Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Closing Personal and Professional Gaps

by placers on May 24, 2024 in Outside Insights


I’ve started several businesses, bootstrapped them, and grown them to mid-market size. I coach entrepreneurs and leaders to help them achieve the life and business they desire. My day job is with Placers, where we’ve been placing thousands of people for over 50 years. I spend my days and nights helping individuals close their personal and professional gaps—it’s my purpose. This is the essence of Outside Insights. Below are my lifetime, so far, of musings I think we could all take something away from:


1 – Embrace the Gap: There is always a gap between where we are and where we want to be. It’s rare to find individuals who work to close these gaps, but if you do, you’ll find yourself further ahead than you imagined. You might even surpass your peers in confidence, skills, and living the life you desire.

2 – Effort Matters: There are goals and the effort towards them. Effort is where most of us fall short. How do you hold yourself accountable?

3 – Seek Experiences: When starting your career, focus on experiences and exposure. Understand what kind of boss and corporate culture you need to succeed. My first job in retail taught me a lot about what I didn’t want – which was invaluable in helping me shape the life that I did want.

Check out My Life Would Be Incomplete Without…

4 – Know Yourself: Spend time on self-reflection. Who are you? What do you want out of life? This journey of self-discovery is crucial and will guide you towards your true goals.

Check out How To Build The Life You Want

5 – Define Your Core Values: Take time to define and review your core values regularly. These should guide your decisions, especially in challenging situations.

6 – Show Gratitude: Life can be tough, but finding and appreciating small moments of joy can rewire your brain for positivity. Commit to reflect on what gives you joy daily.

7 – Measure Progress: Entrepreneurs often struggle with moving goalposts. Remember to look back and see how far you’ve come. This is a practice I need to relearn every day.

8 – Persistence Pays Off: “Making” it as an entrepreneur is not easy. It takes years, costs more, and requires enduring hardships. It’s supposed to get hard – use that as motivation to keep going – a turning point is up ahead.

9 – Focus on Skills: Instead of fixating on roles and salaries, focus on developing your skills, learning, and gaining new experiences. This approach will eventually lead you to the roles and salaries you desire.

10 – You Can Be What You Want: You can learn and become anything you desire. My journey to becoming an Entrepreneur coach started with unpaid work, which eventually led to paid opportunities.

Check out Why We Should Be Change Makers

11 – Knowledge Creates Results: Slow down and spend more time understanding the exact challenge before acting. Devote 80% of your time to finding solutions and 20% to executing them, this will help ensure you’re not wasting time solving the wrong problem.

Check out The Power of Knowledge is Based In ‘See, Think, Act’ Philosophy

12 – Provide Value in Every Interaction: Aim to add value to everyone you meet. This approach will enrich your professional and personal relationships.

13 – Act Like a Leader: Employers want employees who look for opportunities to create value in new ways every day. Take charge, solve problems, and act as a leader no matter your role.

Check out Cut The Strings on Puppeteer Leadership

14 – Embrace Imperfection: Life is full of ups and downs. Embrace both, as they are essential to the human experience.

15 – Confidence is Key: Confidence can be your superpower. Believe in yourself and your abilities and others will believe in you, too.

16 – Focus on Your Goals: If you want to achieve something, start working on it. Persistence and patience are essential.

17 – Build a Support Network: Surround yourself with a community of vendors, partners, mentors, and coaches who support your goals.

18 – Seek Guidance: Don’t go it alone. Find a career agent or mentor who can help you navigate your journey.

19 – Prioritize and Act: When overwhelmed with multiple goals, prioritize one that will have a cascading effect on others. Focus on your “flywheel of life.”

20 – Live by Your Values: Having the life you want involves living according to your values and knowing what you want in various aspects of life, including careers, relationships, and hobbies.


By applying these insights and continuously working to close your gaps, you’ll be on your way to achieving both personal and professional success.


There is so much more to add to the list – and we’re all strengthened by collective experiences in the Outside Insights community. What would you add to the list? Reply and let me know!


Until next time friends,


Our book is now available as a paperback, hardback, and Kindle on Amazon. We hope you will check it out here!

If you enjoyed this article, I recommend reading these past Outside Insights posts:

The Art of Quitting: Hang In or Hang It Up?

Our Theme is To Be

The Energy Vampires: Navigating The Draining Forces in Our Lives

This Outside Insights blog brought to you by my Life Plan Review. If you’re looking for the life you want and have a goal or two to get done and your looking for accountability in a community click here for more information.

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