Editor Benjamin Ang sat down for a chat with Chris Gardner, entrepreneur, single parent, speaker, philanthropist, and author of critically acclaimed "Pursuit of Happyness".
If you are familiar with his inspirational autobiography which Will Smith starred in the movie, you would know that Chris has overcome some tough times in his life.
Chris’ message on how to keep going is simple: “This can be done, this has been done before. It’s okay to fail, but it’s not okay to quit. Quitting can become a habit.”
You are the driver
For those going through a tough point in their life, take it from Chris. He shared that at his worst point in life, he was working despite being a homeless single parent who was living on the streets.
He acknowledged that he had something to do with how he got into the position. And acknowledging is also power in knowing that (metaphorically) if you could drive yourself there, know that you can also drive yourself out of there.
As a Wall Street broker back in the day, Chris said one of the qualities to be successful as an adviser is that you have to do the right thing for your customer. Always be mindful that you’re not just trying to do a transaction, but you’re creating a relationship.
“Relationships will always be more important than transactions. And to create a good relationship, you need to make sure people understand that you’re about more than money, more than this transaction. Because what you want to do is help set them up and their families for the future,” he said.
The world has changed so much, it is not about gaining and having. It is about being and becoming. “Being who you are. Becoming who you want to be.”
“You can choose to be world-class at what you do. Not good, not pretty good, but world-class,” he said.
You’ve got to keep asking yourself, “How can I get better at this?” He added that it is not about being better than someone else, but to become the best version of yourself.
You have to always be upgrading your skills and making sure that you’re relevant to today’s economy and what’s going to happen tomorrow, he said.
The CEO of Happyness advised, “Always pursue happiness. Find something that makes you happy, and if you’re not happy, don’t do it. Life is too short. ”
And whenever you feel down and out, and in need of a pick me up, remember Chris’ words: “This can be done. It has been done before. But now, it is your turn.”
This interview took place at the 17th APLIC in Hong Kong.
For great stories from people outside the insurance industry, check out:
Be better than you were yesterday- Paralympic medallist
John C Maxwell shares leadership lessons with Asia Advisers Network
My scars don't define me - Kechi Okwuchi
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