collageGetting on in business is really similar to getting on in life. And that’s why I’m including the thoughts of Julie Bort with The Business Insider. She’s been a journalist for the better part of 2 decades and during that time she’s interviewed and written about thousands of people in various stages of success, from CEOs of multibillion companies to entrepreneurs launching startups (including one founder who launched a startup while fighting brain cancer.)

No matter what is going on in your career (life), chances are someone else before you had a similar situation. Julie Bort shares the following tips:



  1. You don’t have to turn your favorite hobby or pastime into your full-time living, but you do need to have a passion for your work. If your work is meaningful to you, your work life will be a joy.
  2. If you can’t be passionate about the work itself, be passionate about the reason you do it. Maybe you don’t love your job or company, but the money and benefits are good for your family. Be passionate in your choice to do right by your family while also taking steps to find a role you do love.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll have a positive outcome.
  4. If you spend most of your time using your talents and doing things you are good at, you’re more likely to be happy.
  5. If you spend most of your time struggling to improve your weaknesses, you’re likely to be frustrated.
  6. Practice is the only true way to master a new skill. Be patient with yourself while you learn something new.
  7. The only way to stay fresh is to keep learning new things.
  8. To learn new things means being a beginner, and that means having a “beginner mind” and making mistakes.
  9. bust of stone carving maleThe more comfortable you grow with making beginner mistakes, the easier it is to learn new things.
  10. If you think something needs changing, be the one to lead the change.
  11. Start small and build from there.
  12. Do the obvious stuff first, then progress to the harder stuff. (Otherwise known as going for the low-hanging fruit.)
  13. Always try to get better at your craft from the technical aspects to your leadership skills.
  14. The hardest lesson to learn is when to keep going and when to quit. No one can teach you that. At some point, you have to choose.
  15. The definition of crazy is to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result. If the result isn’t good, change something and then try again.
  16. No one succeeds alone.
  17. Ask for help. Be specific when asking. Be graceful and grateful when help comes.
  18. People experience the world differently. Two people can attend the same meeting and walk away with different impressions. Don’t fight that. Use it.
  19. Embrace diversity. The best way to compensate for your own weaknesses is to pick teammates who have different strengths.
  20. You don’t have to like someone to treat that person with respect and courtesy.
  21. Don’t “should” all over someone, and don’t let someone else “should” all over you.
  22. No matter what you do or how much you achieve, there are always people who have more.
  23. There will always people who have less, too.
  24. You will never have all the resources (time, money, people, etc.) that you want for your project or company. No one ever has all the resources they want. 
  25. A lack of resources isn’t an excuse. It’s a blessing in disguise. You’ll have to get creative.

Cool Mona Note: We survived the holiday dysfunction. Part 2 tomorrow.