It’s not every day that you get these valuable tips from someone as successful as David Koch. He has successfully donned many roles in his life so far, which includes that of a chemical engineer, world-renowned businessman, a philanthropist who has donated more than $750 million in the last decade and political activist. Thus, it is no-brainier that he is a role model for many youngsters today who look forward to taking tips and inspiration from him to achieve big in their life. Like any other successful person, even Koch advises the youngsters to dream big and work hard to achieve that dream. But, he also has many other tips to give, which are an essence of his life experiences and hence very valuable.
Let’s see what this famous businessman has to say.
When Opportunity Knocks at Your Door, Grab It
When Koch was working at Sunrise Network as a finance editor, he came across an opportunity to become a host. He was happy for that. It seems that he keeps asking himself: “How on earth did a finance journalist end up hosting Sunrise?” And he answers that he has always been an opportunist and whatever he is today is all because of the dedication and commitment that he had put in.
Believe in Yourself and Success Will Be Yours
“Always have enough confidence in yourself to give anything a go. But also have enough confidence, if it doesn’t work out, to go and do something else.” That’s the single best bit of advice I’ve ever received, and I’ve tried to follow it to the letter. It came from my father, and I’m trying to pass it down to my children. In essence, it means never be scared of an opportunity. Grab it, give it your best shot, and if it doesn’t work out, then move on to something else. But never be left wondering ‘what if?’
Create Your Own USP
When I was a young, ambitious 25-year-old journalist, I looked around at all the finance media icons to see what I could learn and how I could be as good. They were all highly skilled with great contacts and much older than I was.
So I looked for what could be the next big thing in finance journalism, something so new and different than the usual rules wouldn’t apply and age wouldn’t matter.
I’d seen the boom in personal finance media in the US while visiting my parents, who were living in San Francisco at the time. So I decided to do the same thing in Australia. I think the key in any career is to look around and find an in-demand specialty where you can develop a unique set of skills that can set you apart from the rest.
Keep Evolving with the Changing Job Market
The economy and technology have dramatically changed the working landscape. Tens of thousands of positions have been made redundant and some jobs have disappeared altogether — including many jobs in print media, where I started out.
If you’re in a large company, the first step is to look for the right department and job. Ignore the gossip and check with the personnel department to see which divisions are hiring. Internal transfers usually receive preference. Ask department heads about their long-range plans, and scan trade magazines or websites to learn which parts of your industry are expanding.
Being Optimistic Pays
Every New Year I ask Libby and the kids what goals they’ve set for themselves for the next 12 months. For years they’d laugh at me. As they got older, there were fewer laughs and even a couple of answers.
Life’s so busy these days that we don’t seem to take a deep breath, stop and think about what we want to do as individuals. But if you don’t have some sort of map, how do you know where you want to get to?
Always Keep Your Options Open
I’ve always vowed I’d never depend on radio or television for a living. While they’re great jobs, in some ways they’re horrible industries to be in because they’re so cutthroat and volatile. When you have a single income, a couple of kids and a mortgage, that volatility is unacceptable. So I’ve always worked other jobs on the side because I don’t want to put the family at risk.
That little stash of cash from a second job gives you a fallback position for when things go wrong and flexibility.
Be in a Job That You Love Doing
There’s no doubt money is important. Being paid what you’re worth is important. But it isn’t the be all and end all.
My top priority has always been to be in a job I love and then be paid appropriately for doing it. I’ve always thought it’s better to be happy to be paid a little below what you’re worth and keep your job than push for every last dollar and run the risk of being let go at the next downturn.
Like most industries, the media runs in cycles.
So many people stress about how much they’re being paid down to the last dollar. I tend to look at the other rewards first and balance them up — enjoyment, colleagues, potential, conditions.
Make Your Own Place in the Organization
Branding is important for every organization. The same is applicable for your career as well. Do what best you can at work and build up your reputation at workplace. Take up responsibilities in your company even if it is not a part of your daily work. For instance, it could be anything from helping a committee to being a first-aid representative. This can help you develop your personal brand.
Getting a Good Mentor Is a Blessing
If you are able to find a good mentor, it can be a great value addition to your life. As youngsters, you would definitely need someone who can guide you through the right path after graduation. A well-experienced mentor, who is successful in life, would be able to do that.
These are few of the valuable tips of David Koch. You might have heard few of these here and there and must have ignored them. But, when it is coming from someone as successful as Koch himself, you should definitely take it seriously. He has lived a successful and content life and these are basically the essence of his life journey.