Business Lessons Pulled from Life

In 88 episodes of the Making a Marketer podcast I had never done a show with just me! I have been toying with the idea of creating a brief third episode each month that’s just me sharing what I learned that week, so perhaps this is a “toe dip” into that — I’ll see the feedback I get and maybe this will become a regular thing.

If you’d like to listen to it, this is it… and this is the transcript.Promo image for the Making a Marketer podcast with guest Megan Powers

As I entered into my recent BIG birthday week, it hit me that it’d be fun to have my friends and family share things they have learned from me throughout life that can be applied to business. Well, among the merriment, not thinking about work, and all the activities we had planned… that never happened.

SO! I thought I’d share things I learned throughout the week from these friends, family, and experiences that aren’t just business related, but SELF-CARE and personal-related. 

You get out of relationships what you put into them

I had three friends fly in who I have known since kindergarten and 5th and 6th grade. We don’t see each other super frequently, but these friendships have been nurtured over the years. You don’t still have friends for that many years by accident, though, right? It takes work! We do pick back up right where we left off because we have so much history, but we have been making an effort over the years to stay connected. I know I can count on these people for anything I need. One of my newer friends said that’s a testament to me as a person, but EVERY relationship takes 2!Four childhood friends celebrating a BIG birthday year

I fully believe this is the same thing in business. Relationships we build with co-workers, colleagues, and clients are worth continuing to nurture, regardless of whether they have something FOR you. There is a huge chance you all will be able to help each other in the near or distant future, Especially given the environment we’ve been in for the last 18 months through this pandemic where we aren’t having those in-office conversations like we used to, right?

Reach out to a couple of former bosses or colleagues, and set up a coffee or drink meetup — even if it’s over a video call! I feel super fulfilled every time I do — and we both get ideas for how we can help each other.

Having a plan is crucial, and being flexible about everything not going just as you planned is equally important

As I set out to celebrate this milestone birthday I wanted it to be a big deal. I’ve traveled to New Orleans, Vegas, Mexico, and Catalina for significant birthdays of friends, so I wanted mine to be a trip too. The MAIN reason for that was to get people to commit–to really commit to spending some quality time with me and our other friends. Combine still being in a pandemic with having some friends in education, this wasn’t the ideal time to have everyone travel.

I had the idea to have it be local — to get a beach house here in San Diego — and I sent out a preliminary survey to get the pulse… and no one was anti-SD (surprise!). I figured those staying at the house would go to everything and all the other events would not be over-crowded, so I’d have a chance to get QT with everyone. This didn’t go exactly as planned, however. There were some no-shows, surprise appearances, quick visits, some wrong directions taken (on me!), and we rolled with it.

The best laid plans as we plan events or do anything in business are just that – plans. It’s important to be flexible and understand (as hard as it might be in the moment) everything will work out as it should! You might not get the client you want, or as big a deal as you want, or as many participants as you want, but ultimately there will be a lesson at the end. When I worked in AV production I had several events in-a-row where there were failings of equipment or people that were totally out of my control. It was the most stressful time in my career.

Ultimately, my team pulled off what I felt was a really clean event. When I handed the recordings to my client at the party and asked her how she felt… she blamed us for some failings on her part. This “I just can’t win” moment is ultimately what pushed me toward a different career path. BOTTOM LINE: If something isn’t working for you? Make a change. I was over feeling that way and complaining about it, so I took immediate action and made a change.

Paddling against a strong current is hard, but worth the payoff
Megan on a Stand Up Paddleboard in Pacific Beach, CA

This house on the bayside in Pacific Beach had stand up paddle boards we could use and I had never done it, so I was super excited! One of my friends went first and she went far, really fast… And it took her a long time — and what looked like a circuitous route — to get back to where we were on shore. I was a little worried about trying to stand up the first time, so I started on my knees. I also started to turn around what felt like very quickly because it looked like it would be difficult.

A few days later I started out standing — had a better paddle — and a plan to stay close to shore. I didn’t fall and all was going according to plan until the current I was going against got stronger and stronger. I felt like I wasn’t moving there for a little while, despite how hard I was working!

It hit me this is a metaphor for my current professional journey. Sometimes it’s easy going and the wind is against our backs. And sometimes it feels like we aren’t moving forward or making any progress at all. The key is to not give up, but to keep paddling, no matter how hard it is. I was close enough to shore that I could have given up and walked the rest of the way, but I didn’t — I talked to some guys on shore who encouraged me! If you feel stuck or like you can’t move forward, talk to someone. Whether it’s a friend or a trusted colleague, or even a coach… someone else can help you through the rough spots and get you to shore.

We can all see business lessons that come from our everyday lives… Do you have any you’d like to share? I’d love it hear it!

I’d love to hear what you thought about this episode! I’m glad I was able to do it for this show.

Posted in be inspired, Business Advice, gratefulness, inspiration, life events, Uncategorized.