Brian Harris Berg Of Cell Keys Wallet: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A CEO
That no matter how much you plan and prepare, you will inevitably encounter unexpected challenges at some point along your journey. That being said, it’s important to have a flexible mindset and to be willing to adjust your plans as needed.
As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Harris Berg. With 20 years of solid experience in business, he is now the owner of Cell Keys Wallet, an intention-based blog that specializes in helping people determine their aims and objectives and then developing personalized methods to attain them.
In addition, Brian is the president of the Amateur Astronomers Association, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to studying and raising public awareness about the cosmos through stargazing, education, outreach, astrophotography, and more methods. He also regularly writes for Eyepiece, the magazine of the Astronomy Association.
His passion for a lot of things is very evident as he is also a Business Law Professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and a self-taught film producer.
Throughout his work at Cell Keys Wallet and Amateur Astronomers Association, Brian Harris Berg has learned several important leadership lessons, which he shares with our readers today.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always been interested in helping people achieve their goals, whether it’s in business or personal life. After working as an attorney and author, I decided to become a financial adviser and then eventually a business executive and film producer.
However, no matter what I did, I always kept coming back to coaching and mentoring others. So eventually I realized that, in order to devote more time and energy to this passion of mine, I needed to transition out of the legal field and into a career that allowed me to have a more direct influence on people’s lives. That was when I decided to start Cell Keys Wallet, which has since helped countless people achieve their goals by providing them with strategic planning and accountability tools.
Furthermore, I got into volunteering with Amateur Astronomers Association because I wanted to give back to the community in a fun and impactful way. I strongly believe that everyone deserves to have access to quality education, so I saw this as an opportunity to help further people’s understanding of the cosmos while also providing them with some much-needed enjoyment during these difficult times.
Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company? And what lesson did you learn from that?
One of the biggest challenges I faced when leading Cell Keys Wallet was figuring out how to balance my desire for growth with my commitment to staying focused and prioritizing my workday.
This lesson is one that I learned through a lot of trial and error — as many founders do. Ultimately, what helped me overcome this challenge was finding a way to delegate some of the tasks that didn’t require my personal attention and focus on the tasks that did.
This allowed me to have more time to work ON my business instead of IN my business, which was a major turning point for me both professionally and personally.
With New York’s Amateur Astronomers Association, one of the challenges I faced was how to get people interested in astronomy when there are so many other things competing for their attention.
Fortunately, I was able to find a way to make astronomy more accessible and relatable by partnering with local businesses and organizations to host public stargazing events.
These events have been extremely popular and have helped inspire people to learn more about the universe and all its wonders.
What are some of the other factors that you believe led to your eventual success?
I believe that one of the biggest factors in my success has been my ability to surround myself with people who are smarter than me and who challenge me to be better.
These people have helped me grow both as a person and as a business owner, and I am incredibly grateful for their presence in my life.
Aside from that, I think another important factor has been my willingness to continue learning and growing. I am constantly reading books, taking courses, and attending events in order to improve myself and my business.
I believe that this commitment to lifelong learning has been a major contributor to my success, and I would encourage other business owners to adopt this mindset as well.
What are the five things you wish someone had told you before you became a CEO?
1. That no matter how much you plan and prepare, you will inevitably encounter unexpected challenges at some point along your journey. That being said, it’s important to have a flexible mindset and to be willing to adjust your plans as needed.
2. That you can’t do everything yourself, so it’s important to delegate tasks and build a strong team of people who you can trust. Before, I would often try to do everything myself and it ended up being far more stressful than necessary. Now, I know better, and I try to delegate tasks whenever possible so that I can focus on my strengths and the business’ overall success.
3. That you need to take care of yourself both physically and mentally in order to be an effective leader. This means getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising on a regular basis. It also means taking breaks when you need them and finding ways to destress and relax.
4. That your personal life will inevitably be affected by your professional life, so it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between the two. If you don’t, you run the risk of burning out and sacrificing your overall well-being.
5. That even though it can be difficult at times, there is a lot of joy and satisfaction to be found in running your own business — so take advantage of those moments and recognize that your hard work is paying off! In the end, it’ll all be worth it.
What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not burn out?
One of the most important pieces of advice I would give to my colleagues is to always be open to learning and growing. Whether you’re encountering new challenges or simply looking for ways to improve your existing processes, it’s important to view these opportunities as a chance to learn and develop yourself.
Another piece of advice that I would offer is to take some time for yourself every day — even if it’s just 10–15 minutes. Use this time to do something that you enjoy and that makes you feel good, whether it’s reading, going for a walk, or listening to music.
If you can commit to carving out some time each day for personal growth and enjoyment, I believe that you are much more likely to thrive as a business owner and not burn out along the way. All in all, it takes determination, resilience, and self-care to succeed as a founder — so don’t underestimate the importance of these factors!
Finally, I would encourage my colleagues to maintain healthy work-life boundaries. This means setting aside time for your personal life and not letting work consume your entire existence. When you have a healthy balance between work and the rest of your life, you’re much more likely to be productive and happy in both spheres.
None of us is able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you’re grateful to who helped you get to where you are? And can you share a story?
I am grateful to countless people who have helped me along my journey as a CEO. I’ve had mentors, colleagues, family members, and friends all play an important role in helping me reach the success that I have today.
Two of the people who have been most instrumental in my success are my parents. Throughout my life, they have always been there to support and encourage me — from helping me with homework as a child to cheering me on during difficult times throughout my adult life.
Their unwavering support and belief in me has helped me to achieve many of the goals that I’ve set for myself. Without their guidance and encouragement, I know that I would not be where I am today.
What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish both personally and professionally?
One of the goals that I am currently working to accomplish is to continue to grow my blog and expand my reach so that I can help even more people achieve their aims and objectives.
I am also working on a few new ideas for Amateur Astronomers Association that I am really excited about and hope to bring to fruition in the near future. In addition, I am always looking for ways to improve my personal productivity and efficiency so that I can make the most of my time and energy.
What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy?
Overall, my hope is that I will be remembered as someone who was dedicated to helping others achieve their goals and live fulfilling lives. Whether it’s through my work on my blog or other ventures, I want to be known for being someone who thoughtfully invested in the success of others and always put their needs first. In addition, I hope to be remembered as someone who was honest, kind, and generous — and someone who always strived for excellence in everything that I do.
Ultimately, I want my lasting legacy to be one of kindness and compassion. I believe that if we all work together to help each other achieve our goals and dreams, we can create a better and more beautiful world for ourselves and future generations to come.
So, you are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea could trigger.
If I could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives, it would be a movement dedicated to helping people achieve their aims and objectives. I believe that if we all had a clear understanding of what we want to achieve in life, we would be much more likely to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
The first step in this process would be to help people identify their aims and objectives. Once they have done that, they can begin to develop a plan of action to achieve those goals. I would provide resources and support to help them every step of the way.
I believe that this type of movement has the potential to truly transform lives and make the world a better place. If more people were able to live out their dreams and accomplish what they truly want, I think we would see much greater happiness and fulfillment in our world. So, my movement would be all about helping others reach their potential and live their best lives.
How can our readers follow you online?
I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to reach out to me through these platforms. I always enjoy hearing from my readers and learning more about how I can help them achieve their aims and objectives!
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.