Advice I Live By

1. Always leave a place cleaner than you found it. Girl Scouts played a tremendous role in showing me the value of integrity and respect for ourselves and others. When you clean up your space and pick up litter, it shows respect for your surroundings and others to come. What is one thing you could do today to leave a place cleaner than you found it? Imagine how it would make others feel.

2. Never give up. Don't be afraid of failure. Selling kids books door-to-door, 80 hours per week, for three summers during college with The Southwestern Company taught me resilience and gave me a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I was a top salesperson and hit President’s Club. I focused on what I could control and learned so much about how to interact with others. Those who were tired of hearing “no” and instead went to the movies did not do so well.

3. People will surprise you. When I got divorced I was surprised at how some people who I thought were good friends turned away from me. I was equally surprised by some of the people who stepped up and showed me their support. People will come and go in your life. The people who matter for you now might not be the same people who matter in a few years. Let people surprise you. Give yourself permission to let go of friendships and form new ones.

4. Running a business is hard. Do what you love. A lot of people ask me for advice on starting their own business. Running a business is really hard and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. If I didn’t believe that I am working towards something great, I may have given up along the way. Do what you love, work hard, and you’ll get there.

5. Identify your priorities. My cousin Julia gave me this advice when I went back to work after the birth of my son. I focused on three key priorities. It showed my ability to be effective at work and gave me the space I wanted to have at home. What would you like to change that would make you more effective? Set your priorities, identify why it matters, and share it with your team. If you are working in conflict with yourself, it won’t be sustainable.

6. Let go of expectations. Yogi Buddy Macuha shared this advice in reference to Thanksgiving – the rush of the holidays and the stress over the expectations of what “needs” to happen. Letting go of expectations means not being disappointed, allowing yourself to be surprised, enjoying the moment. What if you reframe a situation as if it were the first time you are experiencing it. Allow yourself to let go of what has to be and enjoy what is. It will make you so much happier.

7. Embrace the power of traditions. Traditions give us a sense of belonging, a sense of order, and can bind us together with others. As a kid I loved being invited to share in friends’ family traditions. This is more important to me now as I am raising my son and want to create great memories with him that give joy to his childhood. I also want him to develop great habits – serve his community, play sports, share stories. Even the routine of a family meal can create a special time to connect. How can you implement a tradition with your family or team that leaves a lasting impression?

8. Meet people from other cultures. Be curious. Engage. I have been fortunate to travel and live in other countries and in several states. I have friends from so many different parts of life and they enrich me on numerous levels. Be curious, ask questions. Learn what is important to them. Ask them about life. Make connections. Knowing others gives me a more holistic view of the world and challenges me to expand my perspectives. You don’t have to go far to have these experiences. You just have to be curious.

9. Follow your intuition. You know that feeling you get sometimes – what we often call a gut feeling? That’s your intuition. I often feel it in my head and in my heart. However, it shows up for you, be aware of it, listen to it. That intuition is your life experience coming together to guide you. It can get you out of a bad situation or into a good one.

10. What is a piece of advice you live by? I would love to learn more from you. Please share your life advice in the comments section below.

Monica Phillips, CPCC, ACC, is a motivational speaker, certified professional coach, and strategy consultant working with professional services firms, start-ups, C-suite leaders, and founders on leadership, business development, rainmaker habits, marketing strategy, accountability, and personal fulfillment. She partners with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

If you would like a coach to help you set action, focus on your goals, and hold you accountable, please get in touch. I would love to help.

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