We’ve all heard it before: working smart not continuously hard can help you reach your goals. But how? Hither Mann thinks she has the answer?
Britain’s most successful and wealthy businesspeople, by and large, were not academics, weren’t born with silver spoons in their mouths nor given cushy jobs to begin with. But they do share a common mindset.
The biographies of Branson, Sugar, Dyson or The Dragons, for example, reveals a shared mentality about the workplace and earning money. This mindset is about understanding and value of work experience on all levels, and most importantly, a healthy relationship with money. They all learnt to value the jobs they held, how to excel on every level until venturing into their own successful enterprises.
Hither Mann, is the founder of the Fortune Academy. And here is the lesson she learned and the mentality she adopted from school to university before entering the job market and her foray into multiple successful ventures.
1. Personality trumps grades
When you’re looking to enter the job market, your academic creds will already have helped qualify for the interview so you will then need to draw on your biggest asset which doesn’t rely on your grades: Your personality. This is your greatest asset and will see you through the job market, promotions and help you venture into entrepreneurialism, if that’s your heart’s desire. Sharpen your interpersonal skills, communicate well, look the other person in the eye, show enthusiasm, look presentable, show your charm and be likeable. Employers will judge you on this far more than your grades, making this one of the most important aspects of career resilience.
2. It’s not about the money
But of course it is. However, a classic mistake made by many who enter the job market is to primarily choose that route based on earning potential. I became an optometrist because I know my salary could be high, and I made it to the top of my pay bracket, earning thousands every month. The problem is, it wasn’t me, despite giving it my all. I was unhappy and miserable. I chose this career for the wrong reasons and I had to leave it when I’d reached my rock bottom of unhappiness. The lesson here is that we all want to be aspirational with our earning, but even if you choose a career path with no passion, enthusiasm, or excitement, it will backfire. Think beyond the box of the job market. If your heart is in a career which isn’t known for money making, explore it anyway, see what the options are. Are the skills transferable? Can you do it abroad, making your experience more useful? Can you freelance or work for an agency? Perhaps you will start a business doing it? All the research about the job market indicates purpose and happiness in a job role far outweighs money alone.
3. Respect the little jobs
Starter jobs are some of the most important roles you will ever do. Embrace them fully. The fact you’ve exchanged long hours for modest remuneration should teach you the value of money versus time. The lowest I earned was £30 a day for an 8-hour shift, and the most was £9000 in a day when I became a forex trader. If you do not value time from an early age it’s easy to fall in a pattern for the remainder of your career. These little jobs, be they supermarket shelf stacking or waitoring will expose you to people and scenarios of all walks of life. This is invaluable in brushing up on your interpersonal skills and rapport building.
Plus it will really make you really clear what path you wish to take in your future, whether that be exchanging time for money or creating wealth in a more efficient manner which tends to create far more wealth at the end
4. Become a new person
This is my favourite step to career resilience, because it rung so true for me. What were you like in school and uni? Like me, were you shy and introverted, or even bullied, and carry the psychological scars? The good news is that the job market offers you a chance to be a totally new you. I was introverted at school. No one thought I would go on to do anything significant, let alone become Britain’s most successful female forex trader and build up a £100 million business. Many young people choose together. Scrap that notion, go it alone, get used to being independent-minded. This is the one time you do not look to your friends. In the job market you can reinvent yourself. The decision to do this can be instant if you so choose. You leave behind the peer groups of school, you shake off the baggage and you can finally be who you want to be. Enter with confidence from day one and that’s the mark you will make on your colleagues and employers.
5. The positive U-turn
The career path you choose is not the total sum of you. Linking to point 2, changing careers further down the line often comes with guilt and shame. When the calling to go a particular direction is strong and clear, that has to be honoured. Allow your ego and mind to understand ‘this is me right now’ is not ‘me forever’. I left optometry to work in the property market, and then became a forex trader. I reached success in all areas, but as I followed my calling to each field, the results exceeded all expectations. Follow what excites and motivates you, so do not be afraid to move from one job or opportunity to another.
6. Use your intuition
Few management books will explain how to do this. Gut feeling is probably our biggest assets in all aspects of our lives. When aiming for a job or career, let your heart, not thinking mind, help you. Refer to a situation in your past where you felt your heart leading you to a place or situation which was absolutely right for you, now use that same feeling when it comes to your next job / position. Ask yourself ‘does this feel true?’. Can I work here doing this? Do I like and trust these people? You will need to employ this throughout your life when meeting potential employers, colleagues and deciding on organisations. Ignore your intuition at your peril. We’re slowly becoming a more spiritually aware society. Without prescribing too much to the myriad of spiritual solutions out there, just simply learn to tune in.
7. Don’t listen to your parents
Not unless you want to replicate their successes and failures. If you’re looking for a career / life path vastly different to the lives they’ve created, following their advice is not the best thing. Parents can come with their own prejudice, cultural baggage and limited thinking. This is not to rule them out completely, but the moment you notice ‘limited beliefs’ coming from them when you’re discussing your career options, that’s the first warning sign. I came from a poor Midlands Asian family where almost everything I went onto doing was met with skepticism. Optometry was one thing, but becoming a property investor and eventually a forex trader was met with much antagonism, disbelief and criticism. My family could never accept my life as a trader could provide a viable source of income. It did a 100 fold. From family, take only the positives, shake off all the limiting beliefs. Their journey is not yours.
8. Zero fear factor
There’s no better time in your life to approach something with zero fear. When you start your working life, there aren’t always children, mortgages or and onerous bills that come in your later 20s 30s 40s upwards. Therefore take this time to absorb everything, network fiercely and push for the best positions. Starting out can be totally daunting but there is not much to loose at this point. Tenacity should be at its highest level and this is where you build a bedrock of inner confidence. Like Shakespeare said in Macbeth,:
"Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
9. Passive income
This is off the radar of any careers advisor. But, do not put all your eggs into one basket. We’re far too reliant on one career and one source of income. In the age of zero hour contracts and a volatile job market, the idea of jobs for life, is something confined to the generations of yesteryear. We’re kidding ourselves if we think we can only rely on our jobs for all our income needs. So, provided it doesn’t conflict with your current job, take your spare time to find a source of alternative or passive income. There are a myriad of ideas from e-commerce businesses to direct sales or trading stocks and shares. Keep an open mind. Pensions have been battered in recent years, so it’s essential we keep our minds open to additional sources of income.
Hither Mann is the founder of the Fortune Academy which teaches willing individuals the mindset and skills to become financially independent. Having built up a multimillion pound prop fund from scratch, she is one of the UK’s most successful individual forex traders.