you could talk about it all day long. Finally, start practicing.

Take some time to study and familiarize yourself with a few basic public speaking techniques. Then, start small. (You could even start practicing in front of the mirror if you want.)

For example, try to be more vocal and contribute more in meetings. Consider offering to give a presentation at work. You could also try inviting a group of friends or colleagues to a get-together during which you give a speech or lead a discussion on a relevant topic.

As you gain experience, you’ll probably feel more comfortable. When that happens, you can try working your way up to larger and larger audiences. Eventually, you may find that you’re a highly sought after speaker with a top-notch income.

3. Listening

As simple as this one sounds, it might actually be the most important. It’s no secret that a major part of success is networking. At the heart of networking we find relationship building. At the heart of relationship building we find the ability to make others feel important, special, and well-liked. Being a great listener can do just that.

Among my acquaintances, I seem to be known as someone who connects easily with different types of people. My secret is actually quite simple.

Remember how I said just about everyone has something that they will gladly talk about given the opportunity? I just try to give them that opportunity. I ask questions until I discover something that they seem to enjoy talking about. Then, I listen, ask more questions about the subject and offer my own input as appropriate.

In my experience, this is a powerful strategy for building good relationships, even with people I’ve just met. Subjects I ask about in order to discover a topic that they enjoy talking about include:

  • Job
  • School
  • Hobbies
  • Entertainment
  • Goals
  • Family

“To be interesting, be interested.” – Dale Carnegie

Even though some people do seem to rise to the top through pure luck, I prefer to not leave things to chance. If luck doesn’t find you, then I suggest you create your own luck.

These three skills can help enormously on your journey to success. I suggest you choose one of these abilities and begin investing time and effort throughout the next week to start developing some mad skills. I think you’ll enjoy what follows if you do.

Which one of the above three skills do you need to work on most and why? Please comment below as we all want to help one another.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Seth Coyne is a copywriter and branding consultant. Click here to download his Innovation Cheatsheet with 9 hacks to creating an endless stream of brilliant ideas for entrepreneurship, business growth and career advancement. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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