Do you dream of being an international businessman?
The business world is a jungle, the competition is fierce and the market place is continuously asking for more skills and energy.
An international businessman is a person who actively develops and maintains business operations in several countries simultaneously. It is not uncommon for a businessman to be involved in 1 or more companies or to be individual entrepreneurs.
A successful entrepreneur is one who oversees 1 or more successful businesses; success being often measured in financial terms such as net worth, gross capital, cultural impact and/or sustainability. No matter how successful a company is, there is a successful businessman behind it.
To truly influence a company’s growth, you should primarily understand fundamental principles such as marketing, management, finance and business operations. But what can you do in terms of personal development to ensure you’re ready for your next step:
- Develop your Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills are about how you interact with people. Not only will you need these skills to manage your employees, but also negotiate agreements and contracts, communicate effectively with the public, and network with other industry professionals from different countries. Attend business seminars to learn from those who have already succeeded as a businessman.
- Read the International News
Know what is happening in each economy that you may do business. Business newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and magazines like The Economist can keep you up-to-date on general financial, economic and business trends. It’s also a wise idea to also read trade publications to gain more industry-specific knowledge. Reading these publications cannot only expand your knowledge and expertise, but can also help you speak the right language when you talk with clients and network with others in your profession.
- International Banking
Be aware of modern ways to transfer money, with new online banks such as TransferWise who offer ‘Borderless’ accounts where you can be paid in local currencies to a local physical bank account…and then transfer it immediately to your own bank account. Just think of how much easier you’re also making it for your client!
Whilst English is very much the language of international business, your local clients will appreciate you trying to at least say some pleasantries in their native tongue. And now there’s no excuse, with some websites offering the ability to learn from native teachers online; for example, with Verbling you can take a Spanish class on your mobile phone whilst you wait for your plane to Madrid! Buen viaje!
- Appreciate the Work of Others
Practice active listening. It means recognising what others say by repeating it back in your own words. Pay attention to others. Be pro-active, notice other’s feelings, words and body language. Connect with people at events as well as on LinkedIn; a successful businessman is a hub through which other interpersonal connections are made. Promote an environment that brings people together by treating people equally and encouraging them to work together. Take a leadership role when it comes to resolving conflicts. Act as a mediator, rather than involving yourself personally into matters that may not enhance your reputation.
- Choose your Employees
Your employees are your support network and they are necessary to the success of your business. Hire people who are skilled and knowledgeable in their specific roles, but who also possess a diversity in their work and cultural experiences. There will be times when you need to draw on ideas that come from such experience, because no successful businessman should be an island; inspiration can come at any moment from any of your daily contacts. So make sure that your daily conversations are with people you respect and who have the ability to inspire you with things that you do not know.
How many of these areas can you put in place before the New Year?