Would you like to learn how to be street smart? A lot of people today might consider themselves street smart, but evidence shows they are not. Also, it is easier to be book smart, which is achievable by being learned and intellectual, but not so with being street smart. This is because being street smart is not something you learn in school.
When you are street smart, it means you are consciously aware of your surroundings and situations around you.
You have a very good knowledge of things happening within your environment and it guides your intuition.
Someone who is street smart might not necessarily be the most intelligent person around book-wise.
However, when it comes to understanding people, situations, and happenings and using them to make an informed decision, they are the best.
Being street smart does help in many ways, such as keeping one safe from dangers, as you stay aware of your surroundings.
It also brings out the entrepreneurial skill in you, as you can quickly decipher opportunities around you and take them.
In all, many people actually give priority to improving their street smartness than they do book smartness.
And that is all thanks to the many benefits that come with that, as we would soon see.
In this article, you would learn what street smartness is all about, and why it is very important.
Also, if you are not really there yet, you will see what steps you can take to become street smart.
What Does it Mean to be Street Smart?
Being street smart or streetwise generally refers to having the knowledge and experience of dealing with environmental and situational issues.
It means that you are well aware of your surroundings, understand the people and things around you, and use that to make informed choices.
If you are street smart, you can make good judgments of people and situations based on your intuition.
Also, contrary to how someone who is book smart would focus excessively on theories, your solutions to problems are more practical.
Usually, being street smart is not a skill you go to school to learn.
It is generally acquired through living life itself and gathering the experience from real-life situations.
However, there are certain things you would need to pay attention to daily if you are to grow that intuition and experience.
Why Being Street Smart is More Important than Book Smart for an Entrepreneur
Well, a lot of people attach so much importance to being book smart, and for clear reasons.
Someone who is book smart has very good knowledge, an intelligent brain, and is academically smart.
Perhaps you know some of these back then in your days at school.
They are usually intelligent, know their courses well, and are always ready to answer questions once they come up.
However, one of the problems with being book smart and not street smart is that knowledge alone doesn’t cut it in the real-life.
They can be likened to a farmer who has the right tools to farm but somehow does not know how to use them.
In other words, they have the head knowledge, the problem, the reason for the problem, but lack the practical solution.
As an entrepreneur, either a present one or an aspiring one, you need to be street smart.
While head knowledge is important, you need to understand how to apply that knowledge in real-life situations.
You can read all the books on entrepreneurship, take all the courses and training, but without understanding the application of what you learn, you can’t go far as an entrepreneur.
Hence, you need to focus more on improving your street smartness over book smartness to achieve your set objectives and goals.
Benefits/Advantages of Being Street Smart
Whether in your personal life or your entrepreneurial journey, you definitely need to be street smart.
As noted earlier, a lot of people have come to agree that in many life situations, this is even more important than being book smart.
When you are street smart, there are lots of dangers you can avoid, and a whole lot more you can achieve.
Here are some of the benefits that come with being street smart:
It Makes Problem Solving Easier
One of the advantages of being street smart is that it increases your problem resolution skills.
While a person who is only book smart might spend a long time trying to figure a way out of problems and challenges, one who is street smart gets it done faster.
Having the experience of how things are will make you creative and more innovative in problem resolution.
As an entrepreneur, one way in which being street smart can help you is in handling customers’ problems and complaints.
With that skill, you do not need to overthink such issues, but rather you have practical measures on hand to adequately solve them.
It Equips You with Survival Skills
In your journey as an entrepreneur, you would certainly be faced with a lot of hurdles, obstacles, and difficulties on the way.
There is just an extent to which being book smart or knowledgeable can help you.
Many of the decisions you would take to survive the challenges that come your way would be from being street smart.
When you are street smart, you are more likely to see a way where others see hindrances and make the best use of your opportunities.
It Helps You Become a Better Risk Taker
It has often been said that no worthwhile endeavor in life can be undertaken without taking risks.
As an entrepreneur, you should be alert to calculated risks that are worth taking in your line of business.
That means you cannot always be relaxed and stay in your comfort zone, especially if you want to be innovative and creative.
When you are street smart, you are more likely to take on more risks, increasing your chances of success.
However, that does not in any way mean you take risks blindly, but on the contrary, you do that wisely.
You are Less Likely to Fall for Fraudsters/Scammers
In your line of business, you would meet with different kinds of people, with different motives and personalities.
Some of these you might encounter are scammers or fraudsters, whose sole objective is to deceive you and rip you off.
If care is not taken, you can end up losing a whole lot of money to these, as some have experienced sadly.
However, when you are street smart, it is easier to tell when people are dishonest or their ideas are shady.
This would in turn help you to avoid falling victim to such ones, while you protect yourself and your business.
That is one other advantage that comes with being street smart.
It Helps you in Networking and Making Friends
Very likely, you already know by now that networking is a very important thing for you as a business owner.
It helps to liaise with people within and outside your industry, sharing opinions, and learning from others.
This would do your business a whole lot of good.
Well, when you are street smart, it can go a long way in helping you learn the basics of forming bonds and interacting with others.
Street smartness helps you to fully understand the dos and don’ts when it comes to networking.
You can use the right approach that will ensure you get more yeses than nos in your bid to form relationships with others.
Unfortunately, no school can teach you the practicality of this.
You Are More Attentive to Opportunities
Some people say that the word ‘poor’ can be used as an acronym to mean ‘passing over opportunities repeatedly.’
Well, we cannot overestimate the importance of taking opportunities, especially for a business owner.
As an entrepreneur, you need to train your power of intuition to recognize opportunities when they come your way and take them.
If you are found wanting in this, it can affect your success in your business endeavors.
This is one other thing that being street smart helps you to do.
While those who do not possess this skill would have their sight dull to opportunities in front of them, you see it more clearly.
You can see great opportunities in even seemingly irrelevant details, that others might pass up.
This is another reason why being street smart is very important and beneficial.
How to Be Street Smart – Practical Measures to Take
At this point, you are most likely wondering what you have to do to be street smart.
To be honest, who wouldn’t want to be, given the many benefits and advantages it comes with?
Well, being street smart might not come magically or happen overnight, but it is surely something you can achieve.
Here are some practical steps you can take to be street smart:
Be Conscious of your Surrounding
One way you can build your street smartness is by being attentive and conscious of your environment and surroundings at all times.
That means when you are out, you need to pay close attention to what’s happing around you.
This would include avoiding distractions like using an earphone, which will take you out of your surroundings and leave you vulnerable.
Additionally, you can be conscious of your surroundings when you limit your use of your mobile phone while around others or in public.
Not only does it allow you to see opportunities clearly, but it also helps you to be more conscious of risks.
This would in turn help you to avoid situations where you get in trouble or get scammed by people because you are undiscerning.
Invest Time in Learning About Other People
Being street smart as you already know isn’t just about what you do but also how best you relate with people.
For you to be able to understand others better and relate with them accordingly, you need to know them well.
That is why you need to learn about people’s personalities, values, and interests.
When you know how they think and feel, it can help you develop your street smartness in how to best deal with them.
Therefore, for you to learn street smartness, you need to spend more quality time interacting with others.
You cannot live in isolation and expect to learn all the needed qualities that will make you street smart.
You can be sure that whatever time you invest in this would be time well spent.
Pay Attention to the Experiences of Others; Good and Bad
To be street smart isn’t something you do in theory, but using the knowledge you have to make smart choices and decisions.
That is why as important as learning from books is, you also need to be attentive to the experiences of others.
As a business owner, you should be keen to know what decisions those in your industry make and how it affects them.
You should pay attention to their bad experiences as well as the good ones.
This is because every experience matters and there is always a lesson to pick from them.
When you do this, you learn from what doesn’t work, and rather focus on what does.
And this will train your guts and intuition into becoming street smart.
Embrace Difficult and Challenging Situations
When we are faced with challenging situations, the first inclination is to back out and run away.
Well, that is normal, given we are humans.
However, if you want to learn to be street smart, you should be embracing these kinds of situations and circumstances.
When the going gets tough, you need to get the tough going.
These situations are actually what you need as an entrepreneur to grow and be the best version of yourself.
As you face them, you get to learn survival skills, become street smart and know what works and what doesn’t.
And this can only be of immense benefit to you.
Avoid Unnecessary Confrontations
Being street smart doesn’t mean putting on an air of arrogance that is disrespectful and shows a flagrant lack of regard.
On the contrary, you show you are street smart when you are cautious about confrontations with people.
This is especially the case when you are dealing with strangers.
To be street smart, you need to know that not everything warrants your attention or reaction.
You show you are street smart when you can properly analyze situations and know when to walk away.
Don’t Share Every Detail About your Personal Life in Public
How many times do we see this happening, whereby people share all their personal details online.
Every day, you see a lot of posts especially on social media platforms on people’s personal life and events.
Well, while this is good when done in moderation, making it a habit isn’t being street smart.
One way you show you are being street smart is by knowing what to share and what to keep to yourself.
It is not every detail about your personal life and even your business activities that should go online to the public domain.
There is a lot of power in secrecy, and it can help to protect you from harm and risks that you might not even be aware of.
Doing that would also be street smartness on your part.
Don’t Make Decisions Based Purely on Emotions
A lot of problems have resulted from making drastic decisions based purely on emotions.
When you are emotional, it is hard to make wise decisions, as you might rush into making such decisions.
Therefore, to develop street smartness, it is best to calm yourself and take your time when you are emotional.
Instead of immediately springing into action and making decisions that you might later regret, it is best to take your time.
When you make decisions based on more solid reasoning than emotions, it makes you street smart, and you make the best choices.
Ask for Help
Well, being street smart doesn’t mean you always know it all.
As a matter of fact, it is smart on your part to recognize your limitations.
Hence, sometimes when you have to make decisions or choices that are uncertain or unclear, consult with others.
You can seek the opinions of those who have been in the same or similar situations and ask for their help.
Being street smart might also mean that you accept that you do not have the answers sometimes, and rather bank on the expertise of others.
Conclusion – How to be Street Smart
Do you find that you currently have some of the skills and qualities that come with being street smart?
If yes, then you are on a very good track.
However, if you feel this is something you need to develop, it is not too late.
Generally, being street smart is not the same as being book smart, and the majority of what you learn would be from experience.
Also, you would need to trust your guts more and be aware of people and your surroundings.
Start with these few little steps and you would be on your way towards street smartness already.