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Opinion
Ormond Beach Observer Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 5 years ago

BEST ADVICE: Observer staff

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We asked residents of Ormond Beach what the best advice they’d ever received was, and we didn’t let our staff off the hook, either. Here are some of our responses. 

John Walsh, publisher

Best advice: "Surround yourself with great people so that your business run's better without you!"

I have admitted to being a serial entrepreneur throughout my professional career — owning, operating and selling nine businesses in 32 years. I finally understand the value of this advice. Working with the Ormond Beach and Palm Coast Observers is the first time I have successfully built an organization where I am surrounded by a team that pushes me in excellence every day. I have boasted before, and will continue to boast, about the success of our staff. But is it a boast if it is fact?

Fact is, last year every one of our editorial staff was honored by peers on a state or national level for excellence in each of their respective journalism roles with the Observer.

In addition to our award-winning editorial staff, our staff of sales and support professionals consistently perform above industry standards in market share and overall performance. If it wasn’t for the success of our sales team, our editorial staff wouldn’t have any pages to print. (Please support our advertisers.)

And without a great team of newspaper delivery staff, no one could read the paper. These men and women are amazing.

I am surrounded by a great a staff. But hang on, staff, I’m not going anywhere. Yet.

Brian McMillan, managing editor

Best advice: “You have to care about what other people think.”

People often say you shouldn’t care what other people think. But my dad once told me the opposite: “You have to care about what other people think.”

He didn’t mean you have to dress like other people or you should be self-conscious about how much money you make, etc. He meant that you should consider other people’s feelings and that you should have empathy. He also meant that a family name was worth honoring, and that meant that you should act in a way that would be deserving of other people’s respect — not necessarily their admiration, but their respect. He meant that dignity was not an old-fashioned virtue.

That advice has helped to drive me to work hard and not be willing to settle for a second-best effort.

Mike Cavaliere, associate editor

There's a song lyric I like that goes, "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." And I believe that. Circumstance is everything. Most of us probably had a list of things we said we'd never do as kids, and then we get older, and most of us probably did all of those things. We're not ready-made. And I think accepting that opens you up to a lot of great food, and a lot of great music, and a lot of great surprises we'd be too stubborn and stupid to experience otherwise.

Matt Mencarini, staff writer

Best advice: “Play hard. Play smart. And have fun.”

The best piece of advice I have ever got came from my dad. Before every game I ever played, from fourth grade through college, he told me three simple things: “Play hard. Play smart. And have fun.”

Those words put every game in perspective, but I’ve also been able to put them to use in my everyday life. Work hard. Work smart. And have fun.

It’s a short, simple piece of advice, but I haven’t found a situation where it couldn’t be applied. Whatever you’re doing — playing a sport, working, teaching or anything else — give it your best effort, be smart about how you do it and have fun when you can.

Jaci Centofanti, advertising manager

Best advice: “This above all: to thine own self be true."

Since I’ve now officially been alive for more than a quarter of a century, I feel wise enough to share these two pieces of advice with you.

From one of the greatest playwrights we’ve ever known, Shakespeare, in Hamlet: “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

And from The Ataris, the rock band I listened to every single time I got my heart broken in high school: “The only thing that matters is following your heart, and eventually you’ll get it right!”

Wes Germano, account manager

Best advice: "Be the best at whatever you do."

From a young age, I can remember my father telling me to be the best I could be. He would say, “I don’t care if you’re gonna be a bum, you be the best bum there is.”

My father is what they call a “jack of all trades.” He has done, and can do, pretty much anything when it comes to working with his hands, and is my go-to guy if I need to know how to fix something. His drive and determination has set an example for me to live my life by. His advice has made me always want to be better at whatever it is that I am doing, whether it’s my home life, with my kids or in my job.

I now have my own two growing boys, and I hope that I'm able to instill the same aspirations in them — to do their best in all aspects of life.

Nicole Nuhfer, account manager

Best advice: A fool never learns from his mistakes and is doomed to forever repeat them.

When giving advice, people usually start off with, “Take my advice” and then

they go into some life lesson or story.

In my teens and even my early twenties, I never listened to anyone’s advice unless it was what I wanted to hear. I wanted to do things my way and if my way didn’t work out, then I’d have to learn from my mistakes. More times than not, I made big mistakes in order to learn because I was so reluctant to “take someone’s advice.”

As I look back, I can’t believe all of the things that could have come easily if I had just listened to what my friends, family or mentors were advising. So, as my grandfather told me, "An intelligent man learns from his mistakes and never makes the same mistake twice. But only the wise man has the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.”

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