5 Lessons on Life and Business from Canadian Billionaire Seymour Schulich
Create Your Own Career
There is too much pressure when it comes to getting into the “right career” early on. There really isn’t a right career or a wrong one to get into. Don’t be afraid to try different careers to get a taste of what’s out there and explore. You’ll then get to find out firsthand what kind of career you really want to get into and specialize in.
It may sound corny but the power of positivity is great. Each week, if not each day, we face challenges. What sets us apart is how we handle them and coming out the other end with a positive attitude is the key. Schulich provides a great example from a colleague who used to suffer during Canada’s cloudy winter days. Then one day they read a book by Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski that described the suffering the sun causes for many people in Africa. The author wondered if people living ‘North’ appreciated their weather? This brought a change of attitude and the colleague no longer saw the cloudy day as a negative. As Schulich says, “positive people form the vast majority of life’s winners.”
In this day and age it seems like successes are made overnight and everything needs to be quick, quick, quick. Schulich proposes that patience has been proven as critical to business success. Avoid rushing into a career or business without first fully researching it. The most successful investors act quickly, but only after they have gathered the necessary intelligence. While their decisions may seem quick, they have often been waiting patiently to pounce on the right opportunity.
Become an Expert at Saying “No”
The most successful people have learned to say “No” to 90% of the deals and opportunities that come by their desk. This principle can be applied to a wide variety of daily issues. Learning to say “No” to meetings, new projects, and even socializing.
Don’t Change People
One of Schulich’s most powerful lessons is on relationships. The concept is this, don’t try to change the way people are, because you can’t. In almost all situations you can’t change people. They are who they are. So when you enter into a relationship, regardless of what kind it is, be sure you’re ‘okay’ with the positive and negative characteristics and habits of your potential partner.
Michael Zipursky is the founder of FreshGigs.ca, Canada’s leading jobsite for qualified marketing, communications and creative professionals. He is also the author of 5 books on Consulting and Customer Loyalty. His work has been featured in FOX Business, the Financial Times, HR Executive and other media.