Secrets to Success

Location: Ritz Carlton, Moscow

I write all the time about being lucky. Lucky that I get to travel all over, lucky that I love the life I have built for myself with my family, lucky that I love the city I live in – lucky about so many different things. It’s quite ironic that I write about feeling lucky, but in actual fact, very little of the life I have was built on luck at all.  Over the last few weeks, I’ve received quite a few DMs on Instagram from friends new and old, saying that they enjoy following my travels and wonder how I get to do it so often.  How do I get to experience the things that I do, see the places I see.  On the subject of travel, you can actually read this post here, but because I believe that very little of this is actually to do with luck, I thought I would write another post on my secrets to success, in the hopes that it might help others succeed at whatever they are trying to achieve.

Secrets to Success

Define Success

I guess the first thing to figure out is what success means to you, as every person sees it differently.  Success is NOT a function of how much money you are making, but rather I see wealth as a by-product.  Success can be many things; for some it’s working towards a certain position or career, for others it’s their philanthropic efforts or it could even be starting a family and building a home. Whatever it may be, it is impossible to work towards something without actually knowing what it is that you are working towards.  Sit down in a quiet place and think about what you want your life to be. Where would it be?  For me, I always knew that I wanted something bigger than the country I grew up in, but it took me a long time to actually figure out that to make it happen, I would actually have to bite the bullet, pack up and leave.  It was scary at the time and very intimidating, but at this point I can’t imagine living anywhere but a big city. I love the fast pace of life and the diversity that comes with it. I was 23 when I left home and am now at my seventh year in London. I’ve built my home here, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be here forever. I still have dreams of living on other continents, in other cities, be it either New York, Singapore or Abu Dhabi, to truly be an international citizen exploring the globe. In my perfect little world, I dream of living and travelling around the world, sharing all the experiences with a growing family. I know what I want to work towards, and I’ll keep going until I get there.

Have a Plan

Once you’ve defined what it is that you really want to feel successful in yourself, have a plan on how you are going to get there. Your plan should not be to get from point A to point B, but rather a series of steps over an amount of time.  A series of objectives to reach, always working towards the end goal.  I used to think that being successful was very black and white – do this, this and this by the time you are thirty or you’ve failed. I really stressed myself out over it, often comparing where I am now to people who were sometimes ten, twenty or even thirty years older than me. I now realise that this was a little ridiculous. To begin with, what others are doing or where others are in their life is totally irrelevant to where I am. Put everything into bite-sized digestible pieces, to be achieved over a period of time.  Each time you have hit another milestone, you are one step closer to your goal.  As you are moving from milestone to milestone, know that that is success in itself.

Secrets to Success

Luck is Hard Work

Lastly, and I think most importantly, being lucky is directly correlated to how hard you are willing to work.  If you want to read a fantastic book on this, I strongly recommend Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. It is a book on how the most successful people in the world are where they are not because of a lucky streak, but because they worked their absolute hardest to get there.   You can apply this to anything and it holds true.  Want to do really well in your school exams – then start studying from the beginning of the scholastic year. Work past paper after past paper, and study until you can’t read the same sentence anymore. I promise you that it will pay off.  Same goes for career – leaving exactly at 5:30pm everyday isn’t going to make you stand out from the crowd. Put the hours in, do extra, go overboard. It will be noticed.  I even see this in the hedge fund world – there is no such thing as investment genius. The more thorough the analysis, the heavier the due diligence and the more time spent analysing a security, the more likely we are to get the risk/reward balance right and capture the upside.  Never make excuses for working hard – the more effort you put into whatever you are working towards, the more likely it is to pay off!

Secrets to Success

What are your secrets to success? I’d love to hear your tips on how you get to where you want to be in life, and the things you do to make sure you keep on achieving. Leave your comments below! xxx

Secrets to Success

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