The Best Advice I Ever Got

The Best Advice I Ever GotI hope you’re great. Four things I wanted to share with you to help you do fantastic work and create your best life during these volatile times:

#1. Below you will find an idea-rich article called, “The Best Advice I Ever Got” that summarizes the powerful insights that exceptional business leaders use to win.

The Best Advice I Ever Got

All it takes is a single idea to change the game. One insight, shared in one quick conversation, can transform the way you think, work and live. One piece of wisdom from an epic performer – or a thoughtful producer – can dramatically alter the path of your career and your personal life. And, as with all big ideas, the simpler the better (simplicity is the trademark of Genius).

When I was about 21 years old, I was blessed to have a brilliant bond trader as a best friend. He was older than me, more instinctual and had developed the acute courage to live his life on his own terms (versus following the crowd). A true original, in my eyes. And a man who influenced my perspective deeply. We used to take long walks along the ocean and talk about business, creativity and getting big things done. One morning, he said something that still speaks to me this day: “Robin, you have to run your own race.” To me, that advice meant a few things, trust my own instincts, live by my own values, do my own dreams (and quickly dismissing the chattering opinions of the critics around us). Too easy to buy into society’s definition of success and miss out on our own.  So easy to get distracted by what other people are doing and get off the clear vision we’ve set for ourselves. And I have to admit that I’d rather fail at my own “race” than win at someone else’s.

To keep you encouraged, focused and at peak inspiration as you pursue what’s most important to you, I’ve set out some of the best “advice I’ve learned” from some of the best businesspeople on the planet. Here you go:

Elon Musk, the visionary founder of Tesla – the electric supercar manufacturer – told FORTUNE magazine that the single best piece of advice he ever received came from the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy. “Don’t panic” were the words that jumped out at him, and that have guided his world-class career as an entrepreneur. He shared that emotion causes imperfect decision making since we don’t see the facts clearly. As for bad advice he said: “My parents advised me to ignore bullies. That doesn’t work. You have to punch them in the nose.”

Leonard Lauder, Chairman of The Estee Lauder Companies learned an outstanding piece of advice from his mother that guided his career, “If you have something positive to say to someone, put it into writing. But if you have something bad to say, tell it to them to their face.” An example comes from his experience as chairman of The Whitney Museum in New York. He was upset with one of the trustees and wrote a letter that he left on his desk. An assistant found the letter and mailed it, causing the trustee to resign in disgust. Lauder says he still regrets writing that letter to this day.

Terry Lundgren, CEO, Macy’s: “You’re not going to do this forever. There’s a finite amount of time you’re going to be doing this. Do this really, really well.” (from an interview in The New York Times).

Tony Hsieh, founder of “Hire more slowly and fire those who are harming the culture more quickly. Our #1 priority is company culture. Our belief is that if you get the culture right, then most of the other stuff like building a great brand and great customer service will happen naturally.”

Warren Buffett, the iconic investor, was profoundly influenced by his father Howard, a stockbroker. One of the maxims his dad would recite regularly came from the philosopher Emerson: “The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” This drilled into Buffett’s thinking the importance of thinking for yourself and contrarian investing.

“When you’re the first person whose beliefs are different from what everyone else believes, you’re basically saying, “I’m right, and everyone else is wrong.” That’s a very unpleasant position to be in. It’s at once exhilarating and at the same time an invitation to be attacked.” Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle (by the way, big thanks to the team at The Oracle CIO Summit in Dallas for your invitation to present the Lead Without a Title message to your much-valued leaders).

“Twenty five years ago I wish someone had told me about the exponential factor of time: that every year over forty years of age goes twice as fast and every year over fifty goes ten times as fast.” Harold Evans, former publisher, Random House (from If I Knew Then What I Know Now by Richard Edler)

A few final – and random – pieces of advice people have shared with me along the way that have formed my thinking:

  • Genius has little to do with luck and everything to do with practice.
  • Health is the crown on the well person’s head that only the ill person can see.
  • Fly 1000 miles for a 10 minute meeting (you can’t build great relationships via email).
  • Miss a meal but don’t miss reading.
  • What separates the best from the rest is how they manage the gift of their time.
  • Too many people live the same year 80 times and call it a life.
  • Life is short. Be of use.

#2. Here’s a 60 second video called “Face Fear Fast” that will encourage you to do what scares you, so you lead a life that matters:

#3. The world of work is in deep disruption. Here’s a piece I wrote called “The 50 New Rules of Work” that many of our clients have used as a discussion tool for team meetings:

#4. The specially priced early-bird seats for The Remarkable Entrepreneur SuperConference 2012 are completely sold out but you can still get a seat at $2000 off the regular price for a limited time. If you’re ready to double the sales of your business within 24 months while taking more time off to enjoy life, you can’t afford not to join me June 2 and 3 in Toronto, Canada for these 2 life-changing days where I share my most advanced business-building strategies.

Click here for details:

OK. Hope you find these learning resources valuable.

Robin Sharma

P.S. Connect with me on facebook and twitter.

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33 Responses to “The Best Advice I Ever Got”

  1. Dear Robin,

    Thank you for your inspiring website that has so much information to offer people all over the world! You inspired me to create a company and quit my job! I am now a leader. Because if you I am a CEO now and I hope you continue to share your message with millions of people.

    CEO, Entrepreneur & Self Made Millionaire !

  2. Dear Robin,

    Thank you for all your help! Three years ago you gave me courage and clarity to quite for a top management position and built my own company. I offer “The Monk” to all my executive coaching clients.
    See you again on 9th May at Bucharest.

    Best wishes,

    Mihaela Feodorof

    Managing Partner
    Yourway Life&Career Counseling

  3. Jeff says:

    Dude! This is great – free life changing inspirational advice! Thank you – when I can afford your conferences, I am SO there. Jeff

  4. iksa01 says:

    Simply amazing robin ! loved the post .

  5. Parul says:

    There is no doubt, your posts are always inspiring and lit a fire every time. For me whenever I pause and think what m i doing, I know I have to get back here and relate.. Too many life changing messages.. you are a leader available for guidance everytime.. Thank you

  6. T S SINHA says:

    I recently read Lead without Title & it gives time tested wishdom in very lucid fable !!
    Must be included in school curriculum !
    KAMPALA, Uganda

  7. Very inspiring article, Robin…I recently read two of your books–The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and Leading Without a Title…I continue to reflect on what you wrote and the messages within…trying to wrestle control of one’s own schedule, of one’s own life can be a challenge…but there’s a great deal of help and insights out tere…you’ve done a great job in that regard…tom

  8. robin says:

    Thanks for the posts. I do my best to be helpful. I so appreciate the encouragement. Grateful.

  9. Jyoti says:

    I can relate myself to these lines, though I haven’t been adviced by anyone, these are my feelings and what I believe in :
    Developed the acute courage to live his life on his own terms (versus following the crowd). you have to run your own race.” To me, that advice meant a few things, trust my own instincts, live by my own values, do my own dreams (and quickly dismissing the chattering opinions of the critics around us)

    I don’t know where I am heading (philosophically or other wise) but yes, I truly believe in running my own race. I am 26, am not a multi-tasker, I can’t work under pressure but slowly and gradually I have realised that these and other keywords are not the only things to evolve in life. Now I know what my strengths are and am sure I will make my own life by my own trials-and-errors or rather experiences. THERE IS NO RECIPE FOR SUCCESS, YOU YOURSELF HAVE TO FIGURE OUT ON YOUR JOURNEY WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

  10. christopher says:

    your writing owez inspires me and the people around me. continue with the same spirit.God reachly bless you and your family even team mates

  11. Whenever i read your article, i got the courage to do the things what i have to do in my life and stick to my own opinions and what my heart is saying all the time,
    thank you once again

  12. Chandimal says:

    Thank you dear Robin for inspiring still reading your books.they are really helpful me.wish u all the best.

  13. Haji says:

    Hi Robin

    Its very good, People have everything but the really need of good inspration and motivation.

    Thanks for your service…

    Haji Mohammed

  14. S-A-R-A says:

    Dear Robin,

    I can not explain this in word that how much your inspiration post videos have help me in my life progress, Years ago i was some one always struggling to find the Jobs and do my best to stuck there = But after reading your post and watching your video which really brought changes in my life & Right now i have started by own Service company and growing fast & its wonderful.

    With Robin Sharma i should also mention the name of Jim Rohn Who i belive is the master of Personal Development and Les Brown – Thank You All.

    Kabul, Afghanistan

  15. Rakesh says:

    Hi Robin,

    Thnx for posting the blog. Can achieve anything if follow advises mentioned.

  16. Lieutenant Raju says:

    Dear Robin,
    Extremely Sorry for never giving u the feedback after reading yr almost all the books, blogs, seeing videos and trying to grab every word/photo u upload on electronic media. Everything was thought provoking and absolute learning material.

    Y r doing really great job. We’ll work together some day.

  17. Ruchira says:


    Your words are so inspiring and soothing! Every time I read your books or advice, my mind clears up and then my life makes sense. And that is amazing! Thank you so much! :)

  18. Arthur Duchemin says:

    Dear Robin

    I cannot agree more with all the advice you write in your mail-letters and books. Having said that, I find that two things are not quite there:
    1) When you leave this world, you want to make sure that what you have done made some positive impact, that could be to your friends, family, local town, business; whatever.
    2) On the opposite if you have done something bad or miss an important opportunity. Don’t forget it but work on it everyday by asking for pardon and do whatever you can to repair it.

    Fulfilment through business is one thing but real fulfilment is when everybody around you can really and deeply say thanks to you and somewhere inside you can feel it.

    Kind Regards

  19. Hari GOVIND.U says:

    Hi Robin,

    Great work, inspiring millions across the globe.

    I follow, big change in life, my entire team is being elevated.

    Met you in Bangalore. Wow!!!!!!!

    Hari GOVIND.U

  20. Milan Doshi says:

    I have received many wonderful advises from many people.

    One of my most memorable ones is the one from my first boss. It goes:

    “The sooner you realized what you learnt during your 4 years in college is Nothing but Rubbish, the earlier you become useful to me”

    It took me a good 6 months to final realize the implications of his advice, something which I have not forgotten even 20 years later.

    Milan Doshi

  21. srinivas says:

    Hi Robin,

    Great work, inspiring millions across the world,

    Srinivas Rao

  22. Atul Sawant says:

    Dear Robin,

    Thanks for sharing ‘Best advice I ever got’. I am great fan of yours and keep reading your books and listening your audio books, this has inspired me in my personal and professional life.
    During team meeting I share your thoughts with my team which you have mentioned in one audio learning program.
    “Life gives us not what we want but who we are”
    I consider this is the best advice I as an Individual have ever got.
    I strongly believe that from “who we are to what we want” can be achieved by taking actions around you dreams.

    Thanks once again for inspiring everyone.

    Atul Ajit Sawant
    Mumbai – India

  23. Robin: thanks these are truly amazing , I am in a process to live my own life with my own race .sometimes i diverted but my constant reading habit again put me on track . robin your books are amazing & hidden gems for those to want to live their life in their own terms .Be remain a guided spirit for human being !
    thanks once again !

  24. sandeep says:

    your way of inspiring is great sir it gives boost to everyday stressfull life
    thankyou robin

  25. Debanjan Roy says:

    Dear Robin,

    I have made it a habit to read 2-3 pages from your great book “Leadership Wisdom” almost every day…The wisdom in this slim book is truly inspirational !!

    Many thanks for enriching our lives !

    Warm Regards,

  26. Ashutosh rathore says:

    sir ….u r fabulous….

  27. sandesh says:

    Thank you Robin ! for this inspiring and great article.And the monk has really changed my life and thinking.I am grateful for all your books and wisdom you share with us.Now i am reading greatness guide.


  28. Hi. I Have been reading your books and have been thoroughly moved. I liked ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari & Daily Inspiration’ books in particular. I also follow u on twitter as @Purnimapat. I have been inspired by ur writing and have started my own blog. I would be elated if u could read my blog and advise & suggest how I could make it better. My blog is Pl let me know by email or twitter. Thank you. Hope to get a reply from u soon. All the Best :) – Purnima Patwardhan

  29. Asif says:

    Hi Robin,

    Your books are amazing and it is understandable to all age groups i believe. It’s your greatness that you have given greatness guide to us and many more. On the first glance itself i opted to gift your book to one of my good friend. I got so inspired that I start & end my day by reading at least 2 chapters from your book(Greatness guide Currently reading). Your writing makes my day brother. I’m a technical trainer and I recommended your books to my colleagues and trainees as well. Its a been a great source of inspiration and gives very positive frame of mind. Motivates us to lead without a title.
    Keep up your great work and may god help you in helping many more..many more like me.

    Thanks a ton for your publishing and motivational thoughts.

    Coimbatore -India

  30. Naz says:

    Hi Robin

    It’s Sunday Morning and i’m in bed with my Greatness Guide how inspiring WOW.. I am 43yrs young and Just getting started.

  31. S.Karthikeyan says:

    Dear Robin,

    Simply amazing. My life has been changed after reading “The Leader Who had no Title”. Now i am enjoying my job superbly.

    Assistant Professor,

  32. Rob Moore says:

    That was some great information that you shared! Thank you very much for sharing this!

  33. nikita naik says:

    hii robin i m ur big fan n had read all the available books of yours,i m a university teen, i wanted a favour from u,i want u to write something for teens as most of yours books r for elders. n i think the most needy of your guidelines are we teens as we are undergoing a great change.

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