Knowledge of a foreign language opens a whole new world in front of us. Speaking a foreign language not only helps to immerse into an unfamiliar culture and better understand its deep seated traditions, but also communicate with people on a deeper level. As Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”
When talking to people in their language you are able to enjoy conversation in a whole new way and even receive respect from native speakers. Needless to say, it is a huge vantage point when it comes to negotiating deals with foreign business partners or expanding your business globally.
Investing time and efforts in learning a foreign language can be one of the best investments you’ve ever made in your life. What’s more, as I realized in the process of learning foreign languages, to succeed in learning new languages you have to be more like an entrepreneur.
Here are 4 things successful language learners have in common with entrepreneurs
Successful language learners and entrepreneurs are persistent
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Successful entrepreneurs are the ones with “can-do attitude”. They dream big, but start small. When you look at such people, it seems like nothing can stop them. They don’t expect that magical “overnight success” to happen. As a result, they are less likely to quit when they face challenges in the process towards achieving their goals.
The same holds true for successful language learners. They don’t look at quitting as an option and don’t make excuses even when their first attempts fail. In case something doesn’t work out, they start trying new techniques or methods that allow them to learn more effectively and, ultimately, achieve desired results.
Successful language learners and entrepreneurs embrace mistakes
Even successful entrepreneurs make mistakes, but what separates them from the rest is their ability and willingness to learn from their mistakes. In most cases, they recognize making mistakes as another learning opportunity and part of a progress.
Successful language learners express the same attitude – that fact that they make mistakes and fear of making mistakes don’t stop them from speaking a foreign language or embracing opportunities to practice it. Moreover, successful language learners make enough time to analyze each mistake and learn from it.
As I have noticed, if you allow yourself to make mistakes, the process of learning goes much more smoothly – you don’t lose confidence and self-belief which are crucial if you want to make a real progress. And the process of analyzing mistakes makes it much easier to memorize what is actually right and what is wrong.
Successful language learners and entrepreneurs have a bias for action
Successful entrepreneurs are firm believers that actions are a driver of progress. They have a clear vision and do their best to make things happen. They don’t wait for things to happen on their own. As Pablo Picasso said, “Action is the foundational key to all success.”
The same holds true for successful language learners – they are not only focused on enlarging their vocabulary, but also on putting their knowledge into action, i.e. speaking, writing, reading. The more they apply what they learned to practice, the more sustainable and satisfying the outcome will be.
Successful language learners and entrepreneurs start with “Why”
Successful entrepreneurs not only know what they do, but they know why they do it and can clearly communicate it. Moreover, it’s knowing that “why” that pushes them to get out of bed each morning and gives them strength to get through even the toughest times.
The same holds true for successful language learners. Before starting learning a foreign language they figure out why exactly they need to learn it – to travel abroad, read original literature, negotiate deals with business partners, study abroad, etc. Knowing the purpose of learning a foreign language not only helps to stay motivated, but also encourages to set better goals and work smarter towards achieving them.
by Natalie Myhalnytska
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