The greatest advice I have ever been given (so far).

I’m all about contrast. In contrast we learn, we see, we grow. So, in contrast to my post last year about the least wondrous things I have experienced as a woman in business, I will share with you the greatest advice I have ever been given…by all the people regardless of their sex, race or creed.

Despite some crappy advice along the way, I have created a career and entrepreneurial ecosystem I am proud of and I have met some of the greatest thinkers and doers of our generation. I soak up their advice like a sponge and their thinking has influenced my thinking. In the past decade I have wined and dined with some of the most incredible humans on the planet and been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some incredible advice, so in no particular order… let the name dropping begin!

  1. “Find your business soul mate…someone who completes you” – Guy Kawasaki
  2. “Your energy flows where your attention goes, so be mindful of where your attention is!” – Dandapani
  3. “In a sea of grey, continue to be neon!” – Michael Harte
  4. “Out of 100 people, only 5 of them will love you, 5 of them will hate you and the other 90 are inbetween, play to the LOVERS!” – Lucy Perry
  5. “If you can play, you’ll win at life” – Nolan Bushnell
  6. “I can’t do it YET, add the yet, you’re capable of anything and everything” – Vicki Nally (Mum)
  7. “What you accept you approve” – Martin Nally (Dad)
  8. “Have a long view, imagine where you want to go, then make it happen” – Wendy McCarthy
  9. “If you want to own the future, you have to get uncomfortable, because out of that discomfort comes greatness” – Cindy Gallop
  10. “Think Positive, believe in yourself, believe you can… and you can… and you will!” – Sean Roocroft (married this one)
  11. “Why not? Truly, just experiment, make it work, give it a go!” – Vanessa Beggs
  12. “Sometimes you have to ignore feedback and just keep being you” – Craig Lauchlan
  13. “You’re creative and clever Sah, own it, you gotta sprinkle your Sarah sparkle everywhere you go” – Kat Turner (my awesome sister)
  14. “Live what you preach… Be present, in the moment and grateful what you have done..write what you have acheived and you will be blown away” – Steve Pirie 
  15. “If you want to raise happy and smart children, Create a lab for them to experiment, always make up after an argument in front of them, show them empathy, show them love” – Dr John Medina

See… I got some awesome advice!!!! But it wasn’t all lovely advice and happiness and roses…. along the journey I was ignored; left out, I was bullied, I was oppressed, I was harassed… and the fire in my belly grew every time I was pushed down, it made me want to show people what I was capable of. Maybe growing up in a loving family with clean clothes and food in my belly meant that I was missing the whole adversity thing… but before you imagine silver spoons and easy rides, never fear…the adversity came when I started my career.

I shared the 10 least wondrous things that had happened to me as a woman in business last year… and to be really honest, this was the G version…. #metoo #wheredoistart #toovulnerabletoshare #oneday 

I am certainly grateful for all of the contrast in my experience as it has shaped me, my thinking, my capabilities, my approach and of course my attitude. That doesn’t mean that I’d recommend a serving of harrassment, bullying, oppression or carelessness to ‘toughen you up’ – actually, on the contrary, I understand that all the emerging research by amazing humans like Roman Krznaric on empathy, Dr John Medina (Developmental Molecular Biologist and author of brain rules) who talk about the importance of relationships, connection, kindness and Carol Dweck author of mindset and founder of “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve – means that we actually don’t need to give harsh feedback or outdated advice to try and ‘grow’ people or make them more ‘resilient’ – in fact the best tools we can use to help people thrive include:

  • Empathy – taking time to connect with the person in their experience from their perspective rather than as an observer of their experience from your perspective.
  • Experimentation – an attitude of giving things a go, accepting failure, trying again.
  • Cultivating healthy Relationships – Taking the time to connect face to face.
  • Love – yep, even in business we need to focus on love not fear and take time to connect, share, be vulnerable and care.

I never really know how to end my blogs, I get into this total flow of writing blah blah blah passionate meaningful blah and then I’m like, oh, I’m done – but how do I round this out??? Hmmmm, well the best advice I’ve received hasn’t just come from magazines or books or managers…. it’s come from friends, family and inspirational thought leaders – so if I am to leave you with one thing, it’s this: what is the best advice you’ve received? Who from? How has it helped you create your most wondrous life? Oh and does that person know that they influenced you???? Cos I’m pretty sure half my list are just finding out now. Love you guys and thank you xx

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