The more languages you speak, the richer you are, or so the saying goes. And while being able to converse with the locals while on holiday certainly makes traveling a much more enjoyable experience, speaking more than one language can also help you grow your business. Read on to learn how it will help you level up your company in previously unimaginable ways.
The most obvious reason for learning a new language from a business standpoint is the ability to work with an entirely new market. You can:
- take your product or service to a new country
- employ people from around the world
- partner up with businesses that may currently be off-limits to you
Even if all of the people you would be working with and selling to speak English, the ability to also converse in their own language will be a huge bonus. Of course, you could always consider taking a TEFL course and teaching English as a foreign language. Take a look at this TEFL Certification1 if that’s something of interest
Spanish is a great language to learn if you are looking at the matter from a business growth aspect, as it is spoken in 21 countries. It will allow you to tap into a gigantic pool of talent as well as potential business partners.
While English certainly remains our lingua franca, there are plenty of journals, news outlets, and blogs that are published in other languages. And sure, the most notable pieces of information from any industry will likely be translated. However, being able to read the original will definitely give you an edge.
You will now be able to access a much vaster knowledge base, allowing you to rethink your ideas and implement findings that your competition is not yet privy to. Plus, you can simply get inspired by what someone just like you is doing in a different country. You’ll gain insight into how they’re appealing to a different but similar audience.
A study has shown that being bilingual helps maintain cognitive abilities, and it can even delay aging. When you speak more than one language, your mind literally starts doing completely new things. The neural pathways you create will help you remain sharper and younger for longer.
You will also be able to multitask more efficiently because your mind will learn to compartmentalize better. Plus, you may also experience a sharper focus and an increase in productivity.
All of these benefits are naturally also great for business, as you will be able to get more done in less time. While learning a new language will sometimes be very difficult, and you may even feel like your brain is hurting, that’s just your brain forging ahead, ensuring you retain all of that new knowledge. Stick with it—it does get easier.
Speaking a new language also literally changes the way your mind works. Bilingual individuals have been known to change their personalities (not drastically, mind you) when speaking their different languages.
When learning a language, you learn much more than just words. You adopt an entire cultural mindset and framework, and you learn a new set of worldviews. In the world of business, this can help you better understand your audience, clients, and employees. Moreover, it can help you come up with brand new ideas.
You will also find yourself becoming more empathetic and more tolerant, ready to compromise. The more culturally aware you become, the easier it will be to work with others. You will no longer view your predefined set of values and mindsets as the only way to go.
Learning any new skill will naturally provide a confidence boost. The process of combating obstacles, retaining information, and being able to use your new skills in different scenarios is a great way to feel better about yourself. It’s not just about achieving a goal, but perhaps more importantly, proving to yourself that you are able to do something new.
This added confidence will translate, too. You will feel more confident in your ideas and your everyday business decisions. With that in mind, you will be able to make much better choices in every aspect of your life. And since everything that happens in our life affects everything else we do, a positive outcome in one area will help you succeed in another.
Learning a new language is a great way to take your business to a new market, as well as give yourself a confidence boost and expand your mind.
Choose the language you want to learn based on your business aspirations or your personal preference. While some languages are considered more valuable, learning any language will carry all of the benefits we have outlined.
How many languages do you speak? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.