Close Close
Popular Financial Topics Discover relevant content from across the suite of ALM legal publications From the Industry More content from ThinkAdvisor and select sponsors Investment Advisor Issue Gallery Read digital editions of Investment Advisor Magazine Tax Facts Get clear, current, and reliable answers to pressing tax questions
Luminaries Awards

Practice Management > Building Your Business

The No. 1 business survival skill: Learning

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The No. 1 business survival skill is not sales, marketing, financial or time management. It isn’t emotional intelligence or customer service. And it’s not social media savvy. It’s learning. Here are five keys to learning how to learn.

1.) Be curious. As successful business owners, our rapid-fire responses and solutions help us succeed, but sometimes our blind spots get in the way of the truly brilliant idea. Demonstrating curiosity while maintaining credibility takes learning and practice.

2.) Listen completely without being distracted. A tendency to multi-task can cause you to miss some questions your prospects wanted to ask but were afraid to. Maybe you are relying too much on the structured factfinder.

3.) Be open to new perspectives. It takes a conscious decision to really be open, so you don’t automatically dismiss someone else’s ideas.

4.) Demonstrate respect for a teacher. In martial arts, the student is required to “surrender” to the master or sensei. The purpose of this is to consciously allow yourself to be taught.

5.) Learn to ask for help. One of the biggest mistakes adults make that stops them from learning is to refuse to ask for help.

*We’re turning it over to you to tell us what kinds of tips you would like to see in the future. What kind of industry information and advice would help you or interests you the most? Please tell us your thoughts using the comment form below.

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day!

More tips:

Debbie Nixon, founder of coaching company Masterful Advisor(R), has more than 20 years of experience as a financial advisor, coach and performance expert. For more information and tips from Nixon, go to


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.