You might be thinking you can’t be a better entrepreneur, you have to be born that way. And to a certain point, you may be right. The great debate rages on about whether it’s possible to teach yourself to become an entrepreneur, and generally ends with an indecisive answer. But while certain skills and qualities may be innate, others you can definitely master, with the right attitude and practice.
Passion, for example, is something you cannot fake. Investors can spot a phony pitch from a mile away. You’re either born with drive, or you aren’t. But, if you want to be a better entrepreneur, when it comes to communicating, managing your workload more efficiently, and making tough decisions, you can improve these things along the way. And learning a language might just help you to get your ideas off the ground. Here’s how:
You Build Your Communication Skills
Language is obviously at the base of communication and an effective entrepreneur and leader must be able to communicate well. They need to sell their idea to investors, create a company culture and get buy-in from their team, or convince customers to stick around. Learning a language can help you not only become fluent in a second tongue, but better at speaking your own one, as well.
How so? Because you learn to analyze your language from different angles, as you learn new grammar rules and syntax. In the words of English author and journalist, Geoffrey Willans, “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.” You realize the importance of the words you choose and can articulate better, which is imperative for a good leader. It will also come in handy when dealing with foreign clients, working with a bilingual team, or even just for impressing people at parties.
You Become More Creative
If you’re wondering how on earth learning a language can help you be a better entrepreneur and make you more creative to boot, don’t just take my word for it! It’s been scientifically proven by Penn State University that your brain becomes denser and stronger the more foreign vocabulary you hold. This makes you smarter and improves brain function, as you recognize hidden meaning behind words and understand more about the world around you.
You begin to develop new skills that will help you be a better entrepreneur, like coming up with creative solutions to problems, and thinking outside of the box, as you observe things from a different perspective.
You Can Multitask More Efficiently
The road to launching a successful startup requires wearing a lot of different hats to begin with. You may be working on a low budget with a skeleton crew, or even all by yourself, putting in long hours at the computer or working on your idea. This means you may have to be developer, creative, customer service, and salesperson all at the same time! Being able to switch between these tasks is an essential quality for an entrepreneur, and learning a language can help you to master this.
Something to do with flipping from one language to another has a positive effect on your mind and ability to switch up tasks in other areas as well. You start to get naturally good at it, and, as you pick up a new language, you actually become more capable at work.
You Make Smarter Decisions
Every entrepreneur reaches a point where they have to make difficult decisions. It isn’t easy deciding whether you should pursue a particular idea, follow another, hire the next person, and so on. When you start to learn a second language, you get better at making rational decisions. As you think in a second language, you become more objective and can remove yourself from the center of the problem, getting a bird’s eye view. This means that you can make smarter decisions, that are less rushed and more likely to have a better outcome.
Be a Better Entrepreneur
So, besides the fact that learning Mandarin or speaking French will open up doors when you decide to take your business global, you’ll gain a whole bunch of secondary skills as well to be a better entrepreneur. Not to mention, you’ll impress the 75 percent of fellow Americans who can’t string sentence together outside of English.