In 1970 Aristotle Onassis was relaxing in the bar of the London Palladium during a performance. The variety show on stage held no interest for him, he was most likely with Jackie and some friends and he had removed himself from the audience and was now enjoying his customary Johnnie Walker Black Label.
At the Interval the audience started to fill the bar and a man and woman walked in with their 8 year old son. Onassis looked at the boy, who was wearing a suit and a tie, and smiled, walked over to the couple and said in his gruff voice something along the lines of, 'You have the smartest young man I have seen in a long while'. He then patted the boy on the head and gave him a five pound note. Then, with a smile, a slight nod and a wave he walked off to meet his party of guests. People looked at the couple with their son and the man said to his wife, 'You know who that was don't you?'
£5 was a LOT of money in 1970. The evening out for the couple and their son had been something the man had been saving up for for two months. The suit the boy was wearing (a blue two tone single breasted) came from the Peter Pan Outfitters for children in the Commercial Road in East London.
The couple were my Mum and Dad.
If ONLY I had kept that five pound note Onassis gave me!
Ever since that moment I have been interested in the life of Aristotle Onassis.
Aristotle Onassis was one of the most successful, publicized and examined people in the world during the middle of the 20th century. Today, 38 years after his death, he is principally remembered as an ultra-rich shipping magnate, touring the world on his magnificent yacht and for his romance with the diva soprano Maria Callas and marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy. Before he attained business and social heights, however, he was a very rough, uncultured, non-work of art. His effort to change a dim future is worth a look: and is instructional as a teaching aid that anyone can utilize in pursuit of success.
Onassis was born in Smyrna of Greek parents. At the end of World War I he, along with millions of others, was forced into refugee status and arrived in Argentina as a penniless immigrant. His Spanish was minimal, his education limited and his skills on offer were not highly prized. Nevertheless, he examined his circumstance realistically and with deep analysis. He recognized that out of post-war chaos would come opportunity for the agile and creative entrepreneur. Being broke was just an obstacle, not a closed, door to Onassis.
As Onassis learnt the ways of Argentine society and business he noticed that there were specific clubs, restaurants, hotels and theatres that were almost exclusively frequented by the successful business and political class. Always a keen observer of human nature, he realized that contacts and friendships of value to an ambitious fellow like himself could only be nurtured in this rarefied realm. Onassis was determined to find a way in.
He worked mundane jobs, including a stint as a telephone operator. However, he was different from co-workers and other immigrants. He immersed himself in all things Argentine and he saved every cent he earned that was not needed for basic sustenance. Most importantly, he recognized the old saying; “the rich are different from you and me” was so true. He needed to emulate the rich in order to become rich. He never looked at successful people as the enemy. He had aspirations, not jealousy in his heart.
Onassis became addicted to quality in all areas of life. While still poor, he saved every peso until he could afford a Saville Row hand cut suit. He only had one suit, but it was elegant. He also observed that the rich seemed to appear healthier, happier. They seemed to sport suntan skin as a badge of their fortunate lifestyle. Onassis developed a lifetime addiction to pursuit of the perfect suntan. His tan was internationally famous long before the actor George Hamilton gained similar fame. To this day, a suntan is an emblem of the good life for the successful class.
A Saville Row suit, quality personal furnishings and a suntan that reeked of idle leisure and success were only a start. Onassis was still a rough diamond. Nevertheless, he believed in his ultimate destiny. He would have a drink every night at the bar of the Intercontinental Hotel in Buenos Aires, the cities finest. Only one drink, because that was all he could afford. He still worked as a telephone operator, but he kept his parallel lives as a blue-collar worker and social status seeker firmly differentiated.
His nightly visits to the Intercontinental Hotel bar gradually lead to his building a network of business and social contacts. The famous Argentine soprano Claudia Musa frequently visited the hotel. She was an adored opera star and a cultured beauty. Onassis was basically a nobody and a poser. And yet, he pursued the beautiful singer, and with his usual tenacity he won her heart. This drive to win would be displayed in every area of his long and exciting life.
Onassis recognized that Argentine women preferred a type of sweet Turkish tobacco that was not widely available in South America. Utilizing his newly found relationships; he brokered an import deal for an inventory of the tobacco. He assembled the capital necessary to organize a small factory and began to market several brands of Turkish cigarettes. This small, but successful deal was the basis for his later international business prominence.
Onassis recognized that World War II was imminent. The movement of war materiel was going to become crucial to the Allies winning the war. Shipping would be highly profitable, if he could find an inventory of ships to purchase. With customary elan, he found a small fleet of sturdy but well used freighters on the St. Lawrence Waterway and arranged a tight line of credit to purchase the motley flotilla. He was on his way to becoming the most famous shipping magnate in history.
Entrepreneurs, in order to succeed, often must change elements of their personal lifestyle. We have all heard the old adage, “success breeds success”. No one practised this truism more fully and instructively than Aristotle Onassis. He bought one high quality suit. He squired beautiful women. He went to the finest clubs, even though he could not afford much more than one drink. He used his new environment, new contacts and network to benefit his single-minded pursuit of success. Why did Willy Sutton rob banks: because that was where the money was! Onassis also made the elemental decision to hang out where the money was.
One of the most difficult aspects of the entrepreneurial process that must be overcome is the need to adjust lifestyle. Sacrifice today will pay dividends tomorrow. Venture capital usually will not be found in a pool hall. The necessity to improve one’s self-presentation and to network continually is paramount. You must be constantly closing the sale, improving your skills and totally focus on achieving your goal.
Aristotle Onassis worked blue-collar jobs, spoke Spanish as a third language, was a displaced immigrant on a strange continent and had zero personal assets. Nevertheless, he organized a personal plan to overcome his obstacles and lead a life of legendary accomplishment.
I spend a great deal of time training and coaching people and corporations to overcome hurdles. Some easily recognize the need to change habits and to utilize pieces of the Onassis template. They often have the ability to succeed. Many more unfortunately, decide that they know best, markets will adapt to their wants and a shortcut to success can be taken. They always fail. This is an absolute observation.
At the harbour of Nidri is a statue of the man who has inspired me and, through my work, inspires others. You can also see Skorpios from there. There is no way I can visit his grave as he is entombed with his two children on the private island but the statue is the nearest I can get to 'The Great Onassis' again in person.
“To be successful, keep looking tanned, live in an elegant building (even if you're in the cellar), be seen in smart restaurants (even if you only nurse one drink) and if you borrow, borrow big.”
“If women didn't exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning.”
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”
“The secret of business is to know something nobody else knows”
“After a certain point, money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts.”
“I have no friends and no enemies -- only competitors.”
“Get a sun lamp to keep you looking as if you have just come back from somewhere expensive”
“Find a priest who understands English and doesn't look like Rasputin.”
“The more you own, the more you know you don't own.”
“Always carry a notebook. Write down ideas and information. Write down everything you know and hear about a person you meet. That way, next time you meet them, you know how much time to give them.”
I just wanted to share with you an amazing and very incisive graphic by MaryEllen Tribby about what make some people more successful than others.
It seems to boil down to one thing...successful people 'get it!'
One other thing to notice...
The successful person is a female figure and the unsuccessful figure is a male figure.
That seems endemic in society at present, from graphics like this right the way up to furniture ads on TV. The female is seen as capable and organisational and the man justs drifts around doing nothing or just does the wrong thing, sometimes surprised by the actions of the female.
In the world of personal development most of the companies rely on the main person.
Otherwise known as...
The face of the company.
The person who writes the programs.
The person who delivers the training.
The person people want to see, hear or be trained by.
I have that challenge.
Many other companies have that challenge.
I know what you are thinking; "You say that like it's a bad thing!"
Not now...but in the future.
If you have a company and you are considering selling it, retiring and hoping it will continue, or even considering floating it...bad news.
You are the Company. People are buying you.
You need to take yourself out of your business.
You need to remove yourself from the daily running of your business.
Why? Because otherwise you will remain a vital element of the company and you will never be able to sell it without you going along as part of the package. You need to delegate all your tasks within the company to other people, so that the business can function effectively on its own without you being involved.
Your business will never be able to grow beyond what you can physically do yourself.
A buyer will only want to buy the business if you come along with it. Your plan to spend your time on a yacht sipping champagne has been well and truly scuppered. You are now an employee (albeit a very well paid one).
If you can teach what you do to a like minded person who works for you, do so. You must ensure that the business is capable of continuing while you take time out.
If your business is like this, do it now; I am.
If it's a new business you are starting then look closely at your business model and make sure it is scalable.
In other words, can it grow without you being there?
If the answer is no, it's a non starter. Think of a new idea.
Tonight I shall go and have a drink for Margaret Thatcher's life. I shall raise my glass to the night sky, and THANK HER, and celebrate her life. A large Talisker, her tipple.
Some people seem to have a very strange view of history. So here are a few little nuggets with how and more specifically WHY a lot of industries were destroyed by her, and what's more, ...destroyed with the MANDATE OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE.
The seventies were blighted by the trade unions waiting for winter and then coming out on strike at it's heart. Holding the country to ransom for ANNUAL pay rises of up to 36% ABOVE inflation. This was the likes of Scargill and co. And they bled us dry. We were bankrupted by them. And then the Winter of Discontent happened. And they ALL came out. Miners, power workers, transport workers; even funeral directors, everything tied into the TGWU came out. One of my Grandparents lay on a slab for 2 months waiting to be buried. The entire country was a ruin. Rubbish not collected for months, rats everywhere. And the unions laughed, and brought down Callaghan's Labour Government.
And Thatcher stood up at the General Election and made ONE SIMPLE PROMISE.
Elect me. And THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. ELECT ME AND I WILL DESTROY THEM.
She won a landslide. On that promise. And she became the last elected Prime Minister to actually hold true to her election promise. She did exactly what she said. She utterly destroyed the unions. Obliterated them. The cost was those industries. We knew that would be the price. But we would not allow them to hold us to ransom again. What she did, she did with our BLESSING. The socialists and people who backed those strikes have only themselves to blame for what happened.
Baroness Thatcher didn't destroy those industries and communities for fun or as part of a class war. She did it to stop them holding the country to ransom again. And then she held the purse strings tight and re-built the economy and the country and Britain again stood tall and thrived. And we won back the global respect we had lost while the left wing ruled.
In the Falklands they were thankful for her being in office. Those who went 'south' in '82 did so knowing they had a leader who would not - and did not- interfere. She sent the military and allowed them to do their job. Gave them money, the equipment and most of all THE FREEDOM to get the job done. Our lands had been invaded. We had a gun up our nose. SHE led us.
Frankly Thatcher took a very broken Britain by the hand like a strict old fashioned Matron and LED THE COUNTRY BACK TO WHERE IT HAD ONCE BEEN.
We were the worlds 3rd major power in ALL respects. And as for the world, it has NEVER been safer than when Thatcher was in Downing Street, Reagan was in the White House and Gorbachev was in the Kremlin as the three spoke DAILY.
They laid the ground for the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Russians were TERRIFIED of her. And the world again feared/ respected Britain.
And lets not forget that she gave people the full right to buy their own council property. Her vision was that the TENNANT and the tennant alone could buy that property.As soon as her party stabbed her in the back the feeding frenzy began as under her the famous Tory grandee greed was held in check. So they stabbed her, led by the europro traitor Heseltine - who didn't have the guts to face her openly and alone - they arranged her removal. And we have been a broken patsy for europe ever since.
So yes, tonight I will celebrate the life of Baroness Thatcher, with thanks, with respect, and with sadness, because she allowed me to know what we could be, what we could achieve, what it meant to be BRITISH. She Didn't just LEAD Britain. She SAVED Britain. She made Britain GREAT again, and all we have done since she was removed from power, is let 'them' mess it up again.
RIP Baroness Thatcher...and THANK YOU! No one else in the Government has the nerve to do what you did.
I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of our greatest Peacetime Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher. She was truly a great lady and a major influence of mine. I have practically every autobiography and book about her in my Library.
I can remember being 17 years old walking around London and seeing bags of uncollected rubbish piled high in the streets. We, as a country, were financially crippled. We had high unemployment, unrest, strikes...you name it, we had it.
Aunt Betty and Margaret Thatcher
Then, when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979, Britain was classified as a dirty dump, “the sick man of Europe” and on the brink of total economic collapse. When she left power in 1990, it was one of the financial capitals of the world. She defined the 80's 'loadsamoney' mentality. She is associated with her political philosophy of Thatcherism, based on low taxation, low public spending, free markets and mass privatization. I, personally, love Margaret Thatcher for her honesty, bluntness, strength of character and her radicalism.
I took this pic at the Conference
Many others hate her, though, mainly on the left of politics who believed that she destroyed workers rights and slashed public spending. During her tenure she had to deal with mass unemployment, out of control inflation, endless strikes, a war with the Falklands and an attempted assassination by the IRA. In February 2007, she became the first British Prime Minister to be honoured with a statue in the House of Commons while still alive; a testament to her incredible legacy.
Here are some classic quotes from Margaret Thatcher...
1. Pennies don’t fall from heaven – they have to be earned here on earth.
2. No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.
3. Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.
4. My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.
5. Defeat? I do not recognise the meaning of the word.
6. I, personally, have always voted for the death penalty because I believe that people who go out prepared to take the lives of other people forfeit their own right to live. I believe that the death penalty should be used only very rarely, but I believe that no-one should go out certain that no matter how cruel, how vicious, how hideous their murder, they themselves will not suffer the death penalty.
7. Socialists cry “Power to the people”, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over people, power to the State.
8. There’s no such thing as society.
9. A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country’s flag.
10. (to Conservative backbench MP John Whittingdale) The trouble with you, John, is that your spine does not reach your brain.
11. For every idealistic peacemaker willing to renounce his self-defence in favour of a weapons-free world, there is at least one warmaker anxious to exploit the other’s good intentions.
12. Constitutions have to be written on hearts, not just paper.
13. If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.
14. To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.
15. To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.
16. Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
17. I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
18. If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.
19. There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.
20. I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it.
21. It pays to know the enemy – not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.
22. It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.
23. I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.
24. Popular capitalism is nothing less than a crusade to enfranchise the many in the economic life of the nation.
25. Imagine a Labour canvasser talking on the doorstep to those East German families when they settle in on freedom’s side of the wall. “You want to keep more of the money you earn? I’m afraid that’s very selfish. We shall want to tax that away. You want to own shares in your firm? We can’t have that. The state has to own your firm. You want to choose where to send your children to school? That’s very divisive. You’ll send your child where we tell you.”
26. I don’t think there will be a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime. – BBC interview, 1973
27. Geoffrey Howe asked me why people take an instant dislike to him. I told him "Geoffrey, it saves so much time!"
I have a friend who got a parking
ticket. He stuck it in a drawer to deal with later. You know, later? When he had
Three days later he pulled the ticket out and saw that he was being
fined £40. He had a week left to pay it. He put it on the hallway table and went
A week later it was still there. When he remembered to look at it he
had one day left before it increased to £60.
Should he reschedule his meeting so
that he could go and pay the fine now? In his mind he did a quick
calculation. “It’s only another £20 for heavens' sake!” Hmmm. Is
it? “I spend more than that on cigarettes each week!” he thought. Well,
that’s that rationalized!
Another week went by. And then another. He
forgot all about it. He went on holiday. When he got back his car had been
lifted and impounded and to get it back he had to pay the costs on top of the
original fine. The fine, if he had dealt with it straight away, was only
£40. He paid out £480.00
that day to get his car back.
Kill the monster early.
In business we make choices every
day. We decide what direction we are going to take, what strategy to use, who to
send on a particular job. All those choices are pro-active. We have to react in
the same positive way. When something happens we have to decide right away a
course of action otherwise things change.
Some people tend to sweep things
under the carpet. Someone causes a problem or a challenge? Sweep it under the
carpet. Some people keep on doing that again and again until nobody can open
the door because of a huge pile of crap under the carpet.
fine?) can be brushed off or ignored for a while. They turn into
concerns. Concerns (£60 fine increase) cause a little consternation and can
be time consuming but, some people deal with them by delaying action. The
concerns turn into a crisis!
A crisis (car towed and £480 bill) is when and
only when some people act. All that trouble and financial cost and yet, back in
the days of the £40 it would have been so simple. Just deal with it at the time
and get rid of it. Do it NOW!
In business, never ever let anything just sit
and rot away. Always deal with things immediately if that can be done. Never,
ever, put things off to another day. Do the tough stuff first and then do the
Here’s a case in point...
You must have seen the Alien films.
They are great and I always get a kick out of watching them. Do you remember
that scene in the first film when Cain has that alien burst out of his chest?
The pic at the top of this post is the scene. I always think of how different it would
have been if I had been on that spaceship....
Just as the little alien runs across
the table I would have smashed it with a sledge hammer and flattened it.
Turn to camera and say: “If we had let that out
of the room it would have killed everyone!”
Fear is, False Evidence Appearing Real. That's all.
It's not reality.
I know a lot of people who give it large, the
big'un, all the front. Most do it by letter or online because that's where they
belong, in the dark, hidden, safe. Some have the nerve to do it in person but
when push comes to shove, or punch, or kick...they crumble like dust.
understand fear. I understand strength. I understand courage. Courage is
not the absence of fear, it's the ability to act in spite of fear.
someone is trying (thats one of their words - try(ing) - they can never 'do') to
impose fear or frighten you. If someone is threatening you physically,
verbally, business wise...so what? What can they do to you? Nothing? Well,
actually, they can do something. It's called 'only what you let
Realise one simple fact. They are behind/ below you. So far behind you
all they can dream of is being you.
In fact they are so far behind you, the only reason you can see them is because you are lapping them!
Who cares what they say or do; it doesn't
matter, they are irrelevant.
They don't know what they are doing. THATS the
level of intelligence they have.
And it ain't much! ;-)
gave you a present, and you said 'no thanks', who owns the present? That's
right; I still do. Thats what you do with the low lifes, the scum, the idiots,
the mood hoovers, the energy vampires, the people who want to hold you back, the
people who want to derail you or your business.
Remember: there is no
need to dream up all manner of torture for these people. No point in thinking
up ways to harm them.
Why? Because anything you dream up in those dark moments when you feel that you have been sleighted or harmed will be eclipsed by
the damage they will do to themselves on a regular basis.
People look at them
There is nothing to FEAR. Be strong...they hate it, because
they cant be strong...
The reason they don't like you is simple...it's because they can't be you!