The Donut Shop Online Marketing Podcast, Top Five Life Skills Learned In Entrepreneurship

Written by Dave Shrein

Life Skills for Entrepreneurs

When you’re a kid, you learn all sorts of skills that will help you in life. You know how to clean your room, do laundry, and make your bed. As you grow older, you learn even more skills that will help you in life.

You learn how to cook a meal, drive a car, and balance a checkbook. You know how to negotiate a salary, ask for a raise, and start your own business. The list goes on and on.

You might not think that doing your laundry or taking out the trash has anything to do with being a successful entrepreneur, but you’d be surprised! Life skills like these can be helpful in the business world. Many skills you learn from everyday life can benefit the business world. 

And while all these skills are essential, one skill that’s especially valuable in entrepreneurship: is the ability to fail. Failure is so critical that we’ve dedicated an entire section of The Donut Shop Podcast season one, episode 13, to it.

So if you’re feeling discouraged or not making enough progress, remember that failure is part of the journey. It’s part of learning and growing as an entrepreneur. And with time and practice, you’ll get better and better at it.

Here’s a roundup of life skills we’ve found that we use as entrepreneurs, marketers, and humans selling a product or service online!

Chores Teach Us Responsibility We Can Use in Business

That applies to life skills. The more you do them, the better you get at them. We build this framework as children and start to develop the skills necessary to be functional adult members of society. Entrepreneurship is an arena where life skills come into play, not only in marketing but in building your business.

Think about it – chores teach children how to be responsible. They learn how to follow instructions and complete tasks. They know how to work as part of a team. All of these skills are essential in the business world. Chores also help children develop time-management skills. They learn how to budget their time and how to prioritize tasks. As an entrepreneur, you know that organization, teamwork, prioritization, task completion, and following instructions are essential steps in your work. 

Chores teach children valuable life skills such as responsibility, consequences, and teamwork. They also positively reinforce behavior! From a young age, tasks like chores help us start to believe we’re capable. They teach us problem-solving skills, so by the time adulthood shows up, we’ve got some practice solving problems ourselves. And that’s why it’s essential for business owners to keep learning even after they start their business. There’s always something new to learn, and having more life skills in your arsenal never hurts!

How to Be Organized

As an entrepreneur, you have to juggle many different things at once. You have to be the CEO, salesperson, marketer, and more. Amidst all that, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks – especially if you’re not well-organized.

That’s why being organized is such an essential skill for entrepreneurs. How will you manage a whole team of employees if you can’t keep track of your to-do list? How are you going to juggle multiple projects? When you’re organized, you’re better able to keep track of deadlines, appointments, and meetings. It can help you avoid missing important dates or being late for important events.

How are you going to keep your business running smoothly? Fortunately, there are a few simple things you should do to get yourself more organized. 

  • Invest in a good planner. It will help you keep track of your appointments, deadlines, and to-do lists. 
  • Set up a digital and physical filing system so you can easily find the information you need. 
  • Declutter your workspace so that you can focus on the task at hand.

You can get organized and set yourself up for success with a little effort. So why are you waiting? 

Organizational skills are critical in other aspects of business, like clear communication and sales pitches. How will you stay organized in an angle if you don’t have the skills necessary to keep your desk or office organized? If you have to sell your product or service to someone unfamiliar, you’ll need to collect multiple pieces and share them coherently. 

Being organized can also help you keep track of your finances, inventory, and customers. It can help you save money and time and grow your business.

Likewise, if you aren’t working in a solid marketing system to keep everything together, your content, ads, and more can fall through the cracks. We recommend cyclical marketing as a strategy so that all your pieces work together and help elevate each other and your business. 

Being organized can simply make you feel less stressed and more in control. It can lead to a better quality of life which is a paramount goal for any entrepreneur.

Being organized is one of the most necessary life skills you can learn as an adult. It will help you in your business journey and all aspects of your life.

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

Being an entrepreneur is hard work. There’s no denying that. But one of the keys to success is learning to set goals and achieve them. We comprehend to do chores and pay bills.

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to goal setting is to make sure they are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It ensures that you are always working towards something concrete and that you can track your progress along the way.

  • Specific goals are those that are clearly defined and easy to understand. 
  • Measurable goals are quantifiable so you can track your progress. 
  • Achievable goals are realistic and attainable, given your resources and abilities.
  • Relevant goals are those that align with your business objectives and priorities.
  • Time-bound goals are those that have a specific deadline associated with them.

Sometimes goals also need supportive actions or people to be achieved. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, you might need to get a gym membership or find an accountability partner to help keep you on track.

Or, if your goal is to save money, you might need to create a budget and stick to it. Learning how to do what we say we’re going to do is called accountability, and it is a fundamental ingredient for success. There are also some helpful books and articles on goal setting if you want to learn more. A quick search online will provide you with plenty of resources. The important thing is to get started and keep moving forward.

When you finally meet your goal, celebrate and honor the milestone you achieved! After all, accomplishments should be celebrated!

Many entrepreneurs work on multiple competing goals at once. But if you’re just starting, it’s best to pick one and focus on it. Make sure that each step along the way is deliberate and leads you closer to your ultimate goal.

How to Communicate with Empathy – Even in Conflict

When it comes to business, communication is essential. And being able to communicate effectively—even in conflict—is a valuable skill. So, how can we improve our communication skills?

One important thing to remember is to listen to learn. Instead of formulating a response or your counter-argument as the other person speaks, pay attention to what is meaningful to the other person. It’s called listening to learn. 

Listen to understand what’s important to them, why they are conversing with you, and what is underneath what they’re saying. Every behavior has an underlying feeling, and conversations are no exception. Listening to learn will help you understand their perspective better, and it might even stop the conflict from escalating.

Another important tip is to use “I” statements. It encourages ownership of your feelings, thoughts, and desires instead of projecting them onto the other person. It can also help you build better relationships with your colleagues and supervisors. Saying things like, “I am noticing that the deadline got missed…” can be better received than, “You missed the deadline.” 

If you’re having a difficult conversation, it’s always helpful to have some solution options available. Being a team player means helping yourself get what you need by having options available. It shows that you’re invested in resolving the problem and makes the other person or persons more likely to listen to your suggestions.

Finally, the content tone gets lost in text messages and emails. It’s hard to infer what someone could mean without having a live discussion, including voice and facial expressions. That’s why it’s vital to have conversations in person or on video whenever possible. This way, you can be sure you understand each other correctly and that the tone of the dialogue is appropriate.

How to Deal with Difficult People and Situations

One of the most noteworthy skills you learn as you go through life is dealing with difficult people and situations. No one ever said that life would be easy, and as an entrepreneur, you’re bound to come across your share of challenges.

One of the best ways to deal with difficult people and situations is to remain calm and level-headed. It’s easier said than done, but try to keep your emotions in check, or you only make the situation worse if you allow yourself to get too worked up. Instead, take a deep breath or two or three and try to see things from the other person’s perspective. It is called regulation, which is the ability to calm your nervous system when experiencing distress.

Try to understand the other person’s point of view. Listen actively to what they say to hear if there’s any truth. Once you better understand their perspective, it will be easier to find a solution that works.

If things are getting heated, take a step back and get some perspective from other people about the situation. Often, it’s helpful to get a different viewpoint from someone who isn’t emotionally invested in the circumstances. It helps you see things objectively and find a solution that works best for everyone.

Another helpful tip is to avoid getting into arguments with the other person. If you can have a calm, constructive conversation, that’s great. But if the other person is being unreasonable or combative, it’s usually not worth your time and energy to argue with them. Just walk away and focus on more positive things. You may also be able to bring a support person into the conversation, like a mediator, supervisor, or member of your HR team, if your business has one.

Avoid dismissive labels and try to build a rapport with the person. Get to know them outside work, go to lunch together, and ask them questions about their life and hobbies. By treating them with respect, you’ll earn their respect in return. They might be burned out and need connection before correction – if you’re a supervisor or manager, this is especially important. 

In general, it’s important to remember that you can’t control other people or the situation. The only thing you can control is how you respond to it. So try to stay positive and focus on your goals, and you’ll be able to overcome anything that comes your way.

How to Negotiate

When it comes to negotiating, your life skills can come in handy. After all, many of the same techniques you learned for getting what you want – such as being assertive – can also be applied in a business setting.

First, it’s important to remember that you can use negotiation skills in almost any situation. So if you’re ever feeling frustrated or agitated, your negotiation tactics can help diffuse the situation.

Know what you’re willing to compromise on before entering into a negotiation. It’s also important to be realistic about what you can achieve through negotiation. If you try to negotiate for something that is not achievable, it will only frustrate both parties and damage your relationship. Stay on track and focus on the facts of the negotiation.

Some critical negotiation skills to keep in mind include:

  • Active listening: Hear what the other person is saying and try to understand their perspective. Understanding their perspective will help you find common ground and creative solutions that make everyone happy.
  • Be assertive: Confidently state your case without sounding aggressive. What are your goals and objectives? Have a clear understanding of what you want to help you stay focused and not give in to demands that aren’t in line with your goals.
  • Be patient: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are successful negotiations. Don’t expect to agree immediately – it may take some time (and some back-and-forth) before both parties are satisfied with the outcome.
  • Compromise: There’s a good chance you won’t get everything you want, so be prepared to give and take.
  • Body language helps to understand how the other person is feeling and what they might be thinking.
  • Win-win thinking: See the situation from both sides and find a solution that benefits everyone involved.

Be assertive when bargaining for what you want. However, it’s equally important to be respectful while doing so. After all, entrepreneurship is about being confident, meeting your goals, and changing the world – as long as you do so in a way that is conducive to growth and connection.

If you can master these negotiation skills, you’ll be well on your way to success in your personal and professional life. Remember that negotiation is a process, not a one-time event. Be prepared to compromise and make concessions to reach an acceptable agreement for both parties.

Entrepreneurship Is an Environment for Personal Growth to Flourish

As an entrepreneur, you’re constantly learning and growing. You’re stepping out of your comfort zone, taking risks, and facing your fears. It’s an environment where personal growth can truly flourish.

Being a business owner also forces you to face your fears and learn how to deal with them. It requires creativity and the ability to think outside the box. You’ll develop new skills and ways of thinking that you may never have otherwise discovered.

Resilience is a fundamental part of the entrepreneurial journey. Starting your own business is not easy. There will be challenges and setbacks along the way. It can be tough to deal with, but it can help you to grow as a person. You will learn to be more resilient and bounce back from difficult situations. It is a valuable skill that will help you in all aspects of your life.

Taking risks starts before your first sale – you probably felt like you were taking a risk by starting your business or starting to market online. To be successful in business, you must be willing to take risks. It can be scary, but it is also necessary if you want to achieve your goals. Taking risks helps you grow and gives you the confidence you need to succeed.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to be self-reliant to succeed. It means that you’ll need to be able to rely on yourself for motivation, inspiration, and direction. You won’t be able to rely on others for these things and must learn how to find them within yourself.

Ingenuity is crucial as a business owner. You will learn to think outside the box and develop new ideas. It can be beneficial in your life.

A byproduct of entrepreneurship is becoming more confident. When you’re starting, it’s natural to feel uncertain and even scared sometimes. But as you gain experience and see your business grow, you’ll develop greater confidence in yourself and your abilities. This newfound confidence will help not only in your business ventures but in all areas of your life.

And lastly, entrepreneurship is a great way to meet new people and network. One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is the people you meet. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with other business owners, customers, suppliers, and more. These relationships will be beneficial personally and professionally, so don’t be afraid to network!

Entrepreneurship is an incredible journey that can help you to grow and develop in ways you never thought possible. You’ll face your fears, learn new skills, and become more emotionally whole than you ever thought possible. 

Avoid Burnout and Know When to Rest

Burnout is a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged or chronic stress. It is necessary to be able to recognize the signs of burnout so that you can take steps to prevent it from happening. 

When you’re feeling burned out, it’s tough to continue working at your best capacity. You can’t focus or see the big picture, and you may feel like your skills are slipping. Some additional signs of burnout include feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or irritable. You may have difficulty concentrating and feel like you are not accomplishing anything. 

If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is vital to take a step back and assess your situation.

One of the most common causes is working too much. If you are constantly working without taking any time for yourself, it can lead to burnout. Other causes of burnout include having too much responsibility, being in a high-stress job, or dealing with difficult life circumstances.

There are several things that you can do to prevent burnout from happening in the first place. 

First, take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. It means eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Make time for yourself! Schedule time to relax, read, exercise, or do anything you enjoy.

It is also essential to set boundaries at work and in your personal life so that you are not taking on more than you can handle. Know your limits, and don’t try to do too much. It’s okay to say no to things you don’t have time for or would be too stressful.

It’s important to know when to take a break and recharge. Rest is essential for avoiding burnout, and listening to your body when it’s telling you it needs a break is crucial. In times of stress, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself, but it’s essential for maintaining your productivity and preventing burnout.

If you are struggling with burnout, it may be time to seek help from a professional. A therapist can help you identify the causes of your burnout and develop a plan to address them. If you are struggling with burnout, don’t hesitate to seek help.


The skills you learn from doing chores as a child can help you in business. Many skills needed for success in business, such as time management, discipline, and organization, can be learned by doing household chores. Begin early and practice these skills regularly so you’ll be better prepared to handle the challenges of running your own business.

If you’re an entrepreneur, your life skills matter! In this episode of The Donut Shop podcast, we discuss some life skills you learn as a child that can help you in your business ventures.

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