business man on stage

How to be a Business Leader Others Want to Follow

Two Essential Business Owner Skills for Success

As a young man working for Xerox, I still remember my first sales call on the street along Waikiki Beach. After spending about an hour working up the nerve to knock on the door, I finally got in to see the owner of a small tourist trinket store. He was an older gentleman who had seen new salespeople like me for years.

After I stammered and sweated through my memorized sales pitch on the benefits of Xerox copiers, all he did was laugh at me.

“Son,” he said, “You’re the worst I have ever seen. But keep going because if you can get over your fears, your world will be very bright. If you quit, you may wind up like me, sitting behind a counter 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, waiting for tourists to come in. I wait here because I am too afraid to go out and do what you’re doing. Get through your fears and your world will get smaller every year.”

To this day, I give thanks to that wise older man.

After getting over my fear of selling, I joined Toastmasters at rich dad’s recommendation to learn to overcome my fear of speaking in front of large groups. When I complained, he replied, “All great leaders are great public speakers. Leaders of great businesses need to be great communicators. If you want to be a leader, you must be a speaker.”

Today, I can speak comfortably in front of tens of thousands of people in convention halls because of my training in sales and my early training from the Toastmasters organization.

If you are thinking about starting your own business, I recommend learning the same two skills my rich dad had me learn.

Business owner skill #1: Overcoming fear

Learning to sell was extremely important for me. It helped me overcome my fear of rejection and communicate the value of a product and a service. If you want to start your own business, you will need to be able to overcome many fears and in order to gain traction, you will need to be able to communicate why what you’re doing brings value, both quickly and expertly.

Business owner skill #2: Public speaking

If you want to grow your business, you need to be able to speak in front of groups of people—sometimes very large ones—and keep them interested in what you have to say.

More than anything, as I wrote last week, business leadership involves being a great communicator . If you can learn to communicate well, you can increase your cash flow, your operations, and your capital. If you can’t, your business will not grow…and will possibly fail. Nothing prepares you better for communicating than consistently speaking in front of groups of people.

In the end, being able to overcome fears and to speak well in front of others makes you someone that others want to follow. It’s really that simple. And if you want to be a successful business owner and leader, you have to be someone that others want to follow.

As my rich dad said, “There are speakers that no one listens to, there are salespeople that cannot sell, there are advertisers that no one watches, there are entrepreneurs that cannot raise capital, and there are business leaders that no one follows. If you want to be successful in the world of business, don’t be any of those people.”

If you want help honing your skills in overcoming fear and public speaking, I encourage you to look into Rich Dad Coaching. With a good coach, you will have the advantage you need to stay motivated and push forward to achieve your goals.

Original publish date: March 10, 2015

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