You may walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Public speaking, pitching, talking, listening. Communication is integral to every aspect of business ownership and is a skill that directly impacts success.

Just like any other skill, being an effective communicator requires practice. And this week’s Xero Gravity guest, Dr. Ebony Utley, associate professor at California State University Long Beach, tells you why.

“Communication requires iteration and reiteration just like every other aspect of your business. How you describe the business today may not be how you describe it this time next year.”

Dr. Utley shares insight around effectively communicating with your audience, peers, co-workers, family, friends and most importantly, yourself.

“As an entrepreneur, it’s really easy to beat up on yourself because things aren’t going according to your timeline. Or maybe there are feelings of inadequacy. Maybe you start to think, ‘I don’t have the skills that I need to be successful.’ Entrepreneurship can be a really lonely road if you’re not nice to yourself.”

“The alternative to effective communication is ineffective communication. If you’re not letting people know what you need, when you need it, what you do, or why you’re doing it, then they’re not going to be able to support you.”

So tune in, because being an effective communicator is as much about your ability to listen as it is to understand how the people in your world want to be communicated to.