I recently got the chance to pick the brain of Brian Holmes, Director of Xponential Philanthropy, an organisation specialising in raising millions of dollars for not-for-profit organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Brian has been in the game for more than 20 years and loves helping people, organisations and causes to raise millions of dollars. When I caught up with him, his passion for people can be felt from miles away.

Here are the insights I’ve gotten from our conversation.

What are the skills required for one to survive and thrive in tomorrow’s marketplace?

To excel in tomorrow’s marketplace, we need to be exceptional in one thing and to find our difference.

What is the one thing you are excellent at? What is the one thing which you pour your heart and soul into? What is the one thing you would want to be known for?

Find out that one thing.

In addition, discover and develop your point of difference.

What makes you different from the rest? Are you the one who the crowd faces or are you just another face in the crowd? What makes you stand out?

There are more than enough people in the marketplace with generic skills and abilities. Even though they do fine and get the job done, there is nothing remarkable in them or in their efforts. They might even be going through the motions of the 9-to-5 just to pay the bills.

Don’t be like them.

Find your unique edge and strive to be exceptional and spectacular in what you do. Make going the extra mile and going above and beyond your “average” level of operation and performance.

How can students/professionals best prepare themselves for the world of tomorrow?

Attitude trumps aptitude. Always.

An employer would rather hire a candidate with average academic results and mediocre work experience but with an unparalleled attitude and work ethic, than a scholar with more years under his belt but who thinks that the world owes him a living.

Develop a rock solid attitude. Be hungry to learn. Be proactive. Always be the first to help, to offer, to contribute. Make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen. Also, be humble and teachable. Always think of what you can do for the team rather than what the team can do for you.

If seated in front of you is the 20 year old version of yourself, what advice would you offer to him?

Get a mentor. Learn from the experts. Get in touch and hang out with people who can stretch, sharpen and challenge you. People who can up your game and get you to the next level.

Develop hunger. How hungry are you? You need to be proactive and responsible for your own growth and development. Education doesn’t stop once you graduate and leave university. In fact, real education begins from there and it is your responsibility to keep honing your skills so that you can maintain and enhance your competitive edge.

Develop people skills. No one works and succeeds alone. Learn how to meet new people. Learn how to work with nice and even tough people. Learn how to listen. Learn how to invest and add value into the lives of others.

What did you take away from this interview? If there’s an individual or professional who you would like me to interview and get insights from, let me know at dominic@industry-bootcamp.com!

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