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How investing in people opens the door to success

Barry Richardson says surrounding yourself with good people and having an open mind when talking to others leads to sustained success.

The former Richmond premiership VFL footballer, coach, club president and longtime physiotherapist has focused on building trust within his network and being open to the advice, insights and wisdom of others.

As a VFL coach, Barry was commended for his inclusive, trusting approach that was ‘ahead of the time’.

Barry told KnowHow founder Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast about the importance of investing in relationships with people who share your values and will bring out the best in you.

“Sustained success, whether it be socially, on the home front, in business and in my world of physical therapy, it was always having an enquiring mind and above all, surrounding yourself with good people. Not all of us can be clever at everything … and sometimes other people will see things in you that you don’t,” he said.

“I think that any success I’ve had has been because I’ve had an open mind and from speaking to the right people, be that the right accountant or right financial advisors.”

Barry particularly spoke about the benefits of finding mentors to provide guidance on your journey and help you truly evolve and grow in all aspects of life.

“I had mentors in David Worth, Dr Bill Granger and John Bartlett who I learned from. So don’t be content to sit back and say, ‘oh I know it all’. We never know it all. And if you’re lucky enough to have those sort of people come alongside you, they will shape where you’re heading and become a big part of your journey … so be a good listener and just absorb what everyone says,” Barry said.

While mentors are key, Barry said insights can be found from anybody who might cross your path, no matter their status or background. This attitude was instilled in him from an early age at boarding school.

“I look back on my [schooling] time and call it lucky … boarding school taught you a lot about the ability to get on with all types of kids from different backgrounds, whether it is country backgrounds, city backgrounds, the whole thing. So I think in some ways boarding school was good to shape your life coming in and build that tolerance of other people.

“There’s always going to be someone better or worse than you. So just treat everyone with respect, whether they’re prime ministers or paupers,” he said.

“In my football physiotherapy career, this was probably a strength. I had great delight in talking to the guy from wherever, the truck driver, the labourer etc. I just always found the stories fascinating. And when I was mentoring young physios, they’d say ‘oh my god how can you possibly be a physio for 50 years?’ And I say ‘really simple – don’t treat the injury, treat a person’. They’ve all got a story, and then life becomes really interesting.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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