60 Life Lessons in 60 Years: A Guide to Winning in Business and Thriving in Life

Winding asphalt road through low country countryside at sunrise, symbolizing the journey of life and business with 60 years of wisdom lighting the way

As someone who recently celebrated their 60th birthday, with over 40 years of business experience, 30 years as a life mentor, and a decade as an ICF certified and accredited business and life coach, I’ve learned that success in business and fulfillment in life are deeply intertwined.

Today, I’m sharing 60 invaluable lessons I’ve gathered over the years to help you win in business and thrive in life. These insights cover everything from faith and family to finances and fun, providing a holistic approach to personal and professional growth.

60 Life Lessons for Business Success and Personal Fulfillment

Faith and Spirituality in Business and Life

  1. The best decisions I’ve made in life and business have occurred after spending time on my knees in prayer.
  2. Trusting God is a lot easier when you are out of options. Spiritual maturity is learning to trust God in all things.
  3. Starting the morning in prayer with an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving sets the stage for a great day.

Building Strong Relationships

  1. You were not created to do life on your own; building and nurturing relationships is a wise investment that pays huge dividends.
  2. Never stop dating your spouse and doing the things that won their heart.
  3. Presents are nice, but time with family and friends are the best gifts.

Personal Growth and Self-Discovery

  1. It’s ok to not yet know what your purpose in life is. It’s never ok to not be pursuing what it is.
  2. We never drift toward positive or healthy things in life.
  3. Your twenties is a time for exploration and discovery. Don’t be in a hurry to know what you’re supposed to do in life.

Leadership and Professional Development

  1. The best mentors are those who have been mentored themselves.
  2. Being five minutes early communicates you respect someone else’s time more than your own.
  3. Ego and pride provide confidence and bravado in some circumstances but they can also be barriers that prevent people from getting to know you who you truly are.

Cultivating Gratitude and Kindness

  1. A handwritten thank you note communicates far more than just your appreciation.
  2. Kindness is contagious, be known for spreading it wherever you go.
  3. A random text or call to just let someone know you’re thinking about them and have prayed for them makes them feel special and reveals you are a good friend.

Embracing Life’s Simple Pleasures

  1. Don’t be so busy that you miss God’s handiwork on display… sunrises and sunsets occur daily, not just things to take in while on vacation.
  2. A casual dinner with friends at someone’s home is far better evening out at some busy restaurant.
  3. Impromptu slow dances in the kitchen and kisses say I love you in a language of its own.

Nurturing Relationships

  1. Never let a week go by without checking in with your spouse. A great question to ask is: “Have I done or said something which left you feeling unappreciated or didn’t convey to you how much I love you?”
  2. We were not meant to do life on our own… Hebrews 10:24-25 declares this, and I profess it’s true. Find your community… and then help each other thrive.
  3. There will be a time when you just don’t have the words to share with a friend who is experiencing heartache. But in the silence your presence will speak volumes about how much you care.

Personal Development and Self-Care

  1. It’s really true, on those days when you don’t feel like exercising, if you give it five minutes, 90% of the time you will accomplish your objective for the day.
  2. Not liking what you see in the mirror just means there is some work to do. Embrace it, create a plan to change what you see, and be willing to set aside your pride if you need some assistance.
  3. When you’re trying to determine if something should be part of your life ask, “is this ‘thing‘ hindering me or helping me become the person I want to be?” Once you have the answer… act accordingly.

Financial Wisdom and Material Possessions

  1. Many of the material things you think ‘you have to have’ will one day end up being sold at a garage sale or donated to a charity.
  2. Pursuing shortcuts and attempting to fast-track results rarely work in your favor. Put forth the effort, trust the process, and embrace the journey.

Time Management and Prioritization

  1. God’s Word teaches us to number our days. Focus on the people and things that matter most in your life and don’t dwell on naysayers or sweat the small stuff.
  2. Always have something on your calendar that you are looking forward to. And it doesn’t have to be a vacation, it can be time with a good friend.
  3. Make it a priority to spend your time doing things you enjoy, with people you enjoy, and figuring out how to do very little of what you don’t like.

Pursuing Passions and Purpose

  1. The best hobbies are ones that can be shared with others. This can be giving away what you create or doing things with people you enjoy spending time with.
  2. Cody Johnson’s lyric is spot on… if you have a dream chase it, because a dream won’t chase you back. 
  3. There will come a time when making a difference in life matters more than achieving success… the sooner this occurs the happier you will be.

Overcoming Challenges and Building Resilience

  1. Setbacks are inevitable, so when one occurs apply the five ‘R’s’ – Rest, Regroup, Recalibrate, Refocus, and then Relaunch.
  2. Losing or failing at something you try is inevitable… no one succeeds 100% of the time. But failure occurs when you don’t try or don’t apply the lessons learned.
  3. Don’t say, “One day you’ll do something’ for too long, because there will come a day when you won’t physically be able to do it.”

Fostering Trust and Integrity

  1. People will come to know who you truly are not by what you say, but by what they see you do.
  2. Honor all your commitments big and small, they build a foundation of trust and confidence that is appealing to friends and business colleagues alike.
  3. Always be kind and remember to say thank you to those serving you, they deserve it and it just might make their day.

Embracing Growth and Change

  1. Fight the urge to rush becoming who you think you are supposed to be… it takes time to discover the real you and the passion that lives within.
  2. Don’t be afraid to try new things, different experiences, and explore hobbies that interest you. Life gets pretty monotonous doing the same things year after year.
  3. Spiritual growth is a journey that never ends this side of Heaven.

Cultivating Empathy and Understanding

  1. I’ve rarely regretted giving someone the benefit of doubt, but I usually regret jumping to conclusions.
  2. A high percentage of people you meet in life have a burden they’re carrying. It may be something they’re carrying themselves or something they are helping a loved one carry. Be kind and empathetic.
  3. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt before they have earned it says a lot about you and your approach to life.

Balancing Independence and Interdependence

  1. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it signifies self-awareness.
  2. When you are in the midst of challenges, fight the urge to go it alone. God has placed people in your life to guide and encourage you, seek their counsel.
  3. A mentor won’t find you; you must find your mentors. Don’t know where to look… start with someone who has already accomplished what you want to do. And see if they will share their story of how they did.

Cultivating a Positive Mindset

  1. You will rarely have a bad day when you make it a priority to make other people smile and feel good about themselves.
  2. For many people it is harder to forgive yourself than it is to forgive someone else. But freedom is found when we cultivate a forgiving heart.
  3. Make sure the people you love also know how much you believe in them.

Maintaining Perspective

  1. Life is short. The days go slow and years go fast, prioritize building relationships over building wealth.
  2. Every marriage is comprised of two imperfect people. And the sooner those imperfect people learn the value of grace and forgiveness the happier they’ll be.
  3. A house will never feel like a home without people to share it with.

Embracing Authenticity and Transparency

  1. If left to ourselves we can rationalize everything and justify almost anything. This is why we need people in our life who will tell us what we need to hear and not just what we want to hear.
  2. Transparency leads to transparency, but someone has to go first… be bold, share your story and watch what happens next.
  3. Collect pictures and create photo albums, especially the ones handed down to you. They are filled with stories that should be preserved and shared.

Living with Intention

  1. The more clearly defined your core values are, the easier it is to make decisions you won’t regret.
  2. Fight the urge to keep a scorecard in your marriage with regard to household tasks. Things will rarely be equal. So, do what you can do when you have the margin and then work together to tackle the rest.
  3. No one is guaranteed tomorrow; so, never leave an ‘I love you’ left unsaid!
  4. “Divine Appointments” and “God Winks” await us each day, we must make sure we are not so busy or self-absorbed that we miss them.

Applying These Lessons to Your Life and Business

These 60 life lessons offer a wealth of wisdom for both personal growth and professional success. As a business owner or corporate executive, integrating these insights into your daily life can lead to more meaningful relationships, better decision-making, improved work-life balance, and a deeper sense of purpose.

At Tom Martin Coaching and Consulting, I can help you apply these life lessons to achieve your goals and find fulfillment. Whether you’re looking to scale your business, enhance your leadership skills, or find more balance in your life, I’m here to guide you on your journey.

Remember, success is not just about achieving goals, but about becoming the best version of yourself in the process. By embracing these lessons, you’re taking a significant step towards winning in business and thriving in life.

Ready to transform your business and life?

Contact Tom Martin today for a personalized consultation: . And learn more how these timeless lessons can help you achieve the success and fulfillment you deserve.

Information and Resources to Help Small Business Owners Navigate COVID-19

small-business-resources-covid-19

In an effort to support business owners, here is the latest news about COVID-19 as it pertains to small business and I’ve included an updated list of resources. So, how does the US Small Business Association (SBA) define a small business…

A Small Business Is Defined As:

Depending on your industry, a small business could be defined as a business with a maximum of 250 employees or a maximum of 1,500 employees. They’re privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have less revenue than larger businesses.

For those of you in Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp announced yesterday that Georgia has received an official statewide disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This declaration will provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to impacted small businesses in all 159 counties in Georgia.

This opens the door for small businesses and nonprofits in Georgia to now apply for economic injury disaster recovery loans.  The loan can be up to $2 million per business to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

The application is now live, and Georgia small business owners can go directly to the SBA for assistance and to access the application.

Not in Georgia… no worries, use this link for information and the application for every state that has received the disaster declaration from the SBA.

Required Documents for SBA for EIDL loans: 

  1. Profit and Loss and Cash Flow Statements for 2019 and 2020 on annual basis and year to date basis.
  2. Tax returns from the past 3 years, both personal and business 

Loans are available for small business and non-profit organizations. While terms will be established on a case-by-case basis, many will have a thirty-year repayment term with first payments not due for up to twelve months. Businesses should expect to provide a tax transcript, financial statements, and a profit and loss statement. Interest rates will range from 2.75% to 3.75%.

In addition to the above, I suggest you reach out to your lending institution to see if relief programs are being offered during this time: delaying payments; interest only payments.  

To learn more about the EIDL program:


sba-small-business-roundtable-covid19

Join Small Business Roundtable with SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and CEOs of the leading small business organizations. They will discuss the needs of small business owners during the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Friday, March 20th, 2020 at 2:30 pm ET

Click Here to RSVP

****This Just In****

(1:15PM March 20th) At this time, due to some last minute scheduling issues, we are working to reschedule this webinar for another day and time. Our goal is to have something next week. Timing might be better as we expect to know more about the next round of legislation.


empty-office-space-working-from-home-small-business

This is something every business owner should ask their staff who are working from home, before moving into the meeting agenda of the call. Discover what it is here


Learn How to Manage a Manage a Work-From-Home

  • TODAY – March 20: Learn from nationally recognized experts on How to Manage a Work-From-Home Workforce Teleconference with a FREE webinar. This resource is open to any business in the region and is hosted by Council for Quality Growth in partnership with Forsyth County Chamber. Register here.
  • Next Week: Georgia Commute Options is hosting a Telework Webinar Series to share information about managing objectives and deliverables while teleworking, collaborating through technology, supporting good working habits and more.

IRS Tax Relief information

The IRS has established a special section of the agency’s website focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by this coronavirus. Their page will be updated as new information is available.  

Guidance for Businesses and Employers with Regard to COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:


Well that’s it for now… 

But please leave a comment with any information and resources that you’ve found useful as you’ve navigated the COVID-19. And don’t forget to support the local small businesses in your area any way you can.

Living Full Out

Radio Show Guest Appearance

I had a great time appearing with Nancy Solari on her nationally syndicated radio show, Living Full Out!tom-martin-coaching-living-full-out-radio

 

My Living Full Out episode, When You Believe You Can Overcome Limitations as You Live Full Out, originally aired on February 10th. Nancy and I discussed overcoming adversity and finding hope in the most challenging of circumstances. Plus we talked about the life lessons I’ve learned from battling merkel cell cancer three times and how this was a catalyst for me to leave the automotive industry and become a certified executive coach.

You can listen to the Living Full Out show using the Spreaker Audio player below. And you will find my two segments with Nancy starting at the 15-minute mark of the show. 

            

I share my story to share the life lessons I’ve learned along the way and even offer hope. You are not alone, and feel free to reach out with questions. You can learn more about my cancer journey on my blog and also in the Huffington Post feature, Voices of Strength – Stories of Survival  

Defining Moments

If we take time to examine our hearts we will find moments in our lives which define us. Typically these defining moments are found at the end of a long road of pivotal circumstances. And those pivotal circumstances, positive or negative, can leave our lives forever changed.

defining-moments-leverage-your-life-now

Several years ago Jeff Goins was promoting his new book, Wrecked, he asked people to share stories of when their lives had been “wrecked.” Jeff published the story I submitted and today I share an excerpt of Damage Goods with you today.

Early on we both knew where we were tracking as a couple. Our relationship was so rich, the conversations were so natural, and our values and beliefs were totally in sync. We were confident the path we were on would lead to marriage some time in the fall of 2011. Our plans were for an extended courtship, not because we weren’t ready to get married, rather because we wanted to do everything we could to protect and ensure Shari’s teenage sons had time to adjust to a new man being in their lives. 

ONE WORD 365 – Growth

iStockphoto © sefaoncul

My One Word for 2011 was “pause.” 

Who would have known this one word could have impacted my mindset throughout the most challenging and rewarding year of my life.

~2011 was a year where my dream of being a husband and a father became reality with one single “I Do.”

~2011 was a year where I faced cancer for a third time and battled to the best of my ability through five months of chemo and trusted God period for what I could not control.

~2011 was a year, had I not slowed down and paused through in the midst of every challenge and in every blessing I would have missed seeing God’s handiwork in my life and the lives of those who joined me in this journey.

My One Word for 2012…hmmm? My One Word focus for next 365 days err…325 days?

After much thought and deliberation it has to be Growth, a word that is so appropriate to focus on after the year I had in 2011. I want to take all the life lessons learned…the good, the not-so-good, and the awesome and grow from them. I want to share them with the hope they may help and influence others in a way that they too can grow from my experience.

For me I’m talking about total…across the board growth, both personally and professionally. Growth in the five areas which I feel encompasses a full and complete life.

Cancer Life Lessons

No one issued me my cancer playbook when I got the news I had cancer. But I soon found out there were plenty of cancer life lessons to learn before my treatment season began.

cancer-life-lessons

Reactions vary when you get the news cancer has entered your world but most the reaction is some form of fight or flight. Those who lean toward flight can withdrawal or move into forms of denial as it takes time to process this news. Those lean toward fight can be using it to mask their denial. Either way you most process the news fully before moving forward in a healthy way. Looking back now, I know moved into the “fight” mode too quickly and did not process how the news of my diagnosis would impact my life. I simply thought I would beat it by powering through whatever cancer through at me. So much like preparing for a big football game, I said let’s do this…Game On!

Scouting

Most football teams have scouts who learn everything there is to know about the opponent with the hope of finding weaknesses that can be exploited. Research was my way of scouting merkel cell cancer (mcc), unfortunately there is little published about this relatively new type of cancer, and there is even less focus by the cancer community from an awareness and funding perspective due to the low number diagnosed each year. Despite the limited information, my scouting/research confirmed enough of what had already been discussed with the medical team I was assembling to move forward with my game plan of surgery, skin graft, sentinel node dissection, and 6 weeks of radiation.

 Team Meeting

Another component of my Game On involved those difficult conversations with family and friends who needed to be told. I approached those talks under the false belief, that if my attitude was positive and upbeat it might somehow lessen their concern and worry. In my eyes I did pretty well; as I had my facts together what mcc was and what the medical team planned to do about it, that was until I spoke with my brother Mike. As I was telling him the news in my best upbeat spiel, an image of my 3 nieces flashed in my mind followed by another image where I was missing their proms, graduations, and weddings. I’m not sure if he caught me starting to choke up, but I’d have to admit that was the shortest of all my Game On conversations.

Intangibles

Work was a different type of Game On, similar to a player trying to convince his coach that despite being at 80% he could still contribute to the win. For me it was important to reassure the owners of my company that I regarded this only as a bump in the road with minimal disruption at the dealership. But I knew it would open the door, and for the first time in my career, where my ability to do what they hired me to do would be evaluated not only on talent but also on availability, something I  had little say or control over.

You Have Cancer

Tom, “You have cancer.”

you-have-cancer

When you find out you have cancer everything changes. There’s an expression, “you could have heard a pin drop,” not something people normally experience but something which describes those surreal moments in life. But on the day the doctor told me, “you have cancer, I swear you could have heard a pin drop. And when you find out you have cancer the pin which drops is more like the pin of a hand-grenade.

Defining moments are the times in our lives where time stands still, and one of my defining moments occurred when I was told I had cancer!

Your defining moment might have been when finally got your diploma, or it could have been the day you said “I Do”, or it maybe it was the day you held your first born child. These life changing moments become defining when the world as we know it is forever changed and our life takes on a new trajectory.

You Have Cancer Moment

Such was the case for me on December 12, 2009 when phone call led to a defining moment for my life. I was leaving a shopping mall after doing some Christmas shopping when I noticed I had a missed a call and there was a voice mail. I recognized the number as it was from a doctor who had recently done a biopsy for me and figured the call was a formality with news there was nothing to be concerned about. Unfortunately the message received was not what I expected as my doctor called, rather than her PA, with instructions to call her as soon as I possible.

Early Cancer Update

Let me start out with a quick cancer update my sister Molly prepared a few days ago that I never had a chance to share. Keep reading after her update to see what went on this weekend and will be going on tomorrow. 

Simpsons-blackboard-update

Hi everyone, 

Thought it was time for a cancer update on Tom. He got back the results today – out of the 25 or so lymph nodes that were taken out two showed Merkel Cell cancer – one was 6 centimeters and the other was over 5….which is considered quite large.

So what do we do next?

We spoke with several medical oncologists and found one we feel can handle this type of cancer. Because this cancer is so rare and doesn’t look like other cancers Tom’s received very different advice from three different oncologists on what the next step should be. Some say to do chemo and radiation and another says to only do radiation.

So first Tom has to heal for the next 5 weeks from the surgery before he can start treatment and he’s currently battling an infection so that needs to be taken care of.