I turn 30 today and it's a strange feeling.
While I could will sulk now that my 20's are officially in the rear-view, it's a good time to reflect on the lessons that I've learned so far in my career.
I've worked with some really great people on the road to 30. Two of these people happen to be my parents, which in itself has been an incredible experience. Directly or indirectly, I've learned things from colleagues, mentors, friends, and family that have made an impact on me both professionally and personally.
Here are 7 important lessons that I've learned along the way:
1. You are a collection of your experiences
I heard this on my very first day at KPMG. Positive and negative experiences alike build character and help shape who we are. They also create a filter for how we see the world and interact with others.
2. Mindset shapes reality
A positive mindset leads to positive outcomes. A negative mindset leads to negative outcomes.
You'll have to trust me, I didn't plan on quoting Confucious when I started writing this blog post, but this quote sums up the power of mindset: "He who says he can and he who says he can't are both usually right." Working Socrates into my next post about the yield curve is going to be more difficult.
3. Networking is about giving
Making an active, genuine effort to go out of your way for others while expecting nothing in return helps to build strong relationships.
4. Don't shy away from difficult situations because they're uncomfortable
This was something my dad taught me at a young age. It applies to business just as much as one's personal life.
5. Perfect is the enemy of great
Almost nothing will be truly perfect. Failing to accept this can hinder your progress towards accomplishing meaningful goals.
6. No pain, no gain
Growing up, I would think about how stressful it would be to manage other people's money for a living. And it can be stressful. But so can most professions in which people depend on you. Whether you're a partner on a fortune 500 company audit, a nurse, or a lead engineer on a company project, you're going to feel significant stress at points in your career. It's the cost of admission if you want to succeed and ultimately provide for the people closest to you.
7. Always be learning
The best professionals that I've met, regardless of industry, have one thing in common: Curiosity. No matter how skilled or experienced, they have a consistent drive to learn, grow, and expand their knowledge.
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This one's a bonus: Surround yourself with great people and enjoy the journey. Hopefully my next 30 are as good as my first!