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Doing What It Takes

The Clifton Review

The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

The 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story and incredible business success over these past fifty years. The Clifton Review will take an inside look at how he did it.

Doing What It Takes

By P.J. Malone

A lot of people view successful people as lucky. But is it luck? Not likely.

They’ve all had to do whatever it takes from long hours to grunt jobs to get to where they ended up. There are so many lessons that can be learned from successful people and their stories.

Even though fashion mogul Peter Nygard was a department manager at Eaton’s of Canada and in charge of a number of employees, he mopped the floors whenever it was necessary.

He was intent on setting a good example: When nobody ever wanted to carry bags of fertilizer to the customers’ cars because it smelled so badly, he carried it out himself. To this day, Peter Nygard has the reputation that he doesn’t ask anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.

Successful people do what it takes, but unfortunately, a common thought among many would be, “that’s not my job”. They don’t understand the value of showing initiative or doing what it takes. Instead they would prefer to believe successful people are just lucky.

As Peter Nygard asked in his speech to a graduating class, “Isn’t it amazing how something wonderful always happens to that lucky person?” He was making a point: “What is luck? Luck is the crossroad of opportunity and preparation. In order to make the most of the opportunities in life, we must prepare ourselves for them.”

This former bank manager’s story is a perfect demonstration of opportunity meeting preparation. She started out as a teller at one of the local branches. She was often asked to work late and she would. Her co-workers would say, “‘Chile’, it wouldn’t be me.”

She would be asked if she wouldn’t mind filling in for someone and she would. Her co-workers would say, “‘Chile’, it wouldn’t be me.” She would be asked to assist with needed month-end reports and she would. Her co-workers would say, “‘Chile’, it wouldn’t be me.”

Months later, when there was an opening, she was promoted to supervisor. Her co-workers definitely did not say, “‘Chile’, it wouldn’t be me.” Instead they said, “How come she got promoted? She hasn’t been working here very long. A lot more people have more experience than she does. These people around this place are so unfair.”

The point is that ‘‘chile’-it-wouldn’t-be-me’ does not put you in the position of being at ‘the crossroad of preparation and opportunity’.

Nygard said in his speech that you don’t have to be a genius to succeed, but you do have to be dedicated. The bank employee demonstrated this point. She may not have had the experience; however, she was dedicated.

But maybe you aren’t in a great job with lots of potential opportunities. So start where you are.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Colonel Sanders started by cooking chicken for weary travelers at the gas station he ran. He was great at it. So great that it became popular and he eventually was able to move it across the street to a restaurant.

Know that he also had set backs. He apparently failed in his restaurant business. However, it was through sharing his talent with others and going to different places and preparing their chicken for them that the idea of a franchise of Kentucky Fried Chicken evolved.

Doing what it takes may not be easy, but it will take you to your goal.

How badly do you want it?

Actually, we can always tell by the extent to which you are doing what it takes.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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