If I could be granted one quality or skill that could potentially help me succeed in my career, I would wish to develop good business sense.

As a person who has been a follower her whole life, I am valued for my honesty, responsibility, being a great team player and task-fulfiller. However, I lack confidence and am risk averse. Being an entrepreneur has always been a long-held ambition but I am put off by my own skepticism on whether I have what it takes to be one. 

There are many risks involved in starting and maintaining a business, not to mention managing people (clients, staff), acquiring good interpersonal skills and creative thinking for innovative business growth. I long to procure the skills a good business person possesses, like the ability to make good judgements and quick decisions, communicate my ideas to appropriate people and delegate tasks effectively. If I could greatly improve my business sense within a short span of time, I think it would be way easier to take the leap of faith to materialise my dream.

I am only a year into my bachelor’s degree, so there is definitely still time for me to work on important areas before I commence my journey on entrepreneurship. For starters, I think reading up more on the said topics to improve my breadth of knowledge on topics I am passionate about.

This book was highly raved by one of my friends to understand more about the leadership and success stories of a few remarkable people like Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bezos – just to name a few. 

How To Lead by David M. Rubenstein

That said, I appealed to six other friends to share with me their views on the qualities and skills they would like to have:



Credit: VK Inc

“I would like to be adaptable. I am about to commence my studies in Pharmaceutical sciences from poly. In my field of work, we face new challenges constantly which requires us to adapt fast to our environment to be productive.

Through my work experience and internships thus far, I learnt that it is not necessarily the smartest people who get through, but those who are most adaptable to change. I find it a struggle as it is a difficult discipline and a highly competitive industry especially in ever-changing climates.

I wish that I could adapt to changing environments effortlessly, but what I have to do now is to embrace ambiguity and be confident even in uncertain situations.” -RK, 18.




Credit: The Conversation

“I want to be able to multitask. I am especially bad at it as I can only focus on doing one thing at a time and I am unable to shift my focus to different tasks fast. 

Wouldn’t it be great to cut the time taken to finish all my assignments by at least 20%? I feel that I can do many more things if I could ramp up my productivity and possibly learn new things with the extra time I carved out for myself. 

A more realistic goal would be to work smarter and increase productivity by managing my time well. I get lots of inspiration from a UK Youtuber, Ali Abdaal on tips on how to manage my time better, to hopefully bring me step closer to my goals.” – NS, 22.

Business acumen

Business acumen

Credit: Meridith Elliott Powell

“I would like to have a strong business and commercial acumen. I work in finance and restructuring, and I feel like I could benefit greatly if I were well-versed in how different financial markets work and possessed insights of future market performances. This would allow me to make effective commercial judgments and not just look at things in silo. 

If I had this quality, it would allow me to consider the entire business and its impacts before I decide to do business with a client. For example, accepting a deal because I am aware of potential opportunities that may arise because of a certain client’s network, although the current deal might not be profitable at the beginning. I believe business acumen is important for finance professionals in my industry to ensure we ‘survive’.

I feel the only way to possess this quality to be more proactive to learn the ropes, stay updated on current events, and a certain amount of experience with the right mentors.” -MH, 23.


Competitive spirit

Competitive spirit

Credit: writingdilse.com

“I graduated university and have been working for a few years now. I witnessed first-hand on what it is like to be ‘forgotten’ in the corporate society. 

I am seen as a quiet person at work and am usually fairly reserved, although I do my work well and clock higher KPIs* than my colleagues. I had the impression that I would be rewarded for my contributions to the company; unfortunately my colleagues take most of the credit and this is evident in terms of bonuses, salary increments and promotions year after year.

It made me realise that hard work will never be enough if no one sees it; and on top of working harder, I need to work differently to make myself known to my bosses. I wish I was granted a more competitive spirit and more more career-driven, now that I have learnt it the hard way through tough competition with my colleagues.” -CL, 25

*KPI – Key Performance Indicator.


Strong willpower


Credit: Psychology Today

“I would like to be granted stronger willpower and determination. I find that I am lacking in terms of being proactive and keeping abreast with current events, which is actually very important for my work. 

Although it is important for me to be knowledgeable in certain subjects, my lack of determination to improve myself has caused me to lose my competitive advantage over my peers. These are some things which I need to do on a voluntary basis but being in a university and in the midst of brutal competition between my peers has wiped out all my determination to aim higher and do better, because it is just so tiring.” -JO, 24




Credit: greatschools.org

“I want to be granted high intelligence. I have never been a great student therefore my grades at school have always been subpar. This has greatly limited my choices in tertiary studies and ultimately, job opportunities. If I were highly intelligent and scored better grades, I would be given the freedom to pursue my passions as a wildlife biologist and I will never have to ‘work’ another day in my life! Beyond that, I can use my knowledge to raise awareness and contribute more to society and mother nature.

One of my idols include Marine biologist, conservationist and photographer Cristina Mittermeier, who is the founder of International League of Conservation Photographers. I love her work and her passion for the ocean and marine life. It is impossible for me to switch careers at this point of my life, but I will start off small and make good use of my diving license by going on volunteer trips to remove trash and clean up the ocean.” -AS, 22.


Regardless of your goals, a crucial part involves dedicating time everyday to focus on what you want to achieve and take baby steps towards it. They might seem insignificant but if you add them up, they become a giant step that will get you closer to your target.

For budding entrepreneurs, one way you can materialise your ambition is to consider forming a co-op! Click HERE to understand more.

If you could be granted one quality, what would it be? What will you do today to bring yourself closer to your dreams?

This article is brought to you by Hazel, an undergraduate from University of Newcastle Australia who is currently interning at SNCF (August to November 2020). She is an earl grey enthusiast, caffeine addict, avid reader and passionate about all things health and lifestyle related.