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10 Successful Professionals Share What They Wish They Knew in College

10 Successful Professionals Share What They Wish They Knew in College

You hear about successful individuals and wonder about the journey they had to get there.

Perhaps you imagine them parading confidently down their college halls, studying their perfectly chosen college major. They must have been one of the smart studious kids that had it all together, knew it all.

And they ended up happily ever after as the wizard of their chosen profession.

That doesn’t seem to be the case. The amazing people in all different fields below have retrospective ideas about their college years. They wish they knew certain things, and may have made choices that they have some regret about.

In hindsight, they reflect on what they wish they knew in college.

Stick around until the end and read about an up and coming young film-maker, a recent college grad of 2014. Does she have some different ideas, having so recently graduated?

Here they are (in alphabetical order) reflecting on what they wish they knew.

1. Chris Brogan

cbheadshot

    What I Wish I Knew in College:    “I wish I knew that I knew so very little”.

    Chris Brogan is an adviser and strategist to professionals and owners. It’s business strategy meets powerful personal development.

    Chris has consulted with companies you know like Disney, Microsoft, Coke, Titleist, Pepsico, Google, Motorola, and many more. He is the New York Times Bestselling author of seven books and counting.

    2. Bob Burg

    BobBurgHRHeadshot

      What I Wish I Knew in College:   “Probably more than anything, just how little I knew about life…but *thought* I knew about life”.

      Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the Free Enterprise system, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve.

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      Bob regularly addresses audiences ranging in size from 50 to 16,000 — sharing the platform with notables including today’s top thought leaders, broadcast personalities, Olympic athletes and political leaders including a former United States President.

      The Go-Giver shot to #6 on The Wall Street Journal’s Business Bestsellers list just three weeks after its release. It’s an international bestseller and has been translated into 21 languages.

      3. Ann Convery

      AnnConvery

        What I Wish I Knew in College:  “In the real world, no one gives you an “A” for getting it right.  You can be perfect, and still not get the job, the date, or the promotion”.

        Ann Convery is an international speaker, seminar leader, trainer and author. Her list of clients reads like a “Who’s Who” of top professionals in the fields of politics, medicine, law, business, health and beauty.

        For 17 years she has prepared clients for CNN, 60 Minutes, The NY Times, Time Magazine, Oprah, People, Vogue and other outlets.

        “I got straight A’s in college, and I was an apple-polisher.  If the teacher said, “Hello”, I wrote down “Hello.”  If there was a right answer, I’d find it.   I wasted a few years trying to find out how to “do life right” before I realized that the answer lies in following my own North Star.  That path is uncertain, it’s scary, and it yields the highest rewards on earth.  And
        guess what?  The world doesn’t make it easy.  As I bring my vision into an uncertain world, I am living for something greater than myself, and there is no happier, richer, deeper way to earn your wings”.

        4. David Essel

        david

          What I Wish I Knew in College:   “That discipline and hard work were more than important steps for success, they were everything”.

          David Essel, M.S. is an Author, National Radio and Television Host, Master Life, Business and Relationship Coach, Adjunct Professor, All Faiths Minister, Addiction Recovery Coach and International Speaker.

          David’s professional presentations on how to lead a passionate and inspiring life have drawn rave reviews from corporations such as Chico’s, Nestlé, and Boeing, media outlets such as FOX and Premiere/Clear Channel Radio, as well as non-profit organizations like the March of Dimes and Unity Church.

          “I wish I knew:

          • The chaos alcohol and drugs could create in our lives.
          • That being in love started with loving ourselves.
          • That saving 10 dollars a week starting in college could make us all millionaires in life.
          • That gratitude, for my eyes, legs, heart…basically for what we take for granted…could lift us up on the crappiest of days.
          • That co-dependency in relationships was as devastating as heroin.
          • That my athletic abilities, while great, were nothing compared to my creative nature in life.
          • That I could become an author? National radio host? National television segment host? International speaker? I wish I knew I was that talented!
          • That my parents had given me the tools needed to be a nice person, and they were actually on my side from day 1.
          • That God loves the homeless as much as he loves me.
          • And that we all have the strength to become who we desire…over and over again.”

          5. Jeff Goins

          Jeff Goins

            What I Wish I Knew in College:   “Commit to something. The fruit is worth the cost”.

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            Originally from Chicago, he moved to Nashville after graduating from college and spending a year traveling with a band. In college, he studied Spanish and Religion and spent part of his junior year in Spain, which unlocked a passion for travel, writing, and making a difference in the world.

            He has written and guest-blogged for over 100 magazines, publications, and blogs and is also a speaker, creative coach, and consultant.

            6. Rhea Lalla 

            lalla

              What I Wish I Knew in College:  “I wish I’d known how to actually feel my feelings, listen to them, recognize & honor them and how to experience my emotional cycles all the way through to completion”.

              Rhea Lalla is the founder of Build Great Minds as a professional trainer, speaker and coach for parents who want to develop their child’s emotional and creative genius so they achieve success in all areas of life. As a mother who values fun and ease, her strategies are simple, effective and produce immediate results.

              “I used to think feelings happened in my mind, but I now know that feelings occur somatically, and can only be experienced by attending to the physical sensations in my body.

              I’ve since learned the ability to breathe through intense sensations & let the wave move through me. This is the fastest way to find calmness in the face of stress, sadness, frustration, anger or fear.

              Now I have access to more inner peace, greater patience & empathy -with my kids, myself and others”.

              My practice for feeling my feelings goes as follows:

              1. I close my eyes, take 3 deep breaths -where the exhale is 2X as long as the inhale

              2. I explore my body for salient sensations: tightness, pulsing, tingles, and tension

              3. I take my awareness near the sensations and explore the texture, color, movement, curious about its message

              4. I try to identify & name the feeling, so I can dis-identify with it

              5. I appreciate and honor the feeling as being a teacher with a lesson for me

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              7. Anthony Mora

              AnthonyMora

                What I Wish I Knew in College:  “In retrospect, there is quite a lot I would have liked to have known in college, although most was best discovered as time went on”.

                Anthony Mora Communications Inc. is a Los Angeles-based public relations, media relations, media training, and internet marketing firm formed by Anthony Mora in 1990. He has placed clients in a wide range of media outlets, including: Time, Newsweek, 60 Minutes, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The New York Times, the BBC, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, People, Rolling Stone etc.

                Anthony has been featured in: USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fox News, MSNBC, and other media.

                “What I do wish I had known in college was how different theory is from practical application.  It was almost a given that college was not the place to ask those nuts-and-bolts practical questions.

                In retrospect, there is quite a lot I would have like to have known in college, although most was best discovered as time went on.  Too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  Still, a melding of theoretical understanding and practical application, that would have been appreciated”.

                8. Leigh Newman

                Leigh

                  What I Wish I Knew in College:  “I wish I’d known that the friends I was making would be with me for 22 years”.

                  Leigh Newman is the Deputy and Books Editor of Oprah.com. Her memoir Still Points North was a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle John Leonard Prize.  She has received fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo and has taught fiction at Pratt Institute.

                  “I wish I’d known that this would be the last time I could take oceanography. I would have taken more of that—and marine biology—and napping 101.

                  I wish I’d known that I like quiet, and it was okay to live off campus and go to bed early with a Melville novel”.

                  9. Debbie Pomerantz

                  Debbie Pomerantz

                    What I Wish I Knew in College:   “To go after what I want and not allow others to derail me.  I wished I realized my potential and recognized my abilities”.

                    Debbie Pomerantz, Assistant Vice President of Gebroe-Hammer Associates has been selected as a “Woman of Influence,” an elite ranking of the nation’s top female real estate professionals.

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                    She joined Gebroe-Hammer Associates, a dominant commercial real estate brokerage firm in the NY-NJ area as a sales representative. In less than one year with the firm, she was promoted to Assistant Vice President. 

                    10. Leah Gottfried

                    Leah

                      What I Wish I Knew in College:  “Having graduated this year, I can honestly say I have no regrets. A weekly meditation group kept me living in the moment”.

                      Leah Gottfried created the first Film Studies major at Yeshiva University.

                      She is the owner of Dignity Entertainment, a full service production company dedicated to creating meaningful visual content that she started while still in college.

                       

                      So it seems like when you look back at a time period in your life, such as your college years, there are things you wish you would have known or wish were different. From a newly graduated college students perspective,  it seems like at the time, during college there is mostly just in the moment college life.

                      As for the successful professionals that make great strides in their field of work, they continue to make their mark even though there were some crucial things they wish they knew or did differently.

                      So go ahead and make your mark, do your thing with whatever you have and know today, in this moment.

                      Rest assured knowing that during your college years you probably were just that – a college student looking at the world with the youthful lense of hope and promise.

                      For today you are exactly where you are meant to be. Your exact experiences, what you did or didn’t know in college make you who you are in this moment, and most things may best be discovered as time goes on.

                      Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/drurydrama/4266958089/ via flickr.com

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                      The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                      The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                      It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                      Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                      “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                      In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                      New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                      There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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                      So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                      What is the productivity paradox?

                      There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                      In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                      He wrote in his conclusion:

                      “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                      Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                      How do we measure productivity anyway?

                      And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                      In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                      But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                      In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                      But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                      Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                      Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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                      • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                      • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                      • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                      • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                      There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                      According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                      Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                      The paradox and the recession

                      The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                      “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                      This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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                      According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                      Looking forward

                      A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                      “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                      Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                      “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                      On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                      Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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