25 most valuable lessons
The last 25 years seem to have crept up on me. On the one hand, it feels like only yesterday. Yet on the other, it feels like it was a lifetime ago.
I actually don’t feel any older but, unfortunately, I am. There are a few things that remain constant; I am still passionate about this business and about businesses as a whole. Businesses are great – they create jobs, they create opportunities for people to progress, grow and do things that they never thought that they could. They create value for staff, for clients, for shareholders and, of course, for the taxman.
At one point in my life, I was scared that I would never get a job – let alone run a business! So, to have been able to employ so many people over the years is one of my biggest lifetime achievements.
Along the way I have certainly learnt many lessons. Reflecting on the past 25 years, I thought it was a perfect time to share my 25 most valuable lessons...
Lesson 1: Dream big. Dream as big as you can just make sure that the money backs up the dream. Take chances from time to time, but make sure there is always a fall-back plan.
Lesson 2: Don’t waste time. Every day counts. Push people, there is no time to lose, a year goes in a heartbeat.
Lesson 3: Sometimes those with experience, really do know best.
Lesson 4: If you don’t know where you are going, keep moving forward and you will figure it out along the way.
Lesson 5: Success is a formula that can be followed.
Lesson 6: If you want to be successful you need to work hard to build a team that supports you (at home as well as at the office). Don’t hoard success, share it. A successful team can achieve amazing things.
Lesson 7: Persistence and stubbornness focused correctly really does pay.
Lesson 8: You can never do it all on your own. Ask for help/accept help whenever you can.
Lesson 9: To climb a career ladder you need to let go of the rung below. To be successful you have to take a giant leap.
Lesson 10: If it’s not working/if you are not happy (at work or home) make a massive change.
Lesson 11: Always seek advice from successful people (and follow it). Look to others to show you the way, there is usually someone who has been there before and following their path is usually easier. Remember the definition of a pioneer is usually the person lying on the path in front of you with arrows in his back!
Lesson 12: Enthusiasm, confidence and arrogance can be a dangerous combination (unless it’s backed up with experience and money).
Lesson 13: The best business in the world can fail if you haven’t got the cash flow.
Lesson 14: If you focus on the problem it gets bigger. Never focus on the problem – focus only on the solution.
Lesson 15: If you can see it and believe it you can achieve it.
Lesson 16: Always deal with the issues as they arise, however tough it is – it’s far better than letting them fester.
Lesson 17: If you are going to make a big ballsy move, plan your finances carefully and remember Lesson number 13 – cash flow is everything.
Lesson 18: The founder of a business can sometimes be the biggest barrier to growth.
Lesson 19: There’s always a choice. Choose wisely.
Lesson 20: Culture and values are everything. If you share the same values and believe in the same culture, then all the big issues become small ones over time.
Lesson 21: Always set huge BHAGs “Big Hairy Audacious Goals”.
Lesson 22: Resilience in any crisis is an essential quality for you and the team.
Lesson 23: Never stop learning. Read, listen, investigate. You can never know too much, but remember never tell someone how much you know until they know how much you care.
Lesson 24: Always appreciate and smile. Give feedback, encourage people and build an amazing team. Say please and thank you, be grateful for the small things as well as the large.
Lesson 25: Never waste a good crisis. When a crisis appears, new opportunities always arise.
The only thing we can all be certain of is “change”. I know for a fact that in 25 years’ time Equilibrium will look nothing like it does today.
It’s exciting and as long as we retain our constant focus on making our client’s and staff’s lives better, we will continue to go from strength to strength.