The E Circle Co-Founder Mike Keiser reflects on the most valuable lessons he learned in 2017:

Quit “selling.”
Provide people with a valuable experience ahead of time of what it would be like to work with us. Provide good information, positive experiences, and good reasons for people to hire you. Building that level of trust with people helped our business grow 45% this year.

Be challenged more.
I’m much more open to being challenged by ideas, my partners, close advisors, and clients. It helped me to get out of my own way and build a greater capacity for learning and growth.

Surround myself with people who help me thrive.
Being around people who inspire me has helped me become a better version of myself.

Build an even stronger network.
The relationships I created this past year have had an amazing impact on our business.

Tell myself the truth—always.
It’s very easy to believe our own garbage and block ourselves from important learning. With the help of a few close confidants, I’ve learned that telling myself the sometimes-unpleasant truth made a huge difference in my life and business.

Leave room for what’s important.
It’s easy for me to get sucked in to work and other things. I learned that, even though I took more time for the important people and things, I got more work done that any other time in my life.

Stop resuscitating things that need to die.
Whether they are business ideas, toxic relationships, or various shiny objects, I learned that sometimes it’s time to stop beating a dead horse and move on. We often talk to our clients about the “elimination of the unacceptable.” I finally took some of my own advice and found that it provided me with a lot more capacity to get important things done.

The sure-fire way to “win” is to work harder than everyone else.
Whether it’s your competition, your colleagues, or yourself, there is no way to skip the hard work and become a higher performer at the same time. I understand what people mean when they say, “Work smarter, not harder.” But, I tend to disagree. Yes, we want to work as smart as possible. But that will never beat the person who’s willing to work a little later, put in the extra effort, and do the work while others are watching Game of Thrones.

About the Author
Michael Keiser promises he is Co-Founder of coaching, marketing, and advisory company The E Circle.

Interested in learning more about Mike and his entrepreneurial endeavors?

Read our interview: Entrepreneur Co-Founds Business Advisory Startup.

Get more entrepreneurial tips from Mike in his Innovation Destination Hartford blogs: