Advice for those starting out


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A number of people have asked me about my personal views on what constitutes success and how it has impacted my life. I thought the best way was to share an extract from a note I wrote for my daughter when she finished school.  She has just turned 18.

Dear Holly,

You have asked about the secret to success.

Set your goals, work hard, never give up and have fun along the way. It’s that simple. No magic wand or quick fixes, to succeed you have to be focused and keep going when others quit and unfortunately most people do. They quit school, drop out of Uni, take an easy job, do the bare minimum and quit when it gets difficult. Then they sit on the couch at night watch 5 hours of television and complain that it’s not fair, the other person is lucky or ‘the system’ is out to get them. They blame everyone except themselves.

It has taken me 20 years to become ‘successful’. I have worked very hard to get the CEO position I strived to achieve and it often meant doing more than others were prepared to do. The question is ‘How bad do you want it?’ Starting out is hard. It’s hard to get through school, hard to get through Uni and hard to make a path for yourself in the world.

I’ve had my share of knocks, been treated unfairly, fought for promotions and persisted always putting in the extra effort until I got where I wanted to be. Then you keep doing it. It’s not easy but I’ve seen many smarter, more talented people drop by the wayside because they weren’t prepared to invest in themselves. You can’t be the sort of person to settle for second best.

Decide to have a work ethic of success and stick to it. Finish what you start and put in the extra effort when others aren’t prepared to. Some obstacles you have to go around rather than through. If you know where you are going there are many paths to get you there.

Some of the greatest obstacles in life are the negative people and those that aspire to mediocrity.

These people will try to bring you down and sometimes they may be friends or people that should know better. Why? They don’t want you to succeed where they have failed because it makes them look and feel bad. They want you to be just the same as them. If I had listened to all this so called ‘good advice’ I wouldn’t have done anything!

‘Why would you want to do that Holly? Why do you work so hard? Why not relax and have a bit of fun?’ What they are really saying is come and be average with the rest of us who have never done anything with our lives. By all means listen to advice but make your own judgement.

Is career achievement success? For me it is along with a happy family, our health, great friends and the ability to enjoy ourselves. Balance is the key.

Strive to be the best you can be then kick it up a notch and be even better. When you reach a goal allow yourself to enjoy it, perhaps reward yourself but also ask ‘What’s next?’ The goal you find difficult today will be just a stepping stone to something even bigger in the future.

While most people float along allowing life to happen to them I say swim against the current, take control and make life serve you. There is more wealth in the world than anyone can ever spend, it doesn’t run out and the universe is abundant so if you want it you can have it.

As well as a career you need to start investing.

My advice is to get into property as early as you can.
When we bought our first house (1988) interest rates were 18% and the repayments were $1,800 a month and I was bringing home $1,900 a month at the time! So we rented it out for a couple of years and got on top of it.

As soon as we could afford it we bought our first investment property, a small flat in East Melbourne. Talk about panic, I couldn’t image how I was ever going to cover the repayments. In a relatively short time the value of the property went up and so did the rent and it was paying for itself. We then used the increased equity to buy another one. Now 8 properties later it all takes care of itself.

Time ages our bodies but conformity and loss of enthusiasm leaves welts upon the soul. It is impossible for someone else to tell you what path to follow, no matter how good their intentions. Success and happiness are not distant goals to capture and hold, they are the cumulative result from everything you do.

In life, regardless of what you do, give your best and you’ll be successful.

Have a wonderful life Holly and I look forward to sharing and celebrating it all with you. 


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2 Responses to “Advice for those starting out”

  1. Graduation Rate Says:

    Thanks! I’ll be adding your rss.

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