It has often been said by anthropologists that language carries culture within it. To understand someone’s culture, the first entry is through their language. Language is not just the words, but the nuances, body language, and a myriad of other cultural issues. As those who speak more than one language know, there are certain things that don’t translate well between languages. Only the natives of the language will remain with the true original meaning, while outsiders will get the watered down translation.
The world of business is made up of people who speak many different languages across business needs. Accountants speak their own language, lawyers speak their own language, engineers speak their own language, doctors speak their own language, investors speak their own language, and so on and so forth.
An entrepreneur is like the conductor of an orchestra, who needs to get a beautiful harmony out of all the players on the stage. Just about every profession converges under the roof of a skilled entrepreneur. A skilled entrepreneur is one who is able to let each skilled professional in the orchestra to play their own instrument beautifully, and still stay in tune with the rest of the team. An unskilled entrepreneur can at best produce lots of noise and confusion from his or her team.
Each musician in an orchestra is chosen because they are the best players of their particular instrument. The conductor’s job does not require the ability to play every instrument in the ensemble, but it does require familiarity with all of them. In the same way, an entrepreneur does not have to be all the professions required to run his or her business, but they need to be familiar with all the professions.
When you choose to be a team player, you are choosing first of all to be the best in your own profession. This makes the team leader’s job easier, if they don’t have to come and teach you how to play your own role. Professionalism is the art and science of excelling in your field, and being able to blend well with other professions that will make you sound great.
Everyone who earns a salary would like to invest their money. Many people enter the world of investing without even enough vocabulary to hold a simple conversation. They call liabilities assets and confuse expenses with investments. If you want to become an investor, you must at least be able to hold a conversation in the investing language.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you must at the very least, be able to hold a conversation in one of the languages spoken by members of your team. By being proficient in at least one language, whether it be law, or accounting, or engineering, or medicine, or marketing, it gives you enough perspective to respect other professionals on your team and be able to listen to them and their advice, just as much as you can advice them in your field.
Napoleon Hill wrote in Think and Grow Rich about the art and science of specialisation, as well as the mastermind group. The mastermind group is made up of specialists in their own fields. The entrepreneur comes and is able to conduct that orchestra and produce great profits.