10 Lessons in 10 Years

By Tyler J. Wise|January 05th, 2020|Blog|

Being an accountant and business adviser, I am an extremely lucky person. Not only do I get to help clients achieve their business goals, but I get learn from their successes, and mistakes. With a new year, and a new decade, I wanted to share the 10 biggest lessons I have learned from the past 10 years, drawing on my professional experiences over that time.

These are not in any order, and I’d argue all are as important as each other. I have seen many people improve their professional and personal well being by improving on only one or two of these lessons, but if you can apply all 10 then you will well and truly be on the upward trajectory. The top ten lessons of the last 10 years are:

1.    Priority not Priorities – It is important to have only one priority. If you have more than one then it is a source of confusion, and your ultimate driving purpose changes, depending on what your priority is each day. Have only one and be laser focussed on it. It doesn’t matter what your priority is, as every person is different, but make sure it is true to you, and you are true to it.

2.    Do not do a job you hate. Plain and simple. It will impact everything, and impact everything negatively. Both myself and my wife quit jobs we hated, without having anything else to turn to…but we backed ourselves, and it all worked out (It was how Wise Accounting was born!). Being happy is an important life decision, and being happy at work has a direct correlation to achieving that.

3.    Do not work silly hours. I know people talk about ‘grinding’ and ‘hustling’, but people also lose sight of what that means. Working hard is not the same as working lots. As always, you need to be effective, and working 12 to 14 hours a day is a recipe for disaster. What it may deliver you in one hand, it will take just as much out of the other. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

4.    Do not be connected all the time. Being on all the time, much like above just leads to burnout, and you need a time when no one can reach you, so you can replenish mentally. You have no chance of solving some of your larger problems if you are constantly being barraged with requests, regardless the medium.

5.    Your business must have formal direction, or else you will be at the mercy of the economy and customers and other factors that will impact your business. If you have a business plan, and refer to it regularly, you maintain control. Do not be at the mercy of external factors, it is your business, it is your life. It’s needs to under control, and you need to be accountable to yourself.

6.    Surround yourself with good people be that professionally and personally. I always try to be the ‘dumbest person in the room’ at any networking or social event, so I can always improve. On that matter, do not forget that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with most, so ensure these people are raising your average!

7.    Have a mentor. Have more than one. Even if you have a brilliant business mind you need someone to bounce ideas off of. I am fortunate enough to have an old boss as my mentor and I listen to their advice intently. You need to make sure your mentor has your best interests at heart, and is not just enjoying the sound of their own voice. My mentor is one of the brightest business brains I have ever met…actually, he is just one of the smartest people in any field, full stop. However, you must remember having a mentor is a two way street and you need to give as much to the relationship as you take.

8.    Have a life. I know I kind of mentioned it earlier with the ‘silly hours’ reference but this whole permanent hustle state or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mantra thing is stupid. I’ve been there, thinking busy was the best place to be. It’s not. It sux. I went 6 years without a holiday and that is stupid too. I have since worked very hard to have a better balance and every aspect of my life is better, including my professional one. Make sure you have downtime…you just never know when an idea will strike you. More often than not it will be when you are not at work!!

9.    Focus on others, not yourself. Focus outwards and not inwards. If you are thinking of others, and what they need rather than what you want, good things will happen. We are arguably more selfish than ever, and trying to profit at every opportunity. I have seen it time and time again, when someone looks away from themselves, to solve another’s problem the impacts are always good. Personally, I have found this mindset to be of greatest benefit during tough times, busy times, when focussing on others seems hardest of all, however, the net impact is certainly a positive one.

10.    Be grateful. It is so easy to be all the opposite feelings, frustrated, envious, angry – basically any negative feeling. But if you can start and end the day thinking about the good things in your life and day it will help you succeed. I have tools to help me achieve this, as it can be hard after a rough day hard, but certainly helps re-centre you first thing in the morning and at the end of the night. To help, keep a journal, you will be amazed at the positive impact something like this can have.

These are the 10 lessons I have learned over the last 10 years. I have attempted to apply as many of these to my own personal and professional life as I can, and hopefully you will too! A balance is important, but of even more importance is a plan. Have a plan about how you will tackle each decade, each year, each day, do that, follow the lessons above and hopefully the next 10 years are the best of your personal and professional life.


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