Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic…Who Knew?

Growing up we all heard the same speech from teachers and parents. You have to be good at reading, writing, and arithmetic if you’re going to be smart and successful. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we thought...everybody says that. Yet it seems the older we get those simple fundamentals ring truer and truer every day. I think the case when we were kids was that adults were always telling us “what” to do and didn’t spend much time telling us “why” we SHOULD do it. Now as adults ourselves, it is important to realize that those parents and teachers were really on to something. When it comes to being successful in business it is key to be solid at the fundamentals. Here’s the long awaited “why.”


Why read more? The easy answer is...they hide knowledge in books. But a lesser focused on reason for reading is the expansion of our vocabulary. Being able to understand and use a wider range of the english language not only makes you sound intelligent but actually makes you intelligent by allowing you to comprehend and apply more information. Business deals, negotiations, social conversations, and reading contracts will yield far better results and opportunity if we continually try to master the english language. Another reason our teachers failed to mention was that reading gives us the power of “business lingo.” Have you ever sat with a mortgage broker when he or she starts talking in code...”Well the “D.T.I.” blah blah and the “A.P.R.” blah blah along with the “amortization schedule” blah blah.” You get the picture. However, the truth of the matter is that if you didn’t google “common mortgage terms” before you went into that meeting...shame on you (ruler slaps hand:).


We live in a world, once again, where information is at our finger tips. This means there is a constant craving for content from clients, customers, and future partners. Matter of fact, a lack of content about your company is in itself incriminating considering the ease of content creation. And while video is vitally important, so are blogs, articles, press releases, and newsletters. The great thing about writing is that you have all the tools to do it, right now. Who better to tell the story of your business than you. Not a good writer? Become one by starting to write. Begin with something short like a blog if you like. Blogs are great because the object is to pack as much punch into the least amount of words. This skill will help you in future writing. Reading and writing feed each other as well so the more you do of one the better you get at the other and vice versa.


“I’m not very good with math.” We’ve all heard that. And while most of us are no “Rain Man,” if you’re in business to make money then math should be your best friend. Passion and drive can only get you so far if the numbers don’t work. Our dislike of math is often based on the agony of calculus classes and the like. The great news is that “business math” is more likely based on simple math rather than complex formulas. Business deals and projects should first and foremost be based on numbers. By doing the math first you not only save time if the numbers aren’t there, but you save money and agony. Also, make sure you do the math based on worst to best case. Although depressing to do, avoiding the worst case math could be disastrous.

Ding! Time for recess.