A little over a week from now, on Sunday, July 14th, I turn 37!
I love having a summer birthday, when things are slower and I can reflect on my life and everything I’ve learned.
Today, I want to share 37 of my most valuable business and life lessons. Enjoy!
1.) Your dream job doesn’t exist; you have to create it. Get clear on your gifts, skills, and the things you love…and design a business (or career) around this!
2.) Prioritize happiness. Do things daily or weekly that bring you joy, whether that’s listening to your favorite music, enjoying a delicious meal, or playing with animals.
3.) Take personal responsibility for your life. Oftentimes we blame other people and circumstances for keeping us from achieving the life we want. We make excuses for why we don’t have a thriving career we love, a romantic relationship that nourishes us, or the body we want. The truth is that everything good and everything bad in your life has been directly created by you. You create your life with the decisions you make, big and small, each and every day. The good news? If you don’t like what you have, you have the power to change it!
4.) As the popular quote says, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I believe that one of the greatest contributions you can make to the world is treating those around you with kindness, respect, and care.
5.) Focus on feelings. As New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer says, “Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard.”
6.) Be kind to yourself. Sometimes it’s easier to be kind to others than it is to yourself. The first step is awareness. Notice where you’re hard on yourself or put yourself last. This could be ignoring your body when you’re hungry because you’re busy working, or pleasing others at the expense of your own well-being and happiness.
7.) Know your core desired feelings. Mine are: organized beauty, focused flow, luxurious comfort, and nourishing connection. To discover yours, check out Danielle LaPorte’s book Desire Map.
8.) Less is more. Simplify your life by saying yes to fewer things – and give the things you say yes to your all! This includes business projects, social activities, and personal relationships.
9.) Be mindful of the company you keep. As the popular saying goes, “It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company.” Pay extra attention to this if you have a history of holding on to relationships that aren’t serving you.
10.) Spend time in nature. Being in nature boosts your happiness and inspires creativity. Sunshine, greenery, and fresh air can help clear your mind and reconnect you to what’s most important.
11.) Bring nature into your home. I recently learned from my interior decorator client Tobi Fairley that the world’s favorite color is blue, followed by green. These are the same primary colors we find in nature (think sky, ocean, trees and grass). How can you bring natural elements into your home to make you feel more balanced and inspired? It could be a glass container of seashells or a photo of the beach.
12.) Declutter every 90 days. As I shared, one of my core desired feelings is organized beauty. I declutter my physical possessions at least once a quarter, which gives me feelings of spaciousness and peace.
13.) Learn how to have difficult conversations with grace. I used to feel like I was a bad person if I backed out of a commitment or told someone that something wasn’t working out. Today, I understand it’s okay to speak my truth and honor my needs. Ultimately, it’s best for everyone.
14.) Be vulnerable. Sometimes we think if we show our weaknesses, we’ll risk being judged or hurt. However, most of the time I’ve found that being vulnerable creates deeper connection and stronger relationships. It gives people an opening to show up and support you.
15.) Create beauty. There are so many ways to do this – from brightly colored flowers on your desk to wearing a fabulous outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks!
16.) Work with a stylist. Years ago, hiring a stylist seemed like an unnecessary expense. Today, I view it as one of the best things I’ve done for my business and life. Wearing the right outfit creates an instant confidence boost. Plus, the clothes we wear are such an important part of our personal brand!
17.) Hire support to free up your time. Many of my best investments have involved hiring others to take work off my plate. Whether you run a business or work a 9-5, we can all benefit from outsourcing time-consuming or draining tasks.
18.) As the popular saying goes, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” Some of the scariest things I’ve done – like starting a business, speaking on stages, or having a difficult conversation – have led to the greatest growth opportunities in my life.
19.) Scary things get easier over time. I used to have a paralyzing fear of speaking in public. As I’ve done more of it over the years, 80% of that fear has gone away.
20.) Start before you’re ready. Waiting for the perfect moment to start a business, move to your dream city, or prioritize your well-being will never happen. If something is important to you, find a way to make it happen.
21.) “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” As the wise saying goes, you’re capable of achieving so much more than you know. Dream bigger.
22.) Make smart investments in yourself. You are your greatest asset! The best investments I’ve ever made have been in mentorship, education, and relationships. All of these investments have helped me grow into the best version of me.
23.) Invest in your network. One of my favorite sayings is, “Your network is your net worth.” Make a list of 15 – 20 people you care about and brainstorm ways you can add value to them. Sometimes we can feel like we have nothing to offer people, but the truth is everyone needs help! Someone who’s thriving in their career may be struggling with their health or romantic relationships. No one has it all together.
24.) Give back. Helping others, especially those who are less fortunate, is one of the most fulfilling things we can do. Find a cause you’re passionate about – whether it’s children, education, animals, or women’s rights – and donate your time, talents, or resources.
25.) Invest early. Einstein famously said, “Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.” Invest your money early on into a retirement savings account, or other financial vehicle, to reap big benefits in the future.
26.) Watch your spending. It’s easy to overspend in our businesses and personal lives. Look at your bank statements and take note of how much you’re spending a year on dining out, clothes, travel, and entertainment. Awareness is key.
27.) Pay yourself first. Make sure the money you earn supports you first before spending it on non-essentials. Automatically route a portion of your money to a retirement savings account. Set it and forget it.
28.) Profit First. That’s one of my favorite business books by Mike Michalowicz. If you own a business, make sure you’re paying yourself an appropriate salary for your hard work. Check out his book for percentages of how much you should pay yourself, save for taxes, and aim for in profit margins based on how much revenue your business brings in.
29.) Develop the skills, mindset, and personal brand that will allow you to earn more. As my mentor Ramit Sethi says, “There is a limit to how much you can cut, but there is no limit to how much you can earn.”
30.) Invest in learning and developing the top money-making skills of all time. According to my mentor Ron Reich, these are sales, copywriting, networking, and presenting to groups. I agree with this 100%!
31.) Break harmful patterns rooted in your childhood. Whether you tolerate people who don’t treat you well or have money mindset issues, there’s a reason for that. Make a list of the patterns that have been holding you back in life and work with a therapist, coach, or healer to better understand them and release them.
32.) Get to know yourself better. One of my favorite ways to do that is through personality tests. I especially love Myers-Briggs and the GEMS personality test. (I’m an INFJ and a Ruby / Emerald.)
33.) Surround yourself with people who are compatible with you. If you have your own business, you get to choose who you work with. With the right people (clients, team members) you can create magic together. Similarly, in your personal life, pay attention to the people who feel good to be around – and those who don’t.
34.) Know your business values – and live them. At our company, they are: lead with warmth, embody excellence, take ownership, and be resourceful. Hire people who share these values, and release those who don’t.
35.) Live in your genius zone. When you do what comes naturally, you’ll accomplish more. At the same time, it will feel effortless and easy. This is how you’ll maintain your competitive edge.
36.) Try new, uncomfortable things. If 90% of your time is spent in your genius zone, devote the other 10% to stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone. It’s empowering to do the things you’ve told yourself you can’t. This is where breakthroughs happen, personally and professionally.
37.) Know what you truly want – and stay committed to creating it. Understand what happiness and success means to you, and be relentless about pursuing it. Even if your desires seem out of reach, take small steps each day to achieve your wildest dreams and goals. There is nothing like consistency and commitment.
As I’ve shared these 37 lessons with you, I want you to know that like you, I’m an imperfect human being. Some of these lessons I’ve mastered; others, I’m still working on.
Now I would love to hear from you. Which of these 37 lessons resonated with you the most? Go here to share them with me. I look forward to hearing from you!