The Lessons I’ve Learned…

A few things I’ve learned while studying business and trying to start a business… I’ve tried to summarize them as concisely as possible while adding a psychological perspective here and there.

PEOPLE ARE MOST IMPORTANT…
Always treat them, regardless of their rank, just like you treat your CFO

1. Employees
The people working for you are your most valuable assets, if you can make them feel good and empowered, they’ll make the consumers feel good. Never forget – There’s a reason why you didn’t want to work for the man – work hard to make your assets feel they are reaching their dreams because of you. If you don’t care about them, they won’t care about you and they won’t perform at maximum efficiency. Form close relationships with them.
2. Balance Leadership and Compassion
When I ran for president at SSA in 8th grade, I knew about 15 people, and 5 of them probably didn’t like me. Out of 100 people, 10 isn’t enough to cut it. How did I win? I would like to think I won because I wasn’t running for popularity, I was running because I wanted to make our class the best it could be. I won because when I said I was going to do something for someone, I did it. I didn’t ever take a day to get things done, because the longer you wait the more chance there is you’ll forget to do it. This established me as a person whom they could trust to take care of business.
Reach out to everyone. Always remember that you are no better than anyone else. Everyone deserves your attention and respect. Also remember, you must sustain this mentality throughout the years. Never be that fair-weather leader.

3. Improving lives
When you work for yourself and for the benefit of others you can’t lose. Your job and what you create will always be rewarding regardless of the money it generates because you are giving people what they need in order to do more of the things they want. And people always want more time to enjoy their own lives.

4. Take time to get to know & understand yourself.
Don’t focus only on strengths and don’t avoid your weaknesses. Learn to cultivate both. People are always trying to figure out other people, often spending large amounts of their life ‘getting to know other people,’ rather than getting to know the most important person of all – themselves. If you can understand yourself you’ll understand everything else.
This means keeping several things in mind:
a. Life is a learning experience; it’s not a contest to see who can win. Life’s tough and its not perfect.
b. Laugh at yourself – if you take yourself too seriously you’ll only end up miserable. Be able to make yourself laugh and you’ll never be lonely. Dance around your room by yourself once in a while if you need to.
c. Be honest with yourself. Excuses are lies used to cover up the truths that we don’t want to accept or deal with. Excuses are red flags for deeper problems you need to solve. No, its not fun thinking about what your problems are, but if you learn to accept them & work hard toward solving them you’ll love yourself more. And If you love yourself and know what you want to fight for you’ll never feel jealous or the need to talk about others to boost your own self.
d. Be honest with others. Excuses are always apparent to the person you give them to and they insult their intelligence. Be responsible for your actions. Giving excuses makes people lose trust in you. Honesty will display strong character and trustworthiness.
e. Get to know your family and ancestors.
Knowing and appreciating where you came from is a big part of understanding your place in the grand scheme of things. I’m proud of my ancestors and family and that makes me proud to be me because I’m a part of that unique heritage.
f. Dealing with Criticism.
If you know yourself, people’s criticisms and doubts in you won’t matter, especially if they target your looks. Targeting uncontrollable characteristics only shows severe insensitivity and insecurity within the criticizer. React calmly, the only reason they target these things is to make you mad, the key is to never lose control on yourself. Try to help the person targeting you by pointing out that you are aware of the flaws they have pointed out, and question, “when did I ever say I was perfect?” Help them understand why they felt they needed to be mean to you.
5. Money doesn’t buy happiness
This statement is etched in my brain, but did I ever believe it was true in my situation? Of course not! Money would be different for me it would make me happy. But it was an illusion just like I’d always been told. It only took a financial failure and a semester of depression to see it, but trust me on this one.
6. Learn to Listen
A conversation is a two way street and if its not than you might as well not talk at all. If one person is doing all the talking, the person listening feels inferior, and the person talking won’t ever learn anything if his mouth is always moving. Be open to what people have to say. Never criticize them, because that offends their intelligence and discredits your own. If you feel strong opposition, ask more questions, make an effort to see their side and point out aspects of the argument you agree with. This will benefit your credibility in future conversations and may teach you something you never thought about.
a. Don’t believe everything you hear or read. Always question their motives and ask, “What’s the evidence?”
7. Dealing with Failure –
People think failure and they see a dead end & beyond it is nothing but disappointment
a. “If you’re going to go down you might as well go down as a hero” – my dad’s advice on how to deal with a hijacked plane. If you live your life and pursue what you love you’ll be happy regardless of whether you made lots of money because you did what you believed in and died still trying. It’s not about winning or losing, its about being happy at the end of it all.
“I enjoy constructive criticism & occasional failure, recognizing my imperfections & cultivating them as best I can, because failing is often necessary to succeed. I believe fear can be conquered by the inquisitive & analytical mind or by educating yourself until there is nothing left to understand. For if you understand what scares you, the unknown we fear ceases to exist, leaving us with the satisfaction of being one of the enlightened.” – From my profile
7. And lastly, first impressions are key.
Always give a firm handshake, even if you’re meeting someone at a bar. And walk confidently no matter where you may be heading.Chinatown MarketClayton Couch

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