Have you ever thought about your high school days, and wondered what kinds of lessons you may have left on the table? High school is such a formative time in everyone's life, and sometimes the underlying messages that we are taught don't stick with us into adult life... at least not until we sit back to reflect on them.

I have been thinking about my high school days lately, and realizing that there are many lessons that I learned in high school that are very relevant to my business now, if I just look at them from a different perspective.

Think about it - the lyrics to all the songs you used to listen to in high school just seem to 'come back' to you when you hear them on the radio - that's proof that the knowledge you gained is still in there. It's just a matter of applying it.

Here are a few of my favourites:

1. Be yourself. In high school, everyone is encouraged to be independent and to just be themselves. The same is true in your business persona. I have always found that to be the same person to everyone is to be the most genuine person you can be in your whole life; not only that, it's the easiest person to be, because you just have to be you, anywhere you are. I know that my family, my friends, my colleagues and my clients (and my potential clients) all know the same 'version' of me, because that's how I have always presented myself in any situation. Be yourself, whoever that is! Being comfortable in your own skin will make you a better businessperson too, because you will authentically connect with everyone around you, and they will notice that. I like me. It's easy to be me.

2. Done is better than perfect. Looming project deadlines and exams were the things that would keep us up at night in high school. Maybe the same things keep us up at night as adults! But the real idea here is to put the commitment in to finishing what you start. I know many VAs and small business owners who get caught up in the planning stage, and may never get things off the ground as a result. Certainly they don't realize the success they could have, because they are too busy trying to be perfect, instead of just completing the task at hand. Everything in life is a 'work in progress', and as a business person it's important to complete each step and move on, just like finishing a high school exam. Once you finish what you have planned, then you assess it and fix what needs to be fixed as you continue moving forward.

3. Where you begin is not as important as where you end up. This is the same principle as trying to achieve perfection. Where you begin is not as important as where you end up. In high school, we all started at the bottom (ugh!) and had that scary path ahead as we marvelled over the seniors who were so cool and smart and so much larger than life. But we knew the path - we knew the classes we had to take, where our locker was, and which wing of the school we were allowed to be in, as we worked our way through those years. We also knew what we were expected to achieve by the time we finished. In your business, you must do the same thing. Plan your path that will take you towards those who are far ahead of you... know where you are going, know where all of your 'stuff' is, and know how you are going to get there. It doesn't matter where you begin; the important thing is to get started. And if you end up in a place that you didn't expect, change lanes, and keep moving towards that success.

4. Kindness counts: give it back and pay it forward. Growing up, we were always taught to be kind. In high school this may have been a difficult concept for some people, as hormones raged and independent personalities formed, but certainly the idea was promoted by school faculty and parents alike. Above all, be nice. Everyone is walking their own path and you can't possibly know where they have come from, or where they are going, but kindness helps along everyone's path. It's an excellent quality to nurture in yourself. If someone shows you kindness in your life or in your business, give it back to them, and also pay it forward to those who are coming up behind you or beside you. Sharing ideas and success stories is very big in the VA business, and everyone gets ahead faster if we all lend a hand to others on the more difficult parts of the path.

5. Every day is a new beginning. Every day begins anew. You remember the commencement speech at graduation - opportunities abound, and all that good stuff. When we came to the end of high school, it was the beginning of a new path, just like every small success we had experienced through our years in high school. It doesn't matter what happened yesterday - what matters is what you will make happen tomorrow. We are all in business for our own reasons, and even if we have a bad day, or week, or some kind of challenge, we need to brush ourselves off, and begin again. Life in business is not easy all the time, but we can always move forward if we just realize that there will always be a tomorrow where we can begin again.

6. Success is 1% talent, 99% hard work. Who doesn't remember pulling an all-night study session for that Chemistry test, and coming up with a C+ and totally rejoicing? Just me? What? Oh well!? It is true that talent gets you so far, and hard work can actually take you farther. All the talent in the world won't make your business succeed if you are not willing to put in the time and effort to implement your structures, your goals and your day to day work to succeed. Some days it feels like drama class and other days it's like chemistry! Be sure that you are putting in the hard work it takes to make your business successful, and take advantage of that talent if you have it!

7. Don't forget to have a sense of humor. Above all else, high school was fun. We were kids, we did silly things, we had lots of fun, and most people remember their high school days as some of the best days of their lives (I know I do!). So enjoy it... make sure you love what you do in your business, and take every opportunity to share that with others. Connect with people who make you happy, and make them happy too - clients, colleagues, whatever. I get along very well with all of my clients, and we laugh often when we have our production calls, which makes the whole process of getting things done more enjoyable for everyone. And most importantly, take the time away from your business to enjoy your life as well. You know what they say about all work and no play!

So embrace your inner teenager and think about all the things that you already know (just like those song lyrics!). Celebrate that knowledge and take those things that you have learned and put them into your business. We really were wired for success in high school, it's just a matter of identifying what you learned and implementing it. Try it!

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D'Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey's free ebook "3 Way To Get The Clients You Want!" at www.yourvamentor.com.