Legacy of Luck: Professional Lessons to Learn From St. Patrick

Business.com / Education / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Saint Patrick had some imitable qualities that extend far beyond religion. Here's what you can learn from this lucky legend.

Saint Patrick was a stand up dude. Born into a wealthy British family, his father was a deacon and he led a life to be remembered (just ask the 133 million people in the U.S. who celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in 2014).

St. Paddy had some imitable qualities that extend far beyond religion, and as working professionals, there are quite a few lessons we can learn from this lucky legend.

Here are the qualities St. Patrick embodied in his year's on earth, and how, even centuries later, they apply to our everyday. 

He worked hard despite adverse conditions

St. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave at the age of 16. For 6 years, he worked hard as a shepherd despite the conditions. In both our personal and professional lives, we have to power through the trenches to reach the reward at the end. Some days bring out the thorns in roses; others bring out the aroma. You have to have both in order to have a balanced perspective.

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He found a way to make his competitors join his mission

After 6 years of slavery, St. Patrick escaped Britain, and later became a priest. During that time, he convinced thousands that there was one God and that idols didn’t exist. These “competitors” initially tried to take him down, but over time, he managed to convert them to join his mission. Every business has competitors. The saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” was true thousands of years ago and remains applicable.   

He had to change his course more than once

St. Patrick wasn’t initially called to the priesthood. He went through quite a few trials and tribulations before ending up in the clergy. Oftentimes, we find ourselves producing the same products or working on the same project without it evolving. Sometimes, we need to find a way to escape, and do something we’ve always dreamed of. In this process, there is no room for gimmicks. To produce a product or a brand that you are proud of requires honest and genuine communication.

He was relentless with his mission

Even after all he’d been through, he found a way to return back to Ireland to spread his passion and mission converting pagans to Christianity. This wasn’t a short mission – he spent years and years covering the entire northern half of Ireland.

In order to develop smart word-of-mouth marketing, you must be creating exceptional messaging that makes customers feel so valued that they can’t help share that message. If you don’t live up to your brand’s promises, you will lose trust with potential ambassadors.

Forrester reports that leaders in customer experience outperform their peers by 22.6%. If your clients and customers require real-time responses and online presence, you need to have a social plan in place for reaction.

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He left behind a legend

Though St. Patrick’s Day is often lauded with green beer, corned beef and cabbage and plenty of green attire, his legend goes far beyond the superficial tokens. For example, St. Patrick is credited with introducing the shamrock as a symbol of the Holy Trinity in order to illustrate three beings in one to the Irish people.

Remember to celebrate your creation

Each year, millions of pints of beer are consumed. In fact, $4.8 billion dollars was spent last year and 30.5% of Americans went to a bar or a restaurant to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Why? March 17 is when Saint Patrick died, which falls in the time frame of Lent, in which Catholics traditionally abstain from alcohol. However, in order to celebrate his legacy, the Irish government lifted the Lenten restrictions on drinking alcohol for the day, which has encouraged the holiday’s celebration of alcohol consumption.

In any career, you have to take the time to step back, reflect on what you’ve done and celebrate. Even if it’s baby steps.

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