4 Important Lessons From My Former Career Which Have Helped Me With My Business

This post is by Eleanor Goold, Creative Director, Kreatív Fordítás Ltd

Before setting up my own copywriting and content creation business I was in the fortunate position to have acquired over 20 years corporate experience in the UK Financial Services Industry.

During this time I met not only some amazing and inspirational people, but also made some great friends.

I know it sounds a bit of a cliché, but I firmly believe that every experience, whether good or challenging, is an opportunity to learn.

With that in mind here are some of the gems I’ve learned from my career which helped me greatly when I set out on my own.

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1. Never run with the pack

This was the most valuable piece of advice I ever received from a boss in one of my first ever jobs in the Big Smoke (or London as it is more commonly known to outsiders).

I was a young 20 something, fresh in town from the backwaters, and as naïve as they come. I am not even sure the advice was even directed specifically at me per se, but fortunately for me it stuck.

At the time I wondered what he meant, to me he seemed like a normal run of the mill kind of guy, albeit a bit scary, but what was he doing that was so different from the rest?

It wasn’t until later I appreciated what a pioneer he actually was. And he was right. Never run with the pack. Just because a whole bunch of people are doing something one way, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do it as well, or that it is even right.

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Find your own way of doing things, trust your intuition.

In business this can translate into a better, smarter way.

Offer something different, do and be just that little bit more.

2. Not everyone knows everything

We’ve all been there.

That time in your career (usually at the beginning when you are young enough to know everything) when you are trying to prove just how good you are by demonstrating that you do in fact know everything about your chosen field.

Hopefully, for your own sake, someone came along and burst that bubble for you.

Because quite frankly, nobody knows everything, and that’s a good thing.

In business, knowing what you don’t know is an asset, as it allows you to outsource those things to people who are the experts and leaves you time to do the things you are good at.

Successful business people know the importance of leaving personal egos at the door.

3. Never be a ‘yes’ man (or woman!)

This little pearl of wisdom, as people who know me will testify, has probably got me into more trouble and lost me more promotions than any other.

But I still stand by it, especially when it comes to running your own business.

Okay, tact and diplomacy are one thing, but cronyism and self serving sycophants, sorry, are just not my bag.

I like to be honest with my clients, after all I am there to assist them, not just accept their money and do a mediocre job that is of no real use to them whatsoever.

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I never just take the money and keep schtum.

In the long run it benefits no one!

4. Things change

Sometimes change is quick, sometimes it’s slow, but one thing is for sure; it’s constant and it’s a coming!

Before becoming self-employed I witnessed many people stay in the same job they despised, year in year out, some because they were fearful of losing their ’security’ or whatever other carrot had been dangled in front of their eyes.

Some were possibly hoping that time wouldn’t catch up with them, that they would always have the same team leader, the same desk, the same coffee cup or whatever…but life isn’t like that. Things change and you absolutely have to be adaptable and go with the flow. You have to be open to that change or better still; be that change.

Because if you aren’t, you will simply just be left behind.

In business, adaptability is of paramount importance if you want to keep afloat in the sometimes choppy sea of change.

At times, to survive you have to be like a shark and never stay still, but mostly, you have to be the captain of your ship and navigate the waters with courage, come what may.

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