I was asked the other day what piece of advice had made the biggest impact on my career. I instantly flashed back to a coffee shop in Sydney, Australia in 2001…
I was a couple of years into running my first business; I was working hard but felt my wheels spinning. I knew I needed help.
I reached out to a person I respected and asked for a meeting. He listened to my story and then asked just two questions.
First: What did I think was the key challenge holding me back?
Second: What I had read over the last year on that subject?
I didn’t expect the second question, and suddenly felt exposed.
I explained that I was “time poor” running my growing small business and juggling everything else I had going on. That there had been no time to sit around and read books.
He laughed and said, “Then get used to your life the way it is!” He continued, “Seriously, I hear from people struggling all the time about how busy they are. Do you think that people running companies 1000 times the size, with larger families and more responsibilities to their communities, have any more time on their hands to learn than you do?”
His words nearly knocked me off my chair.
I’ll never forget his next line: “So let me get this straight. You don’t have a few hours to invest in yourself studying best practice, but you are looking for someone to take time out of their day to share their experience or provide you with a book summary?!”
To my surprise, he did offer his help. But only after I helped myself first.
The meeting ended cordially and I sat in the café for a long time on my own.
In that moment I committed to a lifetime of weekly study. I am 12 years in and have kept that promise to myself.
I would love to hear the best advice you have received in the comment section below,
PS – If you’re interested in joining our team, click here to learn more about us and join our Franchise Webinar on May 30 at 4PM.