What I Learned in 2017 and Why It Is Critical to Your Success

This past year was a great year of learning for me! Transitioning out of the big corporate world into my own business consulting has given me the opportunity to adjust my “point of reference” and to see the world from yet another very valuable perspective!

In addition to this monster change, I was also able to either consult or serve in a board role in two not-for-profit organizations, a landscape company, a drywall company, a home renovation company, an equipment sales company, and a start-up engineering company. In the middle of all this, I started a Mastermind Group of senior level business leaders.

It was definitely a year full of change, learning, and growth!

And, as I have in done previous years, this post shares my biggest lessons learned over the past year.

What I Learned in 2017

The most important things I learned in 2017 are:

  1. Always make your customer the hero – Donald Miller. Never position yourself or your products/services as a hero to your customers. Always make the customer the hero!
  2. Have clearly defined principles that you follow and leverage everyday – Ray Dalio. Having defined principles that you and your business consistently follow, gives your business a solid foundation for repeatability and quality.
  3. Performance review system – Ray Dalio. Performance reviews are, at best, messy and quite often damage relationships between managers and staff. Dalio lays out the framework for a new tool that provides live feedback to staff from their peers. Check it out at veronode.com
  4. “Discipline creates freedom” and “margins create options” – Jocko Willink and John C. Maxwell. Building discipline into all areas of your life creates freedom. Freedom allows you to have wider margins. Wider margins in life give you options.
  5. Benefits of a ketogenic diet – Removing much the carbs and sugar from your diet will have a massively positive impact on your health.
  6. Benefits of intermittent fasting – Limiting all of your eating to an eight-hour window each day (e.g., 16-8 intermittent fast) will also yield huge positive health benefits.
  7. Founding values make our countries and businesses great – Canada and the US were founded on Judeo-Christian values. These values provided the solid foundation that enabled growth of the powerful economic engines that exist in both countries today. The further we stray from these values, the higher the risk that our economies with stall and even fail.
  8. Define and build what makes you and your business Uniquely Better – Andy Stanley. What is it that makes you or your business uniquely better . . . not just better! What truly differentiates you in the marketplace? What can you do to strengthen that Uniquely Better quality?
  9. 70% of Today’s Occupations Will Be Obsolete in 80 Years – This should be a wake-up call for every business and business leader. We need to continually redefine ourselves and our businesses and be ready to take advantage of marketplace change when it comes. This will allow us to continue to thrive and provide an economic powerhouse for ourselves, our staff, and our communities.
  10. Meta Learning – Timothy Ferriss. We must learn how to learn! As the pace of change increases, we must increase our capacity to learn new things faster and deeper.
  11. Why it is important to identify and mitigate your single point of failure – Every business and business leader must identify their single point of failure and build a strategy to mitigate this weakness!

Take Action

Take some time this week and pick a few things from the list above. Learn as much as you can about them. Apply them to your life and your business and measure the improvement.

Always look for ways to improve yourself and your business!


By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is bitterest.” Confuscius


What did you learn in 2017 that made a big impact on your life or business? Leave your comments below!


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