There was a cat and a mouse in a house. The cat was chasing the mouse all over the place. Finally, the mouse found somewhere to hide.
For several days the mouse stayed hidden. Then, he heard a loud dog barking for two days after that. Figuring the dog must have scared the cat away, the mouse came out of hiding.
Who was waiting for him? The cat!
The cat quickly scooped up the mouse and started carrying him away to prepare for a feast. Dumbfounded, the mouse asked the cat, “How did you get away from the dog?”
The cat replied, “These days, a cat like me has to know two languages to survive!”
So, what’s so important about this cat? Communication. Success in business is driven by your ability to communicate. As the world is constantly changing and new technologies bring people together, you simply have to be able to relate to and understand the people you work with. If the cat couldn’t speak to the dog, he would not have had the chance to catch the mouse.
If you run a business and you have a supplier in China, you may be able to more effectively communicate by learning Mandarin.
Or, maybe your first job is at a tech company with offices based in Brazil. Odds are that knowing Portuguese, even on a basic level, will help you.
These are just two examples, but with the world we live in it is clear that having enough knowledge to speak to a diverse group of people will help you succeed. Even just within the United States, Spanish is a language that has become more prevalent.
About 20% of Americans above the age of five speak a second language. Approximately 57 million people around the world (8-9%) speak multiple languages. They have a leg-up.
Are you pushing your kids to learn a second language? Or, are you looking to expand your ability to communicate with colleagues? If you’re in school, are you learning a second language and taking it seriously?
Learn a second language and it will spell success.