Today, I want to share some life lessons that helped me in the business world.
When I look back on childhood, I probably did not consider that someday I would be in business for myself.
But then again…
I was somewhat of an oddball kid.
I didn’t dream of being a firefighter or policeman; I often watched Perry Mason and dreamed of being an attorney.
But I still played in the mud and with frogs and salamanders.
I never went to law school, but I did learn from watching Perry.
I also had a bit of business sense in that I took on several money making missions:
A newspaper route.
I set up a weekly bike race for the neighborhood kids. Everyone put in 25 cents and we split the pot for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, but the administration (me) kept 10%.
I offered lawn mowing services.
I offered snow shoveling services in the winter.
And I made a lot of money trapping raccoons, muskrats, beaver and mink during season.
So I always had a penchant for making money, and I probably did not realize it at the time, but there were many lessons I learned that have helped me in these years of being in business for myself.
So what lessons did I learn?
Many, but there are some who have stuck with me more than others.
Here are 19 lessons that have helped me in business, and I believe they may help you too.
1: Do Something
We just need to get out and do something.
Many people go through a process of studying, researching and never doing because they are so set on having the “perfect” business structure.
It will never be perfect!
Just do it as they say at Nike.
You will make mistakes, but you will learn from those mistakes, but I guarantee that you will never succeed if you don’t do something.
2: Embrace Failure
Failures are not fun, but they are inevitable.
By embracing failure and realizing it is a part of the process, we will not fall into deep depression, but we will embrace that failure and use it to change and move forward.
We don’t have to enjoy failure, but consider failure as your teacher.
3: Ask Questions
I discovered early on that the best way to really learn is to ask questions.
A large part of my family are farmers.
To really succeed in farming, you cannot always pay others to do work you can do yourself.
By asking questions, I learned many things.
I remember when I went to welding school, a student asked the teacher if it was true that a person could use a coat hanger to weld an emergency weld.
As I had asked a similar question when I was approximately 11 years old, I was given the answer.
The teacher told the student that was a myth.
Without trying to embarrass the teacher, I asked if I could demonstrate something I learned years earlier.
He reluctantly agreed and I grabbed a coat hanger from the rack and the old Lincoln stick welder along with 2 pieces of scrap metal.
Turning the welder to the highest amps, I proceeded to make the ugliest weld ever seen with a coat hanger.
The class was laughing until grabbing the welded pieces, I threw them very hard on the concrete floor.
The weld held and didn’t even crack.
I was on the floor welding irrigation pipe the next night with my certification 3 weeks before the rest of the class.
All because I asked a question.
4: I Can Only Change Myself
When I realized that I have no way of changing other people and can only change myself, the world around me changed.
It was amazing!
5: It is Okay to Ask for Help
Sometimes it is easy to think we should not ask for help; after all, we should be able to do the task at hand.
When I learned that it is okay to ask for help, I found that most people are happy to help and it makes tasks less stressful.
6: Only Chase What I Love
It took me a while, but I learned to only go after what I love.
Why go through life doing things we dislike or even hate?
I chased what I truly wanted to do and have.
7: Consider All Options Before Making Any Decisions
This was a difficult item to learn.
As humans, we often are looking through a tunnel when decisions need to be made.
We do not look at all the options.
I have learned to stop and weigh all the options before making difficult decisions.
8: Presence is Better Than Presents
This speaks for itself; our family members want time with us more than they want material gifts.
Spending quality time with family members made a huge difference in how I work my business.
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9: How We Treat Others Determines How They Treat Us
This somewhat goes back to the only person I can change is myself.
If I want respect, I need to treat the other person with respect.
It is all enveloped in the Golden Rule.
10: Time is the Most Valuable Commodity
Time is more valuable than gold, silver and even Apple.
Just like managing our investment portfolio, we need to manage our time.
The payoff can be huge!
When you look closely, when something is taken from you, something is always given in its stead.
Nature has that law and it is true.
12: Say What is On My Mind
Now I don’t mean that we say things that will harm people, but I have learned to not hold back if I think that what I have to say may make a difference.
It may make someone angry, but if it can help us move forward, it needs to be said.
13: When We Teach, We Learn
Some humans have the idea that if they teach others, that person will get promoted or have greater success.
I detest that thought pattern.
Teaching is also a learning experience for the teacher.
14: Have Fun
Life is way too short to not have fun in life.
Need I say anymore than just: Have Fun!
15: When 1 Door Closes, Another Door Opens
This goes right along with the universal law of give and take.
People use to tell me this but until I really looked at the fact, it did not sink in.
It is true and if we look closely, we will recognize this truth.
16: There is No Such Thing As Luck
I still use the term luck at times, but the truth is… we make our destiny without luck.
It takes hard work and wise thinking.
Luck is just a piece of fiction.
17: We Can Write a New Story
What has happened in the past is the past.
A new story can always be written.
We live, screw up, learn and write a new chapter.
I try not to live in the past, but do what I need to do now and look to the future.
This is a lesson that many people have a difficult time learning, but we must.
When a tragedy occurs, we do have the strength to clean it, fix it and learn from it.
I am strong and you are too!
Just keep moving forward!
19: We Normally Have to Let Go of Something to Get Something Better
This was one of the most difficult lessons I learned in life, but after learning it, I have discovered a wonderful life.
I gave up jobs that other people said I was crazy to leave, but there was always something better on the other side.
I can actually say that I have no regrets, except that Michael Jordan rookie card I gave away.
When I take a look back at all the lessons I have learned in life and how they have made me more business savvy, I am feeling blessed.
What life lessons have helped you in business?
I really hope that these lessons I learned can help you grow in your business.
Feel free to share your life lessons, opinions on my life lessons and any questions you have below.
I do believe we can all learn from each other.
Maybe my life lessons don’t help you, but maybe your life lessons will help me.
So please share.
Thank you for visiting and have a great day.
About the Author
Greg Boudonck is a freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He writes on many different topics, but business subjects are one of his primary areas of writing expertise. See Greg’s biography here.