We’re always hearing that we need to look to the future. No sense dwelling on the things that have gone before.
That might be true if living in the past is preventing you from moving on with your life. But as philosopher George Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Learning from your own history won’t just allow you to learn from your mistakes. If you share your knowledge and experience with others it could help them too.
But I’m just a beginner
When you first start out in business it’s easy to believe that you don’t have any experience to share. You can become paralysed by the idea that everyone else writing about your subject knows more than you and has more experience. What could you possibly contribute that someone else hasn’t written already?
The truth is, everyone is at a different stage. Even if you’re new to being a business owner, you still have life experience. The things that you’ve done might even offer you a new and unique perspective.
What else have you done?
You might have had a 9 to 5 job, been to university or stayed at home raising a family. Every experience has taught you something. I switched from practicing law to being a full time writer. That sounds like a sideways jump but there are so many transferable skills. I still have to deal with customers and discover their expectations, offer clear recommendations and manage my time. Those are all things that I can blog about.
Look back at your life; what has it taught you? What skills have you brought to your business? They might be things that you didn’t realise you’d need. Your take on a particular situation could give someone else the tools they need to solve a problem.
You could bring inspiration to others
There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ business advice. There are general principles you can follow but everything you implement in your business needs to be tailored to fit. That’s why there are so many business bloggers and coaches out there.
You might read a high level business article and find it utterly confusing. Either that or the advice it contains is utterly impractical for your circumstances. It doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for business. It just means that the information they’re offering is for people who’ve been at it for longer than you, or who adopt a different approach.
I’ve followed (and unfollowed) dozens of business gurus over the last year. I’ve learnt which ones offer advice that fits the way I want to work.
You have your own unique view of the world. That said, there are loads of people out there whose lives share common features with yours. Other business owners, creatives, parents, people who work out of their sheds; the possibilities are endless! By telling your story you can connect with those people. You never know, you might have the solution to something they’re struggling with.
When you start to communicate with the people who need you, that’s when your business can really start to flourish.
Do you look to the past for inspiration? Drop me a comment and let me know!