I'm lucky in my line of work that I get to meet so many incredible people. Being able to live and work in the online world allows me flexibility and reach like no other industry I know of. Because of this flexibility I've been getting more involved in the Vancouver community, enjoying events with diverse and rich groups of successful business visionaries.
Today was no exception. BCBusiness's Top 100 honoured the top 100 companies in BC, Canada. Frank Giustra was the special guest of todays event, and I enjoyed the pleasure of listening to his life story and how he has contributed to four different multi-billion dollar corporations.
Though Mr. Giustra is most well known for his work in the mining and film industries (Lions Gate Film), his work as a philanthropist, and his down to earth nature is what attracted me to him as a person. He was genuine in his answers, often being asked about his weaknesses, doubts and past failures, to which he always came out with positive responses of hope, focus and a well balanced life.
For someone who is able to work no more than a regular work week while being able to contribute 100 million dollars to his friend Bill Clinton's philanthropy projects, it was wonderful to hear his insights into what makes great companies and great human beings.
Personal note: That he was a self made billionaire and came from very humble beginnings, and had to suffer with fear, doubts, seclusion, mockery and down times just like everyone else, explained his compassion to the world and his desire to just be happy, help others and enjoy a well balanced life.
Here are a few notes of highlighted comments I took from him today:
- If you truly believe in something, with 100% conviction, anything you dream of can happen.
- Avoid negative energy. Be around the things that push you forward and feel productive and positive in every way. This will produce true success.
- Once they can see they relate to you, you can inspire them.
- Never borrow money. If you have debt, you're done. Instead, just cut back and spend less until the hurt is over.
- Ego is an important thing to leave on the side when making business decisions.
- I look at the characteristics of successful people and test those out for myself.
- I still make mistakes. Its just part of life. You just have to correct them quickly, learn from them, and move on.
- Success comes from having a balanced life, feeling happy and being at peace. If you're not at peace, it's not right. I balance my life with family, friends, cooking, good wine, adventure, exercise, ongoing learning and just staying healthy.
- Content is everything. If you have great content, no matter the industry or subject matter you're in, you can reach new markets and new opportunities.
and a final fun one to take away:
Mr. Giustra was asked "What business advice would you give my six year old?" His reply? "Learn Mandarin."
It was a pleasure to spend some time with Frank Giustra today. Sometimes it's good to just step out of your box and listen to someone who can inspire you to be more like yourself, to take risks, to put your heart out there, and to be wholeheartedly passionate about what you do. That's what he did, and I do too.
How about you? What are you most passionate about that makes you happy?