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What I Wish I’d Known Before I Got Started


TOP OF THE GAME: 'Focus on what you do best,' says Dave McGarry

TOP OF THE GAME: 'Focus on what you do best,' says Dave McGarry

TOP OF THE GAME: 'Focus on what you do best,' says Dave McGarry

The core valuable lessons I have garnered along the way have come from the business owners and entrepreneurs I have worked closely with over the years.

Although I was the advice giver/expertise provider in these relationships, many of these men and women imparted some valuable nuggets of work ethic advice to me also. I've also been fortunate enough to have worked with some brilliant internal mentors and to succeed in our business that's critical.

There is so much to be said for having clear career goals and objectives. You need to know where you want to go in order to get there. But you need to allow for some fluidity in your approach to your career - especially when it comes to the areas in which you want to specialise.

It's only when you get practical experience in that area that you can see where your skills lie.

A common attitude I see from younger workers is that they get the job and then think: "Right that's it. I just need to complete my 9-to-5 now and I'm done."

While this might work for some people, I think allowing a little complacency to creep in will often mean that you will become a bit disillusioned in, or deflated with, your role.

Over the years, I have always lectured or served as an examiner in accounting for a number of third level educational institutions, and it's something I find particularly rewarding - as these people really want to learn.

I became invested in the success they are trying to achieve and I owe it to them to be at the top of my game.

Know your strengths and your limitations and focus on what you do best. This is the one thing that I wish someone had drummed home to me at the beginning - to be fair they probably tried but I didn't listen.

Most really successful people are not all-rounders, they generally have one key skill and they outsource their areas of weakness to others. But what they do really well is recognise the gaps and then surround themselves with the best people who can fill them.

It sounds logical - but it's actually quite daunting at first to hire people that are potentially better than you are.

But that's what you have got to do, while retaining the courage of your convictions about your own talents. In my experience, it's the organisations that are willing to identify the areas where they lack expertise and address those issues that are the most successful.

Relinquishing control can be difficult, particularly if you are a business owner. You see it as 'your baby' essentially, and you may think nobody will do the job with the same passion as you. But that's not a sustainable MO. Everybody needs a little help - both inside and outside the working world.

Dave McGarry is a partner at RSM Farrell Grant Sparks

Sunday Indo Business