The Lessons We Can Learn From the Past to Help A Business Growth

The Lessons We Can Learn From the Past to Help A Business Growth

Anas Bouargane 14/01/2020 6

The business world is heading towards a new pathway. The way we work has changed, technology has become much more sophisticated, and how we do business today is completely different from the past.

Although how we do things now doesn’t look quite like how business was done even two decades ago, things aren’t changing as quickly as we think they are. The good news with this is that we can take a much more constructive approach to the challenges that will come to our business. It will also mean that we have time to learn from the past, and those lessons that we will learn, will remain helpful and useful as we go into the future. With all of this in mind, here are some important business lessons that we can learn from history in general. These lessons are still going to be relevant today and in the future. So how can learning from the past can help you with your business? Here are some lessons that you should carefully consider to avoid repeating the same mistakes. 


Monitor Your Employees

There are many things that change, that is for sure. But for business, it will always be driven by people, and those people haven’t changed that much at all. But on a really fundamental level, people do tend to be driven by their emotions. But one of the strongest things in a business context are things like fear and greed. So this is where we we still learn from things like booms and busts, as we have seen over the years in business and with money (think Wall Street and the 1930s, for example). There will be people out there that are frauds, but you need to learn from the past when that happens.  

Horizontal First, Vertical Second

If you are looking at who your competitors are in business, then you might feel a little like Coca-Cola competing with Pepsi. But you need to think further than that, because in actual fact, you’re competing with the likes of the plastic bottle makers and the companies that produce the sugar. The reason being is that they are your costs. When you have reached a particular share of the market, you can look at things like mergers and acquisitions, which is all about ‘vertical’ integration. You need to look at the ‘horizontal’ things first, and then the ‘vertical’ aspects second. Keeping things in that order can make a difference.  

Thinking Outside of the Box

As long as business has been successful, there are people behind the businesses running it all, who are thinking outside of the box. There are examples of things like the California Gold Rush that we can learn from, as that changed the state of California, the country, and even the world as a result. It was people thinking differently and looking to do things differently. So for your business, thinking outside of the box is a must, if you want to have a business that really can grow and get bigger and better.

Different Kinds of Leaders

Historically, there are business leaders that tend to fall into one of three categories. There tends to be entrepreneurs, then managers, and then leaders. The entrepreneurs are the people who will look to create some new things. The managers are the people in business who are the ones that add some structure to those new ideas, and then allow those ideas to fully develop and reach their potential. Next thing, are the leaders. A leader in this kind of context is someone in business who comes in to then transform a company that is losing the energy and needs to do things to change. But only rarely will there be a leader in business who can be all three kinds of leader at once. The key to it all is to know where your business is at, as well as what kind of leader you are, or what you could be. 


There is a common belief that businesses are looking to drive some economic progress and innovation in the societies. It is an assumption that you need to challenge. The jury is out whether business in the private sector is something that is more innovative than the public sector. But today, a lot of that growth comes from the non-profit sector. It is important to learn from this, and then you can see your business progress, no matter what kind of business you have. 


What lessons from the past do you think we can help with our future, especially when it comes to business? It would be great to hear what you think.

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  • Andy Krieger

    Keep on motivating employees, they are your most valuable assets.

  • Dempsey Ross

    It's preferable to have few mentors to learn from their mistakes

  • Jimmy McErlean

    Invest in technology and automate processes !

  • Mary Pullham

    I will make sure to follow these lessons

  • Paul Mitchell

    I would say hire less people and focus on developing a good product.

  • Rhys Lloyd

    Insightful post !

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Anas Bouargane

Business Expert

Anas is the founder of CEF Académie, a platform that provides guidance and support for those willing to study in France. He previously interned at Unissey. Anas holds a bachelor degree in economics, finance and management from the University of Toulon.

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