Can Empathy Make You A More Confident, Successful Entrepreneur?
Yes, especially if you focus on these four things
Some folks believe that being empathic is a weakness for an entrepreneur.
That an empath feels things differently, and for that reason may not make the "tough" choices required in business.
Look, empathy is one of the most undervalued and misunderstood traits of humans and entrepreneurs. It's so easy to get caught up in your own thoughts and feelings that you forget the world outside of yourself.
So before you continue, ask yourself this question.
Is empathy an asset or a liability for entrepreneurs?
In today's world of entrepreneurship, it is more important than ever to be an empathetic person and leader.
Here are four areas where empathy can help you be more impactful, and dare I say, more successful as an entrepreneur.
"You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them." - Pam Moore
Empathy can help you understand how people think, feel, and react in different situations and is a powerful tool for understanding your clients and prospects.
The most successful people at marketing their products, services, or themselves as entrepreneurs understand how to create content that resonates with an audience by understanding what is important to them. They know that in order to be persuasive, they have to empathize with the person on the other side of a sales pitch or over a Zoom call. This could not only help you sell your goods but also develop deeper relationships in the process.
Harnessing your inner empath will allow you to better message your business because of the depth of understanding.
"You can't solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level." –Albert Einstein
Innovation goes hand in hand with marketing in a way.
You see, once you've figuratively (or literally) walked in your prospect's shoes, it's then easier to predict and create what they'll want and need next. Empathy can lead you down paths you might otherwise never consider because of its ability to uncover new opportunities and connect seemingly unrelated dots together.
The key to innovation is to be able to imagine the future and what your customer could need.
Innovation can take many forms, such as creative thinking, new business models, developing products faster than competitors can copy them—or even reframing an existing problem, so it appears differently in order to solve it better.
"Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care." – Theodore Roosevelt
Sales and empathy almost sounds like oil and water.
Empathy is like the leader who doesn't just tell you where to put those rocks but actually laces up her boots, picks up a rock herself, and leads the way forward. This, in turn, is one of the most potent sales tools around, and it's all founded in empathy.
Imagine a product or service that sells itself. Impossible?
Not so unrealistic, especially if you can almost literally understand the "shoes" that your prospect walks in. It's important to know what your customer needs and wants to provide them with the best possible experience and outcome.
Empathy helps with that, and it is integral for success in a wide range of skills, especially sales.
"Detachment doesn't mean I'm trying less hard. It just means that fears and emotions that used to torment and paralyze me longer have the same power over me." - Kelly Cultrone
You can empathize without being emotionally invested in a situation or person's outcome.
It's ok to "feel" them, and yet the entrepreneurial side will allow you to make the tough choice, and more so, understand what the prospect is going through. Being an entrepreneurial empath and a no-nonsense creator is just the right balance one needs to make the tough decisions for the betterment of all parties involved.
Understanding this subtle nuance is often the difference between success and failure.
The Final Word
Empathy can be the foundation for all of your other abilities as an entrepreneur. It will help you grow into a better leader, salesperson, or marketer.
About the author
Trauma nurse turned freelance writer and startup entrepreneur.
I write about healthcare, entrepreneurship, personal development, and life lessons through the eyes of a recovering trauma nurse.
California born, Texas raised.