The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received

A friend and professional colleague, Rob Berg, recently brought a LinkedIn post to my attention. He liked it. Because Rob and I are connected on LinkedIn, I saw it. And because the day after the celebration of  Labor Day in the United States seems like perfect timing, I offer it today.

Called, “The Best Business Advice I’ve Ever Received“, the post caused me to think about all I’ve sought to learn, all I’ve managed to learn, and all I still seek to learn in having walked the planet as long as I have and in having received an education in the Humanities at the age at which I did. (I was 28 when I started it.) That post also inspired me to write this one.

While all of the advice that’s meaningful to me wasn’t coined specifically for business, it’s so universally applicable, it may just as well have been. I hope the thoughts expressed in the 10 items in this list are as helpful to you as they’ve been to me:

  1. “Trust thyself.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet)
  2. “First, I would straighten out the language.” (Confucius, asked how he would restore order to the world)
  3. “Any job worth doing is worth doing well.” (Edmund J. O’Brien, Jr.)
  4. “Organization and method mean much … but contagious human characters mean more.” (William James)
  5. “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re different.” (Albert Einstein)
  6. “It is impossible for ideas to compete in the marketplace if no forum for their presentation is provided or available.” (Thomas Mann)
  7. “The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” (Robert Maynard Hutchins)
  8. “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” (Mark Twain)
  9. “He said he should prefer not to know the sources of the Nile, and that there should be some unknown regions preserved as hunting-grounds for the poetic imagination.” (George Eliot, Middlemarch)
  10. “If I’d know business was about people, I’d have done this a long time ago.” (Mark O’Brien, professional chucklehead)

While all these thoughts inform me, they also humble me. For that, I’m most grateful.

The more I know, the less I understand/All the things I thought I figured out, I have to learn again. (Don Henley, “The Heart of the Matter“)

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