If you enjoyed our Successful People feature in the magazine this month you'll no doubt be thirsting for more wisdom from the business-savvy dudes on our panel of experts. Well, thirst no more.
Here's billion-dollar businessman David Gilbertson (and author of Wine Bar Theory) with more advice that could take you from wherever you are now all the way to the boardroom. Unless you're already in the boardroom. In which case, it'll just keep you in there.
01 Simple Minds
“Einstein said everything should be made as simple as possible, if not simpler. Successful people know that if something is complicated, no one gets it. Over-educated nitwits, of which there are plenty, make the world over complicated. You have to be able to take something that's complicated and distill what's significant in it. If you can do that, you've got a decent chance of making your business 'communicable' to other people. It's rare that a really complicated thing is successful.”
02 Do What You Like
“Successful people enjoy what they do. But they also tend to produce and make things that they want themselves. They identify what somebody wants, and try to craft it in a way that they would find appealing. They're good at standing in other people's shoes. Less successful people say things like, 'I've made this cake, and I think you'll like it.' Make a cake you think you'd like.
03 Back Winners
“Successful people are good at finding winners, and putting money behind them. They're not frightened of talent. Often people look at those with talent and think they're a threat. Successful people don't think like that; they find those people and then they back them. Less successful people will hire someone safer, who won't one day take their job off them. Smaller people. Not physically smaller, obviously.”
04 Learn To Adapt
“Forget the status quo: successful people stop doing stuff that doesn't work the minute they realise it's not working. Others just carry on, because they always have done. This is a time of business reinvention. People who are successful adapt well.”
05 Don't Get Up At 4am
“There are 24 hours in a day, and eight of them are supposed to be for sleeping. If, in the other 16 hours, you've not got enough time to be successful, and to eat, drink and have a good time, then you don't know the difference between urgent and important. Most people do things that are urgent, and just get busier and busier. That convinces people they've done a good job because they've worked very hard. Cameron and Osborne talk about rewarding people who work hard. It's not about working hard. It's about working smart.”
06 Make Other People Responsible
“You can't grow a business by yourself. You've got to trust smart people and put them in charge of stuff. Successful people know that in doing that they can give away huge amounts of responsibility, while never losing any themselves. If you think you're the only person who can make decisions, you won't be successful. Put smart people around you, and they'll help you grow your business. Successful people also show other people how to do things. They don't just stand there and tell them.”
07 Know That History Is Bunk
“Successful people know that the future is not a re-run of the past. So they're all Darwin's disciples. They know you must adapt or you will die. A lot of people in business, particularly in finance, will sit looking at a spreadsheet and think they can see trends from the past that will happen in the future. They can't. People who think that the competition is just their rival's shop are making a mistake. Competition reinvents itself constantly.”
Wine Bar Theory (£7.99, Phaidon), David's business book for anyone that wants to get ahead without sacrificing their whole life, is out now