A colleague of mine once revealed a story of a good friend of his who was the best man at his wedding, and also, a very successful person. He earned millions in the real estate market, and had actually won an Academy Award as a producer for Best Picture several years ago. He pilots his own Citation jet and Bell helicopter, and has a beach house in Malibu.
As I learned more about this gentleman, I also found out he was a very well-liked, down-to-earth person; and it seems his accomplishments may have a great deal to do with his distinctive approach to life.
So, why is he so successful?
He follows his own advice:
1. Do What You Love
If you are not excited to get to work every day, you are probably in the wrong profession. If the stock market intrigues you, head to Wall Street. If shooting a film on the streets in the middle of the night makes you happy, head to Hollywood. To paraphrase, Warren Buffet suggests choosing a profession you would want to do even if you were already wealthy.
2. Money Isn’t Everything
My colleague disclosed that this particular friend always pursues high-risk high-reward business opportunities. While he certainly enjoys the high rewards, he says that if he lost it all tomorrow, he would just get up and start again; and it would be just as exciting. Being happy and finding fulfillment in your work is far more important than the income it brings in, and pursuing what you love with a passion is usually followed by creating the income you seek.
3. Family Comes First
The people you love should always come first; otherwise, what is it all for? I discovered that this man has left million dollar actors on a set to pick up his sick son from school himself. The people who support you deserve the best of your attention and time. They are the ones who celebrate your successes and lift you up when you fail. Stay worthy of them.
4. Get Rid of Bad Habits
Self-destructive behavior patterns can potentially break you. Sure, it’s okay to occasionally have cocktails after work with the staff, or skip going to the gym for an important meeting, but don’t let these habits rule you. Bad decisions breed more bad decisions. Break the pattern before it starts. Constant self-awareness and focus will bring bad habits to your attention and allow you to change them for the better.
5. Never Miss an Opportunity
We don’t often get the opportunity to do something immense and right in the world, and when you do, jump in with everything you’ve got. Dipping a toe in the water or keeping one foot out the door is almost as unsuccessful as complete failure. Successful people know they only get so many opportunities in one lifetime. The saying is not, “tag along during the day,” it is “Seize the Day!”
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