When was the day when everything changed for you? The day when something good or bad happened that changed the course of your life?
Mine was when I decided to get a summer job from a Spanish hotel when I was 19, moved to foreign country alone, got robbed the first night in the same hotel and had no money for a month. Instead of working at the reception as I was promised, I was made to clean the rooms and could only eat once a day dinner leftovers. I was feeling desperate, until I decided to do something about it, walked in a bar and got a second job making cocktails. For the next three weeks I worked days and nights, sleeping three hours a day, until I had enough money to leave the hotel. I returned to Finland few months later tanned, happy and a couple of hundreds of euros richer.
The darkest day of my life made no sense at that time, didn’t make sense for years, but without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. People often ask me why I didn’t simply fly back home like my parents wanted me to. Good question. Maybe it was stubbornness. Maybe it was strength of character I didn’t know I had. Whatever it was, it taught me to never give up. It showed me it’s never too late to change direction you are heading to – you can be anything you want as long as you have determination and drive to make it happen.
Same goes with business and career. Difference between the success and failure is not quitting. It’s all about the attitude. Like Touker Suleyman, the Retail King and BBC Dragon, said during his keynote at the British Business Show in December, “there are a lot of ups and downs in life, but it’s never the end. Everyone makes mistakes. There’s not one who doesn’t”. Experience is what you win when you lose.
To succeed in your career, you need three things: a goal, vision and belief. If your weekends are too short and you are dreading Monday, you are either in a wrong job or you are not making most out it. Whatever you do, you have to live it and be passionate about it. You need goals, but you also need focus and drive to achieve them. You have to have a destination in place and understand what you are chasing and why.
Yet if your only motivation in business is money, it’s not enough – you’ve already lost. Life is not all about having that giant TV or Lamborghini (even if I’d love to have one). You need to have purpose and passion, because when things get tough you need a real reason to continue.
I’ve had a life full of successes and failures. I’ve received countless amount of “no”s, which only made me try harder. What did I have to lose? What could be worse than the darkest day of my life? Overcoming fear of failure opens a world of possibilities.
We’ve all got something others don’t have. If you believe in yourself and love what you do, there’s always someone out there who sees the passion, sees the potential and believes in you. I’m forever grateful for those who did.
You can’t change the past, but when the years pass you are able to see your life from a different perspective. I’m not the person I was 12 years ago, heck I’m not the person I was yesterday. And I’m glad I’m not. I’ve made mistakes, taken risks, got success, and got burned in the process … but you know what? I don’t regret a thing. My life makes a pretty awesome story.
So, what’s yours?