David Koch, a renowned businessman, political activist, philanthropist, and chemical engineer, is an idol of many youngsters who want to achieve big dreams in life, and build a wealthy future.Here’s a rundown of what this famous businessman has to say to young guns who wish to boost their earning power.
Don’t Let the Opportunities Slip By
When Koch was working at Sunrise Network as a finance editor, he came across an opportunity to become a host, and he didn’t let it slip by, and today not just hundreds of thousands of people, but even David keeps asking himself at times – “How on earth did a finance journalist end up hosting Sunrise?”
The simple answer is that he had been the perfect opportunist and whatever he is today is all because he never let a single opportunity slip by. Likewise, you should keep your eyes open to new opportunities – anything can be a life-changer!
Self-Belief Is the Key to Success
“Always have enough confidence in yourself to give anything a fair shot. 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. 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’ you just tried!
Be Unique in Everything You Do
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.
Gauge Your Job Category
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.
Create a Road Map
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 road-map, how do you know where you want to get to?
Don’t Be Completely Financially-Dependent on Your Salary
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.
It’s Okay to be Slightly-Underpaid
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.
Creating Your Identity Is Important
Branding is important for every organisation and the same holds good 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.
Find a Good Mentor
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.
Try Until You Succeed
Whenever you start testing something new as your side-income after 9-6 job, give it time and don’t quit in just 1 month. It takes a lot of time and efforts to build a passive income, and everything comes at a cost.
If you’re trying to master a new skill-set you’ll need to invest fair bit of time, money, and efforts – all you need to do is to create a powerful mindset not to give up until you succeed.