Success: We have all heard this word from our earliest days as children; the drumbeat of how often it has arisen in conversation, in the written word, and even as a presumption, likely increased over time as we grew into adulthood.

Yet, have you ever defined success as a skill? What about as a soft skill?

Since education can be rightfully defined as the learning of information, paid forward to others, thereby having been re-learned along the way, we have now fused together what appears to be multiple different perspectives: Success, skill, education, and, lastly, how it affects you.

For a preview of this topic, please revisit an earlier blog post about soft skills development for entrepreneurs.

If you were to create a survey, or answer the questions on an existing one, how would you frame the questions below or provide an answers?

Is success…

… Only financial / material in nature?

… A reflection of the quality of your professional (and personal) relationships?

… Tied to how many credentials you’ve displayed on your wall or resume?

… Shown in how well your business has survived or thrived since it was founded?

… Something else?

Certainly, we won’t be able to unpack the term too deeply in this post, as entire books, webinars, conferences, & curricula have been dedicated to attempting to do the above. Yet, we can & will finish tying success & soft skills together, and show how education is the glue that bonds them both.

Education, from its Latin roots, means ‘to draw out from within’ or to ‘lead forth,’ so to be educated is to bring to the forefront what you already have to offer the world. There is also a clear insinuation to not only share your own gift set & skills, but also to lead others organically: Yes, leadership is for all; all who are truly educated and willing to serve.

Can success be thought of as a gift? A strength? Fueled by undiscovered passion or purpose? All of these?

Remember what a soft skill is? Now, let’s ponder another question: Can they be learned, even if they weren’t ever taught in your schooling years?

The growth mindset (please study Carol Dweck’s work for far more) teaches us that a skill should always be able to be polished, whether it is already a strength, or perhaps an area of improvement that can grow stronger over time.

Can success be learned as you engage in a self-directed education? Sure! Consider those potential definitions once again: Are any, some, or all of them able to be learned?

Passion + unbridled enthusiasm = leads to success!

Is success going to automatically result? Not necessarily, even when we’ve come to the above conclusion.

Certain thought leaders have left as their legacy an equation either exactly like the below, or one that is somewhat similar:

(Hard work x smart work) / an adult time frame = success

Further, when you unravel the various inputs of work & also of time, including the impact of perseverance and patience, we find that both inputs in the equation are ‘soft’ skill driven!

Since we’ve now established that soft skills and success can both be learned, and a mindset is not fixed, we as entrepreneurs, owners, and self-employed professionals should rejoice greatly. This revelation confirms that our abilities to turn an idea, a passion, an experience, or perhaps even a business failure into something far greater than its component ‘parts’ is always a possibility.

This aforementioned possibility hinges on being willing to invest in yourself. Many entrepreneurs learn how to establish their businesses by learning about income statements, positive cash flow, the differences between hiring and outsourcing, etc. However, some don’t continuously feed their minds.

Are you willing to do the above? If you are, you will always have one person cheering you on. Best your way!




This blog originally was posted here: , with much appreciation and thankfulness to the folks at Innovate New Albany.