When I think about how I recently won the fight for finding work I love, I cannot identify one moment in particular. However, I can pinpoint key moments, when someone who cared about me, said something that either helped me to continue on the right path, or helped me to get back on it.
Below are those 8 pieces of advice.
1. “The only characteristic that runs consistent in our top performers is that they have a coach.” — First boss
When I first started out in my sales career I sought out mentors and surrounded myself with people I could learn from. However, as soon as I reached the level of success I was after, I took my foot off the gas from surrounding myself with people who held me to a high standard. I thought that I was good enough to do it on my own, and this was a mistake that I paid dearly for.
When we think of coaches, we think about someone who is going to help us get to the top. However, my first boss taught me that achieving success is the easy part, sustaining it is a whole other ball game, and that it absolutely cannot be done alone.
“A good coach improves your game. A great coach improves your life.” — Michael Josephson
2. Each year you work represents just 2% of your career, so slow down and think.” — My dad
The fastest way to reach the top is not always a straight line. There will be times when you have to move laterally, or even backwards, in order to get ahead.
Take your time and identify what you really want to do, and be brutally honest in regards to the unsexy steps you are going to have to take to get you there.
Take your time and identify which skills are missing or which weaknesses are holding you back from maximizing your strengths.
Take your time and be like Warren Buffett and insist that everyday you, “Sit and think.”
“S.T.O.P. = Start To Open Possibilities” ― Richie Norton
3. “The people who are happy at work simply focus more on the positive aspects of their job more than the negatives.” — Director of HR at my first company (took me a long time to learn this one)
Not one job is perfect. Not one job comes without doing a few things each day that you do not enjoy doing. More times than not, getting to the good means pushing through the bad, and the people that do this with a smile on their face will eventually win.
Think about the positive aspects of your job today. Write out a list of 15 reasons why you like it (the smaller the better, they add up). And tomorrow morning, before going into work, read off that list, but instead of saying, “I like my job because…………”, say, “I love my job because………..” and see how your day progresses.
“We can either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” — George Mumford
4. “It will take you 7 jobs before you find the work you love.” — My dad
With every opportunity you will add skills, experiences, knowledge, and contacts — and your job is to be like Bruce Lee and “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own,” until your career is created.
This will take time, and this will not be easy, but like my mom says, “Finding a career you love is a privilege, not a right,” so treat it as such.
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait — it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” — Joyce Meyer
5. “If you make your calls, the rest takes care of itself.” — Conor Neill
The internet is filled with advice like, “Achieve success by doing the opposite of most people.” However, what most people do not realise, is that showing up everyday and doing your work, is the opposite of most people.
Most success stories are boring. Most success stories are not complicated. Most success stories demanded showing up everyday at work to work.
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” ― Tony Robbins
6. “Your job is to meet as many people as you can.” — First Mentor
The words, “Your network is your net worth,” is slowly turning into a cliché, and for good reason, it is dead on. The best problem solver is a large network.
Having diverse groups of friends, not only adds meaning and enjoyment to your life, it also creates opportunities. You never know where someone today, will be tomorrow, so acknowledge absolutely everyone and treat them all with respect.
“If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” — Chinese Proverb
7. “Forgive people. Your life will be better for it.” — My wife
What I did to put food on my families table today came from someone who had done me wrong in the past, but for one of the few times in my life, I accepted their apology and we moved on together and we are both better because of it.
Most people do not set out to ruin your day, shit happens. And not all, but some, will work really hard to make it right. However, you will never know who these people are if you do not give people another chance.
Saying, “I forgive you is hard,” but so is saying, “I am sorry.”
8. “Nothing compounds faster than kindness.” — My mom
Most people have their head buried so deep in the sand looking for ways to be effecient, they fail to see, that helping others to reach their goals, is the fastest way for them to reach theirs.
Be thoughtful and make the new person feel appreciated on their first day of work.
Be patient and sit down and talk with someone who you can tell is having a bad day.
Be kind and tell the people around you they are talented and you sure are glad they are on your side.
Our lives are measured by how many people we help — So keep your head up, and whenever you have the chance to create a special moment for someone, do not hesitate.
And there you have it — the 8 pieces of advice that helped me to piece together a career I am now fortunate enough to love. I would love to hear about the words that have helped you to shape yours.