I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now

While watching an episode of The Americans the other night – Elizabeth and Phillip were struggling with how to deal with their daughter Paige’s crisis situation, I mentioned to my husband that I wish I knew then what I know now, and it got me thinking not only about raising children, but about building a business, entrepreneurship, and the things I’ve learned along the way.

Mentor and be mentored – what you learn from doing both will have tremendous impact on the decisions you make going forward. Take time to teach and coach, but also reach out for support when you need it.

Never burn a bridge – you don’t know when that person you wanted to forget forever may show up in your life again, and what important role they might play in your future.

Six degrees of separation has become two – networks today are amazingly deep, so nurturing your connections and relationships is essential to remaining fresh in people’s minds.

Find a group to share your professional challenges and successes with – Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), YPO, Young Entrepreneur’s Council (YEC), Vistage, MasterMinds, Women in Business (WIB) and Rotary are just a few options. These organizations provide professionals, business owners and entrepreneur’s with valuable peer-to-peer learning, industry insights, networking and personal guidance.

Be vulnerable – taking down the glass wall that protects you allows others in to provide support and guidance. Although uncomfortable at first, the ability to share your vulnerabilities may be the best thing you do for yourself. “What happens when people open their hearts?” “They get better.” ― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Always do the right thing – sounds obvious, right? But tough love with a child, telling a parent it’s time to leave their home, or walking away from a prospect that no longer shares your core values is hard work. But if your decisions are always grounded in doing the right thing, the consequences will never come back to haunt you.

Transparency = clarity – providing transparency is like keeping the windows clean; it provides a clear view into what you are really thinking and what is really happening. It allows your family, friends and associates to understand and respect the true meaning behind your decisions.

Plan ahead – when you know what you intend to accomplish the next day, week or month, planning ahead helps make it actually happen.