Last night I spoke at AIM, as part of the Brisbane Business Writers Week. We packed out the auditorium and had a load of fun with very interesting people.
I had some requests to share on my blog the advice I had given my girls, as part of the book I wrote for them, “What I Wish I Had Known as a Teenager”. So here it is:
In life, your job is to make the invisible visible for yourself and the people around you. Be clear on who you are and what you stand for. By knowing what you stand for, you will not be swayed by peer pressure or fads. You can be true to yourself.
Work out who you want your friends to be. You can’t be everybody’s friend and not everyone wants to be your friend. Pick the people you want to be your friends carefully because you are known by the company you keep.
People like real people and not plastics or Barbie doll people. The most attractive people are the ones who are self-confident, interesting and are not afraid to be who they are.
Before you start talking to people, you have to get their attention first. If you don’t get their attention, you are just wasting your breath.
If you want to be liked, remember to listen more than you talk. Be interested in other people, ask questions and show your interest. It’s not all about you!
And while we are on talking, don’t mumble. Speak in a way that people can clearly hear and understand you.
If you are good at something, back yourself to do it. Don’t be all talk, but put your money where your mouth is and actually back yourself.
And last but not least – don’t be afraid to ask for advice, directions or feedback. It is only by listening to what other people have to say, that you can improve as well as celebrate what you do well.
These lessons also apply to business – the rules are really rules of life (and not just for teenagers).