Fans and followers of Warren Buffett have learned that his formula for success is making smart investment decisions. But investing may not strictly be a choice of money. He once advised: «Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talent.
So what is a good starting point for “investing in yourself”? Well, for Buffett, it means never stopping acquiring knowledge and putting into practice a strategy that he follows religiously: Going to bed a little smarter every day.
The Oracle of Omaha has literally applied this throughout his life to gain a huge competitive advantage, which is why he spends 80% of his workday reading and thinking.
To narrow down your self-investment options, Buffett has stated in the past that investing in developing your communication skills can “improve your value by 50 percent.” In a video posted on LinkedIn, Buffett further emphasized the importance of communication:
If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark: nothing happens. You can have all the intellectual capacity in the world, but you have to be able to transmit it. And transmission is communication.
He should know; The billionaire has publicly admitted that he once was “terrified of public speaking” to the point of vomiting. But after taking a public speaking course at Dale Carnegie, he said, it changed his life.
Leaders and entrepreneurs are told time and time again that they have to master their communication skills to achieve success. It simply cannot be overlooked if we want to grow our businesses and ourselves.
A study published by the American Journal of Small Business set out to find out what small business owners believe are the key factors for business success. The characteristics most valued by these people were oral communication and the ability to listen. The latter, by the way, is an area of communication often ignored and seriously lacking in remote environments dominated by digital technology.
Finally, we cannot ignore our writing ability, because it is also important. An Entrepreneur article cited a study by the National Writing Commission, according to which «American companies spend $3.1 billion a year training their employees to write. At least 80% of finance, insurance, real estate and service companies assess writing skills during their hiring processes. ».
Bob Kerrey, chairman of the commission, said: «Writing is an indicator of high-skilled, high-paying professional work. “People unable to express themselves clearly in writing limit their opportunities for professional and salaried employment.”
Let’s go back to the starting point. Warren Buffet’s lifelong endeavor to invest in himself and this communication skill should be an example to leaders and entrepreneurs around the world. It could be the secret sauce to his success (and yours too).