GYLB – #5 Be inspired


JC Penney the great American retailer once said “the most seminal moment in my business career was when I realised I couldn’t do it all myself”. He was referring to delegation but I think it is easy to widen the sentiment to other types of assistance.

Most of us have at some point in our working lives believed that we should be professionally self sufficient: not needing anybody else to provide ideas, energy and inspiration. “I bet Alan Sugar, Richard Branson and Simon Cowell never needed any help so neither do I”.

I don’t subscribe to this viewpoint myself. In fact I believe the opposite: seek out as many ideas and as much energy and inspiration as you can from as many sources as you can.

Whenever I am exposed to these sources of inspiration I always think “if they can do it so can I” and it never ceases to energise me.

I read Richard Branson’s autobiography where he shares his early career which was far from smooth. What I took from it was not how to build a global empire but rather that shit happens and you have to deal with it, never give in and always be on the lookout for the next thing. If he can do it so can I.

When I visited Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s home in Kent, I was struck by the way he balanced his work life with his hobbies (painting and gardening), how he never lost belief in himself even in his darkest days and his general love of life; it oozes out of every room and corner of the garden. If he can do it so can I.

Watching the life story of Margaret Thatcher on TV charting her rise to power reminds me that there really is not substitute for hard work, focus and sacrifice. If she can do it so can I.

Reading a quotations book where great men and women have managed to present a valuable piece of their wisdom into a few words especially does it for me. If they can do it so can I.

Just a couple of other sources of inspiration I would like to end on: http://www.ted.com and Director magazine. TED contains loads of videos of passionate and successful people sharing their experiences and beliefs – well worth a visit in my opinion. Director magazine is published by the IOD and has loads of information and stories in it many of them relating to people who have overcome adversity to be successful. If they can do it so can I!

The whole point of this is to seek out sources of energy, inspiration, ideas or anything else that gets you going as often as you can and then use them for that very purpose.

I bet you do this already but do you do it enough?

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Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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Mike Ames

Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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