Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Smartest Thing I Did Last Year

“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.” --John Ruskin

The rugged individualist, bravely doing it all by himself – it’s a familiar theme from Hollywood but not the best way to run a business. The smartest thing I did last year was make a commitment to get help and support in many different forms.

In addition to a crack team of web designers and programmers, a graphic artist, accountant, IT specialist, lawyer, assistant and virtual assistant, Team BlueTree also includes mentors and a board of advisors. You may be surprised to learn that some of my advisors I have never met. Some are not even living.

This is an idea I picked up from self-help author Napoleon Hill. He created an imaginary board of personal advisors made from great figures of history. He chose people like Napoleon, Lincoln, Jesus and Alexander the Great and held imaginary conversations with them whenever he had an important decision to make. Because he had studied their lives, he gained new viewpoints into the insights, observations and advice his advisors would give.

This is habit that anyone can do – identify and learn from the best in your industry, your hobby, in politics, culture or the arts. My imaginary board of advisors includes many successful women entrepreneurs who have blazed a trail for me to follow. Just because I don’t happen to personally know them doesn’t stop me from following in their footsteps and being inspired by them every day.

• TIP: Make a list of people you especially admire. The next time you have a decision to make or you’re just ruminating on some initial thoughts, ask yourself, what would so-and-so say about this situation? Note what new insights and observations come to your mind.

Barbara Wayman, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at

This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included.

©2009 Barbara Wayman, BlueTree Media, LLC.

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