Ask A Coach: How Can I Be More Business Savvy? Part 1

This is something I’ve been hearing a lot lately. For people who’ve found themselves working in a highly commercial, entrepreneurial environment, yet whose further education was anything but commercial, this can be a tough one. Watching reality TV shows featuring people in suits might be entertaining, but it won’t really fill the gaps.

(It’s also why my friend Andie reckons everyone should work in a retail outlet before they embark on their career. She’s got a point: a lot of what I learned doing a Saturday job in a shop proved really useful later on. How to deal with the public, tricky customers, finding out what triggers people to buy or walk away, dealing with money, to name just a few.)

There are heaps of resources; so many it can all be a bit overwhelming. A great deal of what’s out there seems to build the personality cult of business leaders (or have an agenda to bring them down). Fine if you want to ease into books about business; less so if you need the nitty gritty. So to make a start, have a wander round the web and find a format that works for you. Here are a few starters:

The Financial Times because as their ad campaign says, “We live in Financial Times”.

Harvard Business Review; take your pick from the magazine, blog, audio and video. Play with different formats and find the ones that speak to you best, enabling you to make sense of strategy or statistics, for example.

The Bottom Line for a UK slant on what’s going on in the world of business.

Fast Company focuses in innovation in technology and what they call ‘ethonomics’ (ethical economics).

Businessballs; a terrific resource with templates, frameworks and models galore. So next time someone asks you to do a PEST analysis you’ll know where to look.

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