\"DadA year ago yesterday my Dad passed away from a huge and sudden stroke. It was a shock then and remains a stark and absolute reminder that even the strongest, invincible, seemingly unstoppable comes to an end. This is as true for people as it is for products, services and customers. It has been a challenging year for many reasons and one in which – to quote Jim Rohn “I have gone to work on myself…” As a result I think I have grown and learned some valuable lessons for life, and by definition for business, that I thought it worth sharing.

  1. Plan your life before someone plans it for you – I guess there are two schools of thought, journey versus destination; live life and see where it takes you OR define exactly what you want and go out and get it. The reality is that a truly fulfilling and powerful life falls somewhere between the two. However, the fact that unfortunately the majority of us spend more time planning our trips to Tesco’s (other supermarkets are available) than we do our life is a stark reflection of our busy lives and a shock. Most of our day to day activity is driven by someone else’s agenda – be it responding to email, answering the phone, dealing with customers, clients or our colleagues. If you do not plan your life, you will undoubtedly end up as part of someone else’s plan – and guess what, they will not have your best interests at the heart of that plan. So… take some time to think about what you want to achieve in life, set some life goals, give yourself a purpose to consider that is outside of your daily, weekly or monthly grind. I have created great energy and great progress from clearly defining my Life Goals, creating 3 year goals, yearly goals and priorities that drive me forward.
  2. Focus on the ‘one thing’ – in his excellent book ‘The One Thing’ Gary Keller exhorts that ‘only the ability to \"Onedismiss distractions and concentrate on your ONE Thing stands between you and your goals’. We are bombarded with information and choice which means that focusing on what is important becomes harder and harder. If you are truly clear what your One Thing is each day and you ensure that you deliver it you will make progress. I have a little quote on my pc screen – “until your one thing is done today, everything else is a distraction!” It has helped me focus and writing this blog today is my ‘one thing’ – well at least one of my one things!
  3. Progress not perfection – Dan Sullivan and the Strategic Coach programme use this mantra as a way of helping the entrepreneurs they coach to move forward. How many of us get paralysed by procrastination or poleaxed by the need for perfection? Well I am certainly guilty and I would venture to suggest many of us are. So next time you are facing a new project, habit, difficult team member, client or customer – instead of asking yourself “how can I win, succeed, crack this…..?” Ask yourself “what would it take to feel like I was making progress?” This makes it so much easier to overcome the inertia and get started, and as we all know, once we start the ball rolling……..
  4. Celebrate success and stay grateful – to be successful needs energy and unfortunately there are more things in life that zap our energy than there are that recharge it. Think of the ease by which you can list all of the issues, worries, challenges or concerns you face right now, human nature seems to engender most of us with a natural propensity to focus on the negatives. If you can celebrate any win, any success, no matter how small, you will create positive energy and as Newton’s 3rd Law defined “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, energy IN pushes you forward!!! As a Physics teacher Dad would be very proud of me quoting Physics (however erroneously) in a blog! 🙂   Focus on what you have achieved rather than what you haven’t, be deliberately grateful of people, things and circumstances and you will find that you create positive energy that will lift you forward.
  5. Focus on what you are really good at – we may not all be able to be professional footballers or cricketers or golfers – being paid to do what we are passionate about and brilliant at. However, we all have things that we are really good at, things that we do better than most, which give us huge energy and a sense of achievement. If you are not sure what yours is – start thinking about it, because the closer you can align the work you do with what you are passionately ‘ace’ at, the more productive, impactful and successful you can be. I am getting closer to defining mine – I am passionate about motivating and inspiring people to build a brighter future and that is what I am focussing on!

I would love to have had this conversation with Dad but I am grateful to be able to share it with you and I hope that some of it resonates, you pass it on and that you build a brighter future for you or someone else as a result. Remember life is too short not to be the best that you want to be #btbtywtb.


3 responses to “5 Lessons for Life and Business”

  1. Michele avatar

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Richard. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your father, but how wonderful that you can build on this experience to make your future more meaningful. Some powerful learning lessons here, that apply equally to our personal and professional lives.

    1. Richard avatar

      Thanks Michele – onwards and forever upwards!! 🙂

  2. Sharon Stevens avatar
    Sharon Stevens

    Hear Hear!

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