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5 ways business owners should be more like a pencil

The list of traits a successful business owner needs never seems to end. From selling skills to time management, it seems we all need help in becoming something we're not. And while some might say this can be a complicated effort, I believe it can be so effortless, a regular pencil can be a source of inspiration.

May 30, 2017  By Marc Gordon

Here are five ways we should all try to be more like the world’s favourite writing instrument.

Be adaptable. A pencil works equally well regardless of who uses it. Those who embrace this concept will build stronger networks, experience greater loyalty, and be viewed as an irreplaceable asset.

Make mistakes. Even a pencil knows mistakes will happen. That’s why there’s an erasure at the end. Mistakes should not be viewed as failures, but rather as guides toward success. However, with such a small erasure, we must remember to never make the same mistake twice.

It’s what’s inside that counts. Regardless of what colour, size or shape a pencil is, it’s all about the lead inside. We sometimes tend to judge others based on superficial stereotypes. If we can look past the differences and start focusing on the similarities, we might all be surprised how many new relationships can enrich our lives.


Stay sharp. For a pencil to work its best, it must always be sharpened. But making sure we are always at our best can sometimes take us out of our comfort zone. Learning new technology, a new corporate culture, or a new industry can be challenging and even frustrating. But the alternative is becoming a dull pencil – which no one ever wants to use.

Leave your mark. A pencil can write on virtually any surface, giving it the ability to leave its mark wherever is goes. Successful people will tell you one of their most important skills is being able to leave their mark on others. This can range from sharing knowledge and offering positive feedback, to just making an effort to remember someone’s name. Which is easy to do if you write it down – with a pencil.

Marc Gordon is a recognized marketing expert. He regularly appears on TV and radio. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit or his online show at for more business tips.

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