Your psychological stimulus package has arrived: Inspiration for the new year

What was the best piece of advice you've ever received?

The New Year’s ball has dropped, and if you’re feeling like you’ve already dropped the ball on resolutions for 2021, I get it. While the GRC team typically relishes the opportunity to set ambitious goals on January 1, this year feels a bit different – perhaps because we’ve just spent the past 10 months in a state of constant uncertainty, flux and innovation.

So instead of starting the year with a lofty to-do list, I reached out to our Market Ambassador Team in search of inspiration (a sort of psychological stimulus package, if you will). Here’s what I asked: “What is the best piece of business (or life) advice you’ve ever received?”

Advice, in general, isn’t exactly hard to come by (hence, the proverb: Nothing is given so freely as advice). That’s why I specifically asked for the good stuff from people who know their stuff.

Here’s how they answered:

Steve Atha, Topeka, KS – This is good, if not the best, advice: Life is too short. Don’t get stuck doing work you hate or with people you can’t stand. Move on. Change it. And here’s the best advice I’ve ever given: There is no shortage of great ideas. What is rare is people willing to do the work necessary to make them real.

Phil Webb, Omaha, NEKeep your eyes on the horizon, but keep your nose to the grindstone. The language is pretty archaic today, but I took it to mean: Do your job well but keep looking for ways to grow.

Mark Fenner, Columbia, MOPeople don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Greg Vasek, Lincoln, NE – The following poem [“The Indispensable Man” by Saxon White Kessinger] is something my dad passed along to me many years ago. I can’t say it was absolutely the best advice I got, but it certainly helped me put things in perspective during my career.

Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego ‘s in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You’re the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining,
Is a measure of how much you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.

The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.

When I posed the same question to Lori Gleeman, who boldly launched a new business (Soul Equity Solutions) in 2020, she responded, “Perfection is the enemy of done. I have found that trying to be absolutely perfect holds me back while trying to do the very best I can keeps me moving forward in the right direction.”

The past year was packed with challenges that didn’t disappear when we switched to a new calendar. We hope you take a moment to reflect and perhaps reach out to your trusted advisors for advice and encouragement to help tackle 2021.