What’s Your Most Important Business Skill?

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I was pondering this question over the weekend: Out of all the business skills I have, which one has served me best, been the most practical, and had a direct bearing on my success?

I did not choose the skills I learned while attending college for a business degree. By and large they were geared towards a career as an employee in corporation, not in the world of self-employment. It also wasn’t marketing skills, customer service skills, or business strategy skills that rose to the #1 position of Most Helpful Skill.

You’ll laugh, but after I really pondered it, I realized it was a skill I learned when I was 15 years old, in high school: touch typing.

Back then (wow, I feel like my Grandmother when I say that phrase), we didn’t have personal computers yet. I learned on an IBM Selectric typewriter. I can remember sitting in class thinking, “When am I ever going to use this skill? I’m not going to be a secretary when I grow up.”

Little did I know that the personal computer revolution was coming, and that knowing how to touch type (typing with all 10 fingers, without looking at the keys) would speed my ability to write books, answer emails, and write blog entries. Watching someone type with two fingers is painful to me now: I can’t imagine how much time a person wastes each day without the efficiencies of touch typing. My mother-in-law must think so, too. In her late 70s, she bought a copy of the touch-typing tutorial software, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, so that she could respond to her children’s and grandchildren’s emails in a timely fashion.

What business skills have you picked up along the way? Which ones help you the most?

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