The Most Important Lesson I Learned in My 30 Years in Business

Posted by Eamonn Percy - The Percy Group

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“Reader, I wish thee Health, Wealth, Happiness, And may kind Heaven thy Year’s Industry bless.

                                                                                                                                                 – Ben Franklin

Courage-to-challenge-the-climb-of-the-cliff 1920x1200I originally thought it would be an easy task to write this week’s article since I only had to come up with one thing; the single most important lesson I learned in my 30 years in business. However, I soon learned how hard a task that really was, as there are so many important lessons I have learned during my own journey.

I know that persistence, the unwavering dedication to a task, is critical in achieving anything of note. Character development is key to building the traits necessary to persevere.  Education, both formal and informal, is absolutely paramount in building a foundation from which all other skills can be developed. Communications, which is the one most important skill that helped me build a great career in business.  All of those are worthy candidates for the most important lesson learned.

However, none of them can come close to what I believe is the single most important lesson I learned; that is the importance of making COURAGE in making decisions and taking actions. If I am 100% truthful with myself, the only times I really massively excelled in my career was when I ventured far outside my comfort zone. It was the time I was most frightened, anixous and filled with fear about the outcome of a venture, but pressed ahead against the obstacles anyways. For instance, I quit a high paying job as a young manager one time when newly married with a child along the way, only to get recruited within one week to a much, much better position.  I turned down the recruiters first offer, even though I had given up our apartment and was living in my inlaws basement suite, only to get a much better offer. Another time, I took my first executive job with 50% of the salary paid in shares wondering if I would make it, only to have the shares accelerate significantly in value. Most times I pushed the envelope of my personal appetite for fear, I seem to come out ahead. Not always, but more often than not. It was courage that made the difference.

While business has many known and proven rules, it is the bold action-taking the separates the winners from the losers, or from the mere survivors. Taking bold action requires faith in yourself that you will overcome any difficulty, that you are bigger than your problems, that you have powers beyond the natural, and finally, that if you do fail temporarily, you will come back stronger than every. Courage is not being reckless since it still requires planning, risk mitigation and the application of proven business principles. However, there comes a time when all the planning is done, the risks are mitigated and you know the principles are sound, the only thing left to do is act. The bolder the action the bigger the courage required!

Step out of your comfort zone and start taking the action necessary today to make a bigger difference in your life. Seize opportunities around you, don’t hold back and wait for circumstances to be just right. Focus on whatever resources you have in front of you now and build the type of life, business and wealth you know you can build and would be proud to accomplish.

By Eamonn Percy