10 Business Lessons You Can Learn From Sherlock Holmes

by Edward Mullen

1. Master your craft - Sherlock Holmes is a master of deduction. Aside from his natural talents, he constantly develops his skills. Before you start a business, your skills need to be excellent. Whether you are selling a product or service, you should know how it works inside and out.

2. Be obsessed with what you do

One marked characteristic of Sherlock Holmes is that he is absolutely obsessed with puzzles. He loves it so much that the police don't even pay him for his consulting services; the thrill of solving crimes is reward enough. You hear successful business people say this all the time: you must love what you do. Most entrepreneurs would be willing to work for free, money is never the goal, it is the by-product.

3. Keep your mind sharp

Sherlock Holmes thought useless information in his brain was like having boxes of junk in the attic, it only makes the stuff you need harder to find. Cluttering your mind with peripheral distractions can derail your focus.

4. Be observant

What makes Sherlock Holmes so great is that he notices things that others miss. Often times, the solution is right in front of our eyes. Train yourself to pick up on the irregularities, whether it's someone's body language, a hidden agenda or an upcoming trend. Always be ahead of the curve if you want to stay relevant.

5. Have others admire you

Sherlock Holmes does what others cannot, and makes it look easy. Create a product or service that is so superior that others follow you. Be a trendsetter, and don't follow what everyone else is doing.

6. Be in the know

Sherlock Holmes once said, “It is my business to know what other people don't know.” To be valuable in business, you have to know what others don't know.

7. Be secretive

Sherlock Holmes doesn't always disclose his motives and neither should you. Often we can learn a great deal of information when we don't reveal the cards we hold. Even if you don't know something, act like you do, this mystery will attract people toward you.

8. Partner up

Even the great Sherlock Holmes needed his faithful companion, Dr. Watson. If your skills are incredibly specialized in one area, they may be lacking in another. Recognize your deficiencies and partner up with someone whose skills complement your own.

9. Remain objective

Sherlock Holmes is impassive while on a case, he only looks at what the evidence suggests. Whether it's a negotiation or a tough decision, emotions can be your enemy in business. To keep them out of the boardroom, be objective in your dealings and don't let emotions cloud your judgment.

10. Always be imaginative

Sherlock Holmes thinks outside the box, that is how he can piece together seemingly ordinary and unrelated elements of a case into a cohesive story. One of the key elements in business is to constantly innovate and separate your business from the pack. This requires a constant stream of good ideas.

Creativity is a soft skill and although it cannot be taught, it can be developed. Train your mind to think outside the box and be prepared to capture new ideas when moments of genius strike.

Edward Mullen | Elite.