The 5 Business Lessons That Changed My Life

Ryan McGrath
May 17, 2022
min read
The 5 Business Lessons That Changed My Life

I have heard, received, and given my fair share of business advice. As some of you already know, my appetite for learning, improving, and ultimately growing is insatiable. As I reflect on my role today as the CEO and President of Asset Living, 5 principal business lessons come to mind; each of which has essentially “changed my life” for the better.

Select great leaders

This first lesson I learned early on. I couldn't do everything on my own, no matter how hard I tried.

In fact, I needed to not just rely on others but also hire people smarter than me.

By surrounding myself with brilliant individuals that bring forth varying perspectives, I am able to hone in on my own responsibilities and effectively scale the business.

Sit on go

In other words: always be prepared to pull the trigger. Whether it’s a business deal or an important hire, timing is nearly everything when it comes to making critical decisions. Opportunities sometimes present themselves when you least expect them to, and those that are able to mobilize efficiently and make a decision in real-time are often the ones that win big in the end.

Roll with the punches

From an early age, we’re led to believe that a successful career resembles a linear trajectory. But neither success nor a career is linear at all. Instead, you’ll find that a career—much like life—ebbs and flows. It is fluid and messy and rarely accompanies a definitive start and endpoint. The path is riddled with sudden opportunities as well as obstacles—spurts of growth and periods of stagnation.

The key is simple and rather cliché: never stop trying. If you’re breathing, you’re still in the game.  

Reinvest in yourself

When work and life get busy, we tend to neglect ourselves. To reinvest in yourself means to learn, improve, and grow. It means reading voraciously, constantly diversifying your skillset, and mastering your craft—whatever that may be. Self-improvement shouldn’t halt when you become an executive leader; in reality, it should become more integral as your role advances. Identify what motivates you.

Personally, my employees inspire me to be a better leader.

I also make sure to read every day; I know that sounds time-consuming but believe me, it’s not only doable but also incredibly worthwhile.

Make other people successful  

Empowering others, especially as a leader, is non-negotiable. By helping others achieve their goals, you will learn how to listen closely and empathize effectively—two critical life skills. It’s important to note that you don’t need to be a manager nor hold a leadership position in order to help, it can be done at any stage of your career. In general, pay attention to the details of other people’s lives. Get to know them and listen attentively. Then ask yourself, how can you motivate, inspire, or collaborate with them? Remain earnest in your approach.  

"As Simon Sinek once said, “the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.”

As a CEO, one of my primary mantras is grounded in how I view my role: My job is to serve my employees—not the other way around.  

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