Navigating the business world can be tricky, both for those just starting out, as well as for those moving quickly toward the top of their niche. Along the way, it is important to soak up knowledge from those with more experience than you in your field. Listening to their words of wisdom just might shorten your industry learning curve.
To help accelerate your rise to the top, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council explain the best words of advice they’ve ever been given.
1. Be Authentic
My mentor told me that I am so professional at times that it comes off as stoic. She told me that people like real personalities and relate better to you when you're "human." The advice she gave me was that I needed to infuse my authentic personality into my professional life and watch my world open up. Once I learned how to do that, I saw how quickly I built better professional relationships. - Jacqueline Mitchell, CJ Matthews Consulting
2. Trust Yourself
Everyone faces successes and failures, and both matter. There is no right way to achieve your goals. Trust that wherever you are in life is where you were meant to be. In every moment, trust that whatever you decide (as long as it is representative of your true self) will be the best decision you can make at that time. Trusting yourself is the start of strong self-confidence. - Alan Trivedi,Trivedi Coaching & Consulting Group
3. Know Where You Can Make An Impact
Know when to let go of one behavior for a new one. Early on in a career, working hard and demonstrating commitment to a project is important. While working "hard," it’s easy to put in many hours believing that goals are being achieved. Blurring boundaries by being responsible for more than your scope is a potential trap. Define boundaries where you can be effective and work smarter, not harder. - Cindy Stack, Whole-Life Leader
4. Do You Want To Be Right Or Rich?
On its face, this question seems money-focused and materialistic, but it's one of my favorites for combatting pride. A person who was rich monetarily and rich in character asked me this question when I was pressing a point about how right I was in a business setting. It arrested me, making me think that I don't always need to be right. If I overlook that need, it leads to greater prosperity. - John M. O'Connor, Career Pro Inc.
5. Stop Comparing Yourself With Others
Every day people are comparing themselves to someone or something. It is simply endless and futile because we are all very unique. What would happen if we learned to appreciate our uniqueness? What would happen if we used that energy taken up in comparisons to actually complete that task, project or goal? Our engagement in life would look so different. So, stop comparing and live! - Sheeba Varghese, Sheeba Varghese
6. You Can Never Know It All
When I was promoted into my first leadership role, I was overwhelmed with the volume of work. A mentor told me this: "As you move up in your career, your tendency to rely on your deep functional expertise will get in your way. You can never know it all. You need to broaden your capabilities and learn to get things done through other people." That advice probably saved my career. - Trellis Usher, T.R. Ellis Group LLC
7. Learn In Order To Create
Learn in order to create. You can either learn or you can create. You must learn in order to create well. Many leaders stay in learning mode and never move to creation mode. - Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience
8. Know Your Worth
In the world of work, there are lots of people with lots of hidden agendas. I was cautioned to know my worth and to protect my intellectual and social capital with hard proof. This advice may seem paranoid until you come up against someone whose agenda calls for sabotaging your efforts or using your output as their own. Know your worth and protect your output. - Lillian Gregory, The Institute for Human and Leadership Excellence
9. Do What You Love And The Rest Will Work Out
When I spoke to my dad about what to major in at college, he told me to study what I enjoyed and the rest will work out. I picked psychology although I didn’t know if I wanted to be a therapist. Psychology, the study of the human mind, ended up being a perfect foundation for being a coach. Connect with your truth, do what you enjoy and organically attract experiences that fulfill your desires! -Rosie Guagliardo, InnerBrilliance Coaching
10. Nothing Happens Until Someone Sells Something
My earliest mentor constantly reminded me that "nothing happens until someone sells something!" It took me a while to fully understand that this might not just be a product sale, but pitching an internal idea, supporting the hiring of a key employee or taking on a new habit. Someone had to champion or "sell" the idea before anything would happen. - John Hittler, Evoking Genius
11. Define Your Boundaries
I once received conflicting feedback from a colleague and continued to make adjustments to meet their expectations, which always led to more negative feedback -- a no-win situation. A mentor helped me see my need for boundaries to hold the other person accountable on their side of the relationship. It was difficult at first but allowed me to clarify what I was and was not willing to do for success. - Jenn Lofgren, Incito Executive & Leadership Development
12. If It Doesn't Make Dollars, It Doesn't Make Sense
As an entrepreneur, I am a lot like my clients -- I want to save the world. In the midst of doing so, we often find ourselves overdelivering and undercharging. A mentor once reminded me that I am in business to be profitable. When quoting fees and developing pricing, it is important to know your indirect and direct costs to ensure you are making a profit. You can't be charitable if you're broke. -LaKesha Womack, Womack Consulting Group
13. Never Do Anything In A Rush
As a young and green professional who was eager to always deliver ahead of schedule, my mentor gave me the wisest business advice I have received until today when he told me: "Never compromise the quality of your work for speed. People will always forget speedy delivery but never bad quality." - Tim Windhof,Windhof Career Services
14. Be Ready To Jump Alone
Years ago, a mentor was picking me up after a professional misstep. I'd challenged an authority figure expecting the group I represented to stand up and support me when needed -- and they didn't. The essence of his profound thoughts have stayed with me: Only jump off the cliff for others if you are willing to jump alone. They may not share your courage, conviction or foolishness. - Beki Fraser, Focus For Growth, LLC
15. Help Others Get What You Want
"The more you help other people get what they want, the more you get what you want" was an impressive sentiment I received early in my career. Everything comes down to serving others -- no matter if you have a job, a family or are an entrepreneur. When you can focus on the impact and value you offer others in everything you do, the more you feel satisfaction and gain rewards, without even trying. - Hanna Hermanson, Dream Life is Real Life
Originally posted here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/10/02/accelerate-your-learning-curve-with-15-career-lessons-from-industry-mentors
Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of leading business coaches and career coaches. Members are hand-selected by the Council’s selection committee. Find out if you qualify at forbescoachescouncil.com/qualify.