What is the best advice you have ever received? Do you still apply it to your business or career? There is so much advice you may have received from friends, colleagues and even total strangers you may have come across at some point in your life. But one piece of advice always stands out among the many.
These are some of the best pieces of advice eight LinkedIn Influencers have ever received. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Share with us in the comment box below.
1. Mark Tercek (President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy. Author of Nature’s Fortune)
–Whose Life Are You Leading?
For me, the best advice I’ve ever received came when I needed it most. After more than 20 years as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, I was ready for a change. What was holding me back? I liked my work and my colleagues. I was very comfortable. The pay was good, as was the social stature.
I finally shared my concerns with Marshall Goldsmith, a friend and a great executive coach. He practically exploded. “Whose life are you leading?” he shouted. “Who cares what other people think? Your dreams are the only ones that matter.”
2. Anthony Scaramucci (Managing Partner at SkyBridge Capital)
–Leave Money on the Table for Your Partners
When asked about the best advice I ever got, I can’t help but refer back to an excerpt from my book Goodbye Gordon Gekko: How to Find Your Fortune without Losing Your Soul. One Sunday on a business trip in Hong Kong back in 1998, a former boss and mentor took me to meet an “old man.” From the book.
After telling me a short version of his life story, he then gave me the best advice:
Anthony, leave money on the table for your partners. Not only will you be very rich, you will be very happy. If you allow your partners to benefit from the deal, they always come back and want to do business with you. There will never be a shortage of opportunity.
–The harder you work, the luckier you get
The best advice I ever received was not really advice but more of an approach to living. It applies to several aspects of life: careers, relationships, sports; health and wellness, and probably many others.
The idea that the harder you work the luckier you get doesn’t guarantee good fortune, but it undoubtedly puts those who make the extra effort in the best position.
People who make an exceptional effort at something, which by definition puts them in the minority, are really just improving their odds of being at the right place at the right time.
–Make Sure Your Journey Is Worth Traveling
If you want a partnership to flourish, it needs to be a win-win. If you come out of a meeting with the feeling that you’ve won and the other party has lost the negotiations, you will also lose in the end. Nobody will truly invest time, effort or money in a deal when there’s little or no gain to expect. Drop the deal.
–Don’t Follow It!
The best advice then is the advice you give yourself – to stop listening to the naysayers and to trust your vision. The worst advice I (and almost everyone) have received and still receive, dose after dose, is: “Don’t do that.” The supporting arguments vary little: “It’s not practical. It won’t work. You can’t make that fly. It will cost too much. It’s a crazy idea.”
“Don’t waste your time with this Ashoka idea. Individuals and their little organizations can’t change the world. Stay with the government or McKinsey,” I was told again. However, over half of the 3,000 Ashoka social entrepreneur fellows have changed national policy within five years of launch.
6. Michael Moritz (Chairman, Sequoia Capital)
–Listen to Your Inner Voice
“Follow your instincts” was the terse, three-word suggestion I received 25 years ago from Don Valentine, the Founder of Sequoia Capital. Since then it has been etched in the back of my mind. Don was offering advice about whether we should participate in the seed round for S3.
“Follow your instincts” shouldn’t be confused with “trust your gut”, “ignore reality”, “rely on your sniffer” or “go for glory”. The rough translation is “do your homework well, analyze things carefully, assess the options but eventually trust your judgment and have the courage of your convictions – even if they are unpopular”.
7. Vivian S. (Head of News at Twitter)
–Celebrate the Ups, Learn from the Downs
“You’re never as good as your best review, and never as bad as your worst.” I was given this advice by a former boss, and it has since stuck with me as a guide for getting through the best of times and the worst of times. What I’ve come to learn is that life is cyclical and the best way to stay focused is to ignore the swings and instead focus on the long run.
–Don’t Be Such a Perfectionist
Most of us are trained to believe that practice makes perfect; but the best advice I’ve ever received preaches the exact opposite: Don’t be a perfectionist. Today I embrace this, but when I first heard this 7 years ago, I refused to accept it.
My old ways of micromanaging forced employees to not feel autonomous and prevented them from thinking creatively on how to solve problems on their own. Striving for perfection in every area all the time, wastes time, harms egos unnecessarily, and proves detrimental to any business.