It doesn’t matter how old you are and how skilled you are, it’s always a good idea to ask for help or a second opinion.  Tom Peters, the author of “In Search of Excellence” agrees.

I attended a “Newpreneur of the Year” finale event a month ago in San Francisco sponsored by INC and Alibaba.com. Tom peters was the keynote speaker. One of the key messages he presented was the concept of LATA – these are key skills needed in building excellence continuously in your work and career.

  • Listen to others – take twice as much time to listen as to speak as we are given two ears and one mouth for a reason.  You can learn a lot more by listening
  • Ask for help / other’s opinion – you never know what you may learn until you ask.  Ask not only your mentors and bosses but more importantly ask your team members, clients, receptionist what they think.
  • Thank and acknowledge people – A little thank you can go a lot way in building your network, client relationship, team morale, etc.
  • Apologize and rectify – People can have such a hard time these days admitting mistakes but a sincere apologize can mend a relationship instantly.

These may be simple concepts but we usually don’t do it enough due to ego, pride, and/or insecurities.  As a new entrepreneur, I am trying to listen to more of his advice everyday.  The other day, I had lunch with a friend who used to work for me at Deloitte.  In some ways, I introduced her to the Marketing discipline.  She has now worked in Marketing for 4+ years and is quite skilled in developing creative ideas and marketing strategy.   I ran my new business idea by her and ask for her feedback.  She was exceptionally helpful and gave me some great tips.

At the end of the day, a little humbleness goes a long ways.  I am constantly humbled by the brilliance around me.  As I learn to ask for help, I am learning more and more each day about how to develop a new business.

Everyone of us probably needs help in some areas of our lives.  I encourage you to go out there and ask others for help.  You never know what you can learn until you ask.  Good luck out there and happy holidays!

– Lei

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