Three Things I Learned From Beer

How trying new things will keep your life and career constantly growing.

Being willing to try new things keeps our lives and careers vibrant, interesting and constantly growing. Think about what your life would be like if you hadn’t been willing to go on a first date, try a “smart” phone, take a chance on that new job, or go whitewater rafting (yikes!).

Have you ever heard of William Gosset? He was a biochemist in the early 20th century who made the unorthodox career choice to take a job with the Guinness brewery. The company was using scientists to see if they could gain a competitive advantage in their brewing process. He ended up developing the t-test (a statistical equation) to help monitor the quality of stout. His work founded the concept of quality control used throughout many industries today. So what can you and I learn from the esteemed Mr. Gosset and his beer career?

  • Don’t let your education or lack of education limit you. His peers probably made fun of his choice to work for a brewery. His degree was in chemistry, not statistics. Being willing to take a chance and try something different can pay off in ways you can’t imagine. How are you limiting yourself because you think you don’t have the “right” education or background?
  • Be willing to try new things. Gosset had a curious mind and willingness to dive in and explore unfamiliar territory. Personal and professional growth often takes place outside your comfort zone. When was the last time you tried something truly outside your comfort zone?
  • Decide what kind of impression you want to make. Gosset’s job was to improve the quality of the beer and build the Guinness brand so he worked very intentionally toward those goals. We’ve all had a “bad” beer — the kind that leaves a bad taste in your mouth or is bitter from the first sip. Have you thought about what your brand is or what kind of person you want to be known as? What are you doing to be that?

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” (Dave Barry, humorist and writer)

Originally published at lisashasky.com.

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