Monday, April 23, 2012

20 Years of Life Lessons in Business

One night while considering working with someone very young, I had a brainstorm about how life has taught me so many lessons relating to business and how to be effective. Although I'm not in the corporate world now - I work for a ministry - those years I spent in the rigidity of a corporate vision helped me understand what is necessary to succeed in any type of business.

I started writing a long list of thoughts and realized I have ten basic instructions I would love to share with young people or really anyone who wants to become more business minded and be more successful in life.

1) Put the good of the company first.
  • See the big picture - it's not just about what you're working on today - it's about the company succeeding in every way and you either contribute or detract from that success by the choices you make today.
  • Make the company a success and in turn, YOU will be successful.
  • While you're at work - put your personal life aside. It's not all about you when you're at work.
  • Hold yourself to a high standard of integrity - that means do what is right, even when no one is watching.

2) Pursue excellence.
  • If you work in an office, be the best office worker you can be. Seek to impress your superiors. Do things right. Speak correctly. Type letters correctly. Be professional. Give firm hand shakes. Treat your superiors with respect.
  • If you clean toilets for a living - let your toilets be the cleanest in town. I'm serious!
  • If you scoop ice cream, make those ice cream scoops the most perfectly rounded scoops in IceCream Land.
  • If you're a cashier at Walmart - smile, be friendly. Be excellent!

3) Always keep learning.
  • You will never know everything but you can continually learn by seeking out training in the form of tutorials online, taking classes.
  • Read books. Train yourself - don't wait for someone else to teach you.
  • You can learn all you need to know by being inquisitive.

4) Don't be idle.
  • Be productive. Don't procrastinate. Be organized. Make lists. Prioritize.
  • Just do something! If you're being paid - find something to get paid for.

5) Stay on an even keel.
  • Whatever happens - don't take it personally. It's business.
  • Don't give yourself permission to be grumpy or emotional. (This is the hardest for all of us, especially women, myself included, BUT, the worst type of person to be is someone who is unpredictable in mood on a daily basis. If people don't know what they're going to get when they see you - they will avoid you and you will go nowhere in life.)

6) Be ambitious!
  • Be so good at your job that your boss admires and respects you.
  • Ask for a promotion.
  • Earn respect through hard work and good attitude.
  • Be fiercely loyal to the company. If it's not what you want it to be - work towards making it better! Don't find fault - find solutions.

  • This is the hardest one for many people. Some people are not really listening - they're just waiting for you to finish talking so they can say something. Do not be that person!
  • Truly listen!
  • When your boss asks for something - write it down and ask specific questions to make sure you get it right! If you get it wrong - you weren't listening.
  • Don't interrupt.

8) Be in touch with your industry.
  • Whatever your field, pay attention to others who excel in that field. Learn from their successes and failures.

9) Ascertain when it's time to stay or go.
  • Be open to new adventures and positions but don't spend your life wanting to be elsewhere.
  • Live in the moment - bloom where you are planted.
  • Recognize the seasons in your life. Things will change but try to make the best of every situation you are in.

10) Perspective is everything.
  • You will look back at where you are now with a different perspective one day.
  • Realize that you can learn from the people you come in contact with.
  • Everything that happens in life can be a learning experience - good and bad. Find the lesson in everything. Everything.

These lessons apply to corporate business or running your own business. Be the best YOU, you can be!

When you look back in 20 years, you can be proud of how hard you worked and realize how much you have learned.


Madeline said...

Lots to agree with. Great list!

Pamela said...

Great advice!! :)

Unknown said...

thanks for sharing!