Like you, I am a go-getter. I see opportunities and I make them happen.

While working as a sales executive at a Global 500 Insurance and Banking company in Toronto, I saw a gap in Communication training available to brokers in Canada. So I created a startup to address these needs.

The budget was a concern, which was the primary reason for the lack of training. Having a background as an Insurance company middle woman, I knew where to go for funding that would result in the creation of mutually beneficial relationships.

This year’s transition into a new presidency in the US changed the priorities of the international connections I was liaising, along with where they preferred to do business.

This looked like an Epic failure at first – then, I decided to go bigger, rather than smaller.

“Failure happens when you stretch yourself, says entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” star Robert Herjavec – and that’s not a bad thing. Don’t dwell on it; learn from it.”

By going bigger, I am opening the door to working with international clients in a way that goes beyond political barriers, to coaching a broader group of business owners on how to grow and to doing more #socialgood.

My solution has two main components, first, I am writing a book on Business Communication. Secondly, I am partnering up with an Insurance company that is innovative in serving employees, clients, consumers and their worldwide community.

Through this process of evolution influenced by external change, I learned 12 essential things about starting a business, failing and recreating it for exponential growth.

1. Self-Awareness: Know thyself. I’m better at the
front end – making the pitch, getting the sale and solving the client’s
problems with my products or services. This helps me better invest my

2. Boundary setting leads to happiness and productivity. Some things, ideas, people and places create synergy. Find them.

3. Creativity is an essential component of success and it comes from being flexible. Regularly develop new ways of approaching, defining and communicating value to customers.

4. Trust and belief in oneself to achievement. This comes first, with it I can go for the goal I’ve set for myself. It allows for dreaming, planning, strategizing, changing the course as needed. Most of all, it frees up internal space for honest self-analysis.

5. Responsibility: You and only you are responsible for filling your pipeline – the more one invests in their business, the more it generates. Period.

6. Diligence: A great lead does not equal a great sale. There is a lot that has to happen in between, not the least of which is good fortune. To make the most of good fortune and time in general, one has to be prepared.

7. Leadership: Knowing what kind of leader one is: I am a “lead by example” kind of person. I prefer to get on the Sales floor, do the work and let others decide for themselves if the results are proof enough that they too can do it. With this bit clear, one can choose employees and customers who respond well to one’s style.

8. Passion and Enthusiasm are the two ingredients which make things happen. It’s what leads me to take bold stances, which according to Immelt are an essential part of leadership.

9. Reading and thinking – Spend as much time as you can afford these things. For me, they became a way of meditating, of staying in the flow of creativity, of getting ahead of other players, staying relevant – Warren Buffet’s winning strategy.

10. Hire Key People: Operations people supplement, challenge and ensure the success of what I do. Surround yourself with good ones.

11. Staying active clears the mind, releases stress, increases serotonin, and helps one generate more energy. With more energy, I can be more productive.

12. Time flies. Use it wisely. Learn from experiences. Make the most Learn from the people whose lifestyle and career path you value.

These lessons, along with the words below stay with me as I traverse new territory, both literally and figuratively:

“Life isn’t a game where every loss is subtracted from your list of victories. My mantra – Failure is never a disaster. For me, failure shows you how to improve, and how to work toward more and better victories in the future.”- Robert Herjavec

What lessons would you add? Let us know. Your feedback shapes our work!

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This article was originally posted on Linkedin on 8/30/2017