Author: Joint CEO Simon Leslie 

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you want to be successful, make sure you understand business: understand the challenges businesspeople face; learn how to read a set of accounts; be a solution-driven human and stop worrying about anything and everything. Worrying doesn’t make things better, it just creates a negative future. 

Be an optimist

Optimists believe the future is bright and exciting even if they have no idea how to make it happen. And work bloody hard, because nothing beats hard work.

No one is going to give you something for nothing and they won’t keep giving you anything unless you keep delivering. Remember this: you are only as good as your next deal. It’s your time to own your own happiness, enjoy your journey; it’s yours alone and no one can enjoy it for you.

Celebrate every win

Celebrate every win no matter how small and remember this: in every interaction with people it’s what you leave in them, not what you leave with them. People will always remember what you did for them, both good and bad.

As I am writing this, I have two LinkedIn messages thanking me for help I gave recently. Sometimes, you don’t know what impact you will have on others – whether positive or negative – but whichever it is, it will hopefully drive them to do more and get better.

Points to prove

In much of my career I have looked for people who had a real point to prove to someone, who were genuinely hungry to make something of their lives. At Ink we have hired people others would ignore and dismiss. We were and remain slightly off the norm, whatever the norm is.

We were, and are, as Steve Jobs said, “The crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers” – and I certainly was a very rotund peg in a square hole!

My advice to you 

Whoever you take advice from, make sure they have the aptitude to practise what they preach. Otherwise, you end up relying on people giving advice on how to make the perfect life when they are only good at the sales pitch, or worse still, they are pretenders.

Listen to people who have the stamina to really survive and thrive. If you want to make a career in sales, it’s not about how talented you are, it’s about how big the fire in your belly is and how resilient and ambitious you really are. It’s a profession where less talent and more tenaciousness pays really well.

At Ink, we are foremost a people business and, without our people, it’s just contracts, phones and some computers. 

The most surprising thing

The hardest thing to deal with is when people let you down in the process of helping them; as I have said many times, there is nothing as surprising as people. Inevitably, this does happen from time to time, and I tell my management teams that they shouldn’t let one moment deter them away from the better path that we, as a business, have chosen to walk down. 

I know from experience that everything happens for a reason and if it’s not clear to us now why that person behaved in a certain way – maybe it will be in the future. Maybe we will hear from them in years to come when they are older and wiser. 

Or maybe they will just be the one that got away... but one thing is sure, even if we bear a few disappointments, it in no way dulls the shine of the many, many times we know we acted in the best ways we could. We hold our heads up high and carry on and leave karma to sort the rest.

It's a wonderful life

I created a wonderful life for myself through sheer determination to help others get better, and that is the overriding message I want to leave you with.

Life is shorter than most of us want and if you don’t make each day count you just are wasting time.    

Interested to find out a bit more? You can purchase the book over at Amazon

Every penny of proceeds is going to Young Minds and Centrepoint, two very important charitable causes.