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Hard Work & Determination Earned Him Millions

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.

Hard Work & Determination Earned Him Millions

By P.J. Malone

What does it take to earn millions in business?

One thing is hard work. Yet, we hear such contradictory statements about this. Many business leaders and advisors will tell you success comes from hard work. But in some households, the popular saying when family members walk out the door is “don’t work too hard.”

How can both stand? They can’t.

So what does it mean to grow up in a household where you are told instead, when you walk out the door, “work hard and be sure to finish your work”?

It means working from the time you are eleven collecting Coke bottles out of ditches for 2 cents a bottle.

It means starting not just one paper route at the age of twelve, but three.

It means delivering newspapers every day come rain or shine, thunderstorm or hail, without a single customer complaint.

It means spending every single summer working two and three jobs—as many as you can get.

It means doing heavy-duty lifting, working on a pipeline as a teenager.

It means thinking nothing of staying after school even past basketball practice to continue practicing on your own so you can achieve excellence.

It means playing six sports in high school and practicing hard enough to be good at all of them.

Ultimately, it means, like fashion mogul Peter Nygard, working the sixteen-hour days that allowed him to take a struggling company to an 800-million-dollar success fifty years later.

How did he come to work so hard?

It’s all Peter ever knew. In Nygard’s childhood home, honesty and hard work were the biggest principles taught to him and his sister Liisa by his parents. They didn’t just preach this, they demonstrated it.

When Nygard’s parents finally achieved their dream of starting their own bakery, it was open from very early in the morning until late into the evening. A customer once asked Nygard’s father, Eeli, how many employees he had. Eeli told him that they had four. The customer was confused by this because he never saw anyone besides Eeli and his wife. Eeli explained: “I work two shifts and my wife works two shifts.”

So hard work was standard operating procedure for the Nygard family.

The challenge for all of us is how hard are we prepared to work for success? Naturally, there are other factors that contribute to success, but hard work is certainly one of the most important ones.

A common misconception some employees have is that if they had their own business, they would ‘have it easy’. You can hear them voice this from time to time. “If only I worked for myself.”

All business owners will tell you that working for yourself means working harder and working longer hours than anybody else at the company. It means you don’t get to quit work when the clock strikes five. It means finishing the work that you are committed to doing even if finishing means staying up past midnight or pulling an all-nighter.

Yes, ‘hard work’ isn’t easy to do. Yet, if you can work the long hours and do what it takes to achieve your goals, you can have a multi-million-dollar payday. But, only determination makes such hard work possible.

Starting out as a poor boy working endless jobs from the age of eleven, Peter Nygard showed how multi-million-dollar paydays are possible through hard work.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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