Whether it’s in life or business, it’s the lessons we learn along the way that make us.

In life, I have kept on learning lessons – some I have learnt from and others I have ignored only to find that I should have learned my lesson the first time.

It may be turning left when I know I need to turn right, buying retail when I know I could buy something wholesale, lending friends money when you know they have no intention of paying it back, buying flowers on a Thursday when I know that I will be away for the weekend, staying up late to watch television when I know I have a deadline in the morning and many more lessons that personally I do want to learn from.

In business, the lessons can often have a little more sting. Like doing business with someone you know you shouldn’t, using a supplier that has stuffed up repeatedly, investing in people that don’t invest back, working too hard and not watching the cashflow, working in the business and not on the business, hiring when we are desperate and knowing that we have hired the wrong person but still doing it anyway, engaging unproductive debt collection agencies that end up costing more than a lawyer, taking my eye off the business, spending that extra week on holidays to only come back to chaos and the list goes on and on.

Every day I learn lessons and as I get older, hopefully I get a little wiser.

Today, I sat with a good friend for a couple of hours and we both talked about the life lesson we had recently learnt. It’s a moment in life where you realise the importance of these lessons and how much our failures as people and in business don’t really matter, but act as a reminder that we can always do better.

Extracts from The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book:

1. Compliment 3 people every day

2. Remember other people’s birthdays

3. Have a firm handshake

4. Look people in the eye

5. Say “thank you” a lot

6. Say “please” a lot

7. Be the first to say “hello”

8. Live beneath your means

9. Ask for a raise when you feel you’ve earned it

10. Make new friends but cherish the old ones

11. Show respect

12. Forget the Joneses

13. Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures

14. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly

15. Be kinder than necessary

16. Commit yourself to constant self improvement

17. Take care of your reputation. It’s your most valuable asset

18. Remember that life’s most treasured moments often come unannounced

19. Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others.

20. Don’t live with the brakes on

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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